Posted in Unit 9

Unit 9 – Character convention evaluation

When in industry people always expect the same from characters. For most horror games something bad happens to the protagonist, the protagonist then hunting for the route of their problem and put an end to it. A character who goes through this is James Sunderland.

James Sunderland is the protagonist for the game Silent Hill 2, a critically acclaimed game that people still call the father of horror. With James, we see that his wife has gone to a town called Silent Hill, a place where both lovers went for their honeymoon. However, what we don’t know until later on is that James Sunderland killed his wife and is now riddled with guilt, thinking she is still alive. Another character who needs to conquer something from his past is Chris Redfield. Chris Redfield, when infiltrating Wesker at the Spencer house, he saw his partner Jill Valentine die along with Wesker, witnessing their deaths. However, in Resisdent Evil 5 we learn that Jill is still alive, along with Wesker causing Chris to forget his job with Sheva to save his partner from the clutches of Wesker.

Both characters are classed as anti-heroes: don’t want to hurt good people will will do anything to get to their goal. Though some may argue that James Sunderland is not an anti-villain but a villain is not true. He did kill his wife, yes, but he has not hurt anyone else, he actually tries to help these people. That could be because of the guilt he feels due to him murdering his wife, we don’t know.

Heath Quinn was based off both of these characters, following in the path or despair and committing actions he would never do, not until his daughter was kidnapped. Heath Quinn is what you would call the standard horror protagonist, as that’s what I was aiming for but I gave him a little twist. Though I would call him anti-hero myself, it is very clear that Heath could stretch into something much more sinister. There have been times when Heath would sacrifice people if it would mean that his daughter would be saved. The end of the game is the hardest choice as you have to pick either to save Chris, his greatest friend who he knew before he became rich or his daughter who he has spent the whole game trying to save. Either choice will cause Heath a large amount of pain.

How this will help me with my personal practice is it gave me a deeper understanding of what industry expects when you make a character. They want a character that follows a genres’ stereotype: as I mentioned before with both James Sunderland and Chris Redfield as they both have something bad happen to them and they both go and confront that problem.When I go into industry and I become a creative director (that is my dream job) I will know how to make a character that the audience will love but add my own twist on it. As much as I love seeing characters go through the same story (sarcasm), I would like to move away from this and make it more unique to other protagonists you will see in horror games.

This unit has helped me become more passionate within photoshop and make me want to develop my skills so I can make much better looking characters. Other than growing my passion in photoshop, it has also helped me develop my skills in photoshop, finally getting the hang of how to shade skin right, as when we look at my Sarah Quinn character that I made for my FMP she did not nearly look as good as Heath Quinn: proof of my skill development. For my second FMP I am thinking about taking some things from this unit as it has been a big help with how to make characters correctly and talked about the different characters you see in gaming; it has been a very big help.

 

 

Posted in Unit 10

Unit 10 – Final Evaluation 

For Unit 10 we have been assigned a task to create a interactive environment for a group. The group we got was Deaf/deaf audience and make a game that is accessible to this group. In the brief it says to make a “Low poly 3D maze” but as 3D is not a strong point of mine and frankly I lack the interest, I decided to go the concept art route. Due to my difference of project, I decided I will make a character and a game level to get across how it will look of it was ever made into a 3D level.

I came up with several ideas for how I could approach this unit but they all pointed in the direction of a puzzle horror. You are Sandra Parks, a detective who specialises in missing children cases. She gets led to an asylum where she has to solve puzzles to escape the asylum and make sure she doesn’t bump into the monster that is lurking after her. How I have linked this to the Deaf/deaf audience is when Sandra is holding the heartbeat monitor I was going to send pulses of vibrations into the controller to replicate the heartbeat. It speeds up when the creature gets close and then slow down when the monster is far away. To help the Deaf/deaf audience with my game I was going to use bass as the backing track so the Deaf/deaf gamers will be able to feel the vibrations in their hands and also against their ears.

A lot of research has went into this unit as we need to know our audience inside and out. To know our audience, we had talks with gamers who are part of the Deaf/deaf community, this will then help us understand what we will need to do to make a game accessible to them. The first thing I did was look through a Deaf gaming forum: they talked about the different games that were not accessible to Deaf people and how game developers in the future could make a game tailored for their needs. The gamers talked about how all the games (that were labeled on the list, go to Unit 10 for more information) had no subtitles, too much dialogue and too many cutscenes, taking the gamer away from the game and not giving them a chance to enjoy it. I took this and decided not to include a lot of dialogue and cut scenes in my game as I agree with the gamers, it takes them away from the game and wrecks the immersion. Then we moved onto an actual interview with a Deaf/deaf gamer; my first interview was with Kags.

Kags is a twitch streamer who loves playing fast paced games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield; she enjoys first person shooters. I asked her what she thought about games and how they are more for the hearing gamers and not for the Deaf/deaf gamers? She replied simply with she doesn’t mind as long as the game gives the instructions well. That is what really surprised me: Kags loves playing shooting games – games that are tailored to that of the hearing group but she still enjoys them, even without the ability to hear. This piece of information gave me the confidence to make a game that I am comfortable with making, but to make the objective clear so the Deaf/deaf group will understand what to do. Next interview was with a tutor at my college called Ricky.

With Ricky we could ask questions as a class so everyone can hear his answers. Some questions did link to my project while others didn’t, so I mostly focused of the questions that did. Someone mentioned about vibrations and how we could use them to the advantage of the Deaf/deaf audience. Why this was important for me was the game I was making required vibrations as an indication of when the villain is coming towards the player, so hearing his opinion would help with how I could develop it. Ricky stated if we wanted to use vibrations we “should use them all over the body to make the experience inmersive” which I took into account. It did give me an idea to push the idea of using vibrations further but instead of including them on the hands use them on the body as well.

The last Deaf/deaf individual came from another college campus and was also a student. Scott was kind enough to come into our class and answer our questions. As the other media class joined us, I made sure to only focus on the questions that would relate to my game. Someone asked him how you would jumpscare a Deaf/deaf person as most jumpscares rely on that. Scott said “To use bass as a backing track to immerse the Deaf/deaf gamer” which was very useful. As my project wasn’t going to have any sound hearing Scott say this made me change my mind and decide to include a bass track so the gamer can feel the vibrations. I will match the vibrations of the heartbeat monitor to the bass track so they can feel how close the creature is.

All of their opinions built up what my game was going to be. It helped me get a deeper understanding of what Deaf/deaf gamers want and also need. I am confident that if my game ever got brought out onto the market that it would be accessible to everyone; everyone will have a chance to play my game without the struggle Deaf/deaf people face. Yes, it will include sound for example: footsteps across the tiled floor or a door squeaking open as you open it — small sounds. Though this game is mostly aimed towards that audience, I also want to include other audiences as well. If you make a game just set to one demographic you are not going to get  a successful game, and that’s why I think game companies should widen their demographic – not just to the majority of the gaming audience, but the the gaming audiences who do not get the advantage hearing individuals get.

Some other research was to get different textures that I could use in my project. For my primary research I did two pieces: one was at night time while the other was at day time. Though the night time was was more of an accident as I didn’t realise how quick time flew as I was also doing primary sketches of gates (that are included in my project) I took a few quick snaps of the area, to see if they could be useful for my project; they were not. So I went out another day and took pictures when it was light, getting close up images of gates that had cracked paint, which would be useful for when I would of made the concept art  of my building and I needed a reference of what a worn out fence would look like. I also took close up images of bricks so I could get best images for when I created my building; too bad it fell short.

As I could not get feedback off of Kags as she was currently busy with real life problems, I decided to ask my mum who is quite connected with Deaf/deaf gamers and I know for a fact she would give me an honest opinion if my game is Deaf/deaf accessible. The first piece of feedback was about my overall idea and how I could make it accessible to the Deaf/deaf gamers: “Good ideas but need to be open to other audiences — include more sound, indicate where the creature is coming from”

This is quite good feedback and probably would of been useful to of got that feedback before I even started production (which my mother stated several times). As I am very interested in the horror genre I didn’t really take into account other genres or age groups. I typical prefer making games 18+ as you have more leeway to do the things you want; if I wanted heavy violence – as that is part of my story — I would not be able to do that if it is a 7+ game. But as I stated previously in this paragraph, I should of jotted down my best ideas and then ask around my peers and my family and ask which one would be better for this project.With the indicate where the creature is coming from, I am not going to do that. You are in a maze, so throwing in a creature who follows you throughout the maze will not only harden the experience but also make it much more scarier, that is what I am trying to achieve with this maze: a game that is not only aimed at the Deaf/deaf audience but also will scare anyone that plays it.

Next piece of feedback was positive: “Very suited to the Deaf/deaf audience due to the bass and vibrations, making it more immersive” (I added the immersive part as my mum could not find the right words to explain). I agree with this opinion as I shown my mum some of the research I conducted from the Deaf/deaf audience and how one of the individuals stated how bass makes it a more “immersive experience” for them. As my game is a horror, it seems fitting to add bass to add the suspension most horror have – when a creature is coming closer the bass will get louder and louder so the Deaf/deaf individuals can feel how close the enemy is coming. Also with the vibrations, my mum looked at the research I conducted from the audience and how Ricky (A deaf individual who came to talk with the group) and agreed that me using the vibrations enhance their experience. The vibrations and the bass are connected to the heart-beat monitor within the game, so when that beats faster, the bass and vibrations get faster – it makes it feel as if you are currently in the situation as Sandra.

I shown my mum the interviews we had with other Deaf/deaf individuals and also the research I found out, so she stated that I “Could change the genre to a platformer, as that is the most popular genre” That I do agree with. If I wanted to follow Ricky’s advice and go down that route as that is most popular, I could but I wanted to move away from that stereotype and bring them out their comfort zone. A horror game is a good way to pull people out of their comfort zone (especially Deaf/deaf gamers) as you expect the unexpected. With the bass and vibrations this horror game

For this unit I think I have done adequate work; work that looks appealing to the eye and gets my idea across . My most strongest point of this project was definitely research as I thoroughly researched my audience to get a deeper understanding of the group and make a game that would be accessible to them and how I could make a game that they would enjoy. Though the audience was the key part of my research, I also researched what influenced my audience and what could be inspiration for how my idea will play out. Though inspiration is quite a big part of my research as I wanted some horror themed ideas, researching the audience was my key priority.

Idea planning was something that I didn’t spend that much time on as I wanted to get straight into production; I still made many ideas of what could be brought forward into production. So my production for this particular stage of the unit was quite lacking — I could of created many ideas and ask for feedback off peers/family to see which one would be better suited for this unit.

Production was the stage where my performance was not up to standard but I did manage to complete a fair amount of concept art — and in my case — a 3D maze for unreal to get across what I want my maze to look if it was brought forward as a game. The concept art I created got across what idea’s I was going for; showing the first person view of the maze. However — as I did not have enough time — I wasn’t able to add the interface which shown the HUD and the inventory slot, which I drew in my sketchbook. I did make a menu that has the logo of the game, but as I did not have enough time I could not make my background so I had to go for a picture off the internet.

The final stage is continuous reflection. This stage was something I excelled as I manage to update my blog regularly to talk about the tasks I plan on doing. However, even though I managed to update regularly, there were times when I didn’t update for a week, making it seem like I didn’t do any work throughout the course of that week.

To improve my performance throughout this unit I would make sure I give myself a deadline for each section of the unit. Why this is important is because I seem to spend a large portion of the unit focusing on one task, then I forget about other tasks’ that need to be doing throughout the unit. For example I spent almost half the unit doing research, making sure I got a deeper understanding of my audience and how I could make a game for them instead of bringing it forward into production and making concept art. Where else this was a problem was when I was too busy focusing on production that I didn’t end up having a enough time to make a video, showing all my work.

 

 

 

Posted in Unit 9

Unit 9 – Final Evaluation 

For Unit 9 we have been given a brief  “to understand the characteristics and context in which game characters have developed within the industry over time” and to “produce a concept for a character that meets industry expectation” This brief has been the best brief we have been given thus far as I really enjoy doing character design, so having unit where we can just focus on character  — or in my case — develop from an already existing character I have made in my Final Major Project. Having an already existing character makes the whole process much more easier, all I needed to do was focus on the development of Heath from how he was previous.

My overall impression of the project as a whole is a very positive one. The work I have created is up to industry standard as I have made thumbnail sketches to show the environment, the character’s face and a t-pose. These pieces of concept art work are enough to get across how Heath will look if inside a game and thumbnails to show an environment that Heath will most likely go to. I really do love the pieces of work I have created, though some of it needs correcting to look that much better, they are the best pieces I have done. You can clearly see my development from the last time I made a realistic character,  I did not place shading in the right place and the hair looked flat; my character has realistic looking hair and it as if light is reflecting is off his skin, which is a nice detail. What I do enjoy most about my concept art pieces is Heath’s face as I paid close attention to add wrinkles to his skin, making him look aged or riddled with stress; that normally comes when you are the CEO of the Banks Of America.

I asked people in my class for their opinion of Heath Quinn face design and asked them would I need to make any changes to my character to make him look much better than before. Sean told me to add more hair onto the left side of his head as it locked uneven to the  other side, I thought that was good advice and I followed it, adding more hair so he doesn’t look oddly made. When Shannon came in I also asked for her opinion and she suggested that I add wrinkles to show his age and the stress he encounters from his job. It was a very nice touch of detail to my character; even though he already has a lot of detail on his face due the the highlights I’ve added to show where the light is reflecting from, the wrinkles added that extra touch that made Heath more realistic. To create the wrinkles on his face I used a small hardbrush on a low opacity and started to build up where people normally get stress. Shannon gave a tip to do a stress line between his eyebrow as her dad has one (Heath and Shannon’s dad are around the same age). With the highlight of his face I kept changing between lighter shades of his skin colour and use a soft, low opacity brush and began to build up the highlight on key parts of his face (nose, cheekbone, forehead, chin).

However, like all pieces you make there’s always a problem that you would love to change. What I would love to change about my character is his skin colour. I stated in the biography that he was a tanned male but when I came to make Heath I made him very pale – too pale for a man that used to live in Australia. I would love the opportunity to go back and alter his skin colour and make him a bit darker to fit my biography description. What I would also love to change is his eyes; I don’t want to change his iris, that looks detailed and fits the rest of the character, however, the white of his eyes does not match the iris. It looks flat and doesn’t have shading to show reflection of the eyeball, instead it is a bright white. It doesn’t really look bad but me being the creative I can see clearly where I could improve it. The last thing that I would change — and is probably the most important thing — is the lips. If you look at Heath you can see he has the faint outline of lips but no detail. Why this is because I didn’t have enough time. I wanted to make sure all my documentation was up to standard before I made my character look pretty: you don’t need a finished product unless you have the process.
A lot of research went into this unit as I wanted the most realistic depiction of my character. Because I already did research on Heath and looked at the character’s that influenced him for my final major project, I didn’t need to do anymore on that, what I did was search up stories that follow Heath’s own: child getting kidnapped from their father, the father taking it upon himself to find his child. One story I found was of Sean Felton who’s ex wife stole their son and went to Thailand. Sean tried to contact the police but they did not respond due to the kidnapped being the son’s mother, so Sean took it upon himself to go to Thailand and save his son. The last story was about Jagram who lived in a small village in India, his children got kidnapped and took to Nepal in which he got a second mortgage on the house and flew there. He managed to get a job inside the factory and found his son’s slaving away along with some children his village. He contacted the police and had them arrested and saved his sons and the children. Why I researched these stories was because I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how Heath might be feeling in the situation of his daughter getting kidnapped. If I had the time, I would of made a synopsis to really empathise how he feels about the whole situation, but right now all I have is my research.

The key research was searching up the different archetypes of characters you get in gaming and link that with the character I am creating. In my research I mentioned a website that gives the stereotypical background of an anti-hero, which my character fit in perfectly. Heath Quinn has father issues due to his father committing suicide when he was very young, causing him to not have that father/son bond, very similar to that of Bruce Wayne who was also young and witness the death of his father. It also mentioned how Heath will kill anyone who gets in his way – very true when you read the synopsis, he is willing to kill Dara (Sarah’s girlfriend) so he has a better chance of saving her. As being a anti-hero — if following the the archetype that is — he is also a chaotic good character. What I quoted in my research was “chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society” that is an accurate description of Heath Quinn

I decided to go to Clayton Vale that is very populated with foliage and would be useful as inspiration with how my environment would look in my game. The pictures I mostly took were of paths that went through forests as that’s what I would see Heath walking down. These pictures were used for my thumbnail sketches as inspiration as I did not have enough time to make a full level but my thumbnails did get across what my level may look like. I quickly sketched with a custom brush the path and trees and added soft details of fog between the branches with a cloud custom brush, lowering the opacity so it barely visible. I also differentiated with the rubbed tool, using the cloud brush once again and lowering the opacity so I can add depth among the trees.

Overall the process was quite straightforward as you do not need to make the most detailed thumbnail to get across your idea. It does look good, however, even for my first time attempt at doing this process. However, I would change some aspects of my thumbnails, for example add more detail to all three of the thumbnails to really get the visualisation to the audience. Maybe if I get the chance to make my thumbnails again I will make sure to take time with sketching so it does not look the messy and maybe add more detail to the trees like add leaves to show that it is a forest Heath is travelling.

 

 

Posted in Unit 10

Unit 10 – Idea development and proposal 2

Unit 10 has been quite a difficult project for me to do as I am doing something different to that of the group, which puts pressure on me. These last weeks I have been stressing out about my future and about how I am going to get my work to a final product. As I am someone who stresses easily, I can easily get distracted, the stress becoming much worse and making me lose focus of my task. I have done plenty concept art pieces and have started to do digital painting, but I feel like I am missing something.

Stress does effect be greatly that can cause a delay in my work. I am trying to conquer this and become more productive, but when I get stressed I seem to lose the ability to do my work. For this unit I am thinking about having a finished level — semi-finished level — and a full character, along with the level  in unreal to fit in with interactive part of the brief. Why I made the maze in unreal when I stated I will be doing full concept art pieces was to conquer my fear. When I don’t like a piece of software I always stay away from it; not this time. I want to include many different pieces of software to build up my game so the audience can understand how I will make this game Deaf/deaf accessible.

I stated that I was going to make the style of my game in the style of ‘Fran Bow’ a 2D horror game about a girl who is an asylum. However, when I came down to making my concept art pieces it turns out I prefer my piece of work looking realistic, to match that of my concept art character.

Posted in Unit 9

Unit 9 – Heath Biography *updated*

  • Name: Heath David Quinn
  • DOB: 12th July 1966
  • Home of origin: New Wales, AustraliaAccent: Australian with a slight tinge of western American drawl
  • Home-town: Beverly Hills, California
  • Weight: Athletic
  • Eyes: Blue with speckles of brown, wears glasses occasionally
  • Hair: Dark brown with lighter shades of brown, shoulder length
  • Appearance: Strong jaw, high-cheekbones, thin lips, well-groomed eyebrows, a pointed nose, slight dusting of stubble, muscular neck.
  • Attire: Typically wears suits with the occasional waistcoat, sometimes wears a sweater with a leather jacket and suit pants.
  • Religious views: Christian
  • Hobbies: Likes to: weight-lift, fish, play baseball, play golf

Heath Quinn is the CEO of ‘Banks of America’. People call him the ‘Ice-man’ because of his cold attitude he has towards the people who work for him. He is a workholic that spends most of his time on his computer, making sure the company is up to standard. He is one of the most successful businessmen currently in America, living in one of the most prestigious areas in California.

Heath does not have a close relationship with his teenage daughter since his divorce seven years ago from Claire. Claire and Heath still talk — keeping a close relationship with her — unknown to his daughter relocation. Though he does not show it, he’s very protective of his daughter.

Heath has been known in the pass to be quite the violent type, punching anyone who disagreed with his views or threatened his family (He has a scar on his lip from when he protected Claire during an attack at bar ‘Sandy’; a man grabbed Claire in a sexual manor, causing Heath to attack the man) Sometimes his outbursts cannot be controlled, making his family unsafe from himself.

People would agree that he is very impulsive with his decision — either his decision or none. That is quite an alpha male mentality, which Heath surely has due to his promotion of CEO of Banks Of America. Before the promotion he did show signs of alpha male to his family, showing he is the boss of the family so now that he has became a CEO, it really pushed that alpha male quality he has to the surface.

Due to the stress of the company and the pressure of making sure everything runs smoothly, he can be quite emotionally abusive to those around him — who only want to help him. The worse case was when he pushed his wife so far that she ended up leaving him with their daughter, which broke him and made him better with his abuse, but worsened his mentality. Because of the divorce Heath has to take weekly therapy sessions to keep bay his suicidal tendencies, which he has always had since a boy. Claire was his rock so her leaving him caused him to go back to how he was before. However, his daughter also helps as he doesn’t want to leave his daughter on the earth alone as he father once did.