Week Seven

In a welcome change from last week, this week was much more productive. My initial plan was to focus entirely on player design, but I managed to finish that fairly quickly. So, I decided to start coding the companion interactions and to create some player animations. I also refined my player movement script to account for sloped surfaces and created more pages of my blog. Overall, I’d say this week was one of my most productive so far.

Refining my player movement took quite a while and it’s still not quite finished. My main issue now is that when the player moves down a sloped surface they become ungrounded. This causes all sorts of unwanted behaviour and some visual bugs. However, it’s not a huge concern because my level design won’t be full of slopes. Even so, it would be nice to get this fixed. I also began coding the companion interactions this week and managed to create the follow and wait commands. The player is now able to command their companion to wait in a particular spot or to follow them. These two basic commands are the fundamentals of how the companion will move around with the player. I have yet to code the companions lift ability, but I will most likely start on this next week.

On Monday I managed to finish my player design which meant I could start creating animations. My characters are built in Unity in such a way that I’m able to animate body parts using Unity’s built in animation system. Essentially, this means that I don’t have to deal with sprite sheets and all the headaches that come along with them. Instead I can have much more control over individual animations and can edit them on the fly. Hopefully this will prove to be a much more versatile way to create my animations. My only concern is that I may end up trying to make things too precise. Having so much control over animations may cause me to fiddle with them incessantly until I’m happy. To combat this habit, I’m planning to give myself specific time limits for creating individual animations. This week I played around with the animation system so that I could get a sense of how much time it would take me to create an animation. I managed to complete a run cycle for the player in around four hours. Run cycles are probably the most complicated animations I will be making, so I think a limit of three hours for each animation will probably be a good idea. To help with my animations, I’m reading The Animator’s Survival Kit, a book by Richard Williams. There’s a huge amount of knowledge from a long career in animation contained within it, so I’m hopeful it will prove to be a great resource.

On Friday, we were joined by various musicians who talked about the role music plays in games and more generally the role music has played throughout history. The talks were really interesting and afterwards I had a chance to discuss my ideas for Denizen’s music with Alex Ayling from University of Chichester. After playing him some of my songs and discussing the concept of Denizen, he was really positive about my ideas and the direction I’m heading in. I have already written a few songs, and have a broad idea in mind for how I will be implementing the music into the game and Alex gave me some further ideas and tools which will he felt could help me implement my ideas. It was great to hear positive comments from a musician, so I’m feeling good about my direction.

Overall, this week was great and I’m feeling positive about my progress. Next week, I’m planning to continue coding and animating. My goal is to have the player and companion animations finished by the end of the week. I’m also hoping to have fixed my player movement issue as well.

I worked approximately 35 hours this week.

  • Character Design (05:44)
  • Coding (16:44)
  • Animation (05:07)
  • Music (05:21)
  • Blog (02:02)

I’m happy with the amount of time I have worked this week, but I’m even happier about the variety of work I have done. I think this variety has helped me to feel more inspired, so I think I will try to vary up the tasks I give myself each week.

Week Eight