Updated: Jul 5, 2021
“Calm, Peace and ‘hopefully’ consistent posting”
Last term I was tasked with writing a blog for a university module called GAM150. I didn’t realise this untill there was only a few weeks untill the deadline and so I had to rush to complete the blog before it was due in. This term I was once again tasked with writing a Blog so here I am writing it now IN TIME.
So, after submitting my previous blog I received feedback from Paul (a great lecturer) who basically said; I only did the blog at the end, went off topic, that it reads like a journal, there’s not enough information, I got some of my finer points wrong and that he looks forward to my future work so thanks Paul, I appreciate the feedback…
So how am I going to fix these issues?
Well to begin, I have posted this right at the beginning of term and hope to post weekly. While I still have no idea what a blog is supposed to read like since I don’t read blogs, I will hopefully include more detailed information and explanations with what I have done without making this blog even more boring than it already is.
This term’s assignments
So, this term I have been assigned to create an interactive narrative, flow chart and UI design using a plugin called fungus (GREGAN and HALLIWELL 2015) In unity. I have also been assigned to make an annotated 3D level design in Unity. I also have to document my progress for these assignments on this blog so that is why I have returned for more blogging.
So, it has been almost 2 weeks since study block 2 started and In that time I’ve been coming up with ideas for these assignments as well as practising with fungus.
The Narrative Game
For the narrative game I’ve come up with an idea although I’m still not settled on it and I still don’t know how feasible it would be. The current Idea is a 2D platform game where the avatar becomes sentient and self-aware. This would mean that at first the player plays as the avatar, but the avatar becomes the players main enemy which I thought was an interesting concept.
I created a very short and simple game in Unity where I was just testing out how fungus works and what is possible with the plugin. This game made a lot of use out of questions using UI with 2 possible answers.
This very quick game that took about half an hour to construct taught me a lot about the basics of fungus.
To Begin with I opened up unity and created a flow chart. On the first block in the flow chart, I added a say command asking, “left, or right?” I then created two Menu commands, one with “left” and another with “right” these would appear in the game as two options and send the player to another block in the flow chart. I did this during a workshop where we were being taught the basics of fungus, but I had already watched a bunch of online tutorials by the creators of fungus beforehand. This meant that I could go on ahead of the workshop but still listen in case I was missing anything.
This came in useful about 10 minutes later when we were told how to create characters. So, to practice with characters, I created a new flowchart named “Stage 2” and created a call command at the end of the right 2 block that called the second flow chart. This meant that the game flowed from one flowchart to another despite them being separate game objects. On the second flowchart there were significantly less blocks and more say commands on each block. This was because I was practising using characters on say commands. I also learnt that you could add a sound to a certain character that would play every time they spoke as well as different images that you could choose from when adding a say command.
So, I created a new character called Tesso where I added 3 different images (All images and sound effects I used came with fungus) as well as a sound effect named “Angry”. This made it so whenever Tesso said anything you would hear a loud startling sound. At this point I wanted to practise using these functions and so I created another option-based flowchart where the player would have to run away.
While this flow chart was a lot smaller than the first, there were many more commands within each block. I also experimented briefly with the wait command which just adds a second before you find out that its safe. While this adds nothing to the gameplay the main focus of this was to learn and it taught me how to use a wait command for the future. Finally, after you run away from tesso you enter stage 3 which is a third flowchart. At this point I wanted to combine everything I had learnt so far, so I created a quiz that when answered incorrectly sent you back to a previous stage.
This third flowchart is a lot bigger than any of the others but most of the blocks consist of very little dialog and more questions. As you can see in the flowchart above, many of the blocks are intertwined but there are 3 possible end points in this flowchart. The first is that you are sent back to stage 1, the second sends you to stage 2 and the third sends you to stage 4. I have also included a lot more information in the comments of this flowchart as an easy way to figure out which block does what.
The fourth flowchart is just a few say commands as the game is over. This was because the workshop was about to end, and this was just a test project to learn about fungus. I think this very short and simple game was a great way to explore fungus and how I could utilise it in my own game and I may adapt my idea to fit this format better.
The 3D Level Design
For the 3D level design, I have come up with the idea to make it in the same style that Irvine Peacock uses in his paintings. This is basically a room where you can rotate it and it will still function as a map. I think this idea is very unique and if I can pull it off would be very interesting to play. I have not yet settled fully on the idea though as it poses many challenges and I want to keep my scope small. But for the rotating room I was considering having 4 scenes of the same level in different rotations, but I have yet to experiment with the idea in unity.
(Peacock 1978) (Peacock 1978)
Here are a few examples of his work and as you can see, they are very different to traditional level design and would be interesting if it works well.
But as I stated earlier, this is still just a concept and I’m likely to change my mind and do something very different in the coming weeks.
What I want to get done in the next week
By next week’s blog I want to have learnt more about fungus and how to create events using the plugin. I also want to learn how to run different scenes at the same time and whether my current ideas are even feasible. And to the poor soul who read all this, I hope your happy with all the extra details.