Projection and PS4 Controllers

Today we tested the projectors in the S curve area of whitespace. Instead of using the 3 way camera, I used a wide field of view on one camera. This worked really nicely and is a good alternative to the thee way split as it is totally seamless.

After getting this working we had a go with a PS4 controller to try and get the surround, wireless, immerseive experience. There was a serious issue with it connecting and disconnecting at first – an issue we thought was due to battery, but after some searching turned out to be due to another app on the computer interfering. With this turned off, it worked fine!

Video

Bug Fixing

The issues I identified yesterday were: left developer shortcuts in, problems with terrain materials and the game breaking gate bug where the weather would change twice. I also had majour issues with building.
The first two issues were easy to solve – just took out some key events and remade the material.

The building problem was caused by a non standard character in a map file that I had accidentaly changed in explorer. Deleting this fixed it.

The game breaker was my real issue. I tried to fix it but got nowhere, so I had a programmer friend help me with it. He reccomended using a timer and a boolean to make sure that the trigger is disabled for two seconds after it is enabled. We made a function that sets the boolean and then called it in the timer, switching it to off after the tigger is collided with and then disabling its use for two seconds.

Testing

I had my first test yesterday – it was a total shambles! Thankfully, it was a friend I was using as a participant, so they understood the issues. My build broke, there were a number of game breaking bugs and it generally the experience was just not what it should have been.

Fortunately, they still liked the game, and this gave me some good ideas about how to do a successful test tomorrow.

Level Block Out

Now that the mechanics are sorted and working and I’ve established my art style, its time to start actually making the game! This is super exiting!

To create the level, the first thing I needed was the terrain. I was a bit worried about approaching this as I wasn’t sure weather it was better to use engine tools or maya for this, how scale would work and how material blending works. I decided to use the tools that UE4 offers as it will allow me to test in game on the fly and get something that feels good. I can always take it out to maya later to made edits.

I used the level design I had made previously to sculpt areas for a river, a fire, a forest and a garden. I then experimented with methods for the appearance of a bigger world. My first idea was to extend the river out to a lake – you can’t go in the lake, but it gives the idea that there’s more to the world that what you are seeing. I then added some mountains on the other side. I know that putting the level is a valley is a bit of a cop out, but it makes for an easier justification of blocking volumes. I guess the other option would be to use an island. The world is very small though – would an island make sence? I know that there’s certainly an argument for an island being a liminal space and therefore a nice metaphor for the mind. Maybe I’ll give this a try.

level4 level3 level2 level1

I took a quick snapshot of the block out so that I can think about how I’ll set this up properly. This was a very quick block out to test the idea and these weird big cones have to go!!! I’d like to use a custom skybox for the hills and low LODs/planes for the detail in the area that the player can’t walk in.

Plan

Methodology Section

I started working on the methodology section of my dissertation today. From looking at the examples provided on blackboard I presume that the methodology should be a story of your project that says where it began and went to and describes each method used for obtaining data.

I’ve come up with each section and have written a quick introduction for each of them so I know what they’ll contain. I want to check this with Lynn before I continue to make sure I’m on the right track.

4.0 Methodology

As the research project is structured around the idea that games can create meditative feelings, it was hypothesized that this was possible though player presence. However, the idea of player presence did not emerge until the second half of the project. Initially, no presumptions were made on how to create meditative games, so grounded theory was used to find questions within initial contextual based research. These ideas were built upon during practice led research.

4.1 Research and Media Examination

The research project began with informal analysis of existing media that use interactivity to create positive emotions and games that use effects art to communicate meaning to their players. Literature on the formal elements of art was used to support findings drawn from the investigation.

Proteus case study – see appendix 1. 

4.2 Interactive Experiments with Shape, Colour and Abstraction

As a practice-based project, two prototypes were developed alongside the contextual research. These drew on ideas and motifs found within the investigation and allowed for early experimentation and testing of ideas.

4.3 Presence – The Final Artefact

As new ideas emerged from literature studies, the abstraction found in the initial prototypes was abandoned in favour of a weather based system of progression that defined player presence as a vehicle for meditation. This brought the project focus back towards effects art and emotion.

4.4 User Testing and Evaluation

Better actually do that….

Bug Fixing

I spend this morning doing some quick fixes to the game – don’t want my testers experience to be ruined by bugs! I had an issue where points of interest would be trigger multiple times and the gate changing the weather twice. Both of these were solved by disabling collision on the triggers after overlap and then re enabling them when the player left that part of the level.