Thursday, November 13, 2008


As one might guess by the title I gave my blog, I am quite fond of a marine mammal known as the manatee. I currently work in Michigan State University's GEL Lab, where I help make video games. My boss is having me do an independent project so I can learn how to use Unity and Autodesk Maya. I'm a little overwhelmed with the fact that I'm diving into 3d game development in my first semester of college, but at the same time its exciting that I'm getting paid to learn tools I probably wouldn't get to learn until a lot later in college.

Anyways, my independent project is currently a game that I have currently titled "Manatee Quest." I have a simple 3d model done in Maya with a basic bone structure, although I haven't added any IKs yet. I plan to have the player swim the manatee around an aquatic environment and collect cabbages and other goodies. I'm contemplating having jellyfish as enemies, but that wouldn't be very realistic (then again neither would cabbages).

With regards to being realistic, I'm also contemplating adding some tangential learning features. I originally had a different game concept floating around in my head after James Portnow gave an awesome presentation at the 2008 Meaningful Play conference. That idea is getting saved for later and I started on my manatee project without even realizing how easy it would be to implement some efficient tangential learning about my favorite animal.

I'll try to post my game on this blog when its completed, which might be a while, and it might not be any fun (so don't hold your breath). This whole blog entry about manatees was inspired by my adventures on the internet last night when I discovered this gem in the Mongoloids online store:

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