Sunday, 15 April 2012

Review of Year One

I'm actually very shocked it's over so fast! I always remembered from my childhood that the winter months always dragged and then it felt like a travelling in a tornado in the spring months but this whole year has felt so fast. I guess when I think about it you don't notice when your mind is constantly occupied with something.

The First Semester was something I felt I always missed in school. I was never taught the basics of drawing and I knew it always crippled me but now I know how to think of everything correctly, although I might not be there perfectly with these things, I've definitely improved because of these things. Semester one was for the most part informative in every class. Game Production was one I found to be the most complicated of course but really the simple things we were given to make I felt like I achieved a lot of learning while doing them.

Semester two was more creative and I really enjoyed it a lot more because of it. The project briefs, although some of them were boring, gave me a chance to really try and be creative with the things in my mind. I found though a lot of the things I thought I really, in myself, didn't like. I think that's really something I'll have to try and get over is getting attached to my work. People are going to tell me they don't like it and I need to make sure that I'm ready for that. Game production felt very short. The projects were a lot more bulked construction and work wise but it felt like I missed on learning more in this semester.

Overall I think I've come out of this year a lot better then when I started but I really, REALLY need to work faster. That's my biggest downfall is not being able to improve on this. I have done more work but I'm still not doing as much as I want to. I'm going to keep myself busy this summer to get these ideas out of my head and also get the ball rolling with working faster. I have a placement back in Derry with Black Market Games and while doing that I'll be continually practising everything I've learned in year one. I'm going to try and get these done better and faster. 3D is something I really want to work on. I never expected that I would be doing so much of it when I started the course but I've really grown to like it this year and I'm enjoying seeing these models take shape. I'm going to try out more character modelling and maybe even do my Project have fun idea! I know it's frowned upon on the course but I'm also going to be drawing what I like to draw. You might class it as anime or cartoons but I'm not doing it to reduce my IQ, I'm doing it because I want to add realism into it and make more detailed but unrealistic characters. League of Legends is a perfect example.
A positive thing I can take away from this course is that I feel motivated to work during the summer. It's not something I've ever done and I'm incredibly shocked I want to but this is the only time in the year where I have freedom to challenge myself in my own ideas, not ideas set in briefs.

Bring on year two! I'm actually looking forward to it then fearing it no matter how much harder it'll be!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Project Have Fun: Evaluation

I think everything went pretty well. As I've had this idea in my head for quite some time I was pretty sure on the things I wanted to put in. I wasn't sure on the style choice I made but I think the final came out not looking as smooth as the Studio Ghibli game but I think it's kind of quirky with the texturing in it. The colours are probably over saturated but considering I wanted the flowers to be vibrant I think it actually turned out well. I flung the boarder on just to show what kind of frame would be on it seeing as it's a scene from a cut scene in the game you'd have some sort of boarder till show where the black is to fill the rest of the screen. I think I probably could have designed a couple of beetles to throw in there to add a bit more character in it and to have a more platform side scroller mode. 

This game would be ideal for any platform, probably animated in flash and coded in which ever way the consoles would need to be and the PC as well. I think a widescreen view is more apt for most monitors and TVs these days as well. The genre it would fit in would be side-scrolling platform. As there is jumping involved it's considered platform.

Project Have Fun: Green Vengence

Project Have Fun: Finalization

Just a check on the silhouettes for the characters. The all look recognisable to me! They all fit in the environment I made as well, check. Only problem I think I really have is the fighter enemy. I added war paint but I really don't think that's necessary.  
The level I did in the last post hopefully checks with all the environment too. It's got the backstory(plants), it's got the directional steering, it's got the items that signify a change or importance too and nothing has been added that you can't do.

I chose to do the fight at the end with the boss. I wanted to try and show the action so I went for a sort of overhead view of the flyer coming in to attack while the cutter is all ready engaging and The Queen is just standing ordering about. I know the bottom panel is messy but it's me getting the directional composition or at least trying to do it.

Project Have Fun: A Level

Now it's not terribly detailed but it's to give you an idea of how the flower minions are used so you can progress through the level. You have to remember The Queen can't do anything expect walk. Hence her lazy attitude because she can't be bothered to do anything else. I think later on in level that it might be an idea for the flower minions to maybe gather a couple of skills on the way. For example the cutter could get a grip skill where you can swing to one area to the next if flight isn't possible or the boat could be used as a glider when in the air. The flyer could get a whirlwind move to blow enemies away in which case they would be beetles as they wouldn't know if it was those beetles that killed the flowers before. The jumper could get a platform ability so you could fall on top of it on a leaf that might not hold The Queen on it and you can use the jump ability straight away to get off the leaf onto another area.

Project Have Fun: Storyboard

This is the storyboard for the opening I was thinking of to introduce everyone and also the mystery of the big shadow.

So we have the flowers just doing what they normally do in their lives. The Queen being bossy and lazy.

Then the massive shadow approaches over head and they are frozen in fear.
Once the shadow has gone you hear a scream from behind the thick leaves.
 You discover a flower has been beheaded and the trail of the things that did this leads deeper into the greenery. The witness says it was beetles but had funny coloured legs and bodies.

The Queen is outraged as she approaches the scene and proclaims she will capture the enemy that did this. An advisor insists that she brings aid with her. This introduces the flowers you'll use in the game.
 Here you see them follow the trail into the green areas as they start the journey to finding the enemy that did this.

Project Have Fun: Art style and Colour

Because I'm doing a side scroller I didn't think realism would be the best option. Most you find are pretty cartoony and vibrant and as I'm doing flowers and plants I thought it fitted this type of game better. As I mentioned earlier this can work on all platforms and that includes handhelds and phones. I'm in absolute love with this game called Ni no Kuni which was developed by Level 5 and designed by Studio Ghibli who are my gods of animated movies. When I heard they were using their style for this game I was completely excited and, well I think this is the best option for me to base my style on and also the colors as well. There is a definite pallete with the areas and although my coloured drawings of the characters don't reflect it I'll be making sure the final piece looks like how this game is.
You can still see the colourful flowers laid through out the vast amount of green and I think the bottom right is a perfect reference for what I'm going for. I want that kind of background in my levels and gives me a chance to really be creative with how the level would be designed.