Research Document 2

Project Name:

Tipple

Abstract:

My project so far has led my research through the Underwater World, initially beginning with specifically underwater cities, this included the lost city of Atlantis and Cleopatra’s lost palace where she committed suicide rather than fall prey to the roman invaders. However, as I continued my research I found myself expending out to also include such topics as Mythical creatures from the deep such as the Kraken and different folklore surround mermaids from around the world as well as shipwrecks and ancient myths about the underwater world. I am mainly interested in the mysteries that the depths of the ocean bring to human kind and the ways in which we go about uncovering them. I also looked into Sonar Imaging, submarines use sonar to see the environment around them in the pure darkness of underwater which allows them to navigate through the water whilst avoiding any obstacles that may be in the way. I focussed mainly on Active Sonar where a signal is emitted and if it hits an object, in its path it will bounce back as an echo to be received by the emitter. This lead me to discover a game called Perception, a 1st person survival horror adventure that follows a blind woman who navigates around the world using Echolocation. In the game the woman is a reporter who must move around a haunted mansion to discover its secrets without attracting the attention of the thing that is haunting it. She can send out Sonar waves to gain a sense of what is around her and also use her cane to tap around and create echoes that come back to allow her to see.

Looking into Sonar lead be into thinking about other visual impairments that can affect a person other than darkness/blindness. I found a large variety of issues such as Agnosia where a person cannot recognise things they see. Simultagnosia is a really interesting impairment which comes in two forms; Dorsal Simultagnosia where perception is limited to single objects with no awareness of the presence of anything else and struggle to manoeuvre through the environment or Ventral Simultagnosia where the sufferer can see multiple objects at one time, but their recognition of them is limited to one at a time. However, I was drawn to the most is called Akinetopsia, this is a problem where the sufferer cannot perceive movement in their visual field. This also come in two different forms. Sufferers of Inconspicuous Akinetopsia can see stationary objects perfectly, but moving objects appear similar to multiple exposure photographs, where every frame of the movement is visible simultaneously. Gross Akinetopsia is an extremely rare phenomenon and sufferers struggle to perform daily tasks. Movement cannot be seen but is inferred by the changing position of an object or person; They see it/them at point A and then at point B but cannot see the interim movement.

A comment on a case study about Gross Akinetopsia was the basis for my game idea; In the study on LM, it was stated that the sufferer found pouring a cup of tea/coffee to be very difficult because they couldn’t see the water level rising in the cup and the water pouring out of the teapot seemed like a glacier. This sufferer also had trouble following conversations because although they could hear perfectly well, they couldn’t follow the movement of lips and facial expressions.

Goals:

My goal is to create an App-based mini game where players will be able to experience the effects of Gross Akinetopsia, however I don’t want to make the impairment the main focus of any narrative it will simply be a mechanic. The aim is for the player to endlessly fill as many receptacles as possible, but they will not be able to see the levels inside rising.

This will be a 3D game which I believe will be more visually effective during play as players can actually seeing slightly into the receptacles they are filling and so can see the water or whatever liquid is being used to fill it entering but cannot see the levels rising. If this game was in 2D I don’t think it would be as engaging because the water would simply appear to stop at the rim of and not actually enter what it is filling. Creating the game in 3D will also allow me to improve my 3D modelling skills, I will be creating a large variety of mugs, cups and other objects for use in the game.

The main goal for this game is to create a fun game that the audience will enjoy playing and get attached to beating their own and other people’s high scores.

UX:

Because this will be an app game that’s main aim is simply to cure boredom and give enjoyment, the audience for my game is very wide and open. Anybody could download and play this game without a problem. Although Akinetopsia is a background source for this game it isn’t the main focus for the game, I am using it as a mechanic only, because of this I can market my game at all ages and backgrounds. The audience focus is those who enjoy sitting and playing simple app games that hold very little complex narrative or heavy themes.

Picture1Due to the simplicity of my game, it will not be targeted at what Google Play titles “Hardcore Gamers” but rather “Tentative Followers and Passive Players”. These are defined at players who discover games through recommendations from their peers or through looking at the top ranked games in the store. They normally don’t spend money on games and would rather spend money on non-game purchases. Google play has categorised these players as mostly women between the ages of 26-45, however there are people who fall into these groups that are outside of the age group or are male. These groups also appear to play games as an opportunity to relax and relieve boredom.

Critical Analysis: 

I want to make this game more about the enjoyment of playing than getting rewarded. I looked into the Flow Model and Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Optimal Experience is where a person gets feelings of gratification from the experience on a personal level and it depends on the ability of the individual. In his study Csikszentmihalyi was interested in artists, he was surprised to see that many artists lost all interest in the paintings and sculptures they were working on as soon as they were finished. Whilst they were working on their projects they were completely immersed and did very little else but as soon as they were done it was forgotten. “It was obvious that the activity of painting produced its own autonomous positive reward,” He realised that people work hard because the work itself is rewarding rather than for conventional reward, out of a desire for Self- Actualisation. This is what I want to do with my game, I want the people who play it to enjoy it because of the experience and not because ‘they can win’. There will be some satisfaction from being able to beat their own high scores, but the main satisfaction will come from playing.

I also want to look into the feeling of Zen, is there any physical benefits from the zen feelings. Because I want to make this game relaxing and fun, I think it would help with my design choices to find out more about it.

Look into Tea Pouring Rituals

Csikszentmihalyi Study on Optimal Experience https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tdHLCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=csikszentmihalyi+optimal+experience&ots=ET9p66I9Pe&sig=chGG9fYW0HEKAwQZOnS8PXRvJAQ#v=onepage&q=csikszentmihalyi%20optimal%20experience&f=false

Project Content:

Components

My game will be a unity built app, in order to make this game effective I will have to build a large variety of cups, mugs and other receptacles. The intention is for my game to be endless and something that the player can just continue to play for as long as they want to. A lot of the objects I build for this game I will be able to recycle and simply change the size and colour to add extra levels to the game. By the end of Semester 2, I plan to have a fully working app-based game that holds a large number of levels. I will be making a 3D game for the combined reasons that I think it makes the gameplay a lot more effective and it gives me the opportunity to practice 3D modelling and build up a body of work in this area as it is a field of design that I have always wanted to become proficient in.

Functional Specifics

As this is a unity build app I will need access to the Unity Software, I will also use Autodesk Maya to build all of the assets I will need. I will also need to get either an ipad or iphone to use as a display of the game for the exhibition at the end of the semester.

Project Structure:

The next phase of the project for me is to continue to build my game, I have already begun to build the 3D assets I will implement into it. I will be creating a lot of different developments throughout the rest of the year which I will user test by creating sample apps to give to different audiences such as my peers at university and family members of different ages. This will also allow me to test the target audience for the game and get a better sense of who finds the game most interesting and engaging to play.

As I am a one-person team I will not necessarily need regular Scrumm meetings, however to ensure that I stay on the right track and following the schedule I lay down for myself, I aim to do weekly reflections on the work I have created and produce To Do lists for the next week. I will try to complete every task in that previous to do list that week but will carry over any uncompleted tasks to the next week and they will become the priority task(s) for then.

Structure

Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4
Week 9 Find Maya Tutorials for Mugs Practice Maya Techniques
Week 10 Begin prototype with James Create particle system for water Build Mugs First iteration of reactions
XMAS Focus Optional Module Continue Mug builds
1st After Xmas Focus on bringing things up to date Finish Research Document Reflections
Deadline Week Input a few prototype mugs Bring blog up-to-date Update Sketchbook Design Appendix Finish
Reading Week Learn how to Texture in Maya Texture Mugs Model a Teapot 2nd Iteration of reactions

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