Good feedback

So yesterday was the Final Year Project Expo where I showed off my game.

It got quite a lot of interest from employers and students. Unfortunately, most companies there were business oriented companies that have no use for virtual reality, but they still thought the project was very good. I heard people talking about it in different rooms around the building, and many students were quite jealous with the attention it was getting as it was detracting from their own projects.

Having people play the game and seeing them make use of the spells in the world was great, and further motivated me to develop the game more. I got some good feedback on the project from this also. It seemed a lot of people had trouble figuring out which button was which on the controller. From this I think I will implement a training level that makes sure the player understands what buttons to press.


Oculus And Positional Tracking

I got this working only yesterday. There is still a lot of changes to be made to it but right now it is fully functional. I read quite a bit about other implementations of positional tracking for Oculus games, and it seems it is as simple as attached the Sixense prefab to the camera in game. However some changes had to be made to how the game calculates the height between the floor and the base station so that the player can crouch effectively. Just attaching the prefab led to the player being able to crouch under the game world and go through walls, so by making some changes, this is far less likely to happen.

I want to make some more changes so it is easier to crouch lower and also have the hand and wand start a bit further from the player, as I think it clips into the players collision box a bit too easy with how close it is now. Here is a GIF of me peaking around a tree:


Tree Peak

And finally a GIF of me crouching and looking into a well.


So now that this is working, along with all of the spells, I have pretty much a complete working project. All that is left to do is to make some tutorial levels and then one larger main level which takes advantage of the spells you have. I have a few ideas of cool ways to incorporate the spells in game and can’t wait to start designing the levels.


Light spell refinement

Finally finished college and all my assignments. Haven’t had time to touch the project until today.

Worked on some refinement for the light spell, slowly working my way through each spell. The light spell is pretty much finished now, all I need to do is make some  additions to particle effects and add in destroy animation for the light pulse.

Basically I added in a timer for the spell. When you hold the trigger down, you have 10 seconds of light. If you run out of time or stop pressing the trigger, after 1 second, a slow recharge will happen, and will eventually give you another 10 seconds of light. It is possible to add on more time to the light by finding small floating power ups in the level.

A feature I was going to include was making it so that holding down the trigger fully used more power, but I’m not sure if I will implement it. I will have to see how the spell works in a real level scenario and then decide.

Other than that I added in an “Unable to use spell” sound effect. I have the push spell working from a few weeks ago and will make a new blog post showing a gif of that in action tomorrow hopefully.

Particles and fireballs

Working on making the game look a bit better this week. So far I added in a particle system to go with the different colours of each spell. I hope to try add in a different particle system for each spell, but this is fine for now, quick gif of it:


Change Spell Updated

Other than that, I got the fireball spell working with a decent looking fireball and all. It sort of curves when you shoot it, which I think actually helps you place shots nicely. Here it is:


Fireball Shooting

The only other real thing I did was add in sound effects for some more spells and also for changing spells. Once I have the rest of the sounds, particle systems and spells implemented, I will start making a level which requires you to use all of the spells to finish it, I’m quite looking forward to that actually.

I ran into some trouble with my Hydras unfortunatly. I am quite worried it will have an affect on my presentation and overall grade. Basically the range of the Hydras has been severly limited for some reason. I can’t take more than a step back from the base station without getting unreal amounts of jitter. Since there will be positional tracking, this will be a huge problem, as you need to take at least a step back from the base station for room. Hopefully I can fix it, as it did work around Christmas time, it just seems that since I have reformatted my laptop it has happened.

Sounds, Fire and positional tracking

So this week I have been working on a couple of things.

Firstly, I went about getting some sounds for the game. I have some of the sounds for the light spell implemented, but I just need to edit the sound so it matches the spell a bit more.

The main thing I worked on however was the fire spell. It was quite straight forward to create. It works very similar to the light shoot spell, except instead of it being a light it is a fireball prefab. It also gets destroyed upon coliding with an object, unlike the light spell. Once I had this, I started thinking up some good uses for the fireball spell.

One of the things I thought would be really cool would be to add in a way to light up torches to illuminate the darkness. I decided to do this because using the lightspell might not be sufficient to get through the entire world, especially when you might have to solve a puzzle using another spell, which will plunge you into darkness. So now the light spell will be mainly used for getting around and finding torches that you can light up, and also navigating areas where there are no torches.

Here is a gif to demonstrate:


Lighting a torch with Fire Spell

The particle system you see for the fireball is only a place holder and I plan on making it more fireball like. I will be continiously tweaking the fire spell until it feels right, as it is now, it is a bit too hard to make contact with the torches, mainly due to the particle effect not representing the fireballs direction well enough.

I also got the integration for the Hydra and Oculus working together. It is a bit glitchy at the moment but I will be working on it for the next while. The main issue is the Razer Hydra. I think it needs to be held in a certain way for positional tracking to work correctly. I will probably have to purchase a fanny pack and make some adjustments to it and use that to hold the hydra around the player.

Other things I will be working on this week will be;

  • Adding in more sounds
  • Adding lerp to the Levitation spell, this will stop the object from just popping to the end of the wand and instead transition to the player
  • Finding the best area for the Razer Hydra for optimal positional tracking
  • Adding in a force push to the physics spell

Levitation Spell now working

Worked on this yesterday along with the light spell. I have now finished the levitation spell and I am very happy with the result. It takes advantage of both the trigger and the bumper buttons. The way it works is you pick up an object by pointing at it and pressing the bumper button. Once you have the object  picked up, you press the bumper again to put it down. I utilized the trigger button by having the spell utilise the pressure sensitive nature of the trigger.

If you have the object pick up, you can push in the trigger button, and press the bumper button again to shoot the object. Pushing the trigger in fully will give you a max charge, while holding it in only slightly will give it a small throw. Here is a gif that demonstrates how it works:


Physics Spell Charge Short

There are things I still need to add to the spell, such as sounds and particle effects. I also want to try add in some sort of particle system that follows the object, so you can see where you are shooting the spell too.

This is the first part of the physics spells. I will be working on the second part now, which will be a type of “force push”, sort of like what you see in Star Wars. You would use this when you need to move many objects at once. Hopefully I will have something working for that next week.

Fully functional light

So previously I had the light spell working to some extent. The problem was that it allowed the player to shoot as many lights as the game could handle, and they went through walls and all sorts. I finally implemented a way of destroying the lights. Right now as it stands, you shoot a light, it moves until it hits something, and upon hitting something, it sticks to it. The intensity of the light is lowered once it is attached however. The light lasts around 5 seconds, and after that time is up, the light is destroyed and the player can shoot another.

There is more work to be done with the light spell however. I want to add in particle effects to show the light in both instances, when the player shoots one or simply increases the light around them using the Trigger button. I also want to add in a pulse effect, so the light doesn’t seem so static, and it will make the world feel more “alive”. The strobe effect should be easy enough, however I’m not sure how much work will go into the particle effects.

After this is done I can look into adding in some sound effects for the light. Sound will be very important as it will be the only indicator to the player on if they can use a spell or not, as there will be no HUD. So if you use your ambient light spell, and run out of magic power, there has to be a sound effect to indicate to the player that they have ran out of power. Also if they try to shoot a light when there is already one instantiated, they will have to be notified also.