The new semester has finally started and, as anticipated, I've been busy with teaching and course preparations. I'm glad that I had time over Winter Term to code the game, get the functionality figured out, and polish the game interface. I'm going to test the game prototype in about two months and, as it currently stands, I only have some minor tweaking to do and development of instructional resources.
The game will require students who play it to recycle bottles according to glass type: clear, brown, and green. This will allow students to practice vocabulary and grammar (German two-way prepositions, e.g.: Ich werfe die Flasche in den Braunglascontainer), all within a simulated real-world context. For the last few weeks, however, I've had some difficulties getting the bottles to be "just right." Either I could make the entire bottle transparent, or none of it. Basically there was a problem with applying more than one texture to a single game object inside of Unity. I was finally able to solve this problem by composing one bottle out of several different objects, each of which had an unique textured applied to it. So, for instance, I was able to take a German beer label (which shouldn't be transparent):
And apply it to a beer bottle, which needs to be entirely transparent. So, I made an object for the label inside of Blender and applied the label as a texture before importing it into Unity. I did the same thing with the beer bottle, albeit with a space in the model where the beer label object would be inserted. Once inside Unity, I created a compound object composed of the the Blender objects. And here's the result:
A minor detail, perhaps, but one that I think adds a little extra layer of authenticity to the game, although I don't know whether the students will take time to think about the extra work that it entailed. Now that I got the clear and brown glass bottles finished, I just have to do the green glass bottles and non-recyclable trash and the game will be mostly finished. And, by the way, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier is really good.