Week 12 – Interactivity and Choice

Goal Hierarchy

For the third week of Cycle 3, we were tasked with creating various diagrams and outlines as to the overall choices the player has whilst playing the game. Below if a goal hierarchy that details the goals and sub-goals of the game, as well as micro-challenges for the player to strive for amongst multiple playthroughs.

Hierarchy

Challenges

The game presents a variety of challenges to the player of which they must satisfy to complete the level. Each challenge involves a particular set of skills that the player must use that is necessary to tackle the challenges ahead of them. Taking Jack’s Player Stories from Week 11 into consideration, the following details the overall intended experience for players:

Player Story 4: “As the player, I do not want the puzzles to be too difficult and give me hints or help when I need them.”

Goal: To progress characters further in level

Challenge: Solve puzzles that prevent the two characters from reuniting

  • The player is presented with a puzzle at various points throughout levels which they must complete in order to bring the two characters together. These characters are usually separated by a physical barrier such as a wall or door.
  • Puzzles can take the form of time challenges, combat challenges, or logic puzzles. Each of these puzzles requires the player to deduce what is required of them before attempting the task presented to them. The player must use the environmental cues as well as prompts informing them as to how best to solve the puzzles.
  • Exploration puzzles may require the player to find a key in a certain location in the level, and return to a door in order to progress further. If the player is having trouble finding the key, the player could take note of inscriptions on level textures and signposts that could put them on the right trail.

Player Story 8: “As the player, I want to be able to understand the goal and the controls inherently.”  

Goal: To reach the goal whilst using intuitive controls to manoeuvre my character.

Challenge: To use movement, combat, and character switching to traverse the environment.

  • When the player boots up the game, the controls for character movement will be displayed to the player in the form of a text box whilst in the main menu as well as when the player first spawns.
  • The first section of the first level will ease players into understanding player control by having signposts telling the player what button to press at various points. e.g. A ledge requiring the player to jump will be accompanied by a signpost with the Space button on it.
  • The mechanic of switching between the two characters will be presented to the player through the use of a simple puzzle in the later sections of the first level. Upon encountering the puzzle, there will be a signpost stating the button which switches control between the two characters. The event of switching between characters is represented by the camera changing focus as to who is currently being controlled. Character outlines will be displayed at key points during the first puzzle which should help players understand how the two characters must work together to help each other progress further.

Storyboard

The storyboard sketch below aims to depict the puzzles incorporating swapping character mechanics, as well as the movement system of wall-jumping.

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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.

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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.

Week 11 – Player Stories

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

The goal of my group’s game is to reunite the two characters who are trapped on opposite sides of the castle. The player must switch control between the two characters to solve puzzles. The puzzles in the level will hinder the player to reunite the two characters. The player will have to negotiate the environment to further the characters to the goal. The game will be set in a castle. Castles are notorious for having lots of hidden paths and secret passageways. The player will need to explore the level to find the hidden pathways.

Player Stories

  1. Playing as a knight I want to attack and destroy objects and make a mark on the level in my own way
  2. As the player, I want the environment to change as I interact with it and open up new areas for me to explore
  3. As the player, I want the puzzles to be engaging and interesting and allow me to coordinate my actions to complete them
  4. As the player, I do not want the puzzles to be too difficult and give me hints or help when I need them
  5. As the player, I want to feel satisfied with my actions after completing the level
  6. Playing as a knight I want to defeat enemies and become stronger
  7. As the player, I want to be able to jump and move around to overcome obstacles
  8. As the player, I want to be able to understand the goal and the controls inherently
  9. Playing as the knight I want to avoid enemies and not let them hurt me which would lower my health
  10. As the player, I want to be able to plan out my solution to the puzzles presented to me using the two player characters effectively

 

These player stories above relate and will be interesting to our chosen target audience Sally. According to the information that we know of Sally, she has played and likes playing Warcraft 3, Two Dots and Sims 4. These games are slow strategy type games that require the player to plan out their actions. This slow strategic playing lends it self well to a puzzle type game that we are creating. These characteristics apply to Player Story number 3 as it would be something that Sally would want out of our game. She would want to be able to plan the level progression.

Additionally Warcraft 3 and Sims 4 are games where the player must spend a lot of time grinding their progression and levelling up their character, house or class. These characteristics relate to Player Story number 6 as it sees the player wanting to get stronger and grow their character, the main point of Warcraft and the Sims. Due to this similar mechanic Sally will want to play our game.

Furthermore the multiplayer aspect of Players Unknown’s BattleGrounds and the feature of controlling multiple characters in the one game of Sims 4 and Warcraft 3, Player Story  number 10 best suits the target audience of Sally. The ability to control two player characters is integral to the progression of our game and is core in Sally’s Favourite games. This overlap will be enough for Sally to enjoy our game.

 

 

 

 

Week 10 – Player Experience Goals

For our final cycle, we were set with the task of creating a 2D side-scrolling game around the theme of “big ideas”. Along with this theme, we had to create our games in respect to a choice between four personas.

Thematic’s and Personas 

For our theme, our studio came up with various words that we associated with “big ideas”. Words that were brainstormed include: Fear, Friends, Aspirations, Goals, Belonging, Connection, Loyalty, Innocence, Death, Transformation, Growth. Words that stuck out to us in particular included Friends, Belonging, Connection, and Innocence, due to their resonance with various game ideas we were discussing.

We chose “Sally” as our persona due to her diverse knowledge of various games and has been exposed to the medium for quite some time. From the stimulus given, we presumed that she likes to play fast-paced strategy and management games from her playing games like The Sims and Warcraft. By choosing to develop games for people like her, we aim to target the core gamer.

Game Ideas

Our studio came up with two game ideas for this particular cycle in respect to our words chosen and our persona:

  1. Control two different characters by switching between them, and the goal is to reunite them at the end of the level. Traverse environments, defeat/avoid enemies, solve puzzles, and possibly more.
  2. Strategy/management game. Control a single character who is working in a restaurant and must deliver dishes to the customers by traversing a side scrolling platforming environment.

We chose to pursue the first game idea, due to its simplicity and having players being able to get to grasp of core game concepts. The implementation of the game mechanics is also quite feasible, given the time-frame allotted. It also satisfies our chosen words and persona well, as it involves two characters trying to find each other in a dangerous labyrinth, while also requiring some strategic thinking in regards to switching characters whilst moving about in the environment. Platforming games may also resonate well with casual players as many have been exposed to the Mario series of games from childhood, and would understand player movement due to its implicit nature. The game would also evoke a sense of challenge for core players in particular, where the player must defeat or outrun enemies and solve various puzzles.

PX Goals

We were also tasked with creating PX goals that we aim to satisfy at the conclusion of the development cycle. These goals are as follows:

  1. Players will face dilemmas that are designed to make them combine multiple game elements.
  2. The player must interpret the game environment by questioning and experimenting with game mechanics and objects contained within in order to achieve the goal.
  3. Players will feel satisfied after multitasking and coordinating multiple game elements.

These PX goals that we have created for our games aim to satisfy the cognitive nature of platforming games, in respect to the various skills that are required of the player when performing in game tasks. Some of these cognitive skills include problem solving for puzzles, visual processing of the in-game environment, and strategy development for character movement.

PX goals of cognitive nature are key in respect to our game ideas as the player is required to make decisions on the spot in a fast-paced game environment, where precision and the ability to think ahead is ideal in order to complete levels where the difficulty increases as you progress through the levels.

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.