Spaced Out: Current update

31 Dec

I havn’t been posting much recently, but thats due to one major thing. I’ve been working a lot on the game.

The main thing for me was to have the structure of my game done and some early levels done before I go back to uni so I can test them on people. Since last time, I’ve dealt with major headaches with the scoring, fun with the animations and more headaches when it came to resetting the game.

I’ve covered how I dealt with the scoring problem previously, and I talked about how I made the highscore system. I didn’t talk about how I implemented it so I’ll cover that now.

The highscore system comes up whenever the game ends, so if you win or lose, you can put your name in the highscore chart. You dont enter your name through a keyboard interface, but instead you hover over each character and after a certain length of time, the character pops into the name box.

I was uming and ahing over whether or not I needed a keyboard for this part, but after seeing this video:

and seeing how shooter games input the names into the highscore chart, I decided that I could do it the same way I have the headtracking setup page.

The video above just shows that in shooter arcade games, you can point the gun at a character and shoot it to select, so why not with headtracking minus the concentrating that serves as the shoot button here.

The other difficulty I really faced was getting everything to reset correctly after the game ended. This caused me some problems as I often forgot that things I had faded out were still invisible as I never reset their alpha back to 1. I just assumed that this wouldnt be the case, and it took me a little while to work out what was going on. After that problem, it was all smooth sailing really.

As you can see in my video, the head tracking is still proving to be a problem, but this is down to the fact I cant control the height of the wiimote at the moment, it is stuck to a wall in my dining room rather than on a pole I could adjust like we had in Uni. I need to figure out the best position for this so it can be set in a permanent position but yet will work for pretty much anyone who plays the game. I figured out a good position for this in uni, but of course things change so I will have to go over that again.

Currently, the best height is about 50cm above the users head. Going by the fact that the seat of chairs have aprox. 50cm ground clearance and another 80cm or so to get to the users head, im looking at an arcade booth that is around 2m tall.

One thing I learned from doing this video and watching it back was that I often lost the cursor during cutscenes. It’s probably a good idea to keep the cursor on screen at all times after the user is setup. That way, they wont accidentally lose the cursor from shifting their position during the cut scenes.

The more you know.

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