Wednesday, 28 November 2012


    Documentation is key for a smooth running operation, it allows you to understand when and where you should be at during the project. This blog entry is a practise for the FMP in the third year, doing this will allow me to see where my documentation is lacking and therefore can be improved before the real thing.

 Project Outline:
   This project is designed to test my technical abilities and design plans. My personal aim is to improve my skills, plan efficiently and be able to create a scene that is believable to be in a ps3 game. The objective is to complete the task to a standard that would be acceptable in a game.
   As stated previously, I will be creating my project for the ps3 platform. As I have a penchant for the horror theme, I will be dedicating this task to that particular genre. This will allow me to express my gratitude and fondness of the genre.
    The audience will be for teenagers around 15+ and will not favour a particular sex. I chose teenagers, as I am currently in that age range so I will be able to project how I’d feel about the project as if I hadn’t seen it before, allowing me to change ideas and plans on how it appeals (or doesn’t) to me. Teenagers are the targeted audience for most games, which is another reason to base my game on this audience.
    The software and technology I intend to use are, 3dsmax 2012, photoshop cs5 and udk as  these are theoftware I feel most comfortable using which will allow me to create the project at the best of my ability and time set. Instead of instigating time to learn new software.
     The project will be based on the idea of a female protagonist fighting an apocalyptic world full of mutated, dangerous enemies ranging from small creatures to large bosses. The character arc will be that in order to protect the people she finds along the way, she has to make difficult choices which define her leadership qualities as well as overall, making her a better and redefined person from what she used to be, which was a nobody. She learns to respect the life she has been given.
Technical Specifications:
Lead Character (Protagonist):
 -    Female, Aged 25, white, English. Strawberry blonde with blue eyes.
-          3 x (512 x 512) diffuse texture sheets. (6 x ((512 x 512)) normal and speculars)
-          2,500 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Being the protagonist means that the game will be set around the character arc of this character specifically. This means that most effort and work will be given to the protagonist. This is so that the audience will become emotionally involved with her.

Non-playable character:
-          Male, Aged 11, Caucasian, black hair with hazel eyes.
-          3 x (512 x 512) diffuse texture sheets. (6 x ((512 x 512)) normal and speculars)
-          2,000 triangle budget
-          Functionality: The first person the protagonist saves. Represents her childish needs and the ability to be an authoritive figure to him.

-          LandRover, black, 4wd, factory fitted body kit, leather interior.
-          1 x (1024 x 1024) diffuse. 2 x (512 x 512) diffuse. (6 x ((512 x 512)) normal and speculars)
-          3,000 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Mobility. Represents communism by being the newest land rover version, stolen from a rich, selfish man.

-          Hospital waiting room, including stacks of chairs, a desk and a small childs play/waiting area (Similar to the ENT specialist waiting room at Leicester general).
-          2 x (1024 x 1024) 1 x (512 x 512) diffuse maps. (6 x ((512 x 512)) specular and normal)
-          8,000 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Hold up area for the survivors to fight off mutations and gather important medical equipment. Comments on the reliability of the human race on quickly learning the difference between what is needed and what is wanted. Also comments again, on communism as they encounter items which are not useful but are taken anyway.

-          Surgens scalpel found in the overrun hospital, blooded but in good use.
-          1 x (512 x 512) diffuse (2 x ((512 x 512)) specular and normal maps)
-          250 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Weapon, protection.

Bone Saw
-          Surgical bone saw found in operation room, un used.
-          1 x (512 x 512) diffuse (2 x ((512 x 512)) specular and normal maps)
-          250 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Weapon, protection.

-          Circular desk and reception area, with two chairs and a computer monitor and processor.
-          2 x (512 x 512) diffuse (4 x ((256x256 specular and normal maps)
-          1,000 triangle budget
-          Functionality: Hiding area

Childs area
-          Small childs table and 3 plastic chairs, small amount of childs plastic toys scattered on the floor.
-          3 x (512 x 512) diffuse (6 x ((256x256 specular and normal maps)
-          1,000 triangle budget.
-          Functionality: Another hiding area, comments on childish behaviour and oppressive psychological aspects hidden within the protagonists childhood.


I know I'm not going to sleep tonight! Oh silent hill, you do know how to please the audience!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Level Design

         Level Design is where the development of a game physically begins. It takes a lot of thought and process to be able to create a successful level and environment. You have to be aware of the space and general interactivity. As well as the importance of playability and the way the player navigates through the level. Level design combines the use of visual and geometric abilities all designed to construct the architecture of the level. It requires more than just an artistic way of thinking, it demands a structural and precise insight to the mechanical expectations of architecture. This is because level design is an expensive use of time, as if things don’t work or look right then the level, and therefore the game will look bad, and this will be shown in the sales of the games. Gamers want to play something believable, not something that is falling apart at the seems.
         Another important aspect of level design is the purpose of what is going to be placed in the level and why you are having it in the level, you need to consider what the purpose of the object is and how it will help you to get your end result. Deciding the location and environment will help you back up your general theme for a game. For example, in horror games such as silent hill, don’t you always see hospitals and abandoned theme parks? Why? Because they are creepy! So if you’re creating a horror game, you aren’t going to have the environment in a sunny field full of rainbows and unicorns. No. you will conform to stereotypical places ideal for your theme.

        So, with that in mind, the level must be constructed around the general story of the game. You must realise, before creating a level, what the environment and place has to do with the story and why the character(s) are there? This will help you decide assets and how the level is constructed.

      The layout is another important aspect of level design. You don’t want the player to have a headache because the level is designed like a maze (Unless your making a maze, then it should be maze-like) forcing them to give up because they’ve “Gone past this same tree several times now”. These are important things that you must keep in mind if you want to create a successful level.

      Another important stage with creating a level is what are the objectives and obstacles? As these will help to forward the plot and storyline. If these are missed out then the game will not have a meaning. You need to give a typical character arc to the character by setting tasks and having problems, like with any film or game. Your protagonist has some sort of problem to overcome which in the end makes them or the world better. (This cannot be typical of ALL game and films, just the majority) You must also create main focal points in your level. This will help draw gamers in the world, giving them something to concentrate on. Focal points must be visually pleasing and could often be the sign of where the player needs to go or the importance of that area.

    In conclusion, all these things are relatively important to the full aspect of a game. Poor level design will result in a overall poor outcome, as level design is classed as the “interface” (how the person reacts with the operating system) and will be an important and constant feature of the game.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


    Today’s lecture really made me miss my old film studies lessons. Watching “Paris, Texas” refreshed my film knowledge and I felt myself getting really involved with the making of the film. Makes me really miss Wednesday film afternoon’s, I loved watching films I wouldn’t normally choose to watch.
     I find bizarre films very interesting. Like one of my favourite French new wave films “A Bout de Souffle” (Breathless) directed by Jean-Luc Goddard.


   I found it really interesting to learn how the French new wave broke the cinematic rules, with regards to things as breaking the 4th wall and a non-consistent character arc. There was many ways in which this film was interesting, and I enjoyed learning about it. It’s the kind of film you wouldn’t necessarily choose to watch, but once you watched it once, you watch it over and over and over…..

     Today just reminded me of the passion I had for films and the effort that goes into making them, I appreciate that feeling very much.

Visual Composition

     Visual composition is an important stage, this is the time for the artist to decide what emotions he or she wishes to provoke in a image. Pictures are used to tell a story and convey an emotional feeling resulting in a response. Just like film makers, it all relies on how you place objects in the scene (mise-en-scene) lighting, angles and much more. This is key to making a piece that the audience can identify with. Humans are emotional creatures, we find emotional stimulation in everyday concepts, there is not a moment that goes by where someone can not feel anything, understanding these feelings will help you gain an understanding of how different aspects of a drawing can make someone feel.
     For example, if I image is created looking up at a person, this means the artist has chosen to show the person from a low-angle creating the feeling that the person is strong and dominating. If the angle was reversed, the person would seem small and inadequate. A wide angle image, would provoke isolation emotions, as the person would seem invaluable being surrounded by the vast abyss. An extreme close up would allow the audience to sympathise with whatever the person was feeling, this shows that the audience is getting into the personality of the person in the drawing.
     Lighting and colours can also provoke different responses. Images with large amounts of red project the feeling of anger and danger as we recognise red from warning signs and the colour of blood. Whereas filling the scene with blue, gives a sad, cold and calming aspect. An object that is lighted by moonlight would give a scary feeling, if you were to replace the moonlight with sunlight, the object would appear much more friendlier.
      If you do not plan out your visual composition your image would be dull and could provoke the wrong emotional response, this is alright if it’s just a singular image, however creating images for a game would require some sort of continuity of emotional response. Even juxtaposed images need to be carefully thought out, as the audience will not want to be confused with what is happening. It needs to be clear.
     As an artist it would be important for you to be able to control and manipulate the feelings of an audience, however you gain this knowledge with trail and error, I useful trick is to detach yourself from your work and look at it like you’ve never seen it before, and then concentrate on how you are responding to it, are you happy? Are you sad? Frightened? If you feel nothing, you haven’t provoked enough response to convey a significant meaning. It would be best to look at other artists work then see how you feel looking at the image, and look at how they have planned the scene and setting.
     In conclusion, visual composition is the stage where you begin to aim your artwork in a general emotional direction, different artistic aspects change the way an image is perceived and this is important for portraying an image correctly and efficiently. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Just browsing the web, when i found this really great piece of concept art. Really inspired me to get my draw on, so i thought i'd share. Work was created by a talented artist called Alex Bobylev