Our project is an Magic Leap AR “Island Colonization” video game where the player attempts to take over floating islands by defeating enemies. The player can switch between a high-level overview of the world where they distribute units to different floating islands and a low-level view where they actually walk onto the island and watch the battle themselves.
We added new features like starting and ending screens. We made the transportation of barrels work. We added notification for zoomout ready to make it easier for players. We as well added the display of the current view including Overview, CloseUp, and First Person.
Introduction: We have accomplished some additional features like menu, collecting resources, and spawning soldiers. We are still working on the transportation of soldiers. We also primarily merged menu and collecting resources as the menu can increment and decrement when we collect or use a resource (crate).
In the menu part, for simplicity, we only show one soldier currently. When the button is pressed and the resource is found and collected, 1) the text on the menu will be outlined, the resource will disappear and a soldier will appear 2) the soldier will disppear and the amount will be added to the text on the menu (Without animation, but this process 1),2) is defined as collecting the resource). Then by pressing the trigger, we will spawn a soldier at some place.
By fixing the issue created by the lags and navmesh, we decided to disable the navmesh and use just the archor. Because by its default setting, it does not need to move around and could do attaching by standing at the same poing.
One of the biggest issues we ran into this week is when we tried to collect resource, it does not allow us to collect it a second time. By debugging with
mldb log, we found the crate respawned after 20 seconds can not be selected by the raycast anymore. As the raycast does not allow us to select and open the resource for a second time, we need to figure out the reason why it is not working. And, we are still working on that.
Another issue we ran into is that it is super hard to find crate as it is so small and it can natually fit in the scene as a decoration. The solution we applied is to outline it to make it more obvious to players. Then as we tried to move the raylight onto it, it only outlines the island instead of the crate. And we believe it is because the island has higher priority in the layer than the crate.
Plan for next week per person:
We’ve merged a lot of our core features such as spawning units, ray casting, outlines, and zooming. We have a basic minimum viable product that needs a lot of polish to get all our current features working smoothly and needs additional features to make the game more interesting. We’ve run into some technical issues too while merging our features that we are working to resolve too.
One of the biggest issues we’ve ran into this week is when we tried to combine the spawning of units with the zooming/scaling feature. The RTS units need a NavMesh to walk around and attack other units on their battle field. This worked fine when we were trying to deploy units to a static, non-moving non-scaling island. However, when we added the zooming and scaling it became apparent that the NavMesh does not follow the island/land it is linked to but instead stays static in the game world. We were able to fix this by adding an extra NavMesh asset and script to the islands that will bake the NavMesh at runtime. However, this hasn’t totally fixed our issue since Unity won’t bake NavMeshs that are under a certain size, and we scale our islands below this size. So we have to figure out how we want to proceed with scaling and zooming, or find a workaround for this issue. Another issue with this is the agent sizes, we have to figure out how to change the settings for the units NavMesh Agents so that the agents scale with the NavMesh size.
The other two important features we combined this week is ray-casting and zoom in/out. Our goal is to zoom into an island chose by the user, and since ray-cast lets user choose any floating islands in the scene, we had to combine the two features. One of the most challenging aspect of combining the two features is to get the object where ray-cast last hit. The two features are implemented in different files, so that one file needs to get a public field shared by the other file. We tried many things including moving the two files under the same parent folder, making the last-hit-object field serialized so that it’ll show up on the “inspector” column. Eventually we created a new public GameObject field, and use MagicLeap.VirtualPointer.island (VirtualPointer being the name of the file, island being the name of the public field) to get access to the last-hit-GameObject. After combining these two features, one of our critical features – island navigation is finished.
Plan for next week per person:
We deployed and tested spawning units using RTS engine, raycasting, and zoom in/out of overview to close up to first person view. According to our milestone we should have smooth transaction of zoom in and out, and we should be looking into the RTS engine. And after week 6, we have accomplished our milestones and in addition we have figured out raycasting and highlight selecting island. Although we have not combined the three parts mentioned above, but each individual part can be build and run on magic leap.
We figured out one of our critical feature smooth zooming in and out of three islands (1 main island and 2 smaller islands). There are three camera position of zooming in/out: overview, close up, and first person. For each islands the user has the option of any of the three positions mentioned above, but the restriction is that zooming in needs to follow the order respectively. I.e. the user cannot zoom in to first person view without zooming into close up view first. But the user can zoom out from whichever position he chooses. This is one of the critical features of our game because we want to give the user complete experience of our game. One of the chanllenge is the structure of the code that manages the three different views. Since we did different views and islands seperately, it caused a lot of redundancy. Fixing the structure of the code can also make combining with raycasting easier.
We figured out another main feature–raycast to hightlight. We had the outline working last week. But the merge of RTS, zoom in/out and highlight messed up the repo and confused the unity. So it took a bunch of time to debug and eliminate errors caused by the merge. Luckily, we have the Debug.Log() working on mldb to help with the hit made by interaction of the raypointer and the object. We found out the collider was missing and tried with the box collider as well as a mesh collider. Finally by enabling the read/write feature of each model our scene is using, and adding a mesh collider to each scene, the raycast feature works smoothly. The outline shows up once we point the controller’s ray at the island, it clears once the controller turns away.
Plan for next week per person:
We deployed and tested both our chosen RTS engine as well as our initial design of the combined scene. RTS works quite well as all soldiers look good and have good animations but we need to figure out to dynamically spwan them and to help them travel between islands. The design also goes well as we combined two scenes and rendered a bit to have our inital layout finished. And we figured out the zoom in/out, highlight outline, and display control ray on the combined scene. But we need to work further on the interaction between control ray and islands.
We studied the documentation of RTS and deployed it to the Magic Leap to see who it works. Given a path and a number of soldiers to release at the start, there will be various soldiers with good actions fighting with enemies and destroying the castle:
We finished initial island design with assets. We made some modifications to the original design, i.e. making lands to floating islands, adjusting their scales and rotations. Then we combined two scenes and built the combined scene and deployed it to the magic leap successfully. For now, we have a home island and 4 enemy islands around it:
Then, we made the outline of a single island possible. Once enabled, 1 out of 5 islands could be highlighted in yellow. The entire island could be shown as selected to make the interaction between ray and island happen. When the island is selected, it’s outline is being highlighted as shown below:
We also display the controller in our view and users can see a ray coming out of the controller clearly. So it helps with the island selection:
Plan for next week:
// spawn new soldier GameObject newObject = Instantiate(cloneObject); // at some position of the island newObject.transform.parent = GameObject.Find("GameObject1").transform;
Introduction: This week we’ve focused primarily on figuring out how we want to render islands in the magic leap AR space, as well as learning the basics of the RTS engine we’ll be using. As islands are the main part of the game we wanted to make sure that they will look good and that the movement around them feels fluid. We’ve been able to place the islands in the 3D space around the player and are looking more into the modification of the islands.
Progress: We finished the design for smaller islands (where the units will be placed and fights). First, we brought the assets package for design of the islands, but it included many demos, materials, and textures which we could choose from. Eventually we settle on a very simple design of the islands with big open space which the fights could take place. One of the struggles we faced was that all the materials were all in one level of hierarchy which made scale and move the entire island very difficult. We asked for help and eventually figure out how to create new objects to included different materials for different levels of hierarchy. Another struggle is that we could not figure out where to place the camera. It took us some experiments to know that the rotation of the initial position of the camera should be 0 and we should only change the y-axis of the camera position. Below is the screen shot of the islands in perspective to x, y, and z axis.
After setting up the scene of our game, the next thing that we do was to figure out how to connect the Magic Leap controller to our current scene, so that player could have some simple interactions with the island. With the help of faculty, we sucessfully achieved one of the key feature of the game, “Zoom in and Zoom out” of the island. That means that when the player click the bumper on the controller, the island can either gradually move away from the player or approach the player until he is in the middle of this island. However, current “Zoom in and Zoom out” can only be applied to just one island, so the “Zoom in and Zoom out” still need further improvement in the future.
Plan for next week: Next week we plan to dive more into the “RTS” aspect of things. We want to experiment with adding units in some form to the islands. We’ll try to implement some of the character models we plan to purchase and see if we can get them walking around. We also want to become a lot more familiar with how our chosen RTS engine will work. If we can understand the engine well then that will enable us to implement more complexity and more interesting gameplay.
We created our website and set up the inital draft of our PRD, or the project requirements document. We’ve laid out weekly milestones and member responsibilies that will hopefully help us stay on track while we get started on developing our game. We’ve also laid out our plans for gameplay to have a more concrete understanding on how we want the game to be played. We’ve decided that each island will have their own battle happening that the player must manage. Each battle will consist of the player attempting to take over the island by destroying all the enemies on it. We also want to have some basic base-building in our game, such as having buildings that generate resources for the player and buildings that let the player spend resources to create units. Taking over the island will include destroying the enemy player’s units and buildings. After an island is conquered, we’re envisioning some way for the player to transfer units to new islands to aid in the conquering of the new islands. We’ve also decided on a general aesthetic theme for the game. Instead of a space theme we’ve gone with a more fantasy style. We’ve found assets that include stuff like knights, monsters, and medieval buildings in a low-poly style to keep our assets consistent.
We decided on a project! Initially we wanted to have some sort of space RTS in VR, but decided that it wasn’t novel enough given that games like Lazer Bait already exist. After trying out the Magic Leap, we became excited at the idea of making an AR game. We liked our “planet colonization” game idea but decided to switch the planets into islands to make the game aesthetic more unique. We also decided that part of the novel gameplay of our game will be how the player interacts with the island. The play will see floating islands around them and have the option to zoom-in to them and get a larger field of the battlefield, walking over everything to get a better view. They can then zoom-out to get a larger view of all the islands.
We’ve met our group, set up some collaborationt tools and are brainstorming possible ideas for our project. More updates to follow through these blog posts as we continue to make more progress.