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Richard Allsop
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Richard Allsop
Written by Richard   
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 12:25

hey guys, just a quick update regarding hte level design reports. I'm at uni at the moment and have compiled the sectiuons of the report in to one document ready to hand to Claire and Amanda in this afternoons meeting at 4PM.

See you guys at 4! I think I'm going to hit the gym as it's half 12 and our meeting isn;t until 4 :/


Small scale testing
Written by Richard   
Sunday, 07 February 2010 11:35

After identifying that we needed to have NPC's "using" the market place in a normal manner, it was my task to figure out how. I have a test map with two NPC's performing actions we will be using in our market place. One of the NPC's is a "shopper" NPC and wanders between waypoints marked "WP_Shop" on a variable controlled frequency basis. The other NPC in the level is a child who is set to "observer." This child walks between several "WP_Observe" waypoints and proceeds to look at a "WP_POI" when he is at said waypoints.

Both of these functionalities are now in the implementation stage in the final artefact. This is a rathe lengthy process as there are a multitude of NPC's in the market place and waypoints need added everywhere. Another interesting feature of the "observer" variable set is the "talkfreq" variable. This integer allows the control of how often this NPC will stop and converse with other NPC's in the area. The funcionality of this isn't fully explained on the vault site and I am having trouble at present getting two NPC's to "fake" a conversation, but progress is being made.

Several other script funcitons are being tested at the moment. These include perception based scripts. These scripts run when the player character enters the perception radius of an NPC. I am currently working with these to further the funnelling process in the market place section of our artefact.

Why do good ideas always happen at 4:35AM?
Written by Richard   
Saturday, 06 February 2010 04:54

I hate the fact that my brain is most active at night...

Just a short update to remind myself in the future, if anything, of what we have been doing recently as the blog has kind of dried up for several reasons. Other work has been a higher priority of late, not to say we haven't done anything towards Team Project, as that would be a lie, but it hasn't been on the top of the list.

I spent my christmas, amongst Scripting 3 and Business assignments, developing two of the areas for the artefact; the house of our love interest Lauren and the tavern in which Jake our control character is currently staying. Both of these levels were relatively straight forward in design, the area's are simply a background to the narrative delivery we are doing through the character dialoge. Obviously this doesn't mean no effort has gone into them as they are well laid out and populated with relevant placeables, but they are simply an area for our characters to develop in. We spent a while debugging some of the areas, mostly from pathing problems. Although some of the debugging time was spent sorting factions between NPC's and collision detection.

Before this we spent a while getting the level designs done on paper and in Microsoft Visio. The planning stage is always important and we decided to get things down in Visio to give ourselves some proper reference material. The plans were formulated from past experiences we have all had in Roleplay Games.

Prior to the level designs we spent a lot of our time developing the characters and their narrative. All the world narrative was written too, this is all ready for the dialoge creation stage that is in progress at the moment. Parallel to the dialogue creation we are focussing on scripting. In particular I am focussing on some random walking scripts for NPC's in the market place to make it feel like an actual market place rather than a large open area with static NPC's.

Sunday's meeting will be a slightly painful one as it is going to include time planning for the next phases of the project leading up to testing. Along with this we will be conferring on all the dialogue we have written so far. This will give us the oppertunity to give a "group OK" to all the conversations and get them programmed in to the module itself.

Until Sunday...



Meeting 20/1
Written by Richard   
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 12:04

Morning guys,

Just a quick reminder to bring all the levels with you to the meeting today as we're hoping to get them stuck into 1 module. If they are not finished don't worry about it too much as we can sort placeables while we are scripting. We are going to have to move a hell of a lot of stuff around anyways for script interactivity, especially for pathing reasons, had some problems in some levels already.

See you at 1!

Hangover gone yet?
Written by Richard   
Monday, 04 January 2010 13:51

Hey guys!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a fun New Year. It's been a good one down here in Bracknell.

Just to touch base really while we're still on Holiday, time plan has everyone pencilled down to have their sections of the artefact complete by the time we get back. I'm getting on with mine at the moment in-between fits of tears over Scripting 3 and having fun putting my portfolio together.

I'll most likely be back in the area on Saturday 9th if anyone wants to come have a mini meeting about the status of the project, if not, someone else post on here and we can see where everyone is.

Hope you're all OK.


Happy Holidays Dudes!
Written by Richard   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 02:20

Hey guys!

Just a quick post to say happy holidays to all. I'm going to be leaving relatively early tomorrow so I won't be around for the Wednesday meeting, sorry! Weather reports are scary for tomorrow and I have to drive to Coventry and then Bracknell, so I'm aiming to get off as soon as I can really.

Everyone knows what they are doing over the holidays. We all have the appropriate plans for creating our levels, creative license would be lovely regarding placeables, so go nuts! If you have any other ideas regarding script or NPC scripting, just jot it down or test it out, no ideas are bad ideas!

Update regarding the ethics sheet, I downloaded it the other day, it's a proper monster! I've started filling it out though so we should have it sorted for when we come back.

On an unrelated note, good luck with Scripting 3 everyone, I'm scared of the deadline that's for sure, it's going to be an interesting "holiday."

Either way, hope everyone has a good holiday and a well deserved break, albeit a working break. Take care you lot, and have a good Christmas.

Meeting Progress
Written by Richard   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 18:51

Hey guys,

Meeting today was sure a long one, good work though! We've laid out our milestones for the project, currently we're predicting 8 milestones throughout the duration. These will be handled by individual milestone organisers detailed below:

  • Narrative - Luke - 4/12/09
  • Level Design - Lloyd - 15/01/10 (possibly, conflicts with a Scripting 3 hand in date)
  • Scripting - Ross
  • Sound & VO Creation - Richard
  • Artefact Testing - Richard
  • Testing Methodology - Ross
  • Testing Phase - Luke
  • Resultant Data Analysis - Lloyd

The project plan has been updated a great deal this week with targets for current milestones and completed tasks. We still need to assign dates for some of the latter tasks in the plan, but we have a fair few questions that need answered before we do!

This week (until Wednesday's meeting at least) has been set aside for initial level design ideas. We are going to meet again on Wednesday 3rd December and get or finalised plans down and then get them transferred into a scaled Visio document. Once this has been done we are free to go away over Christmas and create the entire artefact, minus scripting, ready for the scripting work planned in January after the exam weeks.

We're in again on Tuesday seeing Amanda and Claire, we're taking in our revised Narrative Milestone presentation to see if they have anything more to add feedback wise. Then we're presenting that on Friday to Brian and Phil in the 2PM meeting.

Everything seems on track, we're still working well as a team, no major arguments yet, so generally a thumbs up from me.




Written by Richard   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 14:36

Just a short reminder for everyone to bring their prototyping/initial level design ideas with them to today's (29/11) meeting. We need to go over what we can adn can't do animation wise and decide what we'll be using as level plans for each of the characters encounter. Pencil is fine for this stage, don't worry about detailed Visio work till the coming week.


Updated Milestone Draft!
Written by Richard   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 19:19

Here's the updated Milestone presentation, edited after some useful feedback from Amanda and Claire on Monday.


Milestone Presentation Draft - Narrative
Written by Richard   
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:53

Hey guys, here's the narrative presentation for today's milestone dry run. See you at 2:30!



Sunday, Productive Sunday
Written by Richard   
Sunday, 22 November 2009 20:00

After a long (3 hour!) meeting today at Saturn design, we've finalised not only world narrative, but character narrative as well! *trumpets sounding off into the night* It was an interesting meeting, with many points raised and talked out, some of it was slightly more incandescent than we'd have expected, but still at the end of the day we've narrowed down what we want our characters to be.

We have justified our decisions with some sound backing from several different sources. The world narrative is being backed up by Gustav Freytag’s analysis of ancient Greek and Shakespearean drama along with some referencing of Aristotle's Poetics. This will be explained further in the upcoming narrative milestone, which is being dry-run on Tuesday this coming week (24/11).

Our characters have been justified using a variety of different recognised archetypes and commonly found characters types within video games, movies and other media. The characters have been based around an individual one of the above and designed accordingly.

Love interest character = Love interest (surprisingly!!) common character in all types of media.

Bard character = Carl Jung's "Wise Old Man" archetype.

Warrior character = Antihero, common character found in all types of media.

Healer character = Faithful companion, common character found in all types of media.

These are very broad descriptions of the roles taken up by each character, as some of the traits from other archetypes do cross over slightly, this will be expanded on further in the milestone presentation also.

For tomorrow (23/10), we are meeting after our guest lecture to finalise the presentation itself and go over who will be doing what, come Tuesday. This allows us to dry run the entire presentation on Tuesday, gain valuable feedback and then add/alter content as needs be, for the actual presentation date of the milestone on the 30/11.

For tomorrow guys, anyone that finds any more info on the character types, just toss it to me in an email and I'll stick it up on the site, alternatively, let me know if you require FTP access, but I'd rather keep it just me, as I know how everything works as of now :P




Mysterious Stranger
Written by Richard   
Sunday, 22 November 2009 13:58

I'm not sure if that's too much info for the mysterious character Luke. I started writing some stuff for him on Saturday and have kept it very vague. I'll show you at the meeting today just to see if you guy sthink it's relevant.


Also, regarding the hub being distracting and possibly disguising the useful NPCs, all we have to do is display them in a way that the testers cannot miss them. Most people will be peasantry, with simple SpeakString one line floating text responses. People like the scholar/bard will possibly be on a pedestal or something, preaching to the market. The military characters, healer and tank, will be patrolling in their armour, distinguishing them from the rest of the crowd. The love interest might be a slightly challenging one unless we have a scripted event when you cannot miss her when you walk though a part of the market, a floor trigger, starting some floating dialogue over her head or somthing, shouting for you to come over. Mysterious character can be in some form of exotic armour or something like that, it's only as hard as we make it imo.



What's the story Luke-anory?
Written by Richard   
Friday, 20 November 2009 18:42

Today we had a very productive meeting and got mst of the narrative sorted out regarding the game world. We also had a brainstorming session involving character narrative.

Our first milestone, as we decided on Tuesday with Claire and Amanda, is based on narrative. We decided as a group at the beginning of the project that it would be beneficial to all of us, to lead the team at some point during the project. Thus, each milestone has an elected milestone leader. Luke was put forward by the group to spearhead our first milestone presentation and has already been exercising his leadership skills, taking the helm during todays meeting and boiling down some of the narrativ elements of our project. He has assigned us with tasks for sundays meeting. Each of us is to come up with some basic narrative for the characters, which we will sieve through on Sunday and decide the final narrative roles of each NPC.

A very useful day, including some good feedback and encouragement from Brian and Phil, it's been a positive vibe in the Team Saturn "office."

Here's some links for the guys of miscellaneous meeting gubbins:

http://www.saturn-design.co.uk/docs/World Narrative.docx

Luke I'll send you the MP3 over MSN as I wouldn't want to publish our musings, for legal reasons!

Expect activity in the coming days with character idea's appearing on multiple blogs!

See you Sunday,


Links for 3/11/09
Written by Richard   
Monday, 02 November 2009 18:19

Just the links for the presentation and design document for tomorrow's presentation.

http://www.saturn-design.co.uk/docs/Saturn Design - Pitch and Plan Design Doc MKII.docx - Design Doc

http://www.saturn-design.co.uk/docs/design doc presentation.pptx - Presentation

Hosting files on the website
Written by Richard   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 21:18

Easily done now, worked out the FTP side of things and the correct links.

Here's the link for the design document in it's current form just as a proof of links working seeing as I mailed it to all of you too!

Design Document



Written by Richard   
Friday, 09 October 2009 11:40

Well, it's been an interesting week, that's for sure. I've spent most of my time performing site admin tasks again such as the creation of all the new user accounts for lecturers along with a few teething problems regarding the content posting system and some login issues. Don't worry Claire, I aim to come and see you after the 2PM meeting with Brian and Phil today to see if it's browser settings that are causing your login problems.

Aside from admin, we had a good meeting on Wednesday, Luke is busy preparing the minutes so they can be entered in to the wiki for everyone to see. We assigned tasks to everyone and It was decided that this week, along with me finding a suitable Joomla project management plugin for the site, that I should draft up some emails that will be sent to various influential people in the area we are studying. The list we have so far is Nicole Lazaro, Mike Ambinder, Mark Laidlaw, Rhianna Pratchett and Bolton's Angela Tinwell. All of the afformentioned names will have useful information for us to further our project, whether they have the time to reply is a different matter!

Once we have narrowed down our title a bit, I would like to organise a meeting with Angela Tinwell as after a survey last year we performed for her, it became apparent that her preferred area of study is an incredibly interesting and luckily, relevant one to this project. I shall be contactinng her at a later date.

Today's meeting with Brian and Phil is at 2PM. We're looking forward to gaining Brian's perspective on the task as he was away on IT support last week! Hope it's all working now Brian! I will be bringing my "dictaphone" with me and hope that neither lecturer will have a problem with us recording the meetings to transcribe at a later date. It keeps things simple as we don't lose one person to note taking during the meeting itself.

That's about it for this week really, aside from the assigned tasks, we have all agreed that general research in the area is never a bad thing and we shall all be training our Google-fu this week to see if broader searches can provide us with any information.

See you at two folks!

Up and Running!!
Written by Richard   
Monday, 05 October 2009 21:42

Well! Here we are, www.saturn-design.co.uk is finally "finished" and ready for use. Obviously I will add new modules/plugins as required throughout the year. But for now, we have all we set out to have on the site, the Wiki, individual and team blogs, a section for media along with a commenting system for all news posted here.

An email will be sent around today to all lecturers containing their login details for the site, along with a small site FAQ. It's been a small victory for me personally as this is the second site I've got up and running in my life and it's turned out to be a fairly useful one, it doesn't look half bad either. Credit where credit is due though, I have a very good friend at the IT company where I worked previously who has not only hosted the site for us for FREE, but has put in some hard work too, helping get the ball, and particularly the wiki rolling. Paul, you did good!

Obviously the site is going to be our hub, collating all the blogs into one easy to find place, along with a wiki that's editable by all account holders here at Saturn, keeping things in one place. There's nothing worse than "Dave's got it" syndrome.

In the first week of the project I have really focussed on the admin side of things, getting the website sorted, organising the weekly meetings etc. I also decided that recording MP3's of the meetings would be a good idea seeing as then all 4 members are active in discussion instead of three and one writing notes etc. Luke has taken on the task of writing these MP3's into full minutes which will be soon available in the media section of the website.

Our weekly meeting is held at Orlando village on Wednesdays at 1PM. This gives us time to reflect on things fro the Tuesday lecture, putting them into practice/taking them further before seeing Brian and Phil for the Friday meeting.

That's about it from me for now, expect more in the coming weeks when we start simmering down our groups idea's into one solid title. If anyone has problems with the site, don't hesitate to contact me on my personal email account detailed on the contacts page. I'm usually withint three feet of a computer, so it shouldn't be too difficult to sort things out.