Dare Blogs - ClockinRock

Dare Blogs - ClockinRock

By Andrew Killingbeck

August 6th 2012 at 5:25PM

Dare to be Digital 2012 competitors ClockinRock talk exclusively to Develop about working on their entry title Liminal Magibrawl

Liminal Magibrawl is a fast-paced, competitive, magical duelling game for the Kinect. You take on the role of a mythical beast (human-like creatures with animal traits) and duke it out with the other player.

The game will be split-screen, meaning the players stand side-by-side and some very funny interactions can occur!

The game is fully controlled by the player. Every movement you do in front of the Kinect is mimicked by the on-screen avatar - no pre-defined animations.

This means the player feels fully connected to the game, and the fact that it revolves around casting magic, and casting magic usually involves a lot of arm flailing, means the gestures feel completely natural!

Dare has been, and still is, an amazing experience. To be given the opportunity to work in the industry and also work on something that is partly my own creation every day is a huge privilege and I do not take it lightly.

I have gained so much knowledge since I have been here. The mentors who came every week, each with their own views and opinions on a subject, helped me gain a lot of this knowledge.

There are so many different ways to look at a situation, and this experience has helped me realise that a lot more, and I feel I am a better person for that.

The standard of the competition is also very high, but the atmosphere is not one of secrecy and competitiveness, everyone is more than willing to help each other out when the need arises, and everyone seems to get along quite nicely.

The student bar helps a lot with this aspect of course!

I also managed to show off my supreme dancing skills, with an unforgettable (thanks to YouTube) dance that we performed at the Dare ceilidh night.

For me, this is the first time I have lived abroad so that aspect of this experience makes it all the better, knowing that when I wake up in the morning it won’t be raining or incredibly cold like Ireland makes me feel.

The main thing I have learned from Dare is teamwork, and the importance of teamwork and communication. It seems obvious that the two should go hand-in-hand, but for the first week or two we found ourselves wondering where our game was actually going, it seemed our individual goals were slightly different than one another.

But we managed to pull it together, we began to have weekly meetings and updates on any features we had implemented, and any new ideas that were thought up were heavily discussed.

Being able to code every day for eight weeks has given me so much experience as a programmer that I could not have gotten otherwise.

It gave me time to really understand different programming concepts which always seemed a bit muddy to me, and has also forced me to change my coding habits for the better.

Even simple things like deciding on a variable naming convention with your fellow programmers makes a huge difference when it comes to crunch time, something which I feel can only really be appreciated when you work on something like this.

Since the start of the competition, our main motivation has been ProtoPlay, and we are eagerly awaiting its arrival.

It is very exciting to realise that very soon thousands of people will be passing through the event, playing your game and (hopefully) enjoying it.

There are not many people given this type of opportunity, where their prototype game is put on display like this, with so many people willing to play it and actually vote on it. It will be an awesome experience for sure. We can’t wait to see people’s reaction to our game, and also see if they play it the way we envisioned it!

My first course of action after Dare is to finish my degree, I still have one year to do. After that, who knows?

There are many great little games companies throughout Ireland which I will be sure to apply for a job at, but if I'm unsuccessful hopefully an opportunity will arise from my involvement with the Dare to be Digital competition.

I would like to also further develop the game we made at Dare, but only after a year's break from it!

Follow CLOCKinROCK on Twitter @CLOCKinROCK to learn more about their game.

Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest takes place between August 10th and 12th in Dundee, with all 15 Dare student games on show, as well as indie games, conference talks and much more.

www.dareprotoplay.com