Game Version 2/3
Monday 28th March 2022
EASTER WEEK 1 -
TO DO: GAME VERSION 2
Today is the day we get our second game version ready for the Eagle Labs Game Day on Thursday 31st March. This version of the game will involve all of our first assets (before refinements and testing in the next few weeks) and will showcase how our game is meant to work. The showcase on Thursday will be a great way to gather feedback and make refinements and changes to improve. This should be the 2nd version out of around 4/5 before completion.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?
Kiera and I will be working together to integrate our assets into the program provided by James. Our first game version only consisted of gesture control and the ability to move around screen, whereas this second version allows us to work with our assets and implement them into the environment, how we imagine them to appear. We will be using guidance and suggestions from James to set up the program on our own devices and import the assets accordingly.
GOALS FOR THE DAY
By the end of today, we should have a fully working prototype and second game version to take with us on Thursday to the event. We will be documenting the steps for set-up, integrating our first set of assets in the space and making changes to code for these to work cohesively.
PLAN FOR THE DAY
Document setup/guidance sent from James today
Implement assets into the digital environment
Adjust code to work accordingly - size, scale, position of assets, use of hand for gesture control.
Set-up new version of server/program on other devices.
TO DO: Document setup and guidance for server
SECOND GAME VERSION: HOW WILL WE USE THIS?
Today James has sent us the second version of our game, consisting of a sample of music and assets. Using this version, we can develop a third version consisting of assets of our choosing, using gesture of our choice. The video below demonstrates James using the program and interacting with the composer to trigger his music! This demonstrates our core interaction and how music will be triggered after coming into contact with a 'snowflake'.
SECOND GAME VERSION
Since Game Version 1, the changes made to the program mainly involve the use of assets to represent how the assets become a part of the player experience. As well as this, James has programmed the input to be 'nose' which enables players to use their face to be in control of the bird on the screen.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Our next steps for development will be to input our own sample assets into the environment to get an idea of how this might look put together. Today, we should have a third game version made and setup ready for the Games Day event with Eagle Labs at St.Mary's stadium. For now, I'll document the initial setup for the server to make the game available on our own devices. This'll make it much easier for Kiera and I to take control over the versions of the game from now on.
THE SETUP OF OUR GAME ON OUR DEVICES
As we know, our game will run off an online server. To be able to play the game we must eventually have our server setup on our own website/domain, to allow ease of use! For now, in order to setup the server on our own devices to make changes we have to follow the instructions given by James to do so.
Set up a local server in the folder directory - Run a local Node server through Atom text editor.
Open Terminal, navigate to the project folder and run a python server.
Open your browser at localhost:8000
In the Project Folder, there are folders for the Music and Images. Use these to load assets.
Select the body part you want to use in the detector.js script.
Reference the body parts by the strings in main.js/30. (We would choose either left or right wrist)
Kiera should be setting up the server on both our devices, and document the different versions on our GitHub.
TO DO: Implement assets into environment
THIRD GAME VERSION
To proceed with the third version of the game, Kiera and I plan to input our sample/test assets into the environment, ready to demonstrate gameplay at the event on Thursday. It'll be good to evaluate the look of the example assets in the space and take notes on how we can further improve it. Later today, we should also project gameplay to test if our setup is ready and see how the assets work in a projected space.
WHAT DID WE DO?
Firstly, Kiera setup the server on our laptops to run through our own webcams, from here we sat together and talked through the changes we needed to make with the code. In the 'main.js' script, Kiera was able to adjust the selected body part from 'nose' to 'left wrist' which should detect players palms to guide the bird.
Change input from 'nose' to 'right wrist'.
Replace asset holders with 'snowflake.png' and 'snowbunting.png'.
Overlay environment/mountainscape in the background.
Within the assets folder are the folders for each individual asset, including both images and music. To input our own assets into these folders we must rename our assets and drag and drop them in where necessary. This should correspond to the image/track name used in the script.
I found basic snowflake and snow bunting images online which I quickly cut out on photoshop and exported into pngs. I sent these to Kiera and she was able to replace the current assets with these placeholders. For now, these are perfect to demonstrate what exactly they will be and how they will function in our final deliverable. I edited my environment concept from Week 3 and sent this to Kiera to integrate into the background, so we have a finished scene for 1 wall/screen.
The basic version we have now is enough for people to grasp and understand at the event on Thursday.
Kiera placed my environment concept in the background and placeholder png's in the foreground to represent the interactive assets.
GAME VERSION 3
Game Version 3 is here! Kiera and I are happy with the outcome for our 3rd version as it's finally coming to life with our own assets and soon, animations too! This version is perfect for our Games Day on Thursday and I cannot wait for people to play it themselves.
All assets have been replaced with placeholders and initial concepts. Players are also now able to move the bird using their left wrist, to interact with the snowflake and trigger music.
This is a screen-recording taken from gameplay, where I moved the bird with my wrist to interact with the snowflake. I flew around the environment to demonstrate how players will be able to freely roam as well as interact in-game, providing them with opportunity to explore and observe the environment around them.
WHAT WENT WELL?
We were successfully able to input all the assets into the correct places and now have the third version of gameplay, ready to test with users and develop further. I am really happy with the outcome, as is Kiera and we cannot wait to begin asset creation to really bring it to life. For gameplay itself, I will evaluate this when it comes down to testing in the next few days, however, the interaction works really well and it appears exactly how we expected it to on screen.
The only thing we don't have as of right now is the music, to fully demonstrate how the music will develop overtime after each interaction. However, this version does a great job at demonstrating the core interaction and shows the basis of gameplay without it seeming too complex. We should work towards getting sound complete as soon as we can so we can further test with this. Other than that, we're ready to take next steps for project Getaway!
HOW CAN WE FURTHER DEVELOP OUR GAME?
We have the basis of our program down, without the need to alter code or make any further adjustments to gameplay itself. For now, we must focus on Asset and Sound Production ensure we have finalised visuals ready to implement into the server. These placeholders are being used for now to demonstrate what the final deliverable will consist of, but the final outcome should be fully hand-drawn and contain small detailed animations too. There should be falling snowfall as well as more interactive snowflakes per screen. Asset Creation should begin next week, according to schedule, which moves us onto the Sound Production.
Sound production is currently out of our hands, but our Sound Designer Harry Williams is working extremely hard to have a sample finished for us in the next few weeks. Ideally, we should have the complete track by the end of the Easter Holidays. We are using Easter time to listen to his samples, provide feedback and make this more refined, so we have a final soundtrack ready for Week 9 when we return. This track should be split into 5-6 layers/tracks, which we will input as tracks into the script using Atom and distinguish how exactly we will separate this between walls/projections.
The last priority and final step for the game itself is the setup. We successfully have one version of gameplay to be projected onto one wall, but if we extend to two or three walls, we must establish a way to set this up. We have scheduled Easter into Week 9 to think about this, which may be easier to do back at University where equipment is available to us. The things we need to consider at this stage for set up include the following:
Which panels shall we use for the walls? (And exact dimensions for this)
Can we access 2+ Short Throw projectors?
How do we embed 2-3 webcams on these panels?
How do we integrate sound into the surround sound system?
How will the walls work separately but seem like they work smoothly, together?
NEXT STEPS FOR THE WEEK
To prepare us for our event on Thursday, Kiera and I plan to test with our 3rd game version and our chosen projector in a room, to evaluate the effectiveness of our assets in projection, gameplay and the overall setup. We should hopefully have everything ready and packed for the event by Wednesday the 30th, which is when we plan to test. After the event, I plan to document the feedback we were given and any clips/images I captured from the event. This should then lead into Asset Creation in the upcoming weeks, when Kiera and I can really focus on what we wanted to do most.