Demo Reel

15 03 2012

Tispy Tree Reflections

10 12 2011

Stephen and I had a great time working on this project. It was very rewarding to see all my graphics show up on the phone and the tablet. For the most part we accomplished what we set out to do. We would have liked to output a more completed application, but a lot of steps took longer than expected.

The division of work was great. Stephen handled everything technical, while I focused on creating all the assets (character, tree, interface, etc). Because we started with a brand new narrative, this made for a big work load for each of us. We each basically started from scratch. I think we both enjoyed our roles. I even got to use Unity towards the end. I imported all the interface items and coded them to work correctly.

Almost everyone that played the game was really impressed. Most of them had never seen Augmented Reality. It was great to provide them with their first AR experience, but this also hindered their game play. Because they did’t understand the concept, they were less focused on controlling the raccoon. Most people fell off the tree before they got the hang of keeping the image target within the devices camera view. Despite their lack of success, everyone really liked the graphics and the fact that the game was for 2 players. I believe the idea of a networked game between two devices will become very popular once the technology has been perfected.

User Experience

We would really like to keep working on the app when we find time. There are a lot of things we didn’t get to finish, such as, the raccoon doesn’t respawn after falling off the tree which forces you to restart the game, this causes the life counter not to work. We also had thought about implementing “power-ups”, for example, a rain or lightning move for the wind player. These are simple features we just simply didn’t have time to get too. I would love to develop the app to the point where there are multiple menus, items, possibly even characters to choose from. The Kweekies example that I reference in the documentary video shows the level of completion I would like to achieve, maybe even surpass.

Documentary Video

Tipsy Tree Presentation Slides

3 12 2011

Sorry for the glare. This was just a short video to show the current state of our project.

Raccoon Unity Test

27 11 2011

After modeling a few different versions of the raccoon I finally came up with a mesh that I liked. I took the detailed mesh and created a normal map to apply to a low-poly version of the raccoon. This will help the game run much more efficiently. Then I rigged and animated him. This video shows the character in Unity being controlled by the keyboard and mouse.

Game Narrative

27 11 2011

After deciding on what our game would consist of (2 players, a platform that tilts, and an augmented character that was trying not to fall off the platform) we still needed to come up with an environment and narrative for the game’s character. We chose a raccoon for the main character. He will be living on the top of a tree, an idea inspired by Stephen’s favorite childhood book” Go Dog, Go!”. This explains each players’ role very well. The player controlling the platform is the wind swaying the tree back and forth. They might even have more “power-ups” such as lighting and rain to help them throw the raccoon off the tree. The play controlling the raccoon will be trying to collect fruits that are growing on the tree while trying not to fall off.

Game interface

Environment – The tree will be stylized so that it has a flat top, creating a platform for the raccoon to run around on.

Character Development –  I sketched out many different raccoons and finally decided on the simplest. He will be small, fat, and round to give the impression that he is not very agile. This will add to the challenge of the game.


Initial AR Tests

9 11 2011

The first step Stephen and I took in creating our game was testing an Augmented Reality app on the tablet. Stephen created a simple Unity project using Qualcomm’s AR SDK. All we wanted it to do was display a teapot primitive on our target.

Next we tested an old character of mine. This mesh is more complicated then the teapot and is also animated. The tablet was able to handle it just fine.

Conceptual Research

8 11 2011

After further discussing what we wanted our project to be, we decided to incorporate Augmented Reality. Stephen had prior experience with this technology and it was something that an Android phone would be perfect for. I began looking through some previous Augmented Reality projects and found some that were extremely impressive, such as this example made by String.

Although Augmented Reality in itself is a challenge, we still wanted to have an interactive game. I found other projects that use this technique in their games, such as the Kweekies project below. The biggest concern we have with this plan is that every part of the project will need to be as efficient as possible. We will be working with devices that are not nearly as powerful as our laptops and they will be handling a lot of calculations at once.

Stephen was still very excited about getting multiple devices to “talk” to each other, like our original idea would have. For this reason we decided to make a 2 player game that would utilize 2 phones. We decided to make a game that would take advantage of the motion detector in the phone. Mario Party’s Coin Shower Flower mini-game takes place on the top of a giant flower that tilts in different  angles while a character tries to collect coins and tries not to fall off. We want to apply this same concept to our game. One phone will control the angle of the platform while the other phone controls an augmented character running around on top of it.