PHASEgaming

Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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Client Project 18/19 (Before Easter)

Moving on from the previous sessions we are still using the formed sub teams with pipeline method as it seems to have been a more effective way of working that everyone is happy with to move forward on. That being said in these 2 sessions its just been a case of Myself, Phil and James to manage, task and check our teams to produce work and improve the quality of that work.

To do this we had a sub team leader meeting outside to check what needs to be done still in the process so that we can realistically set a goal for each section of the project. That being said it looked like we had a lot of work to do and based on a working day (8am-8pm) there was little room for the whole project to be finished like we had wanted initially with the indoor market, Ye Olde White Harte and lots of vehicles. This is disappointing but as long as we can focus and create the rest of the area in the remaining time the project would still be meeting our initial primary and secondary goals the only things we are hitting short on are the tertiary goals which is a shame but priorities must be made in relation to other work the group needs to do.

My team personally has been tasked Land of Green Ginger, Silver Street, Trinity House Lane and Bowlalley Lane by the end of the project. This will include assets in the area of them streets. The idea behind this was to give a section of a street to each member of my team so not only do we have a progressing street each person should have a portfolio piece of 3D work. This would then be passed onto a texture team member to texture a section for a portfolio piece.

Aside from my team the overall general targets are here:

Engine Team:

  • HUD/UI
  • Make the level feel alive (life, humans, birds, animals, wind, weather, rubbish etc.)*
  • Construct the level (reliant on 3D and texture team)

Art Team:

  • Re-Texture semester 1’s models with PBR texturing
  • Create Atlas maps whilst waiting for buildings (you don’t need a model to create a texture)
  • Tileable textures
  • Concept pieces (block off points, realistic concepts of visuals, basic engine visuals)

3D Team:

  • Remaining Streets (Trinity House Lane, Bowlalley Lane, Silver Street, Land of Green Ginger)
  • Interiors (occasional shop interior to walk in otherwise simple shop fronts with assets in windows)
  • Assets (any remaining assets which will be prioritised after buildings are done)
  • Sculpts (Life*, Clothes, Ornate features on buildings, statues etc.)

* = Use of Life in level is a reference to previous engine team objective and contents described

Moving on from that everyone had to get on with what they have been tasked so that we can meet these objectives.

We then was asked to sit down as a group to focus to pin down a name for the project. To warm up for this we did a word then say a word in relation to the previous word exercise, for example I say street, someone says buildings. We did this generally at first so anything random to get us going and then moved onto just words in relation to an overall theme of 1960’s Whitefriargate.

IMAG0053[1]

Which then from all of them words once the board was filled we had to try generate a name for our project. Here are some images of the results:

Many names were thrown out trying to piece together something. Some of the favourites we pinned down was my idea and favourite “Old Town Memories”, “Memories of Old”, “Ye Olde Memories”, “Treasures of Hull” and “Lights of the Past”. I quickly shot down the “Ye Olde Memories” due to it suggesting its of a time way before 1960’s most liked it and it sounded good but the inaccuracy of it in relation to our time period suggests the project is something different than what we have done. The use of “memories” that i suggested seemed to be a popular word but it was just piecing it with other words as despite having a section of Old town some suggested that it may make the public believe we have the entirety of Old Town which is way past our section. With all that being pinned down we said lets have over Easter to think on it as some name may come up in that time we all like better so it isnt a rushed decision. We will pin down a name on the first session back.

Into session 19 it was a case of everyone continue with what they had been doing and then at the end of the session team leaders would go check if tasks had been met from the previous week, unfortunately most was half done i could see progress had been made but it wasn’t as fast as had hoped. Nevertheless i set them to finish their street sections by the time we return in 2 weeks after Easter and Viktor to finish his sculpts for the clothing, character and certain building sculpts.

With all that being said myself and Phil then got pulled from the client project for the Easter holidays by Paul our tutor due to our major contribution to most of the client work in comparison to some others, this allowed us to focus on our self initiated work over the Easter period which had been neglected for our roles in the client.

Just before Easter David wanted to catch everyone to showcase his progress on the AI/HUD work for engine. He discussed about minimal details on the screen so that the players isn’t having any restricted views due to the HUD, the best way of doing this was to have fade in/out roll in/off features so they only appear on screen when activated. An example of this would be from a new next generation game called Destiny:

Its all very minimal, certain features that are permanent like the gun still have a slight transparency so its not drawing your eye away too much unless you need to look there. The main feature we like is in this video when he kills an enemy or finds an item it appears on the right in a box with a little icon of the item found then disappears, to link this to our project we are doing a treasure hunt mechanic so we could use this to show the player they have found a jar of sweets then it disappears, if they need to see what they have collected and how far they are off the target we could use an inventory system to show up on a button press. To follow from his presentation he put some images of his work on base camp for critique, i proceeded to give him feedback on this work suggesting his current designs were rather bold and didn’t blend well with the environment, it needed more subtlety to work i suggested researching into fashionable colours of the time so it had some relevance to the period then trying the destiny style minimal approach.

All this being said Easter is no time off for the others work for this project needs to be done. I personally think we should really go for this at the end of it we show it to the public with our names on it, i don’t want a poor end product to be showcased as its a bit demoralizing considering how much work has been put in.

With the public showcase in mind documents also need to be generated, this includes:

  • Project description
  • Concept booklet showcasing work
  • Leaflets and materials for marketing/ publicity
  • Logo
  • Online presence (I have already done the majority of this with Facebook, twitter, email, you tube.)

This will all take a design process and we shall decide who takes this after Easter once the name is pinned down properly.


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Classic Mini Model- Self Initiated Mini brief

Brief.

Over the summer i set myself a styled mini brief to try help myself improve my 3d modelling. I did this first by doing an rc car (see in my previous rc car process blog) but to step it up i wanted to model my own car. I own a 1996 classic mini equinox which is my pride and joy, what better to model that a car i can just go outside and see my mistakes in my 3d work. all my reference images are from my own car which i kept flicking to on facebook aswell.

This is how i got on i wont go into too much detail as it was a fairly extensive process, but i have captioned the process images to give you an idea what is going on and how i possibly did it.

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So with putting all this together and finally tweaking everything to my liking, some pieces i added for personal preference. I was basically adding pieces to my car that i may do in the future. This could turn out beneficial when im unsure on buying something on my car i could model it add to it and see what it could look like.

Anyways to the final piece i was very pleased with. I came across lots of problems all of which i felt i tackled well, pinching, z fighting, smoothing issues, verts where they should be, overlapping, and getting the reference images in each viewport work when i change the view angle in my 3dsmax view. During this process i learnt massive amount about how i like to model and things i can use whilst modelling like new modifiers. One inparticular was FFD’s (Free form deformation) this allowed me to use control points to edit the shape of whatever i was shaping e.g. i did this for my bonnet to create a smooth curve on edges and surface. The modifier i used the most was definately Symmetry, this allows you to do half the work, all you do is model half apply symmetry modifier and make sure the mirror is central so that the vertexes in the middle can weld together or adjust the weld distance so it fits your reference viewports. Turbosmooth gave the model the high poly realistic aspect to the model, this varied in iterations dependent on what was nessacery e.g. the rims for the wheels needed 3 iterations due to the complex shapes of the spokes whereas the indicators only needed 1 iteration.

Here it is untextured, im currently looking into Mental Ray texturing and rendering in 3ds max to give myself a realistic looking textured car model.

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So there it is..My high poly Classic Mini!

The polycount came to 879,277, a massive 563,715 of that beging the wheels which is huge in proportion to the rest. This will need to be baked down if i was to use it in a game realisticly, which would be a normal map applied to a low poly version of my mini to give it the appearance of a high poly model.

Update:

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Started experimenting with 3ds Max in Mental Ray texturing using some preset and adjusting specular and gloss levels for certain things. Anything that looks white is Chrome in the actual render window but i need to set up lighting for this to show i will get to this. I rendered it at a couple of angles to see what it all looks like, this made me notice the glossiness and specular of the paint was far too high so it would need to be toned down. Also the glass effect i added to the lights didnt work as i needed to apply a interior texture for the lights it did work for the spotlights, and im yet to seperate the windows so they are just part of the car paint. All work in progress.

All in all im very pleased with the outcome, the model looks just like a mini its all to scale. I must give myself plaudits for pulled this off for sheer grit and determination to improve as there was times it wasnt going right and i wanted to stop but fighting past that wall is the way to improve.

This actually turned out extremely useful doing this car as our client brief is set in the 1960s so i can use my mini with some minor adjustements to match the 1960s or previous model of the classic mini to go into our project. Due to my car the group wants me to do vehicles for the level as its not the easiest of modelling tasks. Automotive modelling really appeals to me and id like to pursue it further and improve more. Any feedback on my mini would be hugely appreciated and beneficial to my progress. Thanks.

UPDATE:

Due to uploading for feedback and critique on polycount, i have been advised to show my wireframes in my showcase of my model. So here are some additional images with wireframes.

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1000+ hits!

Just a quick high five to everyone from all over the world who has taken a bit of their own time to read my blog, 1000+ hits now!

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