Game Version 6
Friday 6th May 2022
WEEK 10 -
TO DO: Assess Game Version 6
PURPOSE FOR THE DAY!
Today is an exciting day, the day that we setup the two servers on each of our devices. This will enable us to experiment with interaction across two screens! We will be testing gameplay ourselves and making sure our new assets have been implemented into the environment, ready for playtesting in the next few days.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?
Kiera has forwarded me the files for the project which I can open on Atom. This version of the server has a few differences to the version on Kieras laptop, therefore, we have to assess and review whether or not the displays work cohesively. This is what will be projected onto the walls and therefore, we must make sure it works on our devices before we go further with the projection setup.
GOALS FOR THE DAY
Establish Game Version 5, make the necessary changes and refinements in preparation for playtesting and a general review.
GAME VERSION 6
The Game has advanced heavily since the last Game Version 5! Now, we have integrated our newly drawn assets into the space, disregarding the animations as of right now, as we need to implement these another way. This version also consists of 2 separate game servers, which contain their own environment drawing and music tracks.
BREAKDOWN OF THE TWO SERVERS
(Can be found in sketchbook)
Once projected, our game will essentially work across two screens. But for this two projections to work the way we intend, we had to create two almost identical servers in order to do so. There are minimal differences but these differences impact gameplay drastically. I have quickly drawn a table to demonstrate which elements are to be present in each server, which should help with development. This was inspired by the Beat Chart I created at the start of the project.
The differences between the two servers are essentially the environment design and the soundtracks. Each projection should have a different environment and small animations projected within it, to keep players engaged and interested, as well as this, each server should contain 3 tracks. Players should collect the snowflakes in the first screen to trigger 3 layers of sound, and the same for the following screen. Once all snowflakes have been collected, the full soundtrack will play.
What does this mean? This means that the soundtrack must be split equally between the two screens. The first screen will trigger the first 3 layers of the soundtrack, and the second screen will trigger the last 3.
After quickly noting down the different elements in each server, I thought about key factors that could potentially impact gameplay. I noted these down to ensure during development, these were as expected.
Snowflakes should fall at the same pace across screens. (Value should be adjusted between servers) Slower snowflakes will encourage players to move slower and generally be more calming. Detection to work the same. (In terms of speed, detection, distance etc)
Each server to be linked to it's own speaker - two laptops, two servers, meaning each laptop must be connected to its own speaker, unless we find a way of combining two devices to one system.
Kiera and I worked together to ensure the values were kept the same throughout both servers, as I was able to edit the script on 'Atom', which wouldn't affect hers. We MUST make sure whatever we change to one server, we remember to adjust to the second.
Each server now consists of 3 unique tracks, which are triggered after collecting a total of 5 snowflakes per track. This is subject to change after playtesting in the next two weeks. We have imported our Sound Designers 'Surround-sound mixes' for now, but I am yet to get into contact with im for a regular stereo mix, because due to implications, we may be unable to use the Surround Sound System. Because of this, we didn't organise a meeting with Harry, but I plan to inform him with new information by the end of next week.
In addition to this, Kiera implemented the two different final environment designs into the two servers, meaning the server on my laptop contains the second screen and hers is the first. This makes it easier to organise projection.
The files on my laptop are called 'Safe Projection Two', which differentiates between the two projects.
FIRST SERVER MUSIC:
SECOND SERVER MUSIC:
The first screen consists of a simple mountain composition, a few trees and a lake. Eventually this screen should also consist of moving clouds and ski lifts in the distance, as well as the falling snowflakes and flying bird. In comparison to the second screen, it's a much simpler design to ease players into their surroundings.
As players progress, they will enter a more refined and detailed environment. This second screen consists of a small village and a different composition of mountains. This variation will excite players and keep them fascinated throughout gameplay.
After making these changes, Kiera and I tested the interaction across screens and set it up as if we were playing the full game with our devices.
We are now running two servers! These two servers consist of their own environment designs and soundtracks as you can hear in the videos above. Across screens, the snowflakes fall at a much slower pace than before, and players are required to hover over 5 snowflakes to trigger one layer of the track. There have been 3 tracks assigned to both servers, with the environmental sounds playing as default once players enter the experience. Kiera is successfully interacting with gameplay with the 'wrist' detection which enables her to control the bird with her hand movement.
Summary of changes
Snowflake velocity decreased
Flip sensitivity decreased
2 Screens, 2 Environments imported
WHAT WENT WELL?
We have implemented our assets into the space successfully and set up the two servers to enable players to play across two screens! This quick gameplay test proved to us that the 'wrist' detection does work successfully, it's down to the outcome of this after projection now, which we plan to test in the next few days. The environment designs looked great alongside each other and we were really happy with the outcome of this visually. We also loved the sound of the tracks as they developed, and the final piece was beautiful, we enjoyed sitting and listening to it as we analysed the experience after! This will be great for players to sit and listen to even after they have collected all snowflakes - or as many as they want to!
WHAT DIDN'T GO WELL?
Wrist detection was a little bit jittery and still not as smooth as we believe it can be. This results in a more uncomfortable interaction, which is the opposite of how we'd like players to feel in the space! In addition to this, we are still missing the animation assets, which we have strictly organised to be in the environment by next week.
Interaction with the snowflakes worked successfully and the tracks played! It was hard to differentiate between tracks and know when a track was playing vs when it wasn't, but we are aware that the interaction with 5 snowflakes should work as programmed. Interaction between screens suprisingly worked very well, and we think this is because of the position of the webcams.
We love the look of the two environments placed together, as this is what we initially imagined! Players have different areas of the environment to observe and explore across both screens, which will also include small intricate animations. The assets so far work well together and we are happy with the outcome of this.
Our highest priorities for further development involve the implementation of animations and UI into both servers, as well as refining the 'wrist detection' script. We feel the detection could be a little bit better as the bird could fly much smoother, so we must organise a meeting with James to discuss this. For playtesting, we are happy with our fifth game version, but for Week 11 we plan to have these additional assets imported into the environment as designed.
PLAN FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
Import all animations into the scene
Import UI into the scene
Refine 'Wrist Detection' script
Setup physical space with necessary equipment & test.
We know what we need to do to refine our fifth game version and progress with development. We have scheduled these things into our schedule (can be found in weekly discussions) and aim to have faced these issues by the end of Week 11. For now, we are confident in the outcome of our gameplay for playtesting tomorrow and plan to project one screen to an audience, to gather feedback and take suggestions to improve.
Kiera has been updating our GITKRAKEN with our game versions which can also be accessed there for reference.