Monday, September 23, 2013

Capstone #3

This week was quick, dirty, and messy prototyping.  We as a team met and briefly spoke about the what and whys on creating our different games Big hands little things and Magnets.  This conversation was not one I really got involved with.  I'm a programmer, designers can worry about the what and whys while I go out and do it.
       As for prototyping goes I started with week with Big hands little things our attempted phone game.  I created two "prototypes" one in Havok  and another in Unity.  At first things looked really promising, I was able to recognize the pinch gesture on the phone, compare against the rate at which the player moved their fingers and how close they were together.  Which is good because for a careful picking up game this is exactly what we would need to test against objects we are grabbing.  Further more I was able to actually pick up an object using a technique I'm proud of figuring out.  Once two fingers are on the phone I "draw" a line between the two.  Once they are "connected" (not visibly so) I find the mid point between the two and ray cast a down. If i hit a object and my fingers are close enough together then I know I am pinching above something and it should move.  This was all exciting advancing, but this is when the wall hit.  When trying to move the object I successfully pinched movement went haywire.  Here is the fundamental problem with a "3d" game being controlled on a 2d screen.  When the fingers are touching the screen the phone registers them at screen cords based on the resolution of the phone.  When trying to move them in game we have to take 300x750 for example and turn it into units of measurements in not only the the 4 main cardinal  direction (up down left right)  but forward and back as well.  Moving my pinched object around became incredibly difficult in the 4 basic directions, I had no clue how to tackle forward and back as well.  This is the wall I hit and this for the moment is where I remain.

     Moving onto Magnets, I actually really enjoyed working on this.  In a very short amount of time I had
really interesting interactions taking place. I made what I called a field object and attached to to every object in my world. I field object has the following parameters, Polarity (positive or negative)  Force (how strong the Polarity it)  When a field intersects another field they both go "Hey what polarity are you?"  and then apply their force onto one another. So If they are opposites they will both pull the other one towards it.  Or if they are both the same they will both push each other away.  With high forces in not time I found myself flying around the screen gaining large amounts of speed and enjoying myself.

Overall I think this week was a step in the right direction however will still have a lot to worry about in terms of challenging.  We'll see how the next week goes.

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