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[University][1st Year] Intro to Game Design

A re-upload of my 1st year Into to Game Design project, which featured the use of GameMaker to create a playable level with gameplay elements. My chosen game was a fan made parody of a scene from star wars, playing as the Millennium Falcon escaping from the inside of the Death Star during its destruction.

The intro/outro and gameplay videos can be viewed in-order below:

[University][Virtual Reality] Honours Project – VR, The Now and Future of Gaming?

During my final year at university I researched the differences in design and development of games for virtual reality. During this project I researched virtual reality designs and interaction, seeking to find solutions to development problems plaguing VR adaption, then creating a technical implementation based on previous research and personal findings.

My dissertation can be viewed here: 24508_Scott_Howie_Honours_Project_-_Virtual_Reality__The_Now_and_Future_of_Gaming__717343_892289467

 

A video of the room-scale VR gameplay featured can be viewed below:

[University] GPU Processing – Image Convolution

Using both Nvidia’s CUDA and OpenCL, I was tasked to create a parallel piece of software that blurred and image using both Gaussian Blur and Box Blur, comparing the timings and results of each part of processing. After creating code that would function using the OpenCL C++ API, I tracked timings and performance, then ported the code to the CUDA interface (of which I have previous experience using), allowing a comparision to be made from the different levels of performance for; Image Scale, Image Resolution, API used, Blur Applied and Blur Radius. This data was able to give in-depth analysis of performance increase between the two API’s and blur filters.

An extract from my documentation highlighting Box Blur and Gaussian Blur filters can be seen below:

[University][Playstation 3] Console Development – Parallel Image Convolution

In my University module ‘Game Console Development’ I wrote a image convolution program which detected cancer cells within a presented image. Through multiple image editing techniques, edges were found on the image and outlined within the software. After a functional serial version was running on the computer, I adapted the code to run parallel on a Playstation 3 system running linux, using all available SPU’s to increase processing performance. This required a deep understanding of the CELL architecture of the Playstation 3 system, with data transfer between the CPU and SPU’s limited to a small local cache size, data was split into smaller grids which would word independently of each other and other SPU’s. The inclusion of local memory also allowed some elements of data to be retrieved by other SPU’s when required during processing.

[University][Virtual Reality] PresentationVR – Aiding Public Speaking Anxiety

For my serious games module me and my group partner were tasked to create a Serious Game that would aid and educate users on a preferred subject. We opted to use the HTC Vive Virtual Reality headset to create an experience that would simulate public speaking during presentations. The game offers multiple elements of user interaction, allowing personalized speeches and power-points imported into the game, being featured on a move-able tablet and background whiteboard.

The game offers in-game anxiety reducing items, allowing multiple objects to be thrown at your audience to calm the situation. Other background stats are also recorded such as; talk length, slide number and talk score. The score received from the game depends on the eye contact being conducted by the user, when attention is directed towards the audience score is increased. Likewise, reading off notes for extended periods of times, lowers the resulting score. This and other data is them uploaded to a Firebase database which allows the data to be viewed and accessed at anytime, allowing users to keep track of their progress from any access point.

 

 

[University][Virtual Reality] 3D Level Design – Unit 731

 

Tasked with creating a 3D level for my 3D Level design module in university, I opted to create a level that would be explored using the HTC Vive headset. The setting and location for the game is based on a fictional version of the Japanese war camps during WW2, namely Unit 731. In the prototype you are tasked with exploring the facility and uncovering its dark past, using your phone to document evidence by taking pictures and utilizing live nightvision recordings to guide to you through the level.

Unfortunately due to limited development time, AI characters and animations are limited in scope.

A walkthrough of the level using the HTC Vive can be viewed below:

[University Project] Lomnia

 

Lomnia was a project built using SDL for our 3rd Year Game Project module. The first video demonstrates gameplay from my combat mechanics, and the last two are the opening and closing cutscenes for the game.

For privacy reasons I will only name each group member as a number with listed tasks.

  • Group Member 1 – UI and World Collisions
  • Group Member 2 – Item Pickups & Document-er
  • Group Member 3 – Models and Textures
  • Me (Team Leader) – Class creation, Combat mechanics, Cutscenes, Music, Lighting and Maze generation.

[Unfinished Project] VR-Scape

TPS2015

This was a small idea I had to develop a project using the oculus rift DK2, being fascinated by virtual reality and their possible future usage in games, I was really interested in seeing what’s possible now. What I developed was a relaxation, where you sit and watch the world go by with relaxing music played over the transports speakers. The idea was to create stunning landscapes and allow the player(s) to look and enjoy the view, letting the players travel to amazing locations straight from their own living space. Needless to say, as much as I liked the idea, it was too expensive to continue development and scrapped about a month after it started development. I still have the project backed up and may go back to it at some point, but at the moment I’m too busy with other projects and uni work.

Project Space

‘Project Space’ is a top down shooter with the goal to survive as long as possible while using collected resources to upgrade your character and space station. The waves of enemies get larger and stronger as you progress, making the allocation of resources vital to survival, whether that’s turning on the defense turrets for a period of time or increasing your reload speed, it’s up to you. The game features multiple play styles, whether you prefer a stronger, but slower combatant that has more health but is less maneuverable, or a quick to move, but more prone to damage fighter. The space station consists of 3 rooms which are locked and require resource to unlock. Each of these rooms are randomized, meaning the location of the upgrade station, healing station and power generator may spawn in a different location each game. The power must be powered on if the player wishes to use either the upgrade or health station.

The game is freely available to download on the Android App Store now.

The game was developed in my free time during October 2014 – December 2014 (with support stopping in February 2015). It was built for use on touch screen devices, but can also be played using a controller (developed with xbox360 controller). The game was developed so I could learn an understanding of touch screen controls and restrictions faced on the mobile platform. This allowed me to built an intensive and engaging experience while optimizing for mobile.

Screenshots:

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