During week 5 to week 6 of this thesis process, I started reading the articles I found about emotions, dynamics of game play, and game feel. As I read through the articles, I found three major categories that the articles had in common with each other: motivation, dynamics, and emotional spaces. Under motivation, the three articles I have read were “Of Quests and Brain Chemicals: How the Best Video Games are Designed To Make Us Feel” by Lauren Hall-Stigerts, “The Motivational Pull of Video Games: A Self-Determination Theory Approach” by Richard Ryan, C. Scott Rigby, and Andrew Przybylski, and “The Benefits of Playing Video Games” by Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C.M.E Engels. Trying to gain a better understanding of emotions and how feelings can be generated, the first article talks about stimulating to release certain brain chemicals in order to feel positive emotions. Explaining that some of these chemicals can be released through different game mechanic systems, the paper lead into the second article that talks about motivational pull. This article specifically talks about the different types of players people categorize into: killers, achievers, socializers, and explorers. The last article agrees to motivational pull as they mention motivation, along with emotional, cognitive, and social benefits to be a few reasons to engage players to play games.
Once understanding what pulls people to play games, I wanted to research into how to keep people feeling emotions with game feel and dynamics. I read the articles “Psychological Effects of Games on Individuals and Society” by Content Writer, and “Game Feel: The Secret Ingredient” by Steve Swink. I also read into parts of Swink’s book, Game Feel: A Game Designer’s Guide To Virtual Sensation. These resources talked about the different factors that keeps game dynamics and game feel engaging to players by using sounds, fun and expectations, levelling, educational purposes, contexts, etc. Using all of these elements with the context of the game, designers can generate a game world that encapsulates emotional feelings into the virtual world, which would be enhanced through responsive and natural game play.
This lead me to research about emotional spaces. In the article “Embodying Emotion Sensing Space: Introducing Emotional Geographies” by Joyce Davidson and Christine Milligan, they talked about interactional qualities in objects, and being able to feel a certain emotion based on the mood an atmosphere or objects are emitting. This lead me to further explore creating emotional sceneries using the style Parth and I have developed.
I started building more environmental 3D assets to generate a small concept art to test if we could replicate the texture we had in the 2D concepts.
During this time, I also learned to use the Unwrap UVW tool to get the mapping of each object. This allowed me to paint textures on the maps later on for texturing, and import all of the models into an island for testing sceneries.
The textures were not added until the scene was later translated into Unity. From there, Parth and I imported the textures into the models, added sun shafts and particle effects, and experimented with the lighting to get the scenery we wanted. We also used a few Unity scripts to add effects to the scenery in order to enhance the paper-like texture. From there, we created the concept-art scenery, which we presented to our thesis class, and exported the scene into the iPad Pro in order to see how the game would look.
One major problem I had with these processes was time management. Due to other commitments, I was unable to follow the schedule Parth and I had set out for ourselves. This pushed back production time for the both of us; thus we decided to go forward with production and to do literature reviews in the time we have to spare.
Presentation file: thesis-prototype-presentation