Posts Tagged ‘programming’

Emitters, avatar en environment in details

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The next three components are maybe less criticial than the previous two, but it is important to describe them, as they will come into play not matter what.

EMITTERS

Position : the emitter has position.  That’s pretty much it.

Moving / static : the emitter can be stuck to a position, or can move around, either in a fixed direction or in freeform

Can it be captured by bubbles? : self-explanatory

Is it captured by a bubble? : idem

Size : again, this seems pretty obvious.

Direction : if the ripple created by the emitter is not 360 degrees wide, then the emitter should have a visible direction that is going to hint in which way the ripples will be heading

Synthetic sound : each emitter will have a sound that it will emit.  This sound can be musical or a sound effect designed by the team or the sound of a bubble that has been converted.

On/off : some emitters will be on all the time, but others will have to be activated or de-activated by the player

Rythm : does the emitter emit continuously or only in little bursts (if so, at which rate?)

AVATAR

Position : the position of the avatar

Size : the avatar will have a size, probably the same throughout the game

Direction : the avatar must have a visible forward direction, because that’s where the bubble will be spawned from.

Color and alpha : we should put this variable in, as it may prove useful later in the development, if we want to give special properties to the avatar, which he will pass to the bubbles he’ll make.

Velocity : the speed at which the avatar travels after the player’s input

Strength : because we want the avatar to be essentially powerless and useless, its strength would be close to zero, in a way that any ripple would affect him.

ENVIRONMENT (mostly walls)

Camera : the camera will be centered on the player’s avatar to enhance the feeling of exploration as it travels through the contiguous environments.  However, it should be far enough in order to be able to get a good idea of the surroundings and manipulate bubbles even after a great distance.

Fluid : if we decide to go with fluid simulations, we’ll have to take into account its properties

Color and alpha : again, this is the idea of giving special properties to walls and obstacles

Wall properties : additionnaly to color, the walls could have visibles traits that would give them special properties (such as letting bubbles bounce)

 

Bubbles in details

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Right below is the diagram of what a bubble is.  I’ll explain each variable.



Voice : well. speak and see how that goes!  Like we said before, we’ll use three main parameters for voice input : pitch, volume and duration.  Like FX suggested, we could have use crescendos and decrescendos, but we preferred sticking to a more simpler set of rules for the time being.

Influence strength : bubbles will be able to interact with their environment, just like our voice in real life can influence our surroundings.  However, this influence has a strength.  Per example, to be able to “capture” a certain emitter, you’d have to have a certain strength.  Or to the contrary, some emitters could be destroyed if your influence strength is too strong.  In a way. this is the “output” parameter of the bubble itself.  It is controlled by volume.

Inflence radius : this is the outer circle of the bubble.  Sometimes, you want it to be big to have a broader “appeal”.  Sometimes, you want it to be smaller, to be “quieter”.

Thickness : this is the actual thickness of the bubble, which is determined by pitch.  A lower pitch means a thicker bubble, which is pretty intuitive if you actually make the sound.  The thickness is, in a way, the bubble’s input recepient, meaning that it determines how the bubble will react to the environment’s different outputs.

Velocity : this is the speed at which the bubble travels.  This applies to when the bubble is dragged as well as when the bubble is flinged.  It is pretty intuitive to think that a small, sturdier and thicker bubble will travel at a smaller speed than a more “agile” one.

Stretchability : each bubble can be stretched via tactile input.  This will let the player fine-tune the bubble’s pitch and volume if he made a mistake while creating it (up to a certain degree).  A thicker bubble is harder to stretch, because its surface tension is stronger.

Burst level : this is a treshold after which a bubble will burst, thus forcing the player to create another one.  We could say it is the most punishing aspect of our game.  The thicker the bubble is, the harder it is to pop.  If the player screams in his iPad, it will also burst.

Size : well…this is the size of the bubble.  The longer the player speaks, the bigger the bubble is.  However, there is a but…

Maximum size : there is an actual size after which the bubble will burst.  This maximum size is determined by the thickness of the bubble.  The thicker it is, the harder it is to get it bigger.

Lifespan : each bubble will have a lifespan.  With that, we create 1) a challenge for the player 2) a way to manage the quantity of bubbles on-screen at the same time.  The bigger the bubble is, the smaller its lifespan will be.  This creates a nice balance between having large and useful bubbles and having smaller but more durable bubbles.

Manipulation : each manipulation would result in a small-to-great reduction of the bubble lifespan.  By manipulation, we mean either stretch, move or absorption and moving of objects.

OTHERS VARIABLES  (these are not on the diagram, but should be taken into account for programming or gameplay purposes)

Created : is the bubble created or not.

Coordinates : the position of the bubble on the screen.  The bubble emerge from the avatar’s position

Touched : is the bubble being touched?  Is it being dragged?  Is it being stretched?

Color / alpha : both of these properties could give new properties that are yet to determined to the bubbles.  However, it would be great to be able to play with these variables if we can.

It think it is all we need for early prototyping purposes, but if you think of anything else, don’t hesitate to tell us!

***Note : the actual visual impacts of each of these variables are still not decided.  However, we feel that what is the most important right now is to get the bubbles working on a pure gameplay-level.  After that, it should be easier to associate each of these properties to a visual cue (if there is a need to do so)***

 

 

Unity for dummies

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Hey!

Because we’re working with Unity, it would be great if everyone had at least a basic knowledge of what we’ll be dealing with!  I’ve been trying to learn Unity myself  for the past couple of weeks, so I gathered a few resources that I would like to share with you.

1) http://www.unity3dstudent.com/category/modules/

These tutorials are great and can be done within 2 or 3 hours.  You’ll learn the very high-level functions of Unity, but it is a great way to get familiar with the interface.

2) http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/index.html

This if the official documentation for Unity and it can quickly become overwhelming, but I think going at least through the overview will be very helpful.  After that, straight to bookmarks, as it will be very useful when coming new integrated functions of which you don’t know all the possible parameters.

3) http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/penelope

It is a pretty extensive tutorial for an iPhone game.  I’m doing it right now and it is very enlightning, especially for when it comes to dealing with touches.

4) http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/index.html

This is a great resource, as most of the questions you’ll be asking yourself will already have an answer here (I think)

5) Other resources (I haven’t really dug into those, but I think I may do so in the near future)

http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=808bf515c69066eb13df7952c0d54711

A lot of videos (736!), but they are well categorized to fit every need.  I have done 3D Buzz tutorials in the past and was always satisfied (no, they did not pay me to say that)

http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=Tutorials

Other tutorials, but they seem to be built around older versions of Unity.  Not sure if they still apply, but eh! at least we know they exist!

There are probably way more resources than that, but I think those cover most of the ground.