CS 462 – Post #1
Hey everyone! Welcome to another term of Capstone blogs! It’s been great setting up our project so far, and it’s finally time to start really digging into the implementation of our project.
This week, my team and I got together after a nice winter break to talk about our planning for the first sprint, as well as the first standup meeting for the first week. While initially we felt that it would be hard to split up out tasks from last term, we were able to come together as a group to figure out our tasks for the first sprint, which will consist of a general setup for our project. In other words, we will make sure that everything is prepared to start developing our game-specific code and let our creativity really come through.
For one of the first times this year, all three of my team members were able to voice chat (hard with asynchronous issues), which was nice to start off the term on a good foot! I’m excited to continue to work on this project with my fantastic team!
CS 462 – Post #2
Alrighty, welcome to the second blog post of the term! This week was a little more action packed as my team started to run into some obstacles during development. Specifically, each one of us came upon an issue with setting up the Oculus Quest with our new VR space in unity.
While each of our problems was slightly different, all three of them related to setting up the Oculus hardware rather than any software issues. Luckily, all three of us were able to find a solution to our issues, making it so that our next sprint will be able to continue development.
For our next sprint, we are going to focus on creating the note blocks and other UI elements related to the player and enemy. While this doesn’t involve music yet, we should be able to create a basis for the music to come in later once we are able to parse it into beats that the note blocks will follow. Since we are all newer to Unity, we know that simpler tasks will probably take longer than we expect, so we are scheduling smaller tasks that can be expanded on if we have time.
So far, development has been smooth and our team is communicating well!
CS 462 – Post #3
Another week has gone by in Winter Term 2021, and also another week for the Capstone project. This week I felt like our team really started to hit our stride and coordinated exactly how we all felt like the project was going so far. Specifically, we had to fix some things on Trello in order to better distribute tasks.
After we figured out what exactly to do as a team, we each were able to make really cool contributions to the project and all started to learn Unity better and better. For example, I was able to make the note block objects disappear when hit with the VR controllers, specifically in a fist motion, and also make them explode into tinier cubes as if the cube had shattered. This process involved a lot of Unity functions and colliders, triggers, etc. to create the physics behind the objects. For my teammates, one of them created a basic UI for the player and enemy stats, which will be nice to see inside the game environment. The other one created the note block objects with designs and started to explore syncing them with rhythm of music. Overall, we felt like this was the first week where we really dove into Unity to start expanding our knowledge and build key aspects to our game.
We also all figured out our issues with the Oculus hardware so we can now efficiently test our prototypes separately. My team is looking forward to continuing development and reviewing each other’s code reviews in order to maximize our code!
CS 462 – Post #4
After week 5, our Capstone project is really moving along. Our team is hitting our stride and the next two weeks are going to hit the bulk of our project’s work.
Over the next two weeks, one of our team members is planning to work on incorporating music into our game. Since the VR game is mainly around rhythm, it will be important to get a basis of incorporating music into the game. This will involve getting the timing of beats and making the game do something in accordance to these beats. For now, this can be any event, but in the future will accord to the beat blocks coming through the strike zone.
Our second teammate will be focusing on the song stream and strike zone, which is essentially where the blocks will move through in the environment. This will keep them contained to a certain space that the player can see. Then, the strike zone will be where the player hits the note blocks.
Lastly, I will be focusing on the stat effects of the blocks. This includes the mana gain, player’s health decrease, and enemy’s health decrease. Since we haven’t incorporated hitting the block entirely, these events won’t be triggered on a block hit just yet. However, this can be introduced later.
Overall, these three tasks will create the foundation for next sprint’s tasks and will keep our team busy!
CS 462 – Post #5
Another week of Capstone is coming to a close as we get our alphas together for this week’s assignment. For my group, this was a big task since we were having trouble with GitHub. Specifically, we couldn’t merge our individual branches into the main branch to create a main alpha, but rather had to manually move files from our own branches into the main branch.
Luckily, Unity’s development makes it easy to have similar structure of code, so moving of files was more of a pain than anything else. As of now, our alpha is coming along, but we still have to figure out how to combine all of our progress together to make the prototype work as we want it.
Otherwise, this week consisted of tightening up personal development for the game, which included dealing with the note blocks. Specifically, I made sure the shatter effect worked for all three of our block colors, which included making more prefabs that could easily be worked with in the scene. Also, the blocks would sometimes spawn multiple destroyed blocks, which was fixed through a simple boolean check.
Hopefully our group can create an amazing alpha that the Professor is able to play on his own Oculus device!
CS 462 – Post #6
After working heavily on the Capstone project this week, I am very proud of where our alpha has come. I was able to work very efficiently with my team to put together a playable alpha that reflected all of our contributions to the project so far. Additionally, we were able to make a simple executable file for people to launch in order to test rather than having to deal with GitHub and downloading the associated packages in the game.
Last term, I remember hearing that you are only able to produce less than 50% of what you imagine your product to look like. While I definitely could see this occurring as our group has experienced many software and hardware problems already, I still think that we are on track to do a majority of what we planned on doing when we made the documents in Fall Term. Therefore, I am super excited to continue working on this project with my team.
That being said, our group had the first semi-disagreement this week of how the project should continue. It was difficult to discuss as we were trying to maneuver not hurting anyone’s feelings or making their work seem useless, but also continuing to improve the game by creating more efficient solutions. Thankfully, we were able to come to an agreement of how future development will run that satisfied both parties and can move forward as an effective team like always.
We hope that the Professor has a good time testing our alpha as we have spent hours making it to be as good as it could be!
CS 462 – Post #7
Another week has flown by as we are reaching the end of winter term. As everyone says, college has flown by and has continued to do so during senior year. This week, I was very busy with many of my classes as we head towards finals season.
Specifically, I focused more on my honors thesis project, which involves creating a computer graphic of animated hair. This will involve researching hair attributes and trying to mimic aspects of previous projects in order to synthesize my own hair graphic. Unlike fur, hair will be more variable and longer in order to flow easier.
This week was also nice as I was able to escape to the coast with my family and some friends/roommates. My family decided that, since everyone is remote, we might as well go for a little change of scenery and do our work while having a view of the Pacific. This has been nice to get out of the house a bit and enjoy fresh air. It was also nice to spend some quality time with friends and family during a very isolated pandemic. Even though it is only a few days, things like this are important to maintain good mental health and keep in good spirits.
For our capstone project, we are continuing development as usual and slowly making a game capable of multiple songs, RPG elements, and overall better user-friendly aspects. Hopefully we can create an excellent version by the time that we release the beta!
CS 462 – Post #8
Hello everyone! This will inevitably be the final blog post of Winter Term as we head into dead week and finals. It has been an action-packed term as we have made significant steps with our project, but it has all been a blast!
Looking into the end of the term, we have a few assignments coming up that should wrap up our project. Besides our big task of synthesizing the beta, we also have the beta team design document and final progress report. Even though we basically have everything finished up for our beta, we need to make sure that it all works together as quickly as possible in order to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. However, our beta should turn out great and will have a significant portion of what we had envisioned at the beginning of this project!
Overall, I’m excited to bring this project to a close as we head into Spring Term. I’m super proud at what our team has accomplished and look forward to testing out our beta, as well as giving our sponsor a chance to try it out for himself! Not to mention that I can show off the game to employers!