Ghost Ring – Capstone Prototype 2/16/20

A new prototype was finished today. Here, there were a lot of aesthetics updated, which should make the game’s functions make more sense.

This new prototype will of course need to be user tested to figure out any issues. One potential problem is the color wheel appearing in the middle of the ring. The player is meant to grab the color wheel out of the ring to get it attached to their controller – however, this may not be clear, and some users may not be able to reach the color wheel.

Ghost Ring – Capstone Prototype 2/1/20

Today a few people tested the current prototype, and I got some useful feedback out of it all! Here’s some of the highlights, and how I plan on addressing them moving forward:

  • Whenever any liquid is on screen, the game slows to a crawl. I plan on simplifying the liquid physics I programmed – fewer, larger droplets, essentially.
  • Without spraying paint, there’s no way of knowing what color paint is currently selected (so you don’t know if you selected a color properly). To fix this, I plan on tinting the ring to fit the color selected.
  • A related issue is that it isn’t clear that you have to press down on the touchpad to change colors – testers assumed they would be able to change color with a light touch. I plan on increasing the sensitivity of the controls so that the touchpad works just off of touch.
  • Some players also didn’t realize there was a color wheel attached to the touchpad at first – the controller was held outside of the Magic Leap 1’s field of view, so they didn’t see the color wheel. I could change the color selection to be on the ring so players see it (for instance, making it so the players have to point to a floating color wheel), but I felt like that would be even less intuitive. Instead, I plan on having the first level of the game give the player access to only one paint color to start. In the middle of the level, the color wheel will appear in the middle of the ring, and fly over to the controller – that way, the player knows where to look.
  • Some players thought the numbers representing the paint fuel and health were “high scores”. To fix this, I plan on making the representations of the fuel meters more visual in nature.
  • In general, players wished the aesthetics of the game were more clear instead of just spheres, squares, and so forth.

Moving forward, I plan on introducing more structured gameplay (i.e. levels with specific enemy patterns). To that end, I also plan on introducing a variety of enemy types to the game to make gameplay more engaging. Here are some rough sketches I drew of different ghosts that could appear in the game:

The general concept with these ghosts is to create designs that are both “cute” and “scary” – something that will fit with a simple, cel-shaded art style, but creepy nonetheless.

The “shaggy ghost” is intended to be the “default” ghost type – it would float directly towards the player, like the spheres in the current version. The “speaker ghost” would have similar behavior, but would take more paint to defeat. The “foot ghost” would always try to go behind the player, making them more annoying to deal with. The “cat-snake ghost” would make a bouncing motion as it approaches – its up and down movement making it harder to hit. The “mushroom ghost” would grow in and out of the ground in an attempt to get closer to the player. The “centipede ghost” would weave back and forth as it approaches the player, and you would have to destroy its tail (or destroy every segment) to beat it.

The “knight ghost”, “cowgirl ghost”, and “serpent queen ghost” are intended as boss characters. The “knight ghost” would have armor of different colors – you have to destroy each of the armor segments before you could destroy the ghost. The “cowgirl ghost” has a magic revolver that can change the colors of other ghosts in the world – the player has to be able to swap colors quickly to defeat her. The “serpent queen ghost” would be massive – so big that you won’t be able to see her entire body at once. The player will have to spray paint in her mouth when she opens it to attack them.

One other concept I have with these ghosts is that certain shapes would change depending on the colors – for instance, red ghosts would have circular shapes on them, but green ghosts would use triangles. This would be done to accommodate for color-blind players – red, green, and yellow, may be difficult to distinguish for many players, so for them the shapes should provide a clue as to which color the ghost is supposed to be.

Ghost Ring – Capstone Prototype 1/28/20

With Magic Leap projects that I’ve done in the past, I’ve tried to ignore or work around the restrictions of the platform – and in my opinion, the projects have suffered because of it. This new project is meant to work WITH the restrictions of the platform rather than against them.

The game presents the ring to the player as a “lens” that lets them see ghosts through it. This provides a physical model for why the user would be able to see the real world through the goggles with a much larger field of view than the game objects. The game entities are all “ghosts”, so you can only see them in a small “lens”.

The current version of the game has ghosts (represented by spheres) flying towards the player. The player can select one of four paint colors to spray at the ghosts. If you try painting the ghost with the same color that they are, the paint will pass through them. In order to keep the player from sticking to one paint color for too long, each paint color has its own “fuel” that can run out. There is an indicator on the ring showing which direction to look for a ghost, and the controller vibrates faster or slower depending on how close the ghosts are. If ghosts are near you, your health begins to drain. All the UI elements are drawn on top of the ring.

Currently, there’s an issue with slow-down while the paint is being sprayed, so that will be looked into. I also think there should be an indicator of which paint color the player has active – something on the ring that shows what paint color they’re using, plus an extra indication to notify the player when they switch colors.

Super Galaxy Knights Board Game Adventure – Fuhifo Forest Board

New board time! This one’s based off the Fuhifo Forest region – namely, Unamed Village, and the clearing where the Ancestral Tree lives. The map mostly consists of large, open spaces, but there are a few small passages you can send characters to hide in.

This is the first trio map in the game. Three teams can face off all at once! Will you form alliances, or fight both opponents at once?

Super Galaxy Knights : Board Game Adventure

I’ve started work on a new game to tie into my webcomic Super Galaxy Knights Deluxe R. It’s a turn-based strategy game, in the vein of franchises like Fire Emblem, X-COM, and Civilization. However, it’s presented to the player as a “virtual board game”.

The game is intended to be on the Magic Leap One. The primary reason for this is due to asymmetric gameplay. Under certain circumstances, players will be able to lay traps or turn their pieces invisible, so the platform needs to be one where players see different things when looking at the same board. The second reason is immersion – it’s important to the experience that the players really get the feel of playing a board game with their friends, setting up on a table and moving their pieces around the board.

I have a basic engine put together, so right now I’m going to focus on getting the game’s worlds built. The game will be playable with up to eight players (including AI participants). Because of this, my focus will be on creating maps that work best towards the various player numbers – one map built for 2 players, one built for 3 players, and one built for 4-8 players.

The main challenge in creating an immersive world is making areas from the webcomic fit with the restrictions of the game boards. All game boards are built on a hexagonal grid, with three types of tiles. Normal tiles are ones that pieces can be placed on. Obstacle tiles are either half-cover or full-cover, depending on their height. Some obstacles will likely take up multiple tiles (for example, buildings), but the tile system must be followed strictly.

Here are some screenshots of areas from the webcomic that I’m considering basing maps off of –