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 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)
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.
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…
Tentatively entitled “Somewhere on the road to Hell”, here are some screenshots from my latest computer game.
Its a psychological thriller, based in a small valley in Norway. There is a place in Norway called Hell, so it might be referring to that place, but that’s in Tronderlag, and doesn’t look so much like this… so maybe its not referring to that place at all..?
Im rather enjoying using iTween Path… still havent gotten this Bus to stop crashing violently at the end of the path, and its a pain having to find exact points, when I only really want the bus to move along the XZ axis, and just have gravity bring the bus down to the terrain on the Y axis…
Still its a start, and using iTween inside of PlayMaker is a doddle…
Im working on a new game, called KOTH, based on a popular but slightly violent childrens playground game.
King of the Hill, or Castle (as its more often known in the UK).
Its a multiplayer game, where you score points, the longer you stay at the top of the Hills.
Hill one is finished, and I am now building the scoring system, that needs to be able to send data to all other players, but I have multi player working nice and flawlessly.
And I’m slowly, very slowly building the character, currently Im running the famous Unity Viking.
Heres some screen shots from Hill #1
There will be nine “hills” in total, and the highest scoring player gets to wear a crown. Its would be nice if the “All time” best score could be displayed dynamically on a website, I think I need help with that though.
Later additions, will be in-game enemies (NPC´s) so players must help each other first before turning on each other, and some hidden extras.
Each “hill will be totally different, visually and atmospherically, some are interiors, some exteriors, some day some night. FOr me, creating the atmosphere, with sound, smoke, light and colour, is the most important part of the job. Game play, is just that, as in the kids game… nothing more.
This is Art you know?
ALPHA TEST URL:
I thought this was an interesting video that shows an actress who does the voice and motion capture of a character in a game, plying herself in-game for the first time.. shes a bit giggly, but I guess I would be too…