Tuesday 24th May 2022
WEEK 13 -
TO DO: FINAL TOUCHES, UPLOAD, GETAWAY!
PURPOSE FOR THE DAY
Today is a special day! Today, Kiera and I will be making the last refinements to Getaway and uploading the final experience to our itch and website. We will also be making sure we have all the necessary documents for hand-in, outlining how to set-up servers, the physical space and how to play. I will also be updating our itch.io and bitshort site to have the information necessary to set the browser experience up properly for users.
GOALS FOR TODAY
Make last changes to Getaway - reduce number of snowflakes, ensure browser version has all tracks imported.
Integrate games into bitshort and itch.io
Finalise bitshort.studio site and itch.io with 'how to play' instructions
Write a series of documents outlining how to setup the physical experience and browser experience, and how to play.
Create submission folders - Getaway Submission & individual
GETAWAY - FINAL POLISH
CHANGES & POLISHES MADE - across all servers
Reduce threshold to trigger music - now 3 snowflakes to trigger 1 layer of music in all servers
Re-created the loading screen page as 1 full GIF - avoids issue of assets being off-centred after every refresh
Load time - 150 points
6 tracks in one server - ready for browser integration
GETAWAY IS COMPLETE !!!
WE DID IT! We have made all the changes necessary to develop and finalise Getaway and we can now say we are happy with the final outcome! The experience runs smoothly, the loading screen is in position, the detection works much better than before, and the snowflakes collect on interaction! We have created two folders for the game, one folder is for the full browser experience and the other consists of the two screens, ready for projection.
Kiera has updated our GitKraken with the most recent versions of Getaway, found here:
THE FINAL GAME VERSIONS
THE FULL BROWSER EXPERIENCE
THE FINAL OUTCOME
The full browser experience consists of all six tracks in one environment. Players use their wrist to guide the bird through the environment, gently picking up snowflakes as they progress. For every 3 snowflakes they collect, a layer of music will play! The browser version should be available to play online through our main website and itch. This experience consists of just one environment, intricate animations and soothing music!
WHAT WENT WELL?
We wanted to provide users with an experience that was both accessible and beneficial. One of the advantages of running our game on a on online server is the ability to make this available to people at home. This means, we have a playable experience from home as well as the physical space on campus, which we initially planned for. This allows users to set-up their own devices and webcams to play elsewhere. Kiera also worked hard to improve the detection to a great standard, which we are really happy with compared to before. This makes the experience less frustrating for users and more satisfying and rewarding.
Despite the experience taking place purely online, the interaction itself is still just as immersive and engaging, still transporting players to an alternative reality. In addition to this, the soothing music combined with the intricate details curate a safe and comforting space for people to get lost into, as well as simply appeal to them. We love the outcome of this, and we believe we achieved our essential experience by focusing mainly on these three elements. The browser experience still allows players to get lost into their surroundings, while providing them with relaxing play, soothing sound and calming visuals. These components combined work well together to provide people with the means to escape and wind-down - just as we intended.
Next steps for the browser version will be to integrate this into bitshort.studio and itch.io. This means, using our html set-up kindly provided by Chris O Connor to do this successfully. Itch.io luckily has an option to link html files directly, so we can zip the final version of the browser experience and drop this in! Once we have this down, I plan to write out the information necessary to make the experience more intuitive before users begin.
THE PHYSICAL SPACE EXPERIENCE
THE FINAL OUTCOME
The physical experience is just as great! We have our two complete environments, consisting of different environmental elements per screen! The environment consists of moving clouds, falling snowfall, snowflakes and moving ski-lifts! We wanted to keep variation between both environments to keep users interested as they moved around the environment, and we love how this turned out visually. The final outcome involves the positioning of two walls, with webcams and projectors, to allow players to interact through their wrist movement. Each server/projection consists of 3 tracks each and 5 interactive tracks overall, meaning players must collect snowflakes across both screens to hear the full track - but there is no particular order to do this in!
WHAT WENT WELL?
We are extremely happy with our set-up and it can only get better from here. Yesterday we tested new projectors and the outcome of these were better than expected. The alignment of projection was perfect, and all that is left now is the walls themselves! These will enable us to embed the webcams to be eye-level with users, to avoid the messy look of the laptops laying around the play area! This way detection will be more accurate too. WE are so happy we managed to project the experience across two screens, with a little extra requirement! The outcome of the projection is great, and the combination of environments look great together.
The experience itself is what we are most proud of. We have provided people with a 'safe space' consisting of mesmerising hand-drawn visuals and soothing music. The use of a physical space allows them to become lost in their surroundings and essentially disconnect from negative thoughts. Throughout testing we found that users were fascinated by the interaction itself, which led to exploration and observation, which they eventually became lost in. In addition to this, the space lets users move around, while listening to the track develop. This is both rewarding and relaxing! Our target was to provide people with a space to wind-down and relax during times of overwhelm, and Getaway certainly does just that.
Our next step for the physical experience will be to create a folder consisting of the two screen versions, with instruction explaining how to view this version of the game as well as setup the physical space, and how to play. We can then submit this in our combined submission folder. After submission, we will be working closely to finalise the set-up, by painting walls, embedding cameras and taking whatever steps necessary to curate the perfect Getaway space!
GETAWAY - INTEGRATE & UPLOAD!
THE BROWSER EXPERIENCE - BITSHORT.STUDIO
I have updated our website with the following information, to make set-up and play easier for users. We wanted to remind users that our experience requires a webcam and WIFI connection, as well as some useful tips for setup. This prepares players beforehand and avoids any misunderstanding during moments of distress or overwhelm.
HOW TO PLAY?
GETAWAY IS OFFICIALLY LIVE! Using Chris O Connors html setup, we have officially made the browser version of Getaway live which can be accessed at bitshort.studio/play. Once we had this html setup, I attached the link to our 'Play' page in our BitShort.Studio site, with some description as to how to play and tips for the best performance!
Players use one of the links below to run Getaway, where they are taken to a new window and are required to play the experience full screen. Players are then displayed with the 'loading screen' which lasts around 10 seconds, which allows the server to load and provides users with instructions as to how to interact. When players are ready to begin after this time, they can use the small suitcase button in the bottom right hand corner to begin the experience! Players then use their right wrist to guide the bird throughout the environment and collect falling snowflakes to conduct a piece of music.
We ran into some issues regarding embedding the browser into the site itself, but managed to find a quick fix, which opens the experience in another window.
GETAWAY IN ACTION! - BitShort.Studio/Play
RUNNING THE GAME
Players can visit our website and use the 'Play' page to access the link to Getaway! This page also consists of brief 'how to play' instructions and 'useful tips' for set-up purposes. Players click on the link 'To The Getaway' which opens the experience in a new window full-screen. Players are presented with the loading screen which they can read to understand how to interact, and a suitcase button to begin the experience. Once players have waited for it to load, they can begin to guide the bird using their wrist.
THE BROWSER EXPERIENCE - ITCH.IO
WE ARE ALSO LIVE ON ITCH! People can now also play Getaway via Itch.io! I managed to work out how to upload a html file to itch.io and linked this within our 'Getaway' page, inside our BitShort studio page! I adjusted a few settings, added the 'how to play' and 'useful tips' points in the description and PUBLISHED!
The game takes extra slow in the videos attached to load due to screen recording!
GETAWAY IN ACTION! - https://bitshort.itch.io/getaway
RUNNING THE GAME
Players can also run Getaway off our itch.io site here:
Once people enter our itch site, they can read a brief description about the game, watch our trailer and understand how to play and other useful tips for the best possible experience. Once players are ready, they can use the 'Run Game' button, which'll open Getaway full-screen in a new browser! From here they will again be presented with the welcome/loading screen.
GETAWAY IS LIVE!!! We have successfully uploaded our Getaway experience to both itch and our bitshort website, ready for our audience to play and experience a world away from their worries and fears! We are really pleased with the outcome of this, and thankfully managed to overcome the technical issues we faced with setting up a public server throughout. With perseverance, we managed to upload Getaway successfully and it feels amazing. I can't wait for people to experience what we have been working on this year. I am also really happy with the outcome of the experience, in line with our initial project goals. We did a fantastic job at using our initial research into regulation, self-care techniques and mindfulness to inspire the design and development of Getaway. As well as this, we focused a lot on what players would want in the space and tailored this to suit them. With a heavy focus on the visual and sound design, we've created an experience that takes advantage of the benefits of both and uses it to the players advantage. I am extremely happy with the result, and I can't wait to witness people experience it for themselves at our events in the summer.
For the rest of the day, Kiera and I plan to get our documents ready for submission and finish off any other last polishes to our own documentation. Firstly, we'd like to write up two documents, one demonstrating how to setup our browser experience and the other explaining how we intend to set-up the physical space. Our gameplay demo video can also be used to support this which can be found here: Gameplay Demo Video
FINALISING SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS
Kiera and I worked together to write up a series of documents to demonstrate the experience further, involving how to set-up the server, useful tips and how to set-up our physical experience. This makes it much easier for the marker to understand the differences between our game versions. In addition to this, I have created us a 'Getaway Submission' folder, which consists of our 'Contents' document, containing the links to all our development tools, assets and other supporting artefacts. This folder also consists of the individual game versions for both projection and the browser experience. (Can be found on Teams)
HOW TO SET-UP
HOW TO SET-UP
SUBMISSION CONTENTS DOCUMENT
I've finished the Getaway Submission folder as well as my own, and plan to hand everything in tomorrow! We have successfully completed all team tasks and we said ideally we'd both like to hand-in on the 25th, so we are working towards this for tomorrow! We have a document containing all links to every supporting artefact, schedule, to-do-lists and more, to assist development.
MY NEXT STEPS
Tomorrow, I have planned to complete all of my personal documentation, including a 'Game Overview', personal reflection and Degree Show plan! I plan to have this all complete by tomorrow, and am scheduled to hand-in all my work for the 25th May. I will also continue to post on our social platforms and promote/market our game and event! I feel excited and I am ready for the last day!