Week 6-7: Storyboarding and Mechanic Polish

Over the last two weeks the team pushed the project closer to completion by tweaking troublesome mechanics that were highlighted in the demo, and setting up more of the narrative behind the experience.

Changes that were made to the demo:

  • Dials were all changed to be collision based rather than physics based, for ease of use and to fix inconsistent physics interactions
  • Keypad spread out horizontally rather than being a traditional number pad for more consistent presses
  • Wire grabbing/phone grabbing interactions improved
  • Color coding added to aircraft poster for easier reading

New additions:

  • John added letters to the plug on the decryption machine, representing different settings that the machine needs to be set to in addition to hitting numbers. He also wrote the script.
  • Tianchi worked on adding sound effects to all the interactions and helped improve leap motion interactions.
  • Marcus worked on event handling on the radar so blips could be spawned in response to events in the scene, and added a title screen.
  • Jackson helped with leap motion interaction improvements.

A script has been written with preliminary voice lines recorded (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b_mkEgJnS65EHTNKyaCgiyHuvZd27cVxCwGbe-U0KvU/edit?usp=sharing). The team is considering spending some budget on getting some cheap voice work done for more realism, but are just using our own voices for the time being.

In the next week the goal is to time events to the voice lines and hook everything together to create the first day scenario, along with making further mechanics tweaks and adding a fade-in transition between scenes so transitions are less jarring.

 

Week 4-5: Set polish and Mechanics integration

Over the last two weeks the team focused on finishing up the set design and linking all the leap motion mechanics into their appropriate controls so a basic demo could be presented for feedback.

Button, slider, and dial mechanics were utilized in the decryption machine, radio, and radar that the user interacts with. Videos of each in action can be seen in the presentation below, as well as the current state of the set.

The team encountered some difficulty with physics based interactions not working properly, such as physics dials and a tabbed book that provides reference to different aircraft. These are continuing to be worked on, with dials being reverted to a non-physics version as they are more consistent.

Feedback from the demo was mostly positive, though it brought several issues to our attention that need to be addressed:

  • The flight reference “poster” was not clear, will probably need to make it more visually appealing with color coding and bold text
  • The keypad is hard to use unless the user is very close to it due to limitations of leap motion’s hand tracking, potentially increasing the size of the buttons may help
  • The phone/wire tended to fall on the ground and be hard to retrieve. This could be fixed by adding an invisible catcher, or simply have them respawn in the original spot if they fall off the desk

Next week the team plans to address the above issues, as well as work on adding in gameplay elements into the demo. The goal is to set up an event controller to direct the course of action in a given scenario, as well as work on a script to provide the user with instructions.

 

Week 3: Mechanics Refinement and Set Construction

The notable milestones of this week involved further progress on the Leap Motion mechanics, the start of set construction, and a rescoping of the narrative organization.

After completing the dial, slider, and button interaction last week, the Leap Motion team moved on to the final few hand mechanics this week with the addition of page interactions in books and the start of wire physics.

Here is a demonstration video of the page turning mechanics that may be used for the reference manual that users will interact with during their time in the experience.

This week we also purchased our first asset pack to begin construction of the set where most of the experience will take place. Based on reference materials from 1980 office spaces we decided to go with a theme halfway between retro and industrial with pastel colored machinery and only practical furniture such as file cabinets.

setBuildImg

Depicted here is a screenshot of the partially complete with work for the time being focused predominantly on textures and color palette before more effort is put in to the more detailed assets.

The last notable progress was on refining the narrative to align with the mechanics we intend to use during the experience. The team worked on a flowchart of events to scope out the mechanics that need to be developed and track progress towards completing all the necessary mechanics. The flowchart will be referenced when nailing down the sequence of narrative events in each of the three scenarios we present in our final demo.

interactionFlowChart

Moving forward the team plans to have the first draft of the setting complete by next week so that mechanics can start to be connected to the assets that will be used in the final product. The goal is to have a functional demo of at least some of the mechanics by the next checkpoint so that progress can then shift to programming the timing specific sequences and more detailed narrative elements.

Week 2: Leap mechanics and Set Design

This week the mechanics team focused on setting up and locking down ideas for the basic mechanics of the game. Progress was made with setting up dials and buttons through the Leap Motion’s framework in Unity. The mechanics team, in addition to setting up the website, continued development of the narrative and looked into assets that could create a cohesive experience.

LeapMotion development has proved slightly different than what we had anticipated, since collisions between the hands and the environment are not detected using Unity’s collider system, rather just checking for overlap of the hand with assets. The team considered some options to get around this, such as attaching a collider to each fingertip and working from there, but ultimately settled on just using the overlap checks for each finger, as for our purposes there are only certain interactable objects in which collision checking even matters. Dials and buttons have been implemented in this way, with an example of dials here.

Video

On the asset team, it was discovered that there are a general lack of assets that fit together cohesively and with our vision for our purposes, with many props being set up for more sci-fi situations, or being part of large packs that contain many additional assets we do not require. Since narrative is a large part of our vision, it is likely that our asset budget may exceed what was originally planned.

office

This image is part of the HQ PBR Retro Office Props Kit, which is one of the asset packs we are considering.

Next week the Leap Motion team aims to continue to implement more gameplay mechanics, such as levers, and plugging wires into a decryption machine. The asset team will begin to purchase assets and set up a basic scene that can be iterated on, along with making some set pieces that can be utilized such as the missile detection radar. We plan to be able to demo these mechanics in class, as well as show off our initial vision for the level to get feedback.

 

Week 1: Setup and Exploration

This week the Dexperience Team has been working on refining the ideas for the VR experience and exploring the capabilities of the hardware.

After spending some time using the Leap Motion hand tracking technology the team created a tool which utilizes a VR controller for calibrating the hand tracking to the movement of the VR headset in order for the virtual hand model to accurately match the user’s physical hand. The benefit of this tool is that it can be used with any VR headset and any placement of the Leap Motion device on the headset in order to avoid manually calibrating the position.

Here’s a demo video of the initial version of the tool, calibrating with an Oculus Touch controller.

 

The team also spent time this week solidifying the general project plan through the creation of the team website (the one you are currently on) and a product requirements document that will be used to guide the creation process throughout the quarter.