Strengths: The strengths I have possessed throughout my time in Games Development has been very wide set. From the first year till this year my strengths lie within research, digital painting and sketching. Why research is one of my strengths is due to how I make sure I research everything that is linked to my project; for example last year for unit one I was doing a project linked to the Vikings, so from that I researched their culture, the music, their environment…etc. I wanted to make sure I knew everything before I began to do the practical side of the project. For my FMP last year I made sure to research the audience that my game was linked to, the games that inspired my character – along with long-standing characters (James Sunderland), different eras of time so I could get accurate weapons from that period for my game…etc. With digital painting my skills have definitely improved since I began this course, using my skills to create hyper-realistic characters along with detailed environments. My favourite piece I have created within these two years was Heath Quinn. He is the most detailed character I have created; grey specs in his brown hair to show his ageing, along with his detailed eyes and the faint wrinkles across his skin. With sketching for a project I draw the first draft and then develop from that sketch; for my FMP I drew the first sketch of a mask and then carried on developing it into a final sketch that gets across what I wanted – a broken doll mask with one false eye and another eye inspired by the infamous doll mask wearer Jigsaw.
Weaknesses: To me, I don’t really have that many weaknesses but I can think of one major weakness that causes me to lack in work; 3DS MAX. Though I have started to warm up to this software due to our character creation of the soldier, I still feel as though I lack in skill to create any large projects as other people in my class do. 3DS MAX is definitely a software that I cannot see myself getting deep into as I am more towards the artistic side (drawing, sketching and digital painting), spending time modelling a character does have some sort of appeal to it but I fear I might not have the patience.
Opportunities – As I am good at researching and coming up with unique ideas and then developing from that to create a game story, I would be best suited to go for a job as a creative director. I have been told by my tutor that I have the right mindset for this sort of job as I think everything to do with a project (characters, backstory, bios, environments, story for game, research into characters, moodboards…etc)
Threats – The largest threat I have within my working process is the stress I carry when something doesn’t go right – this happens a lot within my projects. This stress normally happens when a piece of work I am creating doesn’t go the way I originally planned, so I intend to leave the piece of work till last minute, which gives me less time to actually possess a good looking photoshop graphic. I have been trying to move away from this habit, but it proves difficult for someone who is a perfectionist and cannot stand work that is not up to their standard.
This is the first time I am using this piece of software so I have not quite gripped the concept, but I have managed to create a texture and begin to add shading onto a character. Why I was introduced to this software was to develop my skills further from just photoshop and my limited knowledge of 3DS Max.
I do enjoy mudbox currently, it lets you be more creative with your object and let you apply textures straight onto it without the hassle of going into a material editor. What I have made in the last two hours of using this software have been small things, but it is still quite good as I have never been taught about this software. What I created was a texture of a floor, which wouldn’t be useful for my project as my game level is quite cartoonish. I will, however, still use mudbox to create my character as she is quite realistic. Why I made my character realistic is because you will not see her face throughout the game, so I used my opportunity to make a character I wanted without it fitting to the game design.
- Name: Sandra Frances Parks
- DOB: 16th December 1978
- Where she lives: Los Angeles, California, America
Accent: Mellow Californian accent
- Home-town: Wyoming, Michigan
- Weight: Athletic
- Eyes: Light grey with speckles of brown
- Hair: Bright blonde hair that reaches her chest with a full fringe
- Appearance: Oval face with soft features, occasionally wears make up when she has time to
- Attire: Wears band shirts, mostly those of David Bowie and The Beatles as those are her favourites, wears skinny jeans along with canvas shoes and a leather jacket
- Religious views: Atheist
Hobbies: Enjoys spending time with her kids and exploring the countryside, In her spare time she will play guitar
Sandra is a very caring person who will risk her life to save others. She has two daughters called April and Autumn and are both twins. She had a boyfriend but unfortunately he cheated on her which caused her to move back to Los Angeles. Two years into moving to Los Angeles she meets a 35 year old male called ‘Francis’ (Not to be mistaken for Mr H) who is a CEO of a company. It was very unlikely these two meeting as she is a happy character while he is cold.
Sandra can be quite impulsive as when she wants something done she will do it — not caring about the consequences that will follow. That is what caused her to leave boyfriend of 10 years (Francis) as she decided to escape to the other side of town without question as she seen where she lived as a threat to her and her children.
She does find dating difficult as most men (and women) don’t want to date a women who has two children. Then she came across another mother of two who was in the same predicament as her and they both hit it off.
Sandra is a very empathic person as she can really feel people’s emotions — can help them get over their deep, dark emotions with a simple talk, that’s why she joined the police force, to use her gift as a helping hand for the police. However, even though she can help people fight their emotions, she herself cannot control her own. Sandra is a very happy woman, but she can get mood swings that cause severe depression or aniexty, causing her to lash put at those around her. People suspect she had bipolar, which would be a very good observation due to her erratic behaviour
Today we had a visit from a deaf person from another campus to come and answer the questions that we had for him. Though he was only meant to talk with the other media class, Ben thought it would be a good opportunity for us to ask that questions that me might have and not had the chance to ask a deaf individual.
One of the first questions was what was his favourite programmes. This question was asked by the other group, but he told us that his favourite programme was MTV which was very interesting. Even though he has lost hearing he still has a great interest in music. From this it gave me an idea to add a backing track with bass so the Deaf/deaf audience can still hear it and get a more immersed game play through.
Someone from my group asked him what his favourite games were, in which he replied with “Grand Theft Auto and Call Of Duty” which was quite a surprise. When we had the talk with Ricky he said that he enjoyed games that had a lot of colour and not a lot of sound, so when Scott said that I was quite taken a back. Maybe he enjoys those games because he is partially deaf so he can still hear some sounds, making it much easier to play.
Another question someone in my class asked was “Do you find gaming difficult?” which he replied with no, as he has been playing games all his life. He has not been deaf all his life, so when he was younger he could hear what was happening which later on helped him with COD. However, he said he can easily adapt to games that he has not had experience with but it does take awhile for him to get used to it — like all gamers when they get a new game.
The finally question that was asked was about games with narrative and if he liked them. He said he likes them as he can get a deeper understanding of the game and makes it more immersive. My game does have a backstory and talks more in depth about Sandra, but my game is quiet game as it is for the Deaf/deaf audience
Why I took these specific images is because they will help me with how my asylum will look. As I stated in my previous primary research blog post, I needed a pictute of the gates within the light so I can see the direction of reflection. However, the gates hold little reflection due to the copious amount of paint being applied onto it. It will fit in with the abandoned asylum look as the paint on the gates have started to chip off.
My favourite picture is number 14 as that is a really detailed zoomed in photo of the chipped paint on the gate. I will use this image I took as a reference for when I do my concept art, showing the chipped paint and erosion on the gates of the abandoned asylum.
I wanted different textures of bricks and stones to get an idea of what will be best for the design of the asylum exterior. My favourite has to be the chipped brick along with the normal brick. It shows how the asylum is falling apart but it is not old enough for it to collapse on its own.
For this project I have done many concept art pieces to show what I want my character to look like, what clothes and accessories he will wear and what weapons he will be using in the game. I wanted the viewer to get a real visualisation of how my character may act in the game. As Heath is wearing a suit, the viewer can see that Heath might be a serious character, along with the cross it really does show that Heath could be following tradition of the “nuclear family” A man, a woman and two and a half children with a dog, but that isn’t true: a misconception. I wanted Heath to be someone people would label in in a negative light without really knowing him; for example, because Heath wears a cross people without even getting to know the character will assume he is bigoted, which is not the case. If they play the game then they will know that Heath has a gay daughter who he cares about; the story is based on that relationship as he will go to any lengths to save her, even if it means his death.
What I want to achieve with this unit is two pieces of concept art of Heath himself, in a t-pose and in a normal stance, two weapons of my choosing, an environment and if I have enough time, a artistic piece that reflects how the game will be. Why I want to do quite a few pieces is because I want to show that my skills in photoshop have not wavered in the slightest and also show how my skills have developed since the final major project. I am going to research different skills in photoshop that I could contribute into my work, getting the highest quality of work I could possibly get. What I definitely want to develop is shading in skin. If you have seen my FMP you will see I did a piece where I shaded Sarah’s face, but as I didn’t have the skills to make it look professional, she looked merrily unfinished. With Heath, I want to make him look realistic — well as realistic as possible — so I can get across what I want him to look like.
For the weapons I am planning to use a mixture of photocomposite and digital painting as I did in my FMP. I did both the skullcrusher and persuasion in my FMP so it seemed only fitting if I did them again but added much more detail and develop them from the old design. This time I will have Heath holding the weapons to show how it would be used when he is battling the creatures. With that and him holding the weapons I got an idea to include animation as that’s a new piece of software we are using.
What I would use this animation for is to maybe show Heath running in third person and attacking and creature to help visual the game more. Then I and so thought about using and animation to show the weapon mechanic. What I mean by that is when Heath uses the weapon, how would he use the weapon exactly: I will be using the axe for that part of the animation as that’s the easiest to animate. If I have enough time I might do a quick animation of Heath using the knife to help with the visualisation of the game that I want to create.
The artistic piece for photoshop will be one that could be used as the front cover of the game or as standard concept art. The concept art piece will reflect how Heath feels or what the game represents. I do have a few ideas of what the piece would be; one of these pieces is Heath and Mr H standing opposite one another, reflecting the antagonist and the protagonist. On each half, the background will show the ideal world of Heath and Mr H. Though the artistic piece isn’t that important as the t pose and character design is, it is still a nice thing that adds story to the game.
For this project I have done many concept art pieces to show what I want to be included within the game along with how I want it to look. What needs to be done is a bio for my creature, environment and character along with a few more sketches to really show the detail.
So, what I am making is different to that of the class as I am doing concept work only; that’s the direction that will help me develop my skills in photoshop. But another thing that has recently been included into my project is animation. Animation is a piece of software that I have recently been using in class and is a piece of software that I can see myself loving. What I am going to do in animation and was an idea both me and Ben came up with is cinematography.
Cinematography is when the image is still apart from a section. So when I come to do animation, Sandra will be still but the door will open, revealing the padded cell on the other side — it is a very interesting take and could be used for my portfolio for when I apply for university.
For concept art, I am planning to do one main piece that is a still image of what I want it to look like if published as a game; HUD, minimap and inventory will be included. I will also be making separate pieces of the HUD and assets that the character will be holding or will be decoration within the environment. I will also do quite detailed concept art pieces of different key parts of the maze (padded cell, hospital ward, courtyard and exit) but they will not be as detailed as the final,main concept art piece. I am still in debate about if I want to create Sandra in photoshop as it could be quite time consuming if I want to get her right — I will ask Ben about his opinion on the matter.
The techniques that I will use in photoshop are going to be techniques that I have been taught from workshops in class but I will also use self taught techniques from YouTube video. The technique that I will use fairly frequent throughout my concept art work will be digital painting. As I stated in my research I want the style to look similar to that of Fran bow, so using photocomposite for the environment is out the question. However, I will be using photocomposite for the the assets to make the process much smoother and easier; I want to spend as less time on the assets as possible but I still want to show that they are important with how the game plays out.
Today in class we learnt about the basic techniques of animation. We talked about the 12 principles of animation by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, who were animators for Disney.
What these principles tells you is how to make the illusion of life. For example on of these were squash and stretch. Squash and stretch is the way something — upon impact — changes its form. With a tennis ball and you throw it, when it hits the ground it becomes squished, though out human eyes doesn’t see that. Including it in animation makes it realistic and as I said previous, gives it the illusion of life.
Beth then taught us about the different tweens that are used throughout flash. The first tween we got taught was classic tweens. These tweens are normally used when you want to get from point a to point b without having to add a bunch of key frames to make the animation run smoothly. Classic twin is the most simple one — hence the name — as you use it to move the shape from one side to the other. You would use this for a walking animation, if it was simple like that. The next tween was motion tween. What motion tween does is let you move your object in different points. For example if you was making a bouncing ball you would place a motion tween down and click where you want to make a key movement point. The last tween is shape tween. This tween is normally used when you want a shape to end as different shape. So your starting object would be as circle and then it would transform into triangle — useful if you was morphing a character into something else.
Another thing we have been playing around with is doing a walking animation. This — to me that is — was quite simple if you know how person looks when they walk. On my first walking animation I did mess up with the stomp as it seemed like he was slamming his foot down, but eventually I changed it to make it more realistic.
I have really enjoyed these animation workshops and is something I would like to incorporate into my final major project.