Monday, 17 December 2012

Specialist Animation 2

It's been a while since I have posted because the project I've been working on is not the most visual project. We were doing an assignment in Unity in which we had to get certain game elements working. This was good as one of our biggest concerns for our major project game was that we do not have a programmer to create gameplay elements.

I'm pleased to see that the project went much better than expected, not just for me but for our entire team. We have gotten much more done than we expected to and it has allowed us to widen our scope and hopefully add even more to the game. We managed to get a lot of the puzzles done, as well as some we were not sure we had time to do and we managed to get certain elements like the camera and the AI working to a decent standard.

In the project I made a camera with 3 levels of zoom and a special fixed camera position for the boss fight, it's also possible to look around using the mouse. I created a door in which you need to pick up 2 keys, walk over to an object and press the F key to open a gate and I created some 'dragons' which attack you by breathing fire, this does damage and has a 1 in 4 chance of causing burn damage over time. The final thing I created was a box which you can go to, press F and it heals you to full health and stops the burn damage.

Here's a quick gameplay video:

There are a few problems such as the boss camera has a weird flick to it when it transitions between views but for a couple of weeks work in a subject I don't normally dabble in I was quite pleased. There's plenty more to do but between the members of our group using Unity we should have it under control.

We have also been using Playmaker, an add-on for Unity which you can get from the Unity Store which allows for scripting in a more visual sense, similar to Kismet in UDK.

We have now got until we go back to uni in January to finish the pre-production for this game so the pressure is on but I can't wait to get started on the production.

Here is a WIP of the Centaur:

I still need to do more work on the head, hair ect but I'm pretty pleased with it so far as drawing is not exactly my strong point, but I can see the improvement over last years major project work so that's always motivating.

I also found a digital painting I did over summer which I never got round to finishing because I ran out of time so I might as well post that here too. I attempted to recreate someone else's art work as I saw it as a good way of working outside of my comfort zone and to see how other people have done things.

This is my drawing:

Here is the original made by justaman78 over on DeviantArt. It was produced for the game HAVEN.

Mine is clearly better... what?.. fine their image is much better, but then learning from people better than you is a great way to improve.

I enjoyed learning some new styles during this drawing and I think it has helped prepare me for pre-production and even helped with the above centaur picture, so time well spent I think.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Unity work begins

I didn't realise how long it was since I had updated the blog, much has happened.

Most of the work these past few weeks has been in unity, focusing on seeing what is possible in the engine as well as getting a decent pre-vis game working for the pitch we did to see if any 2nd year students would be interested in joining.

We have been using Playmaker in unity which is a visual scripting add on which is great for artists or people who do not know the specific syntax of a  coding language but understand how it works and what they need to do.

I began by using Playmaker to create three different camera systems which the team can look at and decide on.

The first one was an automatic camera which follows the player character and orientates itself slowly and smoothly to behind the character.

The second one was controlled by mouse movement, when you moved the mouse it looked around the environment by rotating around the player character. This allowed the player to look in different directions to the way they are running and made it more intuitive. This is personally my favourite camera type I made.

The third one I made was more of an experiment, it used fixed cameras which follow the player as he runs through the environment and when the player hits certain pre-made triggers it switches to a different camera. I liked this idea as you can have it as though the player is being watched by some unknown entities hiding among the trees but this didn't really work when I tried it. Further work could produce a better camera system but I still don't think it would work as well as the mouse controlled camera.

Right enough with the text, we are visual people after all.

I've done a few particle effects in unity, they're quite fun  and very easy to do. I'll show you the ones I have so far.

Dragon's fire breath attack (my favourite):

Impact Sparks:

Item Highlight:

I also did a quick promo like picture for the pitch of the characters in their current state. Although these were not used in the end it's good to have a more finalised picture so I can visualise it better.

Here's the centaur:

And here's the Player Character:

These are far from final, but it's pretty much where I am with the character designs atm.

And erm...yeah I think that's everything up to the present date.

The next thing we are working on is scripting in unity, I'm currently writing some pseudo code for the poison that the dragon can inflict on the player. Hopefully by next week this will be finished and working.

I also got my first grade of the year back, which was my presentation based on my final year dissertation subject. I got a 1st for my work on 'Aesthetics as Metaphor: A Study of Embedded Narrative' which is a focus on environmental storytelling and what effect this has on the player.

One final, final thing. I have just completed Movemeber and raised £44 for charity. So thank you to everyone who donated and congratulation to my Mo Bros on completing the hairy month.