Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.


Computer Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Ahmed Amer


The video game industry has been filling me with disappointment for the past decade. The overall trend is greed: how to make as much money as possible from as many people as possible. The hardcore gamers – that is, the gamers who want the most-skilled, smartest, and fastest players to be well rewarded over all the inferior casual players – are being pushed aside as the minority. The biggest problems are pervasive advertisements, luck having a significant effect on gameplay results and rewards, and the inability of skilled players to differentiate themselves from mediocre players. BoneHeads aims to avoid these pitfalls. The gameplay involves the management of a small but growing group of skeletal minions, in a fight for survival against the humans that seek to destroy you. The main feature of this gameplay is that your minions do not all behave the same, which increases the complexity of how you keep them efficiently busy. This project included the creation of 3D models, textures, animations, sound effects, music, and gameplay programming. The game is focused on the AI of your minions, but the AI techniques employed are nothing new. I have not yet completed the goal-oriented AI that some of the minions will use, and there are many bugs to fix and features to add before it becomes a marketable game. The most difficult problem I had was the result of not enough abstraction; I got bogged down trying to program the logic of all the targettng variations into the same method. I also found that creating the sounds, music, and graphics gave me much more motivation to work on the programming so that I could witness the fruits of my labors.

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