Saturday, 24 March 2012

Environment project ideas and progress

So i’ve been thinking about this project pretty solidly for the past couple of days. I have complete free reign but i found myself thinking about boring samey ideas. Even caught myself thinking about a war game at one point, the travesty! I know mike wants something a bit different especially when he asked for 2d top down stuff. I really want to do do some concept art for a 3d modern current gen game so i’ve decided to go a bit different for modern day games.

My idea is to do and open world sandbox game in a sort of quentin tarantino style. I’ve taken my inspirations from WET, Shank, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Batman Arkham City.

A small moodboard i made to help me bring my ideas together. From this you can see a similar type of sepia style. This type of “Tarantino” style, with a sepia overlay, lots of gore and awesome music is exactly what i’m going for.

Batman Arkham City is the way i want to structure the gameplay. Relative open world with a main story that arks off into side missions, exploring another key gameplay element. The world opens bigger and bigger the more of the main story you have done because of items you collect on the main story that allow to reach those other areas. I really enjoyed how it was done in Arkham City, because even though at the start i had a small amount of areas to go to i never felt pushed to the main story. One of the best gameplay mechanics of Batman was how you always felt like you were a superhero, no matter the numbers of enemies you felt like you could beat them (even when you were on your last bit of health), i want the player to play the character in the way the character himself is, cocky, rash but unbelievably good at what he does (kill people) because his ultimate goal is more important than his own life.

I’m not quite sure about the setting of my game or even what the characters will look like but it will all come together as i create a story and possible game mechanics.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Environment and character project

So, i have been away for an unexpected amount of time. I am sorry HOWEVER i am back and now have time to spend on my blogs.

I have been given the task  to produce a piece of concept art of an environment and a couple of characters by mike. Whilst fitting within a clear genre, conforming to a recognised platform we have free reign over this project. I also need to write a set of “rules” that apply to effective environment design.

1) Reference.
I have learnt through my time on this course how important reference is. Not only can it spark ideas, but it is capable of making your final outcomes much more professional. Unfortunately whenever i use reference i always have a feeling that i’m cheating, even though i know industry professionals do it all the time and we’ve been told to use it, it really bugs me but i push through it anyway just to try and get the best outcome possible.

2) “if it doesn’t work at the size of a postage stamp, it doesn’t work at any size”
I had been told this by chris during one of our many visual design lessons and started using the navigator on photoshop to have a constant postage stamp sized version of my painting in view. More recently however i have stopped using it, mostly down to confidence in my own ability to see if the composition is correct, but i also send my works to friends to try and constantly have feedback so if my composition is wrong or slightly skew i will likely be told.

3) “If it doesn’t work in value, it won’t work in colour”
Being the noob i am at photoshop, i usually start off my paintings with a black and white/ value version of the final piece and add colour using layer properties. More recently though i have been trying to paint with colour throughout. my masters study of “The creation of adam” by michelangelo is the first real digi paint i have done with just colour. I usually desaturate the picture to find flaws i might have.

4) Contrast
A major thing i have learnt in the course is how contrast changes depending on how far away an object is. Contrast can also be used to create a focal point for a picture. For example if i was to draw a crowd scene but i wanted one character to stand out above the rest i could simply up the contrast on the character and lower the contrast on the crowd.

5) Believability
You could interpret this rule differently. personally i think believability comes from a continuity in the game and through grounding designs, levels and characters to reality. Continuity is easily contained, through keeping things in the universe similar to each other, however is often missed in modern games. An example for bad believability would be finding a lazer gun of some kind in a fantasy world like skyrim. Grounding characters and environments to the reality that we know is important for game mechanics. For example if you were to see a much larger than average size enemy, you would assume that this enemy would be slow, hard hitting and full of health, all based on what you expect if you were playing against a large defender in football or something. however if you were to see this large enemy and he was lightning quick, not only would the player be surprised but he would also lose believablility within the world and wouldn’t go through the game smoothly, he would be guessing at everything in the world wondering whether or not an armchair might actually be alive or something.

Now that i have these rules done, I can start on the project.