All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_13_Work : All is Dust Item Description System Problem Fixed

Before we published the final version of our game, me and Huali found some severe bugs in our game. As we played the game by controller, the instruction in game still shows the keyboard input information (Like F) rather than controller input information ( Like X).

Then I checked the code for each game objects’s item description script, and I found out that some scripts have not been merged into the newest description system, making them more static instead of dynamic. In general, each object should share only one item description script, and the relative showing text could be found through a static description text script. But now, some game objects have their own description script, and showing text is set by the script itself, which is extremely inconvenient.

So I removed the unnecessary description script and merge those game objects into the item description system.  And now the game objects could show the text correctly according to the input type, as controller would show the information like “X”, and keyboard would show the information like “F”.

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_12_Work : All is Dust Optimization

This week I took advantage of static batching to decrease the draw call in order to optimize the game.

Static Batching

Static batching, on the other hand, allows the engine to reduce draw calls for geometry of any size (provided it does not move and shares the same material). Static batching is significantly more efficient than dynamic batching. You should choose static batching as it will require less CPU power.

In order to take advantage of static batching, you need explicitly specify that certain objects are static and will not move, rotate or scale in the game. To do so, you can mark objects as static using the Static checkbox in the Inspector:

Using static batching will require additional memory for storing the combined geometry. If several objects shared the same geometry before static batching, then a copy of geometry will be created for each object, either in the Editor or at runtime. This might not always be a good idea – sometimes you will have to sacrifice rendering performance by avoiding static batching for some objects to keep a smaller memory footprint. For example, marking trees as static in a dense forest level can have serious memory impact.

Static batching does not reduce batches instead of draw calls. Their number stays the same, but they are a lot faster with static batching.

After I set the static game objects as static batching, about 600 draw calls have been removed.

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_11_Work : All is Dust Bug Fixed

This week I have fixed several bugs in our game:

1.Remove duplicated terrain

I found that there are two terrains in night level three, making the game running kind of slowly. After removing the duplicated terrain, the game run much faster.

2.Dust obstacle bug

As player gets into the dust obstacle, the dust intensity would increase greatly. But the boundary of the dust obstacle has not been considered quite well, so sometimes the dust intensity would decrease wrongly. So I changed the shape of the dust obstacle’s boundary to circle, which solves this problem quite well.

3.Pot destroyed Text bug

After the pots have been destroyed, there should be no showing text anymore. And I made the program remove the floating name objects after the pots are destroyed, which would no longer confused players.

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_9_10_Work : All is Dust Design 3.0

All is Dust Design Document Five

Now each point place should have more events and more information, which the event could be scarecrow attack, item picking up, puzzle and narrative elements.

The point places include: barn, animal pen, silo, windmill, well, wagon.

Player could explore any open point places at each night. He could choose the place he wants to go. Once he completes a certain place event, the map will show that place has been checked. Also, inside the house, we will use six candles to show how many events the player has experienced. Like this:

One event complete

candle

Three events complete

candle2

Even though we have six point places right now, we need to make sure the priority of these places. And these six places are divided into three groups:

Group 1: Silo, Wagon, Animal Pen

For these three places, player could explore since the beginning.

Group 2: Barn, Well

For these two places, player could not explore at night one. But after night one, he is able to explore them. Here, “could not explore” means this place would not show more information, or the event trigger would not be activated. For example, barn is locked at night one. So player could not explore the barn at first.

Group 3: Windmill

This is the final place of the game, so only at the last night could player explore this place.

In general, except group one, group two and group three places would be somehow “locked” at night one. And group two would be activated at night two, and group three would be activated at final night.

 

1.Animal Pen

Goal: Player burn the bone in the pit.

Event: After player burn the bone, more fire would rise on the ground and form the shape of evil symbol.

Player enters the animal pen.

  1. Finds the pit with bone, notice that all animals were dead.
  2. Get the gasoline.
  3. Pull it into the pit and then burn it.
  4. The fire rise, forming in the shape of devil symbol.

“The animal pen has been abandoned so long. I remember we were planning to burn these bodies before we left. But then… Patricia? Damn it! I still could not remember what happened later.”

2.Wagon

Goal: Find the wheels of the wagon.

Event: After player finds the two missing wheels and put them back to the wagon, these wheels will rotate, with noise kind of like moan.

  1. Player finds the broken wagon.
  2. Get the information that two wheels are missing.
  3. Find two missing wheels in the surrounding place.
  4. Put them back to the wagon.
  5. Hear the noise as wheels begin to rotate.
  6. When player leaves the wagon, scarecrow appears and then chase the player.

“Kill you all… Kill… Kill…All of you…”

3.Silo

Goal: Reach the top of the silo and collect the lost pages

Event: Scarecrow will be activated once player reaches the silo. If player stays on the top of the silo too long, crows will attack player.

And more trees should be added to silo places, because we don’t want player could see silo clearly from far distance. Something should be hided first.

A test in Unity3D.

silo

4.Well

Goal: Get the item in the bucket

Event: Find the crank and then get the key in the bucket.

5.Barn

No change.

6.Windmill

No change.

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_8_Work: All is Dust Player 3.0 Feedback

Problem of the Gameplay:

Gameplay & Emotion

  1. The tension of the whole gameplay is too continuous, player only could have a breath when he is inside the house or on the top of the silo. In this way, the emotion response would not be as strong as when he has at the beginning of the game.
  2. Player likes reaching the top of the silo. This place make him feel safe. So he tends to stay there for a while. We might take advantage of it to provide more information to player at that moment. Or once player gets down, he will be busy running and does not have time to check some information.
  3. The key in the well could not be noticed by some players. In GDC booth, they were trying picking up the item again and again even though the key had been already been picked up.
  4. Daughter’s ghost should react a little slower than player. Like when player chases her, after one second, she would run. In this way, player would feel he might be able to reach her, making him has the desire to chase her.
  5. The instruction is too obvious, and player feels like he just needs to follow the instruction and go to point A and point B. Player wants to explore by themselves. We could provide goal for him to explore, but he does not like we lead him to explore.
  6. The car crash at the beginning does not affect the gameplay later on. In this way, player does not feel it is the car crash brings him to this unrealistic place. And player even does not feel he would die. We should provide some feedback to player about the car crash.
  7. Ghost should build the connection between player and his daughter. Because

Scarecrow

  1. The logic of scarecrow is still confusing. Even though player knows scarecrow would disappear, but he could figure it out why scarecrow behaves like this. Let’s put it in another way, if a vampire disappears when you use the lantern to shed light on it, player would not get confused. But right now in our game, scarecrow’s behavior could not be understood clearly.
  2. The way of scarecrow attacking is somehow confuses the player. Our scarecrow is neither a strong monster nor creepy ghost. Once player finds that scarecrow could not kill you immediately, he will give up looking back to scarecrow. Instead, player would keep running.
  3. When player looks at scarecrow from a far distance, the scarecrow should not stay still. Player does not like walking backward just to avoid the attack from scarecrow.
  4. Once player gets hit, he still has much freedom to escape. In detailed, player could run to anywhere even though scarecrow attacks him. Player does not lose so much after getting hit. Then he would not afraid of scarecrow so much.

Farm & House

  1. The layout of the house should be adjusted. Most of players could not find Patricia’s room is locked at first because there is a table on the right side of player when game begins. Player would not go across the table and then check the door. Also, the model of Patricia’s room does not look like an inside room door. Some players thought that door was to the outside. Meanwhile, the backdoor should be nailed with plank. Then player would get the idea that this door could not be opened.
  2. The backroom inside the house should be used on purpose. Many players explore the backroom several times but find out nothing happen there. Everything in game should make sense somehow, or it should be removed.
  3. The path of night three should be changed as player get lost easily. Also after the pot are destroyed, the text should be not shown anymore.
  4. Player could not notice he is in a farm at first night. The connection between player and farm has not been built through the whole gameplay. We should focus on how to build the connection between player and farm.
  5. The corn seems to be creepy at first, and player expects some events in the corn. But then he finds nothing happens in corn field. And corn does not mean anything special anymore.
  6. Newspaper and family photo should be added to the game.

 

Problem of the Test itself:

  1. We should provide more comfortable environment for the testers. For example, we should provide chairs for players. Only in a comfortable and safe place, then the player could engage totally into the game. So in the future, we should pay attention to this.
  2. We should encourage players to speak out their feelings when they are playing our game, like what they see, what they are doing, what cause confusing. For example, in the car scene, player might say something like: “I am driving a car, I don’t know where to go. Wait, something shining out there, what is that? The car is damn broken, and I don’t want to go outside.” From player’s words, we could find something we have notices before or even player has not noticed by himself.
  3. Make a list of questions and ask them to players one by one after they finish the test. The questions should be easy and detailed at first, like “Do you know Patricia’s room is locked?” Then the questions should be more abstract and focus on big picture, like “Could you describe the game story based on your understanding.” In this way, player could speak out what they think and how they feel about our game.

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_6_Work: Final Fight

This week we have created the final fight of the game.

In the last scene, the player is in a place surrounded with burning crosses. And many scarecrows appear and then begin to attack the player. Player has to avoid the attack and protect himself while he has to break three pots in order to destroy these evils ceremony. Here are the screenshots that could help you get the idea about it:

FF FF2 FF3

All is Dust Thesis Game – Week_3_Work: Level Night Three Fire Cross Programming and Dust Obstacle

This week I worked on the night 3 level. Here are the works I have done:

1. Fix the bug of hanged scarecrow trigger.

2.Create the burning cross script for fire cross. The cross would activate according to the distance between the cross and player, which could optimize the code.

3.Create the dust obstacle in order to achieve the soft boundary for the level night three. Once the player gets out of the boundary, the dust around the player would be much heavier, indicating that player gets into the wrong path. If player gets back, the dust would be normal again.

4. Inside and outside dust trigger. When player is inside the house, there should be no dust. So I create a trigger in the front door of the house, once player gets out of the house, the trigger is activated, then there will be dust.