Starting the Prototype

I am working on a small prototype that shows off the effects I have already made, and will hopefully allow me to judge how these effects are making people feel. Lynn suggested that I put each effect into a room and see what reaction each one gets.

1

I started off by creating a trail into the rooms, as I wanted an opening moment similar to Proteus, in that you are introduced to the concept of exploring and get a bit of a wow moment.

2

My first decision atmosphere wise was to remove the hands and the crosshair. The crosshair reminds the player that they are in a game, breaking immersion slightly. I really want the player to feel like themselves in the game, rather than a character, thus the hands went.

4

I then added footstep sounds, as I feel that hearing footsteps grounds you in space as a player. With my choice of darkness, this really helps get a feel for where you are. I used the velocity of the player with a break to make sure that the sound played only when you are walking.

5

The darkness was chosen to utilize the meditation and mandala ideas that I’ve been researching, where the tunnel like space that I have made leads the player into the heart of the mandala, which I used as a door/portal. This central focus draws the player into the experience, much like is used in Diablo’s lighting and mandala designs.

5

The shader for the mandala uses an orange to reflect the colour of the candle lights, and a purple, as this colour is generally viewed as magical or mystical. I added the circular shapes and black center motifs that are characteristic of these images.

6

I achived the warping effect by taking two clouds textures with different panning and uvs and adding them together. I then multiplied this with a colour. I made a second version of it but panned it vertically, to create the look that the two forces and interacting and clashing. I then lerped them together, and multiplied this with an rotating alpha texture to create the motif. Lastly, I used the alpha channel from the texture I used to create dust a while back to fade out the edges for a less harsh look.

7

With the entryway set up, I created a block out for the branching rooms and started to work on functionality for this room. I decided that there should be some kind of event on entering, as I think the mandala sets up expectation for something to happen.

9

I set it up so that when the player enters a trigger box at the start of the room, the light comes on and a sign is displayed. I put a slight delay on to make sure the player sees everything switch on.

8

I made a sign that illuminates the words choose your path. I thought that implying that there’s a choice to the game adds a some interaction and gives the player a sence of agency, whist the use of the word your reinforces the idea that the character is the player themselves, and gets them ready to be introspective.

There’s already a few things that I can test with this really small prototype – I can look into how the colour choices and wording effect people’s emotional states and whether sound is a large part of the atmosphere. ( I think it is, which is a bit worrying as I want the visuals to speak more than the sound – sound is important but I am a visual artist in the end) My next steps with the prototype are to create a proper model and material for the sign, create doors/portals/curtains for the rooms, and start to populate these rooms.

 

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