‘Distortion’ – Evaluation

Overall i like where the game is at its current state. I can see the flaws with the game and can see what i did right. The implementation of something actually moving is definitely a step up from last time. My greater accomplishment would have to be the in-game navigation, it was a pain to implement and construct the collisions, but it was worth it for the experience. Additionally the 5 movable characters was something i liked and looks far more impressive, personally than a selectable solo character moving around the screen.

I didn’t quite get to grips with stopping the companions from colliding with the walls, this is because of how they follow the leading characters path from a distance and cannot be moved otherwise. Additionally i ran out of time to put actual building quality detail to the buildings as i was too busy messing around with other things. Also, the combat system is very rushed and lacking some coherency in the sense that the AI would only either attack constantly whilst also healing at times, something that’s only avoidable if i were to rebuild the combat system, something i didn’t have time to do.

Rebuilding the combat system and enforcing navigational properties would be the pivotal improvement points going forward. I’d like to also make the entire system more streamlined, currently it’s a massive collation and accumulation of if statements.

GUI Feedback Collation

So i asked my peers for feedback on my GUI at a specific stage, here are the results

Things they liked

  • Use of logo colour with buttons
  • Exo suit health bar looks cool, like part of the suit
  • It looks nice
  • Flows well between pages
  • Menu screen is well done
  • Easy to use

Things they didn’t

  • Not sure how options are going to be set out
  • Monitor shows nothing
  • Ululu health bar seems out of place and scruffy
  • Blank pages
  • Not a lot going on
  • Most screens are fairly basic
  • Options screen isn’t finished
  • New Game and Continue buttons go to the same thing
  • Arrows shouldn’t be imprinted onto the design
  • Lack of an inventory system

Suggestions for improvement

  • Make the buttons do something when you hover over them
  • Improve options
  • Show something on the monitor
  • Make an inventory system
  • More detail needed with Ululu
  • Ululu facial expression in Exo Suit HUD?
  • Make something move
  • Give more information, gets confusing
  • Have more things animated
  • Finish/Fix options menu
  • Distinction between New Game and Continue
  • Keyboard keys to cycle through pages?
  • Information interactive guide to show what screen is what, otherwise confusing.

Rabbit Heart GUI – Final Version Sample Screens & Self-Appraisal

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Here are a collections of a majority of the screens seen throughout the GUI. As you can see i took on-board most of the feedback provided. Instead of updating the options menu i decided to get rid of it. As a practical element of a game, yes it’s needed, but as an interactive piece that’s only representative of a game, i didn’t see the required need. I also decided to get rid of the New Game and Continue buttons as they didn’t serve much purpose either.

Self-Appraisal

Overall i think the finish product is sufficient. Obviously with any product, you’ll always have the inclination to do better, i could’ve easily took more time into making a working inventory system, but with the other changes that needed to be made and aesthetic issues factoring alongside my patience with Adobe Flash and i decided to leave it. Other than that i’m content that it works and that the design is aesthetically pleasing to the point where i would say that i’m proud with what has been achieved.

Rabbit Heart GUI – Version #1

Menu Screen
GUIScreen1

Mech HUD
GUIScreen2

Ululu HUD
GUIScreen3

These were the initial screens i had available before the time of feedback. I had an additional version after this that i thus lost in a corruption incident, but as they bore similar distinction and the later had little in the way of improvement, i decided to highlight this version as the ‘earliest’ incarnation that was used for testing. Top is the menu screen, bland being that it bears nothing to a menu whatsoever, initially i planned for the menu to be within the Mech and Ululu to ‘swing’ around on the chair but i didn’t see it as viable, given my skillset and or patience with Adobe Flash. The next screen is the Mech HUD and last is the Ululu HUD. The latter two are missing the in-game concept caps that i had in on the later version and have in on the newer versions.

Convergence of Genres/Platforms

“Technological convergence is the process by which existing technologies merge into new forms that bring together different types of media and applications”

Quote from wiseGEEK

Technological convergence speaks of this nature of technology to be continually streamlined. It isn’t a dissimilar concept to what is occurring within video games. In terms of gaming genres such as; Action, RPG, Strategy, etc. They all seem to be continually being meshed and categorized within the same sphere for a more extensive experience that effectively covers more than 1 genre. It wasn’t too long ago however, when games were far simpler than this. They’d have the player do one specific thing, then be categorized into one singular genre. Take Mass Effect for instance, it’s concurrently three different genres; Action, RPG and a Shooter. But are these created for the purpose of strengthening other genres?

I mean, the shooting genre is particularly bland if taken by itself. It’s the player shooting at a target until they get bored, but if you add in the the advancing technology and strengthening story elements seen in games today like BioShock Infinite and Mass Effect, they come together into a highly action-packed experience that is both entertaining, has a interesting story and most of all fun.

So is it all bad? No. I’d much prefer to see a bland shooter such as Call of Duty with a far greater and richer narrative experience if they genre merged with say, an RPG element to it.

Mechanics themselves are even beginning to merge into one. Bethesda creators of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and the Elder Scrolls series have implemented in their past 4 games, the ability to switch between First Person perspective and Third Person perspective. I thought this an interesting topic to bring up in a post about convergence because of how these two distant elements that are practically the encompassing element of a game rarely, if not at all, ever co-exist within a game.

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Imagine every First Person game having a Third Person element? It’d be very strange. I can see it being an up and coming thing though, First Person perspectives for narrative purposes put the player inside the characters mind thus which why they are a predominant perspective within gaming, but the ability to also have that distant viewpoint of Third Person to allow the player not only to immerse within the world, but also to see the character is an oddity. I’d like to see more of it.

In terms of convergence between platforms, i think Sonic The Hedgehog is the best example to pull into scope here. Sonic was a hit on the 2D platform, revered by fans and created by SEGA in their competition with Nintendo’s Mario. Yet when they tried to pull the character into the 3D environment it was met with much criticism because of how it altered the gaming dynamic being on a three-dimensional plane. So, is it fair to say that 2D-3D convergence doesn’t work and should be left alone? That’s subjective. To those that initially experienced the 2D experience, it may be unusually atrocious in comparison, but to those raised in a different generation that were raised on the later 3D experience, their opinion would vary tremendously. In essence, the two experiences are infact two different games. They may have the same speedster ethos that Sonic has, but if you alter the perspective of a game, you alter the experience, thus making a differing game.

‘Distortion’ – Research

When i started with this idea, i had to ‘refresh’ my mind of various aspects of medieval history that encompasses King Arthur. In terms of the reflection of his identity i’ll be using throughout the game and concept, it’s my own iteration of it, yet i wanted as strong of a connection to original material as possible to create an authenticity about the lore. Obviously, bending time to my will literally gives me the creative license to change a few things and putting the game time in the future gives me the same luxury.

I knew from the get go, that i wanted to portray and address four specific characters in the game; Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere. Arthur and Merlin have this distinct bond in media that practically binds them together and i wanted to portray Arthur as young as possible to show the bond these two have. I also wanted an Arthur that was absent from his rivalry with Lancelot, in the sense that this Arthur has yet to meet Lancelot, whereas the Lancelot that is meddling with time is more than familiar with Arthur’s older self. A pivotal aspect of the lore is the Guinevere and Lancelot angle, in most literature, there’s speculation or distinct claim that the queen herself was an adulteress with Lancelot, i wanted to address this and make it into an angle that would steer the plot.

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“Was Arthur a true, historical figure or only a hero of legend? This is truly up to each and every one of us to decide for ourselves. Arthur represents a man who was the epitome of good against evil, light against darkness, and that eternal, never-ending struggle between what is right and that which is wrong.”

Quote from kingarthursknights.com

Bringing this aspect of Arthur & Merlin, i wanted to flip the history books around and have Arthur be pit against the Knights of The Round. This then plays on the youthful aspect of Arthur as i don’t believe the elder Arthur, untainted by my history changes would so easily turn on the Knights (The elderly King Arthur is being portrayed as a tyrant. The ethos of the story is Arthur being showed at his future and changing it)

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Here’s an excellent depiction i found whilst researching of the extent of the Knights of The Round and the supporting characters. Now within the game, i don’t expect that hunting down every single member of the group would benefit character development whatsoever, so for the sake of the game only a slect number of Knights will appear in the future as a kind of ‘inner circle’. Most will be secondary antagonists with some representing the rift between their leader and their original allegiance to Arthur.

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I really wanted to portray Morgan Le Fay (Arthur’s half-sister, who generally is portrayed as an antagonist towards him) within the game, yet not have her appear as unfriendly as the Knights. Here is where i coined the idea of having her disguised as a local of London, who just so happens to ‘stumble’ into Arthur after he goes on a recruitment spree. I wanted the brother-sister dynamic to be portrayed without the indication there of her actual identity to show the potential sibling connection between the two, but also to have her show her true colours near to the end of the game.

Bibliography

King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table | History, Legend and Everything in Between. 2013. King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table | History, Legend and Everything in Between. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.kingarthursknights.com/. [Accessed 12 May 2013].

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. 2013. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/king-arthur-knights-round-table-1.htm. [Accessed 12 May 2013].

‘Distortion’ – Storyboard



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Basic storyboard created for the backstory that was written for the game. It entails a brief overview of the backstory in the case of portraying the story of Arthur and how he got to this point. I forgot to annotate each individual pane when sketching this, so i’ll add the annotations below this post.

Frame Annotations (Beginning from the top-left, reading from left to right)

  1.  Our tale begins in the 6th Century, and the throne to the Kingdom of Camelot lay empty.
  2. King Uther Pendragon has died
  3. And the kingship of the land has been bestowed upon a single challenge.
  4. Months had passed, many tried and all failed. All until one. That individual in particular was none other than Arthur Pendragon, son of the late King. A soldier by trade, he was unrecognized within society as being heir to the throne of Camelot, due to being raised by the former advisor to the late King, Merlin. When it came time, Arthur gallantly stepped up to the stone like many before him, grasped the sword and lifted it into the air.
  5. The future King of England is instantaneously transported through time, standing with sword in the air, to the middle of London in the year 2015. Bewildered, Arthur within moments is attacked by a group of masked assailants and his most recent possession is stolen.
  6.  Those unknown individuals, mistakenly dropped a business card that perched precariously near Arthur’s unconscious body, entitled “Ablet Corporation”.
  7. Merlin tracked the magical essence he implanted onto Arthur earlier in his childhood. Using this he traveled through time, but at a cost. Arriving moments after the ordeal to a confused and barely conscious Arthur, Merlin warns him of what has transpired.
  8. Time is slowly being erased and Arthur not being present in Camelot to be the King of legend, is sending a ripple through time that is reverberating and shattering reality itself. Arthur and Merlin must navigate London, unravel a plot shrouding the mysterious “Ablet Corporation”. Because Merlin’s magic has been depleted and Excalibur is their only chance at saving time, before it’s too late.