01
I am continuing to add text to the scene. I want the text in the production chapter to lead the audience to the desired area, alongside providing narrative support. It should focus on content production, and perhaps freedom and reality.
I set up a script that can be attached to the production orbs that holds a reference to a text game object. When the orb is active, the text becomes visible and dissapears when viewed from another game object. I also solved my weird motion blur issue. I had set up another camera in the scene for documentation, and it had post processing effects enabled. I am not sure why this would have such a weird effect on the postprocessing but it is fixed now.
02
I added the last of the text interactions. I made sure the text had an emphasis on the role of the player as a sort of enslaved worker. The ride encourages them to continue production, and dismisses any of the player's questions.
I rendered a new lightmap then made another build for android. Tomorrow I will play through it and make the final changes before I start to build up my submission.
03
I played through the build, and there were only a couple of minor issues caused by the changes I had made last night. I made sure to go through all the orbs I could to see if any of them break the game but it all seems okay. I made some final cosmetic changes, and a couple of tweaks to the sound but it looks just about ready to go.
I could of course add more assets but it seems to be a level of polish that is unnecessary for the submission. I think it is better to have a clear and stable build I can document well, than having to rush the documentation because I keep adding extra layers of polish. That is not to suggest this build is lacking polish, I think I have actually had a minimum viable product for about a month now. I can store this project and build on my backup drive, so I can return to it if something goes wrong. However, there is a lot of junk in it, and there is a lot of potential for me to start breaking things when I clean it up. I think this should be left to the degree show.
I screen recorded a playthrough running on android, and it seemed to come out okay. I'm a bit hesitant about screen recording from a phone in full HD as it can have a bad effect on performance but it all seems fine. I think I may try and get a build running on PC however so I can record it at 60fps instead of 30. However, this of course has downsides, as I am nowhere near as mobile when the phone is wired up to my computer, so the footage doesn't look as natural.
I noticed another few things that could do with being tweaked, and a couple of dodgy looking UVs so I'll change this rebake the lightmap and run another recording. It is probably a good idea to get a couple of recordings anyways so I can splice them up and show the best of each recording.
I need to consider how to document my work. I have three minutes to fill and I should probably dedicate half of it to the creation of the final piece, and the first half dedicated to my research and early development work. I'll need to have a look at how other people have documented their final work, and I'll also need to have a read through my learning journal to find the most important parts of this process.
04
I spent today putting together a summary page for this project. This was mostly so I could recap my whole process and remind me what this piece is all about. Now that it is complete, I can get to work on producing a 3 minute video explaining my work.
05
Today I need to consider what to show in the video documentation. I plan to stick to the 3-minute limit, so I'll need to pull out the most important sections. I think the first 90 seconds should be dedicated to research and investigative work, and the remainder should show the development process for the final piece.
So I should first answer 'what inspired this work?' note influential ideas and artists: semiotics, Baudrillard, fluxus, BLM, Freud, Magritte, Duchamp, Dear Esther. Freud and Magritte suggested that symbols represent deep and cryptic meaning, whereas my work and Baudrillard's suggests that these symbols appear cryptic yet signify vrey little. I had also formed an even more pessimistic outlook on the world due to the failure of Bernie Sanders campaign in the US, followed by a totally unbothered response from the UK government to the Covid-19 pandemic and an investigation into civil rights after the BLM protests that revealed UK and US involvement in the assassination of political leaders domestically and internationally thus totally shifting my attitude to western society as a whole - but I might not need to mention this in my documentation despite it being an important factor. I also took inspiration from Rachel Maclean, but I don't think it really came through in the final product.
The experience was definitely inspired by The Chinese Room's Dear Esther. I could draw parallels to other digital experience that this is similar to but they did not directly inspire this work. I think I mostly pulled from a lifetime of video game conventions that I had soaked up. Perhaps VR experiences like the musical one created by ISO had some influence.
Next I should document how I got started. I started with a scene that was more heavily inspired by Dear Esther. I can use some of the game footage and maybe a fly-over of the scene if it still works. I should have it backed up on a drive otherwise. I was inspired by Alan Warburton too - I had forgotten that.
How to I depict inspiration? I always find showing a still image a bit boring, maybe I could make a quick scene in Unity with books with rigidbodies, paintings etc. I could just use gameplay footage for things like Dear Esther.
I am having to re-record some of my older scenes. This has worked out fine since the scenes still work. However, I have documented the final project well- but the video quality could be better. Either I'll have to go through the backups to find the final scene in an earlier state, or I will have to find another way around it.
There are three areas I should document for the final project, changes in design, aesthetic, and sound. Important developments -
tracksuit, blow up doll, sculpting assets, 3D text.
-ambient sound, SFX
-orbs, movement between orbs
07
Last night I finished off my video documentation. It isn't very informative of my entire process but it gives an idea of how the project progressed which I suppose it the point.
Today I am going to make a couple of builds for the submission. I will definitely have functioning Android and PC builds, but I will just make a build for mac and iPhone and pray that they work - I'll leave a note in the submission explaining that it may not work.
For the PC build, I only need to make a couple of changes. I'll attach a script that controls the looking around with the mouse, and I will make sure that it works in fullscreen (I think Unity handles that anyway).
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