This past weekend saw The University of Tulsa hosting the Heartland Gaming Expo 2013. Per the website, the goal of the event was to showcase the creation and development of video games in the central region of the United States, primarily Oklahoma. There were a few different events and it was free and open to the public Saturday and Sunday. My friend and I went Sunday morning and hung out for a few hours, playing the games that were present and chatting with their designers.
It was pretty desolate when we went on Sunday morning as many of the participants were taking part in the eighteen hour hack-a-thon that began Saturday evening. From what we gathered from some of the designers, many others just didn’t show up Sunday – which isn’t surprising as there didn’t seem to be much publicity for the event. Besides my friend and I, there were only five or so other spectators. There were about fifteen designers present though and it seemed like everyone was enjoying each other’s company.
The first game I played was Project Land Mineded. It was a first-person shooter focusing on arena-based multiplayer. It was designed with the Unreal Development Kit and was undoubtedly the most technologically-proficient game present. The game was a fast-paced, twitchy sort of deathmatch game through and through but it had an interesting hook. The sole weapon was a rocket launcher and after firing a rocket, it ricocheted a time or two before losing momentum and becoming a stationary mine. Before too long, the arena was ridiculously littered with mines, meaning evading them was nigh-on impossible.
Project Land Mineded was designed by a Norman, OK high school student – Marty Rand. What’s perhaps most impressive about the game is that it was designed using nothing but free software such as GIMP and UDK. The game’s technological proweress made a little more sense when he elaborated that he’s been programming for a long time, specifically robotic programming. He said he’d like to continue on in the game design realm and I think he has a bright future. Project Land Mineded was a blast and I can imagine with a little tweaking, it could be a commercially available product.
Below is a video that Marty uploaded to YouTube and also, here are links to the game’s blog and Twitter.
7 thoughts on “Heartland Gaming Expo 2013 – Project Land Mineded”
Thanks very much for the kind words. I plan on being at the 2014 HGE with a much improved version (I have already made ~18 improvements of various kinds with many more in the works). If you want to follow development, you can follow me on Twitter @LandMineded for development log updates. I also have started a blog with more in depth articles: http://landmineded.wordpress.com
By the way, What tweaks did you notice that I should make? I have ~2 pages of notes from the expo, but I don’t want to miss something. Feedback is always appreciated.
Quite frankly, I’d like to see more maps and different art assets. From what I’ve read of your blog, it seems like the art assets would be the hardest to implement as you’re “not an artist.” Which is something I can relate to as I’m not either.
The TimeSplitters series had a huge swath of zany characters so that’s one way to go, but before anything additional like the way it looks or extra maps, getting mulitplayer into it or adjusting the gameplay is first and foremost. I don’t have any gameplay adjustments off the top of my head.
I have another map in the works. It’s under wraps for now. I’ll probably be showing on my blog when it’s ready. It is true that am not an artist at all, but I am friends with the people who won the concept art and animation awards at the expo. I’ve been talking to them about helping out with the visuals. I don’t want it realistic though. That wouldn’t fit the gameplay. I may not have mentioned it to you, but the level you played was actually a LAN server already. I only had 1 computer so I spawned in bots for people to play against. Multiplayer already works. Next year I hope to have at least 2 computers for people to dual each other at. We’ll see how that goes. My long term hope (we’ll see if I get there) is to have Project Land Mineded on Steam. Steamworks has support for matchmaking and the UDK already has Steamworks integration.
It seems as though that’s been addressed then. Perhaps get it onto Steam through Greenlight?
Yes. Greenlight is the current plan. I have heard varying reports on how good Greenlight is. Although if you look around, Steam is the best place for sales and exposure out there. Obviously I’m not putting it there until it’s much closer to done. What I have now might as well be a tech demo compared to what it will be. Since AP tests and finals are these next couple weeks, progress will slow for a bit. I plan of working on it a lot over the summer though (in addition to robotics). My unofficial goal is to have:
at least 3 fully playable levels
a new and improved art style
expanded playable menu level (much more than just play and exit)
optimized and customizable physics code
several bug fixes
by the end of the summer. I don’t know if that is possible, but that is my aim.
I’d agree about Steam being the way to go. It seems like I hear about former console exclusive indie titles gaining a second life on Steam, and in some cases, garnering more sales, or at least more profit.
It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good road map worked out. That’s a big key to success – knowing what your goals are. But yeah, school is probably more important, ha ha.
Reblogged this on Project Land Mineded and commented:
It’s always a good sign when a blogger that saw my stuff really likes it!