Team of Cleveland students create promposal simulator


Clarion photo Carlin MacMillan

Cleveland junior Dalen Murphy

By Cyrus Lyday and Evanne O'Sullivan

One of the many extraordinary opportunities offered at Cleveland is Intro to Computer Programming. The class is nearing the due date of a game design project as of press time. One project, spearheaded by junior Dalen Murphy, sticks out as one of the most ambitious in the class: a promposal simulator.

For these projects, a typical student will go through the production process: creating the ideal and goals behind their game, setting up the base game (putting together collisions with all the objects, putting the characters in), adding in sounds, creating the art, adding the storyline and getting everything to work together.

“The assignment has two purposes,” said Intro to Computer Programming teacher John Walker, “One, to have students demonstrate as much of the overall courses’  focus on computational thinking as they can. So I’ve taken a group of what the industry experts at Google and Microsoft declare as computational thinking that should be covered in high school computer science and we condense it down to cover a lot of it in a course at this point. The other one is to demonstrate the actual essence of game design that they’ve learned, and putting something together that is amusing to play, or interesting to play, or challenging to play.” Each project also has a common theme: a day at Cleveland High School.

Walker is still attempting to find a way to share the class’ games. “We are still working on a mechanism for that. What we are hoping to do is put together an area of a forum online,” said Walker. An issue cited by Walker was finding a forum where comments were not allowed, as online commenters tend to offer less than constructive criticism which can be demoralizing for a beginning coder. “It is really harsh for a student who is just starting. It can be very hard for a student to hear things like, ‘look at the difference [between the different groups games]. The answer is the difference isn’t necessarily that one [student] is more gifted, one may have more prior experience,” he said.

With an extremely laborious project, junior Dalen Murphy and his team, juniors Owen Demetre and Khalil Dombrowski, are working toward making the ultimate promposal game. Their plan for the game is to make a dating simulator and have been gathering students from Cleveland to be characters in the game. The selected characters will be your potential dates for prom, which is in a week’s time. “Your character has to woo these people and get them to join your cause of going to prom and having the cute couple,” said Murphy.

As well as going to prom, there are other mini games within the simulator that you have to complete before you end the game and go to prom. “There are mini games with the classes and we’re bringing skinny Mondays back. You [basically] have to go through the classes and then hopefully you’ll have enough time to find a date by prom,” added Murphy.

The people who you can ask to prom are modeled after real life Cleveland students; Murphy took to the Cleveland High Students Facebook page to look for applicants. “We’ve had three people respond so far and two of our friends wanted to be in it,” said Murphy. “We’ve had mostly guys apply so we’re looking for more women/females to apply.” Murphy says that they were looking for people unlike any one they already had. “We have two sports people, two robotics people and one theater person, so some difference would be nice.”  

Despite the goal of the game being to find a date to prom, the game itself will not feature prom. “Adding in prom would be a lot of work,” said Murphy. The game should take about 30 to 40 minutes for a player to complete. If any juniors need promposal practice for next year, look no further than this Cleveland dating simulator.