Thanksgiving happened and it was needed.
I ended up managing to finish to “screenshots” for our game for EAE day in the week following thanksgiving.
We were called into the grad lounge for a presentation by one of our producers. It ended up being about why our theme is bad and we need to change it. The problem with this was that we had a few weeks to change everything for EAE day. While the presentation was fine, I didn’t appreciate the fact that this should have been brought up in September and not late Novemeber. There were some other issues with it as well, but we decided to go ahead and change the theme even with rejections from some of the art team.
We ended up going for a Utah mountain Red rock theme, which we have no research to know that this is what our gamers want in a game. So I did some more concepts which ended up being me changing our previous stuff to all rocks and no candy. I was also not really satisfied on the new theme and tried to show everyone what our theme could have been if we were let to our own devices and allowed to get something done for the game.
I came up with a dark demonic candy style for the game.
We had a quick art meeting to establish the pipeline and it seems workable enough. I drew one asset (multiple variations) to get through the pipeline and then I worked on texturing the asset when it went through me again. We chose to use the mountain since it was the closest thing done in the models bin. I did several different variations to work on and then gave the substance designers some notes as to what the material needed to feel like.
The asset itself ended up looking like poo being held up with bubble gum, and while hilarious (and there was talk of changing the theme to center around this) it was back to the drawing board on what the mountain would be.
EVen with the lack of communication on the team we still managed to make our IGF Deadline with a semi-workable game.
With the lack of communication during fall break, we had another art meetings to discuss the problem at hand, once again we all agreed on the roles (concept and textures for me) and to actually make a good pipeline. The goal of the pipeline was to get an actual asset done by the following week. On top of that we had an art meeting of changing our candy theme to less wreck-it-ralph to something dark and gritty. We ended up going with mines and Bioshock Columbia skyscapers in the sky type deal. I ended up doing several quick concepts sketches for what our direction will be.
The artists had a meeting this week where we discussed to the poor showing we’ve been having and people not know what they’re jobs are. We met with Brian and the meeting went well we all agreed what we were going to be in charge of and our main roles on the team, I was given concept art and textures which I was super excited about. We also managed to get one asset through our new pipeline that looked pretty good.
During fall break our art team had a complete communication breakdown, I’m not entirely sure what happened, but something in the pipeline went wrong and we had sub-par textures in our game. We learned very quickly that lack of communication hurt our game pretty badly for these weeks and a meeting was imminent. I did manage to make a concept of a possible level design.
I’m still working on the tree, which is pretty close to finishing up. I’m on to the UV unwrapping at least and it’s incredibly boring. I don’t get how people like doing this, however I was given a copy of Roadkill which is a very useful unwrapping tool and once I was shown how to use it, life became much easier and finishing the tree would take no time at all. I did come down to the finishing touches of coloring which the tree kind of looks creepy without the gumdrops on it currently, which those took no time at all to do. As of now even with all the meetings and other things that prevented me from finishing the tree, it is currently done and I believe is in the game now, with the simple texture I made, further details will be added in due time of course.
We have also started to pivot on our game again into having it be two-player co-op where one player is the driver and the other is the track creator, and they have to work together to get to a objective of some kind. This could be a good idea or not, we’re not entirely sure what will happen or how it’s going to be perceived, but so far we all seem to be on board.
This week I decided to work on one of the harder models for our game, which is the dreaded tree! I’ve made trees before, but they always look pretty bad or completely out of proportion. This one was no exception because the problem was essentially the limps and making them tree like. First modeling out the limbs was pretty bad, so I asked one of our other artists what I should be using and was turned to the make curve tool (or something to that extant) and everything went pretty good from there on out.
Classes started this week and so far so good, all groups presented their projects and I have to say they all seem pretty cool. I know some have had some set backs or revamped everything, but overall I think this class has some major potential to be contenders fro IGF. I think people liked the route our group was heading with our game, but we still needed the opinions of Brian and Jose. We started by picking new leads for the semester after the presentations were done, and for the most part each track group seemed to have agreed well enough for who was picked. I finally got to do some major concepting artwork for cars and environments, which I was super excited about, I also helped our Art Lead (Aditya) with our style guide, 3D critiquing, and I also kind of researched what an Art leads job actually entails for future knowledge (and to see if it’s something I want to shoot for our last semester.) Thursday I believe we had track pieces that worked with our engine, not entirely sure how they worked or how they were made, but I will find out later, I think there is documentation somewhere on our google drive, so I’ll check it out.
Other than that I started my TA position and I’m a little rusty on the maya basics since I’m so used to shortcuts and hotkeys, but it just means I need to go back through the basics and rewatch the intro videos that are made for our classes. I think this will be a good experience for me and for my future since it gives me a chance to interact with complete strangers and possibly help me achieve some kind of senior or lead position with practice of course.
Today we showed our games to EAE Fest and I think it went pretty well, a lot of people liked our game and had some good feedback at least from the people I talked too. I also saw a lot of people laughing hysterically when our cars would destroy a building, crash into each other or run over a pedestrian. I’m not sure if the other members of our team got the same results, but I feel like they did, which is a positive note for our game and the our development team. IN case anyone was interested in playing it here is the link to our webpage and game:
And with that my first year has come to a close except for Virtual Worlds tomorrow and finals!!!!!