Feb 122013

By Nick Worth
You’re a college girl named Samantha…“Sam” to your friends…and one day you wake to find you’re in a test chamber in a facility you don’t recognize. The chamber is one of many and you’ll need to work your way through them all, solving puzzles in each one, to solve the puzzle of why you’re here.
This is the premise of TesserΔct, a new first-person video game written and developed by Holbrook High School students Josh Barger, Clayton Walters, Jordan Autobee, Michael Ortega and Dwayne DeJohn.
Autobee is the writer for the game, coming up with the story and dialogue. Ortega serves as beta tester “to make sure our game can actually be played,” said Barger.
DeJohn is the Webmaster, Barger does the 3D modeling and graphics, and serves as a web administrator, and Walters is the level designer/developer.
“I put everything together,” he said.
Barger said the game is produced by “…our soon-to-be company.”
“We’ve been slowly working our way toward becoming an LLC,” said Walters.
“TesserΔct is a physics-based puzzle game with an underlying story, which is also a puzzle,” said Walters. He noted that the physics involved would be different than what we’re used to.
“We thought, what if we made our own laws of physics?” recalled Walters.
Aiding the gamer in the journey through the different chambers will be a gun, not the typical gun of first-person shooter games, but rather one that gives off a beam of light that will freeze objects in place.
“We placed a heavy emphasis on using water,” said Walters, explaining that flowing water could be stopped in place using the beam from the gun and could be walked on.
As in other puzzle games, the first chamber is designed to give the player the experience necessary to pro-ceed through the other chambers.
At different points in the game, the character can leave the test chambers and go into office spaces, where additional clues to the story can be found, such as terminals displaying e-mails.
Asked why they chose a college girl as the protagonist in the game, Walters said most games of this type have characters with special skills, or who are highly trained as soldiers.
“We wanted to make the players care about the character,” said Walters.
“She would be more like your daughter,” said Barger. “She’s middle class, not trained in combat. She’s ‘normal.’”
The group has been working on the game for a year. At first, the going was tough.
“It’s all been self-taught,” said Barger of the computer modeling techniques needed to portray the world of TesserΔct.
Now, however, all the pieces are in place.
“All we have left to do is finish the design of all the levels,” said Walters. “We have all the models, sounds and textures. We just need to put in the ideas for the puzzles.”
“It’s like all the Lego pieces are spread out on the ground and we just have to put them together,” said Barger.
“We finally have something to show the public,” said Walters.
With that in mind, the group is showing a demo of their game at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Roxy Theater in Holbrook.
“We’re going to show the demo and give an overview of the game,” said Walters. Immediately following, at 7:30, there will be a video game competition of the game Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Players will compete one-on-one in five-minute time segments. The winners of the first round will then progress to the second level.
The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $100, second place gets $50 and third place, $25. Admission is $4, and attendees can opt to compete in the tournament or not.
Barger said the Roxy will also be selling concessions during the tournament.
“We owe the Roxy management a huge thanks for letting us have our event in their theater,” Barger said. “We also owe thanks to the library for giving us free use of their conference room each week for our meetings.”
The game is designed to be run on a PC. System requirements to run the game are any Mac computer, or a PC running Windows XP, SP2 or Vista. A processor of 2.0 GHz, 2 GG of system RAM, an SM3-compatible video card and 3 GB of free hard drive space.
Barger said a demo of the game will be available for downloading on their website www/proximacentourigames.net on Monday.
“Emphasize the dot net,” said Barger. There is a similar website containing the dot com suffix that is not affiliated with their company.