Sprint 5 – ‘The Hangover’

For the past sprint we have been building out the environment around the apartment and looking at a few assets to add detail to our game. Below you can see some of the building exterior created for around our apartment.

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Using Probuilder we have been able to quickly create buildings to put in our environment to create a nice landscape if looking outside the apartment. Below we are making an apartment building from our street in Washington, this took about 45 minutes to complete.

IMG_1566

Check out the time lapse of this process on our Instagram: Building – Time Lapse

We have been trying out a new third person control called Ultimate Third Person. It seems to be pretty powerful and the best bit is, it is really smooth. Here we are integrating this code into our main build, including opening a door function.

The last thing we have been doing is building a NPC Script. Starting off with a basic tutorial we then enhanced that script to have both a patrol function. Where the NPC patrols between set way-points. A pursue function, where the NPC starts following the character when you come into range. Once leaving that range the NPC returns to patrolling. Lastly a stand still function, where if the NPC gets close enough to the character it standstills, thus ready for a conversation. You can see the NPC here patrolling.

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The complete script is below. NPC Patrol, Pursue, Standstill class:

 public class chase : MonoBehaviour {
public Transform player;
Animator anim;
string state = "patrol";
public GameObject[] waypoints;
int currentWP = 0;
float rotSpeed = 1f;
//float speed = 3f;
float accuracyWP = 2.0f;

// Use this for initialization
void Start ()
{
 anim = GetComponent ();
}
//patrol method
void Patrol(Vector3 direction)
{
if (Vector3.Distance (waypoints [currentWP].transform.position, transform.position) = waypoints.Length)
{
  currentWP = 0;
 }
}
direction = waypoints [currentWP].transform.position - transform.position;
this.transform.rotation = Quaternion.Slerp (transform.rotation, Quaternion.LookRotation (direction), 0.1f);
this.transform.Translate (0, 0, 0.05f);
}

//pursue method
void Pursue(Vector3 direction)
{
this.transform.rotation = Quaternion.Slerp (this.transform.rotation, Quaternion.LookRotation (direction), 0.1f);
//Slerp makes a smooth turn

this.transform.Translate (0, 0, 0.05f);
anim.SetFloat ("Forward Input", 1f);

}

void Standstill()
{
 anim.SetFloat ("Forward Input", 0f);
}

// Update is called once per frame
void Update ()
{
Vector3 direction = player.position - this.transform.position;
//Works out the distance
direction.y = 0;
//stops them falling over on the Y axis
anim.SetFloat ("Forward Input", 1f);
//anim.SetFloat ("Forward Input", 1f);

//if to far away patrol, if close pursue
if (Vector3.Distance (player.position, this.transform.position) > 3) {
Patrol (direction);
}else if (Vector3.Distance (player.position, this.transform.position) < 1){
Standstill ();
}
else {
Pursue (direction);
  }
}
} 

Lastly want to say a big thank you to all our followers as we hit 1000 on Instagram!

Till next time.

Sprint 4 – ‘The Animator’

“‘At least you’ll be getting some sunlight today. The Chief of Staff has me running around the office today calming the nerves of our policy director’.

‘For what reason? Do you know something I don’t?’

‘Not yet, but I’m told you’ll be calling the shots today. Apparently the big man thinks it’s time for you to come to the conclusions for him. I think they might be planning on listening to you today’.

‘Does nobody know what the hell is going on?’ He replied with a tone of impatience.” – ch 1

Sprint 4 has been a very interesting time at Picklock Games. We finally have a decent looking prototype for John’s apartment. This has been the process of white-boarding, arguing and lots of googling about common heights and on a few occasions has even involved a tape measure coming out, getting an average size of kitchen cupboards.

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4.jpg

1.jpg

Whilst no means a production quality output, we are happy with how it is progressing for the end to end prototype.

The next objective of the sprint was to connect some of the other areas we have been working on, finally starting to create the world John lives in. Using the probuilder tool and some great assets we have pulled together the rooms of John’s neighbours.

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The sprint velocity suffered a little this sprint, we have had issues with productivity within the team. We have had both IT failures (bad for 3 IT professionals) and the delay of work. We had aimed on having John actually in his apartment, but rolling with the punches (and prioritizing) we have re-planned and all up had a productive sprint.  We are looking into building proper repos with SourceTree and Bitbucket and are fine tuning the use of assets and checking in our builds.

What’s next? Working on finishing the apartment complex, including a lift so there is the start of player choice for the interactions in John’s life and finally will starting including AI controls and NPC into the game.


This is a screenshot of some of Sean’s current work this sprint – The elevator with maneuverable doors, providing one of the ways in which John can reach his destination (the ground floor). Each way has it’s own choices and outcomes!

Stay in touch with us during the week through our Facebook- picklockgames and Instagram.
Until next time

#DevTeam

In the build: Unification day

‘Again John?’.

In awareness now of the smell of burning flesh, he still felt no reason to speak, but a sudden and familiar feeling of guilt had overcome his emotions. The man held out his right hand to pass Johns own cell-phone over to him.

Instinctively he reached cautiously, suspiciously. The man pulled his waiting hand away and gazed into John’s eyes.

‘Answer it John’.

A heavy breath of air escaped as he arose quickly from his sleep, lifting him up as the shock of the events he had witnessed dissolved like it always did.

His phone was ringing on silent, vibrating as it moved closer and closer to the edge of the bedside table. He struggled to the edge of the bed, reaching out blindly to collect the phone before it fell.  Eyes cloudy, he reviewed the screen.

The caller ID was withheld, but to John that was more of a tell than a name could ever be. He swiped at the screen to answer, and with a breath he raised the phone to his ear. His assistant Maggie was on the other end.

‘We need you in John. Soon as you can make it – sooner’.

The sound of desperation made the immediacy of her request all the more apparent. John coughed through the microphone, holding it away from his mouth momentarily, only to notice the number of missed calls had reached 13.

‘What time is it?’
‘6 AM, but John have you seen the report?’
‘6 AM?’

His voice was firm, dry from the night’s indiscretions, unapologetic yet unangered.
‘Yes John’, she affirmed, ‘but John, the report. Turn on your TV’.

He looked down. The bottle had fallen over, but what had remained in it had not left much of a mark on his shirt, instead pouring down the summer blanket and onto the cream thick pile carpet. The remote was within arm’s reach, and when the bright panel ceased to sting his eyes he could make out footage of a deep pit. – Ch.1 The Call

A lot has been happening over the last week on the Deep Earth development schedule! We met Friday night for our weekly dev night, with unification on the plan. Each of us have had backlog items to finish before meeting up to join our work into one singular level. In this instance, we have been hard at work developing the apartment scene, where John wakes up to the sound of his phone after a night of drinking and feverish dreams.

Regulation fire stairs

If you have been keeping up to date on our work via Instagram, Facebook or even Twitter (and that’s a shout out to visit and subscribe if you might be so inclined 😉 ) Scott has been busy building the fire stairs for John’s apartment. We have had wonderful community involvement in this area, and have been listening to your thoughts and recommendations!

John’s palatial apartment

John’s apartment is coming along nicely! David has designed the layout, and developed the prototype, which includes a mezzanine with all the luxurious features a highly paid scientific advisor might desire (even though John no longer cares for luxury).

Unification day!

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There it is folks, the end-to-end scene (minus the elevator) for John’s apartment. A number of game scenes will use this space, over the course of about 4 of John’s years in game. Scenes of love, heartache and existential crisis. You can see the foyer, fire stairs, hallway and John’s apartment at the back. Prototyping an end-to-end scene allows us to build a backlog of features that we can incrementally implement. Notice the attention to detail in the staircase as opposed to the foyer. More changes and improvements will come with time.

Artistry and animation

Here we are trying out our new motion capture tools. Pretty exciting stuff! We are also investigating the most appropriate character modeling tools and are actively looking for a concept artist to help bring our ideas to page. If you are Canberra, Australia based, we want to talk with you! Perhaps a comic book is in order?

Sprint 4  “The Animator” backlog

What is in our next week long sprint of work?

  • Elevator development, including animation and access control
  • Locating a concept artist
  • Investigating modeling tools (character creation)
  • Upgrading the apartment
  • Developing a first and 3rd person controller
  • Animating the player

Until next time…

Scott, Sean and David.

In the build: Dev Days, Pizza and Dogs

We continue to meet regularly holding ‘dev nights’ to further the build for the first prototype of ‘Deep Earth’.

See the pictures below or check out our Instagram to see the progress of the build.

Fueled by Domino’s (hook us up!).

We have been focusing on the apartment of main character John. For this we need to make almost a complete building that the player can move through.

To achieve this we each have been working on a different component to make up the apartment building.

We have been loving the progress and easy of use of ProBuilder.

hallway

In ProBuilder first we have been focusing on the structures before adding materials and textures. Here you can see a basic hallway with apartment doors, fire stairs and elevator.

We used the ‘Subdivide Faces’ and ‘Connect Edges’ features in ProBuilder to create the variety of door ways and arches by working out the faces needed for each. This allows us to quickly build simply structures and scale them to their real world counter parts.

Hopefully we will have this level done very soon. Till next time…

It’s Deep….

“It was still too early for the suns first rays to beckon the hustle and bustle of DC, and for the fourth consecutive night in a row, john had fallen asleep clutching his golden bottle of whiskey. Too sober to have fallen into a deeper sleep, his subconscious mind listened to the garbage-men on their rounds down 19th, slowly painting them into his dreams.” – Ch.1 The Call

It’s getting busy at Picklock Games. We recently completed the storyboard and design concepts for the end to end, playable prototype!.

That night we decided to pair programme and develop an entire scene and quickly produced several prototypes of the apartment complex in which John lived. We discussed a lot of different apartment styles that represented some of the awesome places we have stayed in Washington D.C

By 11:00pm we were grateful for Probuilder! (that is one hell of a tool) for the time it saved building rooms and also many arguments on regulation height entrances for elevators (aka ‘lifts’ here in Australia). The paired programming itself was an rewarding experience as we caught lots of bugs early in our scripting and managed to trace the source of a misbehaving camera that had alluded David previously in the night.

Work on the novel has recommenced and with Game of Thrones just around the corner we must be channelling George R.R. Martin as we now think the complete Story of John.R is going to be a trilogy (we promise to actually release it though…. :P). The first book is now half written with our plot points full developed.

What has our next prototype sprint got in store? We are aiming to have completely playable scenes with rich textures, materials and basic gameplay incorporated.

Until next time

– D

 

An introduction to PickLock Games and our project – codenamed ‘Deep Earth’

Logo GIF

Welcome strangers to our grand introduction! This is our first post outlining who we are and what we are doing here on this blog, and on the project (codenamed ‘Deep Earth’). This blog will hopefully give you an idea about who we are (all 3 of us), and what we are working on as our first video game project.

Codenamed ‘Deep Earth’

Deep Earth promotion 1.png

Let us formally introduce our game – codenamed ‘Deep Earth’. We don’t want to give away the title just yet, because the book is presently in the works too! The short novel by Scott started it all, and has lead us on a journey of discovery.

Deep Earth is a story driven exploration game, in development through the Unity platform. We are currently in the prototyping phase at the moment, but we have big plans should things look good by the end of this phase.

Science! This game is all about science, religion and morality. You play as John R, a lead government scientist who’s life has taken a turn. His experiences and thoughts, as well as those of his friends and co-workers guide him through the decisions he must face in story. He will see travel and exploration, feel horror, sadness and confusing, all the while painting his travels with his own cynical brand of humor. Other characters will be playable too, and we plan a fully voiced cast!

We haven’t found the perfect character design for John just yet. But the below concept art has been progressing.

IMG_1454John1.1John1

As well as those of his best friend and co-worker Raymond C, and his secretary Maggie K.

RaymondMaggiev3

We want the player to feel the moments of triumph, desperation and existential confusing that John and others will be experiencing, so we will be exploring John’s life, his secrets and motivations and delve into the depths of his moral code.

Check out our last blog post (link here) to learn about how the development is going.

 

IMG_1449

We plan to have a working prototype going soon, then to broaden it out into a high quality playable demo to take to the gamers to try themselves.

Who are we?

PickLock Games is comprised of three IT professionals working and living in Australia’s capital city Canberra. Two Agile Coaches and one Project Manager.

Team photo2

Scott is the storyteller and 3d modeler. An Agile coach/Business analyst who has been playing with 3d modeling and game design for years. He has worked on virtual reality, pc game design and has far too many hobbies.

David is the visionary and project manager. He can see a good idea from a mile away (or approximately 1.60934kms). David has 10 years of ICT delivery experience, including in transformational IT projects. He plans to utilise his skill set to deliver a high end and enjoyable game. He will also be working in code and 3d design.

Sean is the technician and principle developer. (not pictured). Sean has 10 years in Agile development, including large scale ICT applications and custom built solutions.

That just about does it for this blog entry. Keep watching this space for more blog entries to come as we continue out journey.

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In the beginning

We have been busy working away and building out our ideas and knowledge with our first game, which is in its early development stages. What you see here has been produced through unity.

Concepts

Below is the start of our ideas and different thoughts put on paper. Building out what we want to do in the story, the scenes we want to see and the character interactions.

Character Models

First look at some concepts for different characters that could possibly be in the game.

Dream Sequence

The following is a dream sequence scene we have been working on. Here trying out some different lighting and effects overlapped to see what we could produce.

Cave System

The other scene we have been developing is a cave system. For this we used the ProBuilder plugin which we have found to be very useful to create environments very rapidly. It has been a joy to use. Again working on our lighting and what effects we could use to change it up.

Other news

The base prototype is in progress as we are looking to hopefully have something playable in the next couple months.

Talk again soon.