I’ve had an amazing time at university and this course.
I got running, wind and skiing sound effects from freesound.org and I added them to the game.
I did some testing on the game. See User Tests
I decided to work through my website to make sure that all the information was in an easy to read format. I changed the order of some the headings around as it was more logical, for example, I moved Research to after User Test rather than as the last heading and deleted the UI section because it’s pretty intuitive now that I have included instructions in the game itself. Basically, press space bar to jump and double press to double jump.
I have done the first draft of my personal reflective blog. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the detail. Isn’t hindsight a great thing?
More game testing (see User Tests).
I created a new marketing section in this website and I added my marketing information and merchandising design. I have invested a total of £116.31 in marketing products.
26 May 2018
More game testing (see User Tests). I made a sprite of my character with ski and imported it to the game.
I documented in more detail the process for my trailer and uploaded the trailer. To generate more interest in my game I also posted it on YouTube . I was going to put it in my bio in Instagram but my website link is in there. I also uploaded a photo of me wearing T-Shirt.
Working on my documentary. I’m using Premier.
These are the tools I used to edit my audio for my documentary.
More game testing (see User Tests).
I tried to incorporate some of information in the articles I read into my game. Raimbault’s flow chart was very useful and it made sense to try and build in the blocks he suggested. Jamieson’s advice to keep the game challenging and fun was useful and I changed my game so that if the player dies he doesn’t have to start again. I also tried to start the game easy and increase the level of difficulty.
My goal today is to design my merchandise and order it so that it is ready in good time for the Winchester and London shows. I’ve decided to focus on my brand colours of blue, yellow and red for the pop up. The dimensions make it difficult to include my logo or hero image. I also want to use my merchandise to direct people to my website and email address. I’m mainly interested in something that can be used rather than thrown away.
I have ordered my pop up from WSA creative services centre. I have also ordered my business card and a business stamp online. I have ordered postcards and a couple of t-shirts. USB sticks, lollipops and coasters were all too expensive mainly because I would have to order in bulk.
For more detailed information go to marketing.
More game testing (see User Tests).
When game is paused enemies still continue to run past him and music continues to play.
Today I continued editing my game and documentary.
More game testing (see User Tests).
Today I put in my doctor and nurse characters to chase Luke and also added a pause button in the game being ‘p’. I also made some improvements to collision with obstacles and the player Luke so when you run into one of them you don’t get stuck.
I’ve decided to separate all my user testing.
In my build of the game I struggled with spawning in obstacles because they kept spawning over each other in quick succession and blocked the player from moving past them.
I’ve spaced out and shortened the number of obstacle spawners in my game so to not be as clustered anymore.
I also filmed some more close up shots of my facial expressions/eyes and a time lapse video clip of people moving around in the games room. Cutting and putting each clip together to go along with the music and not feel dragging was difficult but I’m pleased with what I have done so far to show for Friday. Over the next two days I’m going to be working on my script and use and audio recorder to practice.
Labour politician Tessa Howell died today from a brain tumour. I read that she said that she was not afraid to die. I also read that the poet Seamus Heaney’s last words were ‘Noli timere’ – ‘don’t be afraid’. I realised that this was something that was in my mind when I was thinking about making a game. People are being confronted with cancer or people they know with cancer and having to think about death and so can make a bucket list and are not afraid to do things.
Reviewing my social media advice
My old design was too fast and didn’t have an end (which is a problem for an endless runner game!) so I had to redesign it and start from scratch with the coin collection. The reason why the code didn’t work was because the code was linked to the background so when I dropped the coins in the new design the code was out of date and wasn’t letting the game run.
My classmate Rhys and I edited the code so it was no longer linked to the platform and we connected it to a platform spawner instead. This enabled the code to work like it did in the previous iteration.
Later, I also put in a box collider at the end of the level where when you run into it, it takes you to the next theme.
I have stopped using the Infinite Runner package I downloaded from the Unity store because it’s not a flexible as I thought and I’m getting more information from Unity Tutorials and the Unity Community Forum.
I need to think about my film/cards/banners/post cards as they will be contribute to my grade because it’s a sign of marketing.
I worked on my documentary which should show how my game design process. I adjusted and shortened the clips of my gameplay, website, instagram and twitter to make it flow better.
I’ve also been improving finalstretchgm.com. website. For example, I used a plugin to add my instagram and twitter to my footer and I changed the URL so it says the page name without any additional numbers. It’s coming together.
I’ve worked on adding obstacles to my game.
I created the following assets in Illustrator and Unity and I have imported them in the game in Unity.
I need some help with my coding and so as I have created a to do list
How do I make the character skins stick for each scene i.e. why do I have to go into the animator and make the skins default layer ?
Put coin collection back into the game
Make objects heavier/slows Luke down
Make doctors and nurses spawn behind Luke and if he’s slowed down too much and they touch him the game resets.
Doctor and Nurses animate them like player so they move forward. Add code to make when they touch Luke they reset level.
I have the jump sound and variation of each sounds but I need to code it into the game
Scoreboard so players can see how they have done in comparison to other people
I imported the I.V. drip and the hospital bed obstacles to my game in Unity.
To do this, I had to make an object spawner in the master, drag it into the game and then called it “(enter obstacle name) Spawner for example, IV drip spawner. Once I did that I dragged the object sprite into the obstacle script and then dragged the player into player script.
Then I made a (enter name) ObstacaleMaster, gave it a Rigid2D body and then add Box collider 2D so that when the player runs into the obstacle he collides rather than runs through it.
I improved on my backgrounds because Luke is running in a straight line and there was a slope so I evened it up.
Working on jumping animation.
I jump sound and variation of each sounds from freesound.org
I also created the level layout for hospital level to find out where to place obstacles and traps
Hospital level lasts 1:20 seconds
Draw a layout with positions of all spawners and stuff. It only needs to be relative to level size (e.g. halfway point, 3/4 way through, etc).
Today I worked on improving my new build of my game as well as doing a small test with the first years.
layout of level: Doctors and nurses are in view behind Luke, first obstacle will be gurney after 10 seconds followed by platforms coming towards you continuously, second obstacle can be closing shutter doors after 10 seconds, next will be puddles of water and hospital beds after 15 seconds. Near the end of the level shutter door closing behind you in quick secession as you escape the hospital.
Look at cross roads/other endless runners to see when obstacles appear at each intervals.
In Crossy Roads you start off slow with 10 seconds of getting used to the controls before avoiding obstacles and getting past obstacles. You can control and moderate your own speed with touching the screen but it looks like theres an obstacle ever three seconds.
The obstacle can move on their own in different directions and you can there are a variety of them i.e. cars,trains,vans etc.
Steppy Pants has many themes and obstacles to overcome. Each obstacle appear very quickly because the key component of the game is to walking where if you step on a crack or on the edge of an object without good footing you fail.
My job now is to do layout design for each level. James helped me redesign my level layout.
I started putting together my stock footage and other video clips I’ve gathered.
Today I was doing a redesign of my city theme to make the colour scheme more vibrant
London/Winchester show. what am I thinking of doing in the Rotunda i.e. banners, posters, stencil, foam board posters, T-shirts. For the show we have to dress fashionable. testing days, posters etc.
Today in class I enlarged my background to encompass my player and objects.
Video clips of my game
I’ve also finished my hospital theme Luke skin design.
Today Rhys and I went to the photography studio and rented out a DSLR camera and a mounted tripod. Figuring out the aperture and and where the best lighting was for the camera to be placed in our studio was difficult but after a few tests playing with the light settings and figuring out the best positions to get the hang of it we started capturing shots of our work.
We focused on getting shots of our game and people playing it, our code and our illustrations we’d made. Later on I gathered stock footage from a royalty free site called Pexels.com which had tons of footage that was useful for me to use to explain the symbolism and meaning behind my game.
I’m looking into having a song playing in the background of my documentary, I might use one of the songs I gathered off AudioJungle.
Over the holidays I battled the flu but managed to get through my work list. My plan was to work on my game and get my friends to test it. Getting my friends availability to test the game proved more difficult than I thought because they were working. I think it will be easier to test my game when I get back to uni because everyone from my course will be around and we will need each other to test our games.
I have created a questionnaire to get some feedback on my game.
I created a basic hospital and city theme (which I will make improvements to after testing feedback) to go with the, desert theme and winter/ski theme and I will create the final theme after testing.
My mood boards are available on Pinterest (see below)
I got Logic Pro X. I have been collecting sounds from freesound.org and I have edited them in Logic Pro X, for example wind and Luke running. Thanks to Alex Ayling I was able to set up my Logic Pro tools to be like his and I was able to modify my sounds, for example, for my wind sound I was had to fade in to the sound and decide on the direction the wind was coming from.
I’ve also spent quite a lot of time listening to tracks on audiojungle.net which is a royalty free music site.
I have selected four soundtracks for my themes and I have put them in the game. I will get the final soundtrack when I have decided the final them and tested the first four.
I am also researching how to get my game on the app store but at the moment it’s not ready. It needs to be fully tested.
I decided to change my logo from my hero poster on my blog. I played around with the colours and backgrounds and I might even change it again later on.
This represents a treasure map but the background might be a bit dark for my cartoon/comedic style.
Even with a red background it’s a bit dark
The map of the world represents all the places that Luke could travel to. All the names make it a bit crowded.
I prefer this version but the name is a bit lost.
I worked with LogicProX today and it was amazing. The format was very clear and Alex was very helpful showing me how the tools work. He kindly gave me his email just in case I need to ask him for help.
He advised me to have at least five sounds for running/jumping, and to build the sounds to suit the location so it would make you feel like you were there. I learnt that sound adds realism and our brains have a memory centre for sounds although we are not constricted by realism we can make any sounds that we want and put random sounds together. Hopefully I can think outside the box.
I will look into getting Get logic pro X.
I created heart sprites in Illustrator to represent lives in my game. I need to remember to state what I’ve made in Unity and what I haven’t so that I am not claiming work that is not my own. I made the character sprites, backgrounds, coins, platforms in Illustrator. From the Unity Software I got the camera, platform spawner, pause menu and life system.
This is a life.
This is when the player lose a life
I had to make the colours a shade darker so that it was more visible in the game.
I had a one to one with Adam. He said that I’m making good progress and that I should test my game. I should also aim to get it on App store and get it onto different devices. He suggested that I look into making mechanics more unique, put enemies in game, work on speed, spawn balancing, etc. I also need to create a quick questionnaire for my testers using open ended questions i.e. what would they change/add/remove, sound effects, music.
Fergus McNeill came in and spoke to us today.
This is the platform spawning code for my game which I got from Unity.
I have two goals in mind for today. The first is to make a coin collector code because coin collection is one of the key mechanics and I don’t have one yet in the game. The second is to correct the speed of the platform. As it stands the platforms are too high up for the spawner so it’s impossible for Luke to land on them. This is making the game unfair because when the player enters the game, Luke falls flat instead of landing on a platform so the player is not given a fair chance.
I have made the coin collection using the following code. There was some problems in the beginning i.e. the coins were inside the platforms so the player couldn’t get them but I fixed that by making rows of coins and making sure it wouldn’t spawn on the platform. Getting the score counter to work was also problematic but I managed to make them work together with help from Rhys.
I was able to move the platform lower by dragging it down and now it’s more likely that Luke will land on the platform.
Putting my game into film
This afternoon we were briefed by Susanna about how to make a documentary about our game.
Today I collected images for my Reflective Journal after Adam suggested in my one to one that images would help spread out the paragraphs and keep the reader more interested.
I also went on to a site called freesound.org and collected some sound effects for my endless runner.
Today I created a sprite sheet for my coins for Luke to collect. The purpose of this is to make the player be more invested in the game.
I was struggling to figure out how to post images/videos to Instagram. Most of my work is PNG and Jpegs I made created in Illustrator on my computer. Unfortunately it is only possible to post on Instagram from your phone, usually photos. Adam thankfully showed me how to trick my Mac into thinking it was a Iphone so now I can post images and videos easier.
I experimented with the tool and copy and pasted a few lines to form a map, then I changed the outline of the words to make them look more neon and not just black outlines so that they would stand out more.
I made a desert skin for my desert theme.
I started working on my sprite clothing designs for Luke for the different environments. I wanted the colour scheme to work so that the player automatically knew who Luke was so I went for red and blue. It’s also in line with my theme of bright colours for a young audience. I looked into snow gear and gradually added accessories, such as gloves, hood/helmet and visor.
I created some more background designs for my Endless runner, I’m going to make custom skins for Luke where he wears desert and other clothing to match the environment that he is in. In the desert theme I had an idea to make bottles of water as coins for collectables and the sand to make Luke slower if he’s dehydrated and hasn’t collected enough water.
I’ve changed my profile photo on twitter and I’ve added the same one to instagram. Made a couple of posts to show Luke’s development. I’m also trying to make a subdomain so that I can separate out my blogs so my followers can just see the development side without reading all the other stuff
I did more research for my reflective journal and made the journal flow a bit more. There is a lot of depth to micro transactions, if as I am, you are thinking about the gambling aspect of them. My journal will look at how game designers are using the psychology of gambling to exploit gamers.
We had a brilliant lecture today from Alex Ayling.
I really enjoyed Alex’s lecture today and I have made a to do list.
Put my game on Itch.io and also test the distance of blocks, speed parameters, win rate etc when I have developed it more.
And create sounds for losing lives, make players feel like they’re in the moment.
Play game with sound tracks from youtube in background and see if I need to make game speed faster, try royalty free sites, look at comedic music, look at music scores
I will gather spotify playlists, music that is an inspiration for my game, collect sounds, original soundtack, comedic songs, music reacts to events/situations.
Today I put in my one of my favourite soundtracks from a film called ‘Boy and the Beast’ into my game by converting it into a MP3 file then exporting it into Unity and attaching it to my main camera in my scene. See below.
I also updated my Trello to keep me on track.
I reworded my blurb for the Winchester.games and spent the morning working on my Reflective Journal.
I made good progress today by just simply making Luke move on a platform. To most people this probably looks mediocre and not very impressive but I’m quite pleased and will now hopefully be able to figure out more of the coding.
I continued working and looking at Unity tutorials which proved to be more complicated then I thought and proved to be very frustrating. I have made some progress in making my sprites, have an animated controller and getting rid of compiler errors from I have no idea where. I have an endless runner plug in which should at least help.
With my classmate Rhys help I managed to progress my gameplay significantly and I am very relieved. Hopefully I will be able to return the favour if he gets stuck with anything. It’s so nice to have good friends on my course.
We were working on trying to import my character model (Luke) and replace the character model in the Unity plug-in with mine. I couldn’t find the exact code so we googled a lot of Unity questions and answers on how to change or rewrite code but nothing helpful came up. Finally we figured it out through trial and error and after many attempts we managed replace our character.
I imported the animation I made of Luke earlier this morning into my game.
When importing assets and changing them all I need to do is go into Assets/Demos/Prefabs/Minimal2D/ and I’ll be able to make changes and improvements.
Today I started working on ‘Final Stretch’ in Unity and prepared my assets to be animated and coded. I also made another background for my parallax scrolling for my endless runner.
I had asked my tutor James if he could spend some time with me but that was not to be.
I spent the day working on my Reflective Journal – I’m enjoying it!
Today I looked at my Twitter account, following gaming news and influential figures in the gaming industry. I also reading through the FMP guidance and made some notes which I plan to work through at the weekend. I read the information “Goal putting your game into film” which should help me when I start to create my film footage of the game. The rest of my day was spent reading and gathering information for my Reflective Journal which I have to say is coming together. There is such a lot of information to get through.
Adam asked us to make a hero poster for games design so here’s one I created today. When making my hero poster I wanted the image to capture movement and speed because I’m making an endless runner. I decided to encompass it in a circle because I’d be able to make it my cover image for twitter/Instagram accounts and it seemed more open and not closed in if I was using a box.
Today I focused on watching tutorial videos on how to make an endless runner in Unity. I also updated the format of my WordPress blog and made adjustments to my Trello board outlining what I needed to have done by each week.
The tutorial I watched was insightful and helped me understand what things I needed to have in place to make my endless runner work. The problem I keep running into is the coding because it’s one of my weakest skills but the most important to master in order to succeed. I’ve made it my personal goal for this Semester. I’ll continue to create more assets and focus on watching more tutorials.
I also completed another skiing environment background and also experimented with the brush tool in illustrator.
Environment for winter theme
Feedback from James
I told the class that I was focussing on microtransactions for my reflective journal. I am covering the economics of microtransactions and their impact on game publishers and gamers. I will also address the issues of gambling and additcion. James agreed that I should look at addiction and make in depth examples on what monetary value means i.e. Da Vinci compared to pokemon cards, value of 1 against a million others
Live life to the full quotes to put on backgrounds
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
I am not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.
The doctor who diagnosed me with ALS, or motor neuron disease, told me that it would kill me in two or three years.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
When people are determined they can overcome anything.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears..
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Ezio (Assassin’s Creed II)
“Don’t ever stop. Always keep going, no matter what happens and is taken from you. Even when life is so unfair, don’t give up.”
I set up all my social media accounts and domain accounts i.e. twitter, instagram, cloud above and hover to secure the name Final Stretch for my game. I also was able to make another wordpress account for my game to document my work and record my research,blogs etc.
I have looked at the following link Adam put on slack https://itch.io/developers and I have set up a reminder to look at this when my game is ready for advertising.
http://gamedevelopertips.com/create-press-kit-plus-press-kit-examples/ also from slack which looks like it’s very helpful.
Going to work through this tutorial.
I completed the National Student Survey 2018 where I filled in all the questions truthfully and gave feedback on what I have enjoyed and learned from my 2 and a half years at university.
I’ve also finalized my character sprite sheets and am beginning to focus on environments.
I experimented with different typography looking at sci-fi, racing and action adventure fonts. I looked at dafont.com, which is a site I first came across 4 years ago in college. I looked at different iterations of ‘final stretch’ to see what would work the best for a 12+ game.
I’m still interpreting the colour scheme to see what works best, but for the time being, red and grey seem to really stand out. I wanted to make the ‘F’ unique to emphasis ‘final’ and make it eye-catching.
Adam gave me feedback on my work in Semester 1.
He said my game was a good portfolio piece rather than an super commercial idea and he said the research that I did in Semester 1 for the game idea was very good. He was also pleased that I had identified my goal of improving my coding skills for the rest of my time at university.
The area of concern is whether an endless runner game is relevant in 2018? The goal for me now is to make a fun endless runner game that will keep players engaged and reflect my overall theme that life is short and we should enjoy it to the full.
Today I focused on working on finishing my character sprite animations. I enjoyed creating the sprite sheets to show what the characters would look like in frame by frame movement. I will need to polish them and add more effects but for the time being I’m going to focus on creating assets and I will go back to improving them later.
Today in class I started working in Unity and started importing my sprite sheets. I was confused at first because I didn’t know how to split up each frame by frame image but James helped me by explaining that I needed to import them in as PNG and the go into ‘Inspector’ on the right hand side, sprite mode: multiple and then go into sprite editor and split the image into separate pieces.
I enjoyed Calum’s lecture today and I have started to research for my RJ. There is quite a lot of articles surrounding the Star Wars microtransactions fiasco. The economics of microtransactions is also being written about so I may include that. I’m beginning to think that I will be able to separate my article quite easily from my essay. I don’t want too much repetition but I also want some consistency between my essay and my article.
I created a plan for my RJ which should help me keep on track. Hand in is before we break up for Easter and I would also like my game to be ready.
I have drafted a schedule for my reflective journal so that it is not left to the last minute.
06.02.18 Week 2
Research articles and studies and keep notes
13.02.18 Week 3
Separate essay from article and start to draft
20.02.18 Week 4
Incorporate advice from Matt Rice Portfolio building and expectation lecture and other sessions, show Calum work and continue to redraft
27.02.18 Week 5
Adam Rosser (BBC Journalist)
Review current work and hone essay and article
06.03.18 Week 6
Work on final essay and article
Week 7 Hand in (MONDAY 12th March)
I completed two of my sprite sheets on Illustrator. First I researched generic images for doctors on Pinterest
I designed my doctor and surgeon characters and did a frame by frame illustration of what they would look like in movement.
I need to work on the following:
Enemies look the same in games, therefore in Final Stretch I won’t give them different skins for each theme. If they had different skins it might be confusing as they wouldn’t be instantly recognisable as enemies and a threat to the players.
Luke has been told that he is terminally ill. The medical team would like him to stay in hospital where he can get the best care. However, Luke wants to make the most of the time that he has left and he wants to leave the hospital immediately. The team say that this is not in his best interest and that they will not discharge him until his parents come and agree to sign the discharge papers. Luke does not want to distress his parents so he plans his escape.
Dr Lars Gains
Dr Eoin Napier
I will look at Hover.com for my domain and also look at Github, cloudabove.com. I also need to record my work and get images for when a film team come round in March. Adam recommended that we make an instagram, twitter and domain account.
We looked at video game adverts to understand the the style and tone of branding and promotional videos like BBC player Kids and also DeviantArt to see the different types of music and video editing styles. We also looked at Movingbrands.com.
I decided to plan my time in a little more detail. I broke it into 3 areas that are important to me this semester.
I like structure and this exercise helped me feel less stressed.
To do list
Today I worked on my schedule for week 1 of things to do. I started making my sprite sheets for character movement, projectiles etc.
I’ve been reading up on ‘Branding’ and it’s very interesting learning about how companies invested a lot of time and effort into making their companies recognisable after realizing there was profit in doing so. I have put my notes in advance of Fridays workshop in this blog in the Workshop section.
I also listened to a podcast from AppMasters.co about Ad Monetization on Google play with Steve Young and Jonathan Raveh. It was really interesting how deep they delved into it.
Today in class we had a lecture with Adam going over what we would base our reflective journal on. Everyone in the room called out what they wanted to write about and Adam wrote it down on the board. There were many interesting topics to choose from like Esports, crowd funding, educational games, rise of AR/VR and local competitive etc.
I have to write two pieces of work. One piece is 2,500 word a reflective essay and the other is a 1,500 word journalism article. I have decided to look into microtransactions because it’s a very topical with a lot of thought provoking issues. I will look at how and why they have evolved, and the issues surrounding their manipulative nature and gambling and addiction. I will spend this week doing some research.
There is an interview day this weekend for future Games Design and Art students. I enjoy helping out at these but unfortunately there was enough ambassadors this time. I got some fantastic feedback from a Year 1 student at last years interview day. I printed out something he had forgotten and he saw me on campus and came and thanked me. Someone had put me at my ease at my interview day 3 years ago so I was glad to repay the favour and hopefully he will go on to help someone in the future at an interview day.