Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Game download

Nix is ready for download from here

Rift & controller strongly recommended though the game is playable without.

Install instructions:

Download and unzip Nix game

Open either bin32 or bin64

Open GameSDK and launch @ui_Nix

Note: Do not run the game on low settings it causes issues with fog which makes the game unplayable.

Rift instructions:

Make sure rift is switched on and your screen is set to duplicate mode.

At game launch change the graphics settings to fullscreen mode (you will need to this or the rift will not work) then in game press either select on an xbox controller or - if you're using keyboard.

Note: If you're having issues getting the game to open try opening through bin32 version instead.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Nix wins Off The Map 2014!

So! Last night we attended the awards presentation for Off the Map 2014, and we were all completely blown away by the fact that we were announced as the winners! We're all very busy at the moment as we're all still at GameCity, but hope to post more information soon about when and how Nix will be available to download and play. Thank you to everyone involved, and especially to those who played our game on Wednesday, the feedback has been great!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Nix Development Video Series: Interior block puzzle

This video is a little bit late in making, the fix to this level was actually made a little while ago before the off the map opening event so since this fix we've had many new play-testers at both Nottingham and Cardiff to confirm that this new "non slippery" fix works.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WGDS 2014

On the 11th we tested our most recent build of Nix at the Welsh Games Development Show in Cardiff. We were there with another team entering for the off the map contest from our university (Shady agents). The event was fantastic and again we got a lot of great feedback, we had a lot less bugs this time around but still found more fixes that we needed to apply. There were quite a lot of children who ended up playing our game and their honest feedback was really great to hear.

We found we had a few more collision issues and our main issue was people getting stuck in the starter cave as well as not knowing what to do next. At the show we would explain that players should look for two things "blue orbs" to collect and "orange glows" to lead into new areas which we later shortened to swim to anything that's blue or orange.  

To fix the goal confusion after the show we added a second menu to come after the control menu which very briefly explains the main goal of the game.

To remove the confusion of the first cave we decided to change our first teleport in that cave to orange to reinforce that orange portals lead to new areas. 

[Before]                                                                                                     [After]

As well as this a problem that has plagued us since the beginning (swimming down at slow speeds) was fixed soon after the show so the players hopefully should no longer be discouraged from swimming up too high. 

All in all WGDS was a fantastic play-testing opportunity and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

GameCity 09 Launch party

Last week we traveled to Nottingham for the Gamecity launch party, where we got to display our game and have a few people test it, this experience was immeasurable for us playtesting wise. We got feedback from people with different experiences of play, some never having even held a controller before, most never having used a rift before.

We found a few bugs we hadn't expected which we will be working on over the following weeks, the main issues we picked up were as follows;

Certain areas didn't have collision (this allowed players to break out the map)

Glowing around spire confused players (most players went towards the large glow on the tower and were disappointed when it didnt lead anywhere)

Glitches with teleports in library level ( if the player chooses wrong sequence they cannot try again)

Missing textures

Player confusion with what their goal is (considering fixing this with a map of the area showing numbers of collectables)

Player struggles to climb waterfall in interior level (considering having the water level rise higher to help player get out)

We had positive feedback from everyone who played and thankfully had no nausea from anyone who played even after prolonged play. We will be aiming to get a lot of these bugs removed by July 11th as we will hopefully be showing Nix again at the Welsh Games Development show in Cardiff, this should hopefully give us even more player feedback so we can make Nix a more enjoyable experience for the off the map contest.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Nix Development Video Series: Collectables

Sorry for the slow updates! We've all been rather busy finishing our second year of university, along with lots of other work including Nix.

This is the first in a series of videos we'll be doing, hoping to share some insight in to the design process behind Nix, and the decisions we made along the way. Let us know what you think!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fractal Library

Here is a very WIP preview of the Fractal Library - A water filled library, twisted off unto infinity. Side rooms coming off from the main chamber will shift periodically between different states and locations, where some may allow you to advance, and others may hinder your progress.

And a vertical panorama, for scale!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Level Design, Particles, and Negative Light

 Level Design

One of the main responses we encountered during playtesting was the user feeling lost and disorientated. To an extent this is exactly the kind of feeling we want to evoke with our design, however, there is a fine line between the player feeling a sense of awe or trepidation as a result of a disorientating and immersive experience, and simply feeling frustrated because they returned to the same point more than once purely because the area or structure looks virtually the same as all the others. With this in mind, I've taken several steps to breaking up the level in to similar, but distinct parts.

Varied structures
Adding in the Gothic ruins has already helped break up the ubiquity of the original church/cathedral model in use. I plan to add more structures to continue this.

The addition of ground level foliage such as grass and trees has helped give more individuality to each area
Individualised buildings
In addition, I plan to make the interiors of each church unique, through small details such as floor tiles and props. This should help players remember whether they are somewhere new or not

New Particles

Seb recently created some new particles for the player, these replace the existing playermodel, and allow for a reference point for when the player looks down, without cluttering up their vision with an animated body. I was able to blend the same particles with our existing collectables, which now move throughout the level, as moving pickups that the player must pursue will hopefully prove more interesting to collect.

In addition, I created some new particles for the entry points in to Fonthill, most prominently, the main entrance. These entry points will teleport the player inside the abbey.

Originally I had planned for the particles to be cold blue colours like the collectables. But after some discussion with the team I felt warmer colours would be more inviting, and make the player more likely to swim towards.

Starting Cave

I've also begun creating the cave that players will start the game in. I created the cave walls, floor, and ceiling using polygon deformation tools in Max, and covered up the edges with Crysis rock objects. Originally, the cave was extremely bright due to reflections from the water and the time of day settings necessary for our underwater environments to not be pitch black. After looking up a tutorial though, I was able to use negative light to darken the cave, and get the look I wanted.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Progress Screenshots

Here's some pictures of recent updates

 Click here for more

Level concept designs

These are a few concept designs for the interior levels in the game:

The first is a simple corridor which will most likely be modelled on King Edwards gallery (this may be subject to change)

The player will, through picking up collectables, change the room eventually bending it to gain access to the next room, this will cause part of the room the bend vertically and water to pour into the room.

This will then allow the player to access the second part of this level (which will most likely be modelled on St Michaels Gallery)

The floor in this room is broken up and will appear for the player within a certain radius the challenge in this room is to slowly walk around the room working out the safe path to the door.  

This is an image of what a safe path could look like:
And this would be what the player actually sees:

We are currently in the process of modelling prototypes for these rooms.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Fonthill Abbey - Progress

The Fonthill model is in-game. Even though it's still untextured it's still pretty cool to walk around. Some pictures:

Once it's textured, we plan on breaking up the tower in to several chunks and placing them all underwater. As the player collects pick-ups and solves puzzles, each piece will reconstruct itself until Fonthill is fully recreated.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Dev Blog is go!

This is the development blog for Nix, where we'll try to post semi-regular updates on what we're doing in the form of text, screenshots and videos.

Some existing screenshots of what we've achieved so far:

And a test video that is a little outdated now but still helps to demonstrate the underwater  navigation and the collection mechanic.

Hopefully we'll put up another post soon explaining what Nix is about and what to expect in the future!