Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

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Self Initiated evaluation- CarBeat


For this year I chose my project of “CarBeat” to be my self initiated game which was a drag racing game, this was to focus on up skilling my 3D modelling skills especially in the automotive/ vehicle area. To evaluate that in achieving my goal I definitely did, the Maserati Gran Turismo I did at the end of the project was by far my best piece to date and will be a sure feature of my portfolio. The game as it is with a little more time will have alot more very soon, I modeled 5 vehicles (3 done, 2 unfinished) and only 1 currently sits in the game. I designed a garage level so that the player could select their cars and make modifications etc which is yet to go in and needs the blueprints side to be made. As well as many assets and other features I plan to implement, the current game in engine is basically a fragment of the game I am creating.

To reflect personally on this side of the year I didnt allocate enough time to it, with the client project I dedicated alot of my time towards that which neglected my self initiated work. The demand for work to push the client project along caught me and therefore my game suffered. Next year to reflect upon this I will devise a time management weekly schedule, this will for example be Monday-Tuesday for client, Wednesday-Thursday for final major project and Friday-Saturday for CATS with Sunday as a relax day. By doing this and working on average 6+ hours a day I will effectively produce work for all areas adding efficiency to my workflow.

I am pleased with the progress I have made in my technical abilities for the software in 3D and UE4, I am no blueprint genius but I do understand it to a certain extent allowing me to make game mechanics. The work I have done for my self initiated project I no doubt believe could have been much more, I enjoyed working on my own project but didnt allow myself enough time aside of the other course work to really hit all my targets for the project. My primary goal was to focus on 3D and produce realistic vehicle models was a success in my opinion but as for my secondary goal of building an environment and having a fully working race (start, race, end, repeat) I did not achieve, they are well underway but not completed. Then my tertiary goal to texture my work was missed, which disappoints me as I need to focus on gaining knowledge in texturing due to my 3D work being more advanced I feel texturing and unwrapping is a side I currently need to apply more time to learn it.

In conclusion I am satisfied with my project but fell short on my secondary and tertiary goals for the project. Going forward into next year and the summer I will plan up a time management sheet to try stick by for next year, I will continue to model vehicles as this is where I feel my best features are in 3D, and to take time to up skill in unwrapping and texturing so I can have the realistic visuals to the models. I intend to use this project to take into my 3rd year so that I have a more complete portfolio piece at the end of my 3rd year, this will be my aim but is yet to be approved.

Here are some renders of my Maserati:

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Year 1 Reflection

This post will be an overall reflection on Year 1 Games Design and how i feel i did well and where i could improve in places.

This year for everyone was seen as a toolbox year, a year to build our skills in the programs that we would eventually be using in the next years and industry. Programs that in most cases for myself was completely alien, the likes of 3dsmax i had never come across before but it was the program i felt i would need to advance in the most. The beginning of the year i dont think most of us had any idea on what we would like to do in the profession due to unexperienced views on the work and generally being gamers rather than games designers.

Personally i felt that progress along the year was huge, i couldnt draw very well to begin with now i am at terms with perspectives and improving in the field of life drawing. This was much thanks to the creative futures module, my adaptation brief i believe was my strongest in terms of creativity on my behalf and it really made me figure myself a design process out for how i would go about conquering my work. Other things i felt i improved on was definately the 3D aspect of work, first i struggled to grasp the concept of modifiers, texturing and modelling in general but with practice i can now model low poly models as long as i sit and think about how to go about the topology of it. If i was to be critical of myself i would definately say i could have done alot more to improve my work, due to certain circumstances in my family and friends i struggled coping with towards the end of the year and this did see a drop in my productivity.

Determination will be a key factor for next year and i intend on focusing purely on my work but allowing myself social time aswell but not if it will jeopodise my work rate. This year things i wasnt so pleased with was my use of flash, yes i got a working timeline, game and animation but i was never confident in the program it was used because we had to i felt and thats not how i should have looked at it. When i nfelt that way what i should have done was asked for maybe some extra tuition on the area or taken time at home to really get a grasp of the program, so this is reflection on that.

The main thing for the future is to keep on top of work dont be that guy who says “oh ill do it next week…its not in for another 4 weeks” get it out of the way and sorted so that im always 1 step ahead of the game. Currently im unaware on my marks but im hoping that i have done well asd i really want this to work for me.

Over the summer me and a few colleagues have planned to do a small group project that we have been discussing throughout the year and really keep on top of what we want to do for a profession, you cant just sit back over the summer and relax otherwise it will hit you like a ton of bricks when the work starts to come thick and fast again. Alongside some self initiated projects id like to set myself to focus improving my skills and looking into 2nd years blogs to see what we will be going into and focusing on getting a head start on that.