Tuesday, 31 March 2009

New Headlines, Same Old Story

I recently stumbled upon a headline worthy of an Ed Byrne comment.

4th March 2009, Tim Eves dies suddenly. 28th of March 2009, this article appears.

Going to the article may lead you to the question, "...how is that headline worthy of an Ed Byrne comment?" The answer is, it's not. This was just the earliest story [that I could find] that quite likely led to a stream of other stories a couple of days later, including the one that first came to my attention when I logged into my MSN to check out my emails.

Note under "Today's Picks" the second headline: "Man, 25, dies playing Wii Fit"

Pretty shocking, even more shocking when I eventually found seven more articles that had been posted yesterday [30 March 2009] about him and two more that were posted today - and those are just the ones I could be bothered to look at before writing this. I have no doubt that more will spring up today and tomorrow. I think it's lame how many people will read these headlines, simply because somebody read the first article and thought it ironic that somebody happened to die while doing something that is supposed to help us live longer and healthier lives. The Ed Byrne joke I have been referring to of course has been the one where comments on Alanis Morissette's song, "Ironic".

To that annoying person causing another waterfall of diss to the games industry [and by association, me and all my course mates], inadvertently or otherwise: Tim Eves' death was not ironic [that is, if he did die from SADS and this site is anything to go by].

If he had been in need of some exercise to the point where his life expectancy was affected, and then he purchased a Wii Fit in an attempt to extend his life expectancy, but then died while using the Wii Fit because the lack of exercise up until the decision to purchase a Wii Fit had caused him keel over... That would have been ironic.

Hell, it would have been ironic even if he had died carrying it home due to not being accustomed to any kind of exertion at all.

As it is, he was thought to be perfectly fit and healthy before he died. He helped to lead the First Belton Scout Group. He played in a band called Turnstone, which became Distant Sun [I presume as the drummer, as he was buried with his drumsticks in his hands], he enjoyed cycling, and fishing. My condolences go out to the people who knew him.

His death was simply unfortunate, and I should like to give you - the annoying story twisting sensationalist [and all those who saw your story and repeated it with similar headlines] - a good kick up the bum, not only for continuing the games-are-evil train of thought in such a pathetic manner, but also for causing thousands to register Tim Eves in their minds as "that 25 year old dude who died playing that Wii Fit thing...".

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Let's get this show on the road.

Here is what I should have posted a week or two ago... We've have since handed in the work and had the crit where people look at our work and we discuss what works and what doesn't.

Ours was recieved pretty well, in that the comments made were generally expected ones. Someone said more explanation of what was going on would have been nice, and we did initially intend to have a third shot of the deaths, to better explain what had happened, but had to take them out because we felt the standard was not good enough at that point. Dave said that was good decision making. Woo.

There were a few things he didn't like, such as the lamp lady turning on during rollover instead of on a click. I have to say, I was a bit annoyed that I missed out on a day of work near the end because I got ill and ended up in bed literally all day, but I reckon if anything is really annoying me about it I can have a secondary pop at it for my own personal satisfaction. There will be more criting tomorrow, as we didn't get through everybody today before the Maya tech.

The Maya tech was good, I learned how to make a ball bounce. It was very exciting stuff, I can tell you. I have the video Playbash or whatever it's called on a stick somewhere, so I'll put it up soon.


Less than a week to go before our deadline, and we just need to:

- Get all the assets done..

- Import it all into Flash

- Make it all interactive

- Add sounds

- Make sure it all works

- Make sure it does what the brief said

- Make any neccessary adjustments

...I think we can get it done...

Temporary picture of the pool, a combination of our efforts

Temp picture of the pool at night.

...Pictures of some unfortunate person's hand...

Based on a small lamp, this will be a life sized lamp in the scene, which will cause a death due to some kind of power surge.

This poor girl above will eventually have a shard of glass in her eye... Also some more definition that will be taken from the source photo will be added. Oh, and some blood, lots of lovely trickly blood

Friday, 6 March 2009

Let's do the Time Warp again

I found a rather nice clock.

It was in a stock on dA, found here.

Also, I have a lot of updating to do, as a fair few weeks have passed. I had an idea to make it so that when you click the clock, it zooms into the clock, fastforwards through time, and then settles at and zooms out to show the pool at night, where the viewer can click on something to accidently sabotage it [well, accidently at first, no doubt some people will begin purposefully trying to find things to click once they realise that doing so would result in a little animation for them].

Then I had a second idea - what if the view before you is just a decrepid, deserted pool, out of business, and clicking on the clock sends you back in time so you can see what happened to make it that way? Then I suggested this to Dae, who then came up with the surveillance camera idea. The viewer is looking at surveillance footage of the pool. Clicking on things in the "video" would show the viewer somebody's death. Mousing over the cursed statue would cause some interference on the video [see the very quick knock-up video below - BEWARE, the white noise might be a bit loud on there]. There would also be some interference whenever something gets sabotaged and while the statue's eye is glowing.

Here's Seth. Except he won't really be doing anything in the final piece, I just did it as a warm up for drawing and colouring him for real, to get an idea for colours. Also I wondered whether I could scare Dae into thinking this was the peak of my drawing abilities. Hehehe.

Below is the proper Seth linework, aswell as some colour testing done in chalk pastels.

More colour testing... Most pictures I found of Seth shows him with blue hair, but most of the text I found about him mentioned how he is often depicted with red hair. A meeting with Dae decided that we'd give him a black face and red hair, to link him more to death and evil-doing.

Brought into photoshop and blocked in with colour, not actually finished at this stage [note the arm bands], and I will be making it look a bit more 3D later.
Oh.. I've also just noticed he has no tail, and most of my sources say he's supposed to have a forked one.

We've also been playing around with perspective a bit [or in my case a whole lot].

This next picture is one Dae sent me over MSN that he had done so I could have a look. I'm liking the POV, although some of the perspective is pretty out of whack [such as the diving board and the clock].

Here I've taken his drawing into photoshop and tried to figure out perspective, basing it on the lines of the pool, because I liked them...

Just yesterday we were given the handbooks telling us the brief and the aim of the project, which was a bit lame as Dave pointed out considering we're two thirds of the way through already, but better later than never.

"..create a set piece of interactive flash animation. The concept and development of the project should follow the premise that the work is a postcard from some remote place. That place might be a surreal world, something ordinary, posted from within a dream; it is up to you to develop in pairs a conceptual design to be created in Macromedia Flash.


Grouped into pairs, produce in Macromedia Flash a set-piece, single-screen illustration. This illustration should feature a degree of interaction in the form of 'clickable' or 'scripted' elements, and should focus on the communication of an emotional sense of place and environment."

Hmm... Well, the emotional sense of the place is probably going to be quite a hostile one. Possibly quite unstable as Seth is the Egyptian God of Chaos, and tinged with hints of the anger and frustration of the manager [aka Angry Tech Support Customer].
When I read the brief, I realised that we were trying to do too much, sort of turning it into an interactive mini movie when really what we want to do is create a painting, one that moves when you poke it. I mentioned this to Dae, and suggested we just flash some grisly images of death rather than fully animating them.

On a seperate note... look, a walking robo doggy, and a rope! [Guess what happens next..]

It was finally co-operative enough to upload my animation for me :) I got a B13 for it overall [which is like, a B+] and a B12 for the character design of the first red dog [equivalent of a normal B].

Thats all for now. I really should update this more frequently, it would makes things much simpler when uploading as I wont have a billion images to have to rearrange because Blogger likes to put images at the top of the page instead of after everything.