CAwards entry & Obscurus development slowing down

CAwards entry

Work on Obscurus has gone slowly this past week and half, as I decided to take part in the CAwards. CAwards is a competition held by Visualiseringscenter C in Norrköping, where ambitious student projects in visualization and human computer interaction can compete in 5 categories for 10,000 sek. To compete, you need to create a video of your project, and enclose a description with the application. Therefore, I needed to create a video that showed what Obscurus was all about. This included finding a way to show Virtual Reality for people who’ve never experienced it. I ended up recording myself playing the game and simultaneously recording the screen so I get a side by side in the final video. I like the effect.

Obscurus development slowing down

Obscurus development has been slow as of late. I fear I’ve hit the Indie shame spiral. My early enthusiasm for Obscurus has started to dwindle, and I’m looking to new projects, like Mimic, to keep going. I will continue small development on Obscurus though, as I want it to be as polished as possible for the Swedish Game Awards. I will restricting it to a single level for the time being however. SGA is more of a vertical slice competition anyhow.

To conclude this post, here’s a collection of images I’ve saved from development over the past two weeks.

Obscurus playtesting + Swedish Game Awards Conference reflections

The SGA Conference

This weekend, I attended the Swedish Game Awards Conference. Traditionally, the student game competition was held at my school, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm), but this year it was held by Södertörns University. While it was refreshing to move to a new venue, I feel that the organizers had a bit of trouble during the weekend. The schedule of talks was constantly getting changed, being pushed back or cancelled. The lectures themselves were really great, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of female game developers that were holding talks, especially as it was International Women’s Day on Saturday.

Student showcase

This year was the first to include a student showcase, where students get the chance to show off their projects. I chose to showcase Obscurus, and overall it went pretty well. The demo poltergeist struck, halving my framerate for no reason from when I tried the game at home. This meant that instead of a framerate of around 45, it was closer to 20. Despite this, a lot of people were interested in trying out the game, and I got a lot of valuable feedback, both verbally from the players but also from observation.

Obscurus first venture into the wild

Obscurus first venture into the wild

One interesting fact was that the labyrinth was too hard to navigate for a majority of players. Only 6 out of 27 players were able to make it to end. Every person commented on the low framerate, and most commented on the high mouse sensitivity. Luckily, I got some help from a friend at the event, and I have since fixed the sensitivity issue, and he’ll be helping me in the future for a smoother camera as well.

In other news, I’ve decided that I am giving Obscurus 2-3 more weeks before SGA, so that I can focus on other projects and contrinue to try to get thesis work.

 

Obscurus | Preparing for the Swedish Game Awards Conference

So over the past week I’ve been hard at work, getting Obscurus to run as smoothly as possible, as well as adding new assets for Level 2. This has mostly been because of the Swedish Game Awards Conference which is hosted by Södertörn on the 8th and 9th of March. This blog post will document what I’ve been doing and what is left to do before Saturday. I’m taking part of the the Student Showcase, where I get to show off Obscurus for the companies there as well as the other students who are attending. This is a great opportunity for me to show how far I’ve come with Obscurus.

Level 1 Rebooted

As has been said previously, I’m working on a rebooted version of the first level. This has mainly consisted of creating larger asset building blocks and building the level. This work completed this week, and I have started the arduous task of transferring all the doors, sound effects, speakers, etc. Luckily, the way I set up my initial Level Flow in Bitsquid, all I actually need to do is move these assets to their corresponding places. The flow looks like the image below. A trigger with a delay plays the animation on the door, that triggers an unspawning of a collider once the animation of opening the door is completed. At the same time, the trigger also triggers the door’s sound effect at the door’s location. Thus, I only need to move the trigger and door to the correct position and my initial Flow still works.

flowexample

Level 2 – The Hotel

The second level is where I’ve been focusing most of my efforts lately, as it provides a nice break from adjusting assets or perusing Lua code. This level has a 50’s / 60’s hotel theme, reminiscent of The Shining or The God Complex episode of Doctor Who. This level will feature a very different narration (more on that in a future post), and will have a different feel, for a very specific reason that hopefully will become clear by the end of the game.

When designing the wallpapers, I looked at 50’s wallpaper designs, brought them into Photoshop, where I then drew over them to try and get a more cartoony feel. This, however, led to some not so seamless textures, something that still needs to be fixed soon. Overall it was a lot of fun to do though, a nice change of pace.

I’ve also got some ideas for the menu, but I’m leaving that for another post, other than this image.

menuWIP1