Student Name:

Aaron Mulligan

Proposed Final Project Title:

Create a meaningful skill based mechanic based on reloading a gun which will be tested in a game state to gain positive feedback by players

Development Blog URL:

 amulliganblog.wordpress.com

Brief Outline of Work:

Most modern shooters make reloading guns in a game by the press of a button and waiting for their character to reload the gun. With the introduction of VR and smart phones there have been a few games allowing players to manually reload guns, however I want to consider trying to turn reloading a weapon into a mechanic without being too frustrating to players.

 

The main objective is to turn reloading a gun from meaningless busywork to a meaningful skill based twitch mechanic. I will do this by creating a sequence mechanic which players must follow to reload the gun correctly, with prompts on screen if they are stuck trying to figure it out. This will turn reloading a gun into more of a skill based event where more skilled players will reload faster than those that are new to the mechanic. This will then be followed up by having players’ playtest the mechanic and offer their feedback about it.

 

Rationale for The Project:

The professional rationale for this project relates to the job examples (See examples of jobs) where for job titles of ‘game designer’ they want designers who can create new game mechanics as well as tune gameplay features based on feedback. My proposal covers this well as I am taking a meaningless busywork task and turning it into a more meaningful skill based mechanic which players will then test.

The academic rationale for this project is to allow players to be able to relate more closely to how a real gun works by forcing the player to reload the gun themselves, rather than just pressing a button and waiting for an animation to finish for them to begin shooting again.

Method:

I want to focus on making the reloading sequence for a gun into a mechanic, therefore I will be focusing more on scripting a gun rather than modelling one. This means I will either find a gun model online or create a rough gun model that I’ll use to test my reloading mechanic, so long as the model is game ready and can be imported to Unity. I want to make it so players use the keyboard to reload the gun so this will be based on PC only.

I then want to focus on playtesting the mechanic to see if other players can use the gun. I will do this by setting up a simple game state scenario which players must complete while I collect qualitative data observing players’ playtesting the mechanic to see if they can complete the task. Then I will ask them for their feedback on the mechanic which I will then compile into an overview document where I will evaluate the mechanic and see if there is any way to iterate it further or if it needs more work on.

3DS Max – I will be using 3DS Max to create a 3D model of the gun. Since the model of the gun is not too important I will only be looking to focus on the gun being game ready and to take the form of a gun type. Texturing the model is also not too important so I will only have a diffuse colour on it. I will also be using 3DS Max to animate the gun as it will be easier to do than on Unity.

Unity – I will be using Unity to import the gun into Unity and then script it using C# to fire and reload. Also I want to create a basic character controller to move with the gun attached with a crosshair in the middle of the screen which I will then use for creating a game state for players play testing the mechanic. This is so I can record how well they do with the mechanic for which I can then iterate or improve on after the play testing.

Microsoft Word – I will be using Word to create my documents on, specifically a questionnaire for during the play testing stages where I want to ask players for feedback about the game mechanic. I can also use Word to create different graphs to show my feedback and results from the game tests and for showing how I can improve the game mechanic.

Photoshop – I will be using Photoshop for creating the diffuse colour for the 3D Model which will be 1024×1024 pixels. I then will use Photoshop for the artwork for the game state such as drawing up the rules for the game or creating images of the prompts to help players reload the gun.

 

Examples of Jobs:

Nordeus: Game Designer – ‘Designing new game mechanics, and improving existing ones’.

‘Experience using Unity’

‘Ability to design & run, and analyse live game tests’

My proposal is based around creating a new game mechanic for reloading which I want to have players test while I record their feedback. Plus I am using Unity to script and create a scenario for players to playtest.

 

YAGER: Game Designer – ‘Iterate, balance and tune gameplay features based on ideas and feedback from team, QA and playtesting during whole production’

After playtesting my mechanic, I will be evaluating my feedback and results from playtesting so then I can come up with ways I can iterate and balance the mechanic to make it easier to use by players as well as avoiding too much frustration.

 

Amplitude Studios: Game Designer – ‘Design gameplay mechanics & systems, proactively anticipate problems and propose solutions’

With designing my gameplay mechanic the first problem I anticipated was that the mechanic could be too frustrating to players. My proposed solution would be to make the reloading mechanic simple to do based on the skill of the player, with possibly an indicator to say what button needs to be pressed to further the reload sequence.

Final product

The final product to be marked will consist of:

  • A blog containing updates on project progress and iteration feedback cycles
  • One Unity file containing the game state used during testing
  • C# file used for the reload mechanic of the gun
  • A 1000 Word document containing:
    • All the results of the feedback during the player testing (shown as charts)
    • Detailed analysis based on the feedback given
    • A summary on how the reload mechanic can be improved/iterated

 

 

Bibliographical item Summary
1. Amplitude Studios, (2016) Senior Game Designer. (online) GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: http://jobs.gamesindustry.biz/sega-europe/uk-and-europe/senior-game-designer-id88043 (Accessed 7 Nov. 2016). Job offer online for senior game designer role by Amplitude Studios. Useful for seeing how my brief can meet professional applications.
2. BeachThunder, daveyd, and TheRedSnifit, (2013) Reloading (Concept) – Giant Bomb. (online) Giantbomb.com. Available at: http://www.giantbomb.com/reloading/3015-505/ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). An article which covers how most FPS games use the same concept of reloading which is to press a button and wait for the reload animation to finish. Useful to see the stereotype of reloading in games.
3. Browning, J. (2012) Bolt Action Rifle Animation. (online) YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKa4OQBejKQ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016).

 

A video to show how the mechanism of a bolt action rifle works. Useful as my research currently points towards using a bolt action rifle.
4. Crimson Moon Entertainment LLC, (2016) iGun Pro – The Original Gun Application on the App Store. (game) Itunes App Store. Available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/igun-pro-original-gun-application/id301517052?mt=8 (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). An app which allows you to test out various weapons by shooting them and reloading them.  Useful to see various guns and how they reload.
5. Gunsandcrime.org. (2016) TYPES OF GUNS AND “ACTIONS” (gunsandcrime) (online) Available at: http://www.gunsandcrime.org/guntypes.html (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A website run by an organization detailing types of guns. Useful for putting guns into categories.
6. hedfone, and daveyd, (2013) Active Reload (Concept) – Giant Bomb. (online) Giantbomb.com. Available at: http://www.giantbomb.com/active-reload/3015-48/ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). An article which covers a different way reloading was interpreted in some shooters. Useful to see how other games designed reloading.
7. Jarvis, M. (2016) Vertigo talks VR’s arcade heritage, reinventing the reload and not asking too much of players. (online) Develop-online.net. Available at: http://www.develop-online.net/interview/vertigo-talks-vr-s-arcade-heritage-reinventing-the-reload-and-not-asking-too-much-of-players/0219232 (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). An article which covers how VR allows players to reload guns realistically rather than just by a press of a button. This is what inspired me to make the project.
8. Noble Empire Corp., (2014) World of Guns: Gun Disassembly on Steam. (game) Store.steampowered.com. Available at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/262410/ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A game which shows the disassembly of guns, allowing players to look at the components inside a gun. Can also use it to test certain guns.
9. Nordeus, (2016) Game Designer. (online) GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: http://jobs.gamesindustry.biz/nordeus/uk-and-europe/game-designer-id86998 (Accessed 7 Nov. 2016).

 

Job offer online for game designer role by Nordeus. Useful for seeing how my brief can meet professional applications.

 

 

 

10. Nunley, K. (2016) How Does a Rifle Work? | eHow. (online) eHow. Available at: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4741146_a-rifle-work.html (Accessed 12 Oct. 2016). Insight to how rifles function and what their purpose is. Useful as my research was narrowing towards using rifles for my project.
 

11.

 

Rogers, S. (2014) Level up!. Hoboken: Wiley, pp.262-267.

 

 

 

Generally talks about guns in gaming and asks questions in specific fields (example, questions about reloading and how will it affect the player). Useful since I will be answering these questions as I go through my project.
 

12.

 

RUST LTD., (2016) Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades on Steam. (game) Store.steampowered.com. Available at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/450540/ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A VR first person shooter which focuses on letting the player reload guns themselves. This game was what inspired my proposal idea.
 

13.

 

Sky, R. (2014) Tactical Shooter Pro Gaming Performance Guide. 1st ed. (ebook) Brent Bergeron Jr., Reloading Tactics. Available at: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tactical_Shooter_Pro_Gaming_Performance_Guide?id=Ny9fDAAAQBAJ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A guide online to effective reloading in a game. Useful to look at when the best time to reload from a gamer’s perspective to use for the game tests.
 

14.

 

TV Tropes. (2016) All-or-Nothing Reloads – TV Tropes. (online) Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllOrNothingReloads (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). Talks about a concept called ‘All or Nothing Reloads’, where some games force the player to finish reloading before doing anything else. A useful term to use for describing reloading a gun for my project.
 

15.

 

Vunsunta, (2013) Steam Workshop :: FA:S 2.0 Alpha SWEPs. (online) Steamcommunity.com. Available at: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180507408 (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A mod for a game which includes a variety of guns, particularly some that needs an extra input to reload the gun (example: every shot of the pump action shotgun requires the player to press R to pump the next shell). Inspired my proposal idea.
 

16.

 

Wolfire Games, (2013) Receiver on Steam. (game) Store.steampowered.com. Available at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234190/ (Accessed 4 Nov. 2016). A game which explores gun handling mechanics, allowing players to reload the guns semi manually by taking the clip out and filling with bullets. Useful to see how others have attempted to create this mechanic.
 

17.

 

YAGER, (2016) Game Designer (f/m) (online) GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: http://jobs.gamesindustry.biz/yager-development/uk-and-europe/game-designer–f-m–id87780 (Accessed 7 Nov. 2016). Job offer online for game designer role by YAGER. Useful for seeing how my brief can meet professional applications.


Project Milestone

Each week I will be looking to upload one post to my blog going over what I have done during that week and what will I be doing next week.

Project Milestones
2016 — 17 Week # Milestone Deliverables and Tasks
26 – 30 Sept Week 1 Research – Coming up with a project title (How to turn reloading a gun into a meaningful mechanic?)
3 – 7 Oct Week 2 Research – What gun types there are
10 – 14 Oct Week 3 Research – Carry on researching what gun types then narrowing down my options to a few specific guns
17 – 21 Oct Week 4 Research – More thorough research into the few specific guns I chose
24 – 28 Oct Week 5 Research – Narrow down the gun type further between two gun types
31 Oct – 4 Nov Week 6 Research – Consider how I could use the two gun types to turn their reloading into a mechanic
7 – 11 Nov Week 7 Research – Choose the final gun type and start to look at what specific gun model to use
14 – 18 Nov Week 8  Submission of Final Project Proposal: by noon, Friday 18 Nov 2016

Research – Finalize what gun model I will use

21 – 25 Nov Week 9 Modelling – Chose the model for the gun and now making it game ready for Unity.
28 Nov – 3 Dec Week 10 Modelling – Finish off making the gun model game ready so it can be imported into Unity.
5 – 9 Dec Week 11 Animating – Start animating the reload sequence for the gun.
12 – 16 Dec Week 12 Animating – Continue animating the reload sequence for the gun, making sure it is a smooth transition with no problems.
19 – 23 Dec Animating – Finish off animating, import all the gun and animation to Unity
26 – 30 Dec Winterval

Scripting – Create the player character’s movement and positioning the gun on the player character

2 – 6 Jan
9 – 13 Jan Scripting – Start scripting the gun to shoot a bullet and adding a crosshair to the screen for players to see where they are shooting
16 – 20 Jan Scripting – Make the gun unable to shoot another bullet until a Boolean is set to true (which is set by reloading)
23 – 27 Jan Week 13 Scripting – Continue to script the gun – start scripting the guns reload animation to play when a key is pressed
30 Jan – 4 Feb Week 14 Scripting – Continue reloading animation script
6 – 10 Feb Week 15 Seminar Presentations – if necessary continue reload animation script, playtest self to see if all is working
13 – 17 Feb Week 16 Seminar Presentations – start creating a scene for playtesting
20 – 24 Feb Week 17 Scripting – Continue creating scene to playtest – must have 3 different test trials
27 Feb – 3 Mar Week 18 Scripting – Finish off creating playtest scene – must be able to record player results
6 – 10 Mar Week 19 Playtesting – Design document to record players’ playtesting, specifically for qualitative data.
13 – 17 Mar Week 20 Playtesting – Begin playtesting – focusing on getting at least 10 people to playtest
20 – 24 Mar Week 21 Playtesting – Gather results and look at iterating the mechanic from the feedback
27 – 31 Mar Week 22 Playtesting – focusing on getting at least 10 people to playtest
3 – 7 Apr Week 23 Playtesting – Gather results and compare the two iterations of the reload mechanic
10 – 14 Apr Spring Fertility Festival – Finish write up results
17 – 21 Apr
24 – 28 Apr Week 24 Submission of Final Product and Blog: by noon, Fri 28 Apr 2017

 

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