Pål Schakonat


Director system

A director that observe the game and adjust the pase to match a dramatic curve don in 2 weeks at half time in unreal

Directing for a dramatic curve

Directing for a dramatic curve

The purpose of a director system is to observe the game and change the game acording to a dramatic curve. Like a director. This is a short exploring piece that took 2 weeks half time. my goals was to create a basic dramatic curve with the few variables at hand. I did this with a near miss effect as the turning point for the drama, then transition in to temple looking area where I finish of with a single cave room with few "goblins" followed up with a "cave troll" room room that should represent the complete darkness to pure light moment that you often see in movies. 


Behaviour tree structure

The biggest findings when I did this portfolio piece was the need of a behaviour tree structure for the director. The director needed to behave like and AI. This finding helped me structure my code in an easily understandable way. I did a flow chart with this frame work that represented the whole games directing before implimenting the system. This helped me see some flaws before hand and esier to see structure of the whole but still could focus on a certain fraction. 

flow chart Behaviour tree.png

Near miss with a sense of control


The concept of near miss

On my spare time I like to read scientific papers on different phycology phenomenon. This is a short description on how I implemented the concept of near miss. I took this citate to explain the near-miss from the paper The frustrating effects of just missing the jackpot: slot machine near-misses trigger large skin conductance responses, but no post-reinforcement pauses.

"Near-misses in slot machines resemble jackpot wins but fall just short. Previous research has demonstrated that near-misses are behaviourally reinforcing despite the absence of monetary reward."

Near-misses lack the feeling of control

We know that giving a sense of almost getting a reward is highly engagement. The biggest problem I see with near-misses is the lack of control. What if we could harness the strong engagement of near-miss but it would still fill that the player had control over the situation. I wanted to gamify near-miss.

My inspiration is treasure goblins from Diablo 3. They appear randomly in the game and try to run away from you, if you kill the treasure goblin you get a great reward. You have a chance of killing them, but they try to get away. The player is usually able to kill the goblin in Diablo 3. If you would make it hard to kill the treasure goblin the principal would be the same as a near miss. The different from a near-miss would be that the player can manipulate the outcome with their skill and to create a sens of control.

"The different from a near-miss would be that the player can manipulate the outcome with their skill and to create a sens of control”

How to create a feeling of control

My implementation: I first added a warning (see GIF) before you entered the room, I don´t want the player to feel they are not prepared and that the game is tricking them. When you enter the room, the loot will fly away in to the walls to random positions around the room. The player only need to hover over the quickly disappearing loot to pick them up.

This was a short project, so it was hard for me to measure engagement with this system. But my personal experience was a strong engagement, I felt a sense of rush when I see the loot disappears in front of my eyes and I try to catch it.



"The sucsess of a good director would not be the  director system itself but the framework the designer has to debugg it"

Debugging featuers

I belive the hardes challenge of making a director system is to debugg it. The sucsess of a good system would not be the actual director system but how designers are able to debugg it. I only had a simple debugg solution for piece becuse of scope. I made sure to make it as easy as possible to run through the game as quickly as possilbe and made some costum print functions to print out data on rolls. For example, i found that near miss event could override the legendary room at the cave to temple transition.