Week Eight

This week was the last week before the Easter break which marks the half way point of the semester. Easter is a milestone for the development of Denizen and I wanted to make sure that I got the fundamental elements of the game in place before this point. Thankfully, I’ve more or less managed to do this. I have both primary characters designed, the code framework for the game in place and this week I managed to complete the animations for both the player and companion. There is still a lot of work left to do, but I’m happy with what I’ve managed to accomplish so far.

The majority of my time this week was spent both coding and animating. I had planned to vary the tasks I was doing this week, but I got preoccupied with trying to solve various bugs and issue with my movement code. However, the result of all this coding is that I managed to fix my movement bug from last week and I also developed a way to rotate the companion based on the surface it’s currently standing on. Prior to this, when the companion walked up a sloped surface only one of its legs would be in contact with the floor. As you would expect, this didn’t really look that great. Although I hadn’t planned to code this, after animating the companion’s walk cycle I felt like it was necessary. I managed to create a solution fairly quickly, but I spent far too much time afterwards tweaking and attempting to improve upon it. On reflection, I can see that I spent too long on this because it’s probably something no one will notice in the final game, but I wanted to get it right. At this point I can’t afford to spend so much time on refining when there are so many other things that need to be done. This appears to be a common problem for me and it seems like every week there is something which pulls my attention away from what I should be doing. However, now that I’m keeping track of how long it takes for me to accomplish certain tasks, I feel like I have a much greater sense of what I’m spending too much time on.

On Friday I had a chance to speak to Adam who gave me some feedback on my progress so far. I showed him the current state of Denizen including my new animations and the feedback I received was positive. I also spoke about the timeline for the game’s development and what I’m planning to do over the Easter break. He suggested that I begin user testing what I have so far and that I research lighting theory to help with my level designs.

Over the next couple of months, we also have a documentary film about our games being development by MIND THE FILM. Over the next six weeks I need to film some process videos about Denizen and then be interviewed for the documentary. Unfortunately, I missed a workshop on Thursday which apparently explained everything about the documentary and this work which I’m expected to do. Instead of telling me what I should be doing, Adam suggested that I go talk to someone who was there. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t know, or that he couldn’t be bothered to tell me. There’s no mention of this work on any module outline and the workshop doesn’t appear on any timetable. A nice Easter gift.

My plan over Easter is to start designing and creating the game’s levels and puzzles. My next reflective summary will be in four weeks’ time when I return to university.

I worked around 41 hours this week

  • Animation (10:35)
  • Blog (2:46)
  • Coding (27:57)

So much coding. Too much coding.

Week Nine