Monday, 28 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Po [The... What's his job again? A.K.A. Little "Stereotype" Guy]The team don’t quite know what his job actually is in the office, so they’ve decided to make him be in the commercial for the new game they have produced. All he needs to do is sit quietly and play the game while Mr Actorman does his thing...Mr Actorman [Voice actor, and Narrator in the commercial]With his career in the film industry flailing, he’s left it for what he believes to be the way forward; the computer games industry. And almost everything he says sounds like an innuendo.Mr MusicGuy [The Sound Engineer]He’s a bit of an emo/scene kid, if emo/scene kids were made of headphone equipment.Mr KeyDude [The Game Programmer]He’s a bit angry, a lot of the time. And also rather violent. I guess you could replace “angry” and “violent” with the term “psychotic”.Squeak [The Concept Artist]So named for her squeaky, and kind of annoying now you mention it, voice. She’ll be the one trying to make everything look nice and pretty [and no, not with pink paint and glitter].The BigOomphGuy [The Design Director Manager... Man]He’s the “big boss man” of the operation, trying to co-ordinate the efforts of the rest of the team. Despite being taller than everyone, the unfortunate position of his face means he still has to look up at everyone... resulting in a strange “mean-little-man” complex.The Game TestersThere are three of them... but only two are in the pic above. Unless one has invisibility powers that I didn't know about.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
I had trouble coming up with ideas to begin with, blank pages tend to do that to me. So I tried to get Ben to give me something to bounce off. First thing was: He didn't want to do anything to do with butterflies or ants [my old project], or water [his old project]. Sounded fine by me, seeing as the only constraints we have is the fact that we'll be pitching to people who will tell us our idea is crap if it is, and Dave said that if we're up against anyone, we are up against the animators. That leaves a lot of scope for game ideas, seeing as we can make it about anything we want.
Second thing was: He fancies doing something playful, cheeky, and non-serious, with some memorable characters that people can talk and reminisce about. Also fine by me. It reminded me of the Gastronomy project [originally titled Fartman].
We've started off by doing some character designs, then met up to look at what each other had done, then decided things were looking good and that we can expand them a bit by putting them into scenarios and give them family members. Here's what I've drawn so far:
I've also come up with a rough idea for the scenario in the game, but we'll see what Ben thinks before I write it up here.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Dave is bringing over what is basically the panel of GameCityU, in 6 weeks time, to critique a 30 second animatic thing, based on a brand new game concept that we have to come up with starting from now and pitch to everyone in exactly a week's time, with a brand new partner.
But then, I spose it's not unlike that time in Year 10 doing the Enterprise thing, where I worked with some classmates to come up with an idea to place Pembrokeshire on the map and pitch our idea to the teachers in like, a day. And then when we went on to do pitch it again for our area and went on to London to rep Wales. And then came second in all of the UK... [Woo, go Ysgol Greenhill School!]
Except, this time we have like 6 weeks to prep...
Okay, I think I'm calm now.
Monday, 16 November 2009
The large blue sky lies above. You focus on a bird gliding across it, which suddenly stutters. Changing its direction, you guide it down towards a tulip, whose head is heavy with water from rain the night before. The bird swoops down, crashing into the tulip and spilling the water. As this flows out of the flower, you release the bird, which shakes itself as if waking up. It gets its bearings again and then stretches its wings out, taking back to the skies. But the water quickly spills into a little hole in the ground.It shoots through a tunnel, and you follow as it winds down into the darkness, until it reaches an open chamber full of surprised ants. Some are washed off their feet, but they quickly realise that they need to move the larvae to another chamber. You focus in on one near a pink caterpillar, adopted by the colony by disguising itself as a queen grub, and guide the ant to rescue and carry it to a safe chamber along with its “siblings”. It is left alone with them, while the naive workers hurry and rescue more of the others…Outside it becomes night time; you can see the silhouettes of bats against the stars, as they dart around catching unfortunate moths. You watch them a while, now and then switching between helping a bat catch a moth meal, and saving a moth from becoming that meal. Then a badger catches your eye, and you make it the centre of your focus. You try and guide it towards a nearby fox to see what happens, but it resists like a reluctant horse pulling against its bridal. Suddenly the badger starts digging where it is, dirt and little stones and ants flying everywhere. Ants… You realize the badger is digging into the ants nest, and you pull back harder on its mind, trying to make it listen to you. The fox saunters off, on the hunt for rabbits.Months pass; it’s been some time since the great flood. There’s an unusual stillness in the tunnel, apart from the gentle twitching motions coming from within the pupa resting near the entrance. After ten months of hiding away in the ants’ nest, a Large Blue Butterfly is finally ready to reveal its true identity to the world. It pulls itself out of its protective casing, out of the tunnel and into the bright world outside. Having not seen the sun for as long as it has been adopted, the butterfly bathes in the light, waiting for its wings to warm up, shimmering. It’s been a long wait. You take the butterfly to the sky in triumph, and large blue is reunited with large blue.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
This is something I tend to do, although I don't write in mine everyday. If something's really annoyed me or upset me, I'll end up carrying that around with me until I can write it down and get it out of my system [it's also quite fun to write in it when I'm drunk, and then laugh the next morning at my inability to write legibly when under the influence. It's also probably safer than posting things on Facebook while drunk]. The video below shows Jon Burgerman explaining another good reason for having a notebook with you. Mr Burgerman, over to you :)
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
It seems we all have decent ideas, but we need to learn how to make them sound really appealing to the people we are pitching to. Appealing, attractive, seducing... all those words came up during the lecture, and I thought hmmm... how sexy can one make an ant-baby-eating caterpillar...
Next task is not quite another pitch, but 300 words setting out how the intro to the world in our games. I've also written down "structure" and "flow of spaces" in my notes... but I think I'll need to think about that some more.. [annoying quirk of lectures, they always seem to make more sense at the time].
As for this morning, we had a tech sesh in Maya. I love playing with Maya, although it still feels like an iceberg to me with all it's little buttons and menus that do things I didn't know it could do... We were learning how to put a texture map on a cube, which we've done before but a refresher was definitely in order. After Charlie had taught us that, I started fiddling with the model I made last week and tried to figure out how the textures work on a shape with many more than six sides. I might have broken my first model somehow though.. dunno how, I was working in a copy of the scene saved seperately, and somehow the copy AND the original changed? *shrug*
Saturday, 10 October 2009
I teamed up with Ollie on this one, and we've come up with a game that involves attempting to influence the behaviour of creatures [insects mainly] in order to save the Large Blue Butterfly from extinction. It's pretty much based on the real life extinction of the Large Blue, which disappeared from the UK in 1979. In 1980, conservationists imported Large Blues from Sweden, so now there are like 30 colonies of the pretty little Large Blues fluttering about across the south west of England.
For those of you interested in stuff like this, the Large Blue is interesting in the way it depends on a specific species of red ant to survive, who in turn are quite dependant on a specific kind of environment. If there aren't enough rabbits keeping the grass short enough, the ants won't be able to hack it because they need it to be a certain temperature, and even a centimeter difference of grass length causes a big difference in temperature to the ants. If the ants are not around, then there's no way the Large Blue can survive through caterpillar-hood, because the later stages of it's life involve living and hibernating in the tunnels of Myrmica sabuleti, eating ant grubs while disguising itself as one to prevent itself being attacked and eaten by the ants. I'm getting a slight sense of deja vu writing this, so I've either written this on here before, or I've just spent a lot of time explaining how the Large Blue lives...
Which brings me nicely onto my next point to which the title of this post refers: pitching. Again and again. It seems to me that the main aim of this exercise is not to create an amazing game USP [although that is an important part of it], but to learn how to present our ideas to another person; to be able to explain to another in a way that inspires and excites them, and makes them want to support your idea and become involved. I'm not surprised to be fair, pitching ideas to people who have the money to pay you to do the work seems quite a fundamental part of the system in the games industry at the moment.
Moving back to the topic of ants [yes, I know, I'm going this way that way forwards and backwards over the Irish sea...]: they're brilliant aren't they? I've got to do an image of a flood in an ants nest from an ants perspective, and while I was trying to find some good underground images to look at I found a couple of really intriguing videos. The first was of an ant colony building a raft out of themselves. The second was the video below.
I find it ironic how, in trying to make it sound epic, the narrator actually makes the video seem a bit hilarious to me - despite how really quite amazing the subject matter is. It might just be me though - I get amused listening to the different voices narrators have on adverts, such as the chummy way supermarket ads often talk to us, how car adverts are always cool, but car insurance adverts are never ever as cool, and how films are always advertised in pretty samey ways with the narrator who always talks in that special voice that tells you whether the movie is scary, a comedy, an action film.. or even a comedy taking the piss out of the scary film genre. If you watch TV in Britain and aren't hard of hearing, I know that you know exactly what voices I'm talking about.
Friday, 25 September 2009
Second page: Bugs copied from Micheal Chinery's Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe.
Top row: Epilachna chrysomelina, Subcoccinella 24-punctata, Coccidula scutellata, Scymnus frontalis, Hippodamia 13-punctata, 7-Spot Ladybird, Eyed Ladybird.
Second row: Thea 22-punctata, Propylea 14-punctata, Wasp Beetle, Plagionotus arcuatus, Chlorophorus varius, Calosoma sycophanta, Common Swallotail.
Bottom row: Black-veined White [Aporia crataegi], Large Blue [Maculinae arion]. Large Blue larvae are pink to begin with, feeding on wild thyme flowers. They are then carried into certain ants nests, where they feed on antgrubs until they pupate.
Picture in the bottom left corner of page is of a hall with a ceiling decorated by beetle shells.
Third page: Oleander Hawkmoth [Daphnis nerii], Hoplia caerulea [top right], under that is the Spanish Moon Moth [Graellsia isabellae], and bottom right is Pterostichus cupreus.
Fourth page: Very quick colour studies of Calosoma sycophanta, from photos found on the net.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Oliver James travelled around the world to interview people in different English-speaking countries, giving snapshots into their personalities and emotional lives, and showing how their environment could have contributed to each. He's also extremely anti-Selfish-capitalism, and by the end of the book I had decided I really dislike adverts that tell you that if only you had their product, you would be so much happier.
Funnily enough, his book also gives his suggestions to avoid the "Affluenza virus" [known symptoms include wanting to be famous for the sake of being admired, wanting to have lots of nice things that you don't actually need in order to keep up with the Joneses, and thinking of people as commodities - including yourself - who will help you in your career or else you're not interested, as opposed to friends you like to spend time with], thereby reducing your vulnerability to emotional distress, giving you a chance to be happier. The difference between me saying that and an advert is that, if you buy Oliver James' book, I won't be getting any money for it. I'm spreading the word, not selling a product - there's a very fine line. It's one of the reasons I thought Lostprophets were awesome when I went to go see them in Newport. One of them said to the crowd that he didn't care if you downloaded their new song illegally, so long as you spread the word. Then again, I suppose they know enough of their fans would buy it anyway.
So what's all this got to do with computer games, eh?
Well. I was thinking about the politics of it, what Capitalism was all about, and I realised I didn't really know a lot about it and it's alternatives. I knew my friend Tito likes to write political things on his blog, apparently he's an Objectivist, and again, I didn't have a clue what that meant. He wasn't about at the time, so I googled it to give myself a vague idea. Then I had a look at what Socialism, and Communism, was all about, and then it struck me: how come I've not heard of any virtual worlds that try to put these ideas into play in the game? [If you know of any I could look at, do leave a link for me to check out :D] The unpredictableness of some players would be useful in seeing how such systems would work [or not work].
I thought about WoW and how it seems to involve a lot of [virtual] materlism. You kill one thing and what do you get? Copper. Silver. Gold. Maybe an item. Complete a quest and you get gold, or items. As you level up you get more gold to buy better items to increase your stats. When you get to the end level, your focus shifts towards group work to gain items in raids that have better stats that help you get better items in raids to give you even better stats. It's similar in the Sims in one way too - they NEED money.
They need it, not just to eat, but it's also decided that their happiness depends on the items they own - the items that are the most satisfying to Sims in-game are the ones which happen to be the most expensive. And [ignoring the money cheat for a moment] if your Sim doesn't have a job, you can't meet your needs very well, your Sim gets unhappy, and then it can't get a job. Then it dies or something. I'm not sure, I've never done a deprivation experiment on Sims, but I have witnessed how difficult the game got for one Sim a long time ago, probably before Sims 2 or 3. He ended up very depressed, and angry, and his wife left him. It was endgame for him then, because he had no one else in the house to bring in money for food, and he wouldn't get a job because he was "not in the mood", and we didn't know the money cheat at the time so we couldn't save him.
It might sound like I've just been stating the obvious. But in real life, it's not always the most expensive things that make people happiest in the long term. "The best things in life are free". If you think about it, this system of materialistic punishment and reward is something many of us have taken for granted in games. I'm probably going to be spending a lot of time now considering what the alternatives may be and how they might be implemented.
I don't know if this post has made sense to anyone at all, seeing as this is all quite new in my head and I'm sure I have a few contradictory thoughts floating about. Oh well. Here's some more reading, an article I just stumbled across but have yet to decide on how I feel about it: Happiness, the new currency in France.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
It might not look like it to the casual observer, but my mind is that hyper about the thought of going back that I'm actually losing sleep at night. Can't imagine how I'll be in a week.
I've started to pack by putting everything I brought back from uni into a big heap on my table. Now I just need to sort through it, and try to bring back only what I need [dad wasn't kidding when he said I'd accumulate junk there].
On top of that, I've got my Summer Assignment to do... For some reason, I had tons of motivation during my first month home, although I didn't actually do much proper work, and then after a few weeks it fizzled away so I could get on with holiday fun. Oh how inevitable of it. I feel like I'm at that point again where I don't know what to do, so instead I do nothing but ponder.
On the flip side, it took me 8 minutes to clean a shower-room at work today. 8 minutes! It used to take me like half an hour, because I'd have to think and try to remember what to do. But now I've got myself into a routine, I can spend those 8 minutes thinking about more important things as I clean... such as what on earth to do for my Summer Assignment.
It's not all bad I guess though, I'm making it sound like I've done no work. I've drawn, gone over in biro, and watercoloured the images of 13 pretty bugs in my book for use as reference [pictures to come]. Except they kinda only take up part of an A3 page... Hmmm...
Friday, 14 August 2009
Win a guitar? Yes please! One of Gen's ideas to make our entry a little more original [other than completely change the melody and chords... haha] was to do an animation for it. So... guess who did the animation... :)
Gen kept listening to the JCB song, and we liked the simplicity of the video, which is why I went for the scrolling sky thing and cartoony us's.
Although, in the actual entry, the sky wouldn't scroll... because I'm not quite an expert on Flash [yet..] and I ran out of time trying to figure it out. But I've remade it now, so that when I exported it as an avi, it actually worked properly... It involved a lot of copying and pasting, but I got it done in one night. I think rotoscoping that wind up box thing took longer, haha.
Everyone you hear is a Gyseman gal :)
Me: Background singing, guitar and backbeat [...which was actually just me hitting the guitar]
Gen: Singing, and background singing
Yvette: Singing with Abi
Gen came up with the tune [the day before the deadline!] and did most of the sound editing. We didn't actually win in the end :( But so far all the commenters have loved how original it was :)
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
I like the pretty places, I like that you get to fly, I like the customisation options in the character creation... but I have a minor complaint. In the videos I've seen [I've not played the beta] I think the running animation looks a bit weird. Like they look like they should be going faster than they are.
It's like the opposite of what bugs me about the kodo[?] mount run cycle in WoW [they're so massive, but their legs move really fast, and they sound like little gnomes when they run through water. It's actually kinda amusing now I think about it].
I dunno. Mebbe they tilt forward that far because of.. the gear they may be carrying? *shrugs* Maybe it's to create the illusion of speed, and the camera angles I've seen it at have just made it look weird. Or maybe, I'm being fussy :p
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
So far, I've figured out that:
- I like cleaning. And tidying, restoring, and generally making things and environments look and feel nice. I'm not sure where I'm at with my 'collecting-junk-to-make-things-out-of habit'. I guess I try to organise things so that all those little bits of junk get their own drawer, out of the way of all the useful things..
- I don't really like deadlines. Which is why I tend to prefer cleaning my house over cleaning the lovely lodges at work.
- I like finding out the truth. Getting to the bottom of things. Kinda like a journalist I guess. I've only noticed that recently, while writing these blog posts about things I've read online. Ever since finding out Jeff Goldblum fell off a cliff and died, the same day as Michael Jackson, I've realised I can't believe anything I read on the internet just because someone I know believes it [for those who hadn't heard about him dying, Jeff Goldblum didn't die. Or even fall off the cliff. Or was even on a cliff that day].
- I like making stuff. Especially stuff that, when someone looks at it, makes them say, "Charlotte! How did you make that?" I also like it when someone says, "Charlotte! How did you do that?" I think I kinda like teaching, too. But at the same time I like being able to do things, where people do not have a clue how I did it. Like magicians. Illusionists. They create experiences and stories out of thin air with the help of the viewer's imagination. Sounds like good fun to me.
- I like learning stuff. I'm not sure if this is because I just like to know how things work, or because I don't want to end up sitting on a stool for a week waiting for the lights to turn back on. Not that that's what I'd do in such a situation... [Watch the video below if you've never seen it, he makes a very good point, hehe].
- Following on from the learning stuff point, I've noticed I've kinda forgotton about my like for science. As arty as I am, I did wonder whether to go for the other Games course [a BSc] that UWN offered. In the end I applied for both the Animation and the CGD course [both BA's], thinking I'd get to involve plenty of sciencey know-how in terms of Physics. That said, when it comes to designing games... you can design games about anything. I remember somewhere, somebody said that we, as game designers, come to find out all kinds of odd bits of knowledge while researching for projects.
So yeah. I'm supposed to figure out what it is I can do to create a service, product, or something like that for other's to pay me, while I do work that doesn't feel like work. Uni doesn't usually feel like work to me, which looks like a good thing. I think the deadlines won't bother me as much if I'm loving what I'm doing, because I'll always be inspired to get things done on time. But I've gotta say, I've always liked the idea of becoming an Entrepreneur. One thing I have wondered is whether this blog can generate any easy income [after reading about a thing called Project Wonderful]. It won't be long before I get to try it out and see how it goes. Sounds good for a bit of pocket money.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
From what I can tell, what seems to have happened is Twilight Source put up a news post stating that there would be a Twilight MMORPG, probably after reading about it on Artuji, who may have possibly come across the story first on The Examiner. I think. I kinda stopped halfway through writing that paragraph and lost my train of thought to watch an episode of Psychoville with my sister.
One look at the actual website of this game however, tells you everything you need to know:
- The game is being created for academic purposes.
- Brandon Gardner is the Game Director and Lead Programmer, Steven Danielson is the Concept Artist.
- The game is not going to be an MMO.
- They are going to surrender the game and all it's materials to Summit Entertainment once it is finished, and it's up to Summit Entertainment whether they want to actually publish it or not.
If you want to know more, I suggest heading over to the "actual website" link above and checking it out.
On a more personal note, I seem to still be living in a sheltered world.
I'm a fan of the books and the story, and all the girls I know who have read the books loved it [as well as a few mums and a couple of librarians who had been introduced to them too]. It seems to be a chickflick of the book world. So it's no wonder to me that it's became so popular, that they made movies for it, and that anyone would consider making a game for it.
What did surprise me was the reactions of most of the articles I read about it. Such as this one on Massively. To put it simply: They didn't like it. Some thought the books were rubbish, poorly written and/or lame. Some thought a Twilight MMO would be the end of the world.
At first, I thought that point was a bit dramatic to make, just because one is not into the idea of romance and videogames [and people wondered why there weren't enough women into games...]. But then, I thought about it. Maybe, they're scared of the idea of a Twilight MMO. Women everywhere could take such delight in it, that their other-halves and/or sons would have to fend for themselves. Oh, the horror.
Imagine playing on COD4, or WoW, or whatever your addiction is, and suddenly finding that you're absolutely starving because the lady who normally brings you food has disappeared from reality. The thought of it kinda makes me wanna laugh and say, "Get over it, and stop playing that game for two seconds, or you can eat pixels for dinner." But on the otherhand, the idea of a game as addictive to women as WoW seems to be to, um, people who can't seem to stop playing WoW, is understandably scary.
I think the only way I could condone such a game would be if it helped women develop personally as they played - rather than turned them into one of those people that sit around letting their reality fall into disrepair, while they get sucked into an imaginary fantasy world because their reality sucks, because they've let it fall into disrepair... And if you don't think games can help a person develop as an individual, stick around. It'll happen. If a person can come away from a film feeling like they've learned something or been enlightened, I really don't see why a game can't be capable of the same and still be entertaining.
Saturday, 18 July 2009
I'll be honest, part of the attraction for me is the fact that it sounds different to WoW in gameplay. I was trying to play WoW the other day and found I'd forgotten how to play my belf rogue. Button mashing, anyone?
However, I also found what I've seen of the world to be quite pretty as well. Shiney water make Lottie go, "Oooooh! ^_^". Also, I kinda have a thing for watching the sun and shadows move in games as time goes on...
While researching AoC, I found out that somebody called Zsolaith has started an epic machinima series, The Last Bastion, inspired by the player Silverar in the guild they call the Order of the Silver Dragons. I'm intrigued by not only the way The Last Bastion came into being, but also by the idea of the Order of the Silver Dragons.
The Order of the Silver Dragons (OSD) are a long-standing multi-wing gaming community that was founded on January 9th, 2006, and exists well beyond any one game, being involved in many gaming environments. What makes the OSD unique is their ongoing commitment to mature interactions, their proud display of civility and concern, their desire for adventure and their healthy placement of value on individual effort and communications. They are known across many gaming servers for taking the high road when situations arise, and they pride themselves in the knowledge that they will always strive to help others. Their continued success stems directly from the OSD officers of this order whom take it upon themselves to uphold these virtues, reminiscent of the fabled Knights of the Round Table, which in turn are mimicked by the community of players within the guild.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
I'm thinking bugs. Bugs and insects, and beetles and creepy crawlies. Butterflies. Moths. Dragonflies. Spiders. Lots of lovely shapes and sizes and colours for me to choose from with bugs.
And I'm thinking: I reheheally fancy some cheese on toast first.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Remember the Dogbot character I made?
And the post where I mentioned David Freeman's book on Emotioneering?
I'm gonna be trying out a few of his techniques and design a game around the dogbot, and for some reason I'm also imagining a little green blobby alien that takes over the dogbot...
No idea how far I'll take it, but if anything more interesting happens with it, I'll post it up.
As for the Summer assignment, I've spent more time thinking than doing at the mo. I got about this far before I joined the family in the BBQ area in our garden.
Something like bamboo with windows in... and the other one was.. something like... willow branches? Yeaah. I think I'm gonna have to start taking a few pics of stuff in my garden for inspiration and do some proper sketches.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
I am supposed to produce a series of drawings for the design of a virtual environment, inspired by forms in nature, paying "particular attention to differences in scale, from small to large, micro to macro..."
Sounds good, I'm pretty excited for next year already.
Also, I spoke to my friend Dan [a.k.a. the BigBlueLion] and showed him the little flash clip I made. He loved it.
Changing the topic once again, tonight I removed all labels from my posts. My previous system was... barely a system, to be honest, so I'm going to be re-labling [how does one spell that word?] all my previous posts and all posts that follow in a much more useful way. Also added Twitter to my sidebar... although I rarely use it at the moment...
Friday, 12 June 2009
How many kids go on youtube and purposely seek out this stuff? Not many. Proof that games can introduce kids to more than just a billion different types of gun - it can also introduce them to old music styles in a fun way. Take that, critics of the idea that games can't teach anything!!
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
[AIR - Animator In Residence. Basically the animator, Ian Gouldstone, would make a 5 second video clip for us to make a response to. We would have 24 hours to make our 5sec or less response. He would then respond to that, as if we were writing animated letters to eachother, creating a dialogue between two characters that were created by us as the story went on. Click HERE for the result...]
The project went on for a few weeks, and I found it a good way to practice different animating techniques or try new ones I haven't done before, such as the digital rotoscoping maya method Eric and Rhys introduced me to.
This is a video of one of my entries. Bit frustrating as I haven't figured out why I can't export Quicktime movies from Flash, so it wasn't in the format requested. I also ran out of time to do what I originally intended, which was to have a picture of a joker on the side of the red cuboid - like a pack of cards - which would have an animated facial expression.
Also... in the previous clip done by our character, we called Ian's character a leprechaun... I wanted to make a leprechaun style "Jack" pop out, but also didn't have time to get it done. I made the box and handle in maya, animated it in maya, and then put printscreens of each frame into photoshop and traced over the action there. Rotoscoping is a cool technique, but rather time consuming. Especially at 25 fps -_-
But yes. I'm going to show Dan the first one before I put them up anywhere, to see what he thinks. I imagine he'll end up laughing. I know I am, and I haven't even gotten to the good part yet.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Onto the next thing:
Just caught this trailer on YouTube...
Very sorry for the poor dude near the start.
Now for some commentated gameplay..
Leonardo Da Vinci gadgets... It's like James Bond set in the Renaissance.
Friday, 5 June 2009
Monday, 1 June 2009
Went to the 3rd Year's Grad Show the other day, it was pretty good [it's still on, til the 5th June 09 - click here for more info]. Pretty interesting to see what kinds of things we'll be expected to do when we get to Year 3, and the atmosphere was really lively compared to some of the other Grad shows going on.
I wonder why.
CGD, knows how to party hehe :) But I guess the theme was Super Monster Candy Attack, so it wouldn't have been right without some candy!
A lot of the playable pieces were very glitchy, but still cool, and I'd like to see them when they're all done up proper. I heard some are heading to Game City this year, which I am totally attending as last year was Suhhhweeet :) As was breaking the world record for the most number of zombies recorded in one place...
1227 of us :) Anyhoo, back to the Grad Show. Here is a photo of the best thing there.
Am I talking about the mutant chicken thing in the background, or the fan? Blatently gotta be the fan. Just check out that structure, the choice of textures, the fact that it works when you press the "on" button...
I'm joking, however, it was absolutely boiling hot in that room with all those people and computers. It's because CGD is so damn amazing, hehehe.
Also because somebody decided to put the table of sweets in front of the window.. and then somebody decided to have the blinds pulled down so the wind wouldn't blow the sweets away.
Oh! On another note, I've finished playing Fable II. Well sorta, I got to the finale of the game, but I haven't yet experienced the consequences of my wish before leaving the Spire. Am I the only one who got creeped out by the way Theresa spoke at the end about the Spire? But yeah. I was well miffed when Lucian shot my dog. Even if it was just pixels, and the only name I had given it was "Dog", or "Doggy"...
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Hilarious. The thing is, I play WoW and I'm not a geek. I took a highly scientific test, and got the following result...
To be fair, I do say dude a lot. I suppose that's what happens if your childhood heroes included Bill and Ted, and Wayne from Wayne's World.
Kieran has uploaded it onto his blog, so to save me the trouble of doing the same: here is the link to it :)
Clicking on the picture above can also lead the more observant among us to an insightful message. Teehee.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
I've gotten so far behind in updating about it on here, but in my defense it was because I was at Kieran's working on the project where I can't just steal the internet anytime. Often it'll be because when we're not working, he's using his internet to play WoW. I can't laugh, cos they've finally managed to persuade me to get back on too. Paid for three months, with the intention of not playing it in August due to the sunny weather that might grace Pembrokeshire, or wherever I happen to be!
Anyway, enough of that. I might wander a bit, it's quarter past 6 in the morning and I'm not sure when I'll go to bed.. but I just got back from finishing Maya, so I can grace you with some photos of the sketches we did during PrePro [hehe, I'll keep calling it that, it amuses me]. Oh, and a plasticine man.
Initially we wanted to make Seth walk aswell, but time constraints, knowledge limitations and needing to learn how to use Maya alongside creating the full on [..well, primitive doesn't mean it has to look like crap, does it?] Maya animation persuaded us to try something simpler. After the crit, I may put the video up. Before then I might put up the playbasts taken from Maya.
It's kind of funny how our PrePro video is longer than the animation itself. I'm immensely proud of how the flickering of the welding looks, but ever so slightly worried that it might cause an epileptic fit when it's shown with the big projector like usual... Anyhoos, I need sleep! I've decided that the fact that I can hear the blood pumping around in my brain is a sign that I really should be asleep right now.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Now on to the main subject of my post: The reviews I have read on Fable II as part of my research.
I've noticed a great divide in the reviews here about the game, ranging from "a total waste of money" to "It's just Fabalous I say... just Fabalous. Or should I say... Fable-ous!"
Many of the reviewers seemed to like the game, although a lot of comments were made about how disappointing it was that two players could not play their own full characters during co-op mode.
Of some of the more extreme comments made against it, it seemed to me that these players were either angry because they had heard a great deal of hype about the game and were not given what they were promised, or they are stuck in this idea that the game needs tons of "cool armor", "awesome weapons" and a "big boss fight" at the end. This following comment in particular showed me how some players just don't understand what game designers need to do to encourage the games industry to develop.
fable 2 is simply stated an entire let down. you CAN'T DIE!? and there is NO MANA!? this game was built up so high with promises that ended up being total lies. The co-op is terrible. NO ARMOR!? The dog finds all the keys and items for you. The game was set up to be the easiest RPG in the world. They should have added difficulty settings. It is not better or more genuine than the past 10 years of Final Fantasy! i can't believe they said that. The game is 100% spoon feeding, from the trail to the dog to the no death. Why are there still Rez Phials?!? The choices for clothing and weapons and spells are way to minimal.
Yeah, I know, it makes me cringe too.
There's nothing wrong with a game that doesn't let you die. There's nothing wrong with a game that has no mana bar [seriously, WTF. Mana bars are just an imaginary limitation that someone introduced one day. I may be a bit on the agnostic side to say this, but I know enough to know that "Thou shalt design games involving magic to have mana" was not a Commandment. And there's nothing wrong with a game that has no armor. Does PacMan have armor? NO!
And why should they have added difficulty settings? This game is about the story, be that the main story you can follow, or the stories you help create yourself, such as when your character marries someone in the game and you have a baby boy named Ross, and then Alex divorces your character because you're always being chased by the law because you may have gotten caught killing a few people because you wanted to see how many you could kill one by one before you got caught, and then you decided to resist arrest instead of paying the fine. And then your son gets taken away when somehow your husband died after they moved to another region and you're unable to look after Ross because your destiny to find the three other heroes won't allow it.
I did find it somewhat humorous to return home after ten years to find that my caucasian spouse and I had managed to produce a dark skinned child, as if the first one had escaped like a pet and Alex had replaced it with one that was not quite the right shade. But I still felt the loss when social services wouldn't let me have him after Alex died.
...Anyways, back to my point. It's about the story. I mean dude, the clue is in the name. You do know what "fable" means, right?
It also intrigues me how many people have mentioned how long it took them to "beat the story". I may just not quite be down with all the terms seeing as I'm not a hardcore gamer, but the idea of "beating" a "story" doesn't quite make any sense to me. Sometimes, it's the journey that's important, not the destination. If you rush through the game without taking the time to observe and appreciate the characters, then of course you are going to be diasappointed.
It's times like these I realise how far I've come on this course. A year ago, I would have seen that person's comment and thought, "Oh look, an angry person."
Looking at it now, I'm thinking, "Oh look, an angry person who doesn't have a clue."