Final Presentation GDS 220

Censored

  • Poster Assets
  • All the scripting
  • Implementing sprite sheet animations
Small example of the things I implemented
Small example of the things I implemented
Censored Screen 2
Some more work view screenshots

Winter

  • Worked with an Audio student
  • Worked with Artist
  • Learned preliminary coding with a game manager and nav meshing
  • Built the game from scratch and learned that no matter how much time you have, you never have enough for everything you want to make.
Winter was a flop in terms of its design and what I had managed to produce by the due date, but I had learned scripting methods that I used in Stealth Buddies to good effect.
Winter was a flop in terms of its design and what I had managed to produce by the due date, but I had learned scripting methods that I used in Stealth Buddies to good effect.
Simple Gif of getting nav mesh working and I'm proud of the simple new thing I learned.
Simple Gif of getting nav mesh working and I’m proud of the simple new thing I learned.
Another short Gif of what I did in Winter
Another short Gif of what I did in Winter

Stealth Buddies

  • Co-designed the camera, laser and spotlight detection
  • Created the game manager
  • Designed the Level layouts
  • I’ve done a lot of research for the brief to learn more about influencing Trust.
  • Organized Audio and artwork for the project, and their implementation

I’ve learned a fair few things, some simple stuff I missed in Studio one such as proper asset implementation like sprite sheets to animation, and linking them to a controller properly. Learning how to see games beyond the mechanics aspect, and further into the design side with wanting to have the player feel something, or experience something, rather than just playing a game for ‘fun’.

I hope to work closer with an animator and produce something that looks good, work on my ‘people skills’. I also plan on focusing on project management, because its something I could always work on, considering 2 of my 3 projects had failed due to improper time management and issues.

Using a common practice in movies, in video games.

Throughout Studio 2 I worked on 3 main projects, and one side project for my CIU211 class.

Winter, my second project was inspired by the philosophy I’ve found in movies and books, that, if you want to make something sad, or depressing, You have to kill a dog somewhere. Dogs make people happy when alive, and depressed when dead. My design process started with looking at ‘Marley and Me’, a movie about a dog and his owner’s life with him. I wanted to have a sense of trust and grief in my game, and I set out to implement a way to have a companion such as the dog in “I am Legend”.

Being in a situation where the only companion is a dog, was my way of implementing a trust relationship, I was hoping to implement mechanics to interact with the dog, and to build a bond between the player and the companion. Beginning with naming the little guy, which is where the player would grow attached to the animal. Much like after reluctantly getting a puppy in Marley and Me, once he named the dog, an attachment was formed and their relationship grew from there.

On the other end of the spectrum, the end of the dogs life, I looked towards I am Legend. The canine in I am Legend was doing her job, protecting her owner and being an all round good girl. But she is tragically beaten and injured at one point… Causing the main character to think seriously about how he’ll handle the situation of his only companion. Does he inject the dog with a serum that can hopefully cure the dog of its wounds, or does he leave it to die?

I designed a mechanic that allowed the player to chose, whether to send the dog out on cold winter days and at the risk of the dog not returning. My design behind the game I believe was sound and was heavily inspired by practices in movies, and in books before, I tried to design a game about a helpful companion that the player would start to love but eventfully pass away. My attempt at it was less than successful, but I hope to return soon with a higher skill set to reattempt my original design goal.

Video Games aren’t just for entertainment?

I was reading this article whilst waiting for Audio files to download because I was curious about the use of Video Games outside of the entertainment industry.

Whilst video games will still be looked at as the industry producing more sequels to a AAA action franchise than Hollywood could ever hope to achieve, I found it surprising that in some cases video games, or rather 3D engines have been in use for purposes other than no scoping a 12 year old on xbox live. One example would be America’s Army, a game designed to give people in America the opportunity to look into the armed forces from home. I believe it’s a pretty interesting recruitment tool and quite honestly baffled that its been around since 2002 and I’ve only heard of it in recent years.

I looked into it a tad more, and interestingly enough, there are companies that develop games that help with mental disorders and therapy for select cases are taking video games on board to help with treatment of patients with autism and anxiety disorders.

I reckon its a worthwhile endeavor to develop games that can help with learning and treat issues in therapy. I’d be interested in what game design is actually behind the backdrop of these simulators and where the market for these types of games could lead. After looking at trust for many many many weeks and trying to implement it into Stealth Buddies, I’m having concerns with the level of depth a visual engine would need to have in order to facilitate some proper response. With anxiety disorders, building a scenario within a game world and asking a patient to play through it and monitor their reactions, how do you get them to be enthralled into it? I personally fall into the deep end when playing games and get enthralled in every detail, but how do you do this with therapy device, so quickly, to monitor the right responses? For educational games its different like the Leap Frog reading tablet that has existed for many years, helping kids to read whilst making it a fun experience for them, where some people have said that they enjoyed their therapy sessions when the use of video games are involved, how the hell do you make a game for therapy. I’ll need to think more about this.

How do I force a burn moment in this game?

This weekend was spent by majority trying to discover what could be considered a ‘burning’ moment between players. Much like Dyadic theres forced co-operation between the players, but in Stealth Buddies, there is a shared punishment. So you can’t push on forth without your buddy, because their failure is yours too.

So I’ve spent this weekend thinking of ways that will stay true to the mechanics we have in place, but also allow one player to have a hand over the other. My team was thinking of adding as the final level a simple choice. Which player gets to collect the Holy Grail, and do they return to have their buddy join in on the glory, or do they run off with the magic cup that will grant them fortune and immortality?

I believe the above option is a tad cheap but it may fulfill what I’m trying to do, but I believe it clashes with the original flow and feeling of the game. I need to work this out before Thursday so there is something new to play test.

Working with other disciplines

Working with other disciplines is interesting. Talking to other game designers, we have an understanding what each other is talking about, but I was chatting with an artist on Deviant art, and an animation student in France on Skype, and it felt like a culture shock that the way they speak is entirely different to the way we speak. Designers are like, “Oh so its linked this way, this happens, OH and then it creates this, oh thats cool”, translate to a artist, and they’re like, “Heh?”

I arranged to pay an artist to do art for my CIU project, and talking about what we want in the project, and how to translate it into art was difficult. I would talk about mechanics and explain the progress of the project in its finished state, whereas the artist, Lindsey Adwell was interested in knowing more details about scenery, less about details of the game, but the actual art. It was an interesting experience, because she would ask a multitude of questions that I hadn’t even thought of, such as what lighting is in the scene, where is the text going so she can put a text box in for me, and things such as, Vector or painting images? What aspect ratio should she be working with. So I got some insight as to how the hell an artists brain works.

Wasting time leading to Discovery!

This is a blog post about my time with The Last of Us, on the hardest difficulty, and a short rage fuse.

Grounded makes the game hard as hell and me violently angry, its the highest difficulty setting for the Last of Us. It strips away a key mechanic of being able to listen through walls to see where the enemies are, it makes the enemies detection phenomenally acute, and removes the HUD. What does that leave you with? What you can physically hear and see. A big part of that, are the call-outs your partner, whom is Ellie for the majority of the game, uses to distract and notify you of enemies.

I was playing as Ellie, towards the end of the game, I was being hunted down by infected, and had died numerous amounts of times in one specific segment. I had no ammo and no patience. But I had an NPC tagging along, David, this ‘acts’ antagonist. My previous playthroughs of the game gives me this knowledge, so I by majority ignore him. But on the Grounded difficulty, I actually began to trust, and appreciate this guy, his personality, his humor and even his lack of effectiveness in combat were all key parts to me that made me like the guy. It all boiled down to a segment where the ‘Bloater’ infected type was about to tear my jaw off and deglove my face pretty much, and I had no ammo, and needed to run. I turned a corner, faced with a regular infected type, I at that point nearly threw my controller out the window because it was about the 70th time I’ve done this particular level today, but just before I had collided with the flailing enemy, David, the love able doof that he is, shot the infected, stunning it, allowing me to do a lethal take down on the infected. But skip ahead 2 minutes of running around and I died anyway, and had to restart the level.

Take 71

I started to utilize David a little more, discovering, he was actually useful in the process. To make a long story short, I trusted this guy to be my ‘Joel’ when I was without. After all that hubbub about him being stupid and such, I actually liked the character, he was a cool guy. Until later on he sends hordes of men to capture me and murder Joel, which leads to Ellie almost being carved up into a side dish.

But my point is, with The Last of Us, the mechanics in the game of how the NPCs react to the environment with you, the dialogue they share with you, and the help they give to you in combat, builds a bond, some form of ‘Trust’, a word which I’m sick of using and trying to decipher every day.

So as a far cry, I want to make The Last of Us in the future, and master the aspect of Trust.

I’ll rename it to “A little less of Us” to avoid copyright.