Where are you?
Find your invisible friend
For Accare, a child and youth psychiatry organisation, we were asked to design and build three game prototypes that were focused on developing social skills in autistic children. Accare had performed a research into their social skills training, and came to the conclusion that the children couldn't generalize what they had learned in this training. They had only learned to apply the specific skills in the specific setting they were given in training, but didn't learn how this type of learning social skills could be applied in daily life.
The idea behind this game was to let the child interact with other people. It's a two player game played on two devices, where players have to find each other in a procedurally generated world. They are invisible to each other in game, so they would have to give each other clues of what their surroundings looked like, and so help each other to find one another.
My work on the game
I was the only programmer on this prototype. We had another programmer in our group, but because we had to make three prototypes, he was working on another game than I was. There were a few things to note about this game: it was a local network game, playable on two devices. The world had to be randomly generated, and in such a way that there wouldn't be too many double landmarks.
Networking was done by having one device be the server, and the other be the client. Of course, because of the young age of the players, this couldn't be too technical, so we let the kids choose between Player one and Player two, and everything else was done in the background. Player one was the server device, and it would broadcast a message on the local network so Player two, the client, could find it. The seed for generating the world was shared upon connection, so both Players could generate the same world.