What now? The long road to making cool things.

Now I have finished college , I ask myself “what to do?” new projects maybe, trying to expand onto other fields such as programming in C#, Java or even c++ given the recent trend in those other languages popularities.

So after the recent synoptic project, it has come to my attention that now I have some free time on my hands; it also presents the best opportunity to dive deep into the programming world and I have a few recourses I can choose from such as the Unity Q&A Forums, Brackeys (YouTube) and also GamesplusJames (Also YouTube). With all that together, I can create some cool effects and also learn the basics of programming during now till September when I hope to go to University. That been said I do have other things going on in my life … I can’t be stuck behind a keyboard for ever I’ll go mad.

Continue reading “What now? The long road to making cool things.”

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Finishing year blog.

And here we are… Finished. Done. Cheerio.

And now is my time to show what I have learned or even taken from this course over the course (no pun intended) of 2 years.

Lets start with the beginning, coming into next-gen; happy, confident and enthusiastic to get my hands on what scrap of knowledge I could. I have done things from be part of a nationwide competition for 3D modelling, made things that I didn’t think I could do … ever and by this I mean create menus and creating VFX for games; motion graphics and making human faces and the odd body.

 

So yeah.

From the beginning of the year, I have found that my interests have shifted from doing games design to more of a film based environment… yes it’s late but never too late to find something new.

And there are two reason for this. One being that the placement from January to May really opened my eyes in what I can do in regards to moving from one field of creativity to another. Another reason is the intro animation of my portfolio (Link will be somewhere in here) the time it took to complete the whole sequence I pretty much learned both the shortcut keys and the many different effects to thus make my workflow faster. Now I barely even look at the keyboard for shortcuts.

 

 

So over after all that good stuff with the placement, I came back to finish with the synoptic project and that was also an eye opener but seeing that we had our imagined worlds prior to that in 2017, there were some familiarity to what we had to do such as the pre-production, theory, planning, documentation… all that fine exciting stuff.

Then we came to actually make the game and as per usual there were some both major and minor bumps along the way such as team members changing roles from time to time. Changing ideas, throwing away, making new methods etc.

but we grind ed throughout the majority of our problems and came out with a solid start, middle and ending to our game alongside some special stuff which I kinda wanted to include myself. That basically is stating I made the entirety of the finishing screen and personally I love it but there could be some things to improve upon in terms of animation… and that’s another thing I have to cover. Animation.

 

 

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I love Maya and 3D modeling as much as my peers on the course but I can only do animation on a node based system A.k.a “I can only animate on unity”.

I’ts because I understand the majority of the workflow used for Maya animations, I just can’t seem to get around both paint weights and IK handles (Still don’t know what they are) that being said I want to dedicate some time into both animation and programming before I hopefully set sail to university come September.

Snappy boi

I would finally like to write this paragraph as an overall statement to thank the staff of next gen, Three Motion UK ‘Including the dogs’ and my friends who I have spent 3 years with doing this course as without them I wouldn’t be here now doing what I do now. It’s just a question of where I will be in the next 5 years and we will have to find out.

Synoptic Progress: Finishing touches

Final week & the final push for the product this coming week. Our deadline comes Friday the 25th. So therefore everything has to be finished, assembled & tested before the final build.

So for now we have a stable version with a beginning and an end but there is one vital component that is missing but we can not go any further with it until the animation is fixed for the Venus fly trap plant within Maya. This could simply be an import issue or something else; regardless, it has to be sorted out by the day after publishing this post.

Snappy boi
Fixed Animation

 

Furthermore, whilst waiting for the animation to be fixed from our guy Alex, myself, Amy and Nick worked on the presentation for the coming exhibition. That meant putting together a PowerPoint presentation showing off all of our work, this was placed for Amy to do. Nick is working on other ways to present the game, and I was working on the poster design and possibly print of a poster to show off where we where and what we worked on. And surprisingly, I learned the majority of Adobe illustrator throughout designing the poster itself. Anyway, back to the game…

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Like I have said, we have the majority done with some polishing to do on other small assets. I have managed to sort out the combination code with some help from a tutor and he explained to me how he had done it although it was proving a challenge for both of us so I could completely understand why I couldn’t get to grips with it at first. Then there was the ending room with something to trigger the finishing screen.

So what I did was create a narrow corridor with the goal in sight, so the player can simply walk up to the goal and finish the game. I also took the idea to tear away the ceiling for the parkour room and make it look like the roof had caved through.

 

My only concern now is adding music to the game because it has always bugged me (no pun intended) that there is no sensory input for the player to take away from the game. When I say this I mean the human senses, for gaming it’s mostly the obvious ‘Sight & Sound’. So at least having those included into the game would be a big booster.

Synoptic Progress.

We are coming to the end game of our projects and its safe to say that there is a more visual ending in sight.

By this I simply mean that its safe to say that there will be something by the end of the project and MVP can be shown by deadline. I have struggled a lot since the beginning trying to prioritize my coursework, placement & other personal projects all ready for the end of year.

Now I’m going to try and push myself to learn programming to thus understand not just how it works but also how to structure code in the future.

Visual the game is coming together a more assets are pushed through, I have also contributed into making other graphics and fixing some, there have been instances where some of the maps were not working, thus I went onto Photoshop and added the characteristics needed such as extra lighting on brighter colors or the need to add more white to an alpha map.

Tutorial Roomo

Speaking of which, this also was shown to be really handy when it came to creating emission maps although this time I used after effects to give the glow a more revealing effect then adding a drawn over effect so therefore the player can realize that the effect is active and working as it should be.

Emission maps making use of the emission maps.

This was then taken into account, so I then moved onto using the emission maps in programming, So firstly with the help of one of my tutors. There was two scripts created; one for the door and one for each button so therefore the player can open the door via a key-code.

Speaking of which, the key-code would be shown on a tablet placed on the far back corner of the room which would have to be traversed by the player, read, and then the player would follow the code shown in chronological order.

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Synoptic: Filling out the tutorial room.


It’s coming to the end of week 5 and we’re now in full control of our slippery slide from last week. With the burn down chart completed and updated, development can now go into full swing; lets start with Unity and all of its bits and bob’s.

Firstly, we now have a working mechanic that opens the door when the button comes on collision with another object such as a ball (that was actually set specifically). This was used by the animator window which I’m yet to understand as I needed some assistance coming into this entirely new tool.

It works by having an animation made to a specific object then, placing it within the animator depending on when you want said animation to occur or what you want it to be played in connection with or have connections for that matter.

Animator page
Animator showing open and closed states

I then proceeded to start the code with the help of the tutor as I had no idea how to link the animator and a C# script together. And this was the final outcome…

Ball_Trigger
Pressure activated door.

Continue reading “Synoptic: Filling out the tutorial room.”

Idea generator, team collaboration & planning for project: Temple Raid.

Before any of my major projects from college start coming through I tended to just jump head first into anything without any idea of how I should lay things out before hand.

And considering I have a number of good projects, I find that some of them I got lucky on because I didn’t take the time to plan prior to development. Yesterday ‘Thursday 22nd’ I had an idea for the main menu and to also include the 3D artist on our team. So I then approached 3D & Project lead to present the Idea to them In relation to this, I was to get the concept piece from the 3D artist world which shown the temple Outside facing towards the camera. I thought to myself ‘I can use this environment as a menu’. Both Project & 3D lead gave me ways I can include this later on and also had Ideas of their own which I have jotted down. This would also include me and the 3D artist ‘Amy’ to collaborate in the creation of the menu.

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Quick draft of menu positioning

This would mean going back on practices I used on the Don’t wake up game menu…

Menu
Don’t WakeUp game menu

The environment being 3D and to either include specific objects as UI navigation or to instead Insert the buttons as 2D GUI in turn slightly adding Depth of field to the background so there is depth within the game scene.

This was the reason I mostly added the main menu flowchart in the first place.

Start_Flow

The asset list has been updated for me to finish my individual production schedule and also to further add more to my contribution form.

Whats my opinion: An Artist Masterpiece.

I’m here to explain about concept art, a very important process as it is the beginning of any idea. It strongly implies that the idea is visually possible to imagine and create just as characters are visually imagined by J.K Rowling.

My choice of concept art is from Bioware’s art director for dragon age inquisition Matthew Goldman, his work in my opinion shows immediate structure of his art and in addition; How he tells the story in his pieces.

Goldman
Bioware’s Art Director ‘Matt Goldman’

 

 

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