Reflection of Week Sixteen

Week beginning 15th May – 21st May

Monday

As per usual, this morning was setting up the next sprint of the project. We have two and a half sprints left in this project and it’s all starting to really come together. I foresee that we’ll have most if not all of the necessary assets and tutorials in by this Friday which is the big Playtest day. The extra Town area is something that is an added level anyway that sets us up to expand Twilleir after university if we choose to so this isn’t so much the main focus. 

James informed me of some more assets that he’s in need of or that he needs altering to suit the project. As they’re not massively big undertakings I will be getting on with this today so that we don’t have more added tasks to the back burner. These tasks are:

  • Making an end of mini-game Crafting Panel showing the potion you made and the score
  • Making adjustments to the Market Panel so that you can see how many ingredients you already hold. I.e. when you select Pine, the market panel will show you how many you have left in your inventory so you don’t overspend etc
  • L’hallen and Meidryn race buttons for the Character Customisation level

I’ve managed to get these done relatively quickly as I used panels and buttons that I had already previously created and altered the colours. This way, the UI has some consistency within the game and gives it a ‘whole’ feel. Below is what I worked on this morning:

The next steps of today are producing the rest of the bits and pieces for the Character Customisation for the Meidryn. I’m using Pinterest and my teammates in order to get some inspiration for both hair styles, accessories and eye shapes. Even though we’re not going too in depth with the character customisation due to it being an Alpha build, I’d still like to give the Players some variation and choice in the game. 

From my Pinterest link I’ve been sketching some potential ideas and styles for the Meidryn character which I will be carrying on with tomorrow and taking it to paint where I’ll test what works and what doesn’t.

Tuesday – Friday

Over the past few days, I’ve been spending my time refining the work that I already had done on the Character Customisation and progressing with the two races that we’re using in the Alpha/Tutorial which is the L’Hallen and the Meidryn races.
I’ve been having many issues with layers and having to organise what goes where and what is visible and what isn’t which originally slowed down the process. Now I’ve a better understanding of some short cuts etc which have helped me to speed up a bit. 

So far, I’ve managed to complete the Meidryn character in full and have finished the ‘female’ aspect of the L’Hallen. As mentioned before, we’re not having Gender be an icon or option in a sense, what we’re doing is having a range of two face shapes, six eye shapes, eight hairstyles and eight accessories. This way people can choose whatever they want and be whoever they want to be with minimal restrictions – I mean, come on, it’s Fantasy!

I received some great feedback from the target audience when I asked them whether they would like to see a character with no hair (Alopecia) as I realised that not many games seem to include anything like this. People loved the idea and really thought I should go with it so I’m doing it! 

They also loved that you could choose different piercings as these and tattoos are still stereotyped in the ageing and unaccepting workplaces of today. I didn’t do tattoos as we’re only focusing on the bust area, however, I’m baring this in mind for the future when we decide to take Twilleir further. 

I’ve still got the ‘male’ L’Hallen to finish which is a shame as I sort of wanted to have it done in time for the big Playtest tomorrow but I’d rather not rush it. The Player will still have the Meidryn which they can test out and then the rest of the L’Hallen can be added in afterwards. 

Below is what I’ve been working on:

Now that these are finished, James will be able to drop these into the build, test it all works and functions correctly and then the character customisation section of the game is complete! YAY. There are quite a few aspects that I’d like to change and adapt, however, this will likely be a job for after University when we have more time due to time restrictions; we’ve managed to show how it would function in the Alpha which is enough to ‘set the scene’. 

Play Test Day!

Today was the play test day where it was expected that people from around the university would come forth and test our games. Unfortunately, over the 4 hours, only two people turned up which was a great shame. However, we made use of each other in the studio and Twilleir were lucky to have Aaron and Liam from third year and James W from the second year test our game. None of them had played through the game before so it was great to watch them work out what to do from tutorials as well as rip it apart thoroughly. It was so useful to have people who hadn’t played before as it meant that we could see if it is easy enough to understand and have some fresh feedback. 

Here are the bits of feedback we received:

  • Text slightly off with Eliza
  • Needs a delay on the Harvesting mini-game as it’s too abrupt
  • Need an example of how to do Crafting because it wasn’t clear what to do
  • The names in the commission panel are different to the potion book?
  • There’s a fish having a fit in the garden?
  • Tutorial repeats itself after harvesting a plant
  • Garden background art doesn’t cover the width of the screen
  • Commissions go to the panel even if you decline 
  • UI is larger in the Greenhouse
  • Managed to craft by clicking one colour over and over again?
  • Make PNGs in harvesting mini-game not stretched
  • I want to check my dream book all the time 
  • Put the ingredients of the potions in the commission’s panel
  • Let the Player know what they have and what they need to have when the commissions come in
  • The leaves in the garden (falling) render behind the Greenhouse door
  • When the plants are ready, will they die if you don’t harvest them?
  • Names of the crops in the inventory screen are needed
  • Can’t make the flying potion even if have all ingredients

These were just some comments that the guys wrote down and asked but I also made a survey that they were to fill out afterwards. Below are the questions with thae answers that everyone put plus the average star score:

1. On a scale of 1 – 5 ( 1 being awful and 5 being fricking awesome) how many stars would you rate the Alpha build of Twilleir?

3.6 stars

2. If you had to use three words to describe Twilleir, what would they be? I.e. thematically etc

Exciting

well-designed

Interesting 

Fun!

Too much text

Good story

Chill

Pretty

Confusing

3. What parts did you enjoy the most (if at all)?

“The Garden”

“Dungeon! Farming!”

“Making money. The variety of genres. Working out what I could afford and what Ingredients I need to find”

“I liked the farming system. The randomness of the dungeoneering was exciting and the most fun”

4. What parts didn’t you enjoy or didn’t think worked )if at all)?

“The rest of the game”

“My plant died. Didn’t have enough time to realise what was going on”

“Not knowing the name of ingredients, or what ingredients I need at any particular point. Not knowing what I recieved from a dungeon. Having to go back and forth to the Dream book.”

“The crafting didn’t have much explanation and seemed random – hard to do. The farming system could have something extra.”

5. Was there anything in the game that you didn’t understand? If there was, please explain what and any suggestions you have!

“The Dungeons part”

“Maybe a little more directioning, although maybe I should have spentmore time reading”

“It was difficult to grasp what potions were what. The crafting mini-game didn’t tell me when I failed and what the consequences were for that.”

“Quicktime events to the Dungeoneering possibly?”

6. On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being ‘eurgh, no!’ and 5 being ‘hell yeah!’) would you be interested in playing the full Twilleir game if it was released?

4.5 stars

Overall, we got lots of amazing feedback from everyone and it has given us plenty to think about. There’s lots of essential maintenance that’s needed but then there are some extras that we didn’t think about which we’ll need to decide if they’re needed. This is what James will be mainly be working on over the next couple of weeks before the deadline to make sure it’s playable and easy enough to understand. Millie and I will be working on the remaining bits of artwork that’s still needed as well as the trailer and looking into whether we continue with Steam greenlight or whether we go with Patreon.

This will all be a job for next week as this weekend is dedicated to moving Millie and James into their new place. 

Reflection of Week Fifteen – WE’RE NEARLY THERE GUYS.

Week beginning 8th May – 14th May

Monday

As per usual, we spent some time this morning figuring out what we’re going to be working on for this Sprint. After a good talk with Adam on Friday where he offered advice to make a good tutorial, Millie has worked on a structure for the tutorial and has passed this on to James who will be implementing it this week and testing it externally to see if this works properly. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we’ll have a working tutorial which will make the game easier to understand and hopefully play! Then we will have a chance to implement any more feedback before the big playtest day on the Friday 19th May where we can again fix and build again ready for another testing session. 

Millie is finishing the Tarot cards for the Dungeoneering experience this week and working on the Monster portraits to get the Dungeon battle scene fully on the way. There are a couple of extra pieces still needed in the Dungeon ‘level’ but these are some UI assets which can be worked on easily and won’t take much time. 

I will be working on the Character Customisation ‘level’ this week and will be aiming to try and get this finished by the end of the week. This will mean that I’ll be available to pick up more tasks from the backburner and help to move the project along. I’ve put off doing the Decor owner for now, as discussed with Millie, as the Town checklist of the game will be an added extra we will be spending our time after the essential artworks are completed as then we can have some fun with the characters instead of rushing them. 

Today, I worked on the Character Customisation buttons for what we’d need to go through different hairstyles, colours, eyes etc. On Saturday, Millie and I had discussed how we didn’t think just having buttons with the item on would be readable for the Player. We’ve decided to go ahead with arrows which the Player can use to circulate between different options. 

2017-05-08 20.11.31.jpgAs you can see on the right, this is what the set up would be for the Character Customisation screen. You’d have a set of arrows per asset that can be changed. I feel it may be a little cramped if we have all four sets together on the screen but we’ll have to see when it comes to James building it. If this is the case, it won’t take long to draw up the icons so this isn’t too much of an issue currently.
Below are two of the favourite arrow designs we picked from the iterations I made (See A3 Sketchbook page 86) which I took into colour:

After looking at them again, we felt the colours were a little too bright and needed to not be so ‘in your face’! I went back to our Twilleir logo and colour picked the deep purple and matched this with a silver to give it that ornate, Fantasy feel; these are now the final assets.

Above, I also made a Next button and a Name Panel where the Player will input their name (duh) using the same silver colour in order to keep the UI aesthetic the same. From these, I’ll be looking to create a background that fits these colours.
In other news:

WE HAVE 3 WEEKS AND 3 DAYS LEFT. *cries*

Tuesday

Today, we were supposed to be filming some footage which we’re going to use in our brief animations for the Helping Hands (or Adventurer’s) in the Dungeon battles. Unfortunately, Millie was off ill and she has a specific way she would like these animations to work so we’ve decided to postpone this until next week.
Despite this setback, James and I got on with our Sprint tasks – James has nearly completed the first version of the tutorial which I tested at the end of the day as I hadn’t played all the way through it. I understood what to do and there were a few aspects that needed changing but it’s a great start!
We got our heads together and figured out what’s still missing in the build and if there are any extras that were missed last time when we made the Backburner list. A couple more UI parts and backgrounds have cropped up which we’d forgotten about and so have been added to the list but the rest we already knew about. Looking at the tasks, there are quite a few left to undertake which I was hoping we could get done by the 19th but there may still be a few assets missing. I’ll be looking to make sure the majority of essential tasks are completed before with the Town aspect being one of the last areas to complete. 

Today was a lot of organising, doing backburner tasks and shipping assets to James via memory stick as Eduroam was having a bad day… However, I’ve made a lot of progress with the character customisation ‘level’ and am hoping to have just the customisable race portraits to do by Friday if I manage to get the background complete tomorrow and Thursday. 

Wednesday

I’ve been working on finishing the small Extras that I added to my Sprint list yesterday that James is still in need of as I would like to have the majority of levels fully complete rather than all the levels with bits missing ready for the big Playtest on the Friday 19th (next week).
Below are the bits and pieces that I’ve completed:

The Seeds are the what he needs for the Market and Inventory, followed by the Crafting Mini-game background (with and without the board in it to help James with placement) and the icons for the Character Customisation. These haven’t taken me too long to do which is surprising but I’m rolling with it!
My next step is to work on the background for the Character Customisation. I’ve designed two designs that were favourites so I’ll be looking to work on the both of them and see which one works best. As there’s going to be a lot of UI and stuff going on in the foreground, we’re thinking that if we add a blur to the background this could help the Player focus and not be distracting when choosing their character.  

Friday

 Today I managed to get the background of the character customisation completed in a shorter time than expected which was useful. As the background is going to be blurred anyway, I didn’t go into too much detail as this would end up being lost; this I felt helped save some time. I used the Shop and Crafting backgrounds to help gather the right colours for the scene.
Below you can see a blurred and an unblurred version:

We will need to test what side the character will go on and what side the icons and UI go on depending on how it is affected by the background. Originally I thought about having the character on the right-hand side and the icons on the left but after painting the background, either the assets may have to be swapped or the background would need to be flipped as it may end up being too busy behind the icons and making it difficult to see; this will be something that will need to be tested when everything is in. James has already started to drop stuff into the project in Unity so hopefully will get some feedback on this soon.

I also started working on the Health Bar for the Dungeons so that this extra is out of the backburner. I wasn’t sure how to go about designing this as I haven’t worked on anything like this before UI wise so I had a look on Google to see what I needed to make to help James. This was the tutorial that I looked up and it was really useful:

Now I have a better idea as to what I need to design and paint for James to drop into the project. I will be using the colours scheme of the Dungeons to help me make sure that I don’t use colours that are too bright or don’t fit the aesthetic. 

Saturday

I finished off designing the UI health bar for the Dungeons battle scene. I tried to make sure that it would fit with the rest of the UI I’d already done for this level without either overwhelming the screen or making it seem too different. 

The left image is the full health bar. The gap in the left will hold the number of health you have left and depending on this, the red bar will decrease/increase if you’re attacked or take some health. Red is commonly associated with blood, health potions etc in Fantasy so I felt sticking to this colour would be beneficial to the Player; it should hopefully stand out well on the background too.

I started working on the Meidryn character customisation assets working from a base sketch that Millie made previously. I used the Icons I made with the colours to make the different layers. Once I’ve done a few different hair styles, eye shapes and accessories then Meidryn will be complete and ready to be exported for James. This has taken more time than I expected it to, however, I did make a couple of layer mistakes which slowed me down a bit. I feel more confident in how to go about doing this task so it shouldn’t take me longer than Monday to get the Meidryn done; I’ll be looking to get the L’hallen done afterwards as these are the only two customisable races we’re using in the Alpha build.

What I worked on today (showing examples of skin tone, varying hair colours and eye colours in one eye shape and one hairstyle):

Overall, today has been really productive, as well as the rest of the week really. I’m glad about the progress we’re all making this week as a team. James has been amazing at building the project and telling us what he’s in need of. Millie has knuckled down and is firing out artwork like there’s no tomorrow. With this continued attitude from everyone, I think we’re going to be in a great place by Friday and by the deadline which is awesome!

Sunday

Today, I had an unexpected chance to spend some more time on my uni work as the Airport was dead. I had been looking at my female character customisation work from yesterday and there was something just not right with it. I couldn’t put my finger on it but after working on the male character, I realised it was the nose and the shading on the face! Below are the adjustments I made:

These already have made a massive difference so I’m glad I altered it. I also realised that I made a human blue (the Heralorn race can be different colours and so as not to discriminate – plus I’d done the Icon for the skin tones already, I went with it. We can always not use it!).

I then moved on to the Male. Now that I had a better idea of how layers worked and how to cut corners *shifty eyes* I managed to get them done a lot quicker than the Female character. I did the same thing by doing the 8 different coloured eyes and hair and starting with a base eye shape and medium hair. I’m going to be doing 4 hairstyles – short, medium, long and a stylised one so that the Player has a bit of choice and individuality in the Alpha; I’ll also be doing four different eye shapes too. Below is what I made for the Male character:

Now that I have the base set up for both Male and Female, it will be easier to design the other layers (hair and eye shape) and get to work. I’ll be asking Millie to sketch a L’hallen base so that I can work from this so that there is consistency between the characters. 

Next week is going to be heavy but if we continue our 10-6’s and keep the work ethic going, we’ll do great. So nearly there… Go team! ❤

Reflection of Week Fourteen

Week beginning 1st May – 7th May.

Monday

As it was a Bank Holiday Monday today, we were unable to use room 3015 which is a great shame as this is one of the only days we get completely uninterrupted to crack on with work. Having that time in the studio away from everyone else works really well for us as we have a different work ethic to others where we find having chilled music on in the background helps us work but are aware that other people on the course don’t appreciate this; I guess it works out the best for both parties!

I began the day by working out the next sprint for us all to work on. I’m trying to plan the tasks strategically so that we’re not overwhelmed with lots of tasks in the last few weeks. I’ve worked it out so that by the 19th if we all continue at the same hardworking pace, we can get the majority of the artwork completed giving us the last couple of weeks to refine artwork, create promotional pieces and trailers, focus on marketing for the shows in June and add in some cool animations to make Twilleir come to life.

I also worked on some of my sprint tasks and produced the Harvesting timer and started the UI for the Market.

Overall, today has been relatively productive which is great. Millie has managed to finish all of the Dungeon ingredients today meaning that’s another task off of the backburner. Everyone’s working super hard and I’m really proud of what we’re producing and putting together #dreamteam. 
As we’re all in the studio tomorrow, we’re hoping to flesh out some Mind the Film footage in time for the deadline Thursday as well as have Dr Stallwood help James correct any ‘spaghetti’ or ‘dirty’ code. Everything’s coming along 🙂

Tuesday

Today, I began by designing the Market background so that it means that it’ll just mean painting the background and the text from James and then the Market is complete. I had to make a few adjustments as I misunderstood the requirements that James needed as he’d already built the project a certain way. Once I realised I was being an idiot, I did a couple more designs and now we have a final one ready to be painted. I will be working on the Crafting background this week to practice my painting skills and imitation of Millie’s style which if I manage to do it right, I will be looking to work on the Market background too to help Millie out. 

We filmed some footage for Mind the Film today so as to show them what sort of feel and vibe we wanted us to come across as. As mentioned before, The Office is a big inspiration for us as it sums up our humour and personality and after filming today and Millie putting together a quick edit, it’s already working really well! Below is the link to a ‘taster’ of some of the footage we got today; this is on Millie’s Youtube Channel. She’s edited it brilliantly in such a short space of time to really get across our personalities – great job Mills! 

As well as working on the film, today I managed to make a start on the Crafting room background. I’ve been using Millie’s Shop background in order to try and keep a consistency in the art style between rooms. It’s helping to see all of her layers, however, I’ll spend the rest of today and tomorrow working on it and then on Thursday I’ll be going over it with Millie to see how I can improve it and make it more similar if needed to her Shop painting. I’m finding it a little bit challenging but pushing through as I want to be able to help Millie out so she’s not stuck with painting all of the big backgrounds! Below is a speedpaint of my progress today – featuring a banging tune from Fleetwood Mac who I was listening to whilst painting this.

 

Wednesday

Today has pretty much all been devoted to trying to mimic Millie’s style with the Shop in the Crafting room. I’ve been finding this quite hard and have done as much as I can without her but tomorrow I’ll be speaking with Millie about how to make it look more like her environment art.

Crafting Room

Above is the final image with help from Millie with fixing the lighting which she helped me with on Thursday.

Thursday

WordPress sucks and so I spent most of my day rewriting this blog post which it told me was invalid.

Millie managed to finish off the Dungeon fight battle scene which not only we can put into our promotion trailer, but it’s now ready to drop into Dungeoneering – well done Millie!

James has also been working on getting the tutorials together and has managed to get the Market and Adventurer’s Guild done today – woooo, James!

I’ve had not a very productive day. I’ve managed to make a button which James needed for the Crafting room. Below is the button:

Begin Crafting button

I also began blocking in the Market background so that I can continue on with this tomorrow with shading and textures. By at least attempting to do this, it means that I’ll have a head start tomorrow and hopefully finish it leaving Saturday to do extras such as the Character Customisation buttons and potentially start the background.

Friday

Today, Adam went through our game fully for the first time. It became very evident that the tutorials that were in place were not as useful as first thought and there are quite a few bits we need to alter in order to help the Player understand.

During the time spent with Adam, Millie drafted up a structured tutorial of how it should play out and where it takes the Player in order for them to understand what they’re supposed to be doing in the game. This is useful as now she can pass this along to James in order for him to implement this and get us further ready for external testing. I understand that external testing is important but at the same time, if some of the UI isn’t in then it won’t make sense to the Player anyway. I feel that once this new tutorial is put in and the artwork is dropped in then it will make external playtesting easier as hopefully if we’ve done the tutorial correctly, people will be able to play the game without getting confused. 

I managed to complete the Market background today so now that’s ready for James to drop into the project. I think I’m getting a bit better with my painting skills through these past few months due to regular practising and having to work on tasks pretty much every day which includes painting have helped. Below is the image:

Market Background

Now I’ve done this, the tasks I have left for this Sprint are the Decor owner design or working on the Character Customisation UI and backgrounds which are extras. After the chat with Adam today, I think it would be best for me to work on the Character Customisation bits and pieces as then it can be dropped in and tested immediately whereas the Decor owner can be finished at a later date as this is something that is less important that the Character Customisation UI. 

I also discussed with Millie today about the Character customisation screen. We feel it needs to be simple so that the focus is on the character itself. Due to time restrictions and also ease, for the Alpha, we’ll be making it so that you can only customise the face (hair, eyes etc) as then it’ll be easy enough for us to complete this for the onscreen communication between Eliza or marketman and when on screen in the backgrounds. 

 

 

Reflection of Week Thirteen

Week beginning 24th Apri – 30th April

Monday

We met again in Room 3015 to flesh out the next Sprint in the project.
Over the weekend, Millie and I managed to crack through a lot of the artwork and have managed to have Harvesting and the Greenhouse/Garden completed. This is great as it means that we can work through the rest of the tasks and as tasks pop up from James as to what he needs and what he learns from playtesting. We’re really powering through and I’m hoping that by having a full day back in the studio will help us to really progress with Twilleir. 

After consideration, we’ve found that we have a list of things that James is missing from the project. He made a detailed list today where we have 41 missing assets that he needs from Millie and I. At first, I was quite shocked at the amount we still need but after looking thoroughly at the list, I’m confident it’s not as bad as it sounds as the majority of the missing assets are buttons.  The list you can find below in screen shots from the Trello.

I updated the Trello with these tasks and I’ve also updated my sprint tasks too. As I worked on the other buttons that have been made, I’m going to be looking at getting as may buttons completed as possible in the next week as extra tasks.
I’ve decided to personally work on these ‘backburner’ tasks more so than newer tasks as it means that we’ll be getting levels completed ready to playtest and refine.
I finished two concepts for the Crafting room so far today and am a third of the way through another so, already, I’m hoping to have finished these by tomorrow and get on with designing the Decor NPC and the inventory panels. I’m aiming to have these done by Friday evening as it means that on Saturday, I can have a full day of going through the extra tasks I’ve given myself and hopefully get the Garden, Harvesting and The Shop (apart from shop background and text for Eliza) complete by Monday morning next week! This will mean that we’re near enough ready to playtest these levels which will help for us to get feedback from our target audience and see if anything needs fixing or adjusting.
Today’s been a productive day for all in 3015 and I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. James will be working with Dr James to make sure the code is all good and as clean as possible while Millie and I will be working our way through the art assets we’ve been assigned this week; great stuff, it’s all coming together now!

Tuesday and Wednesday

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on the design for the Inventory panels, Seeds, Crops, Dungeons and Potions. I’ve been trying to make sure that they all have the same, simple layout and that the colours are different enough so that you can work out which panel is for which items. 


For the Seeds Inventory Panel, I decided that earthy brown colours would work well to symbolise this panel alongside having some vines growing along the side of the shelves to give it some life and character. I felt that the shelves on their own looked bland and boring which didn’t give the right cute and charming fantasy feel we wanted it to have. 
With the Crops panel design, instead of vines, I had some grass and vegetation that you’d find in the garden such as mushrooms and flowers. I felt these were enough to separate the panel from the Seeds one whilst giving it some charm through the quirky mushroom and flower.
For the Dungeon Panel, I had the idea that as it’s a fantastical environment, the stone-like shelves would have glowing aspects to them; in this case there are lines and cracks over them. Neon blue worked well to give it that fantasy look as well as helping to symbolise bravery in the notion of Dungeoneering; it also complimented the stone colour well.
Similarly to the Dungeon Panel, with the Potions panel I chose a vibrant green that filled in the cracks and lines on the shelves so as to give an idea of Alchemy and that this is where you keep your potions. The green and the browns of the shelves worked well together and yet is not distracting so the Player can still see and focus on what they’re looking at in their inventory.
I didn’t manage to start the Decor Owner NPC today, although I have had some thoughts on what they could look like. As discussed with Millie, the character will be based on James so as to add some fun to the characters and help us create original NPCs; I’ll be starting this on Thursday along with discussing with James what buttons he needs in what sort of design so that I can quickly give him these assets and help him build the project.

Thursday

Today, I decided to have a tidy up today and work through the list of extra tasks we have rather than work on the Decor character. Although the character is important for the game, I felt that we needed to make sure the game was getting completed rather than leaving small tasks for later and starting new tasks; it makes sense to fix everything before moving on!

I discussed with the team how we felt about the buttons that we needed for certain areas in what way they should be designed. Leftover Crafting, Market and Dungeon buttons should be themed like the one that I made with the Shop so I’ve been playing about with some ideas for this. There are a few other buttons that just need to be simplified so they’re not as overpowering on the screen so I’ve been thinking about using the ones that I made for the Shop but taking off the decoration so that it’s simple and easy to look at. 

I began by looking into the Crafting buttons needed and started sketching some ideas in my sketchbook. 

Above are the finished pieces. We wanted to make it look quite Alchemy like, I used some of the Treadwell’s Bookstore pictures we took as a reference for the inspiration for the Dream book and Back to Shop button which helped. I also went with the neon-like green as this is often something seen in Fantasy and Alchemy so as to make it fit the theme. 

James put our game up on the big screen in the studio and we were looking through the game as to what it looks like now and what art we still need. One thing I realised was that the buttons I originally designed that looked kind of fancy just look way to overwhelming on the screen. Therefore, I’ve altered them to a more simple design which we’ll be looking to put in and test as to which ones look better. 

I moved on to the Crafting Panel that James put in his list of assets he needs. This piece of UI is where when you first enter the Crafting room, you select the Crafting Table where this panel will then appear. In this, the nine potion icons will be inside the circles (see below) where the player will be able to select which dream potion they want to make. We’re thinking of making it so that the name of the dream pops up when you hover over it in order to conserve space and not make the panel overcrowded and unclear to read.

Crafting panel to choose potions fromI used colours from Millie’s Crafting table artwork so as to keep a consistency with the room; the purple and pink colours work well to convey the idea of Alchemy and Fantasy.

Overall, the team did amazingly today. James managed to get the crafting table mini-game finished to a point where it can be tested, Millie completed the Shop and did a beautiful job and I managed to finish off eight of the tasks that are on the backburner. Everyone worked hard and the efforts paid off as we’re closer to reaching our goals. After looking at the tasks left, I feel that if we continue with this level of dedication and commitment from the team in the last 34 days (yeah, we counted…) then I think we’ll be able to finish the game. It’s going to be tough and a busy time but we knew this when we took this on that Twilleir was going to be pretty damn big. We’re aiming to get Twilleir to a finished standard where the game mechanics all work and the artwork is all there but after discussion with the team, we’re likely to refine artwork after the deadline and before the shows as we won’t be so pressured and can leisurely work on the assets at our own pace.
Tomorrow is another 10 – 6 day, let’s hope that it’s as productive as today! 🙂 

Friday

We had a talk with Adam today about the scheduling for the next few weeks. The main key date that I’m going to try and bear in mind is the 19th May where we’ll be joining everyone in a big playtest day. Although we’ve been playtesting internally for as long as James has been coding, this day will really be a good day to get up to speed on what needs fixing, what works well, if the target audience enjoys the game etc. With this date in mind, I’ll be looking to push myself and Millie to get as much of the artwork complete by this time as possible so that the last couple of weeks can be spent refining artwork, creating promotion artwork, the promotion trailer and putting in small animations in order to make Twilleir come to life. There’s a large workload ahead of us but I feel we’ve done incredibly well so far to get as much done as we have and I have every confidence in us all that we’ll be ready on time for the deadline.  

In terms of the artwork today, I worked on the mass list of assets that James is still working on and managed to complete the Potion book, Dungeon Panel, Dungeon Continue button and Dungeon back button. 

The Dungeon menus on the right have the text boxes and buttons included whereas I’ve made PNGs separately so that we can adjust them depending on the text that James has already mocked up. These didn’t take me as long as I thought they would and so I managed to complete all my extra tasks for the week.
Admittedly, I haven’t designed the Decor shopkeeper NPC this week but this was because I felt it would be more beneficial to complete the backburner tasks and leave this for a later date. I will be adding the Decor NPC character design to my next sprint, however, I’ll be classing this as an extra rather than focus on it straight away; I’ll be looking to draft up backgrounds and get some more UI completed next week. 

Overall, this first week back has been long but productive and I’m proud of what everyone has achieved over the past few days. If we keep up these 10-6 working days and stay focused, I’m confident that we’ll be on track with tasks and succeed in making it to the deadline. 

 

 

Reflection of Week Twelve

Week beginning 17th – 23rd April

Monday

Today, I organised the next sprint for our project. We all did really well last week and managed to get all of our tasks completed in the time frame which was excellent. Millie managed to take some tasks off of the backburner too so this has reduced the number of tasks we’ll be needing to catch up on. The teamwork that everyone’s displaying is brilliant and is really helping to push the project along. 
James has agreed this week to work on changing the harvesting mini-game code and getting that completed before starting to work on the crafting mini-game code. He’s been working hard on fixing coding issues within the project which he will be showing use next week when we’re all together. 
Millie went above and beyond last week with managing to get all the helping hands finished and then moving onto the inside of the greenhouse. As previously mentioned, she’s asked me to put in the ‘accessories’ such as the tools, books and pots just to give it more of a greenhouse feel as she wanted to move onto the crafting mini-game. This week, she’s working on the UI and sprite design and paint to really get this section of the game on the way. 
I will be working on painting the four stages of harvesting animations for each ingredient and hope to have this finished by the end of the week leaving me with some time to complete the tasks for the inside of the Greenhouse. I’d really like to push myself this week and get the greenhouse finished as it will mean that farming is fully complete. 
This week is going to be full for all three of us so we have decided to get together this weekend (22nd – 23rd) at Millie’s where we will have a weekend of ‘crunch time’ in a way so that we can all catch up on where we’re at, work alongside each other so we can figure out what’s still needed for the project and try and fully get back into working on Twilleir before we’re back on the 24th. 

Tuesday

Today, we all discussed what we wanted to do for the Mind the Film footage we have to get together on top of everything else. As we decided we wanted to sell ourselves and who we are as creatives, we’ve been thinking about creating a comedic piece in the style of The Office as this sums up who we are, how we act in the workplace etc. We’re more concerned with getting the project completed than we are getting the footage together for this side project, however, we are having to dedicate some time next week to getting some footage together so that we have at least got somewhere to start from.

Below is an example: They do a lot of staring off into the camera and have ‘interviews’ during the sketch which we thought could work quite well. Enjoy.

Wednesday – Friday

I attacked the animations today, something that I’ve been dreading doing all week… I’ve managed to make a large dent in the workload by so far (Friday afternoon) completing 20 out of 36 so just over half way I guess. I’m impressed with how much I’ve been able to power through so far, considering I don’t have the best attention span. I want to try and get at least one or two more finished this evening (Friday) so it leaves me with two or three to do over the weekend plus finishing the Greenhouse environment over at Millie’s. I’m confident that I’ll be able to get through these tasks which is exciting as well as relieving as then I can finally work on something else! I’ve been working so much on environments and assets that I’m starting to lose some of my motivation so I feel that I’m going to break this up by working on NPC designs as well as the Decor shopkeeper as well as doing environments as this should help my motivation if I try something different. I’ll be looking to use Millie’s Twitch stream videos in order to mimic her art style so that the characters wouldn’t look too different and keep some consistency.

Below are the five animations I’ve completed so far. For the Alpha, we’ll be breaking these up with animating orbs covering the image and then moving to the next. When we decide to take this forward past Alpha, I’ll be wanting to adjust these.
Listed in order: Bay leaves, Ginseng, Lavender, Peppermint and Pine.

The Weekend

This weekend, Millie and I did a two-day crunch where we smashed out all of our tasks for the Sprint and began working on extra; James arrived on Sunday and showed us where he’s up to.
Millie has effectively finished the Crafting mini-game aside from the particle effect animations which will be worked on once James has finished the code for the mini-game. She’s now been working on painting the Shop environment background to get that underway and complete. Millie’s worked really hard this weekend and it’s meant that we’ve managed to push ahead with some of the leftover tasks which have helped the productiveness of the project. With this continued work ethic, I believe that we’ll be able to get Dungeoneering well on the way within the next week meaning that we’ll be in a better stead to playtest and correct any errors as well as continue with finessing our current work and working towards our promo trailer/artwork.
I’ve managed to complete all of the harvesting animations and I’ve turned them into Gifs! Now they’re finished, I’ve been working on producing the rest of the assets for the inside of the Greenhouse background. Once finished, this will be the Garden/Greenhouse fully complete!
Millie and I have been going through the tasks on Trello and have worked out that due to the alterations made to the Crafting mini-game, the number of tasks needed to be completed has significantly reduced as some assets aren’t needed anymore. This is great news and has left us with more time for Dungeoneering and finishing off the other levels. What’s left to do is for James to put all of our assets into the project and make a list of UI or any pieces he needs so that we can get on with that alongside the Sprint tasks.

WE’RE GETTING THERE GUYS. 

Here are all the finished animations. I’ve made these just to show how it would work so the timings are a more off than I’d like them to be. These four frames would be separated by some sort of glowy orb animation which will be added in later once it’s been playtested. 

Reflection of Week Eleven

Week beginning 10th April – 16th April

Monday

Today, I spent some time discussing with James and Millie the tasks that we have left for Twilleir as well as outlining Sprint 10.

I went back through the last few sprints and found that Millie has been working on the four portraits for the helping hands for four weeks now, however, only two have been completed and one is in progress. I have now instructed Millie that she will be pulled off of these tasks and to get on to the crafting mini-game as we can’t be spending all this time on portraits; neither of us had realised how much time had been allocated to this job so it’s just as much my fault as it is Millie’s.

We came to an arrangement where she has assured me that she has two days off in a row now where she will be finishing the helping hand portraits, Clarence and Nigel. After these tasks have been completed, she will be moving on to painting the inside of the Greenhouse environment so that James can then drop this into the project and then the Garden and Greenhouse levels are completed; I’ll be checking in with her over the week to see how she’s progressing to help her stay on track and “kick her up the ass” as instructed by Millie haha… By the beginning of next week, Millie will hopefully be on to the Crafting mini-game.

I’d been working on the Harvesting mini-game last week where I developed the game and changed a couple of aspects by accident. For instance, the original idea was to have the plants rotate when a colour sequence has been completed, however, this was quite complex and I had an idea which would cause us less stress but would still be similar aesthetically. Unfortunately, by doing this, it’s meaning that James is needing to change elements of his code to accommodate this yet he seems more than happy to do this which is great and he’ll be spending the week doing this; this is one of the things I love most about our Team is the willingness and flexibility of everyone which makes life easier ❤
We’ve set up that next weekend (22nd-23rd) we shall all get together at Millie’s and binge work together, catch each other up and test what’s already in. By doing this, we shall be in a good place to start back on the 24th.

I’ve set myself a lot of tasks this week as I’m not sure how long the design for the four stages of harvesting of each nine ingredients is going to take. By putting them all in one Sprint, it means I can crack on with what I can and gauge how long it will take me overall. I aim to have the design for all of these completed by mid next week and then the painting binge will begin! By the time that we’re back at University on the 24th, I hope that I will have completed the painting of the animation stages meaning that James can drop these into the project.

Realistically, by the end of the first week back, I think the Harvesting mini-game could be completed and the crafting mini-game nearly finished which will leave us the crafting room design itself which has already been started, dungeoneering, characters and UI/animations. This feels like a lot to do in terms of artwork, however, the code is essentially nearly there so it’ll just be dropping stuff in. I’ve already prepared James that he may need to take over from UI and animation which he’s mentioned he’s happy to do so that’s a large relief. With Millie and myself working on Art, we should be able to smash through tasks and use some of what we’re doing in the promotion trailer so it’s useful that a lot of our work can be reused and save us time. 

Tuesday

So today, I worked solidly for four hours straight and managed to get the Harvesting mini-game background painted! Glad I binged that and that it’s now done as it means that I can focus on the animations for the plants so I’m on schedule. My original artwork was a bit too dark in comparison with the work that Millie’s been doing for the environments and such so on her Twitch stream, she showed me how to fix this through the colour dodge tool and hue/saturation. This was super useful and it’s improved my work a lot so this is something I must remember to do after I complete paintings.

The first image is the one that I finished and the second is the one that Millie helped me with. She explained that by using colour dodge on the image and playing around with the hue and saturation will help me to make sure the colouring is bright like Millie’s work. This mini tutorial has helped me understand new skills within digital painting so I’m very thankful for Millie’s help!
Now what I have left to do is plan out the four stages of animation for the nine plants which hopefully shouldn’t take me too long to do but I expect that this will be complete by next Thursday latest giving me the rest of the week to paint them.

Whilst working on the background today, I had Millie’s Twitch stream on in the background where she managed to rally through Clarence and Nigel’s portraits and is now onto doing the inside of the Greenhouse! She’s worked so hard today and it’s great to see her progress, her outcomes are beautiful and it’s so exciting to see them come to life and to soon be in the project. She has managed to get through all of her tasks already for this Sprint apart from the Greenhouse which is amazing and so hopefully we’ll all be back on track with tasks and get stuff completed at a faster pace! Great job Mills ❤

Thursday

I had a brief chat with Millie today concerning the NPC characters that we’d like to have designed. Millie came up with a great idea that the three leftover NPC shop keepers we need in order to set up the ‘expansion pack’ type elements for after the Alpha will be designed based on the three of the Twilleir team and that the merchant should be the lovely lady that we met on our trip to Lyndhurst in the Apothecary shop. This will help us move forward with the designs as we have the four races to use to transform ourselves into the people of Ephara! 
I’ve been working a lot on the environment design and asset creation more than characters but I spoke with Millie about how I’d like to take a break from this and try creating characters for the game as hopefully, it will help production pace by switching up tasks and keeping things interesting. I will be working on the Decor shop keeper which we have decided will be James (sorry bro) and will be as flamboyant as anything. I plan to work on this once I have created the animations for the ingredients in Harvesting so as to split up tasks and stay motivated. 

We also discussed the bios of the helping hands that Millie’s been working on so that I can upload these to Instagram which is exciting:

  • Nigel (Heralorn race) – he’s old and cranky and is more likely to stab you than let you look at his books, like, ever.
  • Doris (L’hallen race) – She will hit you, also she’s very good at baking and likes to spoil her niece on the weekends. 
  • Clarence (Qa’rn) – The wind boy, he is smol and fast. He likes baths and would spend £200 in Lush in a heartbeat.

With this in mind, we may have to update Donna’s portrait and bio as they no longer fit the style in which Millie has done the other three helping hands (this will be a fix thing at a later date). Millie had a great idea that her bio should be: Master of the Barbie *Australian accent* Has multiple stab wounds from Nigel, she likes to show them off. 

The idea of the bios is something light hearted and fun with just a little bit of backstory so maybe we could develop their narratives after the Alpha and make it more personal. It’s also just a little bit of that Twilleir added fun that we wanted to include too.

Friday and the Weekend

Today I properly started designing the animations for the four stages of Harvesting in the mini-game. It hasn’t taken me too long to work on them, averaging at about half hour to forty-five minutes per ingredient, it’s just been hard trying to think of cute animations that people would want to see and wouldn’t look out of place. This will all come with testing when we arrive back from Easter where we can gauge from our target audience what they like and don’t like, what makes sense and what doesn’t etc. 

Next week is going to be intense as I’m going to be aiming to finish the harvesting ingredients by painting the four stages of each one (9 in total) and overall there are 36 pieces. This could be quite a lot of work to complete and may be time-consuming but once this is finished then it means that harvesting will be complete (all but some animation transitions! 

Millie has also spoken to me about the inside of the greenhouse background that she’s painting. She has asked me to finish the piece with bits and pieces such as spades, pots etc just to set the scene so that she can go on to work on the Crafting mini-game. I’ll be likely to work on this gradually through the week but will be prioritising the harvesting animations as these were my original tasks. These next few weeks are going to be pretty intense but I’m confident that we’ll be able to get our work complete and on time. 

Reflection of Week Ten

Week beginning 3rd April – 9th April

Monday

Today has been an odd day as I’ve had to work around my job today. Due to working an early shift, I only began working on the Sprint at 7pm but this worked very well for the team as we all convened on Twitch where Millie was streaming her art progression of the Helping Hand characters. We used this time as a team meeting which was really useful as we managed to physically see what Millie’s been working on as well as discuss the Trello which we could all see on screen and go through together.
Millie hasn’t managed to finish the character portraits from last week, however, on the Stream, she understands that she’s a bit behind on these tasks and after discussing with the team, she feels that through streaming on Twitch it will help her to work on the tasks at hand; she’ll be looking to do this from now on. This is also useful for me as I can use these streams to work out a consistent way of painting that’s similar to Millie so I can help her out with painting characters and backgrounds in the game.
This week James is continuing on with refining his code and the whole project to fix any bugs in Twilleir so far. When we’re back at Uni, we will be looking to test the project so far with our target audience and get them to try and find bugs/break the game as this will help us to make sure that Twilleir is in a great condition and near perfect!
I’ll be looking to work on Harvesting this week so as to get that up and running as a mini-game so that we can also try and get this tested in the next three weeks. I will be working alongside James to see what he needs from me in terms of UI as well as designed backgrounds and how these will work. This week is likely to be more challenging for me as I want to make Harvesting fit the style of the game so far and make sure it looks and feels ‘Twilleir’. As I’m limited to two days that I can work on jobs this week, I’ve set tasks accordingly and if I manage to do more then I’ll crack on with those too.
I’ve been finding that by setting myself tasks broken down into its simplest form and only a handful a week has helped me to be productive as I’m not grouping tasks together so that they feel so large. By breaking them up, I’m managing to tick tasks off of Trello more quickly and is improving my motivation as well as enabling me to work on extra tasks thus improving the production rate of Twilleir just that little bit; I’ll be continuing to set a minimum of 4 tasks a week and then moving on from there. 

Tuesday

I began working on creating the colour icons that we’ll be needing for the UI bar that the player interacts with in order to harvest the ingredient. I felt that they needed to not be ‘in your face’ like say different coloured trowels or shovels and instead just have that fantastical Twilleir feel to it.
I played around with the idea of gems, crystals and orbs and how they could work within the UI. The icons need to be relatively simple and not distracting to the Player as they’ll need to focus during the game in order to get more points. After some sketches, I felt that the coloured orbs would work the best taking into account the simplicity needed as well as that added fantasy feel.
You can find the initial sketches in A3 Sketchbook pages 35 – 36.

The above orbs are some of the colours that I was playing around with. I found that by using a darker background, the luminosity of the orbs really came through and so I feel that this will influence the colours of the UI bar. As the background is to be light and earthy greens, I may choose to have the UI bar or at least the main part of it behind the orbs a dark reddy or earthy brown so as to accentuate the orbs and making it easier for the Player to see.

I’ve been thinking about how we could make this game more accessible for those who are colour blind and one idea that came to mind is that maybe we have sounds associated with each colour so that Twilleir can be playable for all. This may have to be something that we add in later on as we already have much to do but this is something to bear in mind for sure as our aim is to make Twilleir a game for all 🙂

Saturday

Over the past few days, I haven’t been able to complete any more tasks, however today I had a meeting with James about what he was looking for in terms of the Harvesting mini-game aesthetics and UI. Whilst discussing, we were unsure what we needed a mini menu design for and so, for now, this has been struck from my Sprint tasks and has made way for me to start designing the background for the mini-game; we will revisit this later on once James has gone back through the project and has worked out what art he’s still in need of. 

My new tasks for this week now consist of:

  • UI colour button bar design
  • UI colour button bar paint
  • Beginning of designing background

These tasks are definitely doable and I’m excited to crack on with these today. James also mentioned that there were a couple of buttons that he needed which once he has compiled his list, he’ll be letting me know where I’ll be able to easily change the text so he can swiftly drop them into the project. I feel that this way of working with James is working out well so far as we’re able to complete tasks on the fly as well as our original Sprint tasks; this relieves the workload later on when it’s crunch time!

We also discussed that the panels that I designed and painted for the active quests, greenhouse plots and garden plots could be reusable within the Harvesting mini-game. Potentially with changing the colours, the panel could fit well in this instance. I’m still going to be playing around with potential decoration to the panel however, the key instance here is for the panel to not be distracting to the Player and hinder their gameplay. 

By the end of today, I hope to have mocked up a couple of rough designs for the mini-game background as then I’ll be able to get feedback from the team and make adjustments before Monday where I can fully crack on with painting it. I’m a little concerned with painting it as my skills aren’t at Millie’s level so I’ll have a hard time trying to replicate her style in the short amount of time I’d like to spend on it but I’m certainly up for the challenge. My aim is to have completed the background by Tuesday evening of next week so then I will have the rest of the week to work on ingredients which I’ll have to paint in fully grown form and from four angles (front, left side, back and right side) due to the rotating mechanic of the plot in the game. This shouldn’t take much time as I have already worked on the ingredients and so hopefully with some tweaking and painting I’ll be able to complete these by the end of that Sprint (10). 

Sunday

Since yesterday, I had a thought about how the mini-game would work aesthetically. As we’ve decided to keep the background static, the plants shouldn’t rotate as it wouldn’t fit?? Therefore, I did some thinking and worked out that what could work is if we have four stages of harvesting instead. I.e. when you finish one side of colour, a sparkly animation will go over the plant and it will turn into the next stage of harvest – it could be that part of the roots have uprooted, some hops have fallen off of the vines etc; this will be something that I’ll need to decide when I come to this as for now I’m focusing on the background.

In light of this design decision, I managed to sketch a couple of ideas that could work for the Harvesting mini-game background. We’ve chosen to have a vignette around the plot with some small sparkling orb-like animations around it so as to avoid distracting the Player with a busy background; I’ll be playing around with what colour the vignette will be. I will be getting feedback from the team tomorrow where I’ll make adjustments to the background and then begin painting. I aim to have it completed with examples of the vignette by Tuesday afternoon so I can then begin to work on the ‘animation’ process for the ingredients as they are harvested. If I maintain a steady work ethic this next coming week, I feel that Harvesting will be near completion within the next two weeks maximum. 

Despite working 45 hours this week at my other job, I feel that this week has been surprisingly productive considering. I have made sure that over the next two weeks I am working a lot less at my job meaning that I can truly focus on the Twilleir project. However, by doing these hours, this has made me realise that I can work a full time job and continue to work on work for our company on evenings and weekends which fills me with hope and focus that we’ll be able to achieve our goals of setting up a studio! #exciting 

Bring on tomorrow and the new Sprint! B-)

 

Its been a long month!

So, I’ve done the horrific thing of leaving it a whole month since I last made a blog post. I mean there’s quite a lot to recap on so I think I’m going to write a list of all of the proceedings that have occurred since the last reflection post, and gradually make my way down the list.

As you can see from the video update on the 6th of March, which should be in the post above (below????) this one. There is going to be quite a lot of development since then and I’ll probably make a video very soon documenting EVERYTHING that has happened since then as this text post probably won’t do it justice.

 

Right, since my disappearance this is whats been going on, it’s not in chronological order because I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what happened when :

  • Arduino Workshop with Andy and the Team (Custom Controller).
  • Mind the Film came in.
  • Reflective Journal was finished and handed in, we had about a week to do this.
  • Harvesting is in, assets yet to be added but core gameplay is enjoyable and we’re confident with continuing with this as a prototype.
  • Gardens are almost finished, Greenhouse and small animations to add.
  • Crafting first prototype was finished, decided it didn’t fit thematically and a redesign has been proposed but yet to implement.
  • Shop added, Commission card generation is in but not hooked up to our living economy yet. Huge bits of UI put in, days and gold generation work. Inventory panel, plant monitoring panel.
  • Dungeons received UI updates and several helping hands have been added visually.
  • Marketplace has been added, you’re now able to visit and purchase Potions required to succeed in the Dungeons, and buy Seeds (VERY IMPORTANT). Flavour Text is yet to go in, need to check if race applies correct benefits and that prices adjust based on demand.
  • Essentially we’re just in the huge art cramming phase whilst I iron out bugs and add in additional functionality.
  • Tutorials are mostly in and work well in explaining to players what they need to be doing.
  • Play testing will be a necessary evil as soon as we return to make sure the game is playable.
  • Easter has been a little bit lighter than I would have liked but with two weeks to go I’m in a position, as we receive more assets, to see what needs work and what works well.
  • Jess and Millie are doing a fantastic job of smashing through the list of artwork and getting me UI assets as soon as feasible. Jess is doing a great job staying on top of the deadlines and making sure we don’t fall behind.

Reflection of Week Nine

Week beginning 27th – 2nd April

Monday

Sprint 7 went pretty well for me as I managed to stay on top of my tasks, finish them and then move onto starting next week’s tasks so I’m hoping to continue with this work ethic through this week too. 
I’ve been sorting through the Trello tasks to double-check with the team what they’ve been working on, what they’ve completed and what they haven’t been able to complete so that I can construct the next Sprint, number 8. James and I were able to finish the tasks set however Millie wasn’t able to finish the portraits due to not being able to access her PC over the past few days which is fair enough; she has agreed to finish them this week instead so as to stop the backburner tasks growing.
James has chosen to go through all of the code he has been working on over the past seven weeks and go through a refinement and debugging process to double-check that everything functions properly. This will be incredibly useful as it means that we will have the Gardens and Greenhouse fully refined as well as elements such as the storeroom inventory, the shop etc where we can drop artwork into it and it will further us in our testing stages.
I will be working on painting the images of potions that will be put onto the commission cards as once these are done, it’ll just be the text files that will need to be created for this and then the commission cards are completed. I aim to have these nine potions finished by the end of Sprint 8 and have also begun designing the panels for the active quests and the active garden plots menu. I feel that if I keep focused, I’ll be able to have finished the majority of the shop environment by the end of next week which will be great as then I can work on trying to complete the Harvesting mini-game aesthetics; this will lead to us being able to test this mini-game with our target audience gaining feedback and testing for bugs which we can then implement. 

Tuesday – Wednesday

Above are the potions that I’ve been working on which will be going on to the commission cards at the bottom to show the player what potion it is they have to make; it will tell them in the request box also but the text files have yet to be made up. I’ve suggested that as all three of us have different styles in writing, it would be a good idea to work on the text files together as it will give the commission cards some variation in tone and style to reflect the different customers you would get in. What with myself and Millie working in customer service, this gives us an upper hand on some of the sorts of customers we could have in terms of tone and character!
But yeah… s
o I’ve already finished the potions tasks that I set myself for the whole week??!
My time management has been a bit off this week and I’ve overestimated how long it was all going to take me but I guess on the upside, I can now do the panels for the Shop environment and get those completed quicker than I first thought.
My next steps are to ask James what bits and pieces he’s waiting on to drop into the Shop environment so as to help complete the level more quickly and get it ready for testing.

Saturday- Sunday

I decided to take some time off to help recharge my creative batteries so I picked up my extra tasks through Saturday to Sunday. I feel better in that I’m finishing tasks and am taking up bits and pieces when needed which is helping my productivity as I’m wanting to push myself more and get things done.
I managed to design a range of active quest panels so that I had a variety of choice to see which ones would fit the Shop environment. Now that we’ve chosen the panel style, this could be a ‘skin’ style for each panel that’s needed so that we save time and reuse assets; this will leave more time for other tasks so we’ll be pushing forward at a quicker pace which is exciting. 

Due to the fact that the Shop environment will look rather busy on screen, we felt that the above design would be the best for the panel’s style as the simplicity will hopefully not overcomplicate the screen when the Player presses the appropriate button to open each designated panel. James will be dropping these into his project and so to combat what he may need, I’ve made a variety of panels with text and without etc so that he can work out what works best for his code and go from there.
Now that I’ve completed these, I’ve again managed to complete all my tasks for the week which’s great as I’m starting to realise how much time I need for certain tasks and feel I can structure my personal Sprint tasks accordingly.
Overall, this week has been rather productive and I’m proud of how quickly I am managing to get through tasks. We’re very close to finishing the Shop level in terms of design meaning that there is only:

  • painting the shop
  • painting the storeroom
  • creating text files for the commission cards

Millie has mostly been painting the environments but as she has a lot on her plate, at some point I may come back to these and help her. I feel that so long as we get the majority designed which means we can at least show what it could look like, we can then worry about painting the specifics later. I will continue on with designing and possibly when we are nearing the end of Easter, I will check with Millie to see if she wants me to help (if I can) so as to relieve her of stress as she’s been working hard on a number of things currently such as music, portraits and our website which is soon to be up!

Due to working a lot next week, I will need to factor in time around my job to get tasks for Sprint 9 done so I will need to keep this in mind tomorrow when I construct the next sprint. I will be talking to James and Millie to see how they’re doing with their tasks and adapting Sprints accordingly. 

Reflection of Week Eight

Week beginning 20th – 26th March

Monday

Today, I began by organising the next Sprint. As expected, due to Reflective Journal’s deadline being today, last week’s sprint wasn’t fully completed, however, I’ve adjusted this week’s sprint accordingly. By looking at the remaining tasks that we have to do, I feel that we’re in a good place now and we should be able to finish all the ‘levels’ that we wanted to complete for hand-in. I’m really enjoying working on this project and I feel that’s helped us stay motivated to complete this project to the best of our abilities; we’ll see how we feel after Easter…
I started designing the store room using the shop environment and the research that I did on Art Nouveau and Deco as inspiration in order for everything to fit the same aesthetic. The store room will just be the background/backdrop as we’ll have UI panels over this so it won’t need as much detail as the Shop. I managed to catch up on some important documentation in my sketchbook as well as complete two full layouts for the store room which I’ll be looking to get feedback from the rest of the team tomorrow. That will decide if we stick with one or if I adapt and create a final one accordingly. 
Overall, I’m happy with the progress that I made today and it has set me up well to be on target for the rest of the tasks left in the sprint. 

Tuesday

Firstly, I got some feedback from the team about which store room layout would work best for the background/drop.


The first one was agreed as too busy and cluttered and the second layout was deemed the preferred one as it wouldn’t overcrowd the screen and confuse the player. We will be having a panel with the UI pop up over the background so the detail in the store room isn’t as much as a necessity as the Shop environment was. Now that this is complete and the team are all happy with the environment’s design, it’ll now be queued up in the painting list of things to do.
I discussed with the team about the finish button and it really is as simple as a finish button for handing in quests. I’ve been playing around today with the font that we’re using, Quicksand Book, and using these over buttons I’ve designed to see how they could work and if it fits our other UI scheme; I’ve tried to design them with this in mind.
With James working on the economy and inventory systems today, we discussed what currency we would be using. After much debate, we have decided we shall call our currency Twills, as it is very fitting with our name Twilleir and it sounds good
“That was awful, 2 twills.”
“Oh wow, amazing job, 26 twills for you!”

Another task that we discussed was the commission cards as I wanted to make sure that I knew what needs to be on the card itself and that it corresponds with the coding that James has already worked on.

  • New Commission title
  • Image of potion
  • Request: what the customer is asking for
  • Due by date: when does the potion need to be completed by
  • Signature of customer – makes it more personal

I began designing a few card shapes to see what would work and look right aesthetically. We discussed what ones people preferred and there was a split between two different types of design which were the favourites so I have decided to combine the two in order to create a better design. Now that I’ve completed the design, I will be taking it to Paintool Sai and then James will implement it into the game where we can see if it fits with the overall aesthetic.
Overall, today has been very productive and I feel that I am certainly on track with the tasks I’ve got for the Sprint; hopefully, I may be able to pick up more tasks from the Shop environment list. 

Thursday

We had Mind The Film in today to talk about putting our game projects into a film. It was relatively interesting and useful to talk to them as now we understand the sort of feel that we want our film to get across. We’re looking to sell ourselves through our personalities which will filter through to the film where we will look to have clips of ourselves at work, working together and our process. We’re also looking to film more of our cosplay to give a feel of who we are and what Twilleir is about which we’ll be looking to film more of when we come to acting out the battle system for our animations.
Creating animation could also be a good idea to intertwine with our film as it could be quirky and cute like us and Twilleir which could be a good idea to consider.
Freesound.org – good place to find and use sounds within our project as we didn’t manage to get much from the Caves due to screaming kids and the people that were there.
Over Easter, I will be looking to film more of my drawing process and my speed paints in order to gather as much footage as possible which we can filter through later on; we’ll all be doing this in order to get a range for our development video.

Equipment to use:
Nikon D800
Set of 3 LED panels

Arduino Workshop – iLab with Andy

Today’s workshop using Arduino’s was interesting and challenging for me. I hadn’t done anything to do with circuits in years since Secondary School so it was pretty scary trying to remember previous knowledge from … 6 years ago.
Despite the initial scare, I managed to pick it up again relatively quickly and was able to make a LED light blink, dim and enlighten. It was interesting as when we used the sensor and it beeped whenever you moved your hand or light near it, I realised what we’d effectively made was one of the sensors you get in newer cars nowadays which tells you when you’re too close to other objects; I found this really cool in a nerdy way.
This workshop made us think about how we could use Arduinos within our project, mainly with our exhibition in mind. We have a crafting game and harvesting game that incorporates colours into it and we’ve been thinking that at the exhibition, we could make the game physical using LED lights and Arduinos. Andy seemed to like what we are thinking of doing and has said he’d like to work with us on it which is exciting. This will help to hopefully make our game stand out at the exhibition as well as give it an edge over the competition as it will be physical and digital too.

The Weekend

This weekend has proven productive as I’ve managed to complete my tasks for this week’s Sprint. I’ve now moved on to the extra tasks that I set myself which is good as it means that I can get a head start on next week and hopefully be able to get the assets for the Shop environment completed a lot quicker than we first anticipated.
I seem to be getting better and quicker at doing my digital painting over the course of this project and it’s becoming apparent through the time I spend on these tasks compared to how long it used to take me. It goes to show that through practice I can improve my skills even in just a short period of time so who knows what my work could be like by the end of this project and further into the future.

Overall, this week has been surprisingly productive and I’m feeling motivated to continue on with the tasks that I’ve set myself. On Monday, I will be creating the next sprint where I’ll speak to Millie and James about how they’re doing and what they’ll be working on for the next week. We appear to be on track which is good so we just need to stay as focused as possible during this holiday so as not to waste too much time and make it easier on ourselves when we come back from Easter.