Monday, 30 April 2012

Dream.Build.Play: Keeping It Fresh

This week saw a version of the introduction sequence being completed. However, as I don't own any video recording equipment and a screenshot wouldn't really show anything, you'll just have to take my word for it. It also saw the completion of two components that will help to make every game different to the last one.

The first of these components is my camera director. Whenever you watch a television based game show they very rarely have the same camera angles frame by frame between shows. This is usally because a different director is probably directing each show. In order to replicate this, I have created a camera direction system which takes a collection of camera angles from an Xml document which can be used throughout the show. Throughout gameplay I can then ask the camera director for a camera angle, for which it will randomly pick one and use it when drawing other objects. However, just obtaining a random camera angle wouldn't be very good as I may want to look at the contestants and instead get an angle showing the audience. To avoid this each camera angle is associated with one or more camera categories (e.g. audience). This results in me requesting a category and being given a random angle within said category. The first place this is used is in the show introduction where it will show the audience at the beginning. Although this addition will proabably go unnoticed to the average player, I'm hoping it will help keep things fresh.

The second component is a similar component to keep things fresh, but is associated with the game's host and the things that come out of his mouth. In the game, the game show's host will introduce the show, explain the rules of each round, compliment/insult the participating contestants depending on their progress and sign off the show. In order to keep things fresh again (I already hate how much I'm using that term) by having different introductions, different insults, etc, a similar component with a similar structure (audio clips associated with a given voice category) has been created. I can then ask said component for a given category of voice overs and I will get a random audio clip every time. This component then links to a more generic component that plays the audio clip and moves the hosts mouth to give the illusion that he is talking. I'm hoping that the combination of these two components, along with future features, will help keep the experience different game after game.

This week also saw me attempting to test the online code in preparation for the week ahead's tasks, but unfortunately I'm unable to test the code due to my PC version (used for testing) <techtalk>causing InvalidOperationExceptions</techtalk> <non-techtalk>breaking</non-techtalk> whenever a new online session is created. At the moment I'm creating online code hoping it will work and will then do a playtest nearer to the deadline. If however I can't fix my PC build or the playtest shows my online code just doesn't work, I will have to leave online play out of my submission which will be very dissapointing.

So what's next? This week I will be implementing the first (of many) rounds for my game show. This means that the actual gameplay is now actually being implemented. Not bad when I have 6 weeks left...

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