Week 9:
Testing Setup

Monday 25th - 26th April 2022

WEEK 9 -

TO DO: TEST SETUP AND RECORD MEASUREMENTS

 

PURPOSE FOR TESTING

We have just finished Easter and finally we are back in-person. We will be starting the day with our game setup to measure the dimensions of the projection to give to our course leader Adam. These dimensions will be used to create the panels we need to create the walls for our space. The purpose for this space is to also project our newly produced Game Version 4 to review its appearance once projected, take notes and evaluate our next steps.

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?

We will be setting up the space similar to how we have previously done so, with our SANYO Short Throw projector, cables, laptop, webcam and game! We must then take measurements of the projection and forward these to Adam Procter as soon as we can. In addition to this, it'll be necessary for us to interact with the webcam to ensure hand-detection works as it now should do.

GOALS FOR THE DAY

Curate a successful space setup, measure the dimensions of the projection, come to final design conclusions and evaluate effectiveness of gameplay.

TEAM WORK - WHERE DO WE BEGIN?

We will begin by setting up the equipment and linking our devices to begin the projection.

MINI PLAN FOR THE DAY

Monday 25th April

  1. Set-up space with projector facing the wall

  2. Take dimensions and measurements

  3. Take notes on appearance and gameplay

  4. Evaluation - final design conclusions regarding the space

TASK 1

THE SPACE SETUP

TO DO - Set up the projector in Kieras room

We have planned to project onto Kieras wall, where we will be able to measure the projection easily on a flat surface. This will provide us with more accurate measurements which we can pass on to our course leader. This will also give us a better idea of what the final deliverable might look like, being projected at its full scale.

REQUIREMENTS

  • A singular wall

  • Short Throw Sanyo XGA Projector

  • HDMI Cable

  • HDMI - USBC Adapter

  • Laptop

  • The Server open!

EXPECTATIONS FROM TEST:

Hopefully, we should be able to see the full environment projected clearly onto the wall. This should be full size meaning we will be able to gather accurate dimensions. We also expect to be able to interact with gameplay, by setting up James' webcam which he kindly lent us for testing. This should track our 'right wrists' therefore enabling us to interact through gesture with our hands/palms.

THE SETUP

PROCESS:

We setup the SANYO XGA Short Throw Projector approximately 40 cm away from the wall and setup the laptop and cables around this accordingly. We ensured there was enough space for players to walk around the setup, as we kept this very compact and neatly positioned. We started the server and linked the devices, which enabled us to project to the size of our choice on the wall. We adjusted the 'keystone' settings and projected the environment at the correct angle.

We used 'View' > 'Hide Tool Bar' to full screen the server, which looked much cleaner than our previous tests, as we never scaled the environment to its full display.

We also placed the webcam on the top of the projector and faced this upwards.

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EVALUATION & REFLECTION

Just from this image you can see the projection turned out really well! We were really impressed by the outcome of the projection on the wall, despite the amount of light in the room and the colour of the wall, the projection was not affected. The size of the projection at first glance was great and we we established this position on screen to be good for people of all heights.

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TASK 2

RECORD MEASUREMENTS

TO DO - Take the dimensions of the projection and forward to Adam Procter.

Using a tape measure, Kiera and I have measured the projection and plan to forward this to Adam to progress with the construction of our space. These dimensions will be used to create the panels for our physical space, which will be made according to the projection size. During a previous discussion with Adam, we talked about the 'imperfections' of the space and not to worry about missing bits or gaps in walls, as we can embrace them rather than see them as an issue. With this in mind, we planned to take the measurements of the projection and increase its size to be tall enough for everyone to enjoy.

THE SETUP 

Taking the dimensions of the projection:

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MEASUREMENTS OF PROJECTION:

WIDTH: 194 cm 

HEIGHT: 188 cm

FROM THE GROUND TO THE BOTTOM OF PROJECTION: 76.5 cm

Projector to be 38 cm away from the wall.

EVALUATION & REFLECTION

Taking into consideration the purpose of the space, we reconsidered these measurements and thought about increasing the size of the panels made. This would provide players with more space to wander freely and explore, rather than primarily being a surface to project upon, we want to create the idea of a 'safe space'. Because of this, we have decided to increase the measurements and be left with a bigger border around the projection, which we can think about how to decorate later on, if at all. We also used the tape measure to think about the perspective of those who are much taller than us! This projection is perfect for Kiera and I, however, we are both around 5ft. Increasing the size of the panels in height also means we can curate our own 'space', by using these panels to create a box-like structure.

We have also concluded that the size of one projection is by far big enough for what we'd like to achieve, so instead of expanding to 3-4 walls, we have decided to remain with two. The size of two projections combined will be more than big enough and still achieve our intended player experience, by providing them with a space to interact physically and become immersed by the visuals and sound surrounding them.

NEW MEASUREMENTS TO SEND TO COURSE LEADER:

1 PANEL: 220 cm x 220 cm

NUMBER OF PANELS NEEDED: 2

TASK 3

EVALUATING GAMEPLAY AND APPEARANCE

TO DO - Take notes on visuals and gameplay

Now we have all that we need to progress with the structure of the space. I plan to take notes on the visual appearance, projection quality and game function to establish what needs to be changed, improved or fixed. At this stage, we have a list of expectations for the different game elements, which will be refined as we further improve the game.

EXPECTATIONS OF GAMEPLAY

  • Players should be able to guide the bird across the screen using their palm/right wrist.

  • Once players interact with a snowflake, music should play.

EXPECTATIONS OF VISUALS

  • Full mountainscape environment to be projected full scale

  • Good quality projection

  • Snowflakes and snowfall to be falling constantly

  • Bird to fly in different directions.

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TEST TALK THROUGH:

NOTES AFTER TESTING

SETUP

  • Projection worked really well full scale with the tool bar hidden

  • Projector was in a suitable place (38 cm away from the wall)

  • Laptop and cables will have to be taped down and hidden behind the walls, maybe a space for the cables to run underneath the walls.

  • Position of the webcam a little unstable - had some problems with gameplay.

GAMEPLAY

  • Position of the webcam meant we were struggling for the cam to identify our 'left wrists'. The bird was flying back and forth aggressively rather than smoothly.

  • Struggled to interact with the snowflakes as a result of this.

  • May need to change back to 'nose' or find a suitable solution for the position of the webcam - integrated within the walls would be best.

VISUALS

  • Quality of the projection was great, despite the light environment! - This is good.

  • 'Hide Tool Bar' and 'Scaled Display' allowed us to project the environment full scale. Looked clean and professional.

  • Falling snowfall/snowflakes set the tone. It was peaceful and we enjoyed sitting and observing.

  • Art Style looked great and the colour of the environment wasn't too harsh against the pale beige walls!

  • Taking this into account, we can paint the walls any colour of our choosing, and a pale beige/cream might work best!

EVALUATION

WHAT WENT WELL?

Seeing the environment projected full scale today was very much needed. We are impressed by the outcome of the projection and really happy with the overall setup. There are only a few more steps for us to take until the final deliverable is complete. The quality of the projection was great, as was the appearance of the art style. However, the main issue resolved around the position of the webcam.

WHAT DIDN'T GO WELL?

As the position of the webcam was unstable, it struggled to identify our 'right wrists' and we were unable to guide the bird. This meant we were unable to interact and could not fulfil gameplay. However, we know it works so this is not a problem, but we must come up with a solution for the position of the webcam for this to work as soon as possible.

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

We learned that so far we are doing great and all we need to do is push ourselves that little bit further to meet our expectations for the project. Tomorrow, we should be implementing all new assets into the space, from environments, to snowfall, to bird animation, which means we have our fifth game version complete, and we are one step closer to the final deliverable.

NEXT STEPS

Next steps for us as a team will be to continue tomorrow with asset implementation and the creation of promotional material as planned. Before this, I'd like to draw up new sketches for the setup of the space, using the information gathered today. This should include new measurements and arrangement of equipment. 

TASK 4

REFINED SPACE MOCKUPS

Tuesday 26th April

TO DO - Refine the design of the space using new information gathered

Using what we know from the tests above, I plan to sketch the setup of the space and finalise its design. Over the past few weeks, our setup has changed immensely and continued to do so. Today, we have finally found a suitable setup and should hopefully have this built within the next few weeks. To get this started, I will be quickly drawing up a series of sketches to demonstrate what our final deliverable should look like.

SCREENS FROM FRONT & BACK:

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WHAT HAS CHANGED?

 

In comparison to our previous ideas for the setup, we have concluded on two walls maximum, consisting of two projectors, two webcams and the necessary cables. We know we can get a hold of this equipment, it's just how we go about it that needs to be set in stone. In my diagrams, I have sketched both front and back views of the screens, to demonstrate how setup will look like from a players point of view as well as how we need to go about getting different elements produced, most importantly the panels.

 

IMPORTANT

Each wall should have a slot cut out of it, to allow us to place the webcams in them and identify the players hand/palm to allow them to interact. This must be eye level with players as they are stood up. In addition to this, a short throw projector must be placed approximately '38 cm' away from each panel, and the cables should run underneath the panel connected to a power socket and two laptops which we choose to run the game from. This will most likely be two macOS laptops. The webcam cables should then run through and behind the panel, also connected to these devices.

FINAL SPACE MOCK-UP WITH DIMENSIONS:

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​From testing yesterday, we know of the exact dimensions of both the projections and the scale in which the panels should be built. This is a more refined and realistic view of what the space should look like from a players point of view. In other words, this is what we are aiming for at both Arcade Events!

I also captured a nice picture of my working setup that will be great for Instagram!

EVALUATION & REFLECTION

I am really happy with the outcome of our final setup, as is Kiera. It still achieves the sense of immersion we hoped for at the beginning of the project and still provides players with the means to escape into their own safe space. For now, the most important thing is to consider where we will be sourcing this equipment and when we can get a hold of it, as this will be great for our documentary and trailer too. We have all the measurements we need which have already been sent to our course leader, so now it's just a matter of waiting for the confirmation and access to this equipment.

We are much more confident now knowing we have the dimensions set in stone and a clearer idea of what the final deliverable will look like. Once we have this setup, we can film the clips we need for our marketing material and test our game in the space to overcome issues that might occur and make the final refinements and flourishes!

NEXT STEPS

According to schedule, my task for today is the design and production of our promotional material! I am going to continue the day with this task to keep on track, but will ensure to keep the organisation of the space high on our priority list. Kiera should be finalising the BitShort.Studio site and continuing with asset implementation into two individual game servers which can be projected and tested further. To update our position in the project, we are working on schedule and I am happy with our progress!

Next development task can be found here:

Promotional Material

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  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn