One Last Look (Thesis)

The development team of Maui, now formally known as Kokua game, is three members fewer than it was a year ago, and the way forward must still be secured by a publication.  With the combined efforts and blessings from acquaintances of the cohort, Maui is now ready to be pushed through the publication process on Steam.

Even with all that went wrong, we made the best of the situation by rallying at several points and making great progresses at various points in the development cycle.  All the team members have contributed in their own ways to the project, from the semi-working pathfinding for the NPCs, their “uncanny valley” appearances, a mostly working (if not dumbed down) AI system, to the huge PR campaign to promote Maui to random people that eventually led to the Steam Greenlight.  Indeed, the short crunch time has produced some spectacular results as it forced all of us to work that much smarter with our very limited resources.

With some adjustments to the curriculum to allow us to acquire more relevant skills earlier, such as basics to animations and tool use earlier, we may be able to remain the number one video game development program in the nation.

In any case, Maui is now on Steam.

Ruins (Thesis)

Got some great screenshots in the latest build, from the finished skybox textures and lighting.

It looks like I found a way around the broken image links by using image galleries instead of single images, and only show the previews as thumbnails.  So expect a retrofit of this site!

As another project, making some progress creating material scripts in Unity.

 

Looking for Trouble (Thesis)

WordPress has not been displaying images for a long time now.

To see images, click on the broken link icon.

 

The Successor (Thesis)

Yep, studio is undergoing a cut right now, will have to double up on roles and tasks.

Hold out for four more weeks.

Playing around with C# script in Unity for now, seems a public variable is useful to set properties in a single scene, as we may get bleeding, modify the script to only take unique item names.

 

The “rolling credit” effect is achieved by animating a camera downward, and transit to the next scene after a set amount of time.

Inner Peace (Thesis)

What have I done in these two years? Many, many things.  While most of them matters little for the time being, they do ultimately stack up in skill development – personal projects are quite valuable after all as they require a great degree of discipline to complete.

Gotten back into Pymel scripting a few days ago, the gist of it is simple: translate MEL commands used in Autodesk Maya to Python 2.7.  Main credit goes to Brian Salisbury for providing the original MEL codes.

quick_bar_preview

Most of the codes translate 1:1, almost taking up the same amount of space save for differing syntax, they are still the same contexts and runtime commands, however, there are some methods that are not as straightforward to translate.  From that the final file size is still only a few kilobytes at max.  There is also the issue of the delay in importing the pymel module, as well as the module taking up memory space.

Optimisation will be the priority at the end of this project, perhaps it can be done by modifying the pymel import to only target specific modules?

Aftermath

Back from the conference, and here are the verdicts:

  1. Specialise or die, as recruitment in AAA industries generally prefer specialists who can do one thing well.
  2. Catch up with new technologies, not only do they make our jobs easier, they also tend to look better without needing as much work.
  3. Contacts are the most important thing ever – you can be the most amazing artist or programmer out there, but that is useless without someone knowing your existence.

Luckily, now that the semester is winding down somewhat, focusing on one thing will be that much easier.  Better finish that mech in this style: http://hdredeye.tumblr.com/tagged/acredeye

Spring Thaw

Since MAUI has reached a stable point in development, it is a good point to implement it into a personal portfolio, as well as other assets.

armoured_core_progress_shot_2

Here we have a tetrapod mech, based on a design from the Armored Core series made by From Software.  This sculpted base mesh will serve as a scaffold to applying a number of modular primitives, that will be much easier to UV unwrap as well as texture.

More to come later.