Here’s a recap of what happened during Week 4!
GDS230 w/GPG230 class [8.30am Class]
Adrian was not able to come to class today as he was extremely ill. Greg had us present our project pitches at 9.30am and recorded it in order to send it to Adrian along with his notes. Our presentation went rather well in my opinion. We got a lot of good feedback and questions we hadn’t considered such as: how are we going to prevent players from mixing the bottles up and the fact colored glass bottles may affect how visible the colored light from the LED is. We did get some suggestions how to solve the first question, so we plan on asking Adrian on his thoughts during Thursday or next Tuesday’s class.
We did have a debate regarding our art direction since we were split in the middle on which art style to truly go for: do we go 2D or 3D. For 3D, we were going with a low poly look since it would allow us to speed up our development process and it would reduce loading times on a computer. Problem with low poly, however, is that you either hit or miss. The models look good or they do not, and getting good 3D low poly models is not necessarily easy. We definitely need to have a talk as a group and come to a decision on the art direction as our game screen will be revolving heavily around it.
After we gave our pitches, we got to work figuring the technical components. Brady bought an accelerometer and was planning to use the class time to figure how it worked. Since we decided to switch the RGB LED light diodes for a LED strip, my job is to research into how we can get a LED strip to light up different lights individually/as a group. Essentially learn how to code a LED strip and see if I can get it to suit the project’s needs. I am hoping I can figure an answer out or be close to finding one by Tuesday.
CIU212 [12pm Class]
Interestingly enough, both lecturers for the CIU212 class were unavailable. As I mentioned earlier, Adrian was ill which covers why he wasn’t there. Laz had an important report that he needed to work on. He did email us stating he wanted to see a one-page report of what we have done since last week and our goals for next week, along with an updated Gantt chart.
I was tasked with writing the report which I had the others look over to make sure I did not miss anything, as I wanted to try cover what everyone had done in the week prior. After that, I just confirmed what the others would be doing that they aim to get done by next week.
Most of that class session was spent with me working together with Cameron on the Gantt chart. Mainly just showing him the additions I made to the group’s Gantt chart and mentioning the little things I learned on how to use it. Together, we figured how to add the task completion bar to a task. After that, it was fixing the dates and tasks to make sure it covered everything we needed, along with Sam’s input for his side of things as I had not added any of his audio tasks.
Jarrod spent the majority of the class watching tutorials on the 3DS Max program since we are now missing an animator, but thankfully we now have a programmer who’s willing to assist us. So I believe he (Jarrod) is learning how to use the program in case one of us needs to take over the role as the animator. I did mention I had a book on 3DS Max if he was interested in borrowing it, but he preferred watching the YouTube tutorials and have a more hands-on approach. I prefer the same learning method as that is how I learned how to use Blender.
Sam and Cameron did have a lengthy discussion going over the different sounds the game will need and Cameron’s vision for it. The discussion did lead to a change from having one of our game units go from a traditional tank to a ‘hover-tank’ which Jarrod said won’t take much to modify. I gave myself the task to start making models that would suit the game’s first level which is inspired by the D-Day landings (beach, cliffs). This means I am aiming to make some dead trees, rock cliff/formations and possibly some barriers/bunker types.
I see my biggest challenge being the rock cliff since I struggled with that last week, so hopefully, it will turn out better this time?
Funny story, for a moment I actually thought the class was canceled and I just did not get a notification for it. When I arrived I saw an animation class was inside and figured I’d wait outside, when it was nearly 3pm I began to get concerned since it’s almost time for class and they were still on-going. Leading me to think class may be canceled, but Jarrod arrived which dispelled that thought (just when I posted that question on FaceBook too…) and Adrian walked past us letting us know we can head on in once the animation class was over.
Our class was diminished again with two people missing. I just realized the two people who came to class last Thursday were absent in yesterday’s class, but the two who missed it showed up to class. They swapped places! 😆
Anyways, back on topic. Adrian started the class off with having us talk where we were at now on our collaborative project. He mentioned that if we wanted to order the parts we needed from AliExpress, then we needed to do so now in order to have it arrive on time. Otherwise, buy locally at expensive cost. My group (or at least Brady) has begun ordering some of the parts but we were unsure on some others, meaning we are still missing a lot of the much-needed components for our project. He wanted to discuss it briefly with us as he wanted us to begin thinking about the experience we wanted players to have. In our case, we need to begin considering what kind of bottles we are going to use, how are we going to cut it and are we going with clear or colored bottles.
We also need to do material research for what type of wood we’re going to use to create our custom bar table as well. Adrian suggested to the class to visit Bunnings for material research. I believe Brady suggested using Plywood as it was cheap and somewhat sturdy, he even had some wood stain which could be used to give it a more polished look.
There was the suggestion to visit the Netherworld which is an arcade bar for gamers. The idea is to go in and look at their arcade machines to see how they were built. Speaking of which, I do recall reading a chapter on how Atari built their arcade machines in the Art of Atari book I finished reading a few weeks ago. I have to remember to see if I can find which chapter it was and read it over again.
Anyways, after that, we went back to working on the orientation project. We nailed down the narrative framework for our ARG/escape the room game which is Heist. It was the only narrative framework that had the most ideas in the paperwork category (10), while murder mystery had the least (4) which was surprising since I thought it would have more. I figured we could give the idea that the paperwork was new students filling in their “CSI” credentials before becoming authorized to work on crime scenes.
We spent most of the class putting all the ideas and which categories it fulfilled onto a spreadsheet. In the final half of the class, we watched Heat (1995) so we could see how they executed their heists. The first heist (armored car robbery) we see the group perform is done with such precision. They know when the cops will arrive, what they are looking for and have an escape plan figured out. The only thing they did not take into account was their newest team member who decides to execute one of the guards, forcing the team to eliminate the other two guards despite the fact they are heavily stunned from the blast and have not seen the thieves’ identities.
Our homework from Adrian is to create our own plan (working together) for the armored car robbery scene. So we need to include things such as equipment that is required, arrangments, research into police response times to specific codes and so forth. The reason for this is since we are now creating a student orientation game that is using the theme of the heist as the narrative framework, we want them to experience the motions of planning and performing the heist. In order to do that, we need to experience what it would be like to plan a heist.