Friday, November 14, 2014

Assignment 15

SOUND (Gaurav) - 3D sounds have been added to the objects (buildings) in the game. The time frame is pretty much realistic for this task. The background track is yet to be furnished.

INTERFACE (Gaurav) - We already have the flashlight with battery implementation (credits Harish). Implementing the usage via a menu is under works until the deadline. The final player controls are W, A, S, D and mouse and few other buttons that may pull up menus etc.

PLAYTESTING  (Gabby, Gaurav) - Should be accomplished when the first prototype of the game has been developed prior to the next assignment (Homework 16) deadline.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Contribution To The Game

In the past 7 - 10 days, our team met once to discuss the game document and zero in on a game name. Further, my contribution includes adding music and sounds to various aspects of the games such as buildings. We are implementing 3D sound in the actuators. The python script would access the actuators to trigger sounds. We also decided to cancel out the usage of a navigation mesh in the game. At least for now we are not using it. However, we may use it if required.

Assignment 14

Indirect Control Method 1: Constraints-
The game does not have much aspects related to selection from the perspective of the player. The game is set in an entire city, possibly spread out onto about 5 islands. Hence, the choice that the player makes to follow whichever route to escape, is up to her or him. It is understandable that a short array of choices available for the player could aid them to make a decision and be satisfied with a decision as opposed to not being able to decide. To counter this situation, we have a map available to guide the player. So, in a way, as the book explains using the doors as examples, there may exist one or more routes out of the current island.

 Indirect Control Method 2: Goals-
The short term goals would be to escape islands, while the long term one would be to escape the city by reaching the rescue team. However, the short term goals would suggest the player to make a conscious decision. The shorter route out could save him more time, however could be more vulnerable when it comes to the monster catching up or a building falling down on her or him. So the goal would be set as escaping the current island. If a player is near one exit and she or he is in the clear, even though the map would indicate a shorter route/bridge out, the player would opt for the nearby exit. So, based on the current position and state of the player, one could predict with a probability as to which route she or he would take. However, different routes keeps the freedom aspect in the players' minds.

 Indirect Control Method 2: Interface-
The player would look through the perspective of an average citizen. So, they would wish to do what a human would want to in this situation, that is move to escape. The physical interface, which is the keyboard would allow the player to move around like a human being would in reality. This player is limited to do what an average human would do, however, in the virtual game world. The keyboard and mouse interface would allow the player to move around and collect/access resources. The player is thus limited to use these interfaces as a medium to function in the game world.

 Indirect Control Method 2: Visual Design-
The survival game is set in an apocalyptic city. The streets between avenues of buildings would be the fundamental pathways in the design. Every pathway would be similar in appearance, only to be distinguishable when looked at via the map. This distinguishing would be done due to the proximity of the player to the exit of the island/city. Hence, the map would lure the players to use streets to follow either a shorter route out or an easier route out.

 Indirect Control Method 2: Characters-
We wish to add NPCs in the game if time permits. As the text suggest, the player could have mixed emotions with respect to the NPCs. For the monster character, which is a diabolic figure, the player would feel fearful and would try to run away from it. Hence, this would add an obvious indirect control element. If we are able to add NPCs, the player could either help them or hurt them and steal their resources. Based on which route the player opts for, points and titles would be awarded. The harsh option may well aid the player to finish the game faster but lose nobility. However, in an apocalyptic world, few people would bother about nobility.

 Indirect Control Method 2: Music-
Music would be playing throughout the duration of the game. Music would add elements of fear, surprise, anguish and satisfaction. The type of music would thus have an indirect control on the player. The roar of the monster, the destruction of buildings and the eerie footsteps are examples of sound effects that would affect the player's psyche. We also plan to have a light and spooky soundtrack playing during the game. This would keep the player in a state of alertness throughout the game.

Assignment 13

Game Objective:
Get out of the city alive.

You awaken under a pile of rubble to the sound of sirens and screams. Through the cracks in the stone you see a single clawed foot, and within a few moments a glowing clod of goo kills a screaming man who was running down the street. Hiding under the rubble you check your phone to see what is going on, and you a see a message urging everyone to flee the city and warning them to be silent and unseen.  After many tense moments the shape is gone and you crawl out and start making your way to the city limits.

Protagonist - Stand in for the player themselves. Can destroy radios and lights, can sneak, run, and interact with other players.

The Monster - The thing that is hunting you and everyone else in the city. It's goal is to destroy every person in the city. Implied that it is either an experiment gone horribly wrong or a mutant resulting from pollution.

Little Girl - Optional tag along. Stays quiet but is difficult to make sure she is out of sight.

Dying Man - The man that asks you to kill him. You get a revolver from him.

Soldier - The man about to destroy the bridge to stop the monster  from getting through the rest of the city. You can either help him or kill him.

Desired Game Experience:
Ideally the player behaves true to their personal instincts. If they do the character encounters, the game should make them feel morally conflicted over NPC interaction. When they get their survivor type they should be introspective about the result and consider the choices they made without really thinking.

= Forward
= Left
= Backward
= Right
= Flashlight
= Map
Shift  = Fast motion along with W/A/S/D
Left Click  = Interact

Lone Survivor - You stop for no one and make your way deliberately through danger. You don't hurt people, but you definitely don't help.

The Follower - You seek community and structure. You look to preserve authority figures and find someone who you can assist.

The Bandit - The world has gone to hell and you love it. You are ruthless, everything is about you and your quality of life and beware anyone who gets in your way.

The Caregiver - You protect who you can and try to lead people through trouble. You will endanger yourself to save others.

The Runner - You never stay anywhere longer then absolutely necessary. It's hard to it a moving target, and you will  make risky decisions to get out of danger faster.

Casualty- You died.

The Lucky One - You managed to survive somehow, but you wonder how long your luck will last.

How to Achieve X Ending:
Lone Survivor - Don't help any NPCs, escape

The Follower - Help all NPCs, Help the Soldier blow up the bridge, escape

The Bandit - Kill 2/3 NPCs, escape

The Caregiver - Help Dying Man and Little Girl, sneak past Soldier, escape

The Runner - Get through the entire game in less than 5 minutes

Casualty- Die in the game

The Lucky One - Fill none of the other achievements or barely escape in time (9:45-10 minute mark)

Level Map: IN PROGRESS (Will be posted by Monday)

Encounter Locations* (Marked in red on the map)
*Encounters are optional and encountering them depends on which path the player takes.
Winning Strategies (Marked by the yellow paths)

Buildings/Street View:



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Assignment 12

STORY (Gabby)
Pick a Name (Oct 31)
Write dialogue, menu news blurbs, and other in game written material
Create survey for play testers
Create and design final dungeon map
Work movement and actions of the main character (stealth, run, walk, pick up, smash, use gun, talk)
Work movement and actions of the monster (navigation, sound and light sensors/threshold, sight)
Make and implement all game over conditions (monster hits, large rubble hits, fall in water, time limit)
Work use cell phone animation and menu (make sure to add battery and light sensors)
Decide on final player controls/buttons
SOUND (Gaurav)
Implement 3D sound
Assign all sound effects to in game objects
Create general background track 
AESTHETICS  (Harish,Gabby)
Make sure sense of scale is correct
Add complex/interesting textures
PLAYTESTING  (Gabby, Gaurav)
Test the game ourselves to find glitches and game errors
Test the game with others to  assess fun/challenge
Finish first poster (Oct 31)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Assignment 11

1) Describe the user interface in your game

The physical user interface includes the keyboard and the mouse. The keyboard would be used to set the motion, i.e. forward or backwards or to strafe. The mouse would be used to set the direction of movement. The keyboard/mouse would be used to access resources such as the flashlight/map/gun. 
The visual interface would include relaying of the score/information to the user from the screen. Plus, there is the interface of sound effects as well.

2) What role will the interface play in your game

The role that the interface would be to let the player to navigate across the city to the other end where a rescue party would be waiting. The interface would also allow the implementation of resources picked up along the way. Moreover, the player would get information about the game from the visual interface, i.e. the screen. Along with visual cues, the player would be relayed information such as the presence of a monster via sound effects.

3) Intuitive interfaces give a feeling of control. How easy (or hard) is your interface to master?

The interface is pretty easy to master. It is the regular interface in any RPG game. To further explain, it is either exact or analogous to the keyboard "a,s,w,d" and mouse click implementations used in many games around.

4) Will your players have a strong influence over the outcome of the game? Please describe? If not, how can you change this?

The players would have the majority of the game control with them. Hence, it is almost entirely up to them to win or not. The reason being that the player needs to navigate her or his way across the city while using resources to either guide or to defend himself, and all of these features is under her or his control. Even finding the resources depends on the player. Therefore, there exists a strong influence of the player over the outcome of the game.

5) Players like to feel powerful. Do the players of your game feel powerful? How could this be improved?

As mentioned before, the player is set into a world where she or he could take charge and survive or lose cool and be destroyed. The aim of the game is not to make the player feel powerful, however, to make her or him bring out the power from within. For in the game world, if a player could be brave, her or his real world instinct could be developed by affecting her or his subconscious. In this way, we as team wish to set this game up as an entertaining and educative one at best.

6) What does the player pick up and touch?

The player has access to the keyboard and mouse. Both are mandatory for use in navigation. There is no further use of physical interface involved.

7) Does the interface map to actions in the world? How?

Yes, the interface maps to actions in the game world. The entire navigation of the player through the city is handled by the physical interface. Moreover, the usage of the resources is dealt by the interface.

8) How does your interface let the player see, hear and touch the world of the game? Could this be improved in order to make the game world more real to the player's imagination?

The navigation mechanism would simulate the player's movements in the game world. The screen would simulate her or his eyes. The sound effects would simulate her or his sense of hearing. The game world could be made more real by adding camera vibrate effects. We could also add the old TV static effect to signal danger. If we had control to more advanced technology, we could have used a controller that would vibrate if a building should fall down or when the monster stomps nearby. 

9) The idea interface is invisible to the player. Does your interface cater to the players desires? What are these desires?

The sense of free will for the player is present with respect to moving around and using resources such as a flashlight and/or a map. However, this movement is restricted to the 2-D plane of the game world. To further explain, the player cannot climb up buildings. Thus, the necessity of the player is to move away from danger. Thus, it is possible due to the availability of the navigation feature via the keyboard. Further, the need to see is also aided by the use of a flashlight via the interface. So, yes the interface caters to the player's desires.

10) Can your interface be used without the players thinking? Is it natural?

Yes, as interface just corresponds to a general sense of direction for movement, this part of handling the interface can be intuitive once familiarized. It should not take more than a few seconds even for the uninitiated. The usage of the flashlight/map/gun is also handled by the interface. As there are few resources (which is the main point as we wanted to simulate a survival warranting situation), they also are adaptable pretty quickly. And yes, then, the implementation of the interface would appear to be natural.

11) Assuming you can do what you want, how would you make your interface more natural?

If this were possible, I would make the player where a virtual reality helmet or something similar. Furthermore, I would set a temperature control in the game room as well. Plus, the controller that the player would have in her or his hands would be state of the art with the likes of features such as vibration effects etc.

12) What kind of feedback does your interface present to the player? What do the players want to know? How does the interface relate to the player's goal? Will it help achieve that goal?

The feedback that the player receives from the their actions are the proximity of the monster and/or the effects of the monster or themselves that could cause buildings to collapse. This would be necessary for the player to trigger a change in their selected course. The player would want to know where the monster is at every moment and if the path that she or he is currently following is blocked or not. The interface displays the time remaining. Further, it lets the player see where they are going. This is how the interface relates to the player's goals. And so, yes, the interface would aid achieving the goal in a major way.

13) Is the interface feedback continuous? Why or why not?

The interface could be continuous or not. To explain, the time remaining meter could pop up every time fragment or so, or could be ticking down continuously. However, the flashlight could be seen to be fading away as the battery dies down. So, this would exemplify a continuous feedback. Hence, both flavors would co-exist in the game arena.

14) Please describe the concept of interface modes? Does your game have multiple modes? Please explain (Lens #60).

Interface modes indicate the presence of some interface action (a key press or mouse click) that would result in change of the functionality of the interface features. For example, using the arrow keys could normally be used to control the players movements. However, after pressing the space bar, it could be used to toggle the handling of a gun crosshair on the screen. Hence, it simulates an interface mode change.
No, our game does not have multiple modes.
Our game would be using the mouse for controlling the direction. If and when a flashlight/gun is equipped, it would still be controlled on the screen via the mouse. Clicking a certain keyboard/mouse button would turn the light on. Clicking another button could be used to fire the gun (if the gun feature is added to the final version of the game). There is no requirement of interface nodes because we think it would be simpler to assign different buttons to turn the flashlight on, fire the gun or use the map/cellphone.