Week 3 Activity: Rapid Ideation
Updated: May 12
The rapid ideation challenge this week was all about taking an artefact from a company or person that we admire and reverse engineering the artefact using prototyping tools. "A prototype is your way of testing out concepts without putting in too much time or effort. You can imagine how beneficial it is to find out an idea won’t work before putting in the time to code it, make art for it." (Prototype, 2021)
The artefact that I chose for this week was the game 'Monument Valley' by Us Two Games. The game also went through a Sketch Prototyping stage when Ken Wong made sketches seen in fig.1 as he was "Inspired by the drawings of M. C. Escher, the core gameplay revolves around solving puzzles by exploring isometric “monuments” filled with impossible geometry and optical illusions." (Campbell, 2017)
The methods I have chosen to prototype this is:
Game Prototyping: Unity engine and Blender
Sketch Prototyping: procreate and paper
'Monument Valley' (fig.2) is a mobile game where by the player leads the princess Ida through mazes of optical illusions and impossible objects while manipulating the world around her to reach various platforms.
I started by using the Sketch Prototyping method to create an initial sketch and add the mechanics and where everything would be placed in Unity such as the light and the player. I found this stage easy enough as I used to use the Sketch method in my undergraduate studies in advertising.
Game Prototyping part1 fig.4
I thought it would be great practice of 3d and the use of Unity to use this method. I first started by creating a 3d model of the playable surface or castle illusion. I found this part very difficult as the illusion only works from certain view points and I had to widen the base of the model to work with perspective which is what I guessed that they had done for their game.
Game Prototyping part2 fig.5
I then exported the model across to Unity which I then placed lights around as shown in the sketch in fig.2, I also created a click to move feature for the player using a Navmesh. If I had had more time I would have added the the rotation feature which I wanted to tie into the mouse. I feel like as an initial prototype it came out well to give you the idea of how the game would be played. I also implemented lighting that would reflect the beauty of the game and for the player, I added a really high white emission so he would stand out. You can see the final video of gameplay in the video of fig.7. The monument Valley team also used Unity in their prototyping pipeline (fig.6) as they say "Monument Valley was created using the Unity3D engine. It enabled us to build a working prototype very quickly, and for the artists to be very hands-on. It also enabled us to publish to different platforms relatively simply." (The making of Monument Valley, 2014)
The project saw me come across a lot of problems when it came down to game prototype of the game. I tried not to look at how they made the original game, so I could develop my skills, however this made me miss a few aspects of the game that I was unable to implement with my little experience of Unity, such as creating a navmesh link between the two separate navmesh surfaces. The ability to turn the structure was also included in the sketch, however I was unable to implement it into the game, however, I now know that there would be multiple ways of doing this after researching into the subject. I found that game prototyping and sketch prototyping have proved to be very useful tools, and well prove useful in next weeks rapid ideation challenge.
fig.1 Ken Wong. 2013. Creative Bloq [pencil sketch]
fig.2 Us Two Games. 2013. Homeli [3d in game renders]
fig.3 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Digital sketch
fig.4 Luke Morrisby. 2021. 3d renders in blender
fig.5 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Unity 3d renders
fig.6 Monument Valley 2. 2017. Milanote [Gameplay]
fig.7 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Video of gameplay from prototype
Prototype, G., 2021. Getting The Most Out Of Your Video Game Prototype. [online] Student Resources. Available at: <https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/getting-the-most-out-of-your-prototype-game/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20important,make%20art%20for%20it%2C%20etc.> [Accessed 13 February 2021].
Creative Bloq. 2014. The making of Monument Valley. [online] Available at: <https://www.creativebloq.com/computer-arts/making-monument-valley-71412213> [Accessed 13 February 2021]
Campbell, O., 2017. The Surprising Inspiration Behind Monument Valley’s Most Beautiful Levels | The Work Behind The Work. [online] Milanote. Available at: <https://milanote.com/the-work/the-surprising-inspiration-behind-monument-valleys-most-beautiful-levels#:~:text=Escher.,impossible%20geometry%20and%20optical%20illusions.> [Accessed 13 February 2021].