I’m Rose, a second year student on the Next Gen Games, Animation & VFX course. Unlike last year where i branched out to try a number of different subject areas (3D modelling, vfx, etc), this year i will be focusing on my chosen specialism. Since i would like to be a concept artist in the future, i will be specialising in 2D art, particularly character design. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game i’m very fond of, i love the art style and hope that one day i can make characters like that.
Today we had the MVP deadline (minimum viable product) for our game. For previous deadlines, apart from 2 oranges, our marks have all been green. At the moment multiplayer works in the game, it can be played with 2 controllers, there is one level (wizard tower), and only one type of character (pixel wizard). When the lecturers played the game, they appeared to enjoy it, but felt the controls weren’t as intuitive as they could be – the shoot button is in an awkward place. During our few polish weeks, they said we should alter the controls and add more characters, since not many people’s art is in game yet.
This is what the first three pages of the artbook will probably look like. After the title page, the first page is dedicated to initial concept art, putting this at the start will help to show our improvement. After that there will be pages showing final characters – some that won’t be in game. These will be grouped by what type of character they are, e.g. 2D characters, 3D characters, and pixel characters.
When i was organizing these pages, i found that when i put the concept art next to the finished character, the character doesn’t really stand out. In Photoshop, i messed around with the layer styles (by double clicking layer) and found that outer glow makes a cool effect. It usually adds an outline to an image, but when i changed the contour setting it made the characters look like stickers. This draws your eye and helps differentiate the concept from the final image. To improve i will change the font of each character’s name so that it matches their theme.
Today i finished unwrapping the jail model. Usually i find UV unwrapping quite tedious, but i think i did an alright job on this. I tried to lay out the UVs in a neat and non confusing way, but there were some tiny faces that i couldn’t locate on the model, so i just kept them to one side.
After it has been textured it will go straight into the Dusty Ridge level, where all the models will be cell shaded like in the game Borderlands.
One of the main things we have to make alongside our game is an art book. This should contain the best art everyone has done throughout the project, like characters, models and backgrounds. So far we know what the first page will look like, and the background of the rest.
The front page displays our Design Dispute logo front and centre. It then has the names and job roles of everyone in the group, e.g. i’m a 2D/3D artist. For inspiration we researched artbooks from other games. Among the ones we looked at, we found that a faded background with some pattern looked best, so we came up with the idea to do a collage of everyone’s art.
During the project, each of us has to gradually fill out a contribution form. This form keeps track of what jobs we do and how many hours we put into them. It is useful to use these since someone might put lots of time into making something, and have it end up not being in the project. Everytime i start something new, i add it to the list, this makes it easier to keep track of what i’m working on.
This is my progress on the Jailhouse model. Since one person isn’t making all the models, they could be wildly different sizes and not fit together in Unity. To solve this we used the dimensions 4x4x3 as a guide, so whatever we model it has to fit within that size. We did the same for doors too: if all the doors were different sizes it would look weird, so we made a door template in Maya. Now that i have the model, all i need to do is uv unwrap it and pass it on to be textured.
As wells as recording our scrums on paper in Rachel’s lessons, my team is storing them digitally too. Every week we have a scrum where we share ideas for the project, and see what jobs everyone is working on.