During week 8, seeing that I have struggled to come up with dynamics alone, I had a team discussion with Parth to talk out some of the kinks in the project. From there, we decided to finalize the intro scene to our game before continuing on with the project. Before this process, we spent our free-time coming up with possible names for our game, where we then found the word “Lacuna”, which according to Google means “an unfilled space or interval; a gap.” Seeing that the word relates to the character’s and the island’s emotions towards the friend’s loss, we decided to name our game Lacuna.

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In our third storyboard, we decided to go with allowing the player to explore the island and to pick up quests at their own will. We changed some of the aspects around from the second storyboard, where the entrance would be a dark shadow created by trees. When the user enters, the character will find a tree with a pulsing light or particle effects shimmering from it. The player will be indicated to shake their device, and a caterpillar will fall from the tree. The character will then take the caterpillar on as a companion. We also talked about the day and night cycle, where each flower and plant have different growth times. Flowers may be instantaneous, while, grass may take a day, and trees would take 1-2 days.

A link to our meeting notes are provided here: https://docs.google.com/a/ocadu.ca/document/d/1tB1YxKTzVXjbfuKyH7E2bxTtvVzPPUHMr79M2tNr91U/edit?usp=sharing

* Note that due to privacy settings, this document is a replication of our original meeting notes. None of the information has been changed, however.

In order to progress further, Parth and I listed down some questions and goals we are trying to meet within the next week. We came up with a Google doc to answer further dynamic questions we had, and made a list of tasks to achieve, which we posted to our private Facebook group. Some of the questions we listed during our meeting included:

  • What are the items that the user can grow?
  • Where will items grow? On specific patches or anywhere they want?
  • How does the user know what they are growing?
  • What are the challenges?
  • Are they puzzle based? Are they narrative based? Both?
    • Are they puzzles?
  • Will growing items be instantaneous? Or will it be through day/night cycle?
  • Do growing trees take longer than growing flowers?

After this meeting, we decided to stop with the brainstorming, as we have part of the narrative. I believed that it was more important to have something testable before considering if the decisions we made would work or not. From there, I decided to create a few animations with 3DS Max to test out possible run-time feedback when the user interacts with it. Not knowing how to bone objects properly, I spent half a day experimenting the most efficient way to bone an object. I started working with the fish.

fish-weight

Since the fish was a simple object, I was able to paint the weights on it quite easily. However, animation became a challenge for me. As I tried to animate the fish jumping and swimming around, there were many times where I had rotated the fish weirdly, and it became deformed. I had restarted the fish animation a couple of times, but failed.

Originally, I suggested to create a possible interaction for every asset the user interacts with, such as tapping a flower causes the flower to wave around. However, due to the lack of time before our prototype due date, Parth and I came up with a few assets to build in order to progress with our game.

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