The night gives me black eyes, and I use them to search light
Time after time
November 2017 M T W T F S S « May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Final Gameplay Process
1. Player awakes in the first room of the house, and two of the doors are closed, only the one that leads to the outside is opened.
2. After the player moves out of the house, the ghost will lead the player to the position of the lantern.
3. It is fine if the player could not find the lantern, but he has to face the dark corn field without any light except the lighting in the sky.
4. Player will go through two scarecrows wave attack. And if he could find three items of four in the game level and return to the house, then he will survive.
Game End Scene Bug fixed
When we built the game, we found that the game could not enter the end scene as it worked well in Unity Editor. This bug took us a long time to fix and finally we found that after player’s health point is below 0, the Application.LoadLevel function had not been executed. So we changed the level load condition, and when the player health point is below 0.3f, execute the level load function. This time, the end scene could be loaded well for the build version of our game.
Game Player Height Adjust and Scarecrow Size Adjust
As some players gave us feedback before about the problem of the player’s height. This time I changed the player’s height to make it more comfortable. Relatively I also adjust the size of the scarecrows as we found why the scarecrow is not creepy enough is because it is too small.
Now you can see the height of the player is reasonable.
Lighting Effect Improvement
John has achieved the lighting script and we added the glow effect to the camera. So when the lighting comes, the script would enable the glow effect script, which makes the lighting more sacred.
Lantern Light Redesign
After I analyzed the night scene of the horror game “The Forest”, I found that the light of the lantern should not be point light. And also the light effect of the current game is not so good.Here is “The Forest” light effect:
So I adjust the setting of our lantern and here is the final result:
Scarecrow Wave Attack Process Design
1. The fog begins, enable the fog of the game scene.
2. Rain stops falling down and all sounds would be mute.
3. The siren begins to ring.
4. Scarecrows appear and begin to attack.
5. After a certain of time, scarecrows disappear in the form of dust.
This week we have the new game map level and also I added the hanged scarecrow trigger to the new map:
1. New game map level
- Function: A warm and safe place. Player will get the information and clues here.
- Function: Creepy and weird place. Current design is that barn contains a machine which player needs to interact with.
Function: Not decided yet.
- Function: A place with a puzzle. Probably it will be a hidden place for player in the last level of the game.
- Function: A place surrounded with the crows. Also it could be the alarm for the dust storm.
6. Dry Lake
- Function: Create the atmosphere of the death.
- Function: Player could get the item (some useful tools ).
- Function: Create the obstacle for player’s vision; it is also the place where the scarecrows could hide.
9. Animals Platform
- Functions: Full of dead animals body, gross and dirty.
2. Hanged Scarecrows Trigger
When the player triggers the hanged scarecrow trigger, the scarecrow will fall down ( from the tree, the roof…). This is inspired from the SH3 ghost house design and we want to create the jump scare for the player.
Design of the game’s structure
Game has three game levels, each level use the same game map. The transitions between each level is triggered by the events. And each game level represents one time at a day.
Each game level, the brief process of the player is:
Get out of the house — Experience event — Finish Level’s goal (Trigger the transition) — Dust bowl comes – Come back to the house (or die outside)
About the events
The events structure is not linear. Here is a brief explanation:
Basic event is the event that player must finish. It is the goal of the each level.
Additional event is the event that player could miss or he could still interact with, but the result will affects the next level’s event.
For example, in game’s level one, player must finish event A to get to the level 2. He might miss the event 1 or event2, but it is OK as he could still move to the level2. What will happen next is that he will find next game level will change due to his behavior.
So no matter what player does with the additional events, the game still moves on, which is a linear process. But the additional events would affect the following events. Now the whole process is kind of nonlinear. It gives player more freedom to interact with the game, and also this could fix the problem of the open space with a linear gameplay experience.
About the transition
After player complete the basic events (goal) of the level, the transition timer would be triggered. That means player will still have some time to hang around in the game level. And when the time is out, the dust bowl comes (or scarecrow wave attack). Before the dust bowl comes immediately, the player will be informed by sirens or alarm alert.
Now the player could choose to come back and stay alive or he will die because of the dust bowl. When the player comes back to the house, current level ends.
Temporary Level 1 Design
Before the level 1 goal is to get the lantern, and this would not change. What’s different here is that in level 1 player needs to get the lantern to explore the farm. The goal of the first level is to let player be familiar with the farm and create the anxiety for him.
When level 1 begins, player is informed to check the farm as usual (no explanation for why the character is back in this farm again). In order to explore the farm at night, player needs the lantern.
After the player gets the lantern, the transition will be triggered (about 5 minutes). Before the dust bowl, player could explore the farm. Here are what he might encounter:
Game Level Elements:
Gross animal pen, with bones and blood on the ground, everything is broken.
Barn is locked, and noise could be heard from inside (could be machine noise, human cry or scarecrow howl).
The first introduction for the scarecrow, as it is on the cross.
Crows fly around or land on the ground.
Empty well full of sand.
Get the lantern and explore the farm. Player does not know the lantern will trigger the transition. He only knows that he needs to get the lantern and explore the farm. This could discourage him from immediately going back to the house once he gets the lantern if he know the lantern is the level goal.
When the transition time is out, the dust bowl comes and player needs to get back to the house.
Doll hanged on the tree and player could not get it without a tool. (Doll is the goal of the level 2)
- Player could find a tool in the sheds and get the doll.
- Player could ignore that and keep moving.
If player does not get the doll in the level 1, when it moves to the level 2, player would find the rope that hangs the doll has been cut and the doll is on the ground, broken. When the player gets close, the hanged scarecrow will fall down. (Player might get hurt because the scarecrow fell down).
If player gets the doll in the level 1, when it moves to the level 2, the hanged scarecrow is already there. And player just moves on.
Because the doll is important for character’s daughter, so the player’s attitude towards it will affect the gameplay experience and the end of the game (good end, or bad end).
Scarecrow disappearance. When player meets the first scarecrow on the cross, when the scarecrow is triggered to disappear, then there will be a blood trail from the cross to the barn.
- Player could follow the trail to the barn and might think about the potential danger in level2.
- Player could just ignore that.
Because in level2, barn is an important place for game events. Player needs to go to the barn to fix the machine (temporary) and then meets with the scarecrow that is able to attack
Part 1: Scarecrow
The reason why we need to still work on the scarecrow is that the scarecrow is not creepy enough. As the scarecrow is the main horror element in our game, once it is not scared for the player, no matter how many new features have been added, our game is still not creepy enough. So keeping working on the scarecrow is one of the main tasks we need to do for this month.
According to player’s feedback, the problem of the scarecrow is that they seem to be not connected with each other. From the view of game AI, it means the AI for one single crow is great right now, but for crowds of scarecrow, it is not enough. So our design team thinks we should focus on the crowd AI.
Here are several solutions we have come up with:
1. Wave Attack at interval, indicated by signal
At the ordinary game time, all scarecrows are merely hanging around in the game map. However, when the time comes to a certain point, all the scarecrow will head for the area where player is in. The player will get this information by a signal, like alarm alert.
What we want to create for the player is to make they feel nervous when they hear the alert. Like in Silent Hill (movie)
2. Hanged Scarecrow Trigger with the tree
When the player gets to the tree, the dead scarecrow will suddenly fall down from the top of the tree and be hanged there.
3. Different Type of the scarecrow’s behavior
Eg. 1) The scarecrow that always follows the player
2) Scarecrow that always tries to hide in some places to wait for player coming. You could take the example of the four types of the ghost in Pac-‐man.
Part 2: Game Level Design
Before in our game level, the player seems to be easy to get lost. But once they could find the goal easily, there is no strategy for them to get the item, as they just need to go straight toward that.
So here we think the game level should like what Silent Hill 2 level’s like:
Design and Programming
- Easy to get lost and confused to get lost. I could not find the goal of the game level. (part 2)
- No feedback of the health point and I don’t know whether I am injured. Now I feel very safe even though I have been attacked before.
- The scarecrow’s behavior is not scared. There is no information to suggest its approach. And also I don’t feel they are around me when I was playing the game.
- The height of the player is too low and I don’t feel comfortable.
- The change after death is confusing. I thought it was another scene at first, and then I realized I am dead.
- Our game’s cost of the memory is too high.
- No inventory for the game item, making me confused after I have picked up the item, especially after I was dead.
- When I face backward to the picture on the table, I could still access to that.
- The way of crouch is weird.
- The texture of the scarecrow should be improved, and the model is not sacred enough.
- Could not understand the meaning of the picture on the table.
- Scarecrow needs the animation, even when it is frozen.
- Use more light to bake the scene to create a better game level.
- It is too dark for the outside level.
- The texture of the door is not good.
- Need a better shader. Now everything is too Unity style.
This week is what I did for our game project is the following:
1. Blood Effect
- Blood Trail on Ground
- Blood Rain
2. Dying crows surrounding effect
When the player has been attacked by the scarecrow, several crows will be created. The number of the crows will be decided according to the health point that player still has.
When the player’s health point is lower than 4 ( the full health point is 5), there will be 10 crows. If the health point is lower than 2.0, there will be 20 crows. Last if the health point is lower than 1.0, all the surrounding crows will attack the player.
First I will still talk about the programming work I have done last week:
1. The landing script seemed not to work because the terrain is over one more at the same time and the script could work only there is one active terrain in the scene. So it should disable
other terrains that the player is not on. Also the automatically generated landingspot does not work at all. Because the landingSpots have been wrongly added to the wrong LandingController object.
2. Fix the bug of the backward flying. What I did wrong is that I changed the flock position rather than the waypoint position. So the crows tend to fly back to the previous position and then fly to the new position, leading to the backward flying behavior.
3. The audio script still could not be played because I just simply enable and disable the script. I should play the audio
function when I enable the script.
Here is the new video of our game:
Here is the brainstorm of the current creepy resources we have in our game:
I think what we need to do are the following two things:
1. Create the concentration moment in our game to implement the bear horror, we should avoid the game play experience to turn out to be aimless walking. We need the player to focus and focus more! Just like the game scene in Silent Hill P.T. Only you focus on the door can you get be scared by the upcoming woman.
2. Make the sense to the horror element. We know there are so many ways to scare people, but those efficient ways must have a meaning behind. This is why I do some research about the horror culture to add more meanings in our game.
After the industrial presentation, our thesis game Supernova has been changed a lot. According to the feedback from the industrial people, the rotation function and the sphere inside and outside walking mechanic is is highly phased because of the creative design. But as last, our game could not escape of the fate of being cut.
Through two months hard walking, we have built at least three prototypes of Supernova, but there are some problems we have not not fixed, which leading the result of being cut. Here is the summary of Supernova.
1.Who is the game designer?
Pic-1 All prototypes we have for this thesis game
Just like what we did last semester, when we talk about the game design, the opinion of every person is considered. From the experience of this thesis game, this method had been proved wrong. The reason why this method could work fine last semester is that the size of prototype is kind of small. So the design issue of the game is relatively small and we even do not need the designer. But for the thesis game, things are different.
First, the size of the game is much larger and no one could handle this easily. This means that each person usually comps up with the game idea from their own viewpoints, which might be only a small part of the whole game. No one seems to have the whole idea of the game.
Second, the size of the team is much larger. Now we have four engineers, two producers and one artist. As we know, the more teammates we have, the more different opinions we will have. Therefore, each time we have the meeting about the game design, too many ideas will be produced.
This is exactly the problem we have. Because there is no role about designing the game in our team, each time disagreement appears, it is hard to make everyone to be on the same page. The solution to this problem is that everyone develops their own prototype which shows their ideas and then let the whole team judge it. In this way, this problem could be partly solved, but it takes us a lot of time, slowing down the process of developing the game.
So we must have a role for designing the game. He might be not so professional ( generally, he must be professional ), but he has the right to make the decision. Then the process will not be slowed down and each teammate could be on the same page.
2. Abstract Theme
The theme of our game is abstract. Here is the process showing the changeable theme:
Otaku self-rescue —— Agoraphobia —— Daughter of a Star
Why the theme has been changed a lot? The reasons contain the culture shock ( Otaku ), too abstract to present ( Agoraphobia ), and not fit with the game play ( Daughter of a Star ).
We want to develop a meaningful game at first, which is great and incentive. But then we found the biggest problem for developing an abstract game is that we could not design a perfect game play mechanic to fit the theme. Like for the theme Agoraphobia, we have considered the FPS, Puzzle game and plat-former game. One trick thing about why we choose the platform as the game mechanic for our game is that this is the fastest way to develop this game as the time is limited. As I mentioned in the first part, the design problem slows down the whole process.
3.Give it a try
What is the spirit of an indie game?
My answer is experimental, which is equal to taking risk.
But for this time, the experience that we learned last semester limits our ability. I mean, the ability of taking risk. In last semester, we have no idea of game developing, our mind is just like a white paper, so we have the courage to try everything, even something we think is stupid now. But the experience is about how to avoid the mistakes rather than how to create something cool. Maybe the old saying from China could explain this well:
” When you see a mountain, it is a mountain.
When you see a mountain, it is not a mountain.
When you see a mountain, it is still a mountain.”
The experience teaches us how to recognize the mountain, but a creative mind would question the knowledge about the mountain. At last, we will find the real mountain without question. Now we are just at the first level “When you see a mountain, it is a mountain.”, we are learning many issues and skills about how to make a good game. But then, if we want to reach a higher level, we should give it a try and take risk to make some new stuff.
Just like in the game Supernova, we find at last we are making a good game, but not an impressive game. This is not what we want from the beginning, but the fear of failure makes us conservative. You could see this is a good thing, but for now this is just a bad thing. We should learn from the lesson we got in these two months and keep going in the long path of being a good game developer.