First Level Progress

Level 1 is progressing slower than we originally anticipated, but we’re not too worried. Not only is level 1 planned to be much longer than the next 2 levels, but as it is also dependent on setting up most the game’s mechanics, features and visuals, it makes sense that starting out will be more involved and time-consuming. We also both feel that it is worthwhile to take longer on this first stretch of development, because it gives us the chance to really try, test, and fine-tune the fundamentals of our gameplay, before we add more content. If there are issues early on that need to be resolved, there is no point ignoring them and building on top of them just to have to change more later.

I have already started implementing our game’s relatively minimal and simple UI, which will generally be consistent throughout the game. I have updated the buttons to move to and from the table and shelf locations with their proper UI image assets, and implemented a basic version of the doll tag which will be visible in the top right of the screen at all times. When clicked on it will reveal a full-screen version, and this is where text to guide the player through the level’s tasks will appear. We will need some way to close out of the tag, the quickest and easiest way to do this would be adding a close button somewhere on the tag close-up.

We have also had the idea to add a rotate button, that will appear when you are in close-up looking at the doll. This button will toggle you between the front and back views.

I have also now implemented the drag mechanic using my script from the 2D prototype as a starting point. I works by having a collider on the object that is fit mostly to the size and shape of the mesh, and a collider in a designated “target area”. The object also has a set of endPos coordinates that the object will snap to when it is considered to have reached its target.

I made some improvements on the version from 2D prototype, such as having smaller colliders in the centre of both the object and the destination point (to avoid there being a possibility of only half being in place being seen as correct when they collide) and making sure the object only snaps to the final destination on when the player lets go.

We have our table set up in the centre of the room, and now we have 2 nearly identical close-up views set up against the backdrop of the wall just behind where the table is.

I wasn’t entirely certain of the best way to set this up, as we want the front view and back view to be consistent throughout the level, with the doll being the only thing that really changes. However I felt like it might be easier to have 2 separate areas set up, one for the back of the head and one for the front, rather than having them actually share one space. The spaces will be set up to look identical, so that when the “rotate” button is pressed, you will actually change node, but to the player it will simply look like the doll has been turned around.

The only drawback is that I now have several copies of certain game objects, and will at some points need to manually set up both the front and back view to match, however I don’t see this posing a major challenge.

Level 1 current state:

We now have a basic but developed enough version of our first level that we can now have some people playtest the game. It will be important to watch people playing closely, to make a note of what they do, in what order, if/where they get stuck, what they do/don’t click on etc. as all of this will help us better understand how we can lay out our game in a way that works with players and not against them (unless intentional, I suppose).

Laura Alford

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