Monday, 30 January 2017

Adam Courtney- Tutorial and cameras

This post is more of a roadmap on what the final few developments to the project will be, with the chance for us to amend it before we commit major changes. It's also a chance for me to reflect on the feedback we received at the Maritime Museum presentation, as things were highlighted that we could add and improve.

Planned Changes

  • Interactive tutorial- this is a feature none of us expected to be able to add, but it is going into the project after all! We were aware that the project was using a pretty niche controller (it's rare to see a Leap Motion out in the wild), but had underestimated how much explanation it might need to a first-time user.
  • The current plan is to introduce the Leap Motion via very brief videos that Ash has recorded, and then introduce parts of the interface such as Breath and Health gradually, with the player interacting with the Leap Motion to confirm they understand the gameplay and controller.
  • The videos are simplistic, with a hand over the Leap Motion on a white background, and synchronised screen captures to demonstrate cause and effect.
  • The "dead" screen area above the water is being utilised before the boats, so that the player can always see the whale and how their interaction affects the movement.
  • We've also added a second camera, which highlights to the player that a boat is approaching in a box on the screen! This is quite a nice visual to illustrate where the boat is coming from, and we are also going to add a warning indicator to show when a harpoon boat is approaching, so the player knows to stay away from the left in order to avoid getting hit by a boat that's not even on the screen yet.

This is our "storyboard" for the tutorial, the pictures illustrate the screen at that time.
  • I've written in pseudo-code what I want to happen, and my task tonight is to get the videos into Unity, and get playback under control. Then I'll be adding in the breath mechanic "test".
  • We have also changed the camera perspective from a pseudo-2D orthographic camera to a perspective camera. This should help give the scene a better sense of depth, and help make it clearer when harpoons are being fired, and whether they hit.
  • As a "quick fix" to some feedback we had about it looking like a harpoon in the background should be hitting the whale, we increased the collision boxes on the whale, to make the harpoons hit at any distance if the whale is sharing the X/Y coordinates of the harpoon. In terms of gameplay, it makes it much harder, as players can't just swim up every time to dodge harpoons, but the visuals have suffered as the harpoons are getting stuck in thin air due to the bigger hit boxes. That can be tweaked though, and hopefully a compromise can be met.
  • I'm hoping to add to the blog a few more screen captures of the project's development over time, as well as a demonstration of the tutorial sequence.

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