Tuesday, April 25, 2017

20170425 Reset QOL

Tonight we decided to implement a Reset functionality that enables smoother puzzle solving, as well as improving other feature testing without needing to completely restart the game.

The script is straightforward - a selection of objects in the scene are tagged 'WillReset', and the script resets their Transform information when triggered.

This introduces some new avenues for potential puzzle creation, too.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

20170413 Playtesting

Tonight we did a rush-job on some objects for testing, and then brought in two friends who had not yet seen the prototype, and invited them to check it out and provide us with some feedback.

One of them had trouble learning and picking up the techniques, while the other tester understood the mechanics pretty immediately.

Both overall had fun, but with the caveat that it's pretty bare-bones right now.

It wasn't immensely productive, but it's always interesting watching people experience something you've created.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

20170411 Checklist stomping

Tonight, we continued the momentum, and added a number of QOL improvements for testing and experimentation.

We fixed a physics bug that, as with all good physics bugs, did not possess an entirely apparent cause. We removed some early Debug.Log statements that were no longer useful, and were clogging up our console window during tests.

We fixed a prefab deletion error - this was something we had written but never properly investigated. It was not a huge surprise that it needed some TLC.

We adjusted a key system to allow for better cueing, and then out-did ourselves by doubling our feature set possibility space straight after that.

All in all, pretty solid work.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

20170406 Bug fixes, recalibration, and design whiteboarding

Tonight we got a lot done. It was good to have an evening of few distractions. We worked pretty solidly from 7pm until 10pm fixing bugs, recalibrating some problems with room tracking and our general feature tests, and we even squeezed in a whiteboarding session to map out a few directions that we are going to take our existing feature set.

My partner and I outlined three use cases that we feel will serve as a decent suite of concept proofs before we take the plunge on more hefty quality-of-life work that will follow, should these prove as enjoyable as we hope.

The plan from here is to spend two weeks on each of the three prototypes, moving onto the next if we happen to finish early, and then likely running some friends and colleagues through them to see what they think.

Things are looking good, and I still have to keep reminding myself that we've only been working on this idea for about a month (and very casually, time-wise), and yet it's moving pretty steadily. It'll be interesting to see how our first proof-of-concept works out!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

20170404 Unexpected first playtest

Tonight we accidentally stumbled into our first playtest! We were testing hand capture, and added a few spheres to allow for small-scale juggling testing. As we were working, a colleague brought a few of his friends in to check out the office, and one of them happened to be a keen juggler.

Before we know it, she's asking to check out juggling in VR. This was really useful to us, as we'd been testing out the juggling/throwing/catching for a few minutes, and were having trouble figuring out why it felt so inaccurate. After 30 seconds or so, she had figured it out - our system to joint the spheres onto the controllers was creating joints not in line with where the hand typically would be holding something. As a result, when players chose to release the sphere, they were releasing it on a trajectory that did not match their desired angle, resulting in the sphere most often moving out forwards from the player.

This was great, however the real excitement came from her playing with the primary mechanic of the prototype. An initial question I had been exploring with this mechanic was related to something I'd considered regarding medium-scale player populations in locations such as social areas in MMOs - When server data is not available, could it be possible to feed players their own actions on a time delay and have them believe they are watching someone else?

The answer is yes.