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.

 

 

 

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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.

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Unit 10 – Reflective practice – Mudbox

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.

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Unit 10 – Sandra Parks – Character biography

  • 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

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Unit 10 – Deaf person visit

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

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Unit 10 – Primary Research #2


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.

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UNIT 10 – Proposal

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.

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Schedule Unit 10

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Each week I am going to update this schedule to show what I have done this week, what still needs to be completed, am I up to date with my project and if I need to do something extra. As we can see from the schedule above I am quite ahead of what I want to be doing, meaning I can jump into production next week.

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As we can see from this schedule I have not updated anything, meaning I am behind one week. This could be proven quite bad as it seems very unlikely that I will meet my deadline. What I will do to make sure I get my work completed before week seven is to come in on days I am not suppose to. Doing this will give me an advantage in the project and will also help

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With the third week I finally made some progress, making a start on my environment and character. I almost finished my character which I’d quite useful

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Unit 10 – Character backstory/Synopsis- Sandra Parks

Sandra grew up in upper-class household, having everything she wanted and everything she needed. She was named quite the boyish type in high-school due to never wanting to play volleyball with the girls but play football with the boys. She was the only girl who made it onto the football team, which shocked everyone and caused the male football players to hate her.

One night, when she was walking home, she came face to face with a mugger — knife pressed into her left-breast. She defended herself but it ended badly, causing her to be hospitalised. From that day forward she decided she no longer wanted to be a footballer but a police officer. She graduated highschool and packed her bags to go to Los Angeles to join the police academy: she got accepted

She trained for a year where she met her boyfriend Frank Chambers, one of the mentors at the academy. At the time he was in his 40s, she was in her early twenties — the academy did not like this. However, due to the couple being infatuated with each other, they ran away to California to start a new life. Frank got a job at the local police station while Sandra was a  housewife; she didn’t want that. Her dream was to be out there fighting crime, not sat in doors cooking meals for her police officer boyfriend. Sandra soon found out that she was pregnant with twins, which left her looking after them until they were of the age where they no longer were needed babying

One night she found her boyfriend sleeping with a young woman, which caused her to viciously beat up her boyfriend. The next day she moves out the house to move back down to Los Angeles with her two children; April and Autumn. Her boyfriend begged for forgiveness but she didn’t give it him.

She shortly became the chief of Los Angeles being only 24 until she was 40. Due to an injury to her right leg she decided to leave the force and open up her own detective agency which specializes in missing children cases. She discovered that 70% of missing children cases were linked to the antagonist of “Where Is She” (Another game I created which also features Sandra) Mr H. While looking around in the park she meets Heath Quinn, who mentions about the disappearance of Sarah Quinn, Sandra instantly seeing a connection between both cases.

She helped him with his case of looking for his daughter before leaving him to it, deciding to look for the boy once again. Clues led her to an abandoned insane asylum which was infected with a virus that cause user who are exposed to it experience vivid hallucinations. A team called the I.A.F decided to check out the virus, unfortunately the members never returned out: Sandra needed to check for herself.

She goes inside: lighting limited, air thick with dust — nothing wrong appears to be here. A heartbeat monitor is layer out on a table with a note attached to it, stating “Carry me with you at all times, you will need me” with all smiley face at the end with Mr H signed underneath it: she follows what the letter says. She begins to look throughout the asylum, heartbeat monitor tight in her grip. It seemed very irregular that she needed to carry this device with her, but he wasn’t going to let this case go.

With convince a light flicker erratically above a torch, something that will come in very useful. A note is attached to this item also, stating the words

 “Do you dare venture forward? Lurk around each darkened corner? It is a maze you see, so watch your back as he watches closely. The torch will help you navigate but don’t use it too much or you’ll cause a wake. The heartbeat monitor will tell you when he is near: it will beat faster when he is near — far it does not waver. Good luck Ms Sandra”

Sandra ventures throughout the darkened asylum, using her torch as limited as possible as she tries to find any clues about the missing boy. She comes across a door to a ward, but a card key is required to open it. However, it is proven quite difficult as she cannot see where to go but the threatening tone of the letter made her reluctant to use the torch. She flickers the light on quickly to see where to go, ending up down a long corridor, where the card is.

She uses the card on the door which reveals the ward. Blood was smeared across the walls as if someone tried to use their blood as paint and the wall as a canvas. The pictures were of a distorted man with the scar ‘Mr Holiday’ in his head — that sounds familiar. What shows next to the character is a young character getting held in its large claw…interesting. A riddle was written next to it;

“It kills the light”