Player Input and Custom Theming

  • Oct 11, 2012

I made a new game this week that I think could be collaborative.  In the stroke case studies, there were mentions of a few collaborative games such as one where the patient controls a snail to protect a mother fish and her babies while the caregiver steers the mother fish.  I tried to model this with a ufo dodging sharks and submarines under water.  You might be saying to yourself, "What?! UFO's can't fly under water.  What is Paul thinking? This game makes no sense!" and you would be right.  It turns out, once you pick a model in a world and start assigning methods to it, it's hard to switch models.  Hence you're steering a UFO and not a submarine or other sea creature.

Which brings me to my next point: Custom theming is hard the way things are right now.  Remixing is nice if you want to take a portion of a different world and apply it to yours, but it fails to capture event listeners which are crucial to games.  For this reason, I thought it would be really nice if you could just select a model in the world and simply change which model represents it.  In the case of the underwater UFO, I would want to just select it and change its model to be a submarine.

Here are some sketches about what I think the interface could look like. (Sorry I can't get image uploading to work)

This interface assumes that it is in fact possible to make this kind of change to the underlying code.

Additionally, I came across another reason to support a player model object.  Key press listeners right now are pretty miserable to work with.  Here is a screen shot of the key press listeners for the underwater ufo:

A series of if/elses which are unfortunate to look at and are somewhat confusing.  My proposed solution is something like this:

The key difference is that each key press is listed in a separate section to avoid all those if else statements.  We could put Kinect listeners here as well.






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