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Saturn Design - Outer Space Ideas

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Saturn Design

Saturn Design is a group of four students from the University of Bolton's Games Design course. This website is a hub for communication along with a place  to display relevant media and our blog material. They are currently researching the area of human players emotional attachment to NPC's in a gaming environment. Saturn Design are in the process of developing a title for their final year project.

Written by Luke   
Sunday, 21 March 2010 14:50

What it says on the tin. I've been composing 5 pieces of music over the last week or so, one for each of our characters. There is no research and case studies up on the wiki yet but there will be in the coming days. It was difficult to capture the right mood for each of the characters, especially the likes of Helena and Rendon, who I had to try and make more ambient and less memorable than our narrative based characters. Finding the balance with Jake was difficult as well, but I'm happy enough all 5 themes work as they should.

Written by Luke   
Saturday, 06 March 2010 14:25

My task for this week is to do some more detailed research into the Kiersey Temperament Sorter. Namely, the sort of questions it asks, the accuracy of results, time taken to complete and how we can go about doing this.

The test can be taken FREE at http://www.keirsey.com. It requires a log in but after creating an account you seem to be able to take the test as many times as you want. I've taken it more than once on my account and it hasn't stopped me yet, anyway. After completing the test, the website gives you what they call a "Mini report". This tells you which of the four 'Temperaments' you fall into and gives an explanation as to what that consists of. For example, here is the first paragraph or so of my results:




Your Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results indicates that your personality type is that of the

Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.



This result is free. Now, within each temperament there are four 'Types'. For example, the four types of idealist are 'Champion', 'Counselor', 'Healer' and ' Teacher'. In order to get an 'advanced report' including these more specific results costs about $20 each time, so that's about £15 per person we test. Fortunately, we're not concerned with this level of result, so the free test will do us just fine.

The KTS itself consists of 71 questions and takes around 10 minutes to complete when answering questions honestly. There are some questions that make you think "What do they mean by that?" but these don't crop up too often and for most of the questions I felt that one of the two otpions given applied more to me. Here are the first 5 questions on on instance of the KTS (Each time you take the sorter the order of the questions are randomized, it seems, but the questions themselves remain the same):



1. If you must disappoint someone are you usually:

frank and straightforward OR warm and considerate

2. Which appeals to you more:

harmonious relationships OR consistency of thought

3. In sizing up others do you tend to be:

friendly and personal OR objective and impersonal

4. At work is it more natural for you to:

point out mistakes OR try to please others

5. In making up your mind are you more likely to go with:

data OR desires


Written by Luke   
Monday, 01 March 2010 03:47

Well the team met up yesterday to compile scripting work that we had all done for the artefact. Each of us had taken one or two scenarios to create scripts, conversations and animations for et cetra. To be honest there was quite a lot that needed fixing and re-scripting with a few of the modules people had done. Mine, for example was pretty rubbish as my test characters kept getting killed by the enemy I had spawn in as part of the scenario! But when one of us isn't too good at an area the others in the team are doing a good job in picking up the slack, so after a long old meeting we got everything done that needed to be done. Ross and Lloyd also put together the milestone presentation that we'll be giving this week.

The next step is to test and refine the functionality of the artefact, both within the team and with people we know that we wont be using as subjects in the testing phase. We're still working out the exact timings but most likely I'd say this will take up a week or two before we're ready to get stuck in and think about moving onto the testing phase.


Animations in NWN2
Written by Ross   
Monday, 22 February 2010 18:03

Scripting is the name of the game this week, and we're busy putting in the dialogue we wrote actually into the engine. Once this is done, along with a few scripting tweaks like area transitions and such, we'll have an alpha to time-test internally. Fun!

So anyway, firing off animations in dialogues is easy, but there are multiple ways of doing it. The easiest way is to just specify an animation for the tag in the list below the conversation tree on the animations tab. However, going to the actions tab and adding a ga_play_custom_animation or a ga_play_animation script will allow much more control, including speed, duration, and delay.

play_custom_animation is easy. Just add the script and hit refresh, then input the tag of the character you want to animate for sTarget, the name of the animation (which can be found on the animations tab), whether you want it to loop (1) or not (0), and the number of seconds before the animation plays when the conversation hits that node. This allows you to set off an animation right at the start of a node, say of someone talking, or near the end, as they get hit by an arrow or somesuch. This gives the dialogue the feeling that it is an actual conversation happening in real-time rather than a series of lines of text.

play_animation is slightly more effort, but gives you even more control than play_custom_animation. The sTarget works in the same way, just the creature's tag, but instead of loop you have a duration setting, a speed setting (where 1.0 is normal speed, 0.5 is half speed, etc.) and a delay setting. This means you can cut an animation off before it has finished playing, which I used to take the first half of the 'tired' animation (knuckling his forehead) and cut off the second part (yawning). Without the yawn, knuckling his forehead makes it look like he feels ill, which is the effect I was looking to achieve.

The problem with play_animation is that instead of using a string for the animation and taking it's name from the animation tab, it calls it directly by its integer value. To find these values, go to the script editor, and click on the 'globals' tab in the script assist on the right hand side. If you then search 'animation' it will filter the results, and finding the integer for each animation is as simple as clicking on it and reading the script preview box. Slightly more effort, but if you need to control the speed of an animation or cut it off before the end, it is invaluable.

Well, that's all from me. Scripting time!

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 :/