Game Version 8/9
Tuesday 17th May 2022 - THE END!
WEEK 12 -
TO DO: Assess Game Version 8/9
PURPOSE FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS
Throughout this week, Kiera will be making rapid changes to the detection system, importing the last few assets and making the last few changes before hand-in. We should be working towards getting around 2 new game versions complete before our deadline.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?
We have a list of things to overcome/change this week which are listed below:
WHERE TO BEGIN?
While I finish and upload our Game Trailer and Game Demo video, Kiera will be working on adjusting the detection system for Version 8.
GAME VERSION 8
This week Kiera has been working on adjusting the settings for the detection system. As a result of playtesting, we have found that the bird movement/wrist detection has become very jittery and laggy overtime. This is frustrating for players and ourselves watching, which we'd like to avoid at all costs. We are unaware if this is a problem with the detection, its values or the webcam setup, but Kiera has been playing around with the detection to try and make subtle improvements.
THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Originally, the program was detecting players 'right wrist', which we found to have some problems with, in terms of slow movement and constant flipping! The bird was going crazy.
James suggested to experiment with different values to see what could be achieved. Kiera has played around with the detection values, and used a combined detection of the shoulder, elbow and wrist, to cancel things out.
Kiera has adjusted the detection to follow the shoulder, elbow and wrist of players. This was done to stabilise the birds movement to prevent jittering or dramatic movement on screen.
WHAT WENT WELL? / DIDN'T GO WELL?
It has certainly improved the movement of the bird, but we still have more to do. Kiera will continue to refine this interaction until it performs the way we want it to. This will involve experimenting with different values until the birds flight is steady and smooth.
New snowflake png
Both environments in
New detection system in place - not detecting shoulder, elbow and wrist
We still have to work on the detection system and import our last few assets into the experience, we will now be working on our ninth game version, using our development to-do-list for this week.
Further development for this week:
Import new tracks (stereo mix versions)
Import cloud and ski-lift animation into the environment
Import new Loading Screen animation into scene (overlay for around 7 seconds)
Bird to fade away at the edges of the screen (to make connection between screens less harsh/sudden)
Both servers set up for projection, 1 server setup for browser version.
Further improve detection
Provide separate builds/links to both versions
GAME VERSION 9
The final version! Kiera and I will be working to make adjustments and final touches to our final version, in preparation for hand-in and to upload our browser version of the game to our bitshort.studio/play site. I will be briefly documenting the changes made during this week. (Week 12)
THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Tuesday 17th May - Sunday 22nd May
Kiera has increased the 'power of detection' for the wrist on the y-axis. As well as setting the shoulder input to 0, the elbow detection also remains at one. This has stabilised the movement on the y-axis without compromising the reach of the player. From playtesting, we noticed the issue was mostly with the bird moving vertically rather than horizontally.
THE BIRD MOVEMENT & FADING:
As a result of these detection changes, Kiera adjusted the input value required for the bird to flip, because these initial changes made led to a jittery performance again. The current values are now 0.3. Kiera has also increased the dither on the y-axis to avoid the travel being too fast after changes to detection. The x-axis remains the same. In addition to this, Kiera has added a border to the environment, meaning when the bird reaches a specific proximity, the bird fades away, making the travel between screens or around the edges, less sudden.
THE LOADING SCREEN:
I spent the afternoon/evening today finalising the loading screen asset, which allows for the server to load/boot up before users can begin to play. In addition to this, the screen provides users with guidance as to how to use their wrist to interact, with a brief visual description of what to do. The screen has been imported, lasting around 10 seconds, allowing for players to read the instruction and wait for it to load. The player must then still click the 'Begin' to start the game, which isn't ideal, but we had no way around this due to the implications of the program.
Kiera also imported the cloud animation into the environment and we reviewed their appearance once in position. We agreed that the look of the clouds were too harsh, so needed to adjust the opacity of these in Photoshop and import them again. The scene looked too busy and overcrowded, which we want to avoid at all costs. After importing this new animation, we also agreed to reduce the number of clouds on screen, to finish things off. The lowered opacity clouds look much better and their position is perfect, they travel across the mountains in the top half of the screen!
This afternoon I also spent my time recreating the ski-lift animation as we had trouble with this in the past. According to the way I made the ski-lift animation and my previous scene mock-ups, Kiera imported the animation in the correct position, on the left hand side of screen one. This is the scene that will be presented to players on the browser version of Getaway.
FINAL SNOWFLAKE ASSET
After reviewing all the new assets in their place, we agreed that the opacity of the snowflakes were too low, as the layering from other assets prevented the snowflakes from being seen. Because of this, I took to Photoshop and increased the snowflake opacity, to make them darker and appear clearer to users. Kiera then imported this final asset into its place. In addition to this, Kiera has made it so once collected, the snowflakes disappear. This makes the objective/experience much easier to grasp.
To finish things off, Kiera and James worked together to fix the problem with the scale of the browser. During testing this week, we found that the browser no longer fit to scale and projected with half of the screen cut off. They noticed this was a problem in the code and thankfully managed to overcome this quickly! The canvas dimensions have been fixed and the browser fixed the screen!
SCREEN 1 - FOR PROJECTION
SCREEN 2 - FOR PROJECTION
WHAT PLAYERS SEE ONCE THEY BEGIN THE GAME:
We have changed the snowflake png to the darker colour
Ski-lift animation now in place
Cloud loop in place
Detection smoother but still needs work
Tracks in the correct place, 3 per server/environment
Edges of the screen fades to avoid sudden transportation of the bird across screens
Loading screen in position
Begin button required to start both servers
Screen must be full size to scale server correctly
Sunday 22nd May
WHAT WENT WELL?
We now have two servers, full of every asset we intended, every sound track and interaction set in stone! We managed to get everything we needed to complete and can confidently say we have a successfully functioning final deliverable. These two screens are essentially ready to be projected and there are no missing parts! We are happy with the outcome of both scenes visually, all that is left to do is to prioritise Week 13 refining the detection, in preparation for hand-in. Once we have done this, we can create the final server, consisting of all tracks, ready to integrate into our website.
WHAT DIDN'T GO WELL?
We can push ourselves with the detection, because right now it's not where we want it to be! The entire experience is how we expect it to be, except for the interaction. Although Kiera experimented with different values and detection inputs for gesture, it's still performing a little bit slow to how we intended it to. Thankfully, every other element of the game is working how we wanted it to, so we can spend the last few days of the project working on this, everyday until perfection! This will involve further testing until we get it to an acceptable standard.
In terms of gameplay, the bird now collects the snowflakes, causing them to disappear once touched! This also triggers layers of music to play after a threshold of 5 snowflakes. We spoke about potentially reducing this number, to make it easier for users and allow them to recognise the influence they are having earlier on. Other than this, the 'gameplay' is how we expected it to be and we are happy with the outcome! It's just about getting the detection finalised and the physical space setup, because this is what is going to enhance player engagement and immersion - this is what we plan to focus on after hand-in, and once we have the equipment available to us.
We absolutely love how the visual design of Getaway turned out. It's both peaceful, tranquil and pretty looking. The styles of all assets work well together, and the animated assets do a great job at bringing each scene to life. We agreed that the scene could look too busy if we overdid it, so agreed to keep assets to a minimum and we feel this outcome is the best so far. Overall, the scene is appealing and attractive and has a great level of detail to it that will both interest and engage players, allowing them to observe and get lost in their surroundings.
We have approximately 3 days left to focus on the final touches for development. We have scheduled to finish development on the 24th May, to allow ourselves two days to integrate the server into both sites and have this prepared for hand-in, giving us time to overcome any issues we might face. (We won't I hope) Other than this, we must make sure to take note of how to set up the server, for both projection and the browser version, just to make things clearer. We have scheduled to hand-in Getaway and our personal documentation hopefully on the 25th May if we work according to schedule and have no surprises along the way!
PLAN FOR FURTHER & FINAL DEVELOPMENT
Further refine and finalise detection
Reduce interaction-snowflake threshold from 5 to 3.
Finalise browser version - 6 tracks, refined detection
Integrate final browser version into bitshort site & itch.io
Last version can be found here: THE GAME!
We will be beginning Week 13 bright and early, getting the final refinements done to the experience, focusing on adjusting values in the code to stabilise detection and hopefully perfect this for hand-in. This week, we have worked hard to get everything we needed to done, and will start Week 13 with a new set of tasks to fulfil.