Friday, November 14, 2014

Homework 15

I have uploaded my homework content in the game document file on Google Drive for Team 3.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homework 14

Indirect control is very helpful and a a very clever way to give freedom to the player and at the same time control the player very subtly.

There are a few types of indirect control which will be implemented in our game  and they are discussed as follows:

1. Constraints
The idea of this kind of indirect control is to give the player limited number of choices and at the same time limit the number of possible choices they have. This ways they feel they have freedom but we have restricted them to only few options. In our game we will have a select types of vehicles which the player can drive and all the 3 vehicles are of different types and have different properties. By providing them limited but at the same time giving them options to choose one of them, we will implement first kind of indirect control.

The objective of our game is to find his lost father. We will indirectly control the player to go to the specific areas of the island by putting up hints left by Alexander's father. This ways we provide freedom to the player as well as take control over his decisions to follow a certain path.

3.  Interface
There is not much interface related thing in our game through which we can indirectly control the player.

4.  Visual Design
 The color of the doors will draw attention of the player towards itself. We will also use colored paths so that the player follows a certain path and avoid getting lost on the island. Sometimes the hints left by the character's father like jacket,locket or a photograph will make the player chose his path carefully. 

5. Characters
The player can befriend a dog or fight against them and accordingly they will choose their actions when an animal is around them. If the player befriends the animal, we can make the animal go in a certain direction so that the player is drawn towards the animal and hence we will have an indirect control over him. 

6. Music
 Music will play a key important role in controlling the player. Through various sounds we can intensify the game or make it slow paced. If we want the player to find his father faster then we will increase the tempo of the background music thus giving him a sense of a timer within which he needs to find his father or else his father might die.

Last Week - 
I have been working on building an island and have added a few more objects to it. Also, I was working on the game poster for the past few days. I have downloaded few soundtracks for the game.

Homework 13

Ashleigh, Heather and I met today at Dirac Library at 3:30pm to discuss about the game, poster and to put contents in the game document.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Homework 12

We met in the Dirac Library at 7:00pm on Thursday to discuss what part of the game is remaining and assigned the tasks which will be completed by the team member along with the dates mentioned. It has been approved by all of the team members. The tasks has been documented in the "Game Notebook" file in the shared Team 3 folder on Google Drive.  

Homework 11

1) Describe the user interface in your game. 
 The user interface in the game would be slick and would help the players to navigate and access various parts of the game (sound, controls, new game, resume, quit and view history of "Hashima Island"). There will be a health bar and along with it. There might be a countdown timer for dawn. Moreover, there will be list of collected items (hints) in the menu. The player and the boat would be controlled using "W/S/A/D" keys and few other dedicated keys would be there to perform actions.

2) What role will the interface play in your game.
The interface will primarily be there to assist the player and help him advance throughout the game. There will be Menu, Health Bar, Countdown for dawn. The Menu bar will have New Game, Sound, Controls, History of Hashima Island, Quit Game and Hints section which will display the hints collected by the player.

3) Intuitive interfaces give a feeling of control. How easy (or hard) is your interface to master?
Since the interface would be simplistic and minimalistic, the player can figure out within minutes of playing the game how to use it. For controlling the player and the actions that he can perform would be very basic so there won't be any complicated set of button combinations to perform them.

4) Will your players have a strong influence over the outcome of the game? Please describe? If not, how can you change this?
Yes, since the player needs to find his lost father on an island, he is solely responsible for the outcome of the game. There will be a time limit within which he needs to find his father before his father dies. Moreover, after finding his father, he needs to escape the island along with his father.

5) Players like to feel powerful. Do the players of your game feel powerful? How could this be improved?
Yes with the help of weapons the player would be able to fight against his enemies and give an advantage over the others and make him feel more powerful. By using the vehicles, he can damage the doors of select buildings so that he can break into without struggling for long.

6) What does the player pick up and touch?
 Player can pick up weapons, health packs, eatables, mining hats and the hints dropped by his father like jacket, locket, watch, family photo, shoes, etc. The player can touch these items along with the boat, vehicles, animals, break into doors/windows with his hands.

7) Does the interface map to actions in the world? How?
Yes, when the player gets attacked by the animals or if he jumps of from a height, it will reflect in the health bar. Also, when the player collects the health packs or eatables, it will be shown on the screen how much has he collected and the interface will also show how many points the player has gathered. When the player collect the hints dropped by his father it will show in the inventory.

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 player would be able to see the island, hear the sounds of the animals, ocean, footsteps, boat and car sounds, chirping sound of the birds, opening of the doors and windows etc and would be able to collect health packs, eatables, collect hints and points, etc. We have been working on this part very closely so as to make the game feel more realistic in the terms of hearing, touching and the visuals which the player would see around him.

9) The idea interface is invisible to the player. Does your interface cater to the players desires? What are these desires?
The most important thing from a perspective of a player is the moment he/ she picks up the game controller, they experiment with the controls so that they can take control of the character and make him do what they feel like doing. Another most important thing is that the input should reflect immediately when the player presses a key or a mouse button. These are a few things that we are working upon so that the whole experience is fluid and interactive. 

10) Can your interface be used without the players thinking? Is it natural? 
Yes, since the interface is simplistic and easy to use, it would feel natural since it would be similar to the popular third person action adventure game. Even if there are players who haven't played any games before, we are keeping the controls minimalistic so that they can get a hang of it after playing it for a while. Most of the times the essential keys or buttons would be provided as hint on the screen so that the player doesn't need to figure out what to press which would be less obtrusive and keep the player within the game.
11) Assuming you can do what you want, how would you make your interface more natural?
Since the game that we are developing  reflects the real world therefore the actions performed by the player would come naturally to the player once he gets acquainted to the controls of the game. We would basically use the same style of control system as it is in the majority of the third person games action adventure game, it won't take up much of a time for the player to get accustomed to the controls.

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? 
Collection of the items dropped by his father would give hints which will bring the player one step closer to find his lost father as it will be displayed in the inventory. The player tries to figure out where his father is located so the interface presents him with the list of the items dropped by his father so that he gets a hint in which direction his father has gone. There will be subtle hints during the game play which will make the player more aware of his father's whereabouts. Yes, with the help of the hints, he will be able to accomplish the major part of the game.

13) Is the interface feedback continuous? Why or why not?
Speaking about the controls, the interface is continuous whereas if we talk about the collection of the hints and the health bar, it depends on the player how he takes the route to find his lost father and it will reflect in the interface accordingly.

14) Please describe the concept of interface modes? Does your game have multiple modes? Please explain (Lens #60).
Interface modes helps the player to determine what different sets of abilities he can / restrict the player to perform. There are three modes in the game. One is "Combat mode" where the player will have fighting capabilities and able to dodge the opponents, the other one is the "Driving mode" which will restrict him from doing anything except steering the vehicle and the third one is "Explore mode" which will give the player the opportunity to break into doors, enter inside the buildings, running, walking, jumping etc.

Last week - 
Discussed about the things left for the completion of the game. I have added more objects in the island which includes the dock. I have also worked upon the AI of animals and gathered ideas for the concept of the poster.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Homework 10

I have created an in-game menu for this homework. When you hover cursor on the options, size of the options will increase which makes it easier for the player to distinguish which option is currently selected.

Screentshots - 

Pressing "M" button in-game will pop up the menu screen

Hovering over the options will increase its size.

Clicking on "Resume" will resume the gameplay.

Video - 

Here is a short video description of the in-game menu.

Link of the video -
Link of the blender file -

I have been working on the island last week and have made the outline of the island as well as constructed the buildings.

Homework 9

There are various aspects of the game which defines its properties and the experience which the player gets. There are 12 types of balances which any game developer must keep in mind before or during the development of the game. All types of balances have been mentioned below related to our game.

1. Fairness
Talking about the fairness of the game, our game is asymmetrical since the main character named "Alexander" and his father will have a different set of skills and properties as compared to the obstacles in the game. For instance the animals attacking the character would be able to run faster than him but they won't be able to climb up the walls or different objects. Moreover, animals won't be able to break the doors or windows whereas Alexander and his father would be able to do so. Animals cannot use weapons whereas the character and his father would be able to. Animals can survive out in the cold whereas the health of the characters will deteriorate.

2. Challenge  vs.  Success
The difficulty levels in the game would overall be same throughout the game play, however, the only difficult part is to find his father and escape from the island by finding a proper way out. The challenges faced by the player is to find the clues left behind by his father in order to find him on "Hashima Island". Moreover, when the health of the player is low, he won't be able to break into the grocery or pharmacy store.There will be hidden weapons and collectables which will increase the chances of his survival. Feeling of success will come from the fact when he find his lost father on the island. Moreover, escaping from the island will give a sense of achievement and that will be the ultimate success that the player will experience .

3.Meaningful  Choices
There will be different routes to follow which entirely depends on the player to choose from. However, the routes or paths chosen by the player to find his father will have an effect on the time duration of the game play. For example, if the player tries to explore an area where his father is not located will increase the time taken to retrieve him and the player have to survive for a longer duration of time. There will be options to befriend a dog or fight against him which will have an impact on the game play since by befriending a dog will give the player more advantage when fighting against the other animals. Also we are still considering to implement this into our game where the player will be presented with an option to survive out at night without being able to enter the buildings or he could choose to stay in the building for the entire night. Choosing to stay in the building will give an upper hand since he won't have to fight against the animals outside but will increase the time duration of the gameplay and he or might not be able to save his father since he is also out there alone surviving.Whereas if we choose to stay outside he can continue for his quest to find his father but have to survive out in the darkness and fight against the enemies. This also forms a triangularity.

4.  Skill  vs.  Chance
There are chances where the player needs to decide what route to take, whether to stay in the building or roam out in the night but at the end its the skills of the player hat will lead him to find his lost father on an island and also to go back again and find his boat to escape the island. He needs to be skillful enough to break into the stores to find supplies and fight against the island. Moreover, for driving the vehicles and the boat, player needs skills to avoid the obstacles and take the boat/vehicle to the objective. Our game is more dependent upon skills rather than chance, however, since its an open world for the player, he can roam around and decide what he needs to do.

5. Head  vs.  Hands
Our game have some balance between head and hands since both are the required in order to finish the game. In order to steer the boat/vehicle, fight off the enemies, break into the doors/windows, lighting up fire, etc requires set of hand skills whereas to collect the hints dropped off by the father of Alexander would require player to think about the possibility where his father might be located on the island. Moreover, when the player is presented with a choice of staying in the building or stay out the entire night requires to do some mental calculations depending on his present condition. Also, to befriend or fight against the select animals also depends how the player needs to take the game forward.

6. Competition  vs.  Cooperation
If we befriend select animals, they will cooperate us in attacking the other animals which would make the game play more interesting. Since it requires a player to act alone and find his father, although cooperation is there to a certain extent however, its not that much involved.As far as the length of a game play is concerned, it is upto the player as he is the one who is responsible to finish the game by finding his father and later escape from the island. As I have mentioned before the choices he makes impacts the length of the game play time. 

7. Short  vs.  Long , 8.  Reward
Since the player is out on a quest to find his lost father, his reward is getting back his father. Apart from this there will be collectable objects in the game which will increase his chances of survival (kind of a reward).

9.  Punishment 
For punishment, if he is not able to defend himself from the enemies and his health drops too much, he won't be able to break into doors/windows of the building since he won't have enough energy to perform such activities, he won't be able to run and his walking pace will reduce drastically which will make the game more difficult to play.

10. Freedom  vs.  Controlled  Experience, 11. Simple  vs.  Complex
This game provides more of a freedom since the player is allowed to roam freely on the island but the access to the buildings, houses is controlled. He will also have restrictions to go outside the island.Our game is a balance between simplicity and complexity.  The simple part of the game is its objective however, at the same time achieving the objective is the complex part, collection of the objects/hints requires some work but will not be put in the places which will be too complicated to reach.

12. Detail  vs.  Imagination
This game  is based on a real island know as "Hashima Island"  also known as "Ghost Island". I have created the same types of building which is on the actual island so that it gives a sense of reality to the player and will make the player feel as if he is trying to explore the island in real.  Imagination is based on the hints which the player comes across and tries to determine the location of his father.

Work done in past week -
I am working on the poster of the game. I have started with the initial sketches of the poster. I am also working on creating "Hashima Island" and have made a few buildings and the ground..