Tag Archives: Group Game #2

Bad Guy Object Design: Evil Bats or Relay or Light the Lamps

IMG_5539 The evil bats in Light the Lamps have three states: moving, attacking, and frozen. The bats start the game moving randomly around the screen – their “moving” state is their default state. They transition into their attack phase – which consists of shooting “globs” of red at the lamps on either side of the screen – when the player crosses over one of three invisible “trigger” lines that I’ve placed equidistant from one another. They enter their frozen phase when the player manages to grab one of the floating blue circular power ups that appear at random points throughout the game. The patterns of these bats are very reliant on player choice, which will hopefully make the game more interesting and playable. IMG_5542 (1)

Group Game #2: Updraft

Updraft, formerly known as Rightfully Yours, is still a game of patience, cunning, and perseverance, only now it’s a lot more aesthetically sound and even more difficult. 1 With the addition of five fans that alternate in two directions at entirely random intervals, the player finds themselves being launched upward or drawn back down. As it is even more difficult to maneuver the enemy’s projectiles at a close proximity, I tried to make the beneficial fans a vibrant color that would stand out against the harmful ones. This lets the player make decisions out of the corner of their eye, since most of the action takes place at the center of the screen. 2 My code is a lot cleaner than its initial state, yet there are definitely changes and clarifications to be made. My conference project is a lot more consistent and logical, while Updraft has no real continuous code style. That said, it functions flawlessly with no known bugs. 3 The controls are much tighter and more responsive in this version. The color palette of this game is derived from a Paul Klee painting. A trophy is indeed again bestowed upon the player on completion. In retrospect, I am highly content with this project and am not afraid to present it to others. I really feel like I’ve developed a game!

Group Game #2: Rabid Squirrels

WPimage1   The narrative of our game relies on familiar knowledge of Little Red Riding Hood. As of now the goal of the game is to reach Granny’s house with as many magical buns in your basket as possible. The player must protect the magical buns from the rabid squirrels of the forest or else upon consumption the squirrels will evolve and make the game a bit more difficult. The purpose of having an evolution in the rabid squirrels (our bad guy) is to portray a variation of game play experience with the bad guy’s behavioral algorithms. At first stage they rabid squirrels are only able to steal buns from Red. If a squirrel makes a successful attack against Red they steal a magical bun and become larger and faster, which we call Bad Squirrel State. If Red is successfully attacked again the Bad Squirrel, then becomes Mega Squirrel, which is a large “megazord” of a squirrel, and very difficult to defeat. However, we could not make Red without a means of defense. In order to protect herself and the magical buns she must take to Granny’s house, she has a spray water bottle she can squirt the squirrels with to put them into the state of fleeing before they attempt to attack again. WPImage2   In order to portray narrative points as well as changes, and consequences in our game, we used visual clues to signal to the player what is happening. To show that the buns are magical and are a significant part of the game, goal, and narrative, we created a sparkles animation for the basket and buns. To indicate a successful attack collision on Red we created an animation that causes the basket of magic buns to blink red and then a bun disappears while the squirrel flees with the bun in its mouth. Another indication of player failure is the color palette of the forest, each time the squirrel evolves and becomes more evil the forest also becomes a darker environment. -Amy York, Destiny Colon, Jessica Sanchez  

Group Game #2: Hansel and Gretel

Our game follows Hansel and Gretel as they are getting closer to a Witch and her house. The game is black and white, and it gives the impression that something bad is about to happen.  Their trip is made harder by the falling cones, which sends player back to the start. The witch is waiting in her house. The controls are very simple and the player controls both Hansel and Gretel as they are moving together to the house.  The main goal is to arrive into the Witch house and not get hit by the cones. Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.51.56 AMa When both Hansel and Gretel arrive to the house, the sign “You win.. for now” appears on the screen indicating that the player has successfully passed the first stage, it also implies that there is no real win since the trouble really starts at the witch house. unnamed (1) The game is looking just the way we wanted it to look, dark shadows really giving the sence of something bad about to happen. The game is designed as a two level game and we are hoping that we will finish the second stage as well. The second stage is supposed to see the players in the witch house, where Hansel will be trapped in the cage, and Gretel will have to push the witch in the fire.  

Group Game #2 – Light the Lamps

 Sketch43152513(a preliminary title screen)

    For my second group game, I’m redesigning my first group game, Relay. I started my redesign by imagining what Relay would look like if Tim Burton were to design the game, and came up with some some sketches: photo (25)Instead of the bad guys being circles, I changed them into black triangles with red eyes. The black and red colors of the triangles contrast with palette of my game, which is mostly grey and yellow. I decided that instead of simple black rectangles for goals, my goals would be lamps. The object of the game is to avoid the bad guys while keeping the lamps lit. The bad guys want to shoot globs of red at the lamps to put them out. If the bad guys manage to cover the lamps entirely in red, the player loses. After sketching, I created a simple interface: Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.27.58 AM As in Relay, the game starts without any bad guys on screen. But, each time you drag the lamp lighter, bad guys start to appear: Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.57.31 AMThe lamp lighter’s eyes also glow when you drag it around. I really like the mechanic of adding bad guys each time the player is dragging, because that way the player has to constantly be engaged with the game. This also gives the player choice – they can choose to drop the lamp lighter, but that will increase the game’s difficulty by making the bad guys more powerful. I also added a behavior to the bad guy that wasn’t present in Relay – it shoots red globs at the lamp to try to put the lamp out:

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.57.09 AM

I want the bad guys to cover the lamp red section by section, but I’m still working on writing that code. Right now, the globs are an array list within my bad guy class, and the bad guys are an array list in the main class. I might change the wrapping pattern of the bad guy so that they’re harder to avoid, or add a different bad guy that does something else, like shooting globs that freeze the player momentarily. I also want to add another lamp so that the player has to cross back and forth between the lamps while avoiding the bad guys.

I still have a lot to work on, but I’m confident that I can get the code written and design a more detailed interface. I’m working on drawing a different lamp lighter on my tablet, who looks more like this:


I also want to design a background that looks like a street in victorian London, and make a better title screen. I look forward to posting about my game when it’s all finished!

Group Game #2: Polarity

Polarity WP_20150313_23_12_19_Pro WP_20150314_01_59_40_Pro For our group game Shiyuan and I decided on a concept that incorporated a notion of magnetic force. Particles with a certain polarity would repel a single non player moveable particle of the opposite polarity to an end zone. The force would have to be carefully judged to propel the target particle the requisite distance. Gameplay would be split into two phases: setup and action. Setup would either last a few seconds on a timer or simply be activated by the player with a tap on the end zone. It would start with the target particle surrounded by an array of other particles of varying polarities. The polarity could then be changed by a tap and the particle dragged to a suitable position. In later stages, there might be fewer particles whose forces would need to be combined. Positive and negative attract and the offspring of two differently charged particles would equal a particle with the ability to exert greater force. In the gameplay mode, forces would be applied and the game would begin its action phase and become kinetic. WP_20150313_23_12_03_Pro In this game there was some confusion over what could constitute a bad guy. We considered what kind of enemy might want to use the magnets and what they might represent. In effect we were creating an enemy that might want to use power for its own purpose. This could be represented by bad guys who had stolen one of the particles which now had to be regained by getting all the other particles to work together. The bad guys then might be at the end zone taunting and indirectly attacking the players by advancing a force field or attractive force at the other end.  This force would impel players to move fast lest their particles be sucked into the trap. Both the bad guys and good guys then are contesting a magnet and the bad guy affects the environment by altering its parameters and the good guys’ movement possibilities.    

Group Game #2: Polarity

  polarity     For group game 2, Silas and I are working on a game called Polarity. The image above shows the design concept of this game, which is switching polarities to create diverse movements. For the basic game mechanics, please check out this post. Since this game was originally conceptualized for its game mechanism, during the design process it started to tilt towards a puzzle, so creating a narrative became a challenge. In order to incorporate a bad guy, first we decided to visualize the timer. Instead of having a countdown, a wall will start moving from the left to occupy the playable space. This wall also serves as a giant magnet that attracts other particles and neutralize them so that the player will have less force to reach the target. To create diverse multiple encounters, we decided to have the wall/giant magnet act differently in each level. For example, it can adopt different shape, including ones that have a channel in the center, which will not only transform play strategy, but may also influence the goal of a specific level.  Since the behavior of the wall would change, it will give each level an endogenous meaning while creating diverse and challenging game play. Though the wall will perform the “bad thing,” it may not be expressive enough to carry a whole narrative; therefore we decided to create a real bad guy and make the wall a weapon that he uses. As Jenkins mentioned in “Game Design as Narrative Architecture”, the conflict between interactivity and narrative is often solved by incorporating spatial stories and environmental storytelling into the endogenous world. In the case of our game, the bad guy need to appear in the winning zone (on the right), where he can hold the object that the player is chasing after. Meanwhile he needs to control the movement of the wall, which starts from the left. This spatial separation inspired us to have a chain that goes across the screen, and the “bad thing” is therefore transferred to the bad guy, because he becomes the one pulling.   Bowserbp On the mechanism level, the bad guy does not have any direct encounter with the player. However, he is crucial for a thorough narrative across levels. During the design process, we have discovered similar bad guys in other games who do not have direct collisions with the player. For example, Bowser Koopa in Super Mario often only appear at the end of each level to kidnap the princess to another castle; In Angry Bird, the pig performs bad things only in the cut-scene narratives and do not actually encounters the bird. To a certain extent, those bad guys are giving meanings to the spatial environment. Similarly in the case of our game, the story will be an enacted narrative, which uses features of the environment to move through the plot trajectory.  

Group Game #2: Rightfully Yours

Rightfully Yours requires a bit of focus and practice in order to trump your enemy. An ominous shape fires missiles from above while you return with a steady fire of your own. screen1 If the player succeeds at striking the enemy with a bullet, the enemy loses some opacity. If the player makes three successful hits, the enemy changes form. With each form change, the enemy gains speed and increases its rate of fire. screen2 The player is given three lives. Starting in green, a hit from the enemy turns the player yellow. Another hit – red. If the player is struck by three shots, it’s game over. The game mechanic is therefore quickly recognizable as a one-on-one match to the death. screen3 Standing still is obviously not an option. The player is forced to duck and weave between the falling shots, learning which tactics make the greatest difference along the way. It’s no easy feat to land 9 shots total on a target that gets harder and harder to hit. Simultaneously, the stage becomes more and more dangerous to freely traverse. Suspense builds the longer you play. The design of the enemy is loosely influenced by the mechanics of bullet hell games (flooding the screen with obstacles, drastically constricting the players movement). The enemy’s class is built as a single object whose methods are triggered by the actions of the player. While there is no contested object that the player and enemy fight over, there is a sense that both are fighting to overcome one another, and hopefully make it to the rewarding finish… screen4 I have loads of room for improvement and advancement. My strongest urge is to vary the enemy’s bullet pattern and design more demanding dodge tactics. I also wish to implement upgrades to throw a bit of chaos into the mix. I feel confident in the structure of my game and my use of ArrayLists and collision.

Group Game # 2: Rabid Squirrels

Scanned together by Danielle  

Our game will be made out of the paper prototype that we came up with in class. Because it was a paper prototype, we had created objects beyond our time and ability to code. Thanks to Amy, we were able to come up with a reasonable solution to creating our game. In the game we hope to create, the player (Red Riding Hood) must escort Granny and the magic buns to the cottage before Granny transforms into the Big Bad Wolf.

Our bad guy is a group of rabid squirrels. They exploit the landscape by moving among the forest canopy in a v-shaped pattern. On every third step, they attack the player in an attempt to get one of the buns. In turn, Granny moves one step closer to turning into a wolf, and the environment begins to move closer to night time. The squirrel’s first stage of attack is jumping towards the player. If the collision is successful, the squirrels eat a bun and gain the ability to move faster. If a second collision occurs, the squirrels gain the ability to create a pot hole. If the player walks into the pothole when the squirrels are still within it, the player lose a bun. On the third and final collision, the squirrel grows larger making it harder for the player to avoid. If the player loses all of their buns to the squirrels, Granny transforms becoming an enemy and the player loses (is eaten?).

The player begins the game with the ability to spray the rabid squirrels with a water bottle. In the game, the player will be alerted to the ability by the object flashing brightly when a squirrel enters a perimeter trigger. The player will also have the ability to manipulate the squirrel’s attacks by using empty potholes to avoid collisions. The player will be able to learn from their failures, by seeing how Granny is slowly turning with each bun they lose. The player will control the actions of Red Riding Hood by using the mouse-dragged (to move player left and right across the path and the mouse pressed code to activate the water bottle and hide.

In the code, I will be working on the primarily in the squirrel class by creating their path and collisions. Because we worked so hard on the illustrations of our game, we wanted to incorporate the actual pieces of our prototype within the game. I will also be focusing on the graphic and animated parts of the code by making them image files from the paper prototype small enough to run in the code. I will also be working on the animations of granny’s face changing over time, and the squirrels getting larger. -Danielle Brusco image   Our group game is developing from our paper prototype. Our first draft of the prototype lacked a few essentials, such as, having many different encounters, and a few other aspects, which we chose to address in our second draft of the prototype.The idea is to make a game with a paper cut out look. I drew our bad guy (squirrels) rabid looking to contrast with the happy looking fall forest environment. The squirrels follow a precise up-down-up pattern. They utilize the environment by hiding in the trees and creating potholes. After drawing the squirrels, I drew Little Red Riding Hood and acorns. Little Red is our good guy and the acorns are used as projectiles between the good and bad guy. The goal of the squirrel is to collide with Little Red and take her magical hot crossed buns to make them stronger. Each time a bun is taken a new type of encounter happens. As the player begins to lose the squirrels become more powerful (they get big and faster, they throw acorns, and they create potholes) and eventually becomes a mega squirrel. As the bad guy changes Little Red also has new choices available to her, for example when a squirrel throws an acorn she can dodge it then throw it back, or when a pothole is made she can also hide in there herself. The goal for the player is to escort their granny, who is progressively getting sicker with the big bad wolf curse to her home, the more encounters Little Red has with the squirrels the more wolflike she becomes, and if the player fails she becomes the big bad wolf and teams up with the squirrels. We are planning to make the squirrels an array list and Little Red as a class in order to portray our game in code. We plan on having multiple collisions coded for each encounter between the squirrels and Little Red, as well as having a changing environment according to the player’s progress within the game.  In the weeks to come I will be working with the collision for the squirrels with Little Red and the collision with the potholes, in addition to anything else my group requires. -Destiny Colon image   When we decided we wanted to make our paper prototype a reality, I was initially concerned that we wouldn’t be able to keep the awesome ideas we generated when we weren’t worried about being able to actually code the game. I think it was pretty clear to all of us that, while we wanted to maintain the integrity of our game and keep the best ideas, there would also be a lot that we would have to strip down or simplify so that this could be something we could realistically code in a few weeks. So, during our re-design process, I effectively became the Resident Wet Blanket. I did my best to toss out ideas that were far too difficult for relative novices to code, eliminate details that were cool and theoretically possible to code but would ultimately end up taking too much time when considered on top of everything else we’d need to work on, and to simplify core aspects of our game’s narrative and our game’s mechanic so that they would be code-able *and* play-able. The end result of our two-hour design meeting is a game that I believe will be a challenge to code, but is much simpler than our original idea, and in its simplicity even manages to improve upon our original paper prototype while still including all the narrative and design elements that made us love working on this game so much in the first place. In the coming weeks, I will be working on making sure the environmental changes are timed correctly (particularly granny’s shift from woman to wolf as the sun sets), as well as providing general help and trouble-shooting whenever my fellow group members run into any issues. -Amy York Image from Jessica’s notes

Group Game #2: Streamer

When I first started Streamer, I made 2 related observations about the base code.
  1. It was (at first) difficult to grasp, and therefore would be difficult to change.
  2. It was also interesting on its own, meaning it needn’t be changed too much to provide an interesting application.
From those ideas, I thought about what I could do to make the application my own without heavily modifying the seeker code itself.  The two ideas that presented themselves (and stuck) were changes in graphical representation, and the idea of scrolling or otherwise moving all of the objects along some path. The graphical representation quickly became a grid, both out of love for old, 8-bit graphics and out of my new infatuation with pixellation in general.  The only question remaining on that front was how big the rectangles should be… but that question was answered later.  For the time being I kept my program flexible. og 3x3 bigger biggest After this, it became a matter of what one might want to do in this new, grid-style area. Being able to “paint” squares was probably the first thing to come to mind:love_og Soon after that, the idea of randomly changing colors:love_ugly   (While the above doesn’t look all that great, in general the effect seemed pretty cool.) A little more color play would eventually occur, but after messing around within the same basic application for so long, I felt that the seeking mechanic needed to be changed at least slightly. This is where a few new features came in all at once.  First, the idea of scrolling was pretty natural, as the blocky and colorful graphics reminded me of old 2D shooters like Galaga.  I had a few types of scrolling to choose from, but the one implemented seemed the easiest.  With scrolling came a bug that colored the background with scrolling bars of color.  It ended up being a very cool thing, and after fixing the bug I immediately reimplemented the color bars as a feature. line_2 line_3 line_4 line_5 Finally, I toyed around with various mechanics for spawning and killing semi-randomized seekers, and came up with the finished product. While in dire need of some sound, overall I’m proud of this project.  The program was a great lesson on how minor tweaks and offshoots of ideas can lead to very cool applications.

Group Game #2: Hider/Seeker

Before creating a game using the hider/seeker engine I wanted to practice with it first. So in this simple exercise I created a simple circle that is being chased by a triangle. In this program each quadrant does something different to the size of the chase, the speed of the chaser, or the maxforce of the chaser. The maxforce is basically the ability of the chaser to make tight turns. As the force goes up, the chaser can make sharper and sharper turns. These screenshots show what they do for the most part. Some of the changes only can be seen during the program running since speed and force can’t be captured in a picture. The top left quadrant makes the chaser much bigger, the top right makes it normal, the bottom right makes the chaser very fast and the bottom left makes the chaser very slow. While this isn’t a game I hope use the experience of this program to help make the hider seeker game. o q p

Group Game #2: Stoke the Fire

After play testing my initial draft of my game in class and receiving some good feedback, I decided to make my game more representative of a “fire.” To start, I made the points, which represent embers, more yellow and orange, like so: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.03.41 AM I made the player’s circle into an arc because I wanted the object to represent a steel fire starter. I made the vehicle a darker grey to represent a piece of flint: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.10.22 AM Then, I added two sounds – a background sound of a fireplace crackling, and the sound of a lighter striking whenever the vehicle/flint collides with the player. I also decided to make the points float down the screen vertically, rather than horizontally, like little embers falling through the air. To start the game, I made a basic title screen: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.03.34 AM Once the player clicks on the screen, the level changes and the objects of the game are displayed. And this is what “Stoke the Fire” looks like towards the end of the game: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.04.06 AM I set limits on the size of the array, so when there are no points left, or when there are more than 250 points, the game resets and the embers begin to regenerate anew. I’d like to continue to work on this game and move towards designing a better game feel. Ultimately, I don’t think that I gave the player enough choice – there’s not a whole lot to explore in this game. The only options are to void the flint, and get rid of embers, or to let the flint hit you, and generate more embers. I want to code in more ways of affecting the environment, and see where that takes me.

Group Game #2: Hider/Seeker

The game went through two main phases of development i guess you could say. The entire process started with the idea of avoidance being the main aspect of the game rather than collision.  The first iteration was with some simple boids that roamed the screen freely and were repelled by the mouse or by the other circles roaming the screen. Screenshot (4)   The problems we ran into with this was that it only looked great if there were an absurd amount of triangles on screen. far more than a tablet could handle. So we started coming up with ideas and eventually stumbled upon the boids tending toward each other. This turned out to be the biggest help to the project because it lessened the amount of triangles needed but still made it possible to experience the satisfying scatter effect. Screenshot (3)   From this point on the main changes to the game were simple tweaks. We changed the way the mouse worked to be more conducive to tablets by having the mouse only trigger when pressing. We also added a trail effect to when it was repelling to give both a visual idea of what was happening as well as a nice way to keep track of your movement. Some simple color scheme variations was how we finished off the project.  

Group Game #2: Space Journey

Although Space Journey is certainly a fun game to play, its primary purpose is not to encourage players to win or lose — rather, it is to simulate an interactive system, in which nearly every member has a positive or negative effect on other members of the system. As Shiyuan pointed out in her post, this particular game took heavy inspiration from the aquatic system described in chapter 3 of our textbook. But, rather than stick to Earthly concerns, we took our game into space! Screenshot_2014-12-03-04-20-15 As the primary method of interaction we were working with was the speeding up and slowing down of objects, it only seemed natural to create a ‘black hole’ that would bend gravity and slow down the oncoming vehicles. We also created a sci-fi-esque ‘white hole’ that has the opposite effect — all objects that approach it speed up. Both ‘holes’ slowly move around the screen, adding additional interest for the player. From there, a deep navy background successfully creates the feeling of being in outer space. Screenshot_2014-12-03-04-20-20 The player controls the yellow circle, and is pursued by an orange space-ship-like vehicle. In turn, the orange vehicle is chased by a blue triangle, followed by a trail of smaller blue circles. Each time the orange ship collides with the player, a futuristic sound plays, and some ripples emerge on impact. Each time the orange ship gets the player, it increases in size, until it can become almost impossible to avoid. Conversely, each time the blue triangle successfully catches the orange ship, it decreases the size of the ship, and it can become quite easy to avoid. This returns the game to the idea of an ‘eco-system’ of interaction, in which the player must deal with multiple environmental variables.

Group Game #2: Skinnydipper

Interface and first ideas about our game We wanted to make a skinny dipping game, incorporating the Flocking labs. The player will be chased around the screen, scoring points for dipping in pools (which are randomly placed for variety’s sake).  If the seeker catches you, that’s GAME OVER. We made a little skin-tone dot to represent the player, but we had trouble getting it to move how we wanted it to (automatically, steering towards the cursor/finger).   We ended up with a player character that just teleports to wherever the mouse is clicked.  There’s a (police) Vehicle chasing him. The skeleton is more or less there. What we need is to get the movement down, and to figure out how to record score when you’re in pools, and to detect collision between the player and the vehicle. dipper Developing the game and figuring out the problems we’ve had
To solve the movement problem, we just replaced the little player-dot with a second vehicle that chases the cursor while being chased by the enemy vehicle.  This made collision difficult to figure out. We thought that putting the player character in its own class would help, but it did not. We also still had no idea how to make the code detect when vehicles were in water, since the parameters/coordinates were randomized. And so there could be no score. Also, we made the colors awful :) but that is something we could fix of course!! dipper1.5 Rudimentarily-Finished Skinnydipper
All the mechanics that we set out to create have been created, and they all work!
      • Corrected the hideous color palette, first and foremost.
      • Had do give up on the randomized pools because they made the next part impossible:
      • Vehicle-in-pool detection, which is the basis for SCORING.
      • Vehicle slowdown (reduction of maxspeed) while in the water.  The chaser vehicle is slightly more affected by this than the player’s vehicle is.
Added collision detection but there’s no consequence for colliding. Collision is supposed to equal GAME OVER. dipper_2
Actually-Finished Skinnydipper
  • Vehicle-in-pool detection now gives the player a SCORE (one point per frame spent in the water)
  • Collision now actually ends the game, and the police carry you off the screen.
  • The Player character is back in his own class.
  • Gave the player character has his peachy skintone back, and the enemy is navy blue because he’s the police.

Group Game #2: Skinnydipper

png For our group game, we decided to use the hider/seeker labs to make a game about running naked through people’s pools while getting chased by police. You score points by being in pools, and if you get caught, it’s over. dipper1 We first made a little skin-tone dot to represent the player, and a vehicle chasing it. We wrote the code so that pools would appear in 3 random spots for the sake of variety.  But we had trouble getting it to move how we wanted it to (automatically, steering towards the cursor/finger). We ended up with a player character that just teleports to wherever the mouse is clicked.  That’s as far as it went for a while. dipper1-5 To solve the movement problem, we just replaced the little player-dot with a second vehicle, in its own class, that chases the cursor while being chased by the enemy vehicle.  Collision was still difficult to figure out. We thought that putting the player character in its own class would help, but it didn’t. We also still had no idea how to make the code detect when vehicles were in water, since the parameters/coordinates were randomized. And so there could be no score. Also, we made the colors awful. sketch We changed the hideous color palette.  We eliminated the player’s class.  It’s now just Vehicles one and two — the peach-skinned arrow is the player, and the navy blue arrow is the police. We had to ditch the random pools idea because it made the next part super difficult: vehicle-in water detection, and vehicle slowdown while in water, which affects the enemy slightly more than the player. We’ve got a score-counter going as well. Collision between vehicles now ends the game, with a ‘Game Over’ message as the police escort you off the screen.  We had a breakthrough — every mechanic works as it should.

Group Game #2: Particle Synthesizer

I’ve been applying the aspects of the hider/seeker code with particle systems to create interesting particle systems that are fun to manipulate around on screen. At one point I got the idea that it would be really cool if the particles were somehow generating audio based on their position, or other aspects of their movement. Enter a little research into the Beads extension for Processing, and a couple of headaches, along with having to sacrifice the ability to run on Android for Java only (right now). I’ll start by discussing the motion built into the program: sketch ^^ Here’s what happens when you click or hold your finger onscreen. The variable controlling the ‘force’ of the seeking motion of the particles increases to 10, and their speed increases to 60. This causes the particles to ‘tighten’ in towards the mouse cursor and form a tighter ball. The color of the particle also changes to lighter colors. The colors are generated within random ranges, so they appear to have diversity. They also fade as they get older and the alpha value decreases. sketch2   ^^When the mouse or tap is released, the force and speed decrease in value, which causes the particles to ‘back off’ of the cursor and form much wider archs. Their colors also change to blue tones. For me, the system by which the particles seek has enough ‘wiggle room’ to invite play, and to get the particles to do interesting things. Haven’t playtested. sketch4   The audio is handled by creating a sin wave and a series of harmonics for each particle. The frequency of the fundamental of each particle is dictated by it’s position from left to right on the screen. Far left is lower, far right is higher. As they move down, the particles increase in volume (currently un-intuitive and needs to be refined), and as they move up, the particles decrease in volume. At first this generated pure noise… There were so many different frequencies playing at once, it sounded like a swirling of air… It was awesome because it made the particles seem like some kind of living, air-breathing, reactive organic object. BUT it wasn’t good for making music. I solved this by breaking up the x-axis into zones which play specific frequencies if the particles fall into them. This allows me to ensure that the particles have a harmonic relationship, and will create a more ‘pleasing’ sound. Here’s the code that shows the breakdown of frequencies.
if(xpos<0) xpos = 100; if(xpos<200 && xpos>0) xpos = 200; if(xpos<400 && xpos>200) xpos = 250; if(xpos<600 && xpos>400) xpos = 300; if(xpos<800 && xpos>600) xpos = 350; if(xpos<1000 && xpos>800) xpos = 400; if(xpos<1200 && xpos>1000) xpos = 450; if(xpos<1400 && xpos>1200) xpos = 500; if(xpos<1600 && xpos>1400) xpos = 1000; if(xpos<1800 && xpos>1600) xpos = 2000; if(xpos<2000 && xpos>1800) xpos = 3000; baseFrequency = xpos;

Group Game #2: Space Journey

Space Journey is a single-player game based on the hider/seeker concept. In this game, the player is controlling a yellow circle that can move anywhere in the screen. An orange triangle, the seeker, is chasing after the player. At the same time, the orange vehicle also has its own seeker—a blue triangle with a tail. Screenshot_2014-11-30-23-45-35 When the orange vehicle successfully touch the player, two things will happen: the size of the vehicle will increase, and a ripple effect is produced. The ripple effect is accompanied by a sound intended to create a space, futuristic feeling. The effect itself is built based on an array of white rings that sets off and recycles according to the screen touch. When the orange vehicle is chased down by its seeker, counter effect will take place: its size will decrease until it is almost invisible.   Screenshot_2014-11-30-23-46-07 Besides the basic chasing mechanism, there are two environmental variations: two circles are doing clockwise and counterclockwise circular motions. When the player reaches the black zone, the orange chaser will slow down significantly. With the blue vehicle’s effect, its size will diminish very quickly.If the player reaches the white zone, the orange vehicle will immediately speed up, and accordingly it will enlarge quickly.   Screenshot_2014-11-30-23-46-45 The inspiration of the game come from the idea of dynalinking (Preece, chapter3). Within a pond ecosystem, perch, beetle, stickleback, and tadpole form a food web that each has its own prey, enemy, and also some irrelevant, mutual-existing members. In this game, I want to simulate this web so that not only the player is chased by a seeker, but the seeker itself is also being chased by something else. Similarly, there is no interaction between player and the blue vehicle, just like perch and tadpole in the ecosystem. 20141201032523 Screenshot_2014-11-30-23-46-55 For future improvement, I want to add several other environmental variations that can introduce new members and actions to the system. It does not have to be triggered by the player, like the black and white regions. The orange vehicle and the blue vehicle (and its tail) can be initiators, as well as subjects of new movements.

Group Game #2: Airship

I’m really enjoying coding Inversion because each time I run the code, I feel the difference in play from the tweaking I do. Initially, I had the player (square) move around freely while the enemies (triangles) did the same. sk2 Then I had the enemies chase the player while the mouse was pressed. I thought I’d make barriers, and the objective would be to make enemies run into them and destroy themselves. sk4 sk3 I changed my mind. The enemies chase the player UNTIL the mouse is pressed, however, while the mouse is pressed, an obstacle rises from the bottom of the screen. Right now, I’m working on collision, as well as different positioning of the growing obstacle, perhaps coming from a different side of the screen. I’m also thinking about adding particles once I’ve coded the collisions. sk1

Group Game #2: Attendance

In our group game, rather than choose between designing a simulation based on behavior or designing a game with a goal state, Ben and I decided to combine the two. We designed our game “Attendance” to make players understand and use the behavior of the system in order to achieve a goal. In our game you play a caring T.A. who wants to make sure all the students  are in their desks before the teacher arrives. Attendance start screen The timer in the center of the screen shows how long you have until the teacher arrives. Although it is hard to tell in this screenshot all the students are colored in correlation to their desks. So you must get the red student to the red desk, and the blue student to the blue desk etc.. All the students have different maxspeed and maxforce so as the player you must respond to the different behaviors of the system in order to achieve your goal. If you succeed in getting all the students to their desks before the timer runs out the teacher (starring the lovely Angela Ferraiolo) emerges pleased to see that her students are punctual. Attendance win state   However if you fail in getting all the students to their desks in time Angela emerges again, only this time not so pleased and the student’s grades suffer. Attendance lose state   The most difficult part of making this game was definitely getting the students to stop first at any desk at all, and then just to stop at their desks. I think the best way to improve on this game would be to improve the aesthetics, the simple colors on a white background leave much to be desired artificially.