Saturday, November 15, 2014

Homework 15

For the game, we have finished: 

We completed the the majority of the characters which Ricardo is set to animate soon. We only have the side kick character left, a few more AIs, and to craft a visor for each AI.

The city sections have been completed.

For the visor, all we have left is to make one that appears on the AIs.

The cone sensor has been completed.

We are set to begin items this week, although we have objects such as trash cans and such.

Textures are mostly finished.

Item array is set to be completed in the upcoming weeks.

AI Interface is also set to be completed soon.

Visor logic is for the most part completed.

The poster is finished.

Now that the characters are finished, work can begin on animation.

Buildings are mostly completed.

Sounds are set to be completed soon.

The Skybox and terrain are set to be completed soon.

The cut scenes will be completed within the next few weeks.

 We have completed most of the items on our list and seem to have only a few left to do.We hope to have a number of these objects completed by Sunday so that we can have a working piece of our game. I think for the most part the timeline was reasonable given we are getting down to the wire, however, I think some of the earlier dates were set a little fast given the work needed to be put into them. I think that we have steady worked on the project and have made significant progress on it. I completed the characters, skeletons, poster, and some items. I plan on completing my parts of the skybox, the cut scenes, the rest of the objects, and any parts my team needs help on in the upcoming weeks. I ran into some roadblocks with the stealth bar that I hope to fix soon, I also ran into some minor blocks with the characters but we were able to successfully solve the problem with some brainstorming. Overall for the amount of work we didnt have completed a few weeks ago, I think we have really did a great job hammering it out and making some good progress. In the next couple of weeks, we'll be able to finish up a completed version of our game.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekly update 11/6/14

For this week, my contribution to the game has been the multiple designs of our game poster as well as work on the characters. In the upcoming weekend, I plan on working on the characters and working on the arms so that we will have an animated file for the playable game, as well as finishing a redone poster, and working on the city.

My team has communicated via text message, meetings after class, and skype. Monday we plan on meeting to work as well as many other days next week.

Homework 13

The first method of Indirect Control is Constraints, meaning cutting the players choices or freedom. This could be exemplified in either letting the player explore the map or leaving them to follow one set path throughout the game. If the player were left to rely on their own devices then the game would by nature become much more difficult and as the book describes it "open ended" since they cant predict how it will end where as taking away that freedom but giving them a set of options, a path, or missions, then they can predict what will happen as well as the game has a clear end. For example, if you look at the Sims, the original medium for playing Sims is the computer however in recent years they have developed portable versions of the Sims on handheld devices and phones and other consoles. This is great for marketing, however with the extension of mediums the game play has been severely changed. No longer can you customize the character down to the size of their ears and then set them loose to live their life how you chose to control them, you are given a handful of options and are then given a set amount of quests to then complete. This completely changes the integrity of the game being that its supposed to revolve around controlling these characters life's not completing quests and such. Concerning our game,  the constraints revolve around movement in the city. For instances, since the city is based off of Paris, the player must stay bound to navigating the quartiles which not only holds to the lack of free will but also makes the design easier on the team. Overall, Viral Shock doesn't have very many constraints in the works, due to the fact we want the player to believe they have free will so that the twist at the end will be more intense.

To tie in with the previously explained method, the second is Goals, meaning how the designer sets up the goals of the game can affect how much freedom the player will have. An example of this is whether the developer creates side roads, now these side roads may be explorable yet because of the goals of the game, the player will inevitably be unable to explore this because the goals lead them into a different direction. This is how developers can express indirect control and undermine some of the free will they have allowed the player to think they have. For our game, we are following the same example and creating side roads and dead ends that are easily able to explore but have no real reason for being there especially when the player will be guided to stay on the main road. This indirect control will allow us to still give off the vibe of free will and control but actually manipulate the player into where and what we want them to do.

The third method is Interface, meaning by creating the interface a certain way, the whole influence of the game can change. For instance in a game having a countdown will automatically change the players speed in the game whereas the countdown meter could simply just be a guidance and they are possibly missing other stuff due to concern over speed. For our game, this could is shown through our use of not only a visor interface but a stealth meter, we are automatically enforcing our idea of it being a futuristic distopia as well as that the game is stealth based. Because of these interface designs, other aspects such as run down allys or car will be avoided in a effort to not only reach their 'goals' and will also cause the player to not slow down and take their time.

For the fourth method, it is Visual Design. This basically means that how the character is shown, how the camera work, and other visual aspects can unintentionally change the game. To further this point we wouldn't expect a 90 year old character to be your character that's abut to scale walls and fight just as we would expect the camera to follow the main character and not focus on other things causing the game to be distant and confusing. For our game we have tried making the interface and the visual design as simplistic as possible and the player, hopefully, has no issues with the interface or how to play the game.

For the fifth method we have Characters. This shows control through,if done right, the players choices can be affected by their feelings for the character. This means that  if the developers can craft a game that makes the player feel so attached to a character, they can inadvertently control them since the player will want nothing to happen to their character. This is a very sneaky method of controlling but when done right can have the player doing whatever you want them to do. For the game, we are hoping to craft some characters that in the short time frame will be attachment worthy characters. These characters should provoke thought and should cause the player to care for them and influence how they play the game such as not wanting to get caught for fear of loosing their ability to play a certain character.

Finally for the last indirect control method, we have Music. The music choice we use in games can significantly effect how the game is played, such as picking fast music can make the player feel rush and speed through the level whereas slow music can cause suspense and tension. This technique is used by movies all the time and has proved a major success on exerting a last final bit of control over the game. For our game, we are going to rely on the slow, intense, and creepy music to set the feel of the game as well as cause the player to be more jumpy and susceptible to being easily scared.

Overall for our game, we will rely heavily on indirect control to avoid seeming too controlling about getting our point and premise across to the player. I believe that using methods such as music and scenery, that this will be the only way we can accomplish this.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekly progress

For this weeks progress update,

The poster for the game has been finished and submitted after multiple revisions. I have been watching videos that my teammate Ricardo referred me to on how to construct the city that have been very helpful and I'm anxious to begin work on crafting the city since that is a major part of the game. I have also been playing around with the Make Human application that we are using to create the characters and working on a couple AI characters that are super morphed and disproportionate. I plan to this week, work on the city, begin finding a method of creating the intro we need, and figuring out how to move the characters created from Make Human to Blender so that we can begin to render them for game play.

Here is a the main component of the poster without the title of the game.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homework 12

Construct city sections
Time till completion: 1 week
Responsible: Shelby/ Ricardo

Create Items
Time till completion:  2 week
Responsible: Shelby

Visor logic
Time till completion: 2 week
Responsible: Shelby

Skybox and Terrain
Time till completion: 3 week
Responsible: Shelby

Time till completion: 3 week
Responsible: Shelby

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weeks contribution

This weeks contributions were reading up on game interface, searching through blendswap for viable items to use in the game, and brainstorming and trials of how to design the comic book style story telling for the game.

Homework 11: Chapter 13

1) Describe the user interface in your game
- The user interface for our game will consist of the physical input being the use of a keyboard and a mouse where as the physical output will be very visor like since the game is intended to have a computer feel similar to Tron and The Matrix. The mapping of the game will consist of a stealth meter on the left side of the screen at the bottom as well as two arrow inventory menus on either side of the screen. The world of this game is very semi apocalyptic think growing technological society yet also the downfall and demise of the human race and anything with feelings. Due to he apocalyptic nature the game will be set in a ruined cityscape based very much on the quartile style of Paris, France. The world of this game will be shown through a visor like interface almost like looking through a video camera. The controls will be very simple and easy to reach on a keyboard, we hope to make the controls so that no accidental mistakes are made such as hitting the space bar and doing something wrong in the game. Due to the games stealth roots, not very much detail has gone into what happens if caught since the goal is to avoid confrontation.

2) What role will the interface play in your game
- The interface will set the mood for the game, without the proper interface our game could fall short or be overly complicated. 

3) Intuitive interfaces give a feeling of control. How easy (or hard) is your interface to master?
- I believe that after a short time of playing the interface should be easily understood. The hardest concept will be just getting to know what moves what and so on. The menus and meters are very straight forward as to keep that clean, hard style of technology.

4) Will your players have a strong influence over the outcome of the game? Please describe? If not, how can you change this?
- Yes the players will hold utmost control over the game outcome as well as the game play. This game is geared to be almost decision based so what the player does will have a very significant effect on how not only their experience playing the game is but also how they end the game. Being that if they choose the forceful murderous path, the ending will be cold, but if they choose the path of stealth, they could be rewarded with a bittersweet ending. Either way the game is planned to have a lose lose situation.

5) Players like to feel powerful. Do the players of your game feel powerful? How could this be improved?
-It is understood the want to have power playing a game however the appeal of the apocalypse is the lack of control you have. Its not out of the ordinary for any "end of the world" type of game to have a factor of no control and randomness. Therefore there will be a sense of small power in our game yet nothing significant being as the player has no real control over whats going to happen in the end, just how abruptly it happens. 

6) What does the player pick up and touch?
- The player will be able to open doors and move objects and as distractions can pick up items such as a brick or a bottle or push a trashcan. These items can be used as melee weapons as well.

7) Does the interface map to actions in the world? How?
- The interface will help lead the player to plot furthering events by taking them through the snail shell shaped city. While moving they will encounter challenges such as dealing with the AI or passing through a barrier. however, they will not be aware of these challenges until they are close to them as to promote the idea of randomness and the feeling of suspense.

8) How does your interface let the player see, hear and touch the world of the game? Could this be improved in order to make the game world more real to the player's imagination?
- As with every scare piece of media, sound plays an important role as well as the lack of sound. I think for this game we need to find the balance of sound to help build the suspense and achieve the goal of shocking the player. The player will see the world and be able to interact with it but beyond that we have not explored much into the use of the interface to further immerse the player into the world. As with every game, improvement is possible so yes this feature could be improved on through more engaging actions or sights.

9) The idea interface is invisible to the player. Does your interface cater to the players desires? What are these desires?
- The interface caters to how we believe the player should experience the game, we are crafting the interface to mirror what we as gamers would want to see when playing a game. Now we are aware we have little time to make this game and it will certainly not be anything near what we have envisioned since we see a game that has major selling story line potential. As we see it, the players desires are to move quickly and easily through the game, to be able to find useful objects and use them efficiently. We want the controls to be simple and easy for everyone to understand. 

10) Can your interface be used without the players thinking? Is it natural?
- I think that since our game is based off the computer that for those used to console games like myself that there will be a slight learning curve given that controlling the keyboard can be difficult. However, once that curve is fixed, the player should be able to navigate throughout the game with ease. Naturally we plan on making the movement buttons near each other so that the player can better move and every thing can flow smoothly.

11) Assuming you can do what you want, how would you make your interface more natural?
- I think that to make the interface more natural, the player should not need to look down or have to pause to try and find something. We want the player to easily move along menus and move through the game as if they are actually in the technology apocalypse, to do this everything should be easily accessible and can be done in a swift motion. 

12) What kind of feedback does your interface present to the player? What do the players want to know? How does the interface relate to the player's goal? Will it help achieve that goal?
-  Our game will hold a feedback that when reaching a milestone will give the player feedback but until then the player should feel alone and outnumbered. We believe that if the game is too guided then it could easily become boring and at that point not worthy of the players time. For instance, when the player reaches the entrance to a building they need to get to, they will then receive directions pushing them towards their milestone and since the game map will b shell shaped then there should not be much confusion on how to get there. The player will want to know how to get there and at what time, any thing else is up to the player. The interface, for a complex game idea, is very simple and user friendly because as stated before we want this game to be fluid or 'juicy' as the book calls it, not dry and overtly complex. The overall game goal will be achieved but hopefully through other details like music and design and stealth we can achieve the game designer goal of producing the feeling and thought process we want our game to give off. 

13) Is the interface feedback continuous? Why or why not?
- The interface is feedback continuous to a certain extent but like stated in the previous answer, we want the player to feel some sense of alone-ness meaning they should feel like the game is not on their side. Our game will straddle the line between being feedback continuous by giving the players the info they need to move forward but will stop with its lack of further major help so that the player isn't felt to prodded and planned along.

14) Please describe the concept of interface modes? Does your game have multiple modes? Please explain (Lens #60).
- Interface mode to explain in easier terms is basically the switch and change of functionality of thekeys for the game for instance if space makes you jump normally,if you go to an object then space could make you select and pick up the object therefore changing the interface mode. Our game will have some interface modes to help lessen the number of keys needed to play but it will most likely be large buttons like space or enter that will hold multiple modes as to not confuse players with needing to memorize actual letter keys. To elaborate of Lens #60: Modes we need in our game would be means of movement, means of picking up or selecting objects, means of protection, means of distraction, means of fighting, and means of communication when needed. These multiple modes are important for making the interface easier as well as helping the game flow. We will most likely combine the pick up and select mode as well as the protection and distraction just for less complication. Obviously the player will not need every mode at once so therefore certain modes may be collapsed or not used constantly which will make the interface less cluttered and the game more maneuverable. As stated before, some interfaces will be combined and rightfully assumed as being overlapped. The game play will be so that if the player walks up to a wall he can try and jump by pushing space however if he goes to a bottle he can push space to select. we did not feel that this combination of modes would be difficult for the player to understand and therefore to not need to be expressively highlighted.

As usual, please state in your blog (separate entry if possible), your contributions to your team's game.