Thursday, 14 June 2012

Summer time!


It's summer and I thought I'd give myself a few weeks off just to chill and get everything sorted at home before I got on with working...and it's been gooooood.

I haven't done any work as such since I have gotten back but I have been doing some research for our 3rd year project. I have been reading up on Celtic folklore, faeries and a like and there's some really interesting things out there. It's an overlooked area my most mainstream media but it has such an interestingly different look on fantasy rather than the same kind of mythologies used over and over such as the Greek gods.

I've also been looking at shaders in the Unity game engine and it's....erm...confusing... It's going to take a lot of work to get into shaders, which is something I would like to do, but I think I will still look at doing simple shaders in this 3rd year project as I think I can get some simple shaders working and it should help the project get an otherworldly feeling.

Lastly I've been looking at particle effects in Unity and it is surprisingly easy to create something quickly and seems to work quite smoothly in Unity, which is great. I made a 'wisp' which was one of the things I was researching for the folklore which is just simple round particles that vary from light to mid blue colours and move towards the centre of the particle system. They also stretch towards the middle as I set it to use a stretch renderer which I think makes it look more mystical.

On a more personal note... I've finished my favourite game ever yet again. Final Fantasy 9 is such a good game, the end of the game gets a bit weird and the ending isn't anything special, but overall the game is amazing and works so well even in this day and age. Some other games I've been playing recently include Bayonetta, another game I've played through many times, and Botanicula, and indie game by Amanita Design studios. Both games have very awesome art styles, I love the angle designs in Bayonetta and the unique take on the otherwise divine creatures. As for Botanicula I have loved Amanita's work since Machinarium and their games are so unique and interesting. I usual don't go for point and click adventures but this games always have me gripped and the sound effects...oh my god... I've haven't cried from laughter so much in ages.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

2nd Year grades

This post doesn't have any work unfortunately, been busy getting ready for the move back home and spending time with friends after an awesome year.

I got my grades back for the major project (the UDK game I have been waffling on about for the past few months) and it was good news! I managed to get score 72 giving me a 1st! Adding that to the 63 I got for pre production it averages out at about 69.75 by my calculations which will hopefully be rounded up to a 1st and then overall I should come out with about 65 or 66 which is a nice solid 2:1 which I can fall back on next year if anything goes wrong which is handy.

My critical studies and visual forms grades let me down, getting a 60 and a 57 respectively, but my minor project came out as a 65, so about my average and my major project and my advanced tech project came out as 70 and 71. So overall it worked out pretty well, just need to work on the side projects a bit more, especially seeing as the dissertation next year counts for a big chunk of the marks.

But overall it is looking good, the Major 3rd year project will be very similar to my 2nd year major project in that we will be making a game in a game engine (Unity this time) and I'll be producing art and working in the game engine. This year though we have a much bigger team and will be able to do much much more and I wont have to spread my work thinly to try and get everything done as I did this year, so I'll hopefully score even higher (fingers crossed).

I'm really going to try for a 1st next year, I know most people, if not all, will be thinking exactly the same but I have definitely proven I can do it when I really put my mind to it and as long as I pull up the marks in my dissertation I believe I can do it. If I can leave uni with a 1st and recommendations from tutors it would help so much trying to find a job in such a difficult market. And who knows, we might even get a Glammies nomination next year and catch the eyes of some industry people... but thats some time away yet.

So get ready 3rd year! I'm coming for you!