Cycle 2 – Vincent Bornaghi – Reflection

Professional Development and Practice

This second game provided another opportunity for me to learn more about Unity and the quirks of programming. Ironically I believe I actually had a headstart for this Cycle, the focus appeared to be more on the art side of things, making functional UI’s and what not. These are all things that I either do normally (3D modelling being my side hobby), or had done in the previous Cycle in order to test myself. As such I was able to reuse a lot of my previous assets for this game and tweak them slightly to better suit this style of game.

And the style of game was similar the old ‘Crazy Taxi’ game on the Nintendo GameCube. A game that my brother and I spent many, many hours on and had countless moments of fun. 15 years ago I never could have imagined that I’d be attempting to MAKE my own twist on this classic game. Because of my history with the game, I was really enthusiastic coming into this assessment and had grand ideas for my game. However I soon discovered it would not be a piece of cake.

I attempted to create everything I needed for a functional game from scratch and soon realised that this was far beyond my skillset. Being the type of person I am, I tried every reasonable avenue before having to resort to using 3rd party assets from Unity, the Asset Store or elsewhere. Unfortunately this was my biggest downfall for this Cycle. Because of my lack of ability in being able to create complex things such as a realistic vehicle controller, I wasted so much time getting around it that at the end of it all; I had no time for anything else. Most of the 3D models that I would have normally created, I had to use from 3rd party sources because I simply could not do everything that I wished to do if I didn’t. From this aspect I’m quite disappointed about this and wish I had spent more time one what I knew I could do and not what I didn’t.

What Have I Learnt About the Other Majors?

This cycle is further pushing me away from my old mindset of ‘programming is awful and I hate it’. One could hardly say that programming is fun, but I find the logic enjoyable, if somewhat frustrating at times. However I would never even consider changing majors from animation to programming. I’ve always enjoyed games design, it was quite a decision for me to chose animation over that, so delving into it to create these games is a really nice experience. Conceptualising and creating a game world for example is something that I’ve discovered that I love doing… maybe a bit too much considering the amount of time I spent on it!

Working Independently

I managed to improve over the last cycle in terms of programming quite substantially. There were still some things I wish that I’d completed for my game, these weren’t finished mainly due to my poor time-management, but overall I encountered virtually 0 errors in my work. I had an easy time solving the few issues that came up and spent no time whatsoever browsing forums for aid. This newfound ability to be able to resolve programming problems was really satisfying and makes me look forward to the next cycle, and hopefully expanding my skillset.

Ethical Considerations

There is one small ethical issue in my game that takes place around the central theme that is ‘natural disaster’. This could cause issues with disaster victims who have been traumatised by such events. However a simple warning, or more detailed introduction, would suffice as a warning for such potential issues. Some minor motion sickness could also occur from the rapid, first-person movement.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

Cycle 2 – Vincent Bornaghi – Playtest Report

How enjoyable was the experience?

The playtesters all came away from the playtest session having enjoyed the game but with various different suggestions on how to improve. The verbal feedback was positive, indicating that the game was fun and an attention-grabber. Post-playthrough interviews however revealed that the game had a number of improvements that could be implemented, mainly in regards to the mechanics.

How well do the mechanics work (during playthrough)?

The movement system was rough, a downfall of the ‘FPS’ style controller being used. A second trial controller was tested by some participants, and it was the far superior of the two as was discovered through playtesting. The second controller was far more realistic and allowed the players to sit into the game more easily than the first. However the game’s debris tended to swarm the player and deal massive damage and then… nothing for large amounts of time. Other minor issues were indicated with spawning positions.

How well do the mechanics work (post-playthrough)?

The movement mechanic was quite unrealistic until the second version was used. Then, nothing was said to be improved upon. The debris was overpowered when grouped together but then made the game less intensive soon after, so spawn rates could be adjusted. Player health could also be increased, as well as score system that better reflects the fast paced, intensive action of the game (ie. 100-200-300 and not 1-2-3).

How does the game challenge you?

The game’s fast-paced, brutal action proved to be somewhat difficult for players initially. Once they realised what type of game it was, they began to analyse the environment, avoiding debris and scouring the map for survivors. The general opinion of playtesters was that the game definitely tested their ability to react quickly to an ever-changing game world and punished them for slacking. The lack of any method to replenish health proved to be a success, with testers preferring to restart from 0 than be able to regenerate health. It kept them ‘on-edge’ and aware of their situation. A time counter was suggested in order to add another level of complexity to the game.

What strategy was best used for a successful playthrough?

Players began by speeding around the map, before realising that debris was both in fixed positions throughout the map AND spawning into the game to chase down the player at speed. The testers quickly adopted a strategy of using the buildings on the map as shields from the debris, while trying to find the green glow of a survivor to collect. Some players also attempted to simply avoid the debris and collect survivors when chanced upon.

Pros

  • Enjoyable
  • Intensive
  • Professional-looking UI
  • Good looking game
  • Fast-paced action
  • In-game sounds are professional
  • Game doesn’t give you time to be bored

Cons

  • Difficult level can drop suddenly
  • Debris spawn rates are too clustered
  • Initial movement controller unrealistic

Recommendations

  • Implement a time system
  • Increase the HP of the player
  • Adjust spawn rates

Based on these recommendations and analysing the pros and cons that each playtester mentioned I made a number of improvements to the game.

  • Implemented a time system that counts down to 0. Every survivor collected increases the available time. This tweak eliminates the players who play to avoid the enemies and not collect the survivors
  • Spaced out the debris spawners and added two levels, weaker and stronger debris with varying spawn rates
  • Completely changed the movement controller for a realistic vehicle controller
  • Increased the player HP and tweaked enemy damage
  • Increased the score increments

Further Recommendations

  • High score system that saves the highest score after the end-game state
  • More realistic debris movement, such as rotation etc, more indicative of a severe weather event

I would like to implement these recommendations should I continue to work on the game past the constraints of time place upon this assessment.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

Cycle 2 – Dylan Van Beek – Reflection

Through the process of this task my pre-existing knowledge of how unity works came into use when creating the Gameworld and the scripts to run actions within the world.  Most of the simpler tasks such as movement, importing assets and terrain construction had been done before, and hence could be completed without much assistance from Google or other means.  However, a lot of the scripting for the pickup and particle as well as instantiating objects was relatively new and difficult, but after researching on google was found to be quite interesting.  Other elements such as adding textures and standard assets were simple enough to complete and didn’t take much time after watching tutorials.  Furthermore, the biggest challenge in this task was trying to get timers to work, as “time.DeltaTime” is a function which I was not used to and took me a while to grasp.  Overall this mini game development was very useful in filling gaps in my knowledge in unity and proved to be quite fun.

Throughout the team exercises more information on the background of team members were discovered, although I believe it wasn’t capitalised on as much as it could have been.  For example, Vincent can animate/model but this wasn’t used to its full advantage in our project.  Although, the final product is believed work without this extra help, however, for the final development this might be considered a bit more.  As team members were cooperative and willing to change/adapt and converge/diverge ideas as they came from other members, teamwork was fluid and flowed smoothly, without any need for interventions or team management strategies.  Collaborative work was mostly completed in workshops, and the establishment of communication allowed for outer and further teamwork.  It is believed all members performed their tasks, and we mingled quite well.  All feedback from every member was considered, and responses to feedback if it didn’t work was explained so that all members were on board with what was happening.

As I am interested in game design, I found it very easy to stay motivated to complete tasks and prototypes.  In team scenarios, individual work was found to be balanced evenly between members and mostly completed in workshops, with some small completion work being done in my spare time.  In the individual work, I was happy with the gaps that I learnt from in this area of unity and I believe it will help greatly in the future as I now feel much more comfortable with the engine.

This game is designed to be fun and exhilarating, playing on the chaotic nature of a storm to rescue and race around a torn apart city to collect and save people and bring them to a safe zone.  Henceforth the main quality of life that it may bring is enjoyment and time well spent playing this game.

Cycle 2 – Dylan Van Beek – Playtest Report

Play testing was completed by following the goals outlined in Activity 6: Play testing.  From this it was decided to play test the game a script would be spoken to each participant before the game was tested.  This was just to allow the play tester to understand what was expected of them.  Below is the script:

I have some test instructions to read to you. You’re one of several people who will be helping us out on this test and since it’s important that I cover all the same points with each person, I’ll read through this so I’m sure I present everything to everyone in the same way.

The test today should last about 15 minutes and you can take a break or leave at any time. If you would like to take a break, or just want to stop –just let me know.

It is important to remember that we are evaluating our game, not you. You cannot make any mistakes here today. If you have any difficulty with any part of any task, it’s very important to us and it will give us clues on how to improve future versions of the game.

Also, please be completely frank and outspoken about any opinion or problem you have.

During this evaluation, one of the most important and interesting things for me to capture is what you think about as you do the tasks we give you.

  • To do this, I’m going to ask you to THINK ALOUD as you work
  • What I mean by “think aloud” is that I want you to tell me EVERYTHING you are thinking, why you are pressing each button, and everything you are doing and thinking from the time we start the evaluation until I ask you to complete the last survey
  • I would like you to talk constantly
  • I don’t want you to plan what you’re going to say or try to explain to me what you are saying
  • Just act as if you were alone in this room speaking to yourself
  • If you are silent for a long period, I’ll prompt you to think aloud.

Since thinking aloud is often unusual for people to do, I’d like you to practice thinking aloud. I’d like you to tell me how many windows there are in the place you live, but to think aloud while you are working out this number.

Let’s have you start the test. Pretend that you are at home, and you just downloaded this game. From this point, just do what comes naturally to you, and remember to always think aloud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the script was read the players thoughts were recorded via note taking.  These notes were as follows:

Play Tester 1: Vincent Bornaghi

  • Controls of the car felt unrealistic and somewhat annoying
  • The arrow indicating where to go could have been clearer in which way was the head
  • However, it was clear what he had to do
  • Would have liked the cars controls to be more fluid and smooth to control
  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Was entertained by gameplay

Play Tester 2: Joseph Koppe

  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint
  • Thought the game could have had a red flashing overlay

Play Tester 3: Ty Jones

  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Understood that the location was some sort of broken city which the players were trying to escape from
  • Was entertained by gameplay and enjoyed the free drive after
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint (if it was a full game)

 

Play Tester 4: Sam Parer

  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Was entertained by gameplay
  • Thought the game didn’t have an element of rush and maybe audio could assist in this

Play Tester 5: Jess Blae

  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Understood that the location was some sort of broken city which the players were trying to escape from
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint (if it was a full game)

 

Once these notes were recorded the play testers were asked to complete a short survey which correlated to our Activity 6: Playtesting.  This would mean we could test our playtesting as well as text our goals for playtesting.  The following survey/survey results was obtained.

Thank you for testing this game. Please answer these questions as accurately as you can.

For each of the following statements, please rate 1 to 5, 1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree.

  1. The game was easy to learn how to play.
    1. Vincent:3
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:5
  2. The game was fun to play.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:5
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:4
    5. Jess:3
  3. The game was frustratingly difficult.
    1. Vincent:3
    2. Joseph:2
    3. Ty:1
    4. Sam:3
    5. Jess:2
  4. The game was boringly easy.
    1. Vincent:2
    2. Joseph:3
    3. Ty:2
    4. Sam:2
    5. Jess:3
  5. The game’s controls made it easy to do what I wanted.
    1. Vincent:2
    2. Joseph:3
    3. Ty:4
    4. Sam:4
    5. Jess:5
  6. The game’s visuals were enjoyable to look at.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:3
    4. Sam:3
    5. Jess:3
  7. I always understood what I should do next to achieve my goal.
    1. Vincent:5
    2. Joseph:5
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:4
  8. I would be interested in playing this game again.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:5

Finally, please rank the items in the following list. Put the number 1 next to the aspect which you consider the most well done in this game. Then put a 2 next to the aspect which you consider the next most well done aspect of the game. Continue the numbering in order of how well each aspect was done. Put the highest number next to the aspect which you consider the least well done in this game. Please use each number only once in the list.

 

Vincent Joseph Ty Sam Jess
Controls 4 3 3 2 3
Gameplay 3 1 2 1 1
Visuals 2 2 1 3 4
My Character 1 4 4 4 2

Cycle 2 – Activity 5 – Interactivity and Choice

We first had to identify 5 challenges within our game, based upon the one goal. This process is shown below.

Goal: Travel across the city while avoiding obstacles in order to rescue survivors.

Challenge 1 – Surviving: Using the movement mechanic and controls to stay alive

Challenge 2 – High Score: Using the mechanics to get a high score

Challenge 3 – Get More Time: Using the mechanics to get more time

Challenge 4 – Movement: Using the movement mechanic and controls to move the player object

Challenge 5 – Collect Survivors: Using the mechanics and controls to rescue survivors

 

 

The aforementioned challenges have been further outlined in the following Challenge-Choice-Interface-Actions-Rules-Feedback flowcharts.

 

survivinghighscoregetmoretimemovementcollectingsurvivors

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

Cycle 2 – Activity 3 – Player Stories

In our earlier discussion about PX Goals and what we wanted our First-Person game to deliver to the player, it was decided that we would focus on mental and physical experiences such as anticipation, speed, analysing and coordination. As such we went forward and developed our ‘Emergency Taxi’ idea.

The ‘Emergency Taxi’ concept involves the player traversing an urban landscape filled with obstacles in order to rescue survivors from a natural disaster. These obstacles would take the form of debris such as rock, trees, garbage and general wreckage that occurs during a natural disaster such as a cyclone.

The following player stories originate from these key design elements of our First-Person game and follow the rules we have created for our game in terms of PX Goals.

  1. As the taxi, I want to avoid as many obstacles as possible in order to survive.
  2. As the taxi, I want to ‘collect’ as many survivors as possible in order to gain more time.
  3. As the taxi, I want to ‘collect’ as many survivors as possible in order to achieve the highest score.
  4. As the player, I want the taxi to be able to avoid obstacles in order to survive.
  5. As the player, I want the taxi to be able to travel quickly enough to get the maximum possible survivors.
  6. As the player, I want to ‘collect’ as many as survivors as quickly as I can in order to ‘collect’ more.
  7. As a survivor, I want the taxi to avoid the debris and be able to take me to the safe zone.
  8. As a survivor, I want the player to collect as many survivors as possible in order to gain more time and collect more.
  9. As the player, I will use my taxi to manoeuvre the landscape and find the shortest route to the survivors.
  10. As the player, I will use my taxi to take survivors to the safe zone in order to gain more time to play.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

Cycle 2 – Joseph Koppe – Playtest Report

The playtest plan was formulated so that the 3 factors of entertainment, challenge and intensity were queried by the playtesters. As a preface to the comments, ratings and suggestions below, the state of my game was playable, but lacking a success/failure condition in the way of a score or time limit.  The core mechanics of how the game and looks and feels are there. Below is the recorded ratings and comments of each of these factors, as well as suggestions for where the game could develop further.

Vincent Bornaghi:

  • “The entertainment value of the game is there, and has a crude sense of charm to it that made it enjoyable” 8/10
  • “The challenge level is currently missing as the game doesn’t have a set objective yet.  I am told that it will be a high score system with an allotted time. Navigation of the world is easy.” 2/10
  • “The pacing of the game is a little but off, the world feels fractionally too big to navigate, and for that reason it is difficult to see where you need to go.  I can’t comment on intensity because of the lack of game rules.” 6/10
  • “My final recommendation is in addition to adding game rules, make the world smaller or the player faster, introduce boundaries, make the car sounds a little more smooth, maybe even add music.” 

Dylan Van Beek:

  • “The game is very enjoyable, the controls and movement feel good and the world nice to explore and look at.” 9/10
  • “As Vincent mentioned, the challenge level is un-testable at this point as game rules and parameters have not been set.  There are no unintentional challenges in control and design that hold this game back though.” 5/10
  • “The pacing and intensity of the game is consistent.  I’m visualising the high score time attack mechanic and it sounds as if pressure and speed will increase as the game goes on.” 6/10
  • “My final recommendation aside from what Vincent mentioned is consider making the player move more quickly – I think the world is too big/hidden to efficiently find passengers to pick up.”

Taking there feedback I decided to make a plan for further improvement from the game.

Additional Features:

  • Aside from the features I had told them I was putting in, I agreed with Dylan’s idea of making the car faster.
  • Making the car sounds more pleasant and realistic (they are currently both irritating, but humorous?)
  • Making a visual boundary is something I will hopefully be able to implement when I get time – but I feel as though the world is layed out so that the player has no reason to drive off of the edge (perhaps only to satiate curiosity).

Planned Features:

  • Create a score system
  • Create a time limit
  • Create spawning pedestrians
  • Create a destination to take the passengers