Phase 4- Week 11: End of week review
Updated: May 5, 2019
Defining the game and gameplay
This past week has really come together for myself and Rubi. We have been working hard towards the games development document and the justification of our project. As well as resolving these ideas, we have been looking a lot into the technology we are interested in using to engage our audience and how it works.
At the start of this week I was still frustrated with not being able to define our game. From this I decided I was going to find the right words so that I'm not left with confused looks when describing the game to anyone. I started by creating a tiny mind-map of the key concepts of the game. From this I was able to form a sentence that really defines the game. It demonstrates that you take on the role of the sorcerer family and play the card game to solve a mystery. In short the gameplay is the process of getting to the next stage of the narrative.
This statement tells the audience what the game is, from it they can understand that it uses devices along with the cards to help progress. I then needed to explain the explicit stages of gameplay, explaining loosely the mechanics.
The longer gameplay description is:
The interactive card game requires users to go through a narrative as family of witches & wizards, at each stage casting a spell to go to the next stage of the narrative. Each player has a turn leading the game where they hold the key to the spell (the known ingredient). The other players guess the other required missing ingredient, by placing another ingredient card into a smart cauldron. Players then use devices such as tablets/smartphones to reveal the outcome of the spell with an AR animation. Successful spells move players onto the next part of the family narrative, unsuccessful spells continue the round to the next player. The
end of the game results in the players finishing the story and completing all the spells.
Tuesday was bittersweet. We picked up an Arduino to use to create the nfc reader from James and proceeded to pick up a Seeed Studio's NFC shield from just outside Winchester. When we got back I plugged in the Arduino and proceeded to download the libraries needed for the shield to function. The shield was very easy to apply we just had to line up the pins to the Arduino and put it in, however the antenna was another story. We struggled for 20 minutes trying to push the clip onto the Arduino. The shield didn't come with any instructions and we were coming to the conclusions that we must have to solder it on. Luckily enough I persevered and managed to find the grip to push it on. I don't think it helped that it was so tiny. I then proceeded to copy the relevant lines of code from the Seeed wiki resource and upload it to the Arduino. I didn't have any trouble doing this and everything was really easy to find. We went to view my work in serial monitor and carry out the first test using the 'read' sketch I had uploaded. When we did we were greeted with the message "Tag is not NDEF formatted". I realised I'd bought the wrong tags pretty much straight away. I bought the tags online and was getting lost amongst NFC tags and NFC cards. Me and Rubi wanted to test some card designs so I opted for the tags that came as stickers and rushed the order through. The ones I bought were in a different frequency than the shield. For future reference I need tags that communicate at 13.56MHz. I have ordered the correct frequency in the form of cards to test later in the week.
At this point I thought we'd wasted the day, but I came to the realisation, after looking at the wiki page, that nfc tags are used for ID cards. It had an example of NFC use to open a door and I thought about our how our university ID card open the door. So I decided to see if the Arduino could identify the ID card. I scanned it and even though it could not read any data, it was a positive sign that I hadn't messed up the code as it identified there was a card of sorts present.
Me getting far too over excited about, unsuccessfully, reading my
uni id card!
On Tuesday we also finally managed to print our 3d cauldron. It surprising only took an hour and a half, I've 3D printed a similar size and shape model before and believe it took much longer. I'm pretty happy with how its turned out and can use to create AR targets from. I should cut of the support material with a scalpel and sand down the edges to smooth it off.
For future reference I should create the walls thicker so there is less support material to sort through with a scalpel.
We spoke to Adam Friday and discussed my developments with the 3d printing and NFC. He suggested that, once I have been able to code the the reader with some NFC tags, I should look into Seb Delisle who creates with the Arduino and The Internet of Things. I should also consider how the Arduino will fit in the 3d print. He suggested looking at a service called Fritzing that creates printed circuit boards. This means that you don't have to have shields stacking on top of each other, which would considerable saved space in the cauldron. We should also consider the purpose of the AR. We should also conduct tests using the AR and how it works in a tech demonstration.
For hand in, I need to:
show the purpose of the ar
create the ar animation and apply them with Vuforia
playtest the NFC tags and ar to see how they flow
create a concept card design