Tuesday Morning Class (7th November 2017)

GDS230 w/GPG230 class [8.30am Class]

Adrian started the class off by stating he wanted to see the different groups start working on their prototypes. For our group, he wanted to see we had the bottles in our unity game screen respond to an input command (e.g. pressing “A” shakes the bottle side to side), specifically he wanted to see the bottles shake and tilt.

He worked with me for the majority of the lesson working with the Arduino. We first created a simple LED light circuit where the light goes through a blink cycle. Afterwards, we modified this circuit to include Brady’s knock sensor and adjusting the values to find the ideal threshold we need for our shaker, allowing it to pick up when the player is shaking it but not sensitive to the point it picks up every little vibration going on around it. Besides, adjusting the threshold we also wanted it to light up the LED light diode whenever it registers the shake hitting the threshold.

Once we had our circuit working, it was time to move onto having the Arduino communicate with Unity. We wanted the bottle we had in the Unity scene to react when we shook the sensor, thus moving up and down. Only….it took us longer than it probably should have cause neither of us realized we were using the wrong unity function. We even had Greg, the programming co-lecturer come over to help us figure why it was not working the way it should be working. Especially after when our bottle decided to slowly sink and disappear from the scene, and not register the knock sensor at all. Our attempts to fix it lead it disappearing into the void of the empty Unity scene.

Adrian realized the mistake towards the final 30 minutes of class and had me change the functions from new vector 3 transform.position to Move.up and Move.down within the code which fixed everything, and have the previously disappearing bottle staying in the scene shaking up and down upon receiving input from the knock sensor.

This means we now have the code down for the tilt sensor (which Brady worked on during class) where the bottle tilts when you tilt the accelerometer and the knock sensor which shakes the bottle up and down. Oh and Matt worked on a simple animation of a glass sliding across the bar top :p


Tuesday Afternoon Class 

CIU212 [12pm Class]

I had to admit my brain was already rather fried by the time the CIU212 class started due to the little sleep I had the other night. On the bright side, the class overall went rather well in my opinion. Jarrod, myself and Sam were discussing among ourselves regarding the article regarding mobile development from BrisbaneByte that Sam had shared with us during the weekend. Sam had spoken to the editor who said he was willing to add a small piece to the magazine to help promote our game in late-January.

Having the editor/owner (need to confirm) offer this is a great boon for us, as we will be able to reach a wider audience despite the fact we have already established our marketing strategy.

Adrian came over shortly to talk us about our project giving us suggestions such as looking into solo wargames (board games) to see how they set up their combat system. This would extremely beneficial to us as we need to establish our own AI system for the enemy units. Adrian suggested we create a flowchart for the AI behavior, which we cannot do till we established the AI behaviors first. He also told us that by the end of the trimester, he would like to see several things:

  • One level that has our basic gameplay mechanics working with 2 units from both sides working and some art assets (a mix of final and placeholder assets) working on our target platform which is the Android mobile device

Laz had to delay our weekly group meeting as he had to conduct a job interview. When he returned, it turns out he was interviewing one of the game designers who left Ubisoft was part of the Watch Dogs team. Coincidentally, Ubisoft was giving Watch Dogs away for free between 11th and 13th November. Anyways, back on track. He began the meeting by thanking us for making sure the weekly reports were delivered on time and to keep it up. Laz then began going over last week’s report and did catch me in a trap when it came to the bullet point where I mentioned I was learning to use Piskel, the program we were using to create our 2D sprite assets. He did inform me that I fell into the trap and explained to the group (not just me) what I should have said from a production standpoint.

On a related note, here’s a sneak peek of some of the 2D sprite assets we made

He was concerned that it sounded like Felicity, an animation student in Studio 2 was not fully onboard with the project and wanted that confirmed asap, by Tuesday at the latest as well a risk/mitigation assessment that covered what happened if she bailed and to address some of the concerns she had. At the end of class, Jarrod confirmed that Felicity had withdrawn from the project, therefore, leaving us with a bigger workload that put us at risk of falling behind our schedule.

Speaking of schedule, when Laz asked us about where we thought we were on the project overall we had a slight hesitation that he noticed. He said in the weekly report to add a small section of whether we were on track according to the Gantt chart. If we were on track, fantastic and if we were behind/ahead for whatever reasons, to write a small paragraph stating the reasons why and how it would influence the project.

In other news, I managed to set up a meeting with Lanz who will be helping us out with the hex grid system for the game on Thursday 1pm.

Before Thursdays class (12-2.30pm)

Had the meeting with Lanz regarding the grid system, Cameron and Jarrod eventually joined us. Cameron clarified some of the points regarding the game and hex grid system to Lanz. We confirmed when we would like to get the system. We did mention to Lanz we would need to set up a learning contract with him and his lecturer, as he is working with us on a contractual basis.

Once we wrapped up the meeting with him, the three of us (Cameron, Jarrod and myself) began talking about the 2D art, and how we would divide it amongst us. This lead to us reiterating the process where I would be focusing on the environmental art, Cameron will be working on the attack units and Jarrod has the defensive units. This would also alleviate some of the stress/pressure I’ve been feeling as I was beginning to feel I am wearing too many hats in the project. My deadline for the environmental assets is in week 11, giving me 3 weeks to finish the environmental assets. I believe I should have the majority of the assets done by then.

Afterwards, we moved on to discussing the combat system, refining it and how the AI system should work out. Cameron has that covered and will be updating the GDD and include an AI flow chart later on.

Thursdays class (3 ~ 9pm)

Had a follow-up meeting with Steph regarding the status of our project (explained tiering, our parallel universe narrative framework). She mentioned most of the paperwork is being transitioned to being online, which will affect the game design somewhat. She did follow-up saying that she can let us know the schedule for orientation within 2 weeks time.

Once the meeting was finished, we had a group discussion which activities we need to focus on over the course of three weeks, while keeping in mind of the player tier levels (with most students being in the ‘wader’ category of the tier). We agreed paperwork was important during the first week. From the end of the first week onwards, the campus layout and having students feel welcome on campus takes priority. We threw a few ideas onto the whiteboard on which activities could be used on which of the weeks, or how we could extend certain activities over a few days.

Visualization of the different player tiers

For the rest of the class, we went through the narrative spreadsheet focusing on the games that fit our heist theme and wrote game instructions for it for someone to be able to play the game without needing us there. I completely forgot to modify the game instructions to fit more with the heist theme because I focused on writing how the game plays, rather than instructions on how to play the game. We did get a little distracted in class, especially Matt and I because he somehow found how to add emojis in a google document, and found the dog emote. He then decided it was a good idea to replace every single full-stop in his documentation with dog emote which cause me to burst out laughing suddenly when I turned to look at his screen. He then added a paragraph of dog emotes to my document when I had left the classroom briefly to use the washroom.

At the of class, Adrian said on Thursday, we were going to the Netherworld to check out the arcade machines, especially on how they were built as it was relevant to our GD230 collaborative projects. He said it didn’t matter what time we showed up as long we showed up, so I am thinking about coming up at around 4.30-5pm once I figure the route to get there. I am debating whether I should take the bus or the trains, most likely the bus.