July 2014

Role spec

Game concept, design
and Build (Processing)

Dante’s Inferno

First, a little context on my Secret Projects: these are from long ago, some going back as far as university. They’re ugly, bizarre, experimental – and didn’t make the cut for my main portfolio. Instead of deleting them, I relegated them to the secret archives of my website. This particular one’s a university oldie, and as clunky as the design direction is, it holds a special place in my heart because it was my first ever programming project.

As part of my Computing MSc, we were tasked with designing and programming a game using the Processing language. I chose to build a game based on Dante’s Inferno, an 14th-century poem written by Italian writer, Dante Alighieri. The game is as simple as it is ugly: the user navigates Dante (a blue blob – I really pushed the limits of character design) through the ten rings of Hell.

The Three Sisters

Just like dodgeball – except instead of balls, it's three Gorgon hellspawn frenzied by bloodlust and intent on consuming your mortal soul.

Building this level was a challenge: defining the logic behind the Sisters' movement took me several days alone. I learned that sleep was a myth, and Red Bull noticed an unprecedented spike in their quarterly sales.

The Pits of Acteon

Hold my beer, Indiana. The party continues in the second ring of badly-drawn 8-bit Hell: who said skin-melting fireballs couldn't be fun?

These were the only two levels I could find on my university hard drive, so you've been spared the remainder of this monstrosity. To summarise the bits you've missed: snakes, a giant tumbling rock (my lawyers will be in touch, Lucasfilm), more snakes... Oh, and Satan rocks up at the end.

"I asked you to program an interval timer, not build a game."

Satisfied tutor, 2014