Office Gear Solid

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I won't lie to you: this game is awesome. But then, what else would you expect from a game that combines the stealth action of Metal Gear Solid with the setting and characters from the cult classic Office Space?

As one of three working stiffs (Peter, Michael, or Samir), your goal is to escape the office without getting caught by Bill Lumbergh, the smugly evil boss who prowls the hallways of Initech preying on helpless employees. If you can make it to freedom, your reward will be a relaxing weekend of fishing and fun. If captured, you'll be spending Sunday in a soul-crushing cubicle filling out obnoxious TPS reports.

I have to say, out of all of my undergraduate game projects, this one is definitely the most fun to play. Whether or not you're familiar with the source material, there's enough depth to make for a memorable experience even when simply messing around and experimenting with all of the different options available. Of course, if you are a fan of either the Metal Gear series or Office Space, you'll also enjoy all of the little details and homages that pay tribute to both: keep an eye out for Milton the Mumbly Pyro, Steve the Vibe Salesman, the malfunctioning copy machine, the Swingline stapler, and even a special appearance from those ever-inquisitive efficiency experts, The Bobs.

If you watch the credits, you'll see that my official title for the project was "Gameplay Officer," which is quite vague and sort of makes me sound like a member of the Hot Cops from Arrested Development. While I didn't do any actual policing (hot or otherwise), I was responsible for many programming and design aspects of the finished product. Aside from proposing the original idea, I also maintained the design and technical documentation, created the level editor used to layout the game environments, and programmed the collision, AI, and many of the game object behaviors. Not bad for only a few weeks of development time, eh?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, many of the character sprites are blatantly stolen from Earthbound. That's what happens when a game gets made by four programmers who have the combined visual art skills of a finger-painting toddler. Just be thankful the art doesn't consist entirely of vector shapes and stick figures.