After my training projects at Spiral House (Stacker, Tetris, Breakout, 3D Pacman & a custom game), I was put onto Spanisch Buddy for Nintendo DS.
The game is a Spanish language trainer that we were making for a German publisher. The game was to be developed for the German, French and Italian markets. Spiral House had already made the French language trainer in the series for the same publisher, so the engine was mostly already there. The publisher wanted extras and amendments for the Spanish version. This was a fantastic experience of iterative development and how to communicate effectively with a publisher, so you can make the product they envisioned with as little revisions as possible. Of course, this doesn’t stop the publisher changing their mind after you’ve already finished that section of code. A few occasions of this happening lead to me realising how vital it is to be able to quickly solve problems, especially if you need to hit an upcoming milestone or deadline.
My first task on Spanisch Buddy was to create a hangman-esque game to specification. I designed how the game would work and what classes I would need to make it. I got to grips with the CodeWarrior IDE and coded the mini game. I learnt how to create animation within the Spiral House engine, which in turn taught me about the importance of a good frame rate in your game.
After a couple of iterations of the mini game, it reached a state that the publisher was happy with. I was moved onto general bug resolution. This meant I was in constant contact with the publisher’s QA department, which really helped develop my professional communication skills. On top of this, my debugging skills increased no-end. One of the bugs that came in was a reworking of the translation dictionary, which was major enough to near enough need a full rewrite of the pre-existing version. After a few goes at matching the particularly vague specification, this task was passed to the senior programmer as it turned out what the publishers were asking for was extremely complicated to achieve.
More bug resolving ensued until I was tasked with writing a self-test for the game, because of the continuously changing data that was being given to us to put in the game. This was the first large task I had come across and it really tested my time management and breaking-up of tasks. By the time I finished, with a secret combination of buttons, the game played through itself, testing every bit of data for syntax errors. This task involved dealing with user input, animation and creating a system to play through all sections.
I own the game for my Nintendo DS, so if you would like to see a real-time example of my work, I can show you the game in action.
I do not own the rights to any images on this page. I only intend to use them as a window into the work I have done.