Over time I’ve had mixed feelings about the camera. Other people who play the game seem to like it a lot but I wasn’t sure about it. After all this time we still didn’t have a very solid game experience in our game.
To tackle these problems Karthik and I decided to work on a set of alternate level designs that focused less on the camera and more on the gameplay/puzzle-solving mechanics of the game.
We did a sort of sprint and in one night we came up with some ideas and I drew out some concept art for the new levels. Next day we had a team presentation and discussed our ideas with the team.
Everyone seemed to like the ideas we presented but some people had concerns about whether we would be able to implement the levels in 2 weeks to be in time for EAE day. After much discussion and consideration we decided to hold off changing our current level. We would decide what to change after EAE day. I wasn’t very happy with the decision but I understand the change we proposed was HUGE and we needed more time to implement it.
We did pick some of the ideas from the levels we presented and incorporated them into our game. It was a good balance between the old one and the change we presented.
After that discussion the game finally was coming together and we pushed on the get things done.
We’ve picked an Indian Ute fairy-tale that we’re retelling through our game for the game narrative. It’s a simple story of a group of 4 brothers going to save the kings daughters who have been kidnapped by a giant.
Image tracking is now working so we can move our character by moving a card held in front of the camera. Metaio has really improved our working with the camera.
We’re still looking to improve the overall level design experience. Currently its leaning towards an adventure puzzle sort of game. The artists are also experimenting with different ways to depict the cave painting style of art that was used in ancient cave painting.
That’s the short update of our iteration. Lots of stuff to do.
We went to GDC in the first week of March and that was a great experience. We learnt a lot of new stuff about our game and got feedback and tips.
This is the gameplay demo we made to show people at GDC:
One of the very important things we learned at GDC is of an augmented reality software called Metaio that helps us do the image detection much better than openCV. While we have to learn more about this technology it could help reduce a lot of time we spend on getting the tech right, fingers crossed.
A lot of people also enjoyed the idea of being able to interact with the game using a camera. That we decided, was our unique selling point and something we have to keep in the game. We still have to find a good gameplay experience to tie all this together.
But overall everyone’s morale is high and we seem to have a good idea of where we’re going. To progress!
We continue to iterate on our ideas and today we had a lot of really cool ideas after we practiced pitching our game in preparation for an industry panel coming next week to help pick which of the 10 prototypes will be made into full thesis games.
As promised here is our prototype gameplay video. This is part of what we will show the industry panel.
when you hold up that image to the camera the platforms stop moving and you can walk across. This our very first working proof of concept. While it doesn’t contain much in terms of a game it proves that the camera can be used well enough to make this game fun.
The reason it’s called Plato’s cave is because it’s is based on the philosopher Plato’s allegory of the cave.
Now for the game update: We are making the game in a way that the game can be played by holding up real world objects to the camera. As of now we are experimenting with different ways we can use this to interact with the game world.
We are currently using openCV along with Unity to help us get the image detection and tracking features into the game. There is a possibility that this game can be very good on the mobile but getting openCV to work on mobile devices is proving to be a little hard. We’re still working on it, let’s see where we end up.
We are trying out different puzzles and seeing which work best with the camera.
Now the bad news. Most people thought that the idea of the game was very cool, but I had not described the mechanics in detail. I myself was not sure about what the game’s mechanics could possibly be so in the end I didn’t get the necessary support to make my game. Oh well… Nurturing children is hard 🙂
Anyway I decided to be a part of Paul’s game. His game was based around a shadow theme where you could use the camera to incorporate real world play into the ‘shadow-world’ of the game. It sounded very interesting.
Karthik, Saurabh, Katharine, Shahbaz, Sean and Wuchen formed the rest of our team. Let’s see where that leads us.
I am very excited for this semester. We finally start our thesis games. The first couple of weeks we were given time to decide what we wanted our games to be. Everyone in our cohort was given the chance to pitch any game they would like to see made and the cohort would decide which game would get made. As long as there were 4 people backing that game it would be made.
The games would first go through a prototyping phase. After that we had an industry panel invited who would give us some feedback on what they thought of these prototypes. They would all also vote on which games they believed should be made. Based on the feedback some games would be selected and other would be dropped. This was the format explained to us by Bob and Roger.
I was excited, I already had some great ideas for what I think would make an amazing game.
Let’s see what happens on pitch day. Wish me luck!
All awesome games we made throughout the semester we showed off to the world on EAE Open House including our final game (which looked like Tron in a volcano and so we called it Troncano) and Dysassociation. Along with the Capstone games from the undergrads and Cohort 4 showing off their thesis games it was a big day for everyone.
And to top it all I met Chance Thomas, music composer for numerous game titles including DOTA 2. That made my day 🙂