Game Feel Design Studio

Video Game Documentation:
Video:
Personal Responsibilities:
Most of my work on Asstro was based around fixing any errors with scripts that were previously created as well as created scripts from scratch to allow the player to transition between scenes when needed. During the design phase of the project, I was in charge of rigging the alien character as well as the player (player rig ended up not being used). While other members were completing their assigned models and rigs, I was busy creating the sound effects and soundtrack loop that is heard within in the game. From the sound of the player landing on the hard surface below him, to getting hit by an enemy, all of the sound effects were recorded, mixed and exported by myself. Once all of the assets were created and placed into the scene, I was in charge of placing scripts on the necessary game objects and modifying the references to match the required components (Example: Creating the reference to the “player” game object in a scripts “Player Model” reference block in the inspector). I then aided the animators in properly exporting the character animations, as there were some issues in the beginning that were quickly resolved after informing them that the joint hierarchies must match the original model exactly; no referencing in the model in a Maya scene and exporting. I then created the animator to control the animations for both the player and alien game objects. I reviewed the code that had already been written and modified it to work properly with our application. Some functions were missing from the scripts so I added those in where needed. Some of said functions involved activating triggers in the animator for the player when a button was pressed, switching scenes on collisions and basic UI interaction. Once all scripts were taken care of, one of my final tasks was to create the particle systems that create the light trail behind the player as well as the enemies. The particle system was then modified by my team members.
Assets:
Scripts:
Enemy rig:

Sound effects:

Documentation of the finished game (video and still)
A description of what you were personally responsible for
All assets created by you (even if they were unused)
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Asset Level Design

Windows Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ms2dv66ozkjfgb5/Windows%20Build.zip?dl=0

Mac OSX Download:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/zi6mobhar6pa08t/OSXBuild.zip?dl=0

Gameplay: https://vimeo.com/291823761

Screenshots:

deathScreenenemyShotstart

This game is designed to test a player’s timing and memory through the use of looping enemy actions. Each enemy has a different travel distance and speed; but that speed and travel distance stays the same every time the level is loaded. It is up to the player to determine when they should progress forward to reach the door at the end of the level to help the player escape from his nightmare. Development was quite basic due to the low poly art style of the application. Once I had all of the modelling, rigging and animations done, it was a matter of figuring out how I wanted the enemies to move. I originally wanted to use an ease-in and ease-out type motion when the enemies reached their travel end points, but decided this made it a bit to easy for the player to progress through the level. I then made the decision to have the enemies ping-pong back and forth at a constant speed. As the player progresses through the level I increased the difficulty by increasing the population density of enemies as well as making changes such as only have them cover half of the terrain; forcing the player to move to the left or right. Some major changes based on beta testing were the increased field of view on the camera. This allows the player to not only have a better idea of where they are in 3D space, but also to allow the player to make better timing decisions on when to move since they can see enemies from a further distance. Walk animation foot IK was cleaned up for a smoother transition from the idle state. The door opening animation and sound are set off sooner to draw the player’s attention as they come near the final objective and as a way to communicate “This is the end of the level. You’re almost there!”

Eternal Play and Frustrations

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. Probably one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played. The idea of enemies lurking around every corner but having the ability to become one with the shadows and bypass or take them out without raising alarms leads to some intense and memorable moments. In the recent additions to the series, holding the sprint button down while simultaneously holding the melee attack button causes the character I am in control of to take out enemies in whatever direction he is running in with one smooth transition from one execution to another.  The effect of starting a combination of take-downs is instantaneous with the action of pressing and holding the two buttons in sequence; as long as there are enough enemies in the area to allow for take-down combos. Simple actions such as taking an enemy out from behind cover without being spotted by nearby enemies rewards the player with hit markers which allow for a smooth sequence of pin point accuracy shots to be taken with your sidearm in sequence quickly and efficiently. More complex actions such as taking out enough enemies in sequence as stated above,  you are awarded a bonus on your final score based on how many enemies were taken out in sequence, if you raised any alarms by getting spotted by someone in another area and are at later points in the game rewarded upgrades at a discount price. The levels of the game are designed in a way that challenges the player to take more stealthy approaches to reach the objective. At first you can easily run and gun your way through or play “ghost” and take out enemies from cover, slowly making your way through undetected without raising alarms. But as the game progresses, levels require that you use stealth more in order to make it through the level without being caught (which at this point means immediate game over; restarting the level) or dying. Along with this higher need for stealth, the game does become progressively more difficult as the population density of enemies increases, more high-tech weapons become available to the protagonists, building layouts become more elaborate and a plethora of other changes. The player does receive a bit more assistance from the main character’s team that are communicating from an area off the battle ground. Hints are not quite “in your face” but are more frequent and can assist the player in what decision they believe would be best to complete the level.

A game that frustrates me beyond belief is QWOP; an online sports game in which the player must control a track runner’s legs to help him cross the finish line. I interact with the game by using the Q, W, O and P keys on my keyboard. The runner’s thighs are controlled with the Q and W keys whereas the calves are controlled with the O and P keys. It seems as though a 2D flash game involving something as simple as running would be easy with only four keys required but frustrating is an understatement. The controls immediately impact the outcome of your game with no latency. Pressing down on one of the four keys causes the character on screen to bend their leg by the thighs or calves; allowing the character to “run”. The change in the runner’s legs is instantaneous and changes much quicker than what most people can naturally adapt to for making the next move. What frustrates me about the experience is that even though it is extremely difficult to even get past the 2m mark, there is something about the game that makes you want to stay and continue to become frustrated as you attempt over and over to reach the finish line or beat your record. The constant requirement for interaction from the moment you make the first leg movement results in your focus to be snapped back and forth; from frustration for failing AGAIN to trying to focus and beat your score. This loop could go on forever with the player getting more and more frustrated with each attempt, but that addictive quality of “I almost had it” or “I NEED to beat my record” keep you going on the frustration inducing path. The game increases in difficulty the further you go. The reason for this is at some point you may need to react quicker to the character’s leg positions to keep them upright and continue onward. It also becomes more difficult the further you progress because if you go to a new record point (let’s say your record is 55m and you’re now at 79m) and fall… you have to start back at 0; not your previous record.  The player is led through this increase by the sheer desire of wanting to beat their high score or even a friends. It’s like going to a casino and playing the slot machine every time you get “close” to winning, but in this case, sitting at your computer longer trying to get a 2D avatar with messed up legs to win a race.

Net Art

Update #1: Concept Check-In (4/29/18)

UPDATED AS OF 5/9/18

Art is something that for years has been able to inspire people, make them think and in some cases relate to them on a level that would come to one as a major surprise. One of the greatest aspects of art, whether it be a small piece painted on a canvas, performance art, a photograph, video, or any other type, is that it has the ability to communicate a large number of messages all from within the one location in which it exists. Every day, the human mind is able to connect a large quantity of various pieces of information without the person having to even think about wanting to save that information for later. This could be almost anything the user experiences, whether it be something the person hears, sees, smells, feels or even tastes. Every second without even realizing it, our brains are taking in incredible masses of information, interpreting the information, and then finally storing it in our subconscious. This entire process of obtaining information and sending it to the brain for interpretation and storage occurs in less than a single second and is all executed successfully without us having to think about doing so or even realizing that the information we are constantly collecting is even in our presence. What makes this Net Art piece a work of art is its ability to cause the user to subconsciously store the words in a special sequence that no one else may store them as; whether it be the sequence of words in order or perhaps even a specific connection caused by a previous experience that the viewer remembers. The viewer’s mind will make these connections as the large dictionary of various words are being presented to them within a time frame less than a second; even though the single word is only visible on the user’s screen for a little less than two seconds. The user’s eyes will become aware that a new word has appeared on screen and save that word in the back of the user’s mind; in many cases causing the viewer to believe they have forgotten the word, that it is not that important to them, or in some cases not realized what the word in itself was. While the user may stick to believing this, their mind will still have that connection stored somewhere; floating around and waiting to be triggered or brought back up to their current thought by being experienced to a certain event or hearing a certain phrase. Sometime in the future while the viewer is simply going about their daily life, an event may occur and cause a slight flashback moment of viewing this piece, because their subconscious thought process will create a special connection to the series of words that they were subjected to while viewing the piece; even after a long period after seeing the piece. This “fortune cookie” effect is what makes this piece a work of art: it has the strong ability to make a surprising connection to the user’s future that has not yet even occurred.

Update #2: Site link (5/8/18)

http://blondediabetic.000webhostapp.com/NetArt/index.html

Gallery Write Up #1: Interactive Design

Many people involved with the computer science and Digital Media and Animation major are hearing more about the Unity game engine; a free game engine for indie and professional developers. Much like other programs, it can be over whelming to learn a new program. To help solve this issue for the basics, a Unity seminar was held in SET 440 at 7PM. The event was hosted by Stephon Barrett with Michael Girard, Maria Frascella and myself assisting when needed. All participants were asked to install the newest version of Unity before the seminar began so they could all dive right in.

The topic of the seminar was a variety of sub-topics that had to do with the basics of using Unity. The first topic covered was the basics of the UI layout. This included the View settings so that people could select their favorite UI layout. This would allow people to find a format to use the software in which they are most comfortable.  After learning a bit about the Unity layout and getting everything organized, we then moved onto the basics of creating shapes such as cubes and spheres. Everyone was then taught how to create materials to apply to the shapes. Stephon then instructed everyone on how to create a script to allow the cube to be parented to the camera and allow the camera to move based on the user’s mouse input. Once all of these processes had been covered, Stephon allowed everyone to mess around and try to modify the content we had created to learn how to make changes to our games and learn the software.

Some of the main points that really grabbed my attention had a lot to do with how important organization is. When making a video game or any other type of media for that matter, you’re going to have quite a few files to manage. It is very important to keep these files organized so that not only you remember where they are, but also for any teammates involved to easily find the files they need in an efficient and organized manner. If a person using the program were to just dump all of the files into one folder, others as well as themselves would be able to find the file they were looking for without a headache and in some cases depending on the project, compiling errors. Organization is important with any project and Stephon was able to communicate the importance of this method to everyone. For a Unity project, if you make a material, put it in a folder with other materials. Scripts? Put them in a scripts folder. This applies to everything: keep organized and avoid unnecessary headaches.

I can apply the various things I learned today at the Unity seminar to my work in DMA and this course individually. The most important thing to apply to ALL of my work is one that I am always careful to employ to the best of my ability; organization. Without organization, projects can easily fall apart. Pieces can get lost, ruined and in some cases, you may even forget to create something you need to have for your project because your directory or workplace is so cluttered you think to yourself “that’s not something I’d forget”; and then end up forgetting. Another important piece I have taken away from this seminar to apply to my future projects as well as this course is to double check your resources. What I mean by that is to go over any code you may be working on to check its sustainability and whether or not there are errors. Letting errors stack up can cause other methods to not function correctly and lead to quickly creating more problems.