We wanted to create a game that provided the social aspects and open structure of board games while bringing the interactivity and unique experiences of a video game.
What it does
The game plays out with one player facilitating the experience, talking the players through a dungeon as the explore it. As the "Game Master" takes players through this game they will encounter random fights, bosses, and loot while exploring, however players are encouraged to go beyond just the gaming aspect of this creation to allow the GM to describe the world and actions in details. The GM paints the world, story, and background, as well as handles the actions of the players, while the game provides the players with a break from "rolling dice" to advanced their adventure.
How we built it
We used a plugin for UE4 that allowed the Arduino to be accessed via write and read commands through the serial port. By using this the game engine could take real time data from the players and GM, such as player movement, awarding loot, and experience, or other areas then pass data back for the GM or players. The players interact through a series of tile based movement, the play a simple turn based game to determine the outcome of fights with enemies.
Challenges we ran into
We faced many challenges while going through this project, namely getting the Arduino to talk with UE4.When we found a plugin that allowed us to do it through visual scripting that made the process significantly easier. However the code to allow adequate back and forth communication between the Arduino and UE4 was difficult to manage to allow data and variables to be passed back and fourth.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We created the whole thing through UE4's visual scripting since none of us had to much experience coding a full game before. It was incredibly challenging getting all the code to work properly, especially some of the more in depth mechanics of the game but seeing a video game interact with the world around in such a way was incredible to see brought to life.
What we learned
We learned a lot along the way in this project. It furthered our understanding in code and the way programs interact with each other, and helped us learn to really think about the process of designing a creative and fun way to interact with games and media. It helped some of us learn the aspects of game design that we really enjoyed and showed us how to work together to really highlight each of our skills. This project helped really learn the importance of prototyping a project though, and how even if it isn't the prettiest product, it can show the functionality of an idea quickly.
What's next for Twitch_Names_Our_Game: Neckbeard Samurai
We would like to change the way the Arduino interacts with the UE4 by making the sensors IR or NFC instead. This would lower player effort to enjoy the game as well as allow it to write and read data to the chips to store important character information, allowing you to use your figure wherever you are without needing the computer you were on. We would also like to expand this idea from just D&D style games, allowing for a whole realm of physical games to take advantage of it. Imagine playing risk, but instead of rolling dice to fight you engage in a WW2 style FPS with the person you are trying to take over, or Monopoly that stimulates economic consequences of on player getting to much power, maybe a card game that allows you to level up and fight each other without just reading numbers off a piece of cardboard, or pandemic where you have to fight through waves of zombies to get through the city. There are so many areas and ideas we could apply this to that would really bring board games into the 21st century allowing more depth and creativity to the fun social environment of classic games.