Project progression

The game mechanic

I haven’t concentrated on the game mechanic earlier because I said it is quite a straight forward mechanic. Well this is true, but then it isn’t. Technically what it need is a grid of stones, the mechanic to allow the player to swap adjacent stones, check for a match and then remove the stone and fill with new ones. But of course there is a lot more to it, especially if the game wants to be great ;) . I give you some examples: More »

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Report handed in

And I made it, the report is in, 2 copies, 5 days before the actual hand in date…but printing was a nightmare. First I was struggling with the Gantt Chart, because Microsoft Project is a pain when trying to print something. What it will do, it will try to fit the list of tasks and the gantt chart together. What I want and I actually think many people would want is to have one page with a list of tasks and then a second page with the Gantt Chart. But that is not as easy. You have to try and drag the views inside the main window in Microsoft Project and then change to print view but you will always have the Gantt chart starting on the first page or the list of tasks extending to the second page. More »

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Finishing off the report

I have been a little quiet recently because I was really busy finishing off the report. I am at about 9200 words now and then the reference list and appendices. It takes quite a while to format the report correctly and is especially difficult to spot mistakes if you know what you intended to write. So I was in uni today and had a long chat with my supervisor about the report which was really really helpful. Especially for some paragraphs I wasn’t sure if I had said the right thing or maybe left out something important, so this gave me a good confidence boost. So now I am working on the styling and grammar to be able to hand in on thursday and then I can move into production stage :-) fingers crossed.

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Game design

A problem when writing a literature review is to know when to stop. When I started off the project I realised that there are only few books and magazines published that directly relate to my subject. When however I started researching the subject I realised that there are many other great books out that might not directly relate to the subject but are very useful. And the more I read and write the more sources I find. So a problem now is to draw a line somewhere, realising that there is potential to write much more about the subject but focusing on the important parts. One important part for my project is the game design. for 2 main reasons: More »

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Finding landmarks

So the function for the 3d models works now I “just” need to find suitable models.

Well starting with the first question, how do I find out which buildings are landmarks or iconic in a city?
At the very beginning of the project I thought, well that’s easy. I just type the city name into the google warehouse search and sort by most popular et voila. And to be fair: Yes it canworks like this, for cities like Edinburgh, London and well maybe Berlin… but what about Beijing? More »

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The list

Soooo I finally finished researching the cities.. that was some work. The first question that has been bothering me for a while was how to select cities? Which ones will be included in the game? At first I thought I would take the largest cities in the world. but that would mean that you can play for example 20 games in China and not many in Europe. Another problem is more a personal one: I want to include Edinburgh. And the reason is quite simple: If my game will work how I think it can, I will demonstrate it in university and to the tutors, in Edinburgh. So if the game will integrate the current weather situation it would be very handy to proof that it really works. So in the demonstration I can play the Edinburgh scenario, and it will probably rain in the game because it is rainin~g outside as well. But Edinburgh only has ~500.000 inhabitants. So I would have to put in many many other cities until I can add Edinburgh. The solution: The 150 biggest capital cities in the world. This way every country only gets one city and Edinburgh is place number 129. More »

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There are boundaries

While researching the different dynamic elements I am going to integrate into my game I sadly realised that I can’t make the game “as dynamic as I wanted it to be”. And that is due to resources. The main problem are the city boundaries. I tried all sort of different maps and I even asked in a couple of forums. Conclusion: Google Maps seems to be the only online map service that will offer the display of city boundaries. But here is the problem: As I said, it WILL offer them. At the moment, there is no possibility to add a city boundary layer in the google maps api. The only way to see them is to type a city name and map into the normal google search. Google will come up with a picture like this

As you can see, the boundary isn’t complete. The road names hide part of the outline. Additionally for some cities the boundaries are cut off. More »

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To make a start…

I have a tendency to do first what I am good at and leave till later what I am not good at. And for this project it is the writing part I am not good at. I think it has to do with the language. There is a certain level of writing required in university project and particularly the honours project, that I believe one can only be good at if they went to school speaking this language. More »

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Server Communication

Last night I was ready to post my Papervision tutorial. In fact, I already published it, but reading through it it didn’t work anymore. The flash file was simply not loading any model. So I started an investigation. Exactly the same file did work from my computer. A problem of my server? I did then upload the file to different servers with the same result, not loading anything. After some research I found out that it isn’t easily possible to create a Papervision project that loads external assets. There were many forum posts, questions and suggested workarounds for example for loading video material in Papervsion. And why is that?
More »

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One of those days

I believe there are days where everything falls into place, and some days just about nothing works out. Today is one of these days where nothing works out.
I wanted to finish writing up my Papervision Tutorial and I thought I just had to clean up the script a little and write about what I had done. So I decided to use some different models for the tutorial and all of a sudden nothing works any more. First I spend 2 hours trying to get the script to display anything. Then I found out that the resizing didn’t work properly on the new model. I tried other models and they just cause Flash to crash, although they are only ~50kb . So I tried out more models and now it seems that the once I used previously are about the only ones that worked… I don’t know if the problem is the models or me being stupid and missing something. But if I can’t work out anything I probably have to scrap the Papervision idea, which would really be annoying since I spend so much time on it already. But since I believe there are these days and those days I will just leave it for now and maybe tomorrow magically everything works again.

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