Seeing the Light At the End of the Tunnel

We’ve reached the midpoint of our Capstone project. We have a game that, I believe, meets the minimum standards of our project. I, myself, have only a rudimentary prototype of a room with a basic layout and puzzles. Now is the time to think of perfecting the User experience.

My room prototype is basically a square.

Square room Prototype

I’m working on creating more of a flow by adding a tunnel entrance that guides the User to their first puzzle.

Tunnel Entrance
Beginning User View

I’m going to incorporate better lighting to highlight key areas of the room for the User to explore and include some audio files. It completely slipped my mind to include sounds in the game. It didn’t occur to me earlier that people who play games more than likely expect them to have sounds. The software that we use also allows us to program sweeping camera shots for the User. I’m going to use these to further clue in the User on where in the room to go for the next puzzle.

One of my puzzles is a bit on the simplistic side. I’m going to upgrade it and make it a little more challenging and hopefully more fun to solve.

I’m still riding this rollercoaster of a project. Half the time, I’m soaring through the top of the loop the loops and I can envision a finished product and feel that it’s entirely doable. The other half of the time, I’m hundreds of pounds heavier at the bottom of the loop and feeling overwhelmed that this project will never get done. It’s a blessing that we’re paired up in teams and I’m fortunate to be paired with great teammates who help shoulder the load and sometimes take up a majority of the load.

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Blog Post #3

Always Treading Water

Sometimes it feels like everyone besides my teammates are conspiring to keep me back or slow me down; be it my job, my kids, their mother, my health. I’m always taking deep calming breaths throughout the day, wondering if I’m ever going to make any progress. Fortunately, the deep breathing still seems to help.

The software that we’re using (Unity) is really packed with numerous features. This can be a blessing and a curse, especially for new users of the program who are in a bit of a time crunch. I think everyone in our team seems grounded in their capabilities and what is and isn’t possible in our time frame. It still seems so overwhelming to tread through all the settings. I spent too much time on graphical elements of the program (we’re building a game after all) that I now have to focus on the script-writing that needs to be done for our game elements to behave/work properly.

I hit my first mental block as it wasn’t entirely clear to me how to tie the C# scripts to the game elements we were building. The Unity Editor presents a unique development environment wherein you can drag and drop a multitude of things for ease. Game elements can be dragged into user-programmed fields of scripts. Scripts can be dragged into game elements as components. When I’m faced with a plethora of ways to do any particular task, I tend to freeze up in indecision. It’s a terrible quirk of my psyche that I’m learning to control. I focused on the scripting tutorials supplied by Unity and built my first script a small chunk at a time in baby steps. Luckily, that seemed to do the trick and started opening up my understanding of what might be the most difficult task of our project. If anything, it will probably end up being the most labor-intensive task – writing the C# scripts needed to power the logic and behavior of our game and its elements.

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CS467 – Post #2

Greetings and salutations! I just wanted to take some time to post an update on what’s going on in my life in regards to my career and the Capstone project I’m involved in.

We’re in week 3 of the class! The time flies by relentlessly fast! It’s been as difficult as I thought it’d be juggling the raising of 4 kids as a single father and a full-time job on top of this class. I don’t seem to find the energy most of the time. I’ve been very fortunate to be in a group of top-notch teammates and involved in a project that I’m extremely interested in. That’s what gives me energy to delve through tutorial after tutorial in preparation for the project. There always seems to be another tutorial (or more) with each new task to be conquered.

We’re creating a 3D game using the same tools used by big name software companies. It’s been exciting and overwhelming and frustrating all at once. I’ve always considered myself a bit of a “part-time” gamer. The things that impressed me the most in the games that I’ve enjoyed in the past are the storyline, creative physics, and attention to detail that is often programmed into them. I’d rather be able to watch a game being played than to play the game myself. It’s much easier to appreciate the detailed elements of a game when one isn’t worried about losing a life or having to repeat a level. I hope to be able to emulate a smattering of the qualities of some of my favorite games into the game that I produce with my Capstone teammates. I hope this doesn’t prove to be too lofty a goal.

My schedule is filling out a lot more than I thought it would. Because of the heavy tutorial workload that this project requires, I’ll have to put my interview preparation on hold . I did a small bit of practice before the Capstone class started, with the hope that I’d be able to continue it while going through my Capstone class. It was nice to have some review of data structures. I’ll have to pick it up again in December, after this class is over.

I don’t want to make this too lengthy. I just wanted to blog a few things about the Capstone project I’m involved with and how things are going as far as job searching.

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Greetings to All

Just a quick entry as it’s after midnight and I should be getting to bed….

My name is Guillermo (Will) Haro.  I live in Boston with my 4 kids, their mother, a dog, cat, partridge in a p…..(again, it’s after midnight).

I’m a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in a reproductive endocrinology laboratory, helping couples have babies.  Previously, I worked in a blood bank at a major trauma center here in Boston.

I’ll type more later at a more decent hour.

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