Reflection (cycle 3)

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

Reflection on Mini-Game Cycle 3

 

Limitation of Hitbox

The use of Hitbox may have its limitation. For example, it cannot handle multiple enemies hitting the game object from different directions at the same time. More than one Hitbox will be needed to put around the game object and above (if attack from sky) which will make the program becomes messy very quickly. Another way to do similar thing is using the game object’s own collider to detect collision and handling the contact points accordingly.

Calling of Damage() routine

If you do a global search of “Damage()” for the whole project, you will find no one is calling this routine. But this is the routine that create Hitbox and hence able to cause damage to the Game Objects in the scene. The secret: It is called inside the Animation as one of the event setting. I have created a few new animations when adding new enemies to the scene and none of them can create Hitbox at first because of this missing part.

Adaption of Prefab to the game

It is quite a challenge to use a prefab item obtained from the Asset Store and then modified it so that it is suitable to be used in the assignment project. As there are lots of details (such as scale, animation clips, shader etc.) that it needs to fine tune or change, so as to match with the rest of project settings, before it is able to work together with other Game Objects on the same scene.

 

Reflection across all three game cycles

 

How you have approached learning new things and/or finding new information during the semester

A lot of tricks have been learnt during the making of three game cycles, either by my own research or with the help of tutors. For example, a resize of the Enemy Zone will also changing the scale of the prefab that is sitting inside it as the child, but a change in size of its collider will not affect the prefab in anyway at all. I learn this trick through the hard way: After numerous of failures and experiments.

Sometimes, debugging may require you to run the game in a “step by step” fashion so as to see what is actually happening in the game play. Although the Unity has not provided just a debugging feature, but you can press the Play and Pause buttons alternatively very quickly to obtain the similar outcome. I learn this trick when I see how the tutor is debugging the program.

 

What additional, non-technical skills you’ve developed during the semester

Team work is a very powerful tool – We always can come up with the most creative ideas during the brain-storming exercise, which is vital to create the “fun” element in the game. As we hope not all the game are the same and we do needed to bring the uniqueness to our game design, so that it can stand out and appealing the target audiences. It is quite satisfactions to see that all our games design so far (in all three cycles) are off the “Main Stream” and have their own unique ways of presentation to the audiences.

It benefits most to me when working through all these game cycles, as they are representing different style of the game play and each has its own attraction to the audiences. On top of it, different style (e.g. FPS, Side-Scroller) of games will have their own limitations and difficulties that need to solve during the implementation of the actual game. That will broaden my abilities in problem solving under different circumstances and equipped with these experience will allow me to face the more challenged task in the future.

 

The most effective strategies you used for managing individual and team activities

Several strategies are used and the most important one is showing respectful to other people and others will respect you. Sometimes we can have arguments during brainstorming, but that is healthy debate to flush out new ideas, and do not have any intention to belittle anyone or proof that you are wrong and I am right attitude.

 

Ethical considerations

In a team-base environment, there are certain responsibilities required for each team mate in order for the team to function properly: Fair workload distribution so that no one is overloaded, tasks clarification so that each one knows his responsible area without overlapping and finally honesty to the team.

Game can bring educational value to it, and through playing games, people can learn valuable things and rare lifetime experience out of it. For example, in our side-scroller game, we could learn that some tasks cannot be done alone but require cooperative of different people, as each person may have his own uniqueness and special ability that no one else have

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Playtesting Report (Cycle 3)

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

 

Playtest Setting Up

Testers will play the game individually without seeing the other tester to play. Each session ends if the game is over. Tester will be asked to think out loud and work out the solution by them if they get caught in the game play. An interview will be done after each session ends.

Resources: PC for game play, interview questions, notepad & pen to take notes

Who are the Participants

Audience who has never played this game before.

There will be two types of participants: Expert player and Target Audience player.

Notes Taken of the Expert (tutor of another subject) Player 1 during playtesting

  • He reads the instruction screen very quickly with mouth murmuring the contents in order to help him understand as fast as possible and remember the keyboard keys to control the game.
  • He then presses the ESCAPE key to see if the game can terminate. (Which is failed at that moment as this feature has not implemented yet even it has mentioned in the instructions).
  • Next, he is testing the Zoom function with pressing key Z and X to get a feeling of what he could see after Zoom In and Zoom Out.
  • Then he moves the characters around the area, switching between two characters.
  • “The camera movement is too slow if the characters are far apart! Should speed up a bit as it takes too long to reach the other character.”
  • Observed: The camera takes around three seconds to switch between characters and he thinks it is wasting his time during the process as he cannot make any move while waiting.
  • He looks at me when the Bomb appears even before the chest has opened; indicate it is a bug that needs to be fixed.
  • Observed: At first he is wandering around the area and reading hints occasionally. Then suddenly I heard he says “I got it!” and then he is confidently moving the characters to solve the puzzles.
  • “Oh!” he cries out loudly with excitement when he sees the Giant Warrior is walking slowly towards the main character on the Top Floor.

 

Interview of Player 1 after playtesting

  1. Do you find this game fun to play?

May be.

  1. Will you play it again?

No.

  1. Is the game too easy or too hard for you?

At first I cannot finger out how to solve the puzzle, but finally I am able to work it out.

  1. Which part of the game you like most?

There are varieties of enemies and not just one type is good.

  1. Which part of the game you don’t like?

The keyboard control is a bit hard to use, it will be good if we can use mouse or joystick to get a better play experience.

  1. Any suggestions of improvement on this game?

There are few bugs in the game that need to be fixed. The animations should not play more than once if they are related to the puzzle, as we don’t want to solve the same puzzle again and again.

 

Improvement Work after first playtesting

Changes are carried out right after the first playtesting has done:

  • Flags have been added in the Game Manager to make sure the animations are only played once for the puzzle related theme such as sliding down of the wall and opening of the chest which should not play again once the player has gone through them.
  • The animation of chest box opening and appear of Bomb item on the chest box requires the detection of finish the animation first before making the Bomb visible on the scene. Unfortunately it is not easy to be done for the animator as the animation clips is hidden inside it.

 

Notes Taken of the Normal Player 2 during playtesting

  • Observed: Player tries to read the instruction when game has started, but the Bat keeps attacking and finally kill the character with a Game Over exit, even before he has finished reading the instruction.
  • “I forget which keys control what already!” as the player want to control the characters to move after restart the game again.
  • Observed: The player tries to move the character across the boundary at the far right end of Top Floor, the object is too thin and the sword can be seen going through the boundary for the next level.
  • “Now how can I go back to kill the remained enemies?” after he has read the Hint in order to finish the current game level.
  • Observed: Player tries to make the character jumping high and attacking the Bat at the same time as it is attacking the character.

 

Interview of Player 2 after playtesting

  1. Do you find this game fun to play?

Yes. It is playable, controls are working fine and the enemies are doing their job.

  1. Will you play it again?

No. As I know how the puzzle be solved already.

  1. Is the game too easy or too hard for you?

Too easy as the puzzle is not hard to solve at all.

  1. Which part of the game you like most?

The visual graphic of the game is pretty good. They are 3D and movement of enemies in their own styles and speeds provide a certain degree of fun in playing it.

  1. Which part of the game you don’t like?

“I cannot see the Enemy Remain status clearly as the yellow colour is almost the same as the wall’s colour for the background.”

  1. Any suggestions of improvement on this game?

Attack key f is too close to the Movement key d. they should be far apart to make the control more easily. The instructions should be display on screen all the time so that people will not forget which keys control what.

 

Changes are carried out right after the second playtesting has done:

  • Characters are moving a location that will not be attacked by Bat so that player can have time to read the instructions as long as he like.
  • Enlarged the trigger area of the Level Passing at Top Floor so that characters can be more easily to go back to other floors.
  • A Black background panel is added behind the “Enemy Remain” status to make it looks clearer against the background graphic.

 

Summary of further possible development after Playtesting

There are few improvements can be made to the game so that it is more users friendly and fun to play:

  • Brief keys control instructions are display on the upper screen all the time as a reminder.
  • Handling enemy attack from sky with additional Hitbox which should be located above the character’s head.
  • Medical Kit should provide an option that player is able choose not to pick up if the character’s health is not a problem.
  • The attack animation from the character should have more varieties and not just one type. Depend on the additional keystrokes control; the attacks can have angle slicing, pointing in and out, waving, x-crossing, vertical and horizontal strike.

Conclusion of the Play Testing

It seems the game has achieved its objective: Appeal the target audience with puzzle solving, strategy game play and exploration of the game world as adventure. The puzzle is not too hard to be solved if all the hints are read, which will display on screen once the character has reached the assigned location.

Week 12 – Objects and Rules (Cycle 3)

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

Capture the game mechanics for five of the player stories that will be incorporated within your game

Movement:

  • Characters can only move Left and Right of the screen as the main feature of Side Scrollers game.
  • Characters can jump off the ground so that he can reach a platform higher than what he is used to be.
  • Characters can attack the enemies with their weapons and kill the enemies if enough attacks are made.

Inventory:

Character can pick up keys and other items during the game play as part of factors in solving the puzzles.  For example, a Key to open a door or portal.  Or pick up a medical kit to restore health after damaged by the monsters.

The screen user interface should able to show clearly what the inventory of the player that current has.  Some icons are used to indicate what kind of items the player has obtained and can be used to solve the puzzle.

Each puzzle should display information to player on what is missing in order to solve the puzzle so that the player knows what is the next objective that he needs to do in order to gain progress in the game play.

Team Tactics:

Two characters are need to co-operative with each other as a team in order to solve a number of puzzles.  They should have different abilities that the other one doesn’t have so that each of them is compliment to the other one.

Player need to slit and distribute the work load between two characters before a puzzle can be solved.  That may require some planning and strategy to overlook the whole puzzle first before any actions are taken place.

Coordinated Actions:

Some of the puzzles may require the two characters at a particular location at the same time in order to solve them and so require coordination between two characters.  Sometime the coordinated actions may also have a timing factor on it so that the two characters need to do some actions together within a time limit or the puzzle will fail to solve.

Locks/Keys to control progress:

The progress of game play is mainly controlled by whether the characters have obtained the required keys or locks and they need to explore the area to locate the items in the maze like scene.  Items are hidden or placed in some strategic locations that would require player to think about how to get there in order to obtain the items and that will form part of the puzzle too.

 

Describe how these mechanics will appeal to your target audience

Movement:

The limitation of movement just Left and Right of the screen will help simplified the game controls as player does not need to worry about the depth or issues that related to 3D perspective, but rather can be more concentrated on the puzzles solving and killing enemies.

Inventory:

The indication of inventory can form part of the rewards that player has after he goes through all the troubles to obtain the items.  It will give the player a sense of achievement during the game play as the number of items in his inventory grow, which also lead to satisfaction.  The emotions following would be joyful and relaxed when he looks at the inventory he has got so far and encourage him to get more.

Team Tactics:

How to make a team of two characters working together may require some thinking and carefully planning. And hence it becomes a strategy game which will appeal to the target audience if he likes this kind of game.

Coordinated Actions:

To make two characters doing some things together at a particular time would require quick reflexion and fast thinking challenges.  That will appeal to the target audience as it is likely to train and exercising his brain during the game play.

Locks/Keys to control progress:

The locks or keys that the player has obtained are the indication of game progress and will appeal to target audience as it forms part of the rewards, which also lead to game satisfaction.

Object Tables

object table

 

Week 11 – Game Look and Feel (Cycle 3)

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

 

Mood Board:

Pastel Themed Mood Board

Style and Mood:

Style is Cartoonist characters with stylist weapons against fantasy enemies.

Mood is dark and mystery to arouse the player’s curiosity and adventure urges.  Emotion such as fear comes from the death threat and try to escape from any danger or enemies.

Shape Structures:

Square (for Mature puzzle solver, Balance game play, Cooperative between characters.)

Spatial dimensions and boundary:

The characters will only allow to move inside the castle without going out of it.  There may be an outdoor scene in the game as an option for next level.  The size of castle has a few storeys height so that the characters can freely to move up and down the floors at any time.

Setting:

Medieval period using Sword, Shield, Arrow, Spear as weapons.  Background is interior of a castle maze with 3D assets in 2.5D view.

Representation and five non-game images:

The objects in the scene are mostly staircases in a maze-like floor plan, walls are lit with candles and secret passages or doors reveal as the character explores the area.

il_570xN.380288973_qhmm

hearst_castle_roman_pool_night_by_wiqued

candles on the wall

stair caseScotland castle

Analysis for Target Audience:

Target Audience is Sally, 21 years old who likes to solve puzzle and play strategy games.  Love adventures and like unexpected storylines or game outcomes.  Since she plays game since ten years old, she is an very experience gamer and should very easy to work out the game user interface.

The target audience will be interesting in playing our game because it contains puzzles to solve, the cooperation between two characters in the game could be tricky and require some thoughts and strategies in order to make them work together seamlessly in the game.  The abilities of each character are designed in such a way that they will complement to each others so that individual cannot solve the puzzle alone.

 

Related Articles:

http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=30486&seqNum=4

In this article, it mentions “Look” is the game ‘s overall graphical style and “Feel” is the emotion that the player will experience when playing the game.  And they should all match with the target audience.

http://www.ojoo.com/how-to-make-you-game-look-awesome/

In this article, quality images from the photo that taken by yourself may give a better look and feel in the game as they are unique and not someone else works which may also have copyright issues.

Reflection for mini-game Cycle 2

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

What did you learn about professional development by going through the design process?

From the professional development point of view, sometime it occurs that certain game design concepts are pretty good, but the actual implementation may be very hard. For example, our initial thinking is putting a video game on the mobile phone, but it is too hard to implement when going through the design process.

A more feasible solution is just using the normal mobile phone ringing and answering as the challenge and is easier to implement. The player need to answer the phone when it is ringing, the phone will block the view and will be gone from the screen (after finished talking to the phone) for a random duration time.

What did you learn about the other majors in the degree by working in mixed teams?

We have studied the “AI for game” subject in another course and hence able to write codes in using Waypoint Graph and A* pathfinder for the game, rather than using the Unity built-in Navigation Mesh which is for more general purpose and less suitable for the specific settings of the game.

The code is much simpler as the result of using our own AI routines. In addition, the cars look very realistic in spawning to the scene and when they are moving around the road.

With the major in Animation in the degree also allows me able to make the Game Objects are more realistic in moving around the scene. Please see the “Rotation Analysis” in the later document for details.

What did you implement in your own individual work that you found the most satisfying?

The Free Assets that are used in the game are original designed for Unity 4, so when porting it to Unity 5, it is found that the lighting is not correctly display and the scene looks like day time rather than at night! Hence we are forced to use the Unity 4 which does not support Render Texture unless it is Pro Version.

We have tried to implement a “Street Map” for the game which is pretty straight forwards if using a second camera to do the Top View of the scene. However it is required to use the Render Texture as the output of the camera which is not available in the free version of Unity 4.

A good problem solving is we create the Street Map from scratch by just using 2D pixel images, personal handmade the pixels using Photoshop for the Cross Cursor and the destination label on the Street Map. Then we need to fine tune the scaling between the position in the scene and the corresponding position on the Street Map.

Do you think that there are any ethical issues attached to designing a First Person Experience inspired by recent events?

It adds Education Value to the game as people are more aware of the attached ethical issues after the game play. For example, after playing through our game about Mobile Addiction Disorder sickness, people will now more caution crossing the roads while they are using the mobile phone.

Analysis: Rotation of car and people

It is hard to make the rotation movement looks real, as the rotation movement of car and people is different due to their different mass and mechanic.

People tends to rotate faster as they just need to change the legs direction and no forwards movement is required, but a car needs to steer the front wheels in order to make a turn which is much slower in action and a forwards movement is required. Hence special consideration is needed to determine the rotating speed as well as the forwards speed during the rotation.

After a number of experiments tried to make the animations looking more realistic, we come up with the following code:

Vector3 Old_pos = transform.position;

Quaternion Old_rot = transform.rotation;




// move to next waypoint

transform.position = Vector3.MoveTowards (transform.position, graphNodes.graphNodes [currentPath [currentPathIndex]].transform.position, moveSpeed * Time.deltaTime);                               

transform.rotation = Quaternion.LookRotation(Vector3.RotateTowards(transform.forward, transform.position - Old_pos, (moveSpeed/4) * Time.deltaTime, 0.0f));




// detect if rotation takes place

if (Old_rot != transform.rotation)

{

                Old_rot = transform.rotation; // update new rotation

                                                               

                // slow down forwards movement when rotating

                transform.position = Old_pos; //restore back to last movement

                transform.position = Vector3.MoveTowards (transform.position, graphNodes.graphNodes [currentPath [currentPathIndex]].transform.position, (moveSpeed/2) * Time.deltaTime);

}

As can be seen in the above code, the rotation speed is a quarter of the normal forwards speed while the forwards speed during rotation is just half.

Playtesting Report – Cycle 2

 

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

 

Playtest Setting Up

Testers will play the game individually without seeing the other tester to play. Each session ends if the game is over. Tester will be asked to think out loud and work out the solution by them if they get caught in the game play. An interview will be done after each session ends.

Resources: PC for game play, interview questions, notepad & pen to take notes.

 

Who are the Participants

Target Audience who has never played this game before.

 

Notes Taken of Player 1 during playtesting

  • Why the mobile phone is so big? I would not put my phone right in front of my face when using it!
  • It is very annoying that the phone has blocking the view!
  • The Street Map is too small to see it clearly. It should be put on the phone and use as a GPS device.
  • The phone should be a bit further from the screen so that I can see the road.
  • Too few people at the goal location as it seems a big party is there waiting for me…

 

Interview of Player 1 after playtesting

  1. Do you find this game fun to play?

May be.

  1. Will you play it again?

No.

  1. Is the game too easy or too hard for you?

Too easy.

  1. Which part of the game you like most?

Like the ringing sound of phone.

  1. Which part of the game you don’t like?

There is no time to read the instructions as a car is coming right in front of you and you need to move sideways immediately. The story line is not strong enough.

  1. Do you find yourself immersed during the game play?

Yes, the street looks very realistic and the cars are keeping the road busy.

  1. Any suggestions of improvement on this game?

The phone is always showing the same SMS message after each of the ringing, should be different each time to be more realistic.

 

Improvement Work after first playtesting

The game design cycles should have a number of iterations before it reaches the final development stage. Changes are carried out right after the first playtesting has done:

  • The instructions screen and reading of it will not be distributed at the start of game. The position of FPS controller has changed so that the car will not knock down the player during the first few seconds of the game.
  • To improve the game play experience, the FPS controller is put at the top of the car when the game has started so that player can ride along the street while reading the instructions.
  • A number of different SMS messages have added and will be display on the phone after it is ringing.

 

Notes Taken of Player 2 during playtesting

  • Why people are running on the road? What are they doing?
  • Where should I be going?
  • Observed: The player is kind of losing direction at first, then he realize there is a street map on the corner of screen and start using it to navigate around the streets.
  • Observed: The player has carelessly fall into the water and try to get out of it. He gives up after a while and restarts the game again.
  • I don’t care if the cars will hit me or not, it seems no harm to me!
  • The car is pushing me along the road!  It is weird…

 

Interview of Player 2 after playtesting

  1. Do you find this game fun to play?

Just a little bit.

  1. Will you play it again?

No.

  1. Is the game too easy or too hard for you?

Too easy.

  1. Which part of the game you like most?

The graphic is good and cars are look very realistic, especially with head lights blinding the eyes at night.

  1. Which part of the game you don’t like?

There has no health bar to indicate the damage has done to the player when he is hitting by a car or other obstacles.

  1. Do you find yourself immersed during the game play?

Yes, it is a pleasant ride when I have jumped on one of the car and the shops are moving backwards as I am riding the car.

  1. Any suggestions of improvement on this game?

More variety items should be put on the scene to make it more like a busy city rather than an empty one.

 

Summary of further possible development after Playtesting

  • More assets are needed to be added to the scene so that it looks more realistic. Game Objects such as Dogs, Water Puddles, Holes on the ground and different looks of people walking around the street etc.
  • Audio and sound effects should be added to give more realistic feeling of the game.

 

 

Conclusion of the Playtesting

It seems most players have found the ringing of Mobile Phone and distractions caused by the Mobile Phone are annoying. That is exactly what we want to achieve: Let the player have the emotional experience of what Mobile Phone can disturb to their normal life. By playing this game, we hope the player will learn the lesson and be more careful crossing the road when talking to his mobile phone.

 

Week 7 – Interactivity and Choice

Student Name: Wai Man Ho

Student Number: n9659340

 

Challenges:

  • Moving across the maze-like streets of city and avoid hitting things while attending the mobile phone.
  • Player needs to reach the “goal” location or the meeting place or his intended destination within the time limit in order to win the game.
  • The view of the screen will be mostly blocked by a mobile phone so that the player cannot see clearly what is straight in front of him. He can only use the side-views to navigate his movements.

Choices:

  • Player is free to move around the streets in whatever directions he wants.
  • When the mobile phone is ringing and blocking the view, player can choose whether stop moving all together in order to avoid hitting anything or keep moving but at the risk of hitting things.
  • Player can choose to move the head around the mobile phone so that he can get a glimpse of what thing is layout in front of him using side-views.

Interfaces:

  • A street map is provided on screen to the player so that he will not be getting lost in the maze-like streets.
  • The computer mouse is used to move the head (using “mouse look” script) around the mobile phone so that he can get a glimpse of what things are directly in front of him using side-views.
  • Keyboard keys WASD or Arrows keys are used to control the character’s movement on the street.
  • A clock or timer is display on the screen to tell player how many time has left for the game.

Actions:

  • Player can jump onto or over the object in his movement to avoid getting hurt.
  • Player can move backwards or sideways if he senses any danger ahead of him.
  • Player can look around using the mouse and get a glimpse of what is ahead of him even the mobile phone has blocked his front view.

Rules:

  • The use of keyboard keys to control the character’s movement and mouse to do the side-view when the mobile phone is blocking the front view.
  • Player cannot go through buildings or walls or any obstacles on the street paths.
  • Player needs to reach the pre-defined location or destination before the time run out.

Feedback:

  • A clock or timer is display on the screen to tell player how long he has played the game and how many time he has left to finish the goal of the game.
  • The background scene will move backwards as the player is moving ahead to the destination.
  • Audio sounds or special sound effects can be heard when the player has hit something in the game scene.