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: 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…

Pressure activated door.

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

Lighting in video games (Unity)

This is partially linked in with the project that I’m working on in college, and its to do with the lighting.

Now other than, animations, textures, sfx etc. It’s nice to take into consideration lighting because it can drive the mood equivalently to other branches of aesthetics. I have some examples of what I mean and some technical how to’s, so let’s get started.

Lighting in my opinion can be done at the beginning of development during the blocking process to get a feel of how the game will look with lighting and as a positional placeholder in case you may want to edit lighting further or later into development.

Or leave lighting till later in the midst of development therefore you may get a sense of how it may affect textures or the idea of getting other assets out-of-the-way first such as environmental assets, scripting A.k.a ‘making the game work first’.

You choose…

Continue reading “Lighting in video games (Unity)”

Keeping players comfortable & Wrapping up Pre-Production

Firstly, I would like to start this blog by saying

‘This is not easy to explain, yet again what is…’

Here is some back story, since I’m tech lead A.k.a programming and all the complicated stuff. I’m required to research game flows and how to implement that into the project.

That also means finding a way to make sure that the player feels comfortable playing the game hence keeping all of the main building blocks of gameplay in mind, take Mario for example. When Nintendo make Mario, doesn’t matter how late the player is in joining the franchise they’re always eased into the game with a series of tutorial levels that just seem to be either subtle reminders or testing the waters lets say.

Continue reading “Keeping players comfortable & Wrapping up Pre-Production”

Synoptic Project ‘TEMPLE RAID’: Week 1

So we’ve finally started the Synoptic project A.k.a ‘Final Major Project’, and I have been chosen to work on the Temple Raid Game which was my first choice so I’m happy about that.

Let me fill you in about this project, it’s a Linear Puzzle Platformer that has a mix of Mayan, Aztec & Tiki Culture entwined within the visual aspect throughout the game play. Your objective is to simply move from A > B and find a ‘Mystical object’ at the end winning you the game.  Continue reading “Synoptic Project ‘TEMPLE RAID’: Week 1”

Making ends meet

I am contributing this entire blog towards the creation of the 3D interactive menu for my imagine worlds project.

And the reason for this is because of what I figured out throughout the development stage of the buttons. I couldn’t understand that my imported graphics would not show at a full resolution. Instead was pixlated and fuzzy, therefore I had to seek out an alternate solution to make this menu.

‘What about 3D?’

So I looked into making 3D buttons where the materials will not bring down the resolution of the button graphics. Coming across a video that explained clearly how to achieve this but there was a brick wall ahead…

Although I though…

Going back a few steps, the unity forums held the answer ‘Can JavaScript & C# be used in the same scene’

JavaScript for Menu Button functionality

#pragma script

car QuitButton : boolean = false;

function OnMouseUp ()


if(QuitButton) {

Application.Quit ();




Application.LoadLevel (“DWU_4.7”);



So after writing this script, it was applied to the 3D planes mimicking the buttons, and classified them as play, credits & quit buttons. To make them therefore work in connection with the Button script.

The image below gives a visual representation of what I’m trying to achieve by doing this…



Next was the animation, and this was quite familiar as the timeline keying features were like them of Maya. It was just a method of selecting the object you intend on animating, then to the animation box and moving the object into place to therefore build the animation. This is how I completed the animation for the menu transitions.

Menu Animation