Games and Interaction design

Sunday, February 20, 2005

adventure bar billiards

the last bit of work that i did for random is now live, a shockwave 3d bar billiards game, based partly on shooting stars krazy golf. its a promotional game for the bbc series "two pints of lager and a packet of crisps". play it here.

voodoo ray updates

did a few updates to voodoo ray today, nearly finished all the major objects for the game, with some bugs to fix in the multiway lightbeam, the rotating mirror and the 45 degree block to go. got the camera class working a bit better so its got a more interesting 3/4 perspective, giving you a much greater feel of space and a chance to add more character. theres now an screenshot of the new opengl version in the voodoo ray area. other than that, been playing through beyond good and evil, a game i picked up aages ago but put aside for san andreas. one really nice touch ive just got to is a small section where you have to enter a race as usual, but you are told theres a secret passage which will get you to one of the next key game locations, so theres a nice re-use of structures in a way ive not seen before.

Starting a new job

i had my last day at randommedia last friday (11th feb) and this week started work at sony computer entertainment (playstation) working in the interactive media department in soho.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Voodoo Ray coming along

Well been making some progress with Voodoo Ray, the puzzle game centred around light beams. Going swimming provided aquatic inspiration and the main plot behind the game. Our hero is Ray, a hardened tax inspector working for the Inland Revenue. He has been sent to a small island off Haiti to get back tax money for the government. Mentally sharp but unworldly, he may a bit of a "bernard" from day of the tentacle. Been sketching a few ideas but unfortunately i have the drawing skills of a 4 year old. The code side of things is getting there, most of the core systems are in place, and its bringing in models in .OBJ format from Maya. Now the fun part begins of designing levels and getting it looking sweet.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Next generation Eyetoy

Gamespy are reporting on what appears to be a very impressive presentation by Richard Marks (of original eyetoy prototype fame) on the future of eyetoy-like interface devices for the next generation of consoles. by using infra-red pulses, contours and objects can be very accurately mapped and a lot of the issues with current-gen eyetoy would be ironed out. To the extent that a skeletal animation system can be driven by motion captured in realtime by the camera! as the article says, it seems the future is nearer than we thought.

Monday, February 07, 2005

A theory of Fun for Games Design

I picked up this book by Raph Koster (of Star Wars Galaxies fame) from Amazon and I'm about half way through. So far its been an interesting read, looking at aspects of what games are in perspectives that I'd not really considered before. There's some good pattern matching discussion, reminds me a bit of Chris Crawfords writing in places, but two points have really stood out. The first is the mention of learning in relation to games, and the theory that fun is a reward response produced by the brain while we are learning a new skill, and so once we have mastered a game, it is no longer fun. This discussion also extends to coverage of the fact that the majority of the brain tap into more primitive subconscious parts of the brain (reaction, aiming etc). The second point that has stood out is the notion that peoples enjoyment of a game is dependent on their personality type rather than just their personal preference. Maybe this seems obvious, and i'm just a little slow, but it is well put and explained in this book. its a very easy read, and not too long. more when i've got further in....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Augmented reality prototype

Using electromagnetic 6-degree sensors by some crazy french dudes. this really is good. check out the video.