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  • Student Postmortem: Guildhall at SMU's Invalid Tangram

    - Josh Szepietowski
  •  Introduction

    Invalid Tangram is an arcade-style hybrid between a vertical shooter and a falling-block puzzle game. It is a fully functional 2D game created from scratch which has been chosen as a Student Showcase Finalist in the 2007 Independent Games Festival. The design, programming, and art were all done by me during the first 3-month term at The Guildhall at SMU.

    The game has the player shoot down wave after wave of enemies. Destroying an enemy causes it to turn into a colored block which falls down to the bottom of the screen. When several blocks of the same color stack up together the player can absorb them to gain a power-up and some bonus play time. This design allows both players interested in fast paced action and strategic puzzling battle for the high score.

    The Guildhall at SMU offers a 21 month Masters in Digital Game Development with specializations in Art, Level Design, and Software Development. This project is the first undertaken in the program which also includes two team projects which allow programmers, artists, and level designers to work together in a team environment under the instruction of industry veterans. 

    This is a postmortem of the challenges, triumphs, and lessons taken from the development of Invalid Tangram.


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