Wednesday 30th March 2022
EASTER WEEK 1 -
TO DO: TEST GAME AND SETUP
PURPOSE FOR TEST
The purpose for this afternoon is to test the game, make final fixes/refinements and test the setup in preparation for the event tomorrow. This will be to double check that everything works and that we have all the equipment we need to successfully setup gameplay tomorrow in St.Mary's stadium.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?
We will be using our desired setup for the space and projecting our new Game Version (3) with a webcam setup to enable players to interact using their palm.
GOALS FOR THE DAY
Test gameplay and overall setup in preparation for Eagle Labs Games Day on the 31st March. Evaluate the effectiveness of all factors.
PLAN FOR THIS AFTERNOON
Setup game version 3 with projector, panel and laptop.
Test gameplay and document evaluation
Evaluate effectiveness of setup
Pack for tomorrow!
TO DO: Set up Game Version 3
One panel covered in A3 sheets of white paper
SANYO Short Throw Projector
Laptop running game server
HDMI cable connecting the two devices
Low lit room
We've set up our third game version using a singular panel covered in A3 sheets of white paper, the SANYO Short Throw projector, connected to a laptop using a HDMI cable. This is ideally how we'd like to present the game at tomorrow's event, and it may be necessary to have the laptop put on a table beside the screen, to demonstrate how the webcam should ideally be directly in front.
TO DO: Test gameplay
PURPOSE FOR TEST
The purpose for this test is to evaluate gameplay, including how well it works and overcome any issues if need be. Kiera and I will be interacting through webcam and evaluate how well it works using our 'right wrist'. I also plan to document my feelings in terms of how I felt about the experience, the interaction, music and gameplay etc.
EVALUATION OF TEST
WHAT DID WE DO?
After setting up the equipment, Kiera and I took turns to play and commented on gameplay throughout. During play, Kiera was on standby ready to make adjustments to things if necessary. We were able to place the laptop on the table beside the screen which was then projected on the panel to the left of the device, this wasn't ideal but for now, we were happy with the outcome.
Change input back to 'nose'. Will discuss this with James in our next meeting.
PROBLEMS WE FACED & HOW WE OVERCAME THEM:
During play, we found there was an issue with the webcam picking up the 'left wrist'. The bird began to jutter and didn't fly as smoothly as it usually does. To overcome this, we changed back to 'nose', which Kiera demonstrates in the video above. We are not sure why this happened but we have taken a note of it to talk to James about in the next few days. As well as this, we faced a problem with lighting. The webcam can only recognise players faces in direct light, so the lack of light in the room was a problem. We made the room lighter by turning on some of the lights and instantly, the webcam recognised Kiera's facial features. The projector requires a dark room to work as effectively as possible, whereas the webcam requires light! So we must find a middle ground.
PLAYER EXPERIENCE X PROJECT GOALS
Our project goals outline our aims for this project which are essentially to encourage emotional and physical regulation, to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, particularly in students. In the last few weeks we tested with playtesters and evaluated the effectiveness of the experience, by monitoring heart rates and asking questions, to which we found we were working along the right lines with only a few improvements to make. Today, I was able to test gameplay myself which I thoroughly enjoyed. Without providing a bias opinion, I found myself immersed in gameplay because of my curiosity and interest in using gesture. This definitely enhanced my overall engagement as I would've preferred to play with more snowflakes to 'collect'. The music in cohesion with the visuals worked really well and overall created a warm, friendly environment to be in. We are certainly working towards achieving our project goals, all that is left is to bring all the moving parts together and make final flourishes.
Our idea has changed a lot since our initial Project Proposal however, we have been able to develop an idea similar to the idea we had at the beginning of Semester 2. We have successfully put together a game version that incorporates the use of soothing music, visuals and interesting yet subtle interaction (gesture) to immerse and engage players into their surroundings. To achieve a fully immersive environment, the setup of the space is yet to be discovered, but this should be established by Week 9.
I am really happy with our progress over the last few weeks, especially because of the number of problems we have faced and had to quickly overcome. The project has been hard but I have enjoyed every step of the way, and I cannot wait to bring all of the pieces together. I am eager to begin asset creation so we can make the game more visually appealing, and add the music in to set the tone, but other than this, we are on the right track so far. I am glad we have the Easter Holidays, because we can take some time off schedule to catch up and organise ourselves accordingly.
TO DO: Evaluate Setup
PURPOSE FOR EVALUATION
I plan to take notes and draw up some sketches for how we'd like the setup to look, but there are some requirements we have and problems we need to overcome for it to work. Using our tests today, I will be evaluating the setup of the space and establish how we can curate a space to fulfil our intended player experience, as really this is the last major step we have to overcome.
REQUIREMENTS FOR SETUP
3 interactive projections, 3 SANYO short throw projectors, 40cm from walls.
3 devices connected projectors, to project gameplay
Surround sound system
These are the main requirements for the setup of the space to achieve what we initially proposed. As we have one of these setups already, we know 2 or 3 are more than possible, we just have to establish a way to connect the 2/3 screens.
Below I have drawn up a series of space mockups, to demonstrate how exactly we want to use a physical space, and how we should go about getting the equpiment for this.
Final Setup Sketch
This sketch is a representation of our ideal setup for the space which we can use to visualise what equipment we need to make this possible. Ideally, we'd want players to be able to walk around the space with no restrictions, and be able to interact with each wall using gesture.
CHANGES WE'VE MADE
Overtime we reconsidered the use of a box for our game, but we have recently established a new way to achieve the same effect. Instead of going the full 360-degrees, we have considered using around 2 or 3 wider walls, angled in a way which forms a box-like structure, but not completely closed off as seen above. This still gives players freedom to walk around, wander and explore, as well as get comfortable in their own safe space. We've had to consider the loss of space from using 3 projectors, but this shouldn't affect the setup too much if we angle the walls the way I have drawn.
HOW WILL WE GET THIS EQUIPMENT?
To begin, I plan to list out every piece of equipment we need, and consider how to piece it all together after. As we only have 4 weeks left, I will be sourcing 3 webcams from Amazon and having these delivered next day. The projectors will be borrowed from the WSA Media Store, the laptops will be borrowed and the panels will be sourced too. Kiera and I have recently spoken to our course leader Adam Procter, and discussed the possibility of bringing individual screens/panels to create our box-like structure which we agreed will be a better option. Adam also informed us that we may be able to get these panels cut by Fine Art, as long as we provide the correct dimensions as soon as we can.
EQUIPMENT LIST: WHAT DO WE NEED TO FULFIL THIS IDEA?
2-3 wide walls (dimensions TBD)
2-3 SANYO short throw projectors
MASS 5.1 Surround Sound system
HDMI cables x3
Laptops to run server x3
LINKS TO BOARDS/PANELS:
IDEA FOR PANELS
We can use office boards/panels to create a structure to showcase our game. Above I have linked a site where we may be able to source a few office panels that'll be easy to project onto. Otherwise, we may have to take up Adam's offer for the boards in the Graphics department.
LINKS TO WEBCAMS:
I have also found a link to suitable webcams which I double checked with James and can do the job. He suggested to purchase one first which we can test with, and then buy 2-3 depending on however many walls we setup. We can identify how many walls we will need exactly on the first week back, and from there I will order as many webcams as necessary.
It will be much easier to evaluate how and from where we will source the equipment when we are back on campus. Around Week 9, we should start the week sourcing all of the equipment we need and ensuring we can get our hands on everything before the Arcade Event. As for gameplay itself, we have the basis of the program in place and everything works as expected, except from the palm interaction. Kiera and I plan to discuss the issues we had with the 'left wrist' interaction at our next meeting, but for now we will take what we have to the Games Day tomorrow.
I have finalised my script and presentation for tomorrow which means all that is left to do is pack the equipment we need. I will be documenting setup for the Games Day on the following page, alongside feedback we gathered and clips/images from the event.