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  • Writer's pictureNero

#2 UI and General Updates

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

So, it has been a week since my last post and so here I am updating you on what I’ve been up to. Over the past week I have been developing my ideas for both the Narrative game and the 3D level although I have yet to make a start within Unity.

The Narrative Game

For the Narrative game I have scoped back quite a lot from what I suggested last week. Instead of making the game like a platformer and then the character discovering it’s in a game I will make it in the style of a visual novel. There are multiple reasons I have done this. For starters, I don’t have to make an entire game that the game will then take place in, saving a lot of time and effort. Secondly, fungus is primarily designed to create visual novels and so it would save a lot, and I mean a lot, of development time. And thirdly, I have workshops where we learn new things with fungus and unity, and they are based on the expectation that we are making a visual novel type of game.

The core idea of the main character becoming the villain is still my intention though, it’s just the way in which I will convey that story has changed.

So, over the past week I have been working on different concepts for the game. To begin with I have create a rough UI block out that I hope to use in my game.

This is a very rough block out to illustrate what elements I want and where.

As you can see on the top left, I have meters that show the characters Sentience, Gold, Pain, and Ignorance. These meters will be what dictate how the game will progress and will be dictated by the decisions the player has made. The names of these bars are very much subject to change still and I might even change their name during the actual game. So, you could start the game with an Intrigue bar that changes into a Sentience bar once the player has passed a certain point in the game.

They are following the law of proximity (Gray 2007) which dictates that objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together. These bars also follow Miller’s Law (Miller 1956) which dictates that the average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory.

Over on the top right there is a save button. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be necessary as this is most likely not going to be a very long game but instead it will play as a key mechanic in the story. The save button will act as something that may become disabled or changed once the main character notices that the player can go back and change their choice.

Over at the bottom left of the screen are 3 hearts that show the characters health. At the beginning of the game, you have to try and keep the characters health high like any other game but towards the end the player might try and kill the main character so the main character might suddenly create more lives in order to combat the player.

At the bottom of the screen is a large text box where text will be displayed. There’s a character profile located on its right that signifies to the player, which character is talking, and this might also be used as a gameplay element. This will be done by allowing the player to interact with the profile late game and manually change who’s talking.

Finally, at the bottom left of the textbox are two buttons called return and next. These buttons at first may seem unnecessary but they will allow the player to rewind time in a sense giving the player a weapon against the enemy.

As you can see, there are many elements of the UI that will not only function as a UI but as key game mechanics in order to fully immerse the player within the story and break a lot of game conventions that players are used to, giving them the sense that they have lost control over the game.

The 3D Level Design

On the 3D Level design front, I have come up with a solution as to how it will function. I will make use of multiple scenes within unity that will be the same map but rotated. When the player walks through a doorway, they will unknowingly enter a new scene, rotating the whole world around them. I got this idea from my GAM130 teamwork project since our programmer has created a different scene for each room and it flows seamlessly as if the whole game was within a single scene.

Using this mechanic, I will be able to create a map that can be traversed in different states of view. At first, I want to make the map work with just 2 views, the right way up and upside down. This is to limit scope but if I have time, I would love to add either side as well. I’m sure I will face many challenges with this idea, but I think it would allow for a lot of emergent gameplay that isn’t possible on normal maps.

(Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba 2019)

Here is a Gif from an anime series I was watching last week that happens to show a room with a very similar design to what I was going with. This gif illustrates what I want the level to look like although it will be a simple 3D block out and so there won’t be as much decoration as seen in this Gif. This also illustrates the importance of lighting as I will need to heavily use lighting in order to guide the player throughout the level since it will look very complicated at first.

Over the next week I hope to come up with a very simple game that will act as the base on which the narrative game will function. This will allow me to figure out how the game will progress and when certain moments will take place. I also hope to find a visual style in which the game will take the form of. By next week I would like to have dabbled with the 3D Level design within Unity, figuring out what problems may arise and how I can solve them.

At the moment I am still very much in the concept stage of development but would like to start branching into the main development stage relatively soon in order to both of these finished by the deadline.

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