Studio Mar: Final Update

Hi everyone! Sorry again for the late update, I’ve been trying to gather as much of our final deliverables as possible for this post. This will likely be the last post on this project, although I may come back later to update it with more links and documents.

Final Presentation

Slide summarizing the final product of LineAR (1/2).

Slide summarizing the final product of LineAR (2/2).

The flat brush marker design.

We gave our final presentation to the class on Friday, May 4th. Here’s a link to the presentation. We spent the week before adding UI assets into the game, like the 3D paintbrush model with a tip that changes color when the user touches it to the color sploosh on the palette. We also created a non-QR paintbrush marker that better matches the rest of the aesthetic of the game, which we ended up just taping to one of our phones that we used as the controller.

We also developed two separate client builds–one for stereo vision, and one for monocular vision. There is a bug with Vuforia: when in the stereoscopic view, if Vuforia is tracking many objects at once that are far away from each other (like the tabletop, marker, and palette), the images attached to them split, making it difficult to focus your eyes. This issue is known to Vuforia, and so while we have no control over it, we are hopeful that future releases will fix this problem. For now, we made sure to have a mono view on hand not only to have a client build that works for a handheld device like an iPad in addition to the headset, but to provide an alternative to the stereo  if/when players get sick or disoriented from the split images.

While Tom was our only guest, he was impressed by our final product and the progress we’ve made over the semester. In our final game, you can not only change the color of the brush, but also the brush type to one of six different textures. The word prompts are also functional, and you can view the prompt, skip it, or mark it as completed and go to the next one by pressing the buttons on the palette with the paintbrush. You can also undo brush strokes with another button on the palette. All of the basic UI buttons (skip word, next word, and undo) play a sound as well when they are pressed.

Meeting of the Minds

We also attended the Meeting of the Minds on May 9th. We set up our tabletop and devices among the other Ideate projects, and soon drew a near-constant crowd of interested players, from Ideate and elsewhere. We probably had 25 players at least over the two-hour showcase, when the game wasn’t unavailable as we waited for the phones to charge. We weren’t able to have people actually play the game–that is, draw a word prompt and have others guess–due to only having one headset, a slightly jittery brush, and largely the limited time each player got with the game. Still, our visitors were impressed with the quality and craft of our markers and tabletop, the different colors and brush types available, and simply being able to draw in 3D.

Deliverable Links

If you would like to download LineAR to your own devices and give it a shot, here’s the link to the Google Drive folder with the downloadable APKs, as well as printable files for the markers and the post-mortem report. (Note: This folder is only accessible through a CMU account. The tabletop marker file is unfortunately low-resolution, as our artist hasn’t provided us with the original high-quality image file yet.)

You can also check out our trailer and process video below.

Thanks for keeping up with Studio Mar this semester! If you want to know more about the project or would like to request access to our Git repository, please contact me at Have a great summer!


Studio Mar: Week 15 Update

Sorry for no update last week–Studio Mar was busy with Carnival and didn’t get a lot of work done. This week, Studio Mar tried to push to a stable release so we can spend the next week polishing and preparing for our presentation. We originally wanted to have the game to a point where we could install it in the Miller Gallery the week of April 30th, but we fell behind schedule because of Carnival and other conflicts, so we decided not to try to display the game at the Miller Gallery. Instead, we’re focusing on putting in art assets, getting the controller working, and getting ready for our final presentation on May 4th–just one more week away!

Art + Design Update

User interface

With all of the game features added and programmed in last week, this week we focused on getting in the final art and button assets for the user interface. We decided that, unfortunately, we don’t have time to make a second prototype of the palette, so we incorporated UI elements based on the existing palette design. Several elements are already represented on the physical palette marker (like brush type and size, left), so we added virtual elements that either go over existing elements on the palette, or represent actions that aren’t already on the palette (like the undo button, right).

Paintbrush + Origin Markers

We also created our final paintbrush and origin marker designs, which are made to match the art style of the palette. The paintbrush marker (pictured at left) is inspired by Mergecube, but is our own design. It can be easily printed out and taped together, and will be mounted on the phone controller for the paintbrush. The large origin marker (pictured at right) is a large cylinder, so that players can step away and walk around the marker without losing tracking, but is also designed to function as a table to store the game equipment when it’s not in use. The tabletop can function on its own as a flat marker, if the side of the cylinder (not pictured) fails to track well. The game will include support for flat, 2D versions of each marker, in case the 3D markers are too unreliable during demonstrations.


Now that we have our button and UI elements, we could create a list of specific actions that need sounds. As an augmented reality game, we can’t direct our players’ view and expect them to see visual prompts or feedback. So, sounds are key to giving users feedback when they do an action–like undoing a stroke or selecting a brush option–as well as when they need to pay attention–such as when it’s their turn to draw. This week, we began finding and editing sound effects to go into the final build, including sounds for each button (undo, skip word, next word), brush option (size, color, type), and a fanfare that plays for a player when it’s their turn.

Tech Update

Bugs with multiplayer and other aspects of gameplay have been fixed–the major obstacle left on the technical front is the phone controller, which is key to gameplay. There are still a few problems to be worked out before May 4th, but we are hopeful that the controller will work well enough for our demonstration then. As far as multiplayer, the server is automatically assigned and all players automatically join it. The turn order is also automatically assigned.

We are looking to acquire an additional phone to use for the phone controller, as well as an iPad for spectators to watch the game without putting on a headset. The game, including the phone controller, should run on any recent phone, but we don’t particularly want to give up our personal devices for, say, the two and half hours the game will be running at Meeting of Minds on May 9th. We believe we can get the extra hardware, but even if we don’t, the game is still perfectly playable for one person with two phones, and players can spectate through a laptop or another device.

Production Update

We’re in the home stretch–one more week until our final presentation! We’re really focusing on finishing the game itself, ideally by Tuesday, so that we can present our most polished version on Friday (May 4th). However, we’re also starting to work on our other deliverables–a game trailer, project summary video, and post-mortem report, which are all do after the end of the semester. To that end, we’re starting to collect images and video of this project, including this clip of your producer hard at work looking up sounds. Watch the clip for a peek into a typical work day at Studio Mar!

(If the video clip isn’t showing up in the post, click here or copy+paste this URL:

After next week’s post, we will make one more post to share our videos and post-mortem report, and then that’ll it be it for the semester. Thanks for keeping up with Studio Mar, and tune in next week for our post-presentation blog post!

Week 15 Update


This week, the team began to get everything together for the final deliverable. Programmers worked on finishing up the minigame and the UI in the main game. Some of the changes involve getting the monthly panel to become more intuitive for the player and adding in instructions for the player on post-it notes. Artists worked on creating sprites for all characters and polishing employee sprites. Writers continued to work on the individual characters and wrote the tutorial for the beginning of the game.


Programming spent this week making UI improvements in the main game and bringing in art assets to unify the panels. Panels now have a corkboard background and instructions are on post-it notes. This board is supposed to represent the managerial board in the store and serve as a visual indicator that that is where the player can work on their business. The team wanted to make where exactly money was going a little more obvious to the player, so programmers changed the month panel slightly. The monthly finance report panel now iterates through each category of spending to show the player how their money is being utilized for the month. Additionally, there is another bar for the total earnings of the player, not just how much they made in that particular month. Lastly, programmers put in the animation for the delivery bike, where the employee who is tasked to delivery for the week is shown zooming by outside the store occasionally.

The board on which the weekly tasks are assigned on


In order to make the example game more in line with the team’s design for BizWorks, programmers had to simplify the game. First, they made the initial 10 by 10 grid into a 6 by 6 grid and altered the positions and sizes of item lists on the grid. This change allows the game to move along more quickly and is a bit more user friendly on a mobile screen. Furthermore, the game was adjusted to match the UI mockup the artists made last week. The title of the game – Bakery Match-3 – falls down and “Tap To Play” button blinks before the game starts. Then the game starts when the player clicks on the button. The game now lasts for 1 minute, as that is the time of the shifts in our main game. The score earned in the minigame was also programmed to be transferred to the main game as money earned. The only thing left is to implement the transition between the main game and the minigame.


Artists focused this week on the characters in the game, as well as finishing up whatever UI elements were carried over from the previous week. The biggest thing added this week were the sprites for the delivery task. Originally, the team wanted the delivery bike to be leaving from the back alley to show employees running deliveries, but we decided that it wasn’t obvious enough. Therefore, the team moved the deliveries to the front of the store and created new character sprites for it. Additionally, we decided to give each employee a specialty, so artists created sprites to emphasize those specialties. In addition to finishing the sprites for all four of the employees, artists also created additional character sprites for customers so that there are people to populate the store other than the employees. Looking forward, artists just need to finish all the minigame assets and polish some of the UI elements.

Sprites of the employees if they are assigned to deliveries

Some of the bonus UI for employee tasks

Next Steps

Going into the final week, the team wants to finish up everything that is being worked. Essentially, the next week will be spent tweaking mechanics and polishing all the assets/features of the game. Writers will get in the three main employees’ arcs and the fourth, if possible. Additionally, artists will finish up making the assets for the minigame, mainly the game pieces. Otherwise, the team just needs to improve on existing mechanics for the final product.

Week 14 Update


This week, the team continued working on changing the UI to make the game more cohesive and enjoyable for the player. Artists created mockups of the UI for both the minigame and the monthly panel and finished up making assets for it. Programmers have started implementing that UI and have also added a start and credits scene to the game. To make the monthly panel more complete, programmers have started to change how the UI is displayed and have added the tax and insurance payment options. Overall, the team worked on putting in the minigame and getting everything in the game to look good.


Programmers work partly on bug fixes this week and partly on adding some new components to the game. The biggest thing that was added was a start scene and a credits scene to the game. In doing so, we could make the game feel more completed in general. Furthermore, it also allowed us to check the automatic save/load functions that were coded into the game earlier in the semester. Other new things that were implemented were some of the UI elements in regards to the main store and the ingredients buying panel. Most of the bugs fixed this week were in regards to the dialogue. We fixed dialogue bugs that occurred during the resetting of dialogue flowcharts for each day and dialogue now progresses as expected. The last big thing that was worked on this year was implementing the tax and insurance payments based on the diagram that we decided on last week. Not only is there a minimum payment for the player now, but failure to pay carries over into subsequent months and the financial advisor gives a reminder to the player that they have to pay a week before the payment is due. In addition, we put in three missed payments as a lose condition. Moving forward, programmers want to finish up the UI and polish the monthly panel.

First pass at a startup screen for our game

Main screen after implementing some of the UI elements


After finding the base project last week (Cake Mania), programmers found that the game had very low reusability. The whole game was made up of one script, which made it too difficult to analyze and modify the code to get what we wanted. Essentially, it was too hard coded to work with in the timeframe we had. Instead, programmers decided to go with another Match 3 game, which is an example project from a Lynda tutorial. Looking at the game and considering the target demographic of BizWorks, we decided to use the highest level out of the three levels in the example project. After going through the code, programmers spent the week reorganizing the UI assets to match our needs. For example, we took out the target score and remaining move elements and took out the replay and “Try Again” buttons, essentially simplifying the game to match the short minigame expectations of BizWorks. Moving forward, programmers want to finish modifying the minigame, add our own art assets, and then integrate the minigame into the main game. Below is a short playthrough of the project programmers are basing the minigame off of. 


This week, art finished prototyping the UI for both the main game and the minigame. With both screens being diagrammed, artists moved on to create all the UI assets. Our client had wanted us to implement spreadsheets into the game so that the player could more accurately budget for what they need. We spent this week working on how we could do something similar and came up with a predictive function for the game. Artists made the assets for that feature this week. Other assets added were the minigame title image and the managerial board that buying the ingredients and managing the store takes place. In terms of character work, artists finished the icons, sprites, and full body art for the financial advisor and the fourth character, Miles. Looking forward, artists would like to animate the character sprites in the coming week and make other sprites for characters in the world. Most of the UI was completed this week and now the team just needs to put it in the game to replace the programmer art.

UI mockup for how we want the Match 3 game to look

UI mockup of how we want the monthly panel to look

The main logo for the minigame

Next Steps

Moving forward, programmers need to put in all the UI assets that artists have created and then tweak them as necessary. Furthermore, they need to finish remaking the monthly panel and add some animations into the game. Artists will be finishing the UI assets and then start on making the assets for the minigame. They’ll also be animating the characters and adding some more background characters to make the game world more robust. Writers need to finish up the three existing characters and write a tutorial for the game. Then, they’ll be moving on to the fourth character, who won’t come into the game unless they can be written in time. Overall, some of the features discussed last week may be cut, but the team is moving along smoothly in getting a better prototype together.


Studio Mar: Week 13 Update

This week, Studio Mar hosted our client Carl Rosendahl at CMU, to try our game in person! We also continued work on the phone controllers, physical markers, and UI designs.

Carl tests LineAR while Adrienne, Jonathan, and Everi look on.

Tech Update

The fractal-patterned cuboid origin marker we tested, with different designs on each face.

We fixed the turn-taking bug we had before, so the multiplayer should work without issue now. We also started working on developing an alternative controller for the paintbrush to run off another phone, as part of the same LineAR app. The phone controller, like our original idea for a handheld controller, would consist simply of a single button the user presses to draw and select menu options.

Origin Marker

We tested another origin marker design, this time using a cuboid with different faces than all the same faces. While Vuforia tracks it, it’s hard to tell whether it works well as an origin marker. We can’t get exact measurements for the Miller Gallery plinths, or guarantee that we’ll get any at all, so Marisa is going to design a custom large-scale origin marker for the installation.

Art + Design Update

Diagramming the state changes of UI elements as they’re selected on the palette.

This week, we continued improving the palette UI so that it accurately displays and allows the user to select brush colors. We also began working on other parts of the UI, including screens to display on the phones during onboarding to introduce the players to the game and how to play. And, since our final presentation is coming up, we’re also starting work on storyboarding the trailer and project summary videos.

We’ve also sent out our second round of the word prompt survey through Mechanical Turk. Hopefully the results from this survey will confirm our hypothesis about what makes a good “drawing and acting” combination.

Production Update

Unfortunately, Ideate is not sponsoring a booth at Carnival this year, so our next chance to set up the installation is at the Miller Gallery. Any playtesting done before that will have to be on our own. Installation for the Miller Gallery Senior Art Show starts on April 30th, a week before our final presentation is due for the class. Because of this, we need to have our game finished by April 27th, so we can get it set up the following week. Fortunately, this follows our previous production schedule, giving us a week to fix bugs, polish, and work on our presentation, videos, and post-mortem report in time for our class presentation on May 4th. After that, our final display will be at Meeting of Minds on May 9th.


Thanks for keeping up with Studio Mar, and check back next week for another update!


Week 12 Update


We added the bank scenario and dialogues/questions in the game. So now we have two scenarios: fruit vendor and bank. However, it has been challenging to integrate a rewards system.


In terms of art, Andrew has been working on polishing the game environment (see below). This environment contains four social scenarios: bank, department store, fruit vendor, and street. Due to the time constraint, we will use this image both as the main game environment and as the backgrounds for the separate scenarios (zoomed in version).

Sarah is working on the sprites of the bank teller (a robot lady). Following the bank teller will be the images of shopping assistant.

Polished Game Environment in Black and White


In the following week (by 4/18), we will add two more scenarios: bank and department store. We will finalize a polished UI design early next week (Monday). In terms of programming, we will integrate the rewards system, and track player data. Art-wise, we are trying to complete the game environment, and add character sprites.

Programming Art Other
4/17 A working rewards system

Tracking player data

Polished UI

Integrate assets (department)

Game environment

Bank teller sprite

Shopping assistant

Story writing


4/27 Drag-and-drop in separate boxes

Sound effects

Game beginning, ending

Colored environment

Colored restaurant

Stranger on street

Finalized story


5/4 Connecting all scenarios


Polished environment Video, documentation

Week 13 Update


After presenting our prototype last Friday, the team spent this week rescoping the project and worked on addressing the feedback we obtained from both the professors and our peers. Specifically, we realized there were a lot of features we needed to either cut or reshape, like our review system. Additionally, we decided to put the minigame at the forefront of our last few weeks of work, as opposed to the original plan of leaving it on the back burner. Combined with prioritizing UI and the feel of the game, we spent this week working on those two aspects and expect to finish implementing them in the coming week.

Prototype Feedback

Feedback for our prototype was mainly broken down into three chunks. As we expected, one of the big issues we were told was the visual and auditory components of the game. Playing the cammed demo, the auditory feedback UI that we had in the game was annoying and visually, it was still difficult to tell what was going on. Furthermore, there was not a lot of feedback of what was going on and it made the game boring. The team was told to consider putting in more sounds, like the sounds of the bakery, and visually showing customers come in and out in order to push the idea of a working bakery (and to make it more entertaining). Another large issue was that there is still nothing for the player to do during the shift. Therefore, we were told that we should probably prioritize the minigame in order to make the game more enjoyable. In terms of what kind of minigame would be doable in the timeframe, we were told that a Match 3 game may be the best bet. In general, it should be a type of game most people are familiar with and the experience should last about twenty to thirty seconds. The last big critique we got was the appearance and use of the monthly panel at the moment. The monthly panel does not give any warning about when payments are due and doesn’t give any information about the payments being made. Essentially, it’s forcing the player to do an action that may not be understood. The team was told to figure out how exactly the player would be forced to pay and what happens if they cannot make that payment and make that clear to the player.

Along with feedback from the instructors, the team also got feedback from our peers with different ideas for the game. Some of the things they were concerned about were how the financial literacy concepts were being taught and how the player interacted with the screen. Agreeing with the professors, they thought that the UI was a little bit awkward, with the auditory components being “alarming” and the lack of confirmation before the store shifted between the shifts and the break. Another thing they pointed out was the lack of tutorial within the first iteration of the day, stating that it was a bit confusing to follow without any additional instructions. In general, the comments pointed out that it was still unclear of what the player should do and the parts that we wanted the player to focus on (such as workstations) needed to stand out a bit more. However, they mostly agreed that the concepts behind the game were appealing, as well as the artwork, so the team just needs to tie everything together better.

Concept Rework

Taking into account the feedback from both the instructor and other members of the class and considering how much needs to be done in terms of debugging and tweaking existing aspects of the game, the team reworked the mechanics of the game a bit. One big thing that we changed was that we took away the unexpected events that we originally had planned to put in the game. This change is due to our time restraints and the changing priorities in our game, with the minigame now being at the top of the list. We want to use the minigame to emulate the player/owner “helping” various employees with their tasks. Therefore, if the game is expanded, each task could have its own minigame and the results of that minigame can be translated into bonuses for the player, whether it be money, ingredients, or reputation. We decided to also spend a lot of time reworking the UI instead of adding many more features to the game. For example, we had originally wanted customizable equipment and a storefront, but we decided that investing in better UI would make the player more attached to the game than some color options on equipment would. Also, to give the player more to do, we decided to create a trash collecting mechanism in the game. Player will need to pick up the trash as it builds up and if they do, they get some cash bonuses. Additionally, if they do not, their reputation and sales start to suffer. Regarding the review feedback system we had planned, we decided that we didn’t have the time to implement it, so we reshaped it to be a customer that comes in at the end of each week that the player has to click on before finishing the day. In this way, they are forced to see the feedback and how the store is doing.


Some features that we are adding/cutting from our game and a more detailed timeline for the next two weeks

More detailed diagram of how loan, tax, and insurance payments work


Because the team reworked the minigame to be one of the highest priority features we want to have in the game, programming decided to split work between the minigame and the main game between the two programmers. For the main game, most of the work this week was focused on the UI. Programmers polished the UI to unify buttons, panels, etc. at least with programmer art until art assets are finished, in order to give the game a more cohesive and appealing feel. Some aspects of the lunch shift were also changed. Employees move to a lunch table during the shift and the shift is no longer timed. We made these changes based on the feedback received, where it doesn’t make sense for the lunch shift to be on a timer if the player is just having conversation with the employees. Now, afternoon shift only starts after the player has spoken to both employees. In this way, the player is forced to play through the financial literacy arcs to get through the game. Some feedback UI was updated as well. For example, UI feedback blinks only when an employee actually makes bread or sells bread now, as opposed to before when it blinked each time the energy bar decremented. Moving forward, the team wants to spend the next week completing the UI with the assets that artists create.


This week, programmers started to research the types of minigames they could include to improve player experience. Originally, there was a debate between using a Match 3 game versus a Cooking Mama style game, the latter of which was attractive because it was relevant to how the business ran. However, after considering the options, a Match 3 game was chosen for a few reasons. First, it’s a more universal game type than a Cooking Mama style game, meaning that we would have to explain less to the player. Second, it’s easier to implement, as there are more open source projects to base the game code on, which was important to us given the time constraints we had in creating the minigame. Lastly, in terms of expanding the game in the future, a Match 3 game is more universally applicable than a Cooking Mama style game, especially if we cover more than just food-related businesses. Therefore, we went with a Match 3 game. Programmers were able to find an existing, fully-implemented Match 3 game in the Unity Asset Store called Cake Mania. The rest of the week was spent analysing the scripts to see how they could be modified to be incorporated into the game. Some of the things that need to be done to the game are making the grid smaller, making the time limit within the parameters of our game, and changing the art assets. Programmers have started to work on this and plan to continue doing so in coming week after figuring out the code. Below is a snippet of how the game looks having already started to tweak some aspects of it, like the board size. 


Artists spent this week working on two major components. With most of the in-store assets completed, artists turned towards working on the UI and collaborating styles between the different artists on the team. For the character sprites, we decided to redo them so that they work better with the full-size character assets. Additionally, this week, artists put final touches on the financial advisor sprite. The latter half of the week was spent starting to map out the UI in the main game. In making the UI, artists wanted to make something that was easily interpreted. Therefore, we decided to add a large clock on the bottom left to tell the player what shift they were on. Additionally, we used bars on top to keep track of stock, money, and reputation. Artists drew out diagrams of the UI layout for the main game and started to create the assets for it. In the coming weeks, artists want to focus on animating the sprites and creating the UI elements for the minigame and the monthly panel.

Updated sprites for the three main employees and the financial advisor

The plans for how we want the UI of the main part of the game to look like

Next Steps

For programming, programmers want to finish integrating the minigame, as well as finish implementing the functions in the monthly panel, mainly the tax and insurance payments. Specifically, in the next week, programmers also want to implement a start screen and make sure the saving function works. Some of the pieces that are on the back burner are the customer reviews and the trash collection in the main screen. Artists want to focus on polishing the sprites and in the immediate week, will focus on adding in all the UI elements into the game. Furthermore, we plan to make the trash assets and the delivery sprites in the coming week. Writing would like to finish all scripts in the next two weeks, including adding the fourth character, so that their dialogues could be put into the game and tested. Ideally, the team would like to start playtesting two weeks before the final checkpoint.


Studio Mar: Week 12 Update

This week, Studio Mar gave our midsemester progress presentation! We demonstrated our game, which now has the rest of the main features, including changing brush width, color, and texture. We also presented and discussed our research on word prompts, as well as our progress on marker prototypes, including a new, high-quality palette marker prototype.

Progress Presentation

In our progress presentation, we summed up all of the work and research up to this point, including a storyboard visualization of how to play LineAR and some explanation of how markers and UI for augmented reality works. Most of our progress for this week can be found in the presentation slides, which you can find in full here. Some of the highlights from the presentation are included above.

Tech update

Jonathan helps a classmate test the new palette marker.

On the technology and programming front, we’ve added all of our main features to the game, including all the brush options (width, color, and texture). While not all the features are accessible through a handheld controller, they can be changed through keyboard shortcuts. Marisa also created a handheld palette by laser cutting a disc with a pattern that the game recognizes as a 2D marker. In-game, a basic interface element of a paint blob appears over the marker that lets the player change the brush color by touching the paintbrush marker to the palette marker. In addition, the game now reads in word prompts from a text file and displays them on the handheld palette.

In summary, the game now includes:

  • Drawing a line in 3D space
  • Multiple people viewing the same drawing
  • Changing brush color, width, texture
  • Word prompts appear on palette

    Concept of the “artist” player, with palette and phone-controller paintbrush.

We also created and tested several new origin markers, including a large 3D cuboid marker. While Vuforia can track our prototype cuboid well, it’s still a little buggy to use as an origin, and we’ll have to keep testing markers to find one that will work for our installation. On top of that, we discovered that neither Daydream nor Bluetooth controllers work with Vuforia, so we need to find another workaround for the paintbrush controller. Right now, we’re planning on developing an interface to run on another phone (as part of the same app) to use as the paintbrush controller, with the paintbrush marker mounted on top.

Art + Design Update

Showing how the UI and markers work across virtual, real, and augmented worlds.

In addition to the illustrations used in the presentation, our artists have been working on the UI, both physical and virtual. The physical and virtual design of the palette are synced together (seen at left). We’ve also been designing interaction concepts and features to include for the palette, beyond just displaying color options and the word prompt (as seen below). Unfortunately, because we’re still struggling to find a working paintbrush controller, we haven’t been able to really start work on the paintbrush UI, but we’re going to do our best to complete the basic UI elements in the upcoming week.

Word Prompts

We are going to send out a second survey based on our hypotheses about what makes a “good” word prompt. Hopefully the results from this survey, which will be formatted much like the previous one, will confirm our list of characteristics of what is an inherently creative prompt to draw and act in 3D space.

Production Schedule UPdate

As part of our presentation, we presented a revised production schedule based on our current progress. The main changes are summed up below:

  • Less focus on artistic/experimental aspects (controversial word prompts)
  • Dropped extended goals (gallery, re-animation)
  • Focus on getting the core mechanics to work (doesn’t have to look too pretty)
Week 12 / Apr 06 Progress presentation due Main features integrated
Week 13 / Apr 13 UI + Markers

Multiplayer fixed

Paintbrush controller

Virtual UI assets (paintbrush, palette)

Origin marker prototype (not skull)

Fix turn taking

Phone controller for paintbrush

Word prompt survey Round 2 results

Week 14 / Apr 20 Carnival Playable game for playtesting

Finish paintbrush controller!!

Word bank for playing

Virtual UI in game

Week 15 / Apr 27 Stable release Pre-final: No new features to be added, bug squashing
Week 16 / May 04 Final presentation due Flex week, presentation/final release prep


Thanks for reading this week’s update, and check back next week for more Studio Mar!


Beefy Chicken Stewdios Week 11 Update


This past week we’ve made a lot of substantial progress in our main mechanics. We have all of the actual Chinese interaction segments are relatively finalized and draw data from the database. In addition to practice, multiple choice, and fill in the blank all working modularly, we now have a complete gameplay experience, being able to transfer from the title scene to the intro scene to the world scene and back to the question scene.

The next most important programming task is one more related to the goal of the project rather than player experience, which is saving individual user data. As the game is to be used as a tool to teach Chinese fluently, the instructors naturally need a way to track the player’s data as they progress throughout the game. As such, there’s a couple more tables in the database regarding player identifier information, and the player’s question responses. The challenge then becomes both tracking player throughout the game as well as saving their data uniquely to the database.


Multiple-choice question

Drag-and-drop challenge


In the past week, we came up with the sketch of the restaurant where the player practices with buddy bot and receives the quests from customers. We also experimented with UI design. In terms of the character spites, we completed different facial expressions of the buddy bot. All different expressions of buddy bot match with the expressions of NPCs (neutral, happy, confused, mad, awkward). But the expressions of buddy bot are more exaggerated than NPCs in game in order to indicate the (in)correctness of player’s language choice at the practice phase.

Over-world View Sketch

Inside Restaurant Sketch

Facial Expressions of the Buddy Bot and Fruit Vendor


In the coming week, we will playtest the prototype with learners of Chinese. Programming-wise, we will work on saving player data, connecting different game phases, and adding the rewards system. In terms of art, we will have polished overworld view and restaurant view, bank teller character. We will also work on better UI design and look into sound effects as part of the feedback.

4/13 Bank scenario; Rewards system; Tracking player data; Playtesting
4/20 Department store scenario; Polished UI; Game start; Script
4/27 Bank and street scenario; Documentation; Polished UI; Game ending scene


Week 12 Update


For the most part, this week was spent polishing the existing mechanics and assets for the in-class presentation on 4/6. In terms of main gameplay, we were able to completely finish the day cycle and have most of the week cycle finished as well, with the exception of some of the functionality of the weekly summary panel. Considering the team continued to have technical issues with the collaborative software, progress did not go as smoothly as we’d have liked. However, the game is in a good place where the only things that need to be adjusted in the main game mechanics are some of the UI and feedback elements and the visuals of the game.


This week, programmers had some technical issues working with Git. For example, the scene was not being preserved between different branches, thus leading to a lot of headache every time the game was updated. Therefore, programmers switched to Unity collab for version control. Programming finished up the full game cycle including the day (week) cycle and the week (month) cycle. The end-of-month summary panel was completed aside from tax and insurance functionality. There is still some polishing that needs to be done to the cycle, such as adding more visual indicators that the shift times are different from lunch time. Additionally, some of the UI of the monthly panel will change, but functionally, most of the work is there. In terms of implementing dialogue and the written script, Lila and Sue’s first levels of dialogue were added during the lunch shift. Now, when the player taps on the respective sprites, they can choose how to advise the employee. Some art assets were also put into the game, like the character sprites in the back alley. Lastly, programmers implemented a simple camera pan to move between the main store and the back alley to differentiate shifts and to give a sense of continuity.

A screenshot of the task assignment screen

The first iteration of the monthly panel– the total income is on top, while the expenses are on the bottom


Art focused this week on getting sprites finalized and creating some other assets for the weekly panel. The sprites for the first three employees were finished and put into the game, and the sprite for the fourth employee will follow. In the future, artists would also like to animate these sprites so that they are not just staying still as the day moves forward. Also, artists want to spend the next week tweaking the sprites so that there is a consistent style between different assets in the game. While a lot of work was put into the sprites this week, artists also started working on assets for the weekly panel and finished up polishing assets for both the store and the back alley. In the next few weeks, artists want to focus on finishing the UI assets for the weekly panel and start working on other assets to make the store more visually appealing.

In store sprites of the first three employees

The fourth employee for the game, Miles, an aspiring pastry chef


Our prototype has the main game cycle fully functioning. Essentially, the player can now go through the whole main game, save two mechanics. Right now, because tax and insurance payments have not been implemented, the player is still missing part of the game. However, they are capable of running through the first few months and still paying off the loan. Furthermore, for two of the characters, the first level of conversation has been implemented, as well as some fluff interaction to make the employees more personable. The player can access these interactions in the lunch break area. In our prototype, we also included some UI elements that are not permanent, but get across the idea what we want the player to be aware of. For example, the bread and money assets are going to be polished in the upcoming weeks and made more appealing in general. Furthermore, right now, the text indicating what shift it currently is is unclear and not appealing, so we’ll also be fixing that in the future. Essentially, the goal with the prototype moving forward is to tweak a lot of the mechanics and make the game more visually appealing, including adding a start screen and narrative to fill in the gaps of the game. Additionally, there is not a lot for the player to do right now, so we’d like to make them more invested in the game through the use of minigames. The prototype is not as far along as we’d like, but the team thinks that the main mechanics have been put in fairly well.

Production Schedule

Taking into account how much we were able to accomplish for the prototype this week, we realized that we had to cut a few features of our game. Our timeline for the rest of the semester is as follows, although the feedback that we receive may change the schedule. Understanding that the minigame can become a project in it of itself, the minigame will be the first thing that will be cut from the game if we cannot stay on schedule.

Week 13 (4/9-4/15): Fixing day mechanic bugs, implement start/load screen, polish character sprites, writing interactions, polish UI elements
Week 14 (4/16-4/22): Implement review system, start minigame programming, start minigame assets, put in financial advisor, start adding sounds
Week 15 (4/23-4/29): Finish implementing minigame, finish adding sounds, playtest, work in playtesting feedback
Week 16 (4/30-5/4): Polish all assets for final presentation, finish any documentation needed for the final deliverable