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An Open Window is an experimental MOD for Half-Life 2, Episode 2. In this project I will attempt to bring the concept of different realities to life in a realistic scenario. Instead of being another Shooter, AnOpWi centers around the role of the player and his/her experience, emotion and memories. By interacting with the world the player will define his own reality within the story. For this project I chose an open development cycle, which means I will update very frequently and share every step I take in the process of creating this game. Next to the regular media updates, I will also share my thoughts on the different areas of game design in the form of articles. In every article I will also ask for your opinion with the Question of the Day. This MOD also functions as a knowledge base for new and experienced designers.

Report article RSS Feed An Open Window: PLD +39

After 2 conceptual text updates, it's time for some new media. Today I'd like to show you a conceptual video of a new visual feature: emotion.

Posted by Hezus on Mar 9th, 2011

An Open Window: Project Launch Day +39

After 2 conceptual text updates, it's time for some new media. In the last 2 weeks I havn't had too much time to dedicate to the project but I was still able to work on the art passes and finalise a new visual feature: emotion.

Just as the concept of memory, trying to visualise emotions is a tough challenge. To make it even more complex there is a wide array of different emotions, which would all need their own unique visual effects, so they can be recognised by the player.

One of the most important effects is the use of colour. However, the connection between colours and emotions is something that can vary from culture to culture. To the left you can see a graph of Robert Plutchik's wheel of emotion. In this experiment, they searched images online in 6 different languages, determined the dominant colour and connected it to the term on Plutchik''s wheel. Fear was mostly displayed in light blue in the English language, while in German the colour was yellow. Personally these wouldn't be the colours I would assign to fear, so I realised this was going to be more difficult. I had to find more common grounds to display the emotion of fear.

One of the primary human reactions to fear is to flee from the danger. The player would need to get away to shake off the feeling. When confronted with the feeling, the body goes on full alert, which raises your pulse. Setting a colour for being alert was easier, since this is commonly displayed with a strong signal colour such as red. A person can also be trembled with fear, unable to move or take quick actions, while others can because of the shot of adrenaline they receive from the scare. You can see these effects in the video below.

As the player approaches the door, he senses something is not right and is overwhelmed with fear. His view turns slightly red and distorted by using a colour and screen overlay. As the sequence is in effect, the player is confined in a zone with lower manoeuvrability. As soon as he manages to get out of the zone, the effects fade out and his view returns to normal.

So much for today's update. I hope you enjoyed the article and the video demonstration. Before I end with the QofD, I'd like to point your attention towards the new and updated summary header of this MODDB page. It contains some new information and makes the page a bit more attractive. As always, I look forward to your comments!

Question of the Day:
Which colour would you assign to the emotion of fear?

Post comment Comments
Neoplayer2 Mar 9 2011, 10:21pm says:

I would say black... The fear of the unknown is the worst fear of all.
PS, can't WAIT to see this mod in action! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
DarkRaidor Mar 9 2011, 10:41pm replied:

I agree, many of our first fears as a child are of the dark. Eliminating a sense such as vision or even hearing creates a sense of the unknown and vulnerability, which I believe is the heart of fear.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Clonest Mar 10 2011, 12:04am says:

OH NO!! its a microsoft window!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Necromunger Mar 10 2011, 6:16am says:

Question of the Day:
Which colour would you assign to the emotion of fear?

Purple and black combo

+1 vote     reply to comment
~cHendler~ Mar 10 2011, 10:28am says:

The color of fear is brown of course... ))

+2 votes     reply to comment
Leon_Kilean Mar 11 2011, 2:43pm replied:

Fear is black, yea.
I associate fear with darkness and sort of a shapeless, oppressive feel.
Red makes me think of anger or passion.. oh and damage or errors, when it comes to games or technical things.

Which makes me think of a new question then. How should we balance our gamesĀ“ colour charts between cultural associations, like white is death, or technical culture, like green=good and yes, and red=no and bad. Thank god its a audiovisual format, so you can associate good and bad sounds with the colours as well, or motion.

+1 vote     reply to comment
xXMaNiAcXx Mar 11 2011, 4:17pm says:

You could make the screen get black and a bit white, like black on the sides and focus a part of the screen with white. That would be awesome. Black to make the player get focused on an important part of the screen, which would be in white.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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