Updated: Jul 5, 2021
While I had hoped to release blogs weekly, as you can tell from the date, I missed last week’s post. This was because while I had been working on the projects, I didn’t believe I had made sufficient progress to document what had been done. This was because I was focusing on my GAM130 assignment which is a game made with a team, and I had spent the majority of the week adding sound effects to our game in order to enhance the experience. Last week though, I returned to working on these assignments. So, what did I get up to?
Although I’ve had the idea for my major plot twist and ending for a long time now, I hadn’t considered the world in which the game was set. This changed last week as I decided that the initial game will be about trying to become a world-famous streamer. This base narrative idea will also hopefully cause more streamers to play the game, giving the game free publicity and will ideally be particularly engaging for streamers as they have a wide audience, driving future sales of the game.
I began by figuring out what the streaming platform would be called, and I settled on the name Quiver. This name is a play on words from the real-world equivalent of Twitch, since they are both reactions a person has. I also designed my own logo based on Twitch’s logo and came up with the following drawing.
After coming up with a base narrative and platform I decided to work on some character design. I began by drawing 4 distinct looking characters and calling them; Greg, Richard, Rachel and the third will be the main character that the player will name themselves, giving them a sense of themselves within the main character that will be utilised later in the game. I began by drawing because I wanted their personalities to be dictated by how they looked, and I am not good at drawing so it was easier to fit the personalities around the drawing rather than the other way around.
Character 1: Greg
This is Greg. Greg loves food and RPG games; He is very gullible and is often bullied by Richard in school. He is studying programming at school with the other characters and that is how they all first met. He also streams when he is home as a way to escape life at school. Greg is very shy and self-conscious because of his looks and is secretly in love with Rachel.
Character 2: Richard
This is Richard. Richard is a rich boy who has a very posh family that often leaves him on his own as they go off to work abroad. Richard thinks he has no friends although he hangs out with the other characters who consider him a friend, except for Greg who he bullies. Richard loves playing horror games and often streams them as an escape from his reality which he hates.
Character 3: Rachel
This is Rachel. Rachel is the only female character is the game although she does act more like a boy. She often dreams of going on grand adventures which is why she absolutely loves open world survivals. Despite being the only girl in the programming class she doesn’t have a boyfriend as many of the guys are actually scared of her short temper. When Rachel discovered streaming, she felt right at home and has been streaming ever since.
Character 4: Main Character (Player)
This is the main character. This character is good friends with the other 3 and is the best in his class for programming. He wants to become super famous on twitch and is driven to make that dream a reality. He is also considered the more mature one out of the group often giving advice to the others. He is also the antagonist of the game as when he becomes sentient his personality changes into more of a god complex and he becomes self-absorbed and selfish.
An Update to the UI
After coming up with the characters and what the initial gameplay would be, I thought it would be a good idea to update the UI in order to accommodate this.
Initial Game UI Block Out
Here is a block out for the initial UI of the game. This is before the character becomes sentient and is what the player will be seeing for the first half of the game. On the top left the meters are showing different stats to before as at this stage the game is about growing your Quiver account. There are 4 meters.
Knowledge – Which the player gains by going to school or researching online.
Money – Which is gained by streaming once you have a large number of followers and you initially start with 100.
Anxiety – Which goes up if the player doesn’t interact with friends at school or doesn’t gain followers very fast.
Devotion – Which goes up the faster the player gains followers and the more the player spends on streaming.
On the bottom left, you can see a meter that shows the amount of followers the player has and is a quick and easy way for the player to see their progress. The final change is on the top right where there is a new Day box that will show the player what day they are on, allowing them to keep track of where they are and the progress they are making. The day is also displayed right next to the save button so that the player can save if they think they have gone far enough for the day. This utilises Fitts’s Law as the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and the size of the target.
Late Game UI Block Out
Now here is the block out for the late stage of the game. This is after the main character has become sentient and so there are multiple changes to the UI that reflect this. For starters on the top left, 3 out of 4 of the meters have actually changed what they show. These include.
Sentience – Which was previously knowledge but now the more knowledge the character gains the more sentient they become. So, what was once something you wanted to gain is now something you want to lose.
Hatred – This was originally anxiety, but the anxiety of the character has now evolved into hatred with the main character becoming more self-absorbed and selfish.
Ignorance – Originally this was Devotion but now it has changed into ignorance. The more ignorance the character has the better as ignorance is bliss and it negatively effects sentience.
As well as these meters changing, as you can see the followers bar has glitched out of the UI and is showing infinite followers. This is because the main character would have hacked the game to achieve their goal. Also, the character portrait is a lot larger than it was at the beginning of the game as the character is a lot more prominent and scarier. Finally, the save button is greyed out as it no longer functions. The main purpose of the save button is to give the player false confidence in the fact that they can come back to a save later but in fact the button will become disabled in order to build stress and tension in the game.
So how will the game be played?
The game will have 6 stages in a day; School, Talk to friends, Research, Shop, Livestream, and sleep.
A flow chart showing the cycle of each day
The first stage (School) will be where the character learns to program as well as seamlessly transition into the second stage which is more important.
The second stage is where the main character interacts with his friends and talks to them about different topics such as streaming, playing games or life in general. The player will be able to make many choices in this section which will influence the characters relationship with their friends.
The third stage, Research, involves the character either researching future games to play on stream or work for school. What the player decides to prioritise will dictate how much devotion or knowledge the character has.
The fourth stage is when the player can go to the online shop and buy a new game or console or maybe a book or microphone. Essentially allowing the player to spend their money in order to grow their followers or knowledge.
The fifth stage is when the character streams and the player will have to choose what to stream, with who and what time. This will affect almost all the stats and is the main element of the day.
Finally, the player can go to sleep in order to start the cycle all over again.
Now that I have a strong idea of what game I am making as well as a good layout for the game, Next week I want to work on the decisions that the character will face as well as start working on my game in Unity. While I still haven’t decided on an art style, I am going to use placeholders in order to get the gameplay as good as I can, as well as the main narrative story finished. By next week I hope to have made a start in the editor and have a list of all the major decisions that would have a large effect on the game.
I also hope to test out the functionality of the 3D Level design as I haven’t had a chance to work on it this week. But my priority at the moment is my Narrative game as the workshops cover the 3D Level later on in the term.