Design Students at Work

I came across a couple games produced by students at two game development schools that have really interesting and fun concepts.  Attack of the 50 Ft Robot! and Devil’s Tuning Fork. 

Attack of the 50 Ft Robot!
, designed by a team of students at DigiPen Institute of Technology, is essentially a 1950’s B movie where you play as a giant rampaging robot.  You smash and toss aside buildings, zap tanks and helicopters with laser beams, and take on a few other amusing B movie twists.  The game isn’t very long nor does it have a lot of reply value but it is great fun for a while. 

What made the game for me is the music.  The game play and graphics aren’t groundbreaking but your destruction has more of an epic feel against the game’s dramatic music, especially in the final showdown.  The music was well chosen and I’ve gone back to the game a couple times just to hear it.

Designed and developed by students at DePaul University, Devil’s Tuning Fork has a really cool concept.  Children all over the world are falling into a mysterious coma.  You, a child, fall into the same coma except that you are affected differently.  You find yourself in a dark world where your only guidance are sound waves you can emit from a tuning fork you’ve found.  The official website describes the way you travel through this nightmare world as like the echolocation of dolphins.  To me, it’s more like the sonar of a bat.  A puzzle-platformer, Devil’s Tuning Fork asks you to rescue the souls of the other children who are trapped in stuffed-animal forms.  This dream world has a great creepy feel generated by its shroud of darkness and the cries of its trapped children.

Essentially if you don’t move or use your tuning fork the world is completely dark.  You have no concept of how big or how small the room you’re in is.  You think you’re in a giant empty space and then slowly your sound waves travel along the floor, up the walls and across the ceiling; showing you the contours of the area.  You have to keep the sound waves coming as they’re only fleeting and the room slips back into darkness.  You have different types of sounds waves as well; deep sounds that find weak points in the floor and concentrated blasts that can be used as a concussive force against objects. 

Both games are a sizeable download but are worth the time.  I wish I could show you more screenshots of Devil’s Tuning Fork but the game’s design doesn’t really lend itself to capturing images.  Just get it and see for yourself.

Imaginative and fun, Attack of the 50 Ft Robot! and Devil’s Tuning Fork have concepts that should shame some  professional developers and certainly show a bright future for the students who worked on them.