I have been working on the Operating theater. Adding physics to all the furniture in the room. The Operating table stays still when you bump into it. The ECG machine moves but slowly, and the little silver trays roll about on well oiled wheels. Adding sounds to the collisions next. I also added cube map reflections to the trays, so they look all lovely and shiny… Just wait till there is an autopsy in progress however… Wont be so clean then I can assure you!
I have just discovered a new term that heavily relates to my work with “Fragment Storytelling” and indeed much storytelling in games.
An Epistolary Novel is a Story that using letters of documents to tell the story.
Maybe the most famous of the genre is Dracula but I am also a fan of 84 Charing Cross Road. I also have an amazing “Whodunnit” book, called Murder off Miami weirdly by Dennis Wheatley, where the letters and documents are fully reproduced on different papers and types. Including photographs from the Crime Scene and an envelope at the end that contains the solution. HE produces 5 of these and I must try to collect them all!
Murder off Miami
In games letters or books are often used to tell the story. A good example being the Elder Scroll series, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim being the most recent. Some young gamers probably dont bother with all this reading material, but I love it, and devour all!
In “Somewhere on the road to Hell” I will also be using this technique extensively, especially as I want to keep dialogue to a minimum (both for technical and atmosphere reasons). The game starts (usually) with a letter of introduction to the valley in Norway, from your employer. during the game there will be many subtle hints that can be read or discarded. INdeed, if there is a goal at all to the game, its to find out as much as you can. The actual game mechanics (which can´t really be revealed) will mean that it is in fact impossible to play the game once and learn everything, how ever much you try, and you will have to play again a number of times to kind of see the events from other angles… One play may even contradict another play, so coming out with a defining “this is what happened” will be impossible. More that “This is what happen this time”.
The problem with the internet is that its so incredibly HUGE, with so much information, that I often get the feeling that my own knowledge of… well stuff… is really incredibly limited. Young people nowadays are encouraged to “not really know stuff, but to know how to find stuff”. I think this must be very frustrating and yet I don’t think they really know anything else!
With making a game, I am struck by how much there is to learn, and how much I will really NEVER know or understand. Heres a quick list of things that I know exist, but really know nothing about!!! Anyone who can concisely fill me in to anything here please comment below.
IK Inverse kinematics. I knw it has something to do with moving characters, and that if you move one bit others follow, but then what is FK Forward Kinematics? Quaterian.. something to do with degrees or turning? Calls How er.. often a computer is er… used? Draw Calls?, er graphics card er… calls? Shaders Materials and Textures I know what texture is, but materials verses Shaders… not really… Materials are how something appears textures and bumps and specular maps etc, and Shaders… er well… something to do with them… like on a higher level?
OK, the list can go on forever…
In music its the same, one of the reasons I like staying with hardware loopers, is that over time I learn more and more, until I really begin to get to grips with obscure features, although the EDP is so deep Im still finding out new things all the time. With Software, and this is the same in graphics programs too, there is always the latest update, new features, so if the software is YOUR instrument, it can be incredibly frustrating… imagine learning the violin for 20 years, then someone comes along and say, now you can blow into it, and there’s new scales… its like you never knew how to play it!
I have NEVER really specialised in anything, Ive always been interested in many things, never become a GREAT guitarist, you know… with an acoustic guitar.. never been a REALLY GREAT film-maker, never really become brilliant at 3D modelling, or graphics… I guess Im pretty good at a few programs, Final Cut Pro for example… I think Im very good at composing music, using a variety of programs badly… But I really think its very important to LEARN stuff.. not just follow tutorials, and then think “My work is done!” Doing things the second time round is always very rewarding, because you finally begin to recognise what you do know.
I think its totally stupid of teachers to use computers so much, they have some personal knowledge and have done some things many times, they are the perfect vehicles for moving that information from themselves to the kids, a computer just lets the kids be engaged in the subject, but only as long as they are actually doing it… The brain needs to “play” with the ideas, and the information, the hands needs to work with things, the eyes need to look around and gather their own information and the ears need to listen to fragments of information from everywhere and compare it with what the brain has stored… to make its own connections and bridges of understanding.
When I started going to London, I took the Tube everywhere, I had no idea of the distances between stops, then one day I walked from Covent Garden to Leicester Square and discovered that it too 10 minutes! From then on I walked everywhere. And now I can FEEL my way from one place to another, even new places, because my sense of direction was improved.
Exploration and Discovery are about A MILLION TIMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS, SOLUTIONS AND ANSWERS!
How much can you ever really know?
I think I know more than the internet actually!
The more I think about the process of making a computer game, the more I think that its like actually playing a game!
A game like World of Warcraft, with quests and sub quests, involves receiving some instructions, and going off to find the solution. Before you know it, you realise that you dont have the right sword, or magic spell, so you must take some other quests to build XP, or gain some knowledge, these mini quests involve getting some more stuff, take you to new places, where there are new quests, that need new items to succeed, and you easily lose track of the original main quest you embarked on.
Right now, for instance, after having build a lot of content, a village, a cabin in the woods, a hospital, a church, a research Station, both interiors and exteriors, I have finally begun to stitch them together in game-play.
I start with the intro sequence, important for me because after a short film, the user should press a button and actually join the game, so the intro is like the game launcher. However, the intro sequence needs weather and lighting, so I need to figure out some stuff. I discover that these effects are best held by the main camera, but if I’m cutting together cameras into a sequence to create a “filmic” edit, I must add these effects to all the cameras in the scene, or else one camera angle will not have the required visual effects (fog, leaves blowing, darkness) This is a lot of work, so now Im thinking about making the camera angles and movement animations with dummy cameras, then using their positions as “pointers” that the Main Camera (the one with all the shit on it) will “snap” to. Now THIS MEANS, that I must finish my weather system. This is a bought system, so its not too much work, but due to updates and errors, needs some fixing. THEN I must figure out this camera following thing, then the order that things load after that.
Right now Im having lots of problems with fog just disappearing after a few seconds, I think I need to completely delete the system and rebuild it… to I’m wondering if I can just copy all models into a new clean scene without any programming, and start again…
But this is like a HUGE multi-player WoW Raid, and need to set aside 5 hours uninterrupted to do it…
And thats never gonna happen!
Here is Bob, as I design my character and camera controller. I Spent all day on zooming the mouse wheel, but when I come to think about it maybe my game is best as 1st person? The thing is that I dont really like the feel of 1st person controllers, I much prefer a 3rd person, but zoomed in, if you can understand the difference… not so…er swimmy…
Still I have to have a model for the view that your competitors/colleagues will have of you, as its a multiplayer game, But then I can just do a “Photon View Get Is Mine” and turn off the the mesh… no need to zoom ever… Oh well.
Anyway, heres Bob in “The construct”.. my simple programming level before he gets moved over to the game, oh god.. frightening…
Ive built the controllers o far as five different FSMs in PlayMaker. ONe for Walking and running animations.. with the shift key causing the run. I have a small bug. When you press shift to run, he runs, when you release you finger from W (forward) he stops… fine… but if your DONT release your shift key too, and then just press W again, he walks, not run…but this FSM is not actually causing forward movement, only animations.
I have on FSM for Movement. which, lone just causing the character to slide forwards.
I have one for rotating. Now here I have gone for A and D causing a rotate, Im still not sure about this. Its less “gamer-y”. A “Proper game” would have A and D as Strafe, walking sideways while still facing forward. (needed for shooting games) and using the mouse to handle turning… but.. in a game with no shooting, it is really right? But maybe there IS shooting… anyway havent decided yet…
Then a Jump FSM… a tricky one this, cos it should look different depandant on whether the character is running or standing still. SO hI have a swithc that detects whether thecharacter is moving forwards, if so, when you press jump (space of course) it dos a kind of running jump, if hes standing still he jumps on the spot. This one has a bug where it gets stuck on the last frame of the jump before going back to running or walking, and just slides along. Im sure this must be a simple fix.
Thats it really. Its working well with physics… slide down 45 degrees he will jump onto a moving platform (slide bug here when a platform slides into him… legs… soft..)prob need a physics collider somewhere..
Now I just want to add some shuffling animation for when hes standing still but you want to turn.
THAN I have to get him into my Photon project, getting him working multiplayer, changing the msehh for 3 other characters, and THEN adding it to the main game…
Lots of fun stuff to do…
Bob Bug Report
|The bug||notes||Done or not?|
|Jump height bug||His standing still jump is not really working, his feet dont touch the floor,a dn he seems to creep higher each jump, untill WALK is invoked, which seems to reset it|
|Jump animation sticking bug||last frame of jump animation sticks when running/walking|
|Jump height bug||Not really jumping high enough, not sure how to adjust that,|
|Jump collidor bug||The collidor needs to move up as the animation does, and needs him to push up, so that if he jumps onto a higher surface, the jump works, right now its really only visual.|
|No Camera rotate||Need to implement|
|Running bug||Not running if you keep run pressed when you go stop and start again||DONE!!!|
After a while of inactivity in the Aunty project, due to other projects taking precedence, Suddenly a few things came together.
Firstly I finished the first rough model of “the House”. (It should have an address? (69 Acacia Avenue, Hemel Hempstead seems nice… hope it isnt a real place)
Ive been sick for 2 days, but managed to do some easy and fun stuff on “the game”.
Last weekend I played in Trento, Northern Italy.
HERES THE RECORDING OF THE GIG.
Our performance was part of an Italian/Norwegian exchange. As such we played in an exhibition space about skiing and winter sports, through the ages. Trento is high in the Italian Austrian mountains, and is surrounded by wonderful mountains.
I had a absolutely fantastic time, and the gig was great! The original plan was that Massimo and I would be backed up by a trio of Trento musicians. Carlo La Manna, Corrado Bungaro and (insert name here). But after having some laptop/keyboard problems, we decided that we would all just play together. And what a great decision. It was a fantastic blend of their ethnic virtuosity and me and Massimos electronic noises.
Massimo played loops and manipulated my videos live, including one with Hilde singing (The Spykkeskjaenhytte film)
Carlo La Manna
Played Violin, Nyckelharpa, Steeldrum, percussion
Baritone guitar, electronics
Video shot by Wajid Malik
So we did the gig with Damo Suzuki, and it was totally fab!
We all somehow gelled and played for 1 hour 40 minutes nearly non-stop!
The band was great, all fantastic musicians and all coming from slightly different approaches, that somehow really worked well together!
Ted Parsons (ex-Swans, Keith Levene, Killing Joke, drums) myspace.com/tparsons23 http://www.facebook.com/tikited23
Ted is a real pro, I may have seen him play 20 odd years ago when he was in Prong, he held us all together, and kept the beat groovy and intense.
Mark Francombe (ex Cranes, guitar/electronics)
I did my thang, was quite unusual for me to be “playing” the whole time, Im so used to looping, recording, listening, adding. It was quite an ordeal to play the whole time, but somehow very cathartic!
Ådne Meisford (120 days, electronics) www.facebook.com/120days
Had some great weird tones, that I tried to play off when I was also doing more noise stuff, some cool boxes, that I must investigate…
Daniel Meyer Grønvold (Moon Relay, Now We Got Members, guitar) soundcloud.com/moon-relay
Very cool guitarist, with a strong sense of rhythm and noise, got a nice crunchy distortion. A very different guitarist than me, very aggressive and tight to my cleaner sound, really played well with the drums.
Leon Muraglia (Radio 9, bass) www.facebook.com/radio9
Just like Ted, he held us together, with a deep slightly gritty dub sound, the king of kraut!
Christian Næss (Radio 9, drums) www.facebook.com/radio9
I have never heard 2 drummers play so tight together, it always tends towards an Adam Ant tribal thing, but Christians cool percussion and drumming was so tight with Teds, that it was impossible to hear that it wasn’t from one source, I love this guys drumming i Radio 9 too…
Juan Diaz (keyboards) soundcloud.com/mojomalo Juan is a real pro pianist, and had the 60´s electric blues piano down, groovy and melodic, he stopped us gpoing into too much weird noise drones, by always bringing it back to be a song.. a great musician!
Damo Suzuki vocals What can I say, no hanging about here, he got up on stage and within 20 seconds was singing. Its so obvious that this is his thing, no hesitancy, no shortcuts, alwasy gave his most… A real honour to play with my idol. Thanks so much Damo!
MORE iPhone Videos from Kai Mauseth
My Golum is finally in Unity I basically followed the Mecanim tutorial to add some animations, and do blend trees for walks and runs, a jump, but I dont have any punching animations, gotta get one.
BUT, I dont know what to do next! I cannot get this to work with the old character controller (WASD Space) and although my character Idles (oh yes an idle animation) when in game, I have NO IDEA how to get that linked to keyboard strokes.
It seems to be more aimed at console users, cos then you need SPEED as a controller, as the stick has a varied position from stopped to running, wheras on a PC, its usually an extra key that causes a run.
Just thought I’d better post something about this… gonna do a gig with the Ex Singer of CAN.. on Feb 7th..
DID YOU FUCKING HEAR ME? THE SINGER OF FUCKING CAN!!!!
For a few years now Damo Suzuki (How old can he be now? 65-70ish?) has been touring, with NO band, relying on the fact that pretty much ever city in the world has at least one band who like Can. Last time he played Oslo, Hilde an I went to see him, backed by Salvatore. It was good, if a little long. We lefts after and hour and a half when he said “Lets have a 15 minute break?”
Anyway Salvatore are no more, but now Leon, formaly of that band has put together a band to accompany Mr Suzuki when he comes…
AND THAT MEANS ME!!!
Anyway, heres the teaser to the documentary film!
Im using Uni-Storm to do the day/night cycle and weather system, and Im very pleased with the result, but now IM having this issue, fog disappearing after 10 seconds or so…