A folder link to all the stuff i created for Exosense
Design and interaction are some of the important part of the project, it is the part of the game that interacts with the audience directly. This involves all the interaction, sound/hearing and camera/sight, to what the audience see directly on the screen.
I focused in the design of interaction, what is needed and what can be done. Starting with the main menu. Collaboration with Xavier allowed us to explore different existing games and what they do with the main menu. Our game is made within 14 weeks therefore there is a limited of what we can do and what we thought we can do because from my research from triple A games, there were a lot of features on the main menu beyond play and exit. Options/settings, network and credits are available for players to change and play around in. For our case we won’t be able to implement many of these things but what we can learn is the design of the intro level. Overwatch and Witcher 3 are the biggest source of inspiration for our main menu screen. Overwatch implements a camera on different level/maps with a hero standing next to the menu buttons with the level/map background changing do different levels while the menu is sitting in front of the camera (Overwatch, 2016). Witcher 3 is fantastic simple main menu with a live background similar to Overwatch but has a black bar on the left side of the screen where the menu button sits on (Witcher 3, 2015). Lastly one of the design choices that I personally like is the braille font that I used throughout the game not just the main menu. It gives the feeling of blindness which is one of the important part of the game
HUD is the other main one to my work, making sure all on screen is important. My initial development of the HUD stems from initial discussion of the game and all the implementation we want to make. So the huds were very cluttered, having all sort of scanning implementation with targeting and information about the battery life of robots and since the robots initial purpose was scientific research and exploration of the planet, rock scans for storing were all part of the original design. But discussion with the lecturers pushed that the idea of lost, claustrophobia and balance/imbalance of senses wasn’t being pushed or shown through the initial HUD. So going back to the drawing board allowed me to research unmanned vehicles, in particularly UAVs with their screen having shapes, letters and numbers important for targeting and displaying information relevant to the controller of the UAV. But for the game the aesthetic have to be there to further immerse the players to the game even if ultimately the displayed values means little for the player.
Lastly, I helped with the design of the level of the game to ensure what interaction the players will have in relation to the game. The researched involved looking for existing two player games and multiplayer game that focuses on “teamwork but not really”. Wrestling games in particular royal rumble where players often team up for the initial fighting to try get rid of competition as much as possible but when it get down to the last one they will ultimately fight each other having only one victor (WWE Raw 2, 2003). Other example of similar idea can be found in survival game or battle royal. But this was shelved to save development further of the foundation of the game, the limit of senses. Seeing and listening are often taken for granted in real life and it is something we wanted to play around and the ability to swap senses between two players are good in combining players to achieve a common goal. The Second level with the orb is to show the imbalance, where one player, the one with the camera/sight. Completely dominates the level making it severely one sided where the third level pushes for cooperation and reminding the players that it takes more than one to finish this game.
These are the ideal screen for the initial screens.
Scan lines horizontal makes the most senes, but i tried the vertical just to see and in my opinion looks a bit better but like i said doesnt make sense.
I made it clean, and remove clutter as much as i can. as such the scanning system is gone as our game doesn’t make use of that mechanic anyway.
the top one is suppose for the brick and the bottom is supposed to be the spyder.
spider: clean and slick and unique
brick: quickly manufactured and stocky
The previous post consisted of what I thought our game will look like. But after a thorough roasting from our Lecturer Ben, I realized something, the lack of direction. I was going about this project through a naive lens and forced myself to really look at what I want to convey and show the audience, the players and the lecturers.
A HUD of a modern game isn’t something that conveys every message but it Conveys the important messages. AND A LOT OF DESIGN LINES.
Our game characters are drones, so I took a peek at what drone screens are supposed to look like. Like any good technology, it comes from the military, so I present the UAV (Unmanned Arial Drone), at least the interpretation of what artist thinks it would look like, cause you know its Top Secret…
The colouration of the screen is heavy on the grey and white, which allows the text and HUD to standout over the area and the target over the background. Believable, at least at a cinematic point of view, bullet size at the bottom left, potential random letters to confuse the average person to believe it is military mumbo jumbo.
Another good place to look at is the HUD of fighter pilots. This is a very functional HUD, at the very least. It makes sense as a technical instrument, as the pilots want the information with the maximum amount of important data to almost no thought in aesthetic design, which make sense for what it is designed to be used for.
From trying to decipher what is in this image, we have a targeting system, an altimeter, possibly fuel? Horizon detector? and the rest is beyond me.
This will never fly in a video game aside from pushing for a flight sim game. This is where the function outweighs the need to create an aesthetically pleasing screen. Comparable to Game HUD, the players need enough overlay to be convinced that they piloting some sort of vehicle either manned or unmanned but not too much where it becomes a visual overload and becomes distracting from the game no matter how close it is to reality, it just has to feel realistic.
This is from Rainbow 6 Siege
The drone. a ground-based 2 wheeled drone designed to scout the area ahead. Ignoring the other UI elements and just focusing on the overlays, there is a faint white/grey border inside the screen, with breaks for aesthetic reasons and near the middle of the screen (where the eyes will stare at for most of the time as this is an FPS) there are another faint line forming what looks like a rather large crosshair.
Comparing this to the HUD from the fighter plane, it is completely different. In the Tom Clancy game, it is very subtle and not invasive to see what is on the screen, blurred heavily to see what is behind. But the Fighter plane, from a design point of view, can be said to be overcluttered and is unpleasant to look at with its bright neon text with little or no transparency meaning you won’t miss it really.
Resurrecting myself from my lack of post, I come with new vigour and new inspiration to blog again and wondering if I remember what I made.
This is my final variation for my Screen. The major note will be is that the title is my placeholder and the background should change either each time the game reaches the main menu (think Overwatch) or just a slideshow (think windows background ).
The highlight of this is my masterful photoshopping skills giving life to the main menu. I like the highlight of the menu turquoise like colour with the orange/gold highlight colour. feel like it works well.
This is my first vision for the HUD. The bottom left contains the dpad control scheme, if required. Kept it minimal and didn’t add anything that I deemed not important. No hp, no or map. The two sticks are surrogate arms because I cant model hands if we are going to have hands.
This is my second version with more changes and with a real screenshot of our game. Moved the objective to the top left for less clutter. Used the 2D Assets as more of the game is developed. The top right is the symbol for the amount of charge the robot has. A lightning bolt is a place is a place to charge, reseources. The box around the target is a pickup symbol.
the text with # are colours so we can ignore them for the purpose of this image.
NOTE: Due to compression issue, the green text is hard to read. It says signal lost. This occurs during the sense swapping.
This is a gif of the basic transition of sense when losing your vision. The screen gets static followed by the text saying signal lost and the echo-location kicks in that’s why we can see the other player, the grey image that shows.
The changes we made is to not have a static snow on the screen all the time because it creates a nauseating experience and an epileptic nightmare.
It is a basic transition because there is a need to explain whats happening quickly and intuitively.
Now the grey image of the other player allows both players to be aware of each other’s position regardless of what sense they have. Potentially the blind character can only detect the other player when they move because they make noises when it walks.
Overall this is a rough draft of what Xavier and I have been discussing happens during the sense swapping. We also agreed that when people want to swap senses they both have to mutually agree to swap sense instead of “stealing” sense off one another, but this can change depending what the rest of the team says, we think this is just the best way to get around it as it might cause an unfavourable experience for one person.
One of the main importance of the game we are creating focusses on the sense swapping involving hearing and sight. Below are the early iteration of the screen the players will see the first being able to hear but not see well/at all and the second being able to see but not hear well/at all
Hear well but not see well
This is the design teams first iteration of no/minimal vision and good hearing. Top left contains the indicator that the other person wants to swap senses, the two sticks indicate the hands, hands, bottom left is the radar that shows where the ping coming from, the red image is the other person and their location and the screen is covered with a form of static that makes it hard to see.
One concern that was raised is that for a visual effect, that static is good, but if you are playing a game with this filter over a long period of time, this filter can make the game extremely unplayable or nauseating and should be changed to something more simple and less sensory overload experience.
See well but not Hear well
A lot of the features found above will be here as well with few major changes. Immediately the vission is a lot more clear but there is a mute button on the top right and the minimap is inturn not working and on the top left, there is still the icon for the indication to swap senses.
The reason for the mute noise is to give the player a visual indication of what they are lacking this includes the radar.
Overall these serves as the first few iterations of the HUD.
There has been a rising concern within the group regarding the concept around the game so we decided to write down all that we considered is guaranteed, at least unchanging from our idea.
The mechanic of the game
Sense Swapping – Sight + sound
This is the core mechanic of the game use to explore the balance of power or the change in balance of power
With the focus of team work.
It will by a stylised aesthetic because of constraints.
It will be set up as a multiplayer game as a lan, to split the screen.
Rovers/robot are injured in the beginning. Have to work together or it wont work.
The aliens come into pair that’s why the players have to work together most of the time for it to work.
The explorers are AI that learns Self preservation thats why they swap eyes, hearing modules.
Exploring for future habitation.
Not mars. Planet surface is hot thats why they live underground. Big Eyes if they live underground.
Colour scheme from blue to purple to red
\Thats it so far.