Thursday, December 27, 2012

Barn Finished

After I finished the model a few days ago, I've been working on the texture and because of the holidays I feel a few days behind. But here is a render of the model as it stand right now:

All the textures in the model are tiled. I just emailed the model to my team, and I'm waiting to hear back from them on what they think. Right now, Im thinking that I might go back and update the texture on the window glass, but that will have to wait for a little.

Thanks for reading, thats all for now.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Barn Redone

So I finished a barn model not too long ago for my internship project, but the thing is that we actually need to have the inside available from the outside since at first I thought that the inside of the barn was going to be loaded separately if the patient wants to go in and do the 10 meter test. But I was wrong, they want everything to be in one map without it having to load separate screens or rooms.

So here is a screen shoot of the model:

At first, I didn't really know how I was going to make the inside of the barn, but after playing a  few hours of Assassins Creed 3, and seeing how they build their barn house models I had an idea of how I wanted it to look. I looked up so reference images like the ones below and started to experiment.

Overall, I like the way my model turned out. Now all I have to do is texture it, which I hope won't take me too long but since Christmas is Tuesday I may fall behind a bit. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the Semester

So today was my final presentation in my level design class, and I'm now officially done with class. With the exception of making sure this blog is up-to-date on everything I did in my class, there really isn't much more for me to do. So starting on Saturday, I will focus entirely on my Internship that I've sort of neglected for the last week since I was really busy trying to get my Art final to a stage that I would be proud to show my work to everyone else.

For our thesis project, we have it a level where its playable but there is still much work to be done. Which is why I'm grateful that we still have a whole semester for polish before we have to publish the game. I think we will have to do some changes to the way the game works because right now its not very interesting to play, but thats a topic better left for another day.

I have been thinking about it for the last few days, and I'm sure that I can pump out at least 5 models a week. The models wouldn't be textured, but they would be good enough that the engineers will be able to use them in Unity. I will work really hard to get everything done before our deadline on January 15th.

Other than that, I'm going to rewrite my resume since I've showed it to a few people and they have given me a lot of advice on how to make shorter (it was 2 pages before) and more interesting. I'm trying to find an internship at a studio where I would be able to do some 3d environmental art.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Game Arts Final

Screenshot from Unity.
I'm happy to say that I'm done with my final project for my Game Arts class, and it turned out a lot better than what I hoped.

At first, I was trying to shoot for something realistic but then I realized that it wouldn't look as interesting. I decided to go for something like Okami with a toon shader, but a bit more realistic. To achieve the look I wanted, I decided to hand paint as many of the textures that I was going to use as possible.

I had some help with the lighting, shadows, and a particle effect that's inside of the tea house. But other than that, I the whole thing together myself. I did use a few of the assets that come with unity, but I will try to replace them in the next few weeks so that it has a consistent look all across.

If anyone is interested in playing my level, I have made Unity builds for Windows and Mac that can be downloaded here. If anyone has any autosuggestion on what I should change to improve the quality of this environment, please contact me and I'll be happy to take any and all critique.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hand Painted Textures

So since realistic textures aren't going to fit with the new art style that I want, I've been trying to hand paint as many of my textures as I can. I probably won't be able to hand paint all my textures, but here are four textures that I will be using throughout my scene. The textures at the top from left to right are: dark wood/bark, tatami mat, light wood, and rice paper.

I'm really new at digital painting, but I'm proud of the way they turned out. I have much more work to do, because the textures don't tile very well. Hopefully I'll be able to use them without the seams being too noticeable. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Progress on my Japanese Garden

So there is a week left until my art project for Game Art 3 is due, and I've been trying to work on it as much as possible over the last few days. During that time, I've also made a few changes to the project. So I don't know if I mentioned before that I was going for a realistic look, but after some consideration, I've come to realize that if I try to make it realistic, I may fail in the process. So I've decided to go for a look similar to that of Okami and I'm trying to hand paint as many of my textures as I can. I'm also going to use the toon shader in Unity and try to make it look almost like calligraphy.

So to populate the scene, I'm going to build a sakura tree since its very iconic of the culture. So here are a couple of pictures on my progress on the tree.

The tree branch at the top I'm going to apply to a plain and make a low poly tree. Since working on the painting of the geisha, I've come to love hand painting, but I haven't had much time to keep practicing. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the tree today and post a render. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Low Poly Car

I've been working on a low-poly car for a few days now, since the ones that are in the game at the moment have a really high tri-count. Here is a render from Maya of the new low poly car.

I made a total of 4 textures for the cars to make it look like there is more variety of cars on the streets. Since its almost the end of the semester, I don't really know what else I'll be able to get into the game before the open house on Thursday. Anyways, thanks for reading!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Water Tower Model Done

816 Triangles
This is the latest model that I finished today. This is going to be another one of the landmarks that I will use for the internship project. I might go back and make a few changes to the geometry, but for now the model is good enough that it can used in the game.

Next, I will be working on the inside of the barn next since we want to make sure that by the middle of January, we want to make sure that at the very least the 10 meter test, 6 minute test, and endurance test will be implemented in the game. The inside of the barn will be used for the 10 meter test and since its the smallest of the 3 tests, we want to finish it first.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cell Tower Model

So I created this model for a small project for my level design class. This model is going to be a target in the game my group is creating. This model is only a place holder for the white box prototype we are creating, so it probably will be scrapped after the semester is over. :( But I thought that I did a good job on the model considering that I made it in about 2 hours while I was in class. Not bad for a speed model. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Windmill Model Done

Total of 1644 triangles.
So this is the 3D model for the farm environment that I'm in the process of creating for my internship. I started yesterday and finished it today. Some parts were a little challenging, but overall I think it gets the idea across.

Like I mentioned before, I would like to place this at the center of the map right next to where the patient will spawn. For now I'm trying to crank out all the main models so that the engineers in the team have something to work with.

I'm not sure what I'm going to work on next, and I don't know if I'm going to stick with all the landmarks I listed last time. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

3D Model For Barn Done

Barn 3d model total of 1566 triangles.

So like I mentioned before, I'm in an internship where I have to do all the 3D art for a game we are making for the School of Computing. This last week has been a little weird because of Thanksgiving and all that. So But I've managed to finish one of the main landmarks that will be in the map. Its really simple, but I think once its textured and put into the map, it will communicate to the player what its suppose to be.

Later on, I will also have to build an inside for the farm since this is where one of the activities will take place. For now, I will just try to get all the outside models done before trying to move to the inside of the buildings. Next I will work on a windmill which I will place in the center of the map where the patient will spawn. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Progress on Thesis Before Thanksgiving

So we have decided that we are going to try and get the game published before the start of the next semester, but we still have a ton of stuff to do. Here is our task list for the rest of the semester for art:

Art - ranked as level of priority

1 - Outer level poly reset - We need to optimize the poly counts for objects in the outer playing area. 
1 - Smoke trail particles - Put particle systems on the feet and hands that enhance the feeling of the character falling.
1 - Flower model popup- Flowers will popup on the ground around the radius of the splash. We need a flower mesh, and texture that will just translate and scale up through the ground.
1 - Fix Legs on character mesh - Character needs to not crumble. One attempt is to upres the mesh. 

2 - More Hoizontal objects - This may not mean more new objects, but just populating the Horizontal plane (bottom) of the game. 
2 - Fire escape and clothes line effects - The objects need to be added and ready to work with the correlating code. 
2 - Intro animations - Adam and his motion capture stuff. We need to integrate his animations with the in game scene or a separate scene he creates the animation in. 

3 - Buildings update - All buildings need another pass on them to improve mesh on some and texture on others. Pay close attention to our color pallette. 
3 - Textures related to saturation - This is dependant on the code george is trying to get a texture to desaturate.

4 - Ripple Splat - Have the particle effect of the splash have more of a ripple effect over the landscape

5 - Achievement system - This would require a lot of art, UI etc. 
5 - Themed cities - China town, San Fran, with bridge etc could be considered.

6 - Zelda Ripple effect - This is super low priority and more a pipe dream. Akin to this Zelda video.

So we are slowly working through this list. I've made the flower and I'm trying to lower the poly count on some of the objects. After that, I'm going to try build more objects that we can use to populate our scene. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Working on Geisha Painting

Old version (left) & new version (right).
So since last week when I posted the original entry on my digital painting assignment, I've kept working on it since I've found that I really enjoy doing it even if it takes me a while.

The biggest thing about this version is that I added a pattern to the dress. A few people in my cohort said that they liked the improvements, but that the dress needed a pattern. I found a pattern that I really like and overlaid it over the dress and umbrella. Someone else had also mentioned that the shadow in the middle was kind of weird and suggested to make it smaller. The same person helped me get a quick and simple shadow, which I think adds a lot to the painting.

Now my concern is that the highlights aren't as visible anymore. I made some shadows darker, and fixed the geisha's right foot since it was just a bit off balance. Last, I managed to put some pupils in her eyes, many people said that she looked like a zombie without them. I will continue to work on it when I get a chance, hopefully this will even become a nice portfolio piece.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Let The Internship Begin!

So, I was fortunate enough to have been picked for an internal internship here at the University of Utah doing 3D environmental art for a project with the School of Computing. First let me start by giving a quick overview of what the project is.

The School of Computing has been working on a project for people that have suffered spinal cord injuries, and while I don't know all the specifics for it, we the team that I joined was hired to make a new environment for the device known as the Treadport. If you want to know more about the project, you can read an article and watch a video of how the device works.

I'm the only artist in the team, so I will be in charge of making all the art assets for the game. There will be different modes or challenges to the game to try and measure peoples performance. The game has to include these modes: 10 meter test, 6 minute test, a snipe hunt mini-game, directed collection, and a destination quest. There is no HUD or input to this game, so we've had to come up with a different way to get all these modes into the game by creating one map where patient spawns. Then the patient will have to walk to the activity that he or she would like to do and then we will load the next "room" where the activity will take place.

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but the setting has to be a farm, so with that in mind I've started to work on some of the land marks that will be placed around the main map. They will be: a barn house. a wind mill, water silo, grain silo, and a house. They all need to be big enough that the patient will be able to see them from anywhere in the level. Here is the basic level layout that we've talked about in the past and its what I'm working off for the moment:

I will post a render of the barn house as soon as I'm done with the model. I want to finish this post by saying that I'm really excited about getting this internship, it will give me much needed experience not only working on more art, but also working with a new team and being able to get all this done.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Time Doing Digital Painting

This shows my first (left) and final (right) try at the assignment.
So I've never done any digital painting until now, which was part of an assignment for my Game Art 3 class. The assignment was suppose to give us inspiration for the micro environment & character(s) that we are suppose to built and since the environment that I'm creating is a Japanese zen garden, a geisha was the first thing that came to mind.

I looked for a sketch online that I liked and that I could use to do the assignment for since I didn't know if I could create one that I would like. After doing a quick search for geisha sketches, I found this one that I really like from a Deviant Art member called Melody ( link to her original sketch ) and I loved it right away.

I took it into Sketch Book and did a quick trace, and after getting help from people in my group I made some modifications to the sketch like: rounding out her face a bit to give it a more feminine look, as well as giving her bigger feet, and changing a bit her left elbow.

The picture above shows my first try, and I think I didn't do a good job with the color palette since it looks a little too dark. I redid the assignment after doing the changes I mentioned above with a new color palette, and I think it looks much better than my first try. I also found that it took less time and I was able to put in a little more detail in the shadows the second time around.

My classmates and professor have suggested that I should keep working on it and add a pattern to the dress. I will definitely keep working on it and add a pattern since it would make it look so much better, I just have to find some reference images that I like. That is all for now, thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progress on Final Project for Game Art 3

So I've been slowly working on getting all the models that I'm going to need for my micro environment. Here are the models that I have so far:

Bridge to cross a narrow part of the lake.

This is the main gate to the garden.

This is an itsukushima or a water shrine.

I'm currently working on making a tea house 3D model and I done making a bonsai tree but I didn't post it here because it looks weird with out the leaves.

One last thing, I think that I will make the map smaller since I don't want to risk making something large but empty. I will make the tea house with a lot of detail inside overlooking the pond with the water shrine in the middle. This way it will have a lot of detail and feel more natural. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Thoughts About Assassin's Creed 3

So I don't usually post random stuff in this blog about games that I'm currently playing, but seeing as how my professors keep getting on my case that I don't do enough blog posts, I think this will be another section that I continue to include in my blog. This isn't suppose to be a review about the game, specially since I haven't passed it yet and it wouldn't be fair without knowing everything about the game.

Anyways, as you all know Assassin's Creed 3 was released this last week, and being the fanboy that I am, I pre-ordered it and everything. I only managed to stat playing it two days ago, and I've only been able to put the controller down to eat and do homework. Its amazing how much each game changes as time goes on, and each game always has things that they do better, and some that I wonder why they changed them at all when they used to work so well.

One of the things that I really liked about the previous games was that whenever you used your pistol, it was always really quick when it reloaded for the next shoot. Maybe this wasn't very realistic, but its a game so whatever... Anyways, with this game they introduced full sized pistols (not just a little pistol hidden in your bracelet) and the reloading takes FOREVER!!! This might be more realistic to the time period than the other games have been, but you can't get your players used to one thing and then switch it on them. This has made me almost not count on the pistol at all since I can usually kill an enemy in half the time that it takes to reload the pistol, and maybe this is exactly what they wanted for people to use the pistol less often... but I still don't like it.

One thing that I really like was the way that they changed the fighting system. Before, it was almost pointless to try and fight the enemies, since it was easier to just stand in once place holding your block button and counter your enemies' attack. They have gotten rid of the block button, and replaced it with a parry that only work for a split second, so you have to time it right and also have to take action in the fight more than the previous games.

Also, I'm glad that they also added some of the other weapons like the rope dart. This thing is amazing, it lets you choke your enemies if you are standing above them and then you can reuse the same dart, or you can hang them from the ledge you were standing on and consume your dart.

I could keep going and going about how much I love AC3, but I think I will stop for now, this way I can make another entry in a few days after I've advanced much further in the game. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Drop Drop Submitted to IGF

So this last Wednesday, my group managed to submit our game to the IGF competition as we take the rest of this week off to relax and work on homework from other classes. I'm actually still a little tired from this last weekend from having slept in the computer lab, hopefully that won't happen again since I don't know if I could handle it again.

We had a lot of feedback from students in our cohort, as well as from other people at school to try and weed out any potential bugs in the game. The producer managed to get a trailer for the game, and it give you an overview of what the gameplay is like. This is all for now, enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sleeping At The Lab

So this is the weekend before we have to turn in our project to IGF. There is still a lot of work to be done in the art side of things, and there is not enough hours in the day to get everything done. This is mainly due to the trouble that our project has been in over the last few months, and why the other two teams are in much better shape than us. So I have brought one of my sleeping bags with me and a pillow to get at least some sleep at night.

At the end of last semester, we had to go back and think about what we could do about our game since the feedback we had from many people was that our game wasn't entertaining or appealing the way we wanted it to be. So over the summer, the producers of the team got together and came up with Dead Drop and we thought we had nailed  it. We worked really hard to get a playable demo during the summer even if some people had traveled out of the state/country and we couldn't count on everyone to work on the project. We presented our ideas, but then a few weeks into the semester we were told by a guest professor from another school that our project would get disqualified at IGF.

This really brought our morale down, and we struggled for a few weeks on what we could do to salvage the game so we wouldn't have to start from scratch. But this was probably not the best idea, since I was able to witness our team slowing deteriorate from internal fights due to stress and anxiety. This eventually lead the professors to make us vote on a new project, which because Drop Drop. From then on, we had to go back to pre-production stage and try to plan everything so it wouldn't happen again. The only thing is that we didn't have much of a level designer and it wasn't until recently that we got told what type of models the artist need to build for the game to make interesting ways that the player could fall through the city.

I had a list of assets to work on, but all the stuff on the list was mainly as props for the level once it was built which is what I belief our first mistake. We should have focused first on level design and once we had all the shapes of the buildings that we wanted, that's when we could start working on props and everything else to make the city look the way we wanted it to look. This has led to a huge crunch to the art team and I don't think that we are going to be able to finish all the 16 building models that they wanted us to do.

So for now, I will continue to work throughout the night (it is currently 1 AM as I'm writing this blog post) and try to get as much stuff done for the game. That is all for now, thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Utah State Capitol Building - Model Done

So I finally manged to get the model done, and I managed to get it just under 3K triangles. It was harder than I thought it would be to try and add some of the detail without going over the limit, but the texture will be the hardest part for me. I will have to find a way to tile my textures to make the most out of my 1024 x 1024 texture limit.

I will hopefully be able to finish the texture before the next weekend. Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Utah State Capitol Building

So this next week is going to be Fall break and it will give me time to catch up on a lot of work that I've been trying to do all semester. For example, on Monday nights there is an art class for the new cohort that started this semester, and I'm sitting in on that class to try and have more experience with Art. Unfortunately  I haven't been able to finish many of the assignments from that class because there is always something that I need to do for my other classes where I am going to be getting a grade.

One of the last assignments that was due this last Tuesday was to work on a replica model of a building in Salt Lake City. I decided to work on the Utah State Capitol building and I managed to get most of the model done, but not enough to move on to doing the textures for it. Here is a quick render of where the model is at:

The rules for this project are the following: 3000 triangle limit and a 1024 x 1024 texture limit. So far my model is standing at 2034 triangles, so I still have a lot of tri-count to add detail and I still have to do some face reduction where it needs it. Hopefully I will be able to finish this since I think it has the potential to be a really nice portfolio piece. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Game Arts Final Project Idea

So we are suppose to start thinking about what our final project will consist of since basically we will have to create a micro environmental. I didn't really know what I was going to do until a week ago I was talking to another artist from the cohort and she said that since I love Japanese culture so much, why didn't I create a Japanese garden for my scene. I really liked that idea, so now I'm rolling with it. I "m not very good at sketching, but I've been working on some ideas of how it could be laid out and a simple model for a bridge that will be in the scene. Below is some of the work that I've done on my final project idea.

I've also worked on a few sketches of how I could layout the level. I've talked to someone else in the cohort and he told me that i need to make everything more curvy so it flows better the way a real zen garden does. I've also tried to sketch some of the props that would make fill the environment.

I'm going to start working on making the environment soon, as soon as I make enough progress in the thesis that is. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back to Pre-production

So art team has been spending some time in pre-production again, since we need to get a clear focus on how the art has to look. As you know, we have abandoned the idea of dropping zombies from buildings, so we are now going with a more abstract look for the game and following in the direction that Flower by Jenova Chen. Some of the game play mechanics are still a little fuzzy, but that will hopefully be cleared up in the next few days.

So my task for this weekend was to write up a 1 page document on how the level could look like, along with some possible color pallets. Here is what I came up with:

  • At this point, we have talked about making the environment look run-down and abandoned.
  • We still want to make it look like a city, but at first it will look dry and lifeless. 
  • Once the player has reached the bottom, the parts that have been hydrated will look new again.
Look of level before player starts:
  • Dilapidated/Run-down
  • Abandoned/Desolation
  • Dry/Parched
  • Cold
Look of level after player splashes down:
  • Revitalized
  • Energized
  • Warm
  • Back from the dead
  • “Phoenix rising”

Here is the link to the PDF I created since I like how it looks there better, but I didn't want to just provide a link to the PDF in the blog post.

I emailed the document to my team, and now I'm just waiting back on some feedback from them to see if they like what I came up with. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Redesigning Our Thesis Project... Again

So the thesis project that I'm a part of has been through a lot of changes over the last few months. If you remember my last post, we had presented Drop Dead to the professors but they still weren't happy with what we had. We spend a week trying to work on a different character, each of the artist had to come up with something else that the player could control with the Kinect. I created a simple teddy bear  model that one of the other artist would be able to do a quick simple rig so we could start experimenting with the new characters each of us we had created.

Screenshot of the low poly teddy bear I made, tri-count is at the top left corner.

But then we had a problem where a guest professor said that due to the nature of our game, we may be disqualified from IGF since it can look like people are committing suicide by jumping of buildings. We immediately started to think of another way to keep our game mechanics but that it wouldn't be like Drop Dead. To top it off, because of the situation some people in the group were getting frustrated and there were some arguments. All of this resulted in having to redesign our game to something a little simpler but that still kept the Kinect.

So what we have so far is that the player will control a water drop in a light rainstorm. The player will have to collect other water drops on the way down to get bigger. The player will also have to dodge obstacles and you have to reach the bottom to get a bigger score. There have been some talk about trying to hit specific targets on the ground or making the water affect the environment kind of like in the game Flower.

With the new game, we are going to try and make an interesting city environment where the player will be able to have a fun experience. So far, I've taught about using stylized cartoon like environment that is abstract. I worked on a quick simple model of a house, but I've been talking to a few of the other students in the cohort and one of them said that I should look at reference images from Hong Kong and the apartment buildings there since they are tightly packed and have a lot of different obstacles that would be cool to dodge if you were falling. I think that the next time I'm in class, I will work on a city environment that resembles Hong Kong and see how it looks.

That is all for now, thanks for reading. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sketching a Weapon

So last week Nathan (our game arts teacher) talked about how drawing don't have to start complicated, we can draw almost anything using simple shapes and then add detail in layers until it looks like what we want. This is probably really basic, but I don't have much experience in 2D art.

For this week, we were suppose to create five things all bases around a common theme which are: a hero, an animal sidekick, a villain, a weapon, and a vehicle. I've been having a lot of issues with most of them, but here is my best sketches from the group.

The sketch is suppose to be a small hatchet and I've actually realized that I really enjoy working on weapon art. When I had to design a weapon last semester, it was probably one of my favorite assignments the whole semester.

I may try to do a model of this hatchet later in the year, for now that is all. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Semester

So this post is a little late seeing as how the semester started 2 weeks ago, but late is better than never (or so I hear).

So at the end of last semester, we were told that our game needed a lot of work because the player couldn't really tell what was happening most of the time. (Refer back to this post to know what the game is.) So over the summer, a couple of the producers worked really hard to come up with a new game idea that still involved falling as a game mechanic, but that was far more appealing that Graviators. The product of their work was: "Drop Dead: Zombie Divers".

There really isn't a narrative at the moment, but the premise of the game is that the player chooses a zombie from a group of other zombies and then drop it off a skyscraper. The player will then use the Kinect to control the falling zombie to dodge obstacles in the environment and make it all the way to the bottom and... splat! Along the way, the player would be able to find power ups and multipliers to get a higher score which is also affect on wether you reach the bottom or not.

We worked really hard to have a playable demo by the first day of class, since we wanted to make sure that the professors could see that we had taken the feedback we received seriously and had done something about it. The professors loved the new idea, but there was still one problem... zombies.

The professors think that zombies are over used in todays game market, and if we want our game to stand out at the IGF we should do something a little more original. So they told us to stop development of other assets (for us the artist) and work on developing other ideas and test them out in the game to see how it feels. So far we have been working on things like: scarecrows, clowns, teddy bears, and other crazy stuff.

Our next meeting as a group will be this next Wednesday, so thats when I will give an update on what I've been working on (I've been doing the scarecrow and teddy bear btw) and see if its still something that we want to do. In my opinion, I don't think that zombies are a bad idea. If the game is good, who cares if its zombies or mummies or bears falling.

What I think we should be focusing (and this is a little more for the producers) is on making a cohesive narrative for the game that makes sense and that it isn't too complicated. It could be something as simple as the narrative in Angry Birds, but they get really complicated really quickly and then it doesn't make sense.

Hopefully they will have something nailed down by next time, because this whole thing is actually making me kind of nervous since we don't have time to be experimenting this late in the year when IGF submissions are due at the end of October. Anyways, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Influence Map Revisited

So I finished my influence map completely after class on Tuesday night, and I had a chance to label everything which seams to be the norm. I don't think I have to do this on my blog, but we had to explain our influence map to the whole class as to what each item is and how they relate to us and how they influence us.

  1. Disturbed was one of the first rock bands that I listened to, and up until today they are still one of my favorite bands. I was really sad once I found out they had disbanded after releasing The Lost Children album. But I have to say that my favorite song is still Down With the Sickness since it was the first song I listed to from them.
  2. Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite game series, the story line is really good and they have kept me coming back for more since the first game. I have to admit that the first game wasn't that good, but there was something about it that made me want to buy the next. After that, I was completely hooked and I can't wait for the third one to come out this year. The one thing that I hate is that I don't own a PS Vita so I won't be able to play Liberation.
  3. Eragon (Inheritance cycle) is my favorite book series, which was written by Christopher Paolini. I've always been a huge fan of dragons and elves, and I really liked his style of writing and how it made the world come to life. I haven't been able to get around to read the last book, but I will get to it before the end of the year. I hated the movie that they did, I hope that they do a remake and do a proper job on the series this time since it has so much potential.
  4. The Dark Knight series is amazing, there is just no other way to describe it in my opinion. I absolutely love what Christopher Nolan did with the series and how me managed to make the notion of Batman seem realistic, but still close enough to the series that we could all be happy. I've watch the Dark Knight Rises twice on IMAX since its come out and I can't wait for it to come out on Blue-ray.
  5. Rise Against is another band that I really love, while I believe that it should be a bigger square than just the one, I didn't have the room to put everything that I wanted (and there was a bunch of stuff that  I didn't include).
  6. This is a screenshot from the game Darksiders, and I put on here not only because I really like that game. I've passed the game a couple of times by now, and I also bought the collectors edition of Darksiders 2 (I got it mainly because it came with a life size copy of Death's mask). But the reason why it takes the biggest part of my map is because I want to be an environmental artist and I really like all the art in Darksiders with the post-apolitical look they gave the game while still maintaining everything fairly realistic.
  7. League of Legends is a really fun game, and I've been playing it for about a year now. I'm still not as good as my friend that introduced me to the game. That picture is from my current favorite champion, her name is Diana and I really like the concept of her art and how her kit works in the game. My main champion is Shyvana, and the only reason why I started to play her is because she can turn into a dragon. :) I have to admit that I play this game more than I should, but it would be really cool if I could work for Riot Games one day. Maybe I'll talk to them next year when I go to GDC once more.
  8. Eight and twelve are related, I don't know why I arranged it the way I did but they should be right next to each other. The reason why Mario and an SNES are in my map is because when I was a little kid, they were the first game and console that I owned. I remember playing Mario for at least a year before I beat the whole thing. I remember that after I played Mario the first day, I thought to myself: "one day, I'm going to make games."
  9. This picture is from a manga/anime series called Death Note. The reason why its the only piece that hold three squares is because I love manga and anime, and I didn't want to have it represented by only two squares. I picked Death Note to represent my love anime and manga because its a series that I really like and that I find really fascinating. There is probably a better picture I could have picked, but Death Note was the first thing that came to mind so I figured it should be up there. I actually have a small collection of manga in my room that I've spend about $600-$700, there was a time when I would buy a new manga book from Barnes & Nobles almost every week since I just couldn't get enough. Eventually I realized that I couldn't keep buying every series I liked, so I had to resort to reading manga on the internet. :(
  10. In case you are wondering, square ten says "Japanese Language" in kanji. I actually was in Japan for a month in the summer of 2009. I went to Japan as a part of a month long intensive Japanese language course through the University of Utah. I can't possibly explain how valuable this trip was for me, not only because I had always dreamed of visiting Japan, but because it was a life changing experience and I wish I could go back again. I took Japanese classes for 5 semesters, and I was never really good but it was enough to at least get around in Japan. But I haven't been able to practice for a while so I have now forgotten most of it, but I can still read hiragana, katakana, and some basic kanji even if it takes a moment to do so.
  11. This studio everyone should know, or at least I hope that everyone does. They have made some of my favorite anime movies, and I love the message that they have on each of the ones that I've watched. Hayao Miyazaki is a genius in the way that he can critique anything and still make an animated film that everyone can love. I haven't seen his most recent work, but from the ones that I have seen, Spirited Away is by far my favorite.
  12. Refer back to 8.
I hope it all makes sense and that it give a glimpse into who I am and why I picked the stuff that I did. I don't know if I've said this already, but this assignment was harder than I thought it would be. I've never really thought about what has influenced me, there were a few obvious ones, but I really had to sit down and think about what inspired me for about two hours. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Game Arts 3

So for this next semester, we are required to have a blog where we will be posting our work throughout the semester. I know that I've done a horrible job over the summer with my blog, and I will try to keep it up to date this semester.

For our first homework assignment, we are required to make an influence map and 2 drawings. I may come back and explain my influence map at a later date, but for now here it is:

I didn't have time to erase the stuff at the bottom and label everything.
These next drawing are my stab at doing some art related to the Darksiders game series. I've been slowly playing through the second part these last few weeks, and I really like the art style in that game. Plus, I bought the collectors edition do I felt like drawing the mask of Death. The second one is the weapon of War from the first game. I tried to do all the detail in the middle of the sword, but its really hard.

I love to get critique when ever I can, so please leave a comment if you can. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Use For This Blog

So the other night during my Game Arts class, the teacher, Gabe, said that we should have a blog where we talk about our art to show the progress that we make over time. So i decided to use my project blog and add another use for it. So I'm going to try to upload pictures/renders of stuff that I'm working on besides what I'm doing on my thesis project.

So to start things off, every time we have class we start by having some exercise that helps us get faster and better at what we do. Last week we had an exercise in which he had to speed model a palm tree. I have never actually modeled at tree, so I decided to look up a tutorial on how to do it. After quickly reading through it, I managed to make my own palm tree. It turned out alright for being my first time. Here is a render of the palm tree I made:

Afterwards, Gabe said that my tree has a really high poly count. He had hoped that we would all try to use planes with a texture and an alpha map to make a low poly palm tree that could be used in a game.

Also, for our final project for the Game Arts class we have to make a game environmental using one of the many missions in Texas as center piece and the setting. I will post some renders of my progress of my mission in the next few days.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So for this week, I've been working on a few different things.

I've been working on more textures and I have to redo some of the "rocks" that I made 2 weeks ago. This is because the rocks that we are using as reference are HUGE and the ones that I made look weird and tiny even if you scale them up.

Also, they want me to change the level design that I made last week. They want the arena to have lest debris so it doesn't look too much like a asteroid field.

Last, sterling wants me to make a simple HUD like this one. I only have to make a health box and a box that will go on each side.

I don't think that I will have all of this done by tomorrow's class, but I will try to get at least the HUD done. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Progress On Level

So last time I made a texture for one of the rocks I created last week along with a simple normal map for some detail. I'm trying to go for a post apocalyptic look, but for right now I'm just trying to make quick textures in Mudbox for my models.

Jeff suggested that I look into geology and the different rock types that there are and try to go for a particular feel, instead of just doing random things. I will do some quick research into rock types and make at least another texture today an hopefully finish the other ones over the weekend.

Here are the renders of the stuff that I've made for far:

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So since last time I wrote about the progress of my project, we have decided to change the name from Atmoz to Graviators since its a little more descriptive and I actually think that it sounds much better.

Previously the game was a flying game, and like I mentioned before it was going to change. So the game is now a falling jousting game. The premise is that there will be battles fought in the air, but the player and the enemy will be falling towards each other thanks to a "gravity well" like object.

They will be able to shoot at each other from afar,  while dodging incoming fire and obstacles. Once they get close to each other, the game will switch to something like "bullet time" and be able to hit one another and then keep moving away from each other, and after a short break it all repeats if there was not a winner on the first go.

We have decided to work on two arenas, one that is in some sort of long tube that will be an enclosed arena and one that is in an open area. I'm in charged of the open area arena.

I've been getting a lot of inspiration from the James Cameron Avatar movie and trying to do something like floating land masses. But we decided that we were also going to add debris from ancient buildings (ex: roman temples or buildings). The reason why I'm trying to do that is that I want the arena to be filled with more than just rocks, but also because I want it to be a post apocalyptic feel since this game is suppose to be in the future.

So far, I've done really rough models just taking spheres and using the lattice tool to deform them. I've done solid rocks, and some that have a tunnel that would allow the player to go through them. We plan on inserting power ups as a risk/reward option for the player that is more experienced.

I've also done a really quick sample level with the few models that I've done so far, since one of the engineers wanted something that they could use in Unity to start working. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Friday, March 9, 2012

GDC 2012

So this week class was canceled since more than have of the student decided to go to GDC, as did I. So now I'm going to spend one week in San Francisco. Unfortunately, my funds were a little low so I couldn't afford the pass that lets me in from the start of the Conference. So the first few days that I've been in San Francisco, I've been trying to update my resume and my portfolio.

Then on Wednesday I was able to go into the Career Pavilion and I got the chance to talk to a lot of people from many different companies. If there is one thing that I've learned, is that it's not enough to just have a portfolio online, you have to bring something with you to show. Wether that maybe a paper version of your online portfolio or a tablet to show your portfolio on. Many places that I talked to wanted to see my work but I couldn't show them. Its also thought me that there are a lot of people out there trying to get into the industry just like me, so I have to dedicate more time to learning new tools and improving my skills.

Next year when I come back to GCD I'll be ready! Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Team

So today we finally learned which games the professors thought were good enough to move on to be our thesis project for the next 2 semesters.

Sadly, the game I pitched didn't make the cut. And I'm now in a team that will be making a 3D kinect game. The prototype that was made for last week's pitched showed a man flying around a city trying to get through rings in the sky. The player uses the kinect to control the movement of the character.

But its going to change, we are still brainstorming ideas because they thought that the game was way out of scope. But they thought that the prototype was good enough to show that it was doable.

We have 3 artist in the team, which is a good thing because we will need a ton of environmental art assets. We will decided on Monday what we want to do and will start to work. In the meantime, that is all.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Presentation Tonight

So far, the game seems to be coming together nicely. We had a practice presentation on Monday, and tonight we are going to have the real presentation where we get to pitch our prototypes to industry professionals for our thesis project.

So far, I've been doing a lot of concept art and trying to get a clear idea of what our main character would look like. Below is some concept art that I've done, I'm not the best 2D but I think that I've improved over the last few months while being on this Masters program.

The first picture is a drawing of Wall-E, we think what our main character to look somewhere in the middle between Wall-E and Rob from Smash Brothers. The second picture is what an enemy unit could potentially look like. The last one is of what our main character PerCy could look like.

I've done a simple model of the last sketch and I put some very simple animations for our game. Hopefully they will look ok, and everything goes ok.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Update On Current Project

So I need to remember to update my blog, I will make sure that it doesn't take a month for me to make another post.

Well, at the beginning of this semester we were told to come up with a game idea to submit for consideration as a possible thesis project. I came up with a game idea I decided to call AI Termination. I don't know how many students submitted a game pitch, but it was narrowed down to seven teams. I was very lucky and my game idea got picked to move on to the next stage.

Since the middle of January, we have been working on making a white boxed prototype for each of our games with Unity. We still have about two weeks before the prototype is done, but we need to make sure that our prototype is playable by next week since there will be some people from Microsoft coming to visit us.

Brandon, has been working on getting together some kind of central location where we can all put our ideas together to start making some sort of bible for the game. He has been working on this wiki and so far its coming along nicely as we work on developing a narrative.

Since I originally pitched the idea, the game has gone through big changes. The prototype that we are currently working on will focus heavily on combat. We are still trying to implement the combos that I spoke about in the original pitch. The game won't have any puzzles, but we will be keeping the time manipulation ability.

The game has also morphed into something like an arena like setting. We will try to have multiple maps, but the player will have to finish one map before moving on to the next. The map is actually very simple, below is an example of a map that I've been working on:

Now I'm working on making simple shapes for the different components of this simple map. They are mostly going to be cubes and cylinders for now, but that should be enough to get the idea across.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Start of Second Semester

So today is the start of my second semester in grad school, and I'm really looking forward to all the stuff that we will be doing, but part of me isn't ready.

This week we are suppose to put together a game pitch, and submitted to be considered for a class project. We also have to learn as much as we can of Unity since we will be using Unity to prototype the games for the first month.

I don't really know much of about Unity, so I will have to look for good tutorials to learn how to do basic things on it.

That's really all there is for this week, thanks for reading.