Monthly Archives: October 2014

Inner Demons (POV)

What lies beyond the colourless fog?

Fog_Gate_Render

These plane objects are used to obstruct the open gateways so that the player does not see what is beyond.

Ideally, these serve as cover for teleporters hidden just behind the doors to port the player to another hallway/room.

Drinking_Fountain_Untextured

Keyboard_Silver_Render

Better start unwrapping these assets.

Through the Colourless Fog (POV)

Doorways in alcoves line the hallway, creating an odd atmosphere as they cannot be opened in anyway.  There are however puzzle pieces hidden in these areas, so be sure to explore them.

Sunken_Door_No_Textures

Large double doors serve as area transition, they cannot be opened from the side that the player ends up on.

Double_Doors_No_Textures

Supposedly, the door will open after the players solve the puzzle in the hallway, and once they walk through, they will find themselves to be in another hallway that appears a little different.

We are currently trying to decide whether or not it will be the same hallway, just modified through script, or another pre-built hallway in which the players teleported from.

Cringe Comedy (POV)

What will be the theme of the game? We are currently going with the point of view of the dyslexic in a public middle school, undergoing a severe case of anxiety.

lockers

Older, non-embedded lockers will line the hallway instead of the newer, less obtrusive ones nowadays.

Locker_Render

Puzzles will be accessed through open books scattered throughout the level.

Book_Yellowed_Open_Test

More details coming up.

Irregularities (POV)

This designer box process is definitely different – limiting the scope to narrow down the form of the game. It is useful for junior designers like us who would otherwise over-extend and risk never finishing the game.

This new gig, currently under the working title of POV (short for Point-of-View), is a serious game that seeks to inform the parents and educators of the existence of the learning disability known as Dyslexia.  The player will learn of the difficulties encountered by the affected through the eyes of the avatar, who has trouble reading, writing, and suffers as a result when confronted with social situations that require them.  Hopefully by the end of the day, the audience will know of this learning disability and be able to seek the appropriate guidance when they encounter children with it.

The game is made in Unity3D (professional) in a first-person format.  The player interacts with the various props in the game world, made to resemble a daycare in a short time-frame.  There are messages, such as diagnostics, definitions, and memoirs on the topic of Dyslexia scattered throughout the world in cryptic forms, and the player will be compelled to decipher them (to win the game).  The main difficulty here is to make the game situations accessible for everyone.

Forces in Balance

Oh look, it appears that I am posting one day late – good thing this is not a prototype:

Game Theory as we know is a study of stratagems used in nearly all disciplines in which competition between any entities exists.  Whether it be a game of baseball between two Minor League teams, deadly earth-shaking combat between giant corporations, or a competition for resource between two phenotypes/genotypes in a species of fish, the “game” exists, and all participants are the “players”.  Mathematics is the main tool in the study of the game.

For any negotiations, conflicts, and competitions, there are payouts, and the usual goal for all participants is to maximise this payout – whatever form it may take (resources, survival of a genotypes, etc.).  Naturally, the payouts are the limited resource, hence the necessity for the development of optimal strategies by the players – all gains by one party meant the proportional detriment on another party.  Researchers crunch numbers to figure out the amount of resources put into each “game” by each party to rationalise their motives to gain certain amounts of payouts.  In reality, there is almost always a dominant strategy, that will always be beneficial in any circumstances.

The name dominant is however misleading, for those strategies do not always yield the maximum amount of payouts on their own in unique cases where their opponents may behave unexpectedly, though in the long run it will by the sheer virtue of averages.  Ideally, dominant strategies should not exist in perfectly balanced games in controlled environments (such as video games) and all strategies should remain viable – arguably difficult to determine due to the existence of too many variables in reality.

We as game developers should strive for balance while retaining the appearance of uniqueness for all players, factions, play-styles, and so on – it will be a long road ahead for that…

Rumination in Solitude (Bagged)

Now that the dust has settled, we can start an analysis of the situation in retrospect:

At week one, we had a rocky start – Bagman was an extremely complex game to pull off with its varied game mechanics, and we have only managed to create the bare-bone of carrying and dropping the target.  Intel was lacking, and we did not know of the limitations of the Phaser engine (lack of C++ and vector art support) until week two led to a degradation of total efficiency.  Solid game design took until the middle of the second week to take hold, exacerbated by the difficulty of forming coherent meetings.  As week three came along, we scrambled to get the core mechanics together… with limited success.

Possible improvements? First, gauge the ability of the team quickly and limit the scope, finishing this predicted project by week two so we can add fluff to it in week three.  Second, scout around to find a game engine that suits everyone’s skill sets.  And the third, communicate! This team was far less vocal, and reliable than the one before, and that creates unnecessary down times.  Also learned in this project is that one need to lead with a firm hand to make sure everyone do their part, especially if initiatives are lacking!

Game is now hosted on Google Drive, access via this link (Firefox or Chrome recommended for access so everything will display correctly):

https://ddf38a4f2234cfd338b5c305b5dfcf8be1d13da6.googledrive.com/host/0B-906j4egyApYTBVOHNQaW5FWGs/

Controls are:

Arrow keys to move

Space bar to pick up and drop off convicts.

Have fun!

Doing Time (Bagged)

The engineers have made some excellent progress today – the convicts move!

Cell_Block_Promotional_Art_3

Still, they are moving in scripted patterns,   without acknowledging the presence of the player and are therefore easy preys.  The game then is far from complete, expect more work done by tomorrow.  Defeat and victory screens have been made, bricks and text by Adi, the characters by Yung-Cheng.

fail_screen win_screen

The game over screen is based on the Kool-aid man commercial where the titular kool-aid man breaks through a red brick wall while shouting: “Oh Yeah!”

Darker Skies Ahead (Bagged)

Here is the game design for now: one guard versus one prisoner – the player play as the guard attempting to catch an AI convict, while the AI must make its way to the exit to escape the dungeon.  Maybe instead of an instant lose when the opposing force reaches the unguarded, open exit, have the prisoner dig out in a few ticks?

bricks_wallBrick_Hole_SmallBrick_Hole_MediumBrick_Hole_BigBrick_White_Border

Brick_Hole_2_Big Brick_Hole_2_Medium Brick_Hole_2_Small bricks_exit_2

Brick_Hole_3_Big Brick_Hole_3_Medium Brick_Hole_3_Smallbricks_wall_blurred

(The last block is not really visible, it’s white to signify a completely open wall)

Still waiting on an engineer to write and implement convict path-finding.  The silence is almost deafening…

A Guardsman’s Wager (Bagged)

Unfortunately, the conversion from illustrator to photoshop creates some ugly artefacts in the form of white outlines in the final art files.  These can either be rectified by using the extrude function in TexturePacker and similar dedicated image editing software, or simply by hand-painting over those semi-transparent pixels – I went with the latter, as these sprites are not complex enough to bother with the former.

Prealpha_Build_Screen

Demonstrating the infamous “ladder bug” and graphical artefacts.

All in all, the character arts are done, and we are putting all bets on the AI designers to deliver the working pathfinding nodes for the game to be interactive.  The space bar is the only button, and will be used for picking up downed convicts and dropping them in designated areas.  We must find a balance of character movement, black-out times, and number of convicts to make this game playable by this Tuesday.