Proof of Concept 2: Dev Log

January 20, 2017

Apologies for staying updated on the project, but it is complete for now and I am able to talk about it. In this project, I was in charge of the overall development and implementation of the project as well as coding tasks that were needed to complete the game.

This Proof of Concept is called Footage and it’s a game where multiple people run through a maze. However, each section of the maze can only be seen through a certain camera angle, and on top of that, the player’s movement is relative to only the camera angle they’re being seen through.

Some challenges that I faced while working on this includes whether or not to have each area that displays a camera that toggles between multiple set cameras or just have one. The solution was simple, I set up each section that contained multiple cameras and set it up so that there was one priority cam. If the section was set to toggle, it would go through each camera attached to it, while if it wasn’t then it would just display the priority one.

Another challenge was the character controller we used.

There’s nothing special. Its just the Standard Assets Ethan from Unity. I did change up the code for it a bit in order to dynamically change which camera it moved relatively to.

Finally, I wanted to make the system we set up easy to add content to. If we had another map, we might have a different amount of cameras, so we can’t set up split screen with a map with more or less than 9 sections. In order to solve this problem, I wrote a script that automatically divides the screen into any amount of divisions as you need camera’s displaying. Also, you can dynamically set which display gets which division and even randomize it. I did this without using an editor script to make a custom inspector, but rather, I made a script with execute in edit mode running on it and just made functions that ran once when a public bool is toggled true in the inspector, and after executing whatever code it had to, was immediately set false. This basically let me set up bool checkboxes as buttons that could run functions outside of playmode.

 

To analyze Footage and its design, I would say that although it is a game that we were able to iterate on pretty well, there’s not much that we can do with it. Its main mechanic seems more like a gimmick than an actual deep mechanic and I personally would not want to go on with it. I think its fine as a minigame, but most games that rely heavily on short gameplay loops that rely on awkward controls do not lend themselves well to a full game experience. First of all, I believe there needs to be more player interaction. Although it is comical, the player’s only interaction is them colliding with one another. They might as well just be on separate computers and compare times. The thing is, it would be very difficult to set up player interaction because of the cameras, because there is no control over enemy characters and very awkward controls over your own, it is a very challenging problem to find a way that players can interact that involves player skill rather than chance.

To speak about the design of the game, it was tested through setting up multiple ways to play and playtesting each one looking for the most successful one. For example, ultimately we went with the static cams rather than the toggling ones and that’s because it was too difficult in more than one way. Although it was supposed to be disorienting, it was way too disorienting, and people had no idea what was going on. The rounds took longer than 10 minutes to complete where the quirkiness of the gimmick had long overstayed its welcome. Also, since characters move relative to the camera, having it switch every few seconds literally stopped the player for a moment every time it happened which was a pretty big hindrance more than anything else.

This game, being the most polished so far really shows how simple it is. If you have only a week to make a game, there should be less polish and more substance. This just goes to show how little there was for a main mechanic or any sort of meaningful gameplay or interaction with the player. This is not a game I would like to continue and although it was a good experience creating, I feel that this does not carry enough weight.

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