In the Web Development Office, we are always looking for news ways to present information that is both creative and dynamic. As a team, we have been brainstorming for quite some time about ways to enhance our Campus Map/Virtual Tour experience to be more hands-on and interactive.
Then one day, Tyler, a student in the S.O.A.R. Program, came to work in our office. Among his interests is the development of video games. Together with graphic artist, Amy Fedele; programmer, Mark Pitely and graduate assistant, Trina Williams, he helped to work out the concept and develop a plan for a video game that doubles as a virtual tour of campus. In this SquirrelTour, website visitors learn about the campus as they perform tasks-- as a squirrel-- that are designed to "show" them around Marywood's campus.
Over the course of several months, this team invented the character Archie McMarywood (inspired by the Great Squirrel Takeover of 4-1-2011) and developed the tasks, the graphics and all of the details of the game.
Tyler, S.O.A.R. Student
Responsible for: Testing and idea development.
Favorite part: Learning more about the Marywood campus.
Bio: Tyler is an avid video gamer, bowler, and enjoys hanging out with his friends online and off. Steak is his favorite food, hands-down. He plans to continue his education and focus more on web design, writing code, and developing 3-d animation.
"Favorite" part: Trying to get from downtown Scranton to the community gardens, and working with this very talented and squirrelly team.
Trina Williams, Beloved Graduate Assistant
Responsible for: I helped out with a few odds and ends of the game and brainstorming for ideas but aside from that, I was mainly the game-tester and the comic relief during the process.
Favorite part: My favorite part is when the game directs you to "Be a peach and water all the plants..." What a heart-warming way to ask :)
Bio: I have an undergraduate degree from Marywood in Industrial Organizational Psychology and am currently enrolled in the School Psychology, Ed.S program. I am the current graduate assistant in the Web Development office here at Marywood. If you ever get a chance to work down here, or interact with Sr. Kathleen, Mark, or Amy, do it! Working here has taught me so much more than I could imagine and the people are amazing. Plus, when people ask me what I am doing at work, I get to say, "oh I'm helping develop a video game." How cool is that?
Amy Fedele, Web Design Specialist
Responsible for: Stopping Mark from being too "clever" Drawing. Coloring. Animating. All of your favorite parts of the game :)
Favorite part: The sad squirrel when you fail (I hope you don't fail.. but if you do he's really cute!)
Bio: All of the graphics of the game (with the exception of the campus map) were my responsiblity; from drawing Archie McMarywood and General McNutters, to making Archie jump and walk, to the finish screens for each level. It was a great creative outlet and team effort, allowing us to challenge ourselves and each other. Back and forth banter, disagreements, laughing, "breaking" the game on purpose (and by accident), and hearing about Mark's nightmares of a server crash were all great parts of my day.
Looking forward to your feedback and adding more features to the game!
Mark Pitely, Web Developer
Responsible for: Bugs. Math. Trickery. Lack of padding.
Favorite part: Amy's pictures of Archie at work - especially the easter eggs. Oh, and Z-index!