Thesis: Process – 15

Yarn!

A classmate of mine, @cladinrad, told me about a divergent story controller that can be implemented in Unity for in-game dialogue. It’s been used in games such as Lost Constellation and Sunflower. It could be useful for Faded Memories as well so I’ve been taking a look at it.

So far it seems easy to use but I think the problem will be when I try to implement it after walking in-game between checkpoints. Once I’ve figured that out though, it should be pretty straightforward to use.

Yarn being used in the browser, then brought into Unity:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 6.08.30 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 6.09.54 PM

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Thesis: Process – 14

Check out these shader and post processing effects!

Before:

Before_renderEffects

Just using a simple shader on the texture creates this.

After:

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.54.01 PM

After depth of field, bloom and vignette/chromatic. What a difference! Now to add sun rays, “see through” windows and some other things. Oh! And the roof eventually.

Random Cool Effect:

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.11.39 PM

Use the visualize checkbox on Depth of Field for this effect. Creates a pretty cool visual that I might use in the future.

Thesis: Process – 13

This post might be longer than normal as I will be talking about two things: my current progress on the nursing home and the shaders I’ve been fooling around with.

Progress on modelling:

screenshot_homeProgress2

The nursing home is coming along well, but it’s taking me longer than I had originally anticipated. This could be because I am paying more attention to details that might not matter, but it could also be because it is a very tedious process.

I do have to admit that once you add doors and little features a space starts to come alive! Before the doors for instance, the space was dull looking – just walls with no character. Now it is starting to come to life.

Shaders:

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.18.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.19.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.20.27 PM

I’ve been doing a pretty basic tweaking of shaders to see what I can get from basic shaders. While the results were starting to look better than nothing, it doesn’t have that dreamlike glow/blur I think I want. I’ve found a tutorial online (LINK HERE) so I will see what results that gives. I feel as though having the level as completely white, but with a glow or blur will give it the sense of it being a memory. Sun rays coming from the window with dust settling should also help me with this direction.

Next Steps:

  • Do the research ethics questionnaire
  • Continue modelling nursing home
  • Fiddle with shaders until it’s looking awesome
  • Get back into scripting
  • Start modelling Grandfather model (hopefully)

Thesis: Process – 12

School has been hitting me harder than I imagined. I barely have time to work on thesis this semester and that’s not a good thing. I need to reorganize my time and figure out a schedule that allows me to spend a good chunk of time on thesis while not neglecting other things. Next semester should be better for me as I have less classes but I am not holding my breath about it.

I’ve begun to model assets for the game. Late, I know, but better than never. I have a game controller working with the build (or at least the main part of the game) which is a nice bonus. Most of my time for thesis gets put into research and writing reports or the like. While I know these are important and are supposed to help me in the long run, it’s annoying. I need to focus on other things and instead I’m reading and writing, not making.

Thesis: Process – 11

On the 28th, I went to Aging 2.0 – a conference about new technologies in the field of elder care. I was suggested to go to this by one of my professors, Dr. Martha Ladly after she heard my Greenlight presentation. The conference was really quite interesting and the technologies and services being developed for elder care and independence are ingenious. They were a nice mix of giving back independence to those who are at risk to lose it and a way to make the aging process more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, none of the technology really could help my thesis as it is an extremely personal one. Were my thesis to be more about helping people with Alzheimer’s “recover” or deal with the disease better, than perhaps it would be useful. Likewise, if it dealt directly with methods on how to give care to those with the disease, then one or more of the technology presented may have had a concurrent purpose with mine. However, as my thesis deals with personal stories, it can only indirectly help those who have gone through similar experiences and perhaps help those people cope with the experience.

Dr. Ladly has been making me think about who my target audience is and whether my thesis has a broader audience appeal. I realize that my target audience should be people who have lived similar experiences but it’s hard to target them as the stories are personal and therefore may not be relevant to others. I should look into whether That Dragon, Cancer had a target audience starting out or whether it was created to express a family’s story.

Thesis: Process – 9

School has started again and with it, back to thesis. Over the summer, I had begun work on my thesis but eventually got side-tracked until when I came back, I realized I had planned the game structure out wrong. Due to this, I am behind on where I had expected to be by now but that is ok. I am excited to be getting back into the swing of making the game and with school back in swing, I’ll be able to focus on it that much more.

I had started out in the summer revving to start on my thesis and I did. I started to code the movement, the menu, I learned about player preferences, I even did research into the layout of the nursing home and got pictures of everything. What started out strong quickly fell by the wayside as work became my priority. The good thing about this is that coming back to it, I can see what the flaws in my original plan were and I can integrate newer strategies to make it better now. I still have all the pictures and plans, so now it’s just a matter of using them. I didn’t really take a step back on my progress, I sort of just took a step to the side instead.

The scope of my thesis is quite large however. After creating a quick gantt chart (which I’ve never done before), I realized how much work is necessary even though I know I haven’t listed everything necessary yet. I knew the amount of work was going to be a lot but until you plot and map it out, you don’t really comprehend the full enormity of it. As such, I think it would be more prudent to focus on one or two stages (read: memories) instead of all of them. This way I can show the difference between two memories from different stages in life as well as make the narratives that much stronger by taking my time on them.