Wamfish World – The New Story

In my previous blog post, I had announced and then I canceled a story line that I had created for my game. I have decided instead to go with a simplified scenario that leaves all the same game elements of the previous story, but with a greatly simplified back story.

When the user starts the game he will be given a screen where he has to login to Westerfield Animatronics server. Once the player clicks the login button, a connection screen will be displayed:

Welcome to Westerfield Animatronics!

We are connecting you to your remote account for Model: Fish-2065

Please wait …

When the connection is established, the user now controls his Animatronic fish and its companion orb. The user receives a constant video feed of what the fish sees, and can also switch to the orb’s camera for viewing. You have complete control over moving your fish about, using a number of different methods of transportation.

Even though the fish is hundreds of thousands of miles from earth, thanks to the quantum communication device that WA invented, you have near instantaneous control and feedback from your fish/orb combo.

Your fish is in a large dome in space, something like a large football stadium. You are paying Westerfield Animatronics large sums of money for the privilege of owning your own world, so what you do with your expensive toy is pretty much up to you.

Now if you are like me, you might be thinking: How do know that Westerfield Animatronics is actually connecting you to a remote world. They could be faking the whole thing by using some fancy computer animation system? Aha!

Wamfish World – Chapter 1

Sadly this will be the first and last chapter of the book. You see I have been working on several story lines for my video game. I had thought I was going to use the below story line, but I ended up changing my mind.

The problem is not so much with Chapter 1, but the back story behind it. You see WAM stood for “We Are Mars”, and our new orb friends have recently blown up Earth. And while Wamfish thinks he is just a fish, WAM actually wired him up to a brain harvested from a dead human. Sort of like a human brain – fish hybrid.

Given that I will be targeting K-6 for at least the educational games, I decided maybe that the back story was going to be a bit much for young kids. I am going a slightly different direction with my game instead.

I would like to thank my author/sister Aretta for her time in helping me edit my first draft. Not wanting to waste the effort that went into creating Chapter 1, here it is for posterity’s sake:

Wamfish World

Chapter 1 – March 1, 2065:

This is a story about a friend of mine. His name is Wamfish.

Seven years ago there was a fish just swimming, along enjoying the sunny day. The water was so warm and crystal clear that the little fish couldn’t help but feel content to be alive on such a beautiful day.

As he swam along, he began to hear a beeping noise in the distance. Being a very curious little fellow, he quickened his strokes and set out to search for what was making the noise.  As his fins quickly moved through the water, the sound became louder and louder.  Just as he reached the location where the sound was almost deafening, it stopped.

The little fish circled around several times, straining to hear the sound that had brought him to this location. He was just about to head in another direction when a loud clanging shook the waters. The sun disappeared and it became pitch dark. The little fish was afraid and knew this was no place for him to be!

He desperately wanted to swim away, but it was so dark he didn’t know which way to go.  His heart began to pound when as the water began making a swooshing sound all around him. The fish could now feel the water rushing past his body.  He was terrified when he tried to turn and swim away, but his attempt was useless.  He was powerless against the strong force that was pulling him further into the darkness. Just when he was certain he would be completely consumed by the force, he popped out of the stream and landed in a small bowl of water.

The little fish swam furiously around trying to figure out where he was. He was trapped! Trapped in a bowl of water. He looked through the thick glass and saw that he was in a room.  He could see two mechanical-like orbs flying around the room.  Although he couldn’t understand what they were saying, he could tell the two orbs were talking to each other.

One of the orbs saw the fish and flew over to investigate. As it looked into the bowl, the fish could see a device on the underside of the orb that moved about and looked like a small flashlight. The orb pointed this device at the fish, and then a bright, red light flashed on which first stunned the little fish and then within seconds he was totally knocked out.

When the fish came to, he noticed the orbs were again moving about the room. Suddenly something odd began to happen.  The fish could see flashing lights and faded images.  He could tell these images were not part of the outside world, it was as if his brain was generating them and then showing them to him outside his bowl

The orbs were still moving about, and talking with each other, but this time, the words were starting to make sense to the fish. He now could understand exactly what they were saying.

“No, no, no!” One of the orbs shouted.

“Yes! It will work,” the other orb said.

“Hey! Can you hear me?” The fish asked loudly.

One of the orbs turned towards the bowl and said, “Hello!”  He then looked at the other orb and said, “See!  I told you it would work.

I don’t understand where I am,” the fish said. “What is this place?”

“Don’t be afraid.  I will help you on your way,” the orb said.

Then the other orb chimed in, “See, I told you.  Useless!”

“No, this is good!  You will see!”

The fish realized there was something very different about himself now. These orbs had obviously done something to him. Somehow they gave him the knowledge he never had before. “Who or rather what are you?” The fish asked as he continued to gaze through the glass of his bowl.

“I am WAM!” said the orb.

“We are WAM!” The other orb corrected.

“What is WAM?” The fish asked, still very confused.

“We are WAM,” the orb said.

“Yes, yes. We are WAM. Busy, busy. Many things to do, must go!” The other orb said as he flew out of sight.

The little fish then wondered who or what he was.  He didn’t seem to know anymore.  “Who am I?”  He asked the remaining orb.  “What is my name?”

“Name?  You do not have a name.”

“Then what am I?”

“You are a fish, but together we are WAM-fish,” the orb said.

“Is that my name?” The fish asked.

“Sure. If you like, I will call you Wamfish.”

“Thank you. I like my name. I am Wamfish!” He said as he swam around the bowl, no longer afraid.  Having a name made him happy.

“You have much to learn, but I am here to help you. Are you ready to get started?”

Wamfish was starting to like his new home, and even though he did not know WAM very well, he was beginning to like him as well.  “Yes, I am ready to learn. Let’s get started!”

Coincidence?

So after posting my previous BLOG,  I go and read my email. I see an email from unity titled “10 tips to get you started on your own game project”. In the email, one of the links is for this set of tutorials. After watching the videos, I can only say that is exactly what I was trying to express as to why I changed direction. I could not agree more. Now, where was this video two years ago? Coincidence?

Slight Change of Direction

The last week or so I have been thinking a lot about the best way to proceed with my little project. The one thing I figured out for sure is that for my game I had my goals backward.

Originally, I wanted to create a full blown open world game called “Wamfish World”. This game would have all the tools needed for players to create their own custom worlds and to share those worlds with others. Those tools could also be used to create custom worlds that provided educational content as well.

The epiphany for me was I needed reverse that and start with creating small mini games that have educational value, and then use what I build along the way to help me create the full game. This will allow me to have a sense of accomplishment when I complete the mini games, and that should help to keep me motivated to produce more content.

Hmmm. So I guess its time to get started on “Wamfish Learns to Count”.

Grammarly

I used WordPress.com to setup my Blog. If you are looking to create your own Blog, I must say that they are worth a look.

The only problem that I had was when editing my blog post using the browser interface, the fact that I have very bad grammar, and my spelling is terrible, became obvious. I probably could have used Office to edit my post, but I preferred to use the browser interface. I found a program that worked in the browser and helps me fix the large number of mistakes that I was making.

The program I found was Grammarly.com. I am using the free version, but they also have a paid version with more advanced options. Click on the above link to get more information. It will help you anytime you make a post in your browser.

What is Wamfish?

Hello,

My name is John Hamilton, I am the owner of Wamfish.com, and I thought I would make my first post about what is Wamfish?

Let me start back in 2008:  

I had the idea that I wanted to create a website, and I needed to come up with a domain name for that site. I can tell you that it is not easy to find a domain name that is not already taken by someone else.

After several hours of striking out, I hit upon the word catawampus. It turned out that someone already registered the domain catawampus.com. So with further investigation, I learn that catawampus is derived from the word wampus. I thought that would make a great domain name, but unfortunately, someone else thought the same thing, and beat me to it! Wampus.com was already taken.

Further investigation revealed that wampus is akin to wampish (Meaning: to wave about or flop to and fro). Again perfect, but no,  the domain wampish.com was already taken!(Note: as of the time of this writing it is no longer taken)

Have you ever went fishing? Well if you catch a fish, and drop that fish into the bottom of your boat, what does the fish do? It will wave about, and flop to and fro! As they say, the rest is history: www.Wamfish.com!

Fast forward to 2014:

From 2008 to 2014 I had spent some time coming up with a project for my domain. It had taken me several years, but I had figured out what I wanted to create and started in earnest to create my website. Well, I was in the process of creating it, when I happened upon the website: Khanacademy.com. It turns out that Khanacademy.com was very similar to what I was trying to create, only it was better, already completed, and Bill Gates had just donated something like 14 million dollars to their cause.  It did not take a genius to realize that I was barking up the wrong tree.

This realization made me stop in my tracks and come up with a new plan. I still wanted to do something useful for K-12 students, but I was looking for a new idea. I ended up asking myself what is it that you would find interesting. Being the nerd that I am, I decided that I wanted to create educational video games. I wanted to make something that would make learning fun.

Fast forward to today, May 3, 2017:

Over the last three years, I have been learning Unity and slowly creating my first video game Wamfish. If you have been reading along, you will notice that is the same name as the domain name I came up with. Yes, I am that lazy. I really did not want to have to go through finding a new name for my game, so I decided to just call it Wamfish!

To clarify things a bit, Wamfish will not be an educational game, at least to start with. I am however creating the framework, where I can go back and add content to the game that will be educational. I will not go into the details because, to be honest, much of the detail still needs to be ironed out.

I have learned a good bit about what it takes to create a video game in the last three years, and I am making good progress on Wamfish. Now that I am confident enough that creating my game will be doable, I decided to setup my domain name as a Blog, so that I could start posting about my progress. I also plan on highlighting many of the tools, tips, and tricks that I have found useful over the last three years and going forward.

What is Wamfish?

It is a Blog, it is the name of a game, and it is evidence that I can procrastinate with the best of them. It has taken me 9 years from purchasing wamfish.com, to actually setting up this Blog, and making this very first post! Welcome to Wamfish, and thank you for stopping by.