• Roger Matthews

10/10/19 - Starting project prototype

Updated: Oct 11, 2019


Most significant accomplishment is that wedding details are getting finalized this week :). This ambitious project starts Friday evening, with the main ceremony on Sunday. Thankfully there is no grade on this project, in case any planning or weather goes awry.


This week I have continued reading and taking notes on Narrative Design for Indies.

Project - Finalizing assets

Initially I was going to use all free assets for this project, but I decided I didn't have quite enough to accomplish for exploring a subway. I decided to purchase one asset - Urban Underground - that has all of the pieces for the New York subway, along with a train that can be animated. It's within the budget I had in mind, and I won't be buying any more assets.

Since the piece's idea is to contrast realism with surrealism, I liked the idea of the specificity of using a recreation of an existing (fairly recognizable) subway system. My other options were generic or hybrids of different systems.

I also thoroughly went through all of my free assets I have gathered, and compiled a document of the assets I think could be useful and fitting for my project. I noticed I have a *lot* of generic LOTR style fantasy assets, and I don't think they are a good fit. While I want that mentioned contrast of realism and surrealism (reality vs fantasy), I have found it more effective to be looking at assets that are *strange* and less familiar.

For example, I found looping the preset animations of my animal assets to produce strange effects. Looping an animation of a fox getting hit by an attack makes it look like the fox is dancing slowly. A pig has a death animation where it opens its mouth very widely in a way that, when looped, is freaky. Placing these kinds of assets in unexpected places on the subway could effectively help to surprise/disorient the player and make them realize something is amiss.

I also found a steam punk-ish character model that was large and imposing, and seemed like this could be a good fit for my "Time" character. It does not have any animations, though, so I'm thinking of either having the asset stand ominously in certain locations, or moving the static model around using basic Blueprint repositioning.

I came across a pre built cave that I thought could be interesting to be connected to the subway. You walk through the subway tunnels and connect to a cave. I'm not going to worry about this now, though. Right now, I am focusing on a basic prototype.

Project - Prototype

I have started putting together a playable prototype currently using my subway models. You can

- Walk around using my first person Blueprint controller

- Trigger audio to play when you hit a test trigger within the level.

- Followed two Blueprint tutorials. Created a flaming sphere that flies back and forth in two directions, and also a platform that moves up and down you can jump on.

At this point I think I have enough basic mechanics to build a more detailed design that makes use of what I have. For the coming week, I'd like to start writing out a document that chronicles exactly I will be doing.

I don't expect to get a ton done this week, but I plan on maximizing my time traveling on the bus to at the very least write that out.

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