Tilt Story
Updated 3 months ago
In development
A platform for making stories you can traverse with gyroscopic tilt-ball gameplay.
The concept for Tilt Story was envisioned by Patrick FitzGerald, a professor at NC State University, as a way to keep younger audiences engaged with a picture book style narrative by providing an interactive method of moving through the story in the form of tilt-ball gameplay. As the developer bringing this concept to life I programmed the behavior of the "player" (the gyroscope controlled ball) and the camera, as well as a few other core concepts, to begin demonstrating what this sort of game might look like. Further developments will see it evolve into a platform by which creators, even those with no experience in Unity, can make their own stories to be played.
The game utilizes Unity's event driven system for gameplay cues, and otherwise uses individual scripts to build behaviors for objects. DoTween was used to smooth out camera transitions in snapping cases; in other cases simple movement functions had to be made to accommodate the dynamic nature of the player's movement. Mainly this was the case for following the ball, changing the height of the camera to keep the ball in frame when necessary, and returning the camera to following the ball after releasing it from an image. The controls are made to be simple and intuitive, tilting the device moves the ball and tapping the screen releases the ball after it's been "captured" by a photo frame. Tweens are also used in conjunction with other movement to smooth out otherwise dynamic controls, such as transition from one level to the next by falling through the hole in the floor.
Further work will be done to develop movement and the event system. Two issues that will be fixed soon moving forward involve the snapping system for image planes. In this version it is very possible to have the ball snap to an image it's already visited multiple times. Future versions will most likely check off images and in doing so make them inactive after visiting them once, if it is more desirable to allow the player to revisit images then a system system to make an image inactive for a set period of time may be a better fix. The other needed fix will involve the transition from one level to another. Currently it is more work to keep the ball on track that to derail it. This is likely going to be a minor fix involving a change in the tweening setup for this transition. After these minor issues are fixed the work moving forward will see an appealing style applied, and a set of styles created for makers to choose from. From that point on the main focus will be enabling makers to create their own stories.
The video is taken from my android phone running the game with a few minor edits to save time. Music for the video is provided by Zeta.

Stephen Waddell
Freelance Developer - Programmer
Supported Platforms