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.

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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 Project: Something visually new for gameplay.

I have tried to make gameplay easier for a player to follow; To do this I could do many things environmentally.

Light leading, sound, linear design, breadcrumb method (I’ll get to that later) etc.

But instead I wanted to try something new and introduce myself to the world of video effects in unity. So I went about researching how to play videos in unity as maybe a transparent floating icon to help the player understand the mechanics visually.

So I went about creating the icons first and foremost, it came in many different forms but I settled mostly around this design with a few tweaks.

Temple_Raid_ROCK.mp4

Continue reading “Synoptic Project: Something visually new for gameplay.”

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.

3 years of studying Games Design: Part 1

This is a rare blog for me to write, and that’s because if you’re used to reading my blogs. It has been packed with subjects relating to my many years on game design at college.

Anyway, it’s about time I recap on how far I’ve come in since the first day on Level 2 Games design to the Next Gen games design course. The year is 2015 (definitely not a dramatic trailer intro), I come into college with an open mind and expecting to have a mind-set to someday create something cool.

I have many memories of coming to class and enjoying the roar of enthusiasm! Literally sometimes which was good but didn’t help with concentration to be honest and I’m sure that’s why the course asset requirements were a pair of headphones besides sound engineering.

Continue reading “3 years of studying Games Design: Part 1”

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”