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: 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.”

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”

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 ();

}

else

{

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…

Buttons

Plane

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

 

Imagine Worlds project Update

This is an overall summary of the past 8 weeks, versions have been made with improvement to; character interaction, Sound and obviously graphics.

My biggest struggles throughout the project has been the programming; on the bright side, I have been trying to grasp the more common features of programming by looking through YouTube videos, Unity script references and even my own written code and seeing if there is any similarity between what I have done and trying to do.

Continue reading “Imagine Worlds project Update”