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.