Week 10: 3/20-3/26 – Halves Presentations

True North @ Halves
True North presenting at Halves! (Sarabeth is smiling on the inside).

This week, True North worked to implement changes in our prototype according to feedback from our playtests last week, and prepared / presented our progress at WK 10 for the Halves Presentations – our midterm review.

On Monday we carved out some time to meet with our faculty instructors to show them our planned presentation materials as well as discuss some issues we faced since our last meeting before the Spring Break.  Between the week off and GDC last week, we knew we had a lot on our plate to accomplish with our remaining 5 weeks of production.

Mike and Ralph challenged us to really push through and incorporate more interactivity, and pay attention to the devils we’d been neglecting – UI, polish and animations.  Since then, we made strides to bridge the gap here, and came up with an action plan before our next prototype milestone – ETC Playtest day on 4/2 (WK 11: Saturday).  These include story and script updates, minor animations (head movement, eyes movement), sound (SFX, Ambient & BGM), revised UI (We met with Shirley Yee and she gave us some great advice on our Typography and UI layout) and transitions.  Also this week we solidified our working title to the experience – UNWRITTEN CODE.  Snaps for Ross, who came up with the title.

On Tuesday, we met with our client Lucas, who outlined the change in demographic he had previously communicated to us.  Our demo for graduate students would remain the same, but we will need to adapt the story a bit to include undergraduates – as this will be used as tool with undergrads who have committed academic violations.  The experience will now be used in two main ways:  for graduate students prior to arrival on campus, and for undergrads with a history of an academic violation.  In both cases, Student Life will follow up with students, either organizing group facilitated discussion with the graduate students, or in 1-on-1 sessions with the undergraduate violators.

On Wednesday, the team presented our progress (complete with demo) to the student body and the faculty.  We had some positive feedback on what we’ve accomplished thus far, but we definitely have some work to go on our deliverable.  If we can make good progress on the interactivity before the next playtest, we will be confident in our ability to accomplish the majority of our goals.

On the asset side, Ross has been busy creating our remaining 2 environments (Gym / outdoor scene and the Prof’s office).  In addition, the class delivered a copy of the bar restaurant environment, and we’ve already implemented it into the experience.  We’ve included an updated demo to show you, and you can watch it at the bottom of this post.

For the music, Emily has been implementing concepts of the ambient bg noises as well as iterating on the SFX we have in the experience already.  We plan to incorporate voice over in a limited way, to give the characters some flavor.  We will not be recording the entire script, as it would limit our ability to react to changes after the recordings were set.

Programming side, Hilman, Tim and Emily have been busy integrating new assets, debugging and researching how to achieve our desired animation effects.

As we look ahead to next week, we’ll be implementing story changes, new art assets, more sound, and hopefully implementing our animation concepts.  The class will continue to workshop with us, and create some UI for our phone interactions.  We have compiled our results from the playtest (with much assistance from the MP class), but will take time to detail them in the following post, as this one has become quite lengthy.  Please see below points on our work for the week, as well as some examples of art progress.  At the bottom of the post, you’ll see a revised demo, showing the opening scenes of our sequence.  You will notice some UI updates, as well as sound integrated.  The UI is far from finished, but it gives an example of the direction we are heading.  Until next week.

Story / Design

  • Draft 8 – revised draft includes more complete relationship meter dialogs, prelim changes for undergrads


  • Add new dialog bubble
  • Experiment with character’s animation
  • Debugging experience – selection clicking


Restaurant BG
Restaurant Scene – completed by MP Class
  • Revised UI for speech bubbles and context boxes
  • Bar scene completed by class
  • Professor’s Office
  • Gym environment
  • In scene characters for UC, office and Bar
  • Animation slice up on Neutral ryan – (to test animation of characters)
    Prof Sweeney's Office
    Prof. Sweeney’s Office – initial work so far
    Gym BG
    Line art for Outdoor / Gym scene
    • Animation assets to be worked on next week


  • Basic ambient sounds in all environments (except cafe, office, gym)
  • Basic SFX implemented
  • Working on subtle BGM for cafe and restaurant