Introduction This blog post will be about a new way to approach narrative design in games - the 4 Layers Approach. It is based on a GDC talk I gave in March this year. The approach is primarily meant to suggest a workflow that focuses on the story and makes sure the narrative and gameplay are connected. The end goal is to create games that provide a better interactive narrative. Narrative Basics First off, "narrative" will need to be defined. At its most fundamental level, the narrative is what happens as you play the game over a longer period. It is basically the totality of the experience; something that happens when all elements are taken together: gameplay, dialog, notes, setting, graphics etc.; the player's subjective journey through the game. I know this clashes with other definitions that refer to narrative as a separate aspect of the game, but I think this is the one that's most helpful when discussing game design. It also fits with job titles such as "narrative designer", … [Read more...] about 4-Layers, A Narrative Design Approach
Large scale document scanning
With the release of 2018.3, Shader Graph introduces a new Master Node for the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). This new Master Node (called Lit Master) makes many of the advanced shading features found in HDRP accessible in Shader Graph! These HD Lit Advanced Features, or HD Lit AF, include coat-mask, iridescence, translucency, subsurface scattering, and anisotropy. This blog post will introduce you to some of these advanced features, and show you how to use them to create beautiful assets in HDRP using Shader Graph. You can download the sample project created for this blog post from GitHub. This simple project contains a bonsai tree and butterfly that make heavy use of iridescence and translucency. Getting Started Before you start creating your absurdly beautiful scenes, there are a few important clauses to be aware of. First, this master node only works within the HDRP. Second, there are no shading equivalents in the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP) for the … [Read more...] about Unity 2018.3 Shader Graph Update: Lit Master Node – Unity Blog
It took Commander Nick Sticks nine weeks and six days to drive around the planet. Piloting his SRV (Surface Recon Vehicle), he covered the full 2,785km journey to circle Eol Prou FB-I b25-50 1, a small astral body in Elite Dangerous, in two hour bursts. Sticks’ journey carved a route across plains, over the lips of craters, down through the bowls - and up out again, naturally - and into valleys permanently trapped in pitch-black shadow. He documented the entire journey in a thread on the Elite Dangerous forums. Sticks isn’t the only one - there is a growing club of players circumnavigating planets. The question is: why? Just getting started? Here's a beginner's guide to Elite Dangerous. “What really inspired my circumnavigation was what happened to Cmdr Tannik Seldon during the ’Aquarian Job’ race,” Commander Alec Turner, founder of The Planetary Circumnavigation Club, tells me. The race included an SRV driving stage and there was a bonus for … [Read more...] about The Elite Dangerous SRV explorers who circumnavigate entire planets
If you haven’t played Wish Studios' That’s You!, it might come as a surprise to learn that there’s a strong link between this PS4 party game and the films of Wes Anderson. If you have, you’ll know it captures some of Anderson’s gentle surrealism, his eye for symmetry, use of color and his eye for graphic detail. Still, what’s unexpected is that it comes as part of a Sony PlayLink game. In other words, it’s designed to firmly locate the fun between the players in the room and their connected smartphones, where the game delivers the questions to them. The TV simply plays a supporting role, managing the game, collating scores and providing a soundtrack. And yet That’s You! also happens to feature incredibly lushly realized room settings, through which the camera lovingly pans and dollies while you answer quizzes and draw silly pictures. But there’s a good reason why: the devs at Wish Studios … [Read more...] about How a Wes Anderson movie prop maker helped develop That’s You!
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history