Friday, November 14, 2014

HW 15

I have achieved all of the tasks from homework 12 to at least a playable degree. The monsters now wander randomly until they see the player, and the first person mode is now complete, awaiting addition of the arm assets.

Time frame estimates seem to have been realistic, however the systems still require more time for polishing before the game is complete. I will have to plan ahead to make sure this does not interfere with the other tasks that still need to be started.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

HW 11: Intefaces

1) Describe the user interface in your game
  •  The user interface will consist of a HUD.
2) What role will the interface play in your game
  • The interface will show the player's current health and any items they have acquired.
3) Intuitive interfaces give a feeling of control. How easy (or hard) is your interface to master?
  • Our interface will be intuitive, as it will require minimal interaction. Health is indicated by a beating heart with a circular level bar.
4) Will your players have a strong influence over the outcome of the game? Please describe? If not, how can you change this?
  • The player will be able to make choices about which paths to take, how to avoid or encounter enemies, and what items to use on them.
5) Players like to feel powerful. Do the players of your game feel powerful? How could this be improved?
  • The game will include power-ups which will briefly confer useful abilities, such as walking through walls.
6) What does the player pick up and touch?
  •  The player will pick up items, but this will be simplified by just making them disappear and enter the inventory. The character will be holding a lamp.
7) Does the interface map to actions in the world? How?
  • If the player is being chased by an enemy, the heart in the health indicator will beat faster.
8) How does your interface let the player see, hear and touch the world of the game? Could this be improved in order to make the game world more real to the player's imagination?
  • See above. This could be seen as mirroring the player's own reactions.
9) The idea interface is invisible to the player. Does your interface cater to the players desires? What are these desires?
  • The interface will match the style of the game. It needs to be on screen all the time to work, but the player will not be distracted by it. 
10) Can your interface be used without the players thinking? Is it natural?
  • Yes. The player will be able to simply look down to check their status, as if they were checking their instruments in a car. 
11) Assuming you can do what you want, how would you make your interface more natural?
  • A transparent interface, or one that only appears when it is needed, may feel more natural, but we don't have time to implement that in our game. 
12) What kind of feedback does your interface present to the player? What do the players want to know? How does the interface relate to the player's goal? Will it help achieve that goal?
  • The interface will indicate the player's current status, including their health and items. These are the major things that the player will want to know.
13) Is the interface feedback continuous? Why or why not?
14) Please describe the concept of interface modes? Does your game have multiple modes? Please explain (Lens #60).

HW 12: Team Tasks

Time to completion: 2 weeks
Art/Aesthetics/ Story/ python: Morales Alan
Create the art poster for the game to express the horror appeal to the audience.
Create a game Hud/score system with a health bar.
Mechanics/Interface, python: Lenczewski-Jowers, Justin
Create a navigation system for the demons in the game to follow the player. The perimeter could use near or collision. Create obstacles inside the maze, such as traps and pits.
Play testing/Sound: Lauzier, Adam
Create and sound design the music along with any sound effects needed to enhance the feeling of anxiety and to exploit the player’s fears. Find a group of people for play testing the game.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Homework 6

For this homework, I designed another minigame incorporating collision sensors and adding/deleting objects from the scene. We could use this in our game to detect when the player is caught by a monster, or when to trigger some event.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Homework 5

In this homework, each one of you will build on the previous homework. You will download (or construct) at least 2-3 more objects with which you will use collisions, gravity, force to create a simple toy or game.

Download game

 I created a simple bowling game. Please download it from the link above.

Please describe how what you have done

1) relates to your game
  • Our game will need to have objects that demonstrate realistic physics reactions with the player. The method we were originally using to control the player caused issues when interacting with objects. In this homework, I learned how to change that code to make it work.
2) generates elements of fun
  • Even though it is simple, this mini-game contains a level of challenge, which may appeal to some players. The physics interactions can be wacky at times, keeping the player amused as well.
3) how you could make use of an extended version of what you have done to create a simple game with rules (just with your own objects.)
  • This mini-game already has its own set of basic rules, but it could be extended to include different levels of difficulty, or different arrangements of the pillars, in a level system through which the player progresses. 

Homework 4

Please answer the following questions related to game experience and game objectives, based on Chapters two (The Designer Creates an Experience) and three (The Experience Rises out of Game). Use your blog.

Chapter 2

  • Forgetting about the game, think about your player. What are the experience(s) you want your player to have. 
    • Since we are designing a horror game, we want the player to experience (in general) fear and paranoia. Specific events in the game will be meant to reinforce that experience and create other sub-experiences, such as panic, feeling like they are being watched or followed, and relief once they complete the game.
  • What are the essential element(s) of that experience. 
    • The most essential element involved in creating an experience belonging to a horror game is atmosphere, and the elements which most effect the atmosphere are sound, lighting, and setting.
  • Suggest a few ways your game might capture those experiences. 
    • To capture the proper sound experience, we looked to other horror games. Many of them have a soundtrack that is deep, slow, and simple, using minor keys to create a feeling of off-ness or dread. This then evolves into quick, grating, and higher pitched musical cues to induce panic when a monster is in persuit. Including sudden loud noises is an effective way to implement jumpscares, but some consider it a "cheap" technique. It is also important to include appropriate ambient sounds, such as weather, sounds of disrepair (such as buzzing fluorescent lights), additional subtle cues to indicate the presence of something besides the player, and general noises you would hear in an old house at night (or whatever is befitting to the current location).
    • Lighting is also important, and most horror games take place in dark environments, typically at night. This exploits the player's instinctive fear of the dark and the unknown. Since enemies are harder to see in dark environments, it also provides room for the player to use their own imagination to fill in the gaps. It is commonly accepted in the horror genre that the more you actually see of a monster, the less scary it becomes. This can be observed while comparing games such as Amnesia and Dead Space. In the Dead Space games, monsters are common and vie for attention while trying to kill the player. This reduces the level of fear they produce in exchange for more action. In Amnesia, however, the player has no defense besides running away, and even looking at a monster for more than a few seconds will cause an "insanity" effect and attract the monster's attention. Due to this mechanic, the player never really gets a clear look at the monster, maintaining the stronger fear of the unknown and allowing the player to imagine horrors beyond what could have been incorporated into an actual model. 
    • As for setting, we plan to use a maze-like house to invoke a feeling of the player being lost.
    • To enhance the transfer of all these experiences from the game to the player, our game will be mostly in first person mode. This makes the player feel like it is them entering the game world, rather than the detachment or feeling of remote-controlling someone else that third-person perspective produces. 
Chapter 3
  • Discuss a few ways in which you might include surprise in your game
    • The most basic way to include surprise in a horror game is by the use of jumpscares. This is when something unexpected occurs, typically accompanied by a sudden musical cue or loud noise. Done properly, these can add to the tension produced by the environment and invoke more fear towards the monsters, but if done improperly or too often, it can break a game's immersion or irritate the player. An example of the bad style of jumpscare is when a large disturbing picture appears on screen suddenly with a loud scream. An example of a well-done jumpscare could be, for example, if something thought to be a harmless prop (perhaps a mannequin) suddenly moves, or if a player who thought they were alone turns around to find a monster standing behind them (which cues the chase music).
  • How will your game be fun? 
    • Since the experience of fear in real life typically comes from dangerous situations, it is not something that can be felt very often. The reason good horror games are fun for many people is because they produce a realistic facsimile of actual fear, while remaining a controlled environment which produces no actual danger. This of course requires that the player remain detached enough to avoid the experience becoming unpleasant, yet immersed enough to allow the environmental effects to work on one's emotions.
  • Discuss the goals of your game (as it stands now).
    • Currently the goal of the game is convey a unique experience to the player. We'll work out the details later.
  • State your thoughts on how you will make the player attached to your game, or motivated to play the game. 
    • We plan to achieve this mostly via the story. Our main character will be introduced by introductory cinematics, after which the camera will zoom into the model and transition to first person mode, making the player feel that they actually are the character. The story is that the main character has died and is now in a dreadful purgatory realm. Depending on the player's performance and choices, the character will either make it through purgatory and win the game, going to heaven, or will be caught by a monster and lose, going to hell. The player should feel invested in the character's fate, and should be interested in seeing how the story plays out, which encourages the player to keep trying if they lose.
  • What problems do you expect the players to solve in your game?
    • The core problem that the player will solve is the navigation of a maze. During this process, the player will need to collect artifacts without being caught by a monster. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homework 2: First Group Meetings

1) When and where did you meet?
  • We have been meeting every day after class for a few minutes.

2) What did you discuss?
  • We have discussed and decided on basic starting ideas for the game, such as lead character, setting, genre, etc.
3) Did you take notes? Why? Why not?
  • Mostly notes have not been necessary, since we have also been communicating all our ideas by email.
4) Did you transfer the contents of the discuss to the computer?
  • Our team leader will be creating a Google document where we can build our ideas and progress to the next step of development. 
5) Did you discuss the game document?
  • We have a basic idea of what we are going to put in our game document. It will grow from the discussion document as we work on assets and programming for the game.
6) Did you pick a team leader. Why? Who is it?
  • We have picked Alan Morales as the team leader. He seems to be the most talented member of the group, and he has already has a solid overall vision for the game.
7) Please describe briefly some initial ideas regarding the game you plan on developing.
  • According to our initial discussions, we intend to make a game featuring a female protagonist who enters a sinister haunted house and must escape by progressing through several levels. 
8) State on your blog the contributions you, the individual, made towards the team game in the last week.
  • So far, I have contributed several ideas on the mechanics of the game, including starting with a third-person starting animation to introduce the main character, which then zooms into first person to show that we are taking control of her, and provide the feeling of player immersion that horror games require. I have also contributed several ideas on level design, which I will be focusing on during development.