Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sanjay Balaji - 10/19 - 10/31

In these 2 weeks, I and the group continued working the GDD and the game mechanics. The GDD is one of the big priorities now, and we are spending time discussing the details and formatting things in a better way. I think the GDD looks great as of now, but there still needs to be work done to make sure that it is as concise and clear as possible. In our meetings with Salvage this week, a good portion of those meetings were spent discussing the GDD and any improvements we can make on it.

On the game mechanics side of things, the group got progress done for the "gravity whip" mechanic of our game. I wasn't directly involved in the implementation of this, but I was there for discussions of how the mechanics should work and how the group went about implementing it.

I also did some work with Andrew on the goal and scoring mechanics. Many mechanics need polishing, but this is one of the first priorities because this is how the player wins the game. Currently, if the ball happens to roll along the goal, the player can "score" several times and get many points, but this isn't the intention. We were trying the figure out a way to add in a buffer period of some sort so that the player cannot score with that ball on that goal at that time, by time or distance. But this problem becomes more complicated when we add the possibility of multiple balls and multiple goals. We need to continue working on this.

Meetings with Salvage: 1h
Gravity whip discussions: 2h
Sprint planning meeting, task breakdown and assignment: 1h
GDD work and revisions: 3h
Goal and scoring mechanics: 1.5h

+ GDD is looking great
+ Game mechanics are there, need polish and tinkering though

- Need to see if we can get a player controller in the game so I can work and test without the Vive

Total: 8.5 hours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mike DiLucca - 10/19 - 10/31

This week was a lot of Project organization and management:

I took a lot of time to clean up the current trello and add new tasks, additionally I met with both teams and got both sides on the same page. The last few weeks was really starting to feel disjointed between us. I met with the programming team for an hour and went over tasks as well as broke them down. Our next 2 week sprint ends the first week of November.

The art side chose to work in 1 week sprints. We are expecting our first iteration of assets this weeks to be implemented. The first few assets were chosen to be the high level of detail models that the player will have the chance to get up close and see. Meeting with the art team for an hour as well for task breakdown helped clear a lot of confusion as well on some subjects.

A lot of changes have been happening on the side of our documentation. We have been keeping up with the planning and design that has been coming in from the art side. The artists were also able to create a game loop and component diagrams this week. Which will aid us greatly in a single idea of the game represented in a single document.

I was able to work with Andrew on the whip mechanics as well a small amount but more so put time into room scaling and calibration with Johanna. I fear that we may not be able to deliver everything so It will be up to me to say what is absolutely needed in the game. We are in week 7 and time is everything for us. It will not be easy to implement everything, especially with one available setup/space. But we are working on figuring that out as well.

Planning and Organization (4)
Whip Mechanic and Concepts (3)
Room Calibration (3)
GDD (6)

What Went Right:
We are rallied back up and ready to push forward hard again.
Planning and Organisation is setting us up for a busy 4 weeks.
Whip mechanic is near complete.
GDD Looks amazing.

What Needs Improvement:
We have a lot on our plate and if we want it all we are going to have to step on the gas peddle, all of us, hard. At the pace we are moving I do not see a complete playable build in 4 weeks happening.
We need everyone on the same page reading different paragraphs to get everything done. Not people reading different books.
Andrew has been taking a huge load on his shoulders and I want to keep stressing to him that this is going to end up hurting the team in the long run. We should be conditioned to all take responsibility if/when something is not complete, not have 1 person feel the need to bare the weight of the world on their own.

What We Plan For:
Whip Mechanic.
Scoring Bug Fixs.

Andrew DiNunzio 10/19 - 10/31

For these two weeks, I helped get two primary features working in the game. I also worked on documentation, the website (for CCI), and concepting for the whip's mechanics.

We added a force applied to the ball (the player is using the gravity beam) that pulls the ball towards the player (along the spline). It works much better than simply applying an acceleration to some point away from the player's controller. However, it still feels slow and difficult to control.

I started thinking: the reason a ball on a string moves faster the faster we move our arm is because the string wants to stay the same length. I think this concept is key to getting a whip mechanic that feels good and that allows players to throw the ball faster by moving their arm faster.

I can see two different types of forces to apply to the ball, as well as two different types of drag.

One force (the primary one) is a resistance to *stretching*, and will always pull in the direction of the whip at the ball (the tangent on our spline at that point) if the length is greater than the desired length (however much "string" is let out). This is depicted below:

Showing the stretching and compressing forces

We could also give the whip a force for resistance to *bending*. The points along the spline would accelerate towards the "line of sight" of the motion controller to try to avoid any bending.There is probably a relationship between these two forces but if we have both of them, we can tinker with values until it's faked well enough. A basic description of this force is depicted below.

Showing the force of resistance to bending

Next the drag (which I still need to think about more) would be based off of the distance, d, to its desired location (approaching 0 for a perfectly rigid whip, or a stick, as d goes to 0 and 1 as d goes to infinity, if you consider the drag to be a proportion of the ball's velocity that is maintained). There would be two different drag calculations: one for compression (opposite of stretching) and one for aligning with the controller's forward vector (opposite of bending). It would be near 1 for most of the curve then drop quickly to its minimum (0 for perfectly rigid) as it gets close to 0. These drag forces can be seen in the pictures above as represented by epsilon (ε), which shows that the whip approaches a certain length and "straightness" as time goes on and it oscillates.

Additionally, working with Mike DiLucca and Johanna Oberto, we got a platform in game to scale to the size of the room, as shown below:

Comparison between the real room-scale and platform in-game

I also completed the website for the CCI-side. I scaled down our photos and logos to the required size and followed the template set out in the requirements.

Additionally, I worked on Game Design Document (GDD). I added several sections, namely: the functional requirements for gravity wells, the gravity beam, the player platform,  the arena, and the player settings; the non-functional requirements for player safety and preventing virtual reality sickness; the loading scene; the game controls and universal mechanics section; the system evolution section; and I set up the Use Cases section to be filled in later (though I did add the Game Flow diagram created by the DIGM side).

Time spent: Total: ~24 hours

  • 3 hours - Working on getting the force applied to the ball, pulling it along the spline towards the player
  • 3 hours - Working on getting the platform the player stands on to scale with the room
  • 5 hours - Doing the website for the CCI side
  • 8 hours - Working on the Game Design Document (GDD)
  • 3 hours - Working on concepts for how the gravity beam would work
  • 2 hours - Set up times for the CCI side to do individual programming, for times where they are available and I am available to offer assistance where possible


  • We have a platform that scales with the room.
  • I have an idea for how the gravity beam mechanics should work; I just need to put it into code
  • The GDD is close to having a complete first draft.
  • The website for CCI is set up


  • We still don't have a good force mechanic for the whip

Team PPJ: 10/19 - 10/31

This week was a week of highs and lows on both sides. During the first week, we experienced a drop in morale that hampered productivity. However, Wednesday's meeting gave us all a big reality check and hammered into us that we need to get our rears in gear if we're planning to make alpha by the end of the quarter. The second week saw a palpable rise in morale, as we had clear tasks set out and everyone had made great progress.

In addition to our continual refinement of the GDD, we also crafted a game flowchart that we can use as a secondary reference for tasks. The art team created a variety of demo assets to nail down a visual theme during the first week and began working on final hero asset models during the second week. As well, certain artists created logos, UI mockups, and other demo assets to be refined later on.

On the coding side, great progress was made on all fronts. The whip spline is now able to influence the ball's movement, and the player can now calibrate and generate a platform based on the real-world play area.

Corporate Logo 1

Corporate Logo 2

Tool WIP 1

Tool WIP 2

Theme Proof of Concept 1

Theme Proof of Concept 2

Pause Menu Mockup
Theme Set 1
Theme Set 2
Controller Concept 1

Final Ball WIP 1

Final Ball WIP 2

Platform Concept

Scoreboard Concept
Final Goal WIP

Main Menu Concept

Final Platform Mockup

Final Platform Mockup 2

Platform Concept
Game Flow Diagram

Daniel Ingman 10/19 - 10/31

These past two weeks were rough for me. The first week was a bit demoralizing, as I felt like we weren't where we wanted to be artistically in terms of quality of assets and general game vision. In addition, I felt very stressed as I felt that I was doing my team a disservice by not doing my duties as a manager. However we had a long and in-depth chat that week about what needed to be done for the game and exactly what tasks were required, and I feel far more confident in the art team and their vision for the game.

I did a lot of different things the past week, including game ball, platform, and goal concepts, a rough player tool model, corporate logos, and a holographic pause UI mockup. As well, the team got together and wrote a gameplay flowchart, which helped immensely in visualizing what we needed to make for the game and what assets would be required to make it happen.

Corporate Sponsor #1: Doskoi Management

Corporate Sponsor #2: Hachimau International

Final Tool WIP

Final Tool WIP

Style Proof of Concept

Style Proof of Concept
Pause Menu Layout

Pause Menu: Item Hilighted

Pause Menu: Item Selected

Total Hours: 31
  • Ball Concepts: 2 hours
  • Goal Concepts: 3 hours
  • Platform Concepts: 2 hours
  • Tool Model WIP: 4 hours
  • Texture Mockup: 2 hours
  • Corporate Logos: 5 hours
  • UI Mockup: 2 hours
  • Meetings:11 hours
  • Very productive period
  • Team clued in on visual them 
  • Team morale was at a low during the first week
  • Took too long to establish a visual theme

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tyler Schacht PPJ 10/19-10/31

During the first week of this PPJ cycle, I worked on concept models and themes for our game, Shadow Circuit.  I wasn't able to attend the first status report lecture, but I was able to hear some of the comments on my models through my teammates.  That Tuesday night, I started out making a wireframe for a website (unplanned), but that quickly got put off once we talked during our Wednesday meeting.  However, because of the wireframe, I created a logo for our game.  With the help of Dan's style guide, I started working on a much more polished Goal model.  I also created 2D concept art for an elevator that acts as a main menu as well as the way the player gets to our arena.

Theme concept 1 (Futuristic Junkyard)

Theme Concept 2 (Grid based)
Logo V1

Goal in Progress

Main menu Concept

Total Hours: 25 hours
- Creating the 3D models and themes: 8 hours
- Logo: 2 hours
- Current Progress of Goal: 3 hours
- Main Menu Concept: 1 hour
- Meetings: 11 hours

Positives: I feel better about each members vision of the game.  The first few weeks we were just shooting out ideas and the ones we liked stuck around in our slack channel.  However, it wasn't until recently that we started to have the same vision of the ideas, if that makes sense.

Negatives: There's a lot of stress coming from our disorganization.  We worked on it during one of our meetings but now we have a slight back log of stuff that needs to get done.

Johanna Oberto PPJ October 24-31

This week we worked on the room scale settings. We were able to create a platform within the playing field that would adjust its size based on the room scale that is set when first setting up the Vive through Steam VR. We also focused on revising and adding to the GDD, further explaining the game's functionality and fixing it based on our advisor's feedback.
We also planned out the next sprint, and further discussed the whip's mechanics.

Time Spent:

Wednesday meeting and sprint planning: 3 hours
Saturday room scale: 4 hours
Monday GDD work: 4 hours

Total: 11 hours

Cory Zicolella PPJ 10/19-10/31

These last two weeks an absolute TON of work was done on the design end for the game; multiple concepts for a large majority of the assets were created, and the digm side in general got a move on with the hero assets; by the time of this post each one should be through their first pass, and primed for texturing during the next week.

The first week I had personally completed 6 concept models for the hero assets (2 each of controller, goal, and platform), as well as select two color schemes to theme each one with, and created a photoshop reference for the look and feel of the gravity well.

Concept 1 for the primary controller tool

Concept 2 for the primary controller tool

Concept 1 for the goal -- to be suspended from wires

Concept 2 for the goal

Concept for the gravity well

Concept 1 for the play area platform

Concept 2 for the play area platform

These took a large chunk of my available time that week, and as seen each pair drastically varies from one to the other, both in style and feel.  This last week that is coming to an end was taken up by creating the Hero Asset for the ball that will be played with throughout the entire game.


Side View - The ring through the 'center' is supposed to
glow/luminescence to be a visual representation of the 'shot clock'


And of course, as per usual, about half of the time that I dedicated to working alone was spent in meetings, where we developed the basic gameplay flowchart from start to finish, discussed music choices and feel for the game, as well as decided definitively on an art style and compiled folders of reference for the look we with to have in our final product.  Overall, it was an extremely productive two weeks for me.