I decided the best way to get to grips with the Unity game engine that I would complete some tutorials this week which would allow me to get used to the game engine functions and how it all works. I took out the Sams teach yourself Unity in 24 hours from the library. However, there was only so much I could do, and a lot of the tutorials were problem solving where changes in the program have happened since the edition of the book available at the library was released. The book I have is for the 2014 edition, but in the version I am using, that is very much a legacy!
I started with the very basic tutorials of creating game objects (such as a wall) and adding textures, through to creating my own scenery and environment with the ability to move about this using the keyboard (WASD)
The book also is only for 3D environments, which work in a different way to 2dimensional. 3D is based on game objects and sculpturing landscapes and environments, whereas 2D environments are typically tiled and created from tile art. However, this really was about trying to get to grips with the design functions in Unity and a little bit of c# scripting, as this is something completely new to me.
I have been taking screenshots as I go, to see the progression, and give myself more familiarity around the layout of Unity.
Unfortunately I feel that the 3D environment moves away from the aesthetic that I am really trying to deliver with this project, by making the feel of the design language to be more illustrative and book like, more child like than graphical. That being said, I do really appreciate the colour palette in this particular space scape, as well as how Unity allows me to incorporate the game shapes within the ground.
I also really appreciate the repeating pattern with all of the game shapes on which decorates the environment as a texture. It has made me think about whether this can be used within the suit itself, either within the pocket or on the inside of the hood, as this is the branding.
I have worked on a white version (rather than pink) and changed the game shapes around a bit to have a better coherence together.
This exercise has been very useful (at least in ruling out the use of 3D). I do still feel that it may translate better being within part of an immersive experience. However, I want the design to appear more book like and about the story and adventure, than having the qualities of a video game. I feel like this will help to give the user a sense of differentiation between my project and traditional gaming, that may mean they find the type of interaction confusing.
In terms of going forward, I am planning to put together a testing session and first kids prototyped suit to gain feedback on the mk1 prototype game, as well as other game ideas I can create between now and then. I also want to get the prints for the limbs to a stage where I am happy to get them printed. In addition to this, I want to spend a little bit of time creating quick mocks up of the app through Low fi sketching and quick photoshop art boards from these sketches / wireframes. It would also be great to put together an art assets board to make prototyping the app a little quicker.