PHASEgaming

Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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SSX- Game Theory

 

SSX is a snowboarding game which required you to race whilst pulling off tricks, the main part of the game is the tricks as you gain boost and amount high scores through landing the tricks. It was released in 2012 by Electronic Arts (EA) for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as the latest addition to the SSX series. It features single and multiplayer online, so online leaderboards and co operative trick races etc could be done to compete against eachother.

Flow:

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi’s theory of flow applies to SSX through score and skill, In SSX you have to use skill, timing and control to pull off the jumps, grinds and tricks to the highest of quality and gain large scores, the more combinations of tricks you landed it would fill up your “Tricky” meter and once this was full you would activate in when you wanted to pull of your characters most ridiculous stunt for massive score. To achieve flow it required alot of practice, the skills were performed by a combination of precise analog stick movements and buttons this wasn’t picked up easily as alot of memory was needed. Otherwise you was just doing your best you could by randomly attacking your controller to see what happened. When you was on a big downhill mountain with alot of jumps and grinds and you could pull off your best tricks (different ones each time as otherwise your score was knocked for being repetitive) then you really enjoyed the game and hit the big scores.

flow

To link to the diagram for SSX one game mode was a deadly descent now this would involve the most dangerous snowboarding downhills possible it had a different theme each time such as trees, rocks and darkness” some would require flying with wing-suits to get over huge chasms in the mountains. Every time I played these it Anxiety, I had high skill level on the game but when it came to a deadly descent you never knew what was coming and if you switch off at any point it was over and restart the drop. Soon as you reached the bottom the sense of achievement overwhelmed you as it was done, over and you had won through skill, luck, and persistence most of the time from failing. Then flow would occur on your favourite downhill where you knew how to hit the big scores but wanted to beat your previous 64 million score as your friend ad just text you his 66 million score.

Categories of Play:

For Roger Caillois’s ‘categories of play’ SSX would fall under primarily ‘Agon’. Agon is games of competition, Your goal in the game is to go down the mountains to gain as much score as possible through tricks and be awarded with medals for your efforts, this would give you credits to buy better gear and improve your downhill performances. Also the online multiplayer allowed you to race against other players or friends to get to the finish line but you had to do this in style as boost only came with completed tricks otherwise you would be slow, then the leaderboards visible to see how your friends did on that particular single player mountain would want you to beat their score or even boost your own so they have no chance.

It also falls under ‘Alea’. Alea is games of chance, on the deadly descents as I explained it required alot of skill to time jumps and avoid obstacles but you never knew what was coming around the corner, when its hundreds of trees and your just hoping to make it through without being knocked of your board and restarting.

Illinx can be applied in the boost feature or damage. Illinx games of vertigo/ confusion, when you boosted it blurred the screen around you distorting your vision, then if you landed a stunt badly or hit an object your screen would flash red as if you was hurt. Also on one deadly descent if you stayed in the shadows too long you was too cold and your screen would freeze over distorting vision more and more until you failed as your character had frozen to death.

Bartle Test:

To link this into Bartle’s test which defines you as a player through a series of questions this type of game being score/skill based it would appeal more to an ‘achiever’ style of player rather than the others due to the achiever always wants to win. You always want to win the race but to do that you must also do it with tricks in style to gain boost and score. The added multiplayer features increase competition through leaderboards and co operative play.

‘Socialiser’ also applies as the game is multiplayer, mainly through the leaderboard system that compares your scores to your friends or the world if you change the settings. You are trying to achieve but also scoialising with other people by submitting a score or time to a mountain track.

SSX has always been one of my favourite games, despite the tricks being rather gravity defying and unrealistic the game is simply awesome. The challenge of learning the tricks to maximise player experience and achievement is the type of game I get fully immersed in, when it required time to learn and master the game its always rewarding for me to complete the game. Currently I no longer own SSX due to selling it to a friend but after replaying it for Game Theory I will be reinvesting in a very good game.

Here is some gameplay of SSX with all the features I have explaining with tricks, racing and score from GameSpot’s YouTube channel:

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Client Project- St Stephens Public Showcase

In the last few sessions I have mentioned that i had been in contact with St Stephens shopping centre in Hull with intentions of securing the group with a opportunity to showcase our client project’s current stage before our hand ins. After several days of contact and acquiring the necessary documentation (public liability insurance) from Hull College I had us booked in for Friday 15th May from 10am-4pm. With this secured the client session before the showcase as team leaders we sat down and emphasised focus on promotional materials, this had been tasked a few weeks before hand but little progress had been made to our understanding. When it came to Thursday the day before the showcase and no evidence of a leaflet or any other promotional materials had been presented we took to informing the tutors on our current issue, to resolve this Gareth stepped in to help us design and piece together some promotional materials.

To assist Gareth I went through any files i had that i thought could show the public our design process over the year of work. This included Concept art, renders, screenshots of 3ds max progress, sketches, research wall photos, designs, ideas, group meeting photography, and other helpful images. After collecting work of my own I had asked other students in the studio if there was anything of use they feel they could put into these folders allowing Gareth to have a pick of the bunch. James put in some concepts/research and Viktor put in some step to step and final production of sculpts and his bank. Phil also gave Gareth some seperate renders which was used for the leaflet designs including the 3D version of my signpost logo sketch.

The logo sketches I did on Tuesday, Viktor had already done a logo but there was some debate on the design of it due to the inclusion of Hull and crowns which may spark some currently unknown debate from any public members. Due to this some sketches of logo ideas using reference from crests, shields, 60s logos and items in the street I did just to give us a wider range of choice in the logo field. Here are my results:

Many people liked the signpost logo with the Old Town Memories font in the style of the street signs currently in the street which was there in the 60’s so it had accuracy and relevance to the project. To try get different perspectives and cleaner visuals of the logo Phil decided to take the basic street signpost logo into 3DSMax and I took the street signpost with the lantern into 3dsmax.

Here are my renders of the 3D logo:

With this i felt that it was decent but the logo design in realistic 3D didnt work for me it just didn’t feel right. The next step for this would be to take it into Photoshop and overlay correct type of the street font then add colour, or texture it to create the same effect. With limited time I left this to Phil to progress on his logo whilst I contacted St Stephens about transport of the television to our display area and sign in requirements for the group. Due to St Stephens fantastic customer service the reply was very swift and we cleared any possible issues for the showcase.

Now with the showcase closing in its important that we consider a few things to do with professionalism whilst displaying to the public:

Information- give informative replies to any questions in a polite and controlled manner. Do not over explain any technical terms to the project but also dont be condescending towards the public treating them like they know nothing. for example instead of talking in depth about the process of 3D modelling and using modifiers to shape a certain complex shape which will be later unwrapped using the uvw unwrap to take into Photoshop, ndo2 or other programs, simply say to create the models of the buildings and assets you see we use 3d software which allows us to place them in the game world (engine) as you see them now. Its not over informative but its also not too complex just to the point and well explained. Let them know that this is a working progress and to keep an eye out by taking a leaflet as we will be doing the final product display in September.

Presentation- This can fall under a few categories:

  • Clothing- Dress smart or smart casual, you want to be approachable and presentable. We are representing our course and college so it is important to give ourselves and them a good image. My personal attire was a suit blazer with polo and jeans.
  • Layout- The project is in the middle of a shopping centre with many people walking by to draw them in we need to have a well laid out station with regards to promotional materials and availability for them to be seen and picked up easily. The layout I placed 3 leaflets overlapping each other to add a personal touch to the space and then we had plastic holders for the leaflets placed on the stand in front of the TV but not obstructing the view of the video.
  • Video- The main piece we want the public to see is the video which is a fly through of the project. With help from Gareth he pieced together using our content and previous video a professional informative video for the public to view.
  • Presence- Using our shifts each person had to man the project with another colleague, our time around the project was there to draw people in. But in the times where little interest was given we must ensure that we do not obstruct either the view of the project stall or the public’s path. The general position of one man at each side of the TV was assumed by most groups. Another thing with this is posture, to be standing upright and approachable, this means no slouching or leaning or hands in pockets as it just doesn’t portray the right image. We need to look as enthusiastic and professional as possible around the project so that the public might be interesting in taking a look.

Teamwork- Due to our idea to have shifts for teams of 2 at each interval we need to communicate between each other on overlaps. This means when handing over to another group to inform them of any interests in your shift, what to do with the documentations and forms if somebody wants them, handing out of leaflets, and any issues that have been raised throughout the day. If any problems arise the scheduled rota’s for each team was on the sheet along with contact details so people could come help.

There are other things but them 3 I believe are key for us to be successful at our first public showcase of the project.

On the day of the showcase Myself and Phil was first on the list, due to my contact with St Stephens I was in charge of signing us in, finding out our location and then setting up (Phil set up too). Also I made sure that as its a public place and St Stephens usually prohibit photography in the centre that we was alright to take photos of us and our stall to add visuals to our evaluations of the day, this was confirmed fine by the staff. Once set up it was around 9pm but the requirement was to be set up by 10pm so earlier we set up the better and we could get started. Barrie also brought us down some freshly cut doorstops as we had a wheeled TV stand and St Stephens is on a slope, so just for safety precautions we felt this was a necessary to have done.

Immediately we could notice that earlier on we might not have much interest, people was on the way to work, getting breakfast and so on. There was time for a quick glance but not many stopped to talk to us, this we felt was natural with it being earlier on and expectations for more viewers would come later on in the day dinner time onwards. Our people skills generally improved over the time as first we didn’t want to bother anyone as we personally know how frustrating it is when your going somewhere and people try stop you in the street, but we realised this is for the project so anyone slightly tempted is a bonus as then the public can give us their thoughts. Yet despite rejection and disinterest from people walking on past we needed to show our professionalism by keeping a calm level head about it all to try get others in.

I had an idea to employ Skinner’s operant conditioning into our showcase, i went to Tesco and purchased some sweets to place behind the promotional material, if the public came and talked to us or viewed the project they would be offered a sweet as positive reinforcement for supporting our work. Just a little touch but employing game theory into our client showcase was an interesting method to test.

In my first shift with Phil we had 9 people come see us 6 being people from the course but still wanting to know how its all going and what we have done. One of the other 3 was a lady from Historic England and she was extremely interested in the project as it was quite convenient she had just come from a meeting about heritage projects and just so happened to run into us which was great. After explaining our work we exchanged details for contact for further information and a potential future client, she mentioned about our impressive 3D work and how they could use it for 3D visuals of building design planning before the real builds. This was really great for us as we sold the project so well to her Stephen was also with us as it was the beginning of his shift and helped explain everything to her. She walked away impressed and enthusiastic which gave us a great confidence boost and vibe about the work and the benefits of the public showcase.

After our shift the only issue that was raised was from Abbiella, upon coming to check up on the group see how things were going and give a bit of advice she had been told by the previous group not to take any photographs at all. After visiting the staff as i said before this was cleared up and use of photos was perfectly alright for our own personal use. With me previously posting an image to Facebook to let my friends and family know of our presence in the shopping centre I decided to try take it to the next level. Not many of the leaflets had been taken which suggested at nearly 3pm loads of people hadn’t come and spoke to the other groups. With that in mind we have them as hand outs, so I decided to go into GAME to ask if I could leave a couple on the counter to get people to maybe notice we are games designers and not a charity like most of the other stalls. GAME kindly accepted to leave them there and actually offered to tweet that we was there as well, which was brilliant and also a shame as I had only thought of doing it 1 hour before we packed up. But we know for next time that potential nearby stores might be worth placing a few temporary promotional materials in just to try attract anyone who may have missed it. With 1 hour left James decided to stay behind after his shift into mine and Phil’s second shift to help out, with the extra man we sent James to the front of St Stephens with the majority of the remainder of the promotional material to hand out to passing people informing them of who we are. This attracted a few in but with saying the final showcase was in September maybe people wasn’t as interested until the final product. Nevertheless personally as the day went on confidence grew and more ways for developed to try bring people in which we can take into any future showcases of the project.

It was time to pack everything up so Paul came down prior to 4pm to check up on us, then Me, Phil and Paul packed all the equipment away and put the TV back in Paul’s car to be taken back to the studio. With the day coming to an end I decided to go thank the St Stephens staff for all there help with our showcase in the day and i also sent them an email when i got home to once again thank them and notify them on how this has benefited us as students. I will also type up an email to John Netherwood sometime next week to thank him for allowing us the use of the TV and stand for the project.

To evaluate the day I have to say that as a team I believe we did a great job in all professional aspects especially presentation. The best thing we can do from St Stephens is to treat it as a stepping stone, for the next showcases we will have further progress in the project, better promotional material, better people skills through the experience and understanding of our surroundings. The day itself is just the first in a run in to the final showcase on September, but the more we can do and practice then the more effective and professional we will be when it comes to that stage. Allowing the public to see the project at its current stage which we was hoping to be alot further and still see the amazement of how we do what we do and praise for our work is a real boost for us to push this as much as possible into September to really impress people, hopefully anyone who obtained a leaflet or information from us will see us again on our next showcases to see the progression and keep an interest in our work. We also need to set up at least a blog or a official website as people did ask for this as none of the online presence was on the leaflets which was a mistake on our behalf only contact information, so we could only direct them to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube which honestly haven’t been used to the full potential so for future we need a working website.

What we hope to have for next time or prospect centre when that is confirmed is the interactivity side of the project fully underway, we have 3 TV’s at our disposal so the set up with one of the professional video fly through we had in St Stephens, then another similar style to where we are now and then the interactive version would be a great way to display our work. On the day we felt that from our experience with “Rush n Crush” that me and Phil noticed people were more inclined to pick up and play rather than watch, yet that might not be everyone’s preference so different set ups one being more visual and informative and the other playable would attract a wider audience.

Here are all the images from the day that I took including images of other groups if they requested it and the leaflet designs on close up:

As for the sweet and employing operant conditioning, not everyone wanted one but they seemed pleased to have the offer there. Overall a very good day and I would like to congratulate the team for all their efforts for people who attended hopefully we can take this into future showcases.

Here is the video fly through that we displayed to the public in St Stephens:

With time now before the next one we can edit this version that Gareth pieced together watch it make notes of what works and what doesn’t to improve on what we already have.


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Client Project- Communication

“The responsibility for communication and project management falls to the group, although project progress is monitored and assisted by academic staff.” – Part of the brief description

To meet all areas of our brief we are assessed on the ways we work as a team alongside how professional we are at going about this. Professionalism comes up in many areas we have covered such as group critique where to be professional you will sit and listen when a student is presenting there work and once they have finished give constructive feedback or critisism in relation to the work they have shown. That being one example this blog post addresses the way we communicate as a group to bring the project together.

I am doing this post now as we come up to the christmas holiday period and work has been set for a deadline when we return. But how do we go about reminding people of that other than the initial spoken brief of the moment. Well we have a few ways we have been using so far:

Facebook– The popular social networking site has all of the students on and using on a regular basis via pc, phone and tablets. It provides a quick and easy form of contact to fellow students regarding work or as previous cases have been absence to the sessions. In facebook we have 2 groups, one being our own private group where we have been posting tutorials, information and news regarding our work. Then the other is a page open to the public where we post our videos and news to keep them all interested in the project this is more of a asset of getting our word out but still communicates to the public for potential feedback.

These are some quick screen captures of what i am talking about.

Fleep– This is a way for teams or businesses to chat aswell as send files to eachother through a conversation. This is the main program we have been using to upload files to go into the project so far alongside facebook being the most used for help and feedback. Fleep allows us to simply type a message to the group who are all added in the chat through email (sends notifications through email when a message is sent) or upload a file which the group can individually download. Its rather casual means of communication isnt much structure other than chat and upload. This has been the general go to for give us your buildings to go into the project over fleep rather than handing in through hard drive.

fleep

fleep

Youtube– Our primary video uploading website where updates for the project have been videoed and uploaded for all of us to embed on our blogs and also post to other social networking sites to show the outside world our work. The link is to our page which currently has 2 videos of the client project process filmed by Me and Phil. This is there for anyone to use for personal video clips on their contributions if they feel they want a in depth analysis of there work explain through visual rather than a blog.

BaseCamp– As the provided and assessed program we have been given Basecamp, a professional business management software which we need to start using to show our professionalism. In Basecamp you can send a message, make a “to-do list”, add an event, and upload files. The use of the To-do list gives us a visual calender to set deadlines for the group, people can tick off that they have met this if finished. We also can monitor the use of the program as there is a “last logged in” section on the page, so people who havent been checking basecamp maybe missing work or deadlines if they say they forgot we can reinforce its on basecamp and you should be checking it regulary.

Here is some visuals of the layout, it clearly looks the more professional and with a limited space for uploads this will be needed for final models and the project not just endless building updates. We can use the other methods to support that and as long as we evidence it then it counts as management of the client project.

As one fo the leaders in the group I will have to take a forward role in enforcing people to use these programs especially Basecamp so that work is done collaboratively and effectively, But have setting up all the online presence myself they all know its there and have passwords if they need to log in to them for personal use. We also have a hotmail and a twitter but are yet to use them so i havent included them in the primary methods.

To summarise this we use Facebook as a means for quick contact, tutorials, quick feedback and pooling resources from alternate online areas (youtube etc). Fleep is our quick and easy uploading weekly or after group critique hand ins of work to update the client project consistently. Youtube is basically a way to upload our process update videos so that we can show the public and embed videos into our blogs. Finally Basecamp is our main software piece assessed on our group management and professionalism which we will use for deadlines and files.


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Client Project- Session 12

With the semester coming to a close we really needed to enforce what had to be done while we are away over Christmas, Assets had already been given out as a start but today Paul asked us to present to him where we are at in the project and where we are going with it.

Luckily myself and Phil had already done a video on this exact topic last thursday as a update design process video for the public to see on facebook or youtube. In this video we quickly review the previous video which was around 2 months previous making this video well overdue. Nevertheless a in depth explaination of our work would hopefully get everyone else up to speed with where we are and where we want to be in the near future.

Apologies once again for videoing on my mobile as we forgot to pick up some screencapture software then adding audio. Despite that we covered buildings, textures, modular road system, interactivity, life, vehicles, blueprints, assets, controller usability and then our next steps.

Despite having this we did not use it to present to Paul as its poor presenting if we just sit there with a video running, due to our contributions in the project we asked the rest of the group to take the speech towards Paul make sure they was all up to speed with the project then we fill the gaps if anything was missed. After all this was done Paul evidently told us what we knew that we wasnt as far as we should be, and reinforced the deadline that we had already set for buildings that people have to be modelled, textured and handed in. Hopefully with the tutors backing people will listen and stick to this deadline as most been set so far havent been met by all.

With all the being said everyone began tackling on with work for the final push on our last week, people who had been absent came and retrieved assets that was left. Myself I watched a few more tutorials on uv unwrapping and texturing as despite being confident in that area i wanted to push on to add to my knowledge for a better end product on my work.

Following these tutorials I learnt a few new tricks of the trade like using a checker pattern with numbers and letters on whilst unwrapping so that you can see distortion but also you can identify uv’s that are the wrong way or flipped far easier than the preset blank checker pattern. Other useful tools was the align vertexes in vertical or horizontal so that if you was to overlap UV’s you could make sure they was perfectly matched using these quick tools rather than playing with snapping and scale for too long.

texture

Heres a quick image of what i meant, so my van is built in 1 half then symmetry modifiered to create the other half for perfect proportions and also saving alot of time. This means that the uvs of both side panels will be the same so by unwrapping them both individually using planar map in the Y axis fitted and centred i could copy them UV’s, select the other side and paste the UV’s to give it the exact shape, but just to be sure you can use them buttons to align all the vertexes. Thats just an example another would be my pounland building with the pillars i did this process for them.

Now its the holidays and im going to do a seperate blog post on our use of communication that we need over not just the christmas period but the project for professionalism using methods such as facebook groups, fleep, basecamp (our provided and assessed way) etc.

 

 


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Client Project- Session 9

Last Session

So just a quick recap, last session i tasked myself with a few more buildings to do which i did ahead of session 9 which would be our next installment of group critique. Everyone showed there buildings and was given constructive feedback and some progress was shown even with people who had been struggling so this was a bonus. Myself i showed my buildings 1 by 1 the quicksilver, pound world and cheque center, they received very positive feedback everything was to scale in proportion and for the detail i had managed the poly count was on the low side giving me much more room to add extra details in the future.

The group critique is to show our professionalism to give others constructive feedback being harsh or actually praise them for good work. This had some issues the week before with some not following the trend disrupting critique, but after a word from myself during the last session to be quiet i think the point had got across. The group was very professional towards all people who presented and gave some useful ideas. For example on Abbie’s building Kardomah her positioning of pillars and window frame was off as i rightly pointed out and others added to how could work out the right placement like putting a texture of the building front on onto a plane to get proportions perfect. Phil’s building I pointed out the window over hangs were not extruded for enough out and had multiple indents to them rather than flat which he said was working progress to build upon.

As a result to this group critique it had already been planned in advance to get 2 buildings textured by next week, Paul backed us up with this demanding it be done as the project should be alot further on. Myself i did 3 textures of my buildings and i left 2 for the next session which me and Phil have planned to take a tutorial lesson on texturing 101.

A rather brief blog post but being a group critique and it going well for myself with no improvements suggested it was just straight onto texturing buildings.


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Client Project- Session 7/8

I have combined these two sessions due to the 7th session Myself and Phil was pulled off from doing work on the Client project personally, this was due to we are further ahead in both work and skillset so our tutor Paul wanted us to go around the room and sort everyone who is struggling with certain aspects to get up to speed. The common problem seemed to be scale, people didnt have there grid set up properly so it snapped in ue4, snapping, the units setup was generally in metres when it needed to be in generic units for the engine, and then the way modelling should be done with buildings is the modular aspect to save time and increase work flow.

I spent around 35minutes with Rinalds, he had all of the issues above but once i sat with him and showed him step to step how to go about it he took it on board very well and seemed to improve. Im hoping with the techniques i showed him that in the next group critique session he will have come on alot, even if the building modelling isnt 100% as long as its snapped and to scale thats foundations we can build on in future. I then moved on to abbie and barrie who had the same problems which all i could do was tell them the right way as i did with Rinalds. Eventually i gave dave some feedback on some windowframes and pillars he was building modular for his building and then James had a slight issue with snapping despite also going round with me and Phil.

Each on of them i linked them to a free Digital Tutors course on modular building, it not only shows you the correct process it shows you texturing methods which will be the next step for everyone once we have a initial first street block out done. Found here: Digital Tutors modular design course That concluded session 7 hopefully this wont be needed in future so it doesnt pin the likes of myself and Phil back, but it was good to give som peer to peer learning to others in the group to build on the feedback from the previous group critique.

Moving on to session 8 now, Me and Phil felt it nessacery to really push on. We had been talking over the weekend about where we are at in the project and where we should be and its not as far as we expected, this being reinforced by our tutor Paul we took session 8 as the next gear. Phil took the group talk and requested we push on, we expect all buildings that have been set to be done in a basic model by now which should be 2 each, 1 for big building projects like viktors bank. We wont check up on them until next weeks group critique were we expect finsihed products and moving on. I added that no matter how far behind you are with your current buildings im sorry but they should be done and we are moving on to the next its now addition to your own time to get that done.

With that said the majority of people took absolutely no notice and carried on with there initial buildings. Me, Phil and James all collected new buildings to be getting on with we cannot afford to fall behind for other people, but as this is a group project the lack of collaboration was dissapointing. Nevertheless i collected myself 3 new buildings, currently the Poundworld, Quicksilver and Check Centre. I finished Poundworld and Check centre in the session and Quicksilver shortly after, they are basic models with some minor details to pillars but are to scale and snapped to grid.

Here are my finished products:

Quick Silver:

Poundland:

Check Centre:

I will be showing these on tuesday in our scheduled group critique session to show my progress and get any constructive feedback on my work. I have put these in engine and they are to scale and snapped to grid properly. I have now contributed 5 buildings and will be collecting more shortly as soon ill have assets to focus on aswell.


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Platform Expo- Rush n’ Crush

platform1

Around 4 weeks ago Myself, Phil Maclennan, Matt Lane, James Cook and Ryan Glover decided we was going to make a game for platform expos and hopefully display it. The idea behind the game was a small car racing game set in a toy workshop that you would race with your friends (up to 4 player) to stay on the track any way possible. If you was too slow the screen would eliminate you, or if you fell off the track you would also be eliminated until only 1 remained who gained the point respawning all 4 back into the race. It was inspired from a game called micro machines, just simple fun yet still competitive.

After pinning down the name to Rush n Crush we began using unreal engine 4 to work out the blueprints for the style of game we wanted to make. This was all down to James he is the blueprint expert out of the team, the rest of us are the 3d artists of the game we began to model our cars which were a mustang for me, a f1 car for ryan, a truck for phil and a rc car for matt. Unfortunately we didnt get chance to use our custom cars in the demo of the game at platform and instead used buggies with different emissive colours to represent the players. The cars however was placed around the track to make it feel like the workshop owner had built them so they wasnt wasted models.

Here is my mustang model:

As you can see with the amount of poly’s i used (6998) im really pleased with the outcome of my mustang. It took about 2 weeks on and off working on it but im still pleased with the outcome. i added a few progress pictures in there too so you can see how much it came on and what i added, most details are not nessacery due to the style of the game being top down and relatively far away with small cars so i was able to cut some corners on certain parts of the car, the white car is the finished textured mustang which would have gone in game time permitted but will be rigged and put into the game in the near future.

Then with all our actual course demands like client projects and self initiated we didnt do much until the final week where our tutors allowed us to be taken off lesson timetable on wednesday and thursday to push to get the game working and looking good. So we did long days of modelling, texturing, and testing to get a game we wanted to show to the people attending platform. Looking back if we had managed to free ourselves the time alongside our course work the game could have been alot further along.

An asset list was formulated to figure out what would be in a workshop, i believe that every asset should have a bio behind it like why its there, who put it there, what is its purpose and so on so nailing this was key to having a more immersive game. Here is what we came up with for assets:

Primary:

RC Car

Truck

Mustang

F1 Car

Table’s (for racing on)

Room (Walls & Floor)

Pickup’s (Projectile, Glue, Speed Boost, Super-Size)

Ruler (Maybe a couple of types)

Nuts & Bolts

Cogs

Books

Vice

Lamp

Fan

Paint Brushes

Paint Pots (Different types)

Pens & Pencils

Rubbers

Screwdriver

Mug

Chair

Bin

Hand drill

Cutting Board (Perhaps a decal)

Magnifying Glass (Multi sub, Render glass in engine)

Model Buildings

Glue pot

Alphabet cubes

Tires & wheels (For toys)

Plants

Stool

Secondary:

Tape measure

Scissors

Clothes

Empty boxes

Chest of drawers

Glasses

String

Bucket

Dust pan & Brush

Extension leads

Soldering Iron

Phone

Craft Knife

Plastic Tubes (Can drive through?)

Sketch Pad

Tool Holder (Wooden frame)

Tool Box

Parts of Toys (Can use bits of model cars)

Bits of wood

Pencil Case

Hammer

Plyers

Saw

Hoover

Paint pallet

Glue Gun

Broom

Tertiary:

Football

Needle and thread

Scrunched up paper

Computer screens

Clock

Empty Pots

Radio

Set Square

Cello tape

Cricket Bat

Xylophone

Fish Bowl

Cutlery

Sweets

Plug extension sockets

Toy Bike

Heater

Wire Coil

Ear Protection

Chisel

Slingshot

Ears phones

Ipod

Fairly extensive as you can see, we priotitised thing we felt needed to be in the game and then the rest was just extras to block out the level. Additions to this list was made along the way and some of this list was modelled and not used, its still all work taking into consideration what could work in the environment to make a decision whether or not we felt it played a part in the design well enough. Then it was down to the placement of the models to make a track ill go further into this later on.

My models:

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Personally i did 21 models, not all ended up featured in the platform demo of the game and not all of the asset list was even modelled. for example the rocket projectile, speed boost and sweet were meant to be power ups along the track but we wasnt able to figure out how they would work in time so they are on standby for future additions to the game. Im happy with my work that i produced, the majority of this minus the mustang was done in the last 2 days before platform as we all needed to go full steam ahead to having something presentable to the public, some models are rather low poly like the drill its very box like but that was due to the game we had room to cut down and wanted not to go too mad on polycount just so it ran smoothly. My texturing ability is one i need to brush up on but doing this work has really made it come on i now know what im doing better and produced some nice final products especially the toolbench i was particulary pleased with that, the bin bags i used mudbox to sculpt a normal map to bake into the model, and the paper i photoshopped to create an alpha map showing i can used other texture maps to improve my model texture. I am looking forward to doing this all over again for a new level as it really benifitted my modelling work speed, work quality, and texturing. Cars currently being my best asset of modelling (see classic mini) modelling other simple realistic assets will be beneficial to alternate projects such as the client project.

The logo was done by myself, i am no illustrator but it did the job for the day it will need revisiting for a final product to add professionalism but for the time it worked. I used a impact font to give a bold clear type to the logo, then sketches of 2 of the cars in relation to speed and damage added speed lines to the rush to symbolise movement then a expolsion and crushed together font for the crush type. Then just a simple emboss and border to make it all pop.

RUSH AND CRUSH LOGO4With everything set and filled out in the environment we was ready for platform the next morning to get some people testing our game.

On the friday, it couldnt have gone much better really a few school trips arrived and we had amazing reception from them saying things like “id buy this game when its coming out?” and my personal favourite “this is more fun than mario kart” with feedback like that we all had smiles on our faces thinking this is what it feels like to be a games designer this is what we are working for the real deal. Here is some video footage we managed to capture of people playing during the day:

These lads age range 20-25 clearly enjoyed the simple re-playability aspect of the game, one of them gave our game a 9/10 with only feedback of custom cars and more tracks. So despite being a game you can relate to a younger market it clearly appeals to all ages who enjoy some quick easy to pick up racing fun.

This video is of some younger lads who were on a school trip having a race and enjoying it, the particular thing in this video is the ease of pick up and play. One lad had been playing for a while had enough decided to move on and his friend close by just picks the controller up to race. That is exactly what we was going for, in one case some were like “I’m alright ill just watch” but as soon as they picked up gave it a go they loved it i think it surprised a few how much fun it was.

My favourite video being this one, a group of school  trip lads again playing the game (younger audience target market seems likely) i have managed to get an angle of them in shot and the screen so you can see the reactions, its all smiles, reactions and enjoyment. One lad once again stating “i would buy this game” which we heard alot throughout the day especially from console players. A unintended feature of the video was the reflection from the TV but it does catch some reactions whilst playing so it sort of work, next time we would rather have screen capture software for clear game play and then a webcam on top to monitor people playing.

Then the final video is myself playing with another group of lads (we had alot of girls playing too one said she preferred it to micro machines in guild hall but didnt get any footage) im the red car and get wiped out completely by one of them straight away which i wasnt happy about. Throughout the day i played with most people just getting to know their feedback if they liked the game how they was enjoying it and if they would like to see it move on, this usually ended up in great feedback and then them all teaming up on me to ram me off as I am one of the game developers (i knew the shortcuts…or they refer to as cheating). It was great fun enjoying the game with other people of all ages, seeing how they reacted and making them feel free to express hatred towards me when i kept winning.

 

You can see the pure enjoyment which is exactly what we was going for something thats not overcomplicated there isnt too much going on its just pure racing against your friends and the track to win any way you can which i feel we achieved.

play

Throughout the day we had lots of people expressing their interest in the game and how they want to see it released. This got us thinking how can we do this, as we are students the software we use is under student licensing which means we cannot sell anything that we produce in the software we use. Speaking to a few fellow developers they suggested using blender for our models (but that means re-modelling everything in a brand new program we need to learn) or kickstarter which is an organisation that allows people to gain funding for a project through the public using a kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter seemed like the most likely until I was approached by a guy from microsoft who said to me that we should get it on steam, once i mentioned student licenses and where we was from being Hull school of art and design being game artists using unreal engine 4s blueprints he gave me his business card for me to contact him about our game and how we can make the next step. He briefly mentioned personally reaching out to the likes of autodesk and unreal to give us free licensing as good publicity on their behalf which is another option but microsofts interest was certainly a shock expressing how much he loves what we have done with the game. We have a few options but hopefully we will get the game finished and on sale to the public.

We had interest from Smashed Crab studios who are a team of programmers that was interested in helping us take the game further using programming, this is something to consider as we are no programmers we just make everything look nice and we did make it work to a re-playable extent. And then a guy who is building up his portfolio for sound said he would love to work for us on a free basis as long as he can display the game in his portfolio piece, which was great as we have no sounds so its definately something we will consider taking up.

I personally left friday thinking to myself this is amazing, i couldnt believe how well recieved the game was and the amount of interest in its release. Telling people we couldnt release yet due to being students wasnt what we wanted to say and now we want to turn the table to say yes it will be out.

This has a potential not only as a game but us 5 as a team to go far as we showed how capable we are with plenty of room to move forward. Features was suggested to us by varied people throughout platform, things such as different/ custom cars was a popular one (already have) aswell as new tracks. Gameplay we have thought about all the time, from a kitchen scene where plates in the sink are balance your way across to a games room with a scaletrix track on the go.

Overall this was a extremely valuable experience for us 5 even if the game doesnt go anywhere we can say we built a game and displayed it at a gaming expo where it was a hit with most, one group of lads was on it for a good 3hours laughing, ramming and replaying. If all funding doesnt work we can still release it for free and have a shipped game behind us. We are definately going to proceed with working on the game to getting a finished product we can hopefully sell, who knows the game could be a hit starting us as a indie studio in hull.

What platform is all about is bringing the gaming industry to Hull, its not as well developed in games design as many other places in the UK so with the city of culture coming up now is the time to thrive and push to making Hull a contributing city to the gaming industry. Thats what platform does it gives small teams like ourselves to display our game to get it out there to the public for feedback and testing, its great for marketing. Calender did a bit of footage of the day reporting on what platform is http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/update/2014-11-14/hull-becoming-major-player-in-computer-gaming/ We are extremely grateful to platform for allowing us this opportunity to display our game, hopefully next year we can come back with the finished product. Keep watch on us there will be more from us and Rush n Crush.

i have set us up a basic online presence for now:

Facebook

Email: RushnCrush@hotmail.com

Youtube

if you need to contact us please email us or post to facebook.