I was wondering how much of the original code would be advised to use. I have an idea of what to do but one script in-particular would become redundant.
Also, just to confirm, is the project expected to run on Windows/Desktop OS's or could we go for Android? Can we specify that it has been tested and works on one platform?
Here's my take on the code issue. The code brief states:
This project is designed to mimic studio processes. It is important that for this challenge you utilize the existing project and do not start again from scratch.
Keyword there for me is utilize. They've given us some base mechanics and a base solution so build from that. In real studio processes code gets dropped all the time! My approach is if you can look at the final game, and can clearly see it's an evolution of the original code base, then that should be fine. For example, the mechanics of flocking/repelling are a huge part of what we were given, so that should probably be in the final product in some form.
Regarding build platform, I'd stick with desktop if I were you. Just my $0.02, but it's going to reduce any chances of causing problems. What if the judges don't have access to the hardware? Or they don't have a device with the specs to run your game well enough? Given our time-frame if I were you I'd stick to desktop and save yourself a myriad of potential headaches. Again, take that with a pinch of salt. 100% just my bias opinion on the matter. :)
Good luck dude! Hopefully someone from Aardvark will be along to clarify!
Dale's pretty much spot on about the code. You're working from an existing code base, but can do with it what you want with it. Part of the challenge is to work from the existing code though, so try to make clear any changes that you make to the original.
As per the brief, the release platform is Windows PC. You're welcome to expand the development to other platforms, but will need to have the desktop version as your submitted final project.
I'd just like to add that we are trying assess how well you are able to read, understand and integrate with an existing code base, because this is what you will be required to do when starting a new job programming games. Dropping individual files is fine, if you don't need them, but don't submit a project where every single one of the original files is redundant.
Additionally, if you drop an existing file and then end up writing something else that does almost exactly the same thing, then I have you assume that you didn't understand the original file.
Good luck, I can't wait to see what you come up with!
Regarding; 'if you drop an existing file and then end up writing something else that does almost exactly the same thing, '
What if you're doing the same or very similar but in a different way?
Would adding comments in these files explaining how and why they were replaced?
In some cases one might be able superficially integrate them into their replacement - just moving some of the the new code into the old files, would this be better?
If you want the file to do almost the same thing, then why not just edit the file? Unless there is a compelling reason to keep the original file as it is, which is unlikely, then edit it to work the way you want.
The point we are trying to get across is: in order to demonstrate that you understood the original code base, you should edit it. If you delete a file and then add a new file that does the same thing (even if in a different way) I'll have to assume you could not get your head around the original file and therefore rewrote/replaced it.
It is important in a game development studio to be able to effectively read, understand and edit the code of your peers, spending time rewriting a class simply because it wasn't written the way you would have done it, is rarely acceptable. The time you spent doing this, could usually have been better spent elsewhere.