Week 6 Update

I started this week by tinkering pet swapping module, by creating 3 different points in space related to user position (sitting, reclining or laying down flat), placed planes to represent the pets, and wrote scripts to instantiate and destroy objects at run time based on preference. I was a bit worried about performance at this point, but since there would be only one pet at a time in the level, the instancing/destroying method shouldn’t affect performance much.

Afterward, I modify the menu system a bit. For easy access, I want the menu to be available at all times, probably floating somewhere the user can gaze at. However, I don’t want the menu to obstruct the user’s view of the world. After pondering for a while, I use the menu system from my favorite mobile game, Neko Atsume as reference. I like how its menu always available at the top left corner, and it is really easy to use.

Here is a sample of the pet swapping module and the new menu system.

For positional menu, I decided to line the buttons vertically instead of horizontally like before. This way, it is a lot more comfortable for the user in any position to pick the button menu based on his or her current position.

As I test the opening scene in space, I realize this level can be pretty relaxing as well. So instead of just floating in space, I started creating a mock-up space-pod. For the art direction of this project, I try to avoid square, or sharp edge geometry, and create more curvy shapes. So for the space-pod, I made it a transparent sphere.

For the pod seat, I looked up some reference pictures for sci-fi captain seats and found out that most of the designs look really uncomfortable, like the ones from Star Trek. Then I turn my search to pool floats, and they look really comfortable. However, having a pool float inside a bubble feel a bit weird, so I added some structure, like curvy metal beams to the pod. The beams help in creating the feeling of inside a personal space pod, and interestingly enough, I feel safer being inside this room compared to when I was just floating in space.

Below is a video of the space pod experience. I haven’t had the time to implement the space as its own relaxation level.

I let my husband tested this build last night. Unfortunately, due to time, I wasn’t able to create custom materials for the mock up space pod, so I used existing glass material from my previous project, which was a survival horror game, and the glass was cracked. As my husband tried the demo, he felt very uncomfortable in the space area since the cracked glass made him nervous.

For next week, most likely I won’t have much done in term of development, since I will be at DevGAMM, Casual Connect Seattle and also a 48-hours game jam hosted by Seattle Indies. I will definitely bring my latest build and GearVR, and test it to whoever wants to give it a try. We’ll see how it goes.

Here is the video of the latest build. See you next week!