Breathing Games Dev Diary

Weekly game development updates.

Week 12: Crunch time continued!

2020-04-24 CHLA Team

With about on week remaining before our final presentation the CHLA team is full steam ahead with game development.

The Space Quest game’s planet and astroid 3D models assets were updated with Level of Detail (LOD) versions. LOD decreasing the complexity of a 3D model as it moves further away from the camera. LOD descreases the load on graphics processing by increase the efficiency of rendering. A win-win all around. Also, based on prior feedback, the astroids, planets and spaceship speed have been adjusted, out of bounds indicators as been added to help visual que the players know to keep faceing forward, and map generation has been improved.

THe Fruit World game has had the it fruit targeting system improved and a new main menue was created for allow players to select which mini game they want to play. This menu allows users to enter in their name plus select the duration for inhaling and exhaling with in a number of cycles.

Next up…

We will continue to polish and combine the two mini-games one Unity project with a shared start menu.

Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 11: Crunch to final game build!

2020-04-17 CHLA Team

Hey all! We are on the last sprint towards our final presentation and deliverables and we can feel the crunch. This week the team has been hard at work adding new features into our two breathing mini games based on the feedback from Professor Vangelis. Not much else to report. Thinks are getting busy as finals for classes are around the corner. Here is a sneak peek at our remaining tasks for Space Quest:

  1. Environment
    1. Improving asteroid planes
    2. Scaling planets
    3. Asteroid movement
    4. Asteroid rotation
  2. Map generation
    1. LOD
    2. Gradual map generation
    3. Out bounds error
  3. Player controls
    1. Removing current inhale repetition
    2. Spaceship speed
    3. Gem spawn
      1. Last gem is at target time distance
      2. Less uniform spawn
  4. UI
    1. Leaderboard
    2. Sounds
    3. UI Score system
  5. If possible, camera movement
    1. Moving back on exhale
    2. Three vertical tiers

Crunch Crunch Crunch!

Next up…

Keep working towards our final deliverables… that is all I got for you :)

Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 10: Trearsure Hunter's new look!

2020-04-10 CHLA Team

This week is still focused on polishing our mini-games. During our progress review with Professor Vangelis it was recommended that we not increase the scope more by adding the Void mini-game. Therefore, with the remaining weeks in this semester the team will do our best to focus on increasing the fidelity of games.

Also, based on the professor’s response to our current state of Treasure Hunter we have stepped back to see if another game environment would work better. The problem we needed to solve was issues caused by procedurally generating the river which the player travelled down. It was not as visually pleasing in VR. After a bit of search, we first came upon an underwater scene which looked great, but after testing it out in the Oculus headset we found it had a similar issue as the river scene.

In the end we found the following space scene which provided the best results for what we were attempting to solve.


Next up…

We will continue to polish and combine the two mini-games one Unity project with a shared start menu.

Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 9: Game polishing + 3rd mini game concept reveal!

2020-04-03 CHLA Team

This week we have been iterating on the polishing of our two mini games, Treasure Hunter and Fruit Fall, based on instructor feedback. Minor camera changes were added to improve the visual feedback as the player propels the boat forward in Treasure Hunter. In Fruit Fall a new fruit targeting feature was added to make it easy for players to see which fruit they were aiming at.

We created a quick proof of concept for our third mini game, The Void, which we would like to add to round off our breathing game selections. The idea for The Void is to have a relaxing, zen like experience in which the player does not need to focus on scorekeeping and leaderboards. We wanted something similar to the Relax feature on Fitbit where you are being calmly instructed on controlling your breathing and slowing your heart rate. In Void you begin in empty space. Exhaling slowly breathes color into a hidden scene. Inhaling slowly drains color out of the scene. Each time you inhale + exhale a new scene is revealed as a calm voice and music instructs you. It’s a ROUGH proof >,< …


Next up…

We will continue to iterate and polish these games over the remainder of the semester and continue to seek feedback from Dr. Vangelis along the way. See you next week.

Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 8: ZOOM is the new USC

2020-03-27 CHLA Team

Spring has sprung, and the break is done. Since our last post a lot has rapidly changed in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading across the world. Zoom meetings are the new normal. USC has updated the requirement now for all courses to be switched to online for the remainder of the semester. The campus is now locked down for students and non-essential employees, Commencement has been cancelled and students living in on campus housing are not allowed to return from their spring break travels to pack and move out. What a mess!

This week we received instructor feedback on our midterm deliverables and sanitation docs detailing how the team will safely continue the Breathing Game development for the remainder of Spring 2020. Check it out:

Instructor midterm feedback

Our team sanitation doc

TLDR: We will be continuing the breathing game development remotely. Zoom + Trello + Git + Google Team Drive + WhatsApp is the hosposh of services holding our distributed development together. The team is needing to get one of our Oculus Go that was left in the lab during the break. Other than that our team is equipment to make meaningful progress in this new season of remote development and look forward to keeping you updated on the progress each week.

Next up…

The main tasks are to take the good parts of the feedback and polished the current games, begin prototyping our third mini-game, The Void, and build a start menu to gather all the breathing games together.

Keep healthy, happy and a good distance from your loved ones!

Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 7: Midterm Presentations + COVID-19 = :-(

2020-03-13 CHLA Team

This week, in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading across the world, USC required all courses to be switched to online until mid April. To adjust to this change our midterm presentation for class was switched to a walkthrough video showing the current state of our VR breathing mini games.

The change in course instruction format to online, plus the recent closure of the campus buildings to help mitigate the spread of the virus, will affect some teams more than others. Our team is optimistic and fully capable to continue our development remotely.

The CHLA team hopes you enjoy our midterm video and wish good health, happiness and love to all during these trying times in the world.


Game On ✌ – The CHLA Team

Week 6: Prototyping continued...

2020-03-06 CHLA Team

The process of building out each mini game continues. This week we took the time to integrate the use of the custom Digital Spirometer into or Unity projects. WIth the help of Unity OSC script, a headache and a lot of “Why is this not working!” our team finally found success. We now can use our inhalations on the digital spirometer to propel the boat forward in the scene of the Treasure Hunter game! In Addition to this, we also successfully pushed and tested the scene on the Oculus Go.

Pain points

We are finding the digital spirometer is not perfect. We are seeing that when it comes to getting the device working with Unity it has only worked thus far on macOS and not on Windows for our team. Also using the Arduino IDE to upload the M5_Spirometer_2020.ino script to the M5Stick-C works for some of our laptops, and not for others. During upload we are seeing the screen of the M5Stick-C keep flashing off and on for several times before the IDE throws an error.

Next up…

Next we will attempt to get the spirometer also intergrated into the Fruit Fall mini game, and attempt to get the prior teams Save the Village game fully working again. Currently we are unable to use the Oculus controller to begin the game and we still need to test it with the digital spirometer input.

– The CHLA Team

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