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Follow our work in progress week by week. See the project growing and changing with the work we do, the decisions we make, the obstacles we meet and the feedback we get.

 

Week 13 (14.04. – 20.04.)

In week 13 our main goal was to push forward the work that is left to do. The artists were working on all the assets that we need for the background. This process included modeling CG trees and plants, assigning appropriate textures and testing different arrangements in the overall background picture.

In the programming and game design field we implemented several structures with different sizes. We want to figure out which size offers the ideal space for the platform arrangements in order to create an interesting and challenging level design. The programmer also inserted the movie placeholders for the needed animations. One animation on the top will be the story introduction. It starts as soon as the guest spreads his arms. This movement is the main movement in the game play and we expect that it is easy to distinguish from people who are just walking by the game. We want to prevent that the game starts unintentionally. On the bottom will be different animations. Wherever the guided drop waters the seeds the associated animation will be triggered to finish the game.

Week 12 (07.04. – 13.04.)

In order to know how to get a challenging and fun level design for our game, we scheduled a Skype meeting with our Game Design professor Jesse Schell at ETC in Pittsburgh. We got great critics about our whole project and made some major decisions out of it.

Belonging to the donation part of our game we plan to offer the possibility to donate after our guest played the game. Our guest can explore the game before he is paying for it. The threshold to play the game will be lower and more people might be more curious to try it because they know they can’t lose anything even if they don’t like the game.Also, if the guest likes the game and is very attached to Madeira or this environmental issue probably he is willing to donate more than a coin detector in the beginning would make possible. Besides that, our guest gets the chance to donate without playing as well. From our developer’s point of view and with the time we have left until Final’s Presentation, we can concentrate more on the level design than implementing a coin detector.

Our physical implementation requires more research because we got to know that Arduino and servo motors are very unreliable and effort a lot of maintenance in relation to a long-term use. We decided to work with this technology for our prototype but provide research results for a better technology for the actual physical installation at the airport.

Besides the decisions we made, we worked on the art assets, improved the code to response better to the player’s movements, started with the research for the physical components and worked on our website.

Week 11 (31.03. – 06.04.)

As mentioned in the last newsletter, last week was Half’s Presentation. So we started this week with discussing the feedback and taking a look how we can improve our product.On Wednesday we repeated our presentation for some special guests who were currently visiting M-ITI. For example, artist, designer and technologist Chris Csikszentmihalyi had great feedback for our game, which we try to consider as far as possible.

We also met our client to talk about our progress and to take a look, which spot at the departing area fits the best for our installation. We decided that our project will be installed in the 3rd floor. The wall itself offers a lot of space for the game and the related information and the guest will have enough space for his balancing movements.

From the production’s point of view we tested our current low fidelity prototype just by ourselves to see how it reacts to the certain movements and behaviors of each of us. But, our main focus was on the art style. Our artist’s were working on several ideas, sketches and mood boards. We decided to tell the story of a water drop which is rolling down a Levada to water one of 4 pots with a certain number of tree seeds. The objects will be made in CG and visualized through simple shapes with a wooden texture.

Week 10 (24.03. – 30.03.)

More than half of the semester is done. So, it was time for our Half’s Presentation. Our presentation was supposed to be on Tuesday. But, because of a case of illness of one of our team members we decided to reschedule it for Friday.

This week we focused mostly on programming for the low fidelity prototype. Our player has to bring an item from the top to the bottom through balancing several rotating platforms just with his arm movements in front of a Microsoft Kinect. We were working with a raw 3D model in order to test the coding of balancing and rotating the platforms.

Beside the work on our actual product, we were also finishing the presentation slides for our Half’s. On presentation day we got great feedback from our faculty and colleagues. Right now our main concern belongs to our plan of realizing a physical implementation and the less time we have left until Final’s Presentation. We still aim for the physical prototype. But, we decided to finish first a proper working digital prototype, and afterwards, based on the time that is left, we decide again if our physical implementation is still feasible.