Task 5.1 – Produce a final evaluation.
a. How has your diorama met the needs of your audience?
My diorama meets the needs of my audience because I kept it all child friendly, my game has no bad language or gore, and it’s not too challenging to play, it is an endless runner, which is what I feel like children would enjoy playing since it is fast paced and endless, they would want to challenge their friends and see who can get the furthest and highest score. Another way this relates to my audience is that it is low poly and cartoon styles, the player character is a small fun looking cowboy, and the background is a bright desert with bright green plants and wildlife in, another reason I think my game fits my audience is because of the sound effects and music, the music is fun and upbeat, making the game feel even more fast paced and would make the player enjoy the game more, the sounds effects are all fun, for example, the splat effect when the player runs into something, or the high pitched chime when the player picks up a coin.
It also meets the audience since my UI is immersive, with the play and quit buttons on the wanted poster.
b. How did your audience research inform the development of your idea?
My research has reflected my final piece a lot, since at first I wasn’t going to do an endless runner, but once I done my audience research, I figured that an endless runner would be perfect to do for my audience, beforehand I was going to do an FPS game, but I’m glad that I done my research and picked to do an endless runner.
Another way my research has changed my work in a good way is colour research, I know young kids, like my target audience love bright colours, so that’s what I tried to implement, I saturated my materials to give a brighter vibe to the game which would draw my audience into playing it.
And my statistics made me pick my audience to be young males, and the reason I picked males is because I believe they would be more interested in a western-style game in comparison to females.
My research also impacted my final project because the statistics told me that most people game on their mobiles, so knowing this I done some quick research on the most popular mobile games, and in the bunch of results were both Subway Surfers and Temple Run, and these are both endless runners, proving this category of games to be popular amongst mobile gamers, but, in the end my game didn’t work out well on mobile.
And from the image on the right, I can see that 63% of children aged 5-7 play games, and 67% of them use a tablet to go online, using this statistical data I concluded that these children play a lot of games on their device so it would be easy for me to make a mobile game catered toward that age group.
c. Reflect on your learning and skills.
From doing this project, I have learnt a lot about using Unreal Engine and Git, the times I have learnt the most have been the times where I have an error, or I’ve messed up on something so I had to do research on it or try and figure out a solution, an example of this is when I had to revert back to a previous commit on Git, and I was facing errors left right and center until I found a solution and the only reason it all didn’t work was because of one singular project file. Doing this made me learn more about how to use Git, TortoiseGit in particular.
Another thing I learnt is about importing animated 3D player models into Unreal Engine, I had no idea how to do this, I just assumed you dragged it in and it would work right off the bat, but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t do any research into how to do this as I felt like it would be a better learning experience if I done trail and error, so I got my character model and imported it into Unreal Engine, but I soon realized that, of course the Unreal Engine running model won’t work on the imported model since that model didn’t have the same bone size and rigging as the Unreal Engine player model, so that’s when I went to Mixamo, and Imported the player model I needed and picked animations from there.
I eventually found a running animation which I liked and stuck to that for now, I knew I probably need jumping animations as well, but I left that for later.
I then imported that model with the animations into Unreal Engine and there was a big pop up which I hadn’t seen before, so I read the stuff in it to try and understand a little more, there was a section on animation, bones, and all sorts, so I ticked the boxes like I wanted the mesh to use the appropriate skeleton for it’s model and I wanted the animation to loop, and then I imported it, it all worked fine, except now I didn’t know how to replace the player model with this cowboy player model.
But after some digging around in the viewports, and the over view I eventually found somewhere where I can replace the player character in-game with.
So I did that, but he was tiny, microscopically tiny, that was an easy fix, I just scaled him up, and then adjusted the collider capsule, and pressed play, and everything worked how I wanted it to, and I even found out that jumping with the running animation still playing just makes it look more cartoony, which is a style I was personally going for, but later on I changed that so the cowboy had seperate animations, and doing this helped me learn about how to use animation blueprints.
Another thing I learnt from this project is about cinematic cutscenes, and how to use the level sequencer in UE4, this is very useful since I can use the stuff I’ve learnt for other projects too.
I’ve also learnt about how I can get UI working in my game, since I’ve not used any widget UI tools in UE4 before, this was useful to learn, although some things I did find complicated but I eventually found a solution to them.
d. Review your research and final product and identify how it reflects the identified characteristics and context of a level design.
My research on 3D models have really helped me since if I didn’t do my research on 3D models, I would have no idea how I could plan out how my game is stylized and how it looked.
Using 3D models I have picked out helped me come up with concept sketches of the game environment.
This way, when I came to making my game, I had a better idea of where I want everything to be, so I can just download the models, try out all the different ones and see which ones fit the best together, after following my concepts, I came up with the game which looked very similar to my second concept art.
Another way my research has effected my final project is the small concept art sketches I had done throughout the project.
My wanted poster concept which got put into the game, it turned out just like the concept art which I’ve done for it.
My cutscene storyboard which I done which got put into the game just like the scenes on the storyboard.
My game relates to level design because I had to plan out how I can get the levels to work, was I going to make my own levels? or was I going to randomly generate them.
I chose to randomly generate the levels and scenery, since I felt like it offers more for the player so they can keep playing over and over with different randomized levels so it’s unique and has more replayability.
I feel like games like this need randomized levels since it would quickly get boring if it isn’t random since it’s not like an open world, there is restrictions so I needed to make it so there was restrictions but nothing felt the same and it was fun to play more.
I knew that this was an awful way to tackle my level
e. Reflect on peer and tutor feedback.
I have followed my peer feedback to improve the quality of my work so that I know what I can do to get a higher grade.
I feel like peer feedback is very useful since, if other people review your work, they can see stuff which you can add which you may have not seen looking at it yourself.
From my feedback, I’ve taken action and improved my work from my missing and incomplete work section, I have also followed all of my student action plans.
For example, I now have a definition of level design, along with a screenshot on my blog and I’ve added much more description into my research on interim deadline 2 feedback, like pros and cons on each model which I’ve looked at.
And from my latest peer review, I improved my work by adding my final peer review and finishing this evaluation.