PHASEgaming

Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


1 Comment

Client Project- Session 20-22

On the return of Easter as group leaders we was hoping to see our teams work over the holidays towards the project. Unfortunately when asked the majority of the group had focused on their self initiated projects instead of the client, this was quite disappointing as everyone was set targets and agreed to them before Easter. Nevertheless we proceeded with the group meeting after I stated to the group that we all agreed on a target and seen as myself and Phil was pulled from the project due to doing too much work on it and not enough on the rest of our work it was down to the rest to produce work.

With that all being said we had estimated we have around 6 weeks left due to no pinned down hand in dates, due to this we all agreed that to have a 2 week clean up period before the final hand in was a sensible action to take. This would mean we have 4 weeks to finish everything outstanding for every individual in the group, then those 2 weeks would be spent checking all the work for errors, bug testing the engine, and then correcting any errors that existed. This would be a similar procedure than what would be taken in industry, before a game would be shipped everything would be checked, checked again and checked again really. The final product is the key and will be on view to the public for example we don’t want to be explaining why that car is floating above a building its unprofessional and with this 2 week clean up period this should eradicate any issues.

Before Easter in the last session we had been trying to come up with a name for the project (see link for design process of name), with many being generated and one not particularly pinned down we decided to leave it until after Easter to decide on a name, this allowed anyone to have a think and possibly come up with a name for the project. With that being said we finally decided on my idea of “Old Town Memories”. I particularly liked the name because it had a soft ring to it, also it directly linked to our project with us designing a section of Old Town and with it being the 1960’s and most people will still be around from that time period remembering what it was like it would spark memories.

With the named being decided on the design documents for the public eye needed to be done. This would include things such as leaflets/flyers, concept booklet, logo/banner, and a bio of the project. This would be a general input from the entire group as the more input the better. My personal input was that we need a theme to it, a general style for each document which replicates over the other documents gives a professional look to it all. As for style i suggested as I did to David with the UI/HUD elements to research into fashion colour trends on the time period to try link it all in.

Closing the group meeting I emphasised the importance of communication, we need to talk people cannot be at any point in the dark now, if there are any struggles from any individual they need to be open about it so somebody can help to progress them further or take the work from them so its completed. Its crunch time and teamwork needs to be a priority.

Moving on, in-between session 20 and 21 we had a surprise meeting with our actual client John Netherwood the chairman of the Hull Civic Society. The required myself and Phil to take the meeting and introduce ourselves, our work and what we have done with the project. To have a quick and efficient way of showing the project instead of having them playing it, Phil made a matinee sequence which made a fly around of the project disabling all player controller input. Mr Netherwood arrived with his wife to see the project, myself and Phil proceeded to shake hands and take the meeting in a professional manner. We discussed current progress, features and our passion towards showing this to the public. Which we was confirmed with a venue of the History centre alongside the fashion students 1960’s project. Also a near certain of Hull’s transport museum in September when the Hull Heritage week is on. Then any other possible venues we would need to seek out ourselves which we had planned to do in the next session. We are also going to try contact the Hull Daily Mail to do a article on our work at its current stage and then a follow up of where it will be by the time the Heritage week comes around.

Overall myself and Phil was very pleased with how the meeting went, we stayed professional and happily had a back and forward conversations from questions posed from the client. Discussed what they would like to see from the project and so on, it was a really beneficial meeting for myself it allowed myself to gain confidence in talking to potential clients as we was naturally nervous about what they would think. They also liked the name of the project which was pleasing as we had trouble pinning one down initially so all positives came out of the meeting which was great for us.

Moving onto session 21 which will continue into Thursday as we presented all of our work since Easter on Thursday including the client work. Initially in the session we had a brief catch up on what work has been done since last week, this week we had a full group which we didn’t the previous week so everyone was caught up. After that Myself, Phil and our tutor Paul went to go try secure some potential venues for showcasing our work. This would test once again myself and Phil on our professionalism and communication skills. We initially talked to the Transport Museum in which we had to fill out a form to send to the governing board to approve. Moving on it was now open to us to try secure venues, we managed to get Fanthorpes on silver street and prospect centre as definates, then kapow, princes quay, st stephens, ferens art gallery as possibilities. Unfortunately a few no’s came with asking from shops like granger games and thats entertainment but we still tried, rejection is all part of it you dont get if you dont ask.

Then on Thursday we showcased our work for the client. My work involved completion of buildings on Trinity House Lane which were Wetherspoons, trinity market entrance, bob carvers, and Davids handed over building which is currently a coffee shop called Coco’s. I will now go through my building to their current stage from what I did in my presentation in a briefer form with a self evaluation for each.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

 

This is my model of the current Wetherspoons (we are unsure on the original building so may take artistic license to leave it as a pub until we find more). This building has taken me around 3 weeks with working on other things at the same time, as its a highly detailed building I think this is an acceptable time. I have put this down as finished ready to be handed over to the texture team and then to go in engine, the model itself could do with some time taken on optimisation but due to the upcoming deadline my time is better placed elsewhere as the optimisation wont effect us hardly at all and if needs be the texture team can go in to the model and delete loops or polygons to support the unwrapping. The building itself is 21,888 poly’s which with the fine details and complexity of certain features in the building I feel it is a realistic poly count. Issues I came across whilst modelling this was correctly scaling the sections of the building as it seems to be sectioned by ledges, putting the ledge in the right place so that all the window frames, pillars and so on was also to scale was key to the building looking correct. This took tweaking but im pleased with the end product and proportions of the build. The development in my modularity has aided me well in this particular building as extruding pieces like the window-frames, pillars, chimneys, lights etc was the same and only minor edits to the curvature on some parts was needed allowing quick development when adding a feature such as a window-frame. Overall being a later building in the year I feel my 3D skillset had progressed massively in comparison to initial buildings in terms of quality and speed, if any problems arise im confident enough now to quickly amend any issues.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

 

This building is the entrance to trinity market, a fairly simple building that didn’t take me very long, as soon as Wetherspoons was complete the building speed increased rapidly. This building I have had to make sure it matches correctly with wetherspoons, i found the modelling of a section of a street so building sections together was far more effective as scale and alignment was much easier to achieve than when your working alongside another person and having to make changes once you realise in engine its slightly out. The building itself I found fairly easy as once again its a later building in my year and I feel more advanced in my 3D work. the only issues was to how to make the extruding shape around the first window in the lowest possible form, which i realise would be as a separate pushed in object to the shape rather than modeled in around the window. Generally the building was simple just swift loops for the windows of the building and door, then everything else modeled separately and snapped to the building facure. Another building im pleased with, finished and ready to hand over to texture and then go into engine. Only addition would be needed if texture team agreed would be the slight fence style look above the door which I thought could be done with a plane that they can make a alpha map to create the fence then a normal to make it pop. Thats only addition needed to this building I believe.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

This building is currently Bob Carvers on Trinity House Lane. With this model once again the 3D capabilities are there too do buildings like this with good speed and quality at a good optimised level of poly’s. Not many problems came up, due to this i decided on certain windows when we walk past are sometimes open, all i had to do was select the window poly’s detach them from the building then rotated them slightly to give the impression that the windows are open. The group gave me great feedback on this saying they loved the idea and it makes the building looked alot more used and lived in even just with the simple open window rather than a plain shop facure. Again it was just getting the proportions of the building right in relation to my other models and using gathered photography this was made alot easier. I think of all my buildings I like this the most purely because of the windows, it just makes everything look more real and alive. Obviously I will need to make a simple box to simulate a interior as the windows are open and if a player angles it right they will currently be able to see the sky so a simple box interior will solve that problem.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

This building is currently a coffee shop called Coco’s, this was originally another students building (David) but he handed it over to me for optimisation and the addition of an interior. I had decreased the poly count from just over 1000 to 238 and that was with adding an interior with shop window showcase area. Being a very simple building I dont really have much to give feedback on, its a basic building which took no more than 30 minutes to optimise then add the interior section using simple edge modelling workflow to then bridge the gaps. I did notice one issue, nothing major but pointed out in the presentation id overlooked the way it had been done at the front with the windows, and this results in N-gons in the gaps either side and between the windows. Simple fix with connect or cut tool. All of these buildings are now ready to be handed over to the texture team.

Here is a few pictures of the complete street section on Trinity House Lane:

I found that modelling a street section was far more productive and beneficial for myself as a 3D modeler. This was because mainly the dimensions, scale and proportions of buildings, I could use the other buildings i had completed and finished to adjust the new ones to make sure the street looked correct. This worked both ways as any misjudged dimensions could be effectively grabbed and moved into place.

Then for Silver Street I have finished RBS and started the silver street entrance to trinity market.

This is currently RBS bank building on Silver Street. Once again a very basic building wasn’t much to it just a few insets for windows after I had added loops to extrude some ledges. Because of the simplicity of the building I added a small shop window interior so that there is potential to turn it into a shop if we find out the original status of the building and if we don’t then an artistic decision will be made to adapt the building to possible a bakery for example.

And finally from the buildings i presented was the beginning of the silver street entrance to trinity market. This is a fairly complex but also modular building for frames and decorations, then a symmetry modifier applied will allow me to easily check the finished building as its only sensible for speed to model half the building if its complex when symmetry can do the work for you on the other side. This building is currently stalled, this is due to the final hand ins coming to a close we have decided for hand in and the public we have to focus on the texturing of Whitefriargate and Parliament Street, all other buildings will be put in with the basic grey block in the background to suggest that the area is under construction and will be completed for main showcase in September.

After we had presented I took the role off Abbiella to create a professional email so that we could email the clients that we had and hadn’t discussed potential showcasing for the project with. This required me to type 2 emails, both similar but adjusted for seen and unseen clients. Once typed it up I asked my tutor Gareth to have a proof check to see if anything could be improved or any key information had been missed. The final email also had a link to our latest video fly through of the project so that the clients could have a quick taster to what we had been working on and will be showcasing.

This is also the grey block video fly through we showed our client John Netherwood when he came in. I disclosed that this is not the final product but an in progress project we gain alot of benefits from public showcasing for our marks and the projects quality. This final email was sent to Fanthorpes, St Stephens, Prospect Centre and Princes Quay.

After waiting a few days I had successful replies from St Stephens and Fanthorpes confirming interest in allowing us showcasing our work. Fanthorpes was already secured from speaking to the shop manager originally but St Stephens was a fresh attempt of securing a client by myself. Since then myself and St Stephens have been in contact discussing the project and when we would like to showcase it. Coinciding with there times and available for displaying space, I managed to get us a showcasing date before our hand in (19th May) which is Friday 15th May. This required us to have a Public liability insurance cover which initially i didn’t know if we have but with contacting my tutors we do have a copy to send to St Stephens and prepare for Friday. Our location is just outside the elevator near the bagel food vendor stall, next week I will discuss with the group on shifts for the showcase as I personally would like people to man the project in-case any of the public wish to stop and talk to us about what we are doing.

A slight issue with St Stephens arose with my tutor Gareth with that it is the shopping centre/ area that has crushed the Whitefriargate area for business and popularity. So when we showcase there as long as we are displaying it as a student project following on from the previous years of the heritage project and our area is a section of Old Town including Whitefriargate, it can be clearly seen as a project rebuilding an area of Hull in the 1960’s and not a display to support Whitefriargate. This turned a few of the group off as they don’t really want any hassle from the public but at the end of the day its an opportunity to showcase our work that i have secured before hand in so participating in it will add to our professionalism and “getting our work out there” for feedback/review.

Will this just around the corner next weeks focus as that is also the session all the texture team should have the Whitefriargate and Parliament Street area textured, so the focus will be on promotional materials for our project. Any promotional materials we have can be a extra visual for the project for the public to have, which will aid them in understanding the project and what we do to make it what it is.

 


3 Comments

Client Project- Session 6 Group Critique

previous sessions (1/2, 3 ,4 ,5)

Moving on in our project from last time where everyone had been tasked for a building to do over reading week as a basic model, nothing fancy not the end product just a basic model to see if everyone was going the right way about doing everything and to give constructive critique to them if needed. As Group Critique is a requirement in a learning objective that we are marked on in the course we needed to take this seriously and act in a professional manner, as we would in industry. Personally I felt i did this and then followed up my critique when spotting flaws in some peoples models by showing them ways to fix it after they presented their work to the class. Not doing the work for them but showing them ways that they can call upon in the future to rectify certain issues. For example James had Ngons in his model due to not having loops where they should be and therefore having extra verticies in places, just a quick resolve using either the cut tool or the connect tool and target weld.

My buildings recieved good feedback from the group, Phil pointed out possibly the back part of Marks and Spencers was too far back in the model in relation to real life. I had noticed this but due to not having measurements of that particular area it was just a rough estimate. I will still address this issue and possibly ask Phil whilst i do this to agree on a placement, possibly throw it into unreal engine 4 in the block out to see if it has the right feel and look to it. Other thn that my building crawshaws was a basic model, the building having alot of elegant and elborate patterns or facures a basic model is alot to work on to the final product.

here are my buildings to the stage they are at now:

M&S-

m&s basic model This all looks like one model due to having a simple grey texture placed onto all the seperate pieces, but all i did was model the building in a half then sue the symmetry modifier to model the other half, after that i modelled every piece seperate the pillars the windows were just one simple asset that i have duplicated and snapped together in the case of the windows to create the illusion that its all one model when actually its just lots of seperate pieces attached together to make a model. Im very leased with the progress of this so far and the scale has been nailed to a the tee thanks to the meter wheel making modelling alot easier for me.

Crawshaws-

crawshaws basicThen this is what is now crawshaws (still unconfirmed on what it was in the 60s as been unable to find any reference of it as of yet) looks alot more unfinished than m&s this is partially due to m&s taking longer but also because crawshaws has a very elegant facure with flowers and grapes etc on the building. so without them it is quite bland looking, i still need to model the top dome window part. And as you probably can tell due to not being on one side i havent needed to symmetry it yet otherwise it would be a step too soon. So thats where im at, i felt i could have been alot further along with this personally but this will be finished off soon no worries about that.

With all being said and everyone present showcasing there buildings for critique i decided to take notes throughout the session to pin down any common themes brought up and also what our next steps could be, so that if its an issue the ones who are not having these issues could do some one to one tutoirals with any people stuggling to show our abilities to work as a group and give peer to peer learning.

These were:

  • Texturing- General UV mapping, where to go next with the model, using different types of texture maps to improve the model, light maps, altas maps.
  • Lighting- The use of lighting to bring out a model really show it off, interior lighting/mapping.
  • Interior- generally everyone just designed the building from the outside, if we are going for realism surely the players will see through shop windows into the shops so a basic interior should be modelled with appropraite assets to fill it out and possible assets in relation to the football world cup theme we seem to be going with e.g. an idea i raised was flags on the windows and doors so that we wouldnt have to model the interior but that not be the case for every store as they will have a reputation, like a jewelers they will probably just have a simple pennant string with flags across a window its still showing support but its tasteful.
  • Little details- many of us have little details on the facure of our building like my building crawshaws has some flowers and grapes aside the windows, we have recommended basic low poly models of these in 3ds max and then to import them into mudbox or zbrush to produce a normal map which will give them realism without huge polycounts. Which sculpting and detail tutorials will be called upon and taught by us as not many have used sculpting software before.
  • Put into the engine- Most hadnt tested there buildings in the engine but we should be at the stage no matter how complete the buildings are to be enchancing our grey block out of the streets from basic bsp. so a collection next week of the building to go into the engine will be done regardless of building completion as at least we may identify scale issues or snapping issues etc.
  • Texture importance- some people had over modelled certain part of their building. for example things like window panes  had been modelled in when that is a simple texture and gives generally the same appearance. Other things like pillars or window frames had been all modelled into one shape of the building, its much easier and less straining on the polycount to model pieces seperately and simply push them or snap them to the model.
  • Take into account buildings next to you- this will be a test of our group work, even if the building next to yours isnt you building you will have someone else next to yours and if its all going to work in the engine you need to make sure that they snap together otherwise we will have a street full or gaps or overlapping z fighting.
  • Topology- breifly raised before when i helped james, having ngons or loops where they should or shouldnt be can be of detriment to your model. Mainly in texturing it could cause skewing or stretching, its mainly fairly simple to fix topology but taking time to do it will be vital to the project.
  • Building specific collisions- we breifly dipped into engine ideas moving forward in the block out, what we mean by building specific collisions is most buildings have different shop fronts e.g. my building m&s has a fairly deep entrace to the shop front due to showcasing windows whereas what is now the card factory has a very flat shop front. So with that in mind building specific collisions will have to be made to give the game that extra realism and immersion, because if we did one simple block across both sides of the street the player would be confused why he/she couldnt at least go up to the door of certain buildings.

This concludes our group critique my personal reflection is that i was concerned slightly with the professionalism of some students during this as its such a vital part of our project, but the issue has been raised and hopefully next time this wont be a problem. Group critique will be a regular occurence in the project from now on so that any issues can be resolved quickly and effeciently.

We have had 2 students go on the radio over reading week promoting our project and asking the people of hull for any assistance they could give us if you wish to contact us here is where you can find us:

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