Be prepared to read a massive wall of text because this is going to be the full summary of week 3 classes!
GDS230 w/GPG230 class [8.30am Class]
Today we were supposed to be giving pitches for our projects but since most of the class was missing, Adrian and Greg decided to have us work on figuring out what would be the most technologically challenging aspect of our projects, and how we can solve it.
For our bartender game, Brady and I had concluded the following would be our technological challenges/questions:
- having the different controllers work with a Bluetooth sensor and having a computer pick up 6-7 different bluetooths
- confirming which sensor specifically to register the tilt and shake we need
- communication between the sensors and Unity? (same for the RGB light)
- how to control the RGB led light to show different colors
While researching to find the answers, I had found a small tutorial to set up an RGB led light using the Arduino. I honestly was not expecting Adrian to tell me I could go ahead and try following the tutorial to see if it worked. Adrian had most of the required components except for the resistors, which we borrowed from Greg. Setting the RGB led was actually a lot simpler than I had expected, I think just bending the resistors (I was terrified of breaking them) and getting them into the breadboard was the hardest part assembling it.
While typing the code out for the Arduino, Adrian had questioned me about it to ensure I understood the code. I did struggle over the explanation of the Pinmode function. In my defense, it was a morning class and my brain was stuck on colors. While I was working on the RGB led, Brady was searching answers regarding the tilt sensor to confirm which type of tilt sensor we needed. He did find a tutorial of his own and was soon set to work on making it. His first attempt did not go too well, from what I heard, it wasn’t picking up the vibrations when they shook it. He did find another tutorial, that he and Adrian modified to have it working off a Digispark board, as that would save us a lot of money instead of needing to buy several Arduino boards. We eventually got around to testing mine to see if it worked, and I can proudly say it worked the first try. Although note to self, don’t have it set on maximum brightness…my eyes hurt from how bright it was. Afterwards, we were told to create a diagram for it using Fritzing which is a dedicated program to visualize electronics.
Class ended shortly after, so the goal is to flesh our pitch presentation out more and I apparently need to write a game feature spec document?
CIU212 [12pm class]
Week 3’s CIU212 class was pretty rough for me, to be honest. We had a great start to our meeting with Laz but it quickly went downhill when we revealed we did not have the required Gantt chart. We had everything else but the chart. I can see his point regarding the importance of needing one. The project group got labeled as a high risk by Laz and Adrian especially upon the revelation that Kellem, a programmer who had agreed to be our outsource dropped out to be fully embedded in his CIU212 project group, leaving us without a programmer. Most of us were unaware, or at least I definitely was unaware of this fact till Cameron revealed it during the meeting with Laz.
Long story short, we basically got lectured by Laz. While I can’t speak for the others, I definitely began feeling the stress/anxiety and it didn’t help I began having a bad headache halfway through the lecture. I personally felt our first project idea regarding a visual story about depression was a better choice. Our current project idea had too much risk of becoming over-scoped. During that meeting, it was clear we had bitten more than we could chew essentially. Cameron clearly felt the pressure as it was visible in his face and body language. Adrian approached us shortly after, he told me and Jarrod to read some articles before talking to us about the project. He gave us the idea of down-scoping it to be a single-player puzzle game while keeping many of the project’s core concept. The group agreed to go in that direction since it gave us some hope that we had a project that was doable, although now we need to alter our presentation and pitch before the Week 4 milestone presentation pitch to reflect this change.
Nor did it did help that while discussing how this new direction would work, Cameron and Sam (our group’s audio director) began having a long debate till the end of class. Jarrod and I gave up trying to give our input although we did get some ideas in regarding the combat system.
Adrian did grill us about having animators to do the models for the game, despite we had three game designers who had experience making 3D models. He wants to see three tree and rock models during the week 4 presentation milestone pitch to prove we can do it. So since Tuesday, I ‘ve been working on those models using Blender. As of Friday (6/10/17), I have made the required 3 models of trees and rocks. Since I have work beginning to pile up that I need to get done as soon as possible, I may be strapped for time to create extra 3D models.
If I can, however, I would like to create a model of a rock wall formation and possibly a crystal formation/cluster. I figured the rock walls would be good terrain feature as a natural defensive wall, and when you think of sci-fi or alien, crystal formations can be a part of it. Although that is mainly due to the fact I am thinking of Starcraft 2. Overall, it took me a few hours to create all the models. The reason why I didn’t finish them all till Friday was because I was working on other things and procrastination. So I definitely need to revamp my priorities since I am struggling to keep my mind focused on work.
GDS230 [3pm class]
On Thursday, we were working on narrowing down ideas we had come up with for orientation by categorizing them into three sections (using a Venn diagram): Campus Layout, Welcome and Paperwork. Once we catergorized our existing ideas, it was clear that the majority of them did not cover the paperwork requirement.
The next task was to come up with games that could incorporate paperwork and fill in the sectors that did not have many sticky notes. Afterwards, we began looking into Escape Room games and found the four most popular themes in the Escape room games were: supernatural, heist, solve a murder mystery and finding a missing person. We began color coding which ideas on the Venn diagram could be used for those four themes, although there were game ideas that did not fit any theme category.
After a break to grab a bite to eat, since half of the already diminished class had left, it left me, Jarrod and Adrian. Adrian decided to focus on the heist theme leading to a discussion on ciphers and codes (different types and difference between the two), and how we could bring that into an heist-themed escape room game. We did watch movie clips of some heist movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Heat. The clips were focused specifically on how they meticulously planned the heists and what the thieves in the films stole specifically. In the movies, they went for goods that were untraceable such as uncut diamonds and bearer bonds. Untraceable goods = cannot be arrested if it cannot leave a trail.
The idea of a campus-wide ‘escape room’ styled game definitely intrigues me. I do like the fictional element since that will bring some excitement and context for the students as they play it. I think having them solve a mystery (whether it’s a murder or locating a missing person) or performing a heist works best. Not too sure yet on how to add a supernatural element, unless they’re ghost hunters? In my mind, I just suddenly pictured having the new students plan a super elaborate heist to steal a staff member’s lunch or secret snack stash. Definitely going to try to watch those movies to see how the thieves in the films planned the jobs and execute it.