Design for Entertainment Systems

In this module, we were looking into creating a game prototype as part of a team. The brief didn’t necessitate any specific requirements of what the game must be about or do so we had complete creative control. My group was a team of four and as such, we were expected to achieve quite a lot as we were the biggest team. Due to this, we decided it would be best if we did something that we hadn’t before so we could learn more about the area whilst we developed.

 

MindMap
Mindmap

 

Our initial idea was to develop a VR game that created atmospheric tension using effects rather than typical horror tropes (i.e. monsters or jump scares). After talking through some ideas we looked into creating a mind map and user stories board to help develop the ideas and mechanics of the game.

 

User Stories
User Stories board

 

After settling on our ideas and all involved aspects of the project we created a roadmap and Trello board to help facilitate a timeline for completion of the project.

Product_Roadmap_(2017_12_09_11_03_40_UTC)

After setting up our teams and ideas we were asked to do a research paper into a specific area of our choice. It was suggested that we look into areas that would help us to develop our game idea for this project. As such, I decided to look into the current limitations of VR and VR Sickness. The research paper looked into a brief history of VR and the current VR headsets out there along with three VR games and how being a VR game has affected the gameplay and experience of them. This is then concluded with suggestions to my team on how to approach the development of our own VR game.

How VR Can You Go_ by Ryan Wildish

Initial development was very tricky and slow as we started to learn how to use movement mechanics and how different movement mechanics can adversely affect the player. We looked into many different games approaches to movement and could understand why, the better games, chose the movement mechanics they did as it suited the gameplay/style and allowed the player to extend the play time or the game was shortened to allow the user to complete in one sitting.

Things became even worse as our 3D modeller was unable to pump out the models at his usual pace. We had decided to use Blender so that we could, f we wanted to, release our product commercially, unfortunately, our 3D modeller was not well versed in Blender so it took a long time for him to translate his skills into the new program.

As we progressed on to developing the mechanics, the development started to go even slower as problems arose due to the nature of VR. We had one person glued to the VR headset at all times so that we could test immediately and have more time fixing problems. This did not really help however as the fixes for the mechanics were quite unknown to us as they were not the same as mechanics for a standard game without VR. This put us in a very precarious position as it was already too late to scrap the idea and developing without VR would leave the game feeling very pointless as it becomes less of an experience and more of a walking simulator.

As we added lighting to the scene we started to notice the light seeping through the walls and decided to make modular sections of the map so that the light wouldn’t bleed through the walls so much. This did not work as well as we had hoped and so we started looking for custom lighting solutions. After some promising leads, we were ultimately unable to find a suitable solution.

After much wasted time in the project we decided to try and complete as much as we possibly could. With the modeller done with his asset creation, we had one spare pair of hands for the testing on the VR headset. We then managed to implement an in-game menu and link this up to a couple of events within the scene. We still had trouble setting up these aspects of the game as the solutions for them were different from what we were used to with standard games. Most of the online resources covering “fixes” for these were mostly outdated or for other headsets/IDE’s and as we had decided to use the VRTK package these were mostly unusable.

Ultimately we were unable to deliver on what we had conceptualised and suffered greatly, in terms of marks, due to the lack of produced work. Thanks to our great planning skills at the beginning of this project we were able to achieve 45% of this 70% part of the module, whilst I achieved 70% in the 30% research paper, achieving a total of 52.5% in the module.

No video has been provided for this work due to a lack of mechanics to show and the inability to show the VR aspects. A link to the Trello page here – https://trello.com/b/iU84C8vc 

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