Analysis of video game design: Crash Bandicoot: Twinsanity

Ahh the good old days of our favourite Bandicoot whom goes by the name of Crash and the evil nemisis, Cortex.

Crash Bandicoot, released in 2004 by Activision and carried on by many developers over the years such as Travelers Tales who were founded in 24 Jan 2005 · Knutsford, England & Naughty Dog. The development is quite simplistic, but the overall art style overcoats the simplistic mechanics` to make everything look amazing. On a lighter note, the game was designed with the PlayStations dual stick functions. this made the games movement a lot controls easier and add an additional movement to the camera giving the player the best perspective and a way to control what they see.

Twinsanity introduced to the players to what it was like to roam around an environment alongside interacting with external assets, platform puzzles and gather hidden collectables.

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I will agree that in comparison to games nowadays, the graphic capability was pretty mediocre but still aesthetically pleasing. overall, crash bandicoot still makes its way through the years adding ever so slightly to the franchise with amazing games alongside the re-master which is set to release later in 2017.

Analysis of Video game design…

Mario Galaxy

When it came to multi platforms, unique puzzles and basically the most beautiful looking aesthetics which a game can offer. Mario galaxy never ceases to step up to the mark…

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A Change in scenery

Let’s say in a film, there is a scene which simply takes your breath away. Maybe a storm brewing above, the atmosphere changing in the environment. pretty interesting right?

Right!

This blog shows the magic of a changing in the skies and the feeling in which it brings to the environment you are trying to imply as the developer of VFX artist. First let me show you this image…

CaptureSKY

Firstly, this composition may consist of a JPEG image and either a still, panning or any other footage for the effect to really take hold. To start off, the linear wipe tool needs to be used to add the feather effect on the horizon as most would see any other sunny day. Applying this will show immense realism and give the audience extra to look at rather than a blank canvas.

Next, the ‘Linear color key’ will keep the JPEG image from being show on anything but the ground and by doing this there will be more room for safety and less for risk of positioning images or effects.

Finally, adding colour balance to your composition should give the overall effect and footage a more natural feel and with the right adjustments; everything should look more natural.

This video should show many other tutorials about Linear colour key and sky changing tutorials;

 

 

All boxed up

Working under restrictions can sometimes call for planning, compromise and creativity…

I have been set on a task to create a 3D model as a practice project leading up to the world skills event; a treasure chest is my first and by the time you are reading this I am still making progress with this model, just need to start texturing.with the Uv maps and hopefully learn more about PBR texturing.

The use of spikes and a large set of horns gives a hint of character to this model, but the horns could also be vines or tentacles which consequently can lead to confusion upon the eyes of a player, modeler or mere inspector.

CHEST
To create the horns, I had a chance to try a new tool which I had looked into. The NURBS curve tool, this tool allows me to draw out a more accurate line for my polygons to follow through elevation. Additionally, these lines allow me to be more interesting with the wackiness of my poly’s…

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moving on to the Texturing in Photoshop… after an hour of unfolding the entire model including the external assets. I learned these new skills/tools;

  • Automatic unfold
  • Sew/Cut UVS
  • Layout
  • Snapshot UVS
  • Unfold
  • Smooth Unfold

After I finished the UV editing, I found that with the new tools and skills I developed during that time and that UV unwrapping doesn’t take the duration that people take it for. It mostly consists of a lot of prior planning and is easier to do when there are external assets which leaves out the worry of having to cut out odd seams where you can alternatively have more straight forward UV layouts.

 

2D Solo game Week 1

Further venturing through the paths of game design and coding my way through the basics of my top down stealth game.

I start by creating my assets first, such as a protagonist ‘main character’, walls, enemy, a backdrop for my game, all I need now is a goal and I can reach further development. I create my assets all on Adobe Photoshop. By using the brush tool and tampering with the brush settings, I can give out better fake lights on the assets giving out a 3 Dimensional look without altering the lighting of the scene nor the renderer.

BRUSH SETTINGS
Brush settings tool

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Beginning my development on Unity, I made the mistake by selecting the game to be a 3D game, I had to therefore change the camera to ‘orthographic’ so of can therefore render the sprite images all together.

To conclude this blog I have also considered having a feature where the player must collect a specific object to therefore pass except the first stage which the player should be able to get to grips with the controls and the environment around him/her.

Projectiles_CODE

This piece of code is for a projectiles script which in simpler terms means ‘When shooting each bullet has two seconds until it is dead’, sounds odd… Bullets don’t die, but it does cease to exist after leaving the screen from source  within two seconds.

VFX – Skinning Effect

Like in Iron Man 3?

Tony stark flying about yet again whilst fighting of hordes of enemies which seem to look pretty steamed up… literally.

LR-Iron-Man-3-1
Skinning example (Iron Man 3)

This effect gives an immense amount of depth in the characters face from within, the effect mimics that of a photo shot of a hand with light shining through revealing the inner skeletal and vein structure.

 

hand-over-red-light
Skinning effect shown in real life photo

Applying this effect required a MP4 sequence of a face in any view preferably being;

  • Front facing
  • Side facing
  • 3/4 View
Skin clip
After effects composition setup.

This alongside a JPEG image of veins and the fractural Noise which can give the cloudy effect between the veins. Furthermore, the use of the external software of ‘Mocha AE’, movement can be tracked using the bezier tool and the data from that process will then be copied and moved to the mask & pre-comp.

Skin Bexier
Bezier Tool

Going back to the tracking for the scene, this can be explained with a short gif that I made in another composition  to show of Mocha AE tracking capabilities within any environment;

Tracking Feature

Using the Bezier tool I can select a specific point on the video, preferably with contrasting colours and hit the track forward button to begin gathering tracking data and this tracking data can the be applied to the masks within After effects of the image layers.

Autodesk Maya – NEXT GEN IDENT

I have been progressing ever so slightly with my I dent animation developing and refining it with minor changes by using the motion graph editor to help me with ‘block animation’ which also means step-by-step animation to help me get those main poses or key-frames just right…

I’ve also been meaning to redo the lighting to either expose the scene and enhance the aesthetics of the scene. In other words basically bringing out those nice colors and making everything look spectacular. The method I thought which was best using was the three-point lighting method this will contain a main light, filler light and a back light that can bring out much more of the model or the scene.

During the pipeline of development, I was told about a new renderer called TURTLE. Turtle, like mental Ray can enhance and improve lighting by taking characteristics of lightning from real environments and apply them to your own scene which overall can inject realism but on an uncanny level which also introduces the term ‘uncanny valley’.

ident
I DENT scene with motion blur + DoF (Depth of Field)

Uncanny valley – A term used when an event or a scenes characteristic turns out to be not fully realistic.

After all the lighting was complete I then moved on to cameras and the animation of the cameras, for this I did not need to use block animation. Instead, I switched over to the camera view which I wanted to animate and by moving myself to where my assets looked best I could insert a key frame, this would show off my version of what I wanted myself and the audience to see.

The only problem that I faced during this task was trying to get timing right, but I learnt that by going through the timeline I can pick out key points in the scene and position the camera to where I want when I needed. By doing this I found it a lot easier and a lot more successful to improve camera animation within Maya.

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