Author: carlottaclaire

Pigeon Slayer

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Pigeon Slayer Level 1. In the foreground you can notice a pigeon ready to attack. The player might decide to escape of jump on her enemy. 

Game Design Document: Pigeon Slayer

  1. Overall vision
    •  Summary. I was inspired to create this game because the thing that scares me the most in life are pigeons. I thought it would be therapeutic to have a game where my character could defeat my sworn enemies, so I created a game where the main character (that looks a lot like me) has to kill pigeons.
    •        Genre. this game falls under the category of ‘Hero slay Monster’ (= Carlotta slay pigeons).  
    •         Target audience. This game is mainly targeted towards those who are affected by ornithophobia, even more so towards those who are terrified by pigeons. People who are also interested in defeating flying enemies might enjoy this game.
  2. Mechanics: Rules of the game world
    •         Character goals. The player’s main goal is to kill pigeons. In the first level, you mainly focus on escape and can only kill the pigeons by jumping on them. In the second level, you can use the axe that you collected previously to kill the pigeons and eventually defeat the boss pigeon.
    •        Abilities. The character can stand, walk, jump and use her axe.
    •         ObstaclesThe main obstacles of the game are the pigeons. They follow you as soon as you enter in their line of sight, which is quite terrifying, if you don’t kill them they will kill you.
    •        Items. The only objects you can collect are flowers that have been blown off the trees in the far bottom, if you collect these objects you get a point for each one. You can also collect an axe that you will use in the second level, and a potion that will change your size and help you defeat the final ginormous pigeon.
    •    Resources. You have only 5 lives and each flower gives you one point. If you pick-up the potion you grow in size and are able to defeat the final pigeon.
  1. Dynamics: Interaction between player and the game
    •         User interaction. There is no tutorial, so they player will have to discover on his own how to play. Thankfully it is pretty straightforward as the arrow keys are used for movement and the spacebar is used to operate the axe.     
    •    Proficiency. Practice is one of the proficiencies you need for progressing in this game.
    •         Gameplay data. Texts display gameplay data like lives at the right of the screen, score at the left and in the first level there is the ‘survival objects’ box at the bottom.
    •        Controlling the game. Conveniently, you can stop the game anytime by pressing Esc. There are also handy keys that you can press to restart the level (R) or (P) to start the 1st level.
  2. Aesthetics
    •         Overall. In no more than two sentences, describe the style and feel of the game.
    •        Game artThe feel of the game is fairly realistic, but with cartoonish graphics. All of the colors are pretty bright and there aren’t many shadows as the game is primarily 2D.
    •         Sound. There are different sounds played during the game. Only one ambient sound is present at the winner page: Since it is a serene tone (sound of nature), it helps reinforce the idea that you, the player, as a winner of Pigeon Slayer, have made the world a better place now. The other tones are a yell, which occurs every time a pigeon touches my character, and a gentle plucking tone that occurs when the character picks up the flowers.
    •        Plot. The backstory of this game is the hard truth that pigeons are evil and chase you while you are simply walking past them because of their sadistic nature. This game will teach you to never trust pigeons.
    •         Emotional state. If you are easily impressionable this game can be an emotional roller-coaster. The emotional states that this game provokes are: anxiety at the beginning as all the pigeons are suddenly following you, and then relief when you finally defeat both levels.
    •         Fun. Gratifications like destroying your enemies and competition are provided in this game.
  3. Credits

I created most of the things I used in my game, such as my character, thanks to separate assets I found on Kenney under the name “Modular Character”. Using pre-existing assets that I ‘simply’ had to modify was a r

 

eally good compromise, as I wanted to create some of the game art myself but also did not have that much time to do so. Using the vector files of premade arms, faces and body shapes. I still probably spent too much time on creating my character and all of its movements. I also recycled some of the assets I created for my previous animation project “Spinning on Repeat.” All the other assets I found by searching on google sprites for the objects I wanted and going to the image’s sites. I found the pigeon in chapmanworld.com . The backgrounds are simple images from google and the little crates I found in this great game packet on opengameart.com. The sounds is courtesy of the site  www.freesound.org and some also come from the same opengameart packet.

  1.  

    Reflection

The hardest part of creating Pigeon Slayer was probably making the pigeons follow my character. I will admit that I did not budget my time well enough for this game. I spent too much time on the graphics and on the 1st level. Also at the beginning, I was trying to build the second level vertically. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so because the 

 

window options are the same for the whole project and not for the single layouts. I will try to discover if it is possible and I might integrate this feature in my final game.

Finally, thanks to this project I have discovered and learned a variety of things that are useful in construct 2 just by experimenting. For example, the most exciting thing I found is that if you use different layers and alternate their parallaxes’ you can create depth in your game. This really enhances your game’s aesthetics. I will surely use this technique for my final project, and many other things that I have learned simply thanks to trial and error. I am incredibly excited for what is to come in the next month! The next game I would like to do would be a story based game. Another fun option would be a multi task game where every level the game asks you to do something different in order to reach your final goal.

 

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UI You Win Page of Pigeon Slayer. After playing such a strenuous battle the game offers  to the winner a quite rewarding final page. 

 

Here’s the link: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~cdebelli/PigeonSlayer/

PS: I wasn’t able to export the debugged version. Every time I tried Construct would freeze and I had to do “end task.”

Also, if you are thinking that this is not a real phobia here’s a post by another person who’s affected that proves that this is a REAL phobia!

 

 

 

 

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Spinning on Repeat

My animation is called “Spinning on Repeat”. The project is the story of a cherry blossom that morphs into multiple objects: an origami bird, a kite, and finally a book. While morphing, the object crosses the world, and finds itself traveling from the east to a more ‘western’ setting, a metropolis where the book is found by a girl who is just sitting in a square. The girl opens the book and finds a very familiar scene: a mountain with a cherry blossom, there’s a close up to the book and from there the animation starts again by repeating the first two scenes until the flower spins around. The circularity and how things cross cultures and the world, and in their essence are always the same although they differ slightly (e.g. the flower in the book is not colored) could be part of the animation’s meaning.  I did not start from a definite story but rather I listened to what the song transmitted to me. I was inspired by the Young the Giant concert that I attended the weekend before our storyboards were due. While coming back from the concert I was talking to my two friends Loretta and Mariale about various ideas that would look cool with one of the songs that we listened to the night before. I chose the song “Repeat,” and just by talking on our way back from Houston many ideas came out, and this one seemed both the best and the most accomplishable with my limited experience. One of the hardest parts of this project was that I wanted the final product to be somewhat aesthetically pleasing.

I was able to give the whole animation different degrees of intensity by alternating close-ups and long shots, through motion tweens, to give importance to the various objects. Morphing consisted of a lot of shape tweens and I also used many nested timelines for the objects that moved while moving across the stage. Type font “Tw Cen MT” is the sans serif typeface I used, since it’s pretty minimalistic. I decided not to include any credits at the end but to instead write “thank you” with a paint brush, as if it was hand written. If I were to do this again, I would probably attempt to draw the backgrounds as well.

The key characters of my animation were: the cherry blossom tree and more specifically the detached flower and the book, the final object it became. Secondary characters were the girl, the bird and the kite that appeared only briefly on the scene.  I don’t know if it truly came across, but the character of the girl has some oriental inspiration in the hairstyle (which has also some pink in it to recall the flower itself). Overall I hope the animation has  consistency in its style since I chose a pretty simple structure.I drew everything in my animation except for two backgrounds: the ocean and the city square. This was a decision mostly dictated by the lack of time, but later transformed into a stylistic decision. Meaning that as the animation progressed so did the realism within it. This gave my animation a sense of subverted realism which enhances the idea of change within circularity. I know I am overthinking it and I’m probably just going insane after viewing the animation so many times!

The animation itself has a certain openness to the viewer, in fact he/she can read multiple things out of it. There is surely the concept of repetitiveness, but overall I feel that the interpretation, if any, is free to the viewer. I would say that each symbol took about a full hour or more to complete.

At first it was hard to let go of realism, and it took me way more time as it probably should have. Additionally, coloring in the symbols I drew was quite a hassle because the lines did not fully attach while drawing them. I had to zoom in and try to find the unattached lines and “cement” them with the brush tool. As a consequence, I colored all of my symbols the day before I finished my animation. The color palette was dictated by the colors of the cherry blossom, each of my symbols had the same colors in different patterns that all morphed into one another. The tones were purposefully pretty dim and pastel.

Syncing the sound was a bit of a long process. I has to measure exactly what parts of the song I wanted to use and transform them in one track in Auditions. The track I composed was about 1 minute and 20 sec. I checked how many seconds each of my scenes lasted and they added up to 40 seconds. From there I had to add many frames to every scene in order to have the words and the graphics coincide. Overall my biggest frustration came when I was publishing the animation. I had some issues with inserting the sound because I decided to use scenes for my animation. When I saved it, the sound would work only on my first scene. I also tried assembling the visual and sound components separately in Premiere, but it did not work for my animation, as it compromised the graphics.  Surely next time I will try not using scenes, as they created multiple problems while publishing. 

Link to my animation: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~cdebelli/final-animation/animation-SpinninOnRepeat-final.html

CREDITS:

Music “Repeat” by Young the Giant. You can stream their songs from their site. Here’s also the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tchv0PkUtHo   

Backgrounds links:My 2 realistic backgrounds were made possible thanks to these great databases of images:

City → wallpapercraft.com https://wallpaperscraft.com/download/violinist_city_square_music_violin_77466/3840×1200

Ocean +sky= wallpapershome.com https://wallpapershome.com/nature/clouds/sea-5k-4k-wallpaper-ocean-sky-clouds-5257.html?page=126

 

I Completed my DIY, Therefore I can Code.

When we were given this DIY assignment, my mind started spinning with a variety of different things that were out of my comfort zone.  It was so hard to choose what I should do for this project. To be completely honest, I think that taking this class is more out of my comfort zone than any DIY in the world. For example, learning how to play an instrument was one of the first things that came to my mind (apparently my musical learning capabilities = 6%). But, unfortunately (or should I say fortunately for the class), learning how to play an instrument is a skill and not DIY. So I ended up building a light that looks like a cloud.

I decided to do the cloud light because at the beginning of the semester I saw it in my friend’s room and I really liked it. Although she said that it wasn’t that hard and I should try doing it, I thought I would never be able to do something similar. She is an art major, so I assumed I would never be able to do something like that. I will admit that I have never built something before with my hands. However, the project itself wasn’t incredibly difficult.

I guess that the best word to describe myself is: indifferent. In fact, while answering the learning style quiz I never used the extreme parts, and consequently, had interesting results that, I believe, are not very precise.  Unquestionably, I am an interpersonal and intrapersonal learner and not musical at all. I would say that for this project, the learning styles I used the most were: bodily kinesthetic (building) and visual-spatial (design).

The suggestions I followed and found most helpful were my friend’s and a short YouTube video by Tiffy Quake.  To find the right videos and blogposts I searched primarily on Tumblr and Pinterest “cloud lamp” and then opened the linked pages. Before starting I got to see pretty detailed layout of the whole project thanks to the web based instructional guide that I found on LEDNEWS.com, it was also a great resource to have.  Most importantly, I had a wonderful teacher; my friend Katie was extremely helpful in explaining how to do everything. She was able to show me how to make a slip knot in real life (an explanation that all my online resources did not provide). Having her as a guide made the whole project more pleasant. I found that it fortified my visual-spatial learning more than any video tutorial would have.  A hot glue gun, paper lanterns, battery operated LED lights, poly fill, fishing line, creativity and patience were the ingredients for this DIY. (Pro tip: if you are planning to do this project not in the summer, order paper lanterns well ahead of time because “they’re not in season” after August).

This project I think worked as an emotional booster. At the end of the day, I understood that it doesn’t really matter what I have built/constructed etc. But simply going out of my comfort zone was enough to make me understand that I can do many other things, like taking this class or maybe finally learning how to play an instrument. (Solely) For the purpose of this class, we might have just improved Descartes’ famous dictum: Cogito, Ergo Sum. Now, we can successfully say: I completed my DIY, therefore I can Code!

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