Monday, December 26, 2016

Capstone Week 02: Vertical Jungle & Tree Concepts

This next week of winter break I continued work on concerting the jungle environment. I was directed this week to incorporate more ideas for "verticality" to accommodate a key game mechanic: wall running. I also started to test ways I could incorporate shanty pieces of old machinery into the environment.

I also began work on some ideas for alien trees that could be strewn throughout the jungle environment to give it an otherworldly feel. I hope to refine the theme and tone of the alien flora throughout the coming weeks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Capstone Week 01: Jungle Environment Concepts

With FIEA now being let out for our winter break, it is now officially (and unofficially :D ) the time to start working on our Capstone projects. To recap, I am working on a team of 15 people to make a game called MasterKey. I utilized my first week of newfound freedom to work on some concept art. Out of our three working environments, I chose to stick with the jungle. These are two scenes I whipped up to get the ball rolling and to check with our art lead if I was heading in the right direction.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Animation Week 8-11: Character Mailing a Letter

Animation Week 5-7: Jump

Animated Growing Ivy

This piece was originally created for our Wizard of Oz VR experience but did not end up making it into the final product, mainly due to integration issues between Houdini and Unreal. I followed a very popular tutorial to make this animated growing vine and it was a great learning experience. I hope to continue my research in learning how to convert something like this into a digital asset so that it may be used within Unreal.

RPP Round 1: Doodle Duels

The first round of our rapid prototype class required us to follow two conditions: the first being that we make a game that is simply FUN. The second being that we had to make the game in Flash. Shown below are examples of my artwork created for the game.

My team and I made a two person "doodle duel" game where each player has to use a pencil/eraser to match the image in the center as close as possible before time ran out.

The theme of the game was centered around Windows 98 and, more specifically, the MS Paint application. Various comical power-ups were offered in this game that stayed true to this theme.

RPP Round 4: Dear Brother

This round of rapid prototype was designated the "storytelling round". My team consisted of Samuel Moss, Gabi Capraro, Brandon Kidwell, Siddhant Grover and Evan Bass.

My team decided to go down the horror/mystery route and created a wonderful prototype called Dear Brother. Players begin traveling on a boat towards a dark silent island while a letter from this players younger brother is read on-screen. Players land upon the island and discover a series of notes from the brother that slowly begin to unravel the mystery of the town people's disappearance. The game took a lot of inspiration from and played upon the historical event of the Roanoke colonies' disappearance.

Shown below are some of my 3D models made in Maya for the game.

Watch the video below to see a full run-through of the prototype!

RPP Round 5: Project Jade

For the fifth and final round of Rapid Prototype Production, we were required to make a game that used some sort of advanced technology. My group consisted of Paul Nirenberg, Hannah Pogue, Tiffany Brodie and Dale Diaz and we chose to create an escape room using mobile AR technology.

First things first, we chose to use Vuforia as our AR development platform. This technology allowed our phones to recognize physical target images through the camera and spawn an original 3D model onscreen. We also incorporated a collection mechanic where the phone recognized if you had a certain 3D model in your inventory, which would then allow that model to act as a "key" to a corresponding puzzle. Below are some examples of 3D models I created for the game.

As for the premise of our game, we decided to go with a theme along the lines of technology, AI and singularity. We wanted to evoke a unique and interesting emotion that had not been done before in an escape room. Our target emotion was compassion.

In a quick nutshell, players are prompted with the idea that they must work with a friendly AI named Katya to stop an evil AI named JSN (Jason) from taking over. Katya was acted out, live-action, by Hannah through a computer in the room's video chat system. This allowed the players to befriend and feel a connection to her. To evoke the feeling of compassion, we designed the room so that at the end players realize the only way to stop JSN is to shut down Katya for good.

Katya was created as a 3D model that pops up on player's mobile screens for visual feedback. I created some animations for her. An example of her "beaming up" and collecting an object can be seen below. 

The  escape room ultimately ended up being a success and very popular among the cohort. We ended up running the room/experience upwards of 8 times.

RPP Round 3: Totem Tower

Round 3 of RPP was designated as the mobile game round. My team decided to take the simple yet aesthetically pleasing route and made a 2D falling stacker game called Totem Tower. Gameplay entails players memorizing a totem "pattern" given to them and using a gyro mechanic to tilt the phone and catch falling totem pieces, seeing how high they can make their pole before it topples over.

There are two aspects to this game that make it unique, however, the first being the inherit educational merit. Players are briefed on the meaning of each totem before gameplay begins and must understand that different orders of totems mean different things. For example, players are to avoid the falling "crow" piece because according to native Alaskan lore, the crow symbolized a deceptive trickster. Players would find that their entire totem would be deleted should they catch the crow piece. The second aspect of this game that makes it unique is the theme. I decided to take the art in a more mature and relaxing direction which is not often found in mobile games.

Some of my artwork for the game can be seen below.

RPP Round 2: The Life Game

The purpose of round 2 was to create a game that went "beyond entertainment". My group and I had many great ideas and we could not initially decide which direction we wanted to take.

For the first interim week we decided to make a game called "You are Number 6", a game where players find themselves in a series of waiting rooms, waiting on their assigned "number" to be called by a mysterious speaker behind a closed desk window. The player interacts with several characters within each room, who all speak of the wonders that are through the next door.... and to just sit and wait. The game is essentially a metaphor for life, and how you must not simply wait for good things to happen to you, but rather make these things happen for yourself. The only way for the player to break out of the cycle is to take action and look around the room for an escape through the air vent.

Mid-week we ended up changing direction and going more towards a game that represents making personal connections with others while they are still around and not waiting for them to come to you. The player progresses through 5 rooms that represent different stages of their lives and interact with multiple characters to see what kind of connections come about, only to find out how they end up influencing your life as a whole.

Below are some models I created for the game in Maya.

Now shown below are some screenshots from the final prototype.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2D Week 16: Final Figure Drawing Turn-In

Examples of drawings I created during our semester long figure drawing class.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2D Week 15: Final Delivery (All Material)

This week I finished up the set dressing of the Lion Level by replacing bramble textures, making graveyards more jagged and other various small details.

I placed dead scarecrows in the hanging cages. I also rigged/animated the new bat meshes and then placed them all around the scene and offset their initial position.

My main contribution however, was creating three new lion animations and implementing them through trigger box blueprints in Unreal. Depending on what position the player is standing in relation to the lion, a different animation will play.