I worked as a project manager and game producer for R-C Game Studio — a videogame collab operating out of the Digital Studies Center at Rutgers University.
In my role as project manager, I coordinated various aspects of game production: selecting and approving the storyboards; coordinating the writing, directing, editing; offering technical advice on prototype builds. I helped to keep the trains running — making sure that the artists, programmers, and studio heads were on schedule, cross-communicating ideas through online and offline channels, and working smoothly with one another in a professional, creativity-driven environment.
The goal of R-C Game Studio was to create a full-fledged platformer in the course of one semester. A lofty ambition — but with the help of James Brown Jr., Robert Emmons, Adam Nash, Steven Gussman, Kelley Riley, and a team of excellent students, we managed to make a buggy, beautiful beta.
In fact, our buggy beta was so beautiful we were showcased at the Babycastles videogame art gallery in New York City.
Our production co. — "Sinister Rooster" — was truly a cultural and educational effort. Students created team-leads for programming, design, writing, sound, art, and presentation. They held meetings, employed project management software, and constructed both a demo game and an organization.*
Snip – The Story
Snip was created in the Unity game engine, the world's leading real-time videogame creation tool. The game’s main character is Anais: a girl of around 9 or 10 years old with a broken and introverted personality. She holds in her hand a pair of golden scissors that allow her to cut between two different realities. One of the most important features of this game is that it represents the experience of a person who is not in a position of power and a character-type that is not often the central focus of videogames. Snip uses play to model the internal world a non-white, female foster child.
Notice from the sprite sheet that the standing sprite and the climbing sprite were inked. The transitions were not. This is why Anais has a ghostly character when she walks.
Video – Beta
There are some glitches (such as the moonwalk, the sticky boxes, etcetera). But despite these small issues, Snip came a very long way in the short time we had to create it.
Excerpt from the Presentation
"There are two levels of play at work when it comes to Sinister Rooster and Snip, one involving the game itself and the other involving a student-run game studio that is not linked to course credit. We have long known that play is crucial to learning, and Sinister Rooster demonstrates what is possible when students are offered a space to create that is simultaneously tied to a university setting (making available its resources, spaces, and expertise) and also freed from the rhythms and structures of the traditional 14-week college course. Sinister Rooster sits in between “work” and “play,” offering students the opportunity to acquire skills in an environment that they themselves structure.
We see Snip as an example of how computer gaming offers a particularly useful way of examining culture by way of interdisciplinary collaboration. Snip offers a window onto a particular cultural scene, one that does not always get the attention of those who make and market videogames."
* To read more about the accomplishments of the studio, read this abstract by Jame Brown Jr., Robert Emmons, Adam Nash, Kelley Riley, Jessica Kaitz, Josh Feinbaum, Steven Gussman, Abby Cometz, and Kate Blair (our lead artist).