PHASEgaming

Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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Client Project- Session 5

Previous (1/2,3,4)

In this session it was about getting down to the grit and pushing forward, the was some suspicions of certain people lacking in work so we decided to address that and ask for all work so far to be handed in, and any research such as images to be printed off to stick on the wall. This was all done and it was evident some had done more than others but at this stage it wasnt so crucial but the issue of raising the bar needed to be pointed out now before the problem later down the line.

With that beign said Myself, James and Viktor had produced several concept art pieces in collaboration with the block out, this was to develop ideas for the streets blocking volumes. The blocking volumes are essentially invisible walls that prevent the player from further advancing to a part of the level that they should not be able to enter, we have these purely because out project is a certain area and we do not want the player to be able to go beyong this area otherwise we have to model more and more or they see blank nothingless space which kills the realism. So instead of having an invisible wall we thought it was better design to have some form of realistic blocking in relation to the area. Ideas that myself and James discussed was things like furniture vans delivering and carrying stuff across the road, a broken down bus holding up traffic or a parade of celbrations of the world cup and so on. To make these concepts we used reference images that were photographs we had taken of the area then by putting it into photoshop we created a basic greyscale concept of our ideas.

block progress 2 This is my first concept piece, this is down trinity house lane. I have place the blocking just after the indoor market so that the indoor market will be accessible, the blocking contains a market delivery van that is dropping off goods for the market such as a stall to go inside with like fruit and vegetables. The idea i had was that one of the boxes had been spilt and apples or vegetables could be spilled across the road with collisions on so you can kick them about. This gives the concept idea a place in the environment its not like ive just randomly slammed a piece of scaffolding there or something, the blocking has meaning. I go by the idea that in a game every object should have a bio to it or a story behind it, for example: who put it there, was it put there for a reason or convienience, when was it put there, why was it put there and where might it come from. If you follow that and can answer that in every asset you place and create your onto a winner. Back to the concept i have placed some silouhuettes of people to represent scale and how it will look with life in the street too.

 

 

concept parliament4

My second concept is on parliament street i was much more pleased with this concept idea as it could be used as a general overall concept theme for blocking in the area due to an event theme with the world cup celebrations in 1966. I placed a few banners here and there to give the concept height and decoration, the idea of policemen patrolling and overlooking the area to make sure that everything is under control fills out the area better. Research was put into this concept with the police car using reference of what cars were used for police cars, in this case the classic mini also the policemans outfit style is in relevance to the time period. I also added a tad of colour to this one just to make it pop a bit more than a basic different grey tone.

 

The purpose behind these concepts were not only to get ideas for the blocking volumes for the grey block, it was to up my skills in photoshop. Personally i know that my photoshop skills were not up to scratch purely because it was an alien program to me that i only briefly went into with the adaptation year 1 project, so with being on the blocking out team i didnt really have any involvement in the concepts side of stuff originally but personal drive wanted me to move into the concept side of thinks due to my creative thinking behind the ideas. So i did both not neglecting the block out though, phillip decided to take full focus on it with the measurements we had gathered over the weekend whilst i worked with the concept guys and also went into the research team reading “memories of hull” book which had been ignored when taken out from the library 2 weeks ago by the research team. Then when we returned to uni on monday i continues to finish the block out with phil gathering further measurements of the alleyways we had missed, then moving onto adding basic colour schemed bsp (basic standard primitives) to fill out the level with the blocking concepts in basic form.

here is a video myself and phil did to outline what had been done by us over the last week and what our ideas are going forward with the block out:

We apologise for the poor videoing method through my phone but we didnt have screen video capture software at this time so this was the first method we had to hand at the time. We outline issues we came up with along the process of the blocking out such as the FOV (field of view) not feeling right with the street size and the scale having to measure out all week with a meter wheel due to the map we had not being accurate enough to made a block out from. Our ideas going forward was a day cycle so having 2 alternate settings day/night so have triggered lighting of streetlamps to show nightlife as well as daytime. The rest is in the video i dont need to elaborate as we covered it fairly well. I clocked around 50hours over the last week on client work with working on the block out and all the other areas aswell. Everyone has now been allocated buildings my buildings are Marks and Spencers and what currently is Crawshaws, over reading week we have set a target of a basic model to scale and snapped to grid of your buildings with possible texture considerations, so nothing overnight and too much as of yet but a test to see if work is done.

I have now set up us a work in progress online presence for our client project:

Hotmail- HeritageHull60s@outlook.com

Youtube – Heritage Hull https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBggxbowlU24GJvQVSM2NtQ

Twitter – @heritagehull60s https://twitter.com/HeritageHull60s

Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/HeritageHull60s

so give us a like, a tweet or an email if you have any email in related to hull in the 1960s or the 1960s in general like fashion or transport etc.

Keep an eye out for us on Thursday 30th october as we are on the radio promoting our project!


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Client Project session 4

Previous sessions (1/2, 3)

For this weeks Client project first off we decided to go round the group and see how everyone was getting on with work and research.

As far as myself. I went out with phil and took pictures of the blocking points from side to side for viewpoints, also we gathered better angles for concept artists to make images from. Ive been upping my skills in car modelling all week in various ways not specifically in this project but mustang gt500 is well underway. Looked into baking and lightmapping. Modular building. Bought graphics tab and started to up photoshop skills as im on concept team for now. Myself dave and phil began grey boxing of the level in unreal 4. also the map on the wall I added images with phil. Delved into more generic cars for the 60s like the zefyr for family cars more realistic research. Helped wolfie come up with some ideas for realistic blocking of the roads. I have collected blueprints for all the cars i intend to model by myself or with another student, these will be used as reference images on planes inside 3dsmax so the model will be more accurate.

With the introduction to programs Unreal Engine 4 and MakeHuman we now had more on our plate to learn and tackle as fast as possible for better outcomes, i decided alongside Phil and Dave to block out the level. We came across many issues with this using our reference map, first off we used the map for everything rough scale and size. This wasnt going to work as it was innaccurate. Because of this we went out and measured the roads width and length. This gave us accurate measurements assuring our game was correct. A reason why this needed to be done was that the field of view from the character gave us the impression that the road was way too small in width, we couldnt figure out why this was until Paul explained its the engine. So then we knew as long as we had the measurements despite what it appeared to be in the engine it was correct as long as we used the units correctly. The blocking out is well underway phil has begun doing the buildings in width and height so the level is filling out. The height has been determined by google maps street view using the average height of a door, so these maybe innaccurate but they are close as we cannot physically climb and measure the building.

Work rate is going to have to step up from everyone though as we intend to distribute buildings out to people in the next session to make sure people are cracking on with work. Sooner they model the quicker we can potentially identify any snapping issues or problems with the model etc.


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Creative Futures- “Adaptation” Progress/ Environments (13/11/13)

Today we had to pitch our ideas to the class and the tutors about our adaptation idea/ideas (my adaptation ideas 1st blog). This had a slight set back which put us all on the spot, the internet was down in the morning so people like me who had done a blog post on the adaptation and all my ideas had to dig into the back of my head to gather all my ideas on the adaptation. Luckily I knew all my features and ideas but obviously my blog expanded into it a lot most and would have brought the point across clearly than a few quickly gathered bullet points on the matter.

“I asked some students what they would think about a Gladiator game based on the movie where an exiled commander is forced into the gladiator ring and has to fight his way through battle after battle to try gain his freedom and crush the Emperors respect in revenge. Most of them thought it was a really good idea, but I researched into it and found a game already done in similar fashion. Due to this I had to make it my own by editing the style of play, still using the film as guidance for time period and style. To do this I wanted to put it into a football manager style of game.

So the concept idea for the Gladiator game was to have it set up the same as football manager style wise, where you work your way from the small battle arenas as an arena master managing and training your team of slaves to turn them into gladiators by eventually making your way to Rome. I decided the name of the game would be “Road to the Coliseum”.

Putting that to one side the only other film I thought would be interesting developed into a game would be The Descent. With a particular rise in the genre of survival games in the gaming industry with recent games such as: The Last of Us, Call of Duty Zombies and Tomb Raider. I read an interesting article on the rise of survival games with a prediction at the end that it may become even bigger (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/07/05/virtual-selection-the-rise-of-the-survival-game). So if you are unfamiliar with the film The Descent its a group of Females (Gender alteration to stereotypical protagonists) who are descending into a unfamiliar cave to find a alien/monster race hunting them as they try to escape. This would be a very good survival game as it also crosses into the genre of horror which always ups the tension of a game and keeps you glued/ on edge for the next moment. This would be a story mode game with missions all of the path to escaping the cave with or without your team (no spoilers), with an added multiplayer online mode of survival with would be in waves/rounds where you fight off the monsters with your team which weapons are obviously limited in the film to your climbing equipment and your surroundings (no guns) this would add to the difficulty massively.” My ideas for adaptation previous blog- Jason Pook.

So there are my original ideas that I pitched to the class in brief form, both had a good reaction and created a few smiles around the room which did make me feel proud of my creative ideas but it was still the matter of which one to pick and which one to maybe save for later as both were valid good ideas for adaptation games.

After everyone had pitched there ideas we moved onto the next stage of this adaptation project, that was environments. The focus on environments to get us into doing early conceptualisation of our game using multiple ways and methods to do so, we had much things to consider in doing so though. Whilst discussing about environments Gareth kept referring back to my personal idea of the gladiators to give himself an example to give the group about certain topics, I took this as a hint to go with that idea so I did finalise with myself that the Gladiator game is going to be the path I follow for this brief.

Things we have to consider in environments:

  • Genre- Horror genre will be dark, tense, jumpy and use semiotics to suggest something will or might happen to keep you on edge. Or for my Gladiator Top Down style game the genre is action/adventure so environments will vary from epic arenas to the basic chalked or sand marked arenas, using camera angles in shots to represent power/weakness etc.
  • Weather- Will my gladiators come across weather that affects their performance, such as rain could massively decrease friction and grip as well as vision, snow will for lesser gladiators or slaves cause cold lungs, vision loss and friction issues especially if it included ice. or finally out in a basic arena with not much wind blockage sand will be thrown around in battle decreasing dexterity and vision. But it also can bring advantages as your opponents may be the ones who slip first for you to pounce.
  • Atmosphere- No atmosphere should be able to rival the coliseum watching battle the majority of Rome watching to see men slaughtered all for entertainment, crowd could be used on my game to support or hinder depending on how the battle goes and how impressive your tactics are.
  • Cultural- How the crowd was brought to the gladiator games to distract them from famish and lack of resources maybe due to conflict with the Greeks or lost at sea.
  • Composition- how I choose in my concept art to lead people through the image, maybe have a view of the stairs up to the entry of the gladiators at the coliseum with pillars either side and guards waiting to give the viewer a belief that the gladiator is you. Or as my game will also rely on you being the arena master of your team of gladiators your point of view from the stands with the public using imagery from roman times such as thumbs up/down whilst you watch your team unfold maybe change tactics during. Perspective will be important for this.
  • History- How has it got to being a gladiator, the history behind the designs of the arenas or the coliseum, what may have affected the structure or damaged it over time. So research is vital for that as without historical accuracy the game will be less real and therefore less believable for the audience.
  • Not just surface- Maybe background events that are currently going on during the game that may alter performance or crowd mood as well as the emperors presence and the amount of guards needed in battle to stand by.

This was what I got down for what will alter your environment and how to make your environment believable and real. This is all designed to get us out of out comfort zones as we cannot afford to have a comfort zone in a career in design, if your boss comes up to you and says “3D conceptualise the next my little pony doll for me, research it but adapt it slightly don’t alter the brand”and you say “I don’t do ponies…” there is a high chance you will be out of a job that moment. To get us out of comfort zones is a focus that everyone is trying to get themselves into currently.

When we have to draw and design out concept art Gareth suggested to us that:

“Nothing is Generic”- Gareth Sleightholme

this was all down to a student who was designing a shop in 3D who asked Gareth for his assistance as something just wasn’t looking right, he said he wanted to do just a generic shop. Well Gareth’s answer to that was this quote as every shop is different, some do look the same and contain similar things but nothing is generic. Taking this in mind I am conceptualising an arena for a gladiator battle but it will never be the perfect angle for a viewpoint to add realism there will be a slight of substantial blockage in the view of the concept (as previously mentioned in the composition bullet point). Further advice on production is to initially to start out big think massive because all of your ideas will be eventually reduced and if you go with the first concept idea you have you are reducing into even less which the work will not be worth it. Im going to do a angled birds eye view of the arena and then 2 different perspectives of the arena master and then a gladiator to show different angles and shots of my environment. I will be blogging my sketches and also I have started an arena in Sketch Up so that will also be used to show progress in conceptualising.

Examples of views:

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images: http://www.romecabs.com/blog/, http://www.landauer.us/rome/log/?tag=gladiator and http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles-7/silver-age-superman-runs-the-gauntlet-read-op-576201/

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