The Trip (Cohort 2008-2010)

by: Heather Arbiter, Jay Austin, Kapish Rawat, and Joshua Wilson

Project Concept

A new virus has developed on the Tanzanian savanna carried by mosquitoes that induces temporary madness. The infected suffer from vivid hallucinations and an extremely altered state of mind. This is a game about a small safari group comprised of the tour guide (a native Tanzanian) and three international tourists who contract this virus. In their minds, the tourists see themselves fighting for survival against an endless army of nocturnal predators. In reality, the group is alone in the wilderness pretending their camping gear is weaponry and recon equipment.

The imaginary enemies, inspired by the real savanna wildlife are a vicious breed that live in the darkness and hunts the brave heroes. Light is the primary weapon against the monsters that live in the dark. Survival is the primary goal maintained through teamwork, resource management and combat. The team has a variety of tools to ward of the enemies and encroaching darkness. These tools draw their power from the party's generator (an igloo cooler in reality) and give the team a variety of ways to create and modify light. In exchange, the team must carefully manage the generator's power supply. Periodically, the generator must be refueled with resources from the "madness" world. If the power dies, the party dies.

Cooperative team play is the main focus as a group of 2-4 players must work together and survive. They must face challenging scenarios like rescue, defense, explore, scavenge and transport.

The Trip is surreal, "mock survival," horror with a stylized theme. The phrase "mock survival" describes the genre because it's intended to be a humorous take on the survival horror style that is traditionally defined by frightening content, over-the-top gore and a relentless pace. The dichotomy of light vs. dark is the key theme for the game mechanics. Players will laugh at getting scared while they master the skills necessary to survive.

Individual Capstone Contributions

  • Arbiter, Heather - Satellites: An Alternative Approach to Dynamic Split Screen in Local Multi-Player Co-operative Games
  • Austin, Jay - Probabilistic Decision Network with Feed Forward Reinforced Learning for Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment in Video Games
  • Rawat, Kapish - Anti-Aliasing Solutions for Deferred Shading
  • Wilson, Joshua - Opacity Shadow Mapping of Particle Systems


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