Vehicle Design Project
Creating A Bridge
Pride and Joy
Creating and Inventory
Anatomy and Portrait
The final part of the Wizard of Oz project was to create an animatic showing a battle within the game.
For this, I decided to use my previous concept of the emerald planet and had the fellow group members make small soldiers which I could animate and make look as if they were fighting. I created it in After effects as it easily allowed me to animated the individual components. After moving all the soldiers to the centre of the battlefield I felt like it could use something it to finish it off. I decided to add smoke coming from the centre, as if one of them has let off something magical, and also a bonfire in the background possibly coming from a burning village. These were both done with the particle playground effect.
The purpose of this animatic is to show the separation of good and evil and how they are at war. The would possibly be shown as a cinematic in the game before the player begins fighting amongst the soldiers.
Throughout the second semester, I have been working on a mini brief of improving my anatomy and facial expression skills. To do this I have been drawing myself in a mirror, as well as my friends a couple of times every few weeks. The main goal I was trying to achieve with this was to find a likeness. To be able to tell that the drawings of me were actually me. The way I did this was by practising with the facial shape as well as the shadowing that makes certain areas more visible, such as the cheek bones. I also did a fair few portraits of celebrities from a list. These celebrities had unique facial shapes and features which made them instantly recognisable, It was my goal to come make this happen with my drawings.
To experiment with a range of media I decided to try using different methods and see what the effect did on the final outcome. Some of the methods I used included charcoal and a brush pen. When doing this I found that the charcoal was best used to create the shadows on the portrait as it was easy to smudge and blur. The brush pen certainly made all the detail stand out more but it also gave the portrait a different style. The bold borders gave it that comic book character look that appears defined.
I decided to also have a go at drawing one of the celebrities from the list that we were given. I chose the actress Wai Ching Ho as she had an interesting face which would be easily recognisable. For her, I used a mixture of pencil and charcoal to create the shadows of her face. Once I was done I decided to show my family and friends the portrait and had them guess who it was. They were easily able to guess who it was which is good as it meant that I achieved my goal of gaining a likeness in the drawings.
To increase the detail on these portraits I also added colour to them in photoshop. The main reason was so that I could easily add highlights and shadows to certain areas of the face, for example, the nose, to make it look realistic and not flat. reflecting on this I realise that by doing this it also will benefit me in the future when I create character concepts as I will be able to create them to more realistic detail when in photoshop compares to my previous character attempts. My first attempt at this went away from the detail and refined outlines as I just wanted to experiment using the burn and dodge tool to try to create skin tones. I feel like this isn’t bad for a first attempt however the shading needs to be more consistent so that the features of the face such as the cheekbones and the nose appear more defined and not just flat on the face. The second attempt took this on board but also did the outlines as I felt like the first attempt looked sloppy and as if it was rushed. I wanted to spend a little more time on it, trying to make it look closer to a finished concept.
To help further test the Rage Watercooler game as a group we began testing it again. This time we started off with a questionnaire giving details about the type of person I am including what type of games I like and how regularly I played games. I presume this is done as a way of measuring if it appeals to a regular gamer.
I then tested the game playing both versions for roughly 15 minutes each. Since I have played it before I remembered the basic idea of the game. After finishing I then completed another questionnaire. This one was more specific to the game. For example, it had questions saying if the game would be played regularly and if it was easy to understand.
After finishing the survey my main complaint was the way in which information was given to the player. Since it was all told the very second you start to play it is easy to forget and you end up with no clue what to do. To improve this I think it would be good to implement the cascading information mechanic. This was only little bits of information would be shown when the person needs to know it. Allowing them to easily learn the game.
As part of my Creative Futures module, I am trying to improve my anatomy drawings skills. Since this gives me a better understanding of how the face shapes together with the different bones I also thought it would be good to try and use these skills to create characters face in sculptures. For this task, I used one of my drawings of the another member in my group as well as just by looking at him.
I then had a go at creating a self-sculpt of myself concentrating mainly on the face shape and features rather than things such as the hair. When doing this I found that I was certainly creating a realistic and proportionate head, however, I was struggling to find a likeness. The main problem I found was the shape of the nose. I couldn’t quite create the correct shape for the nostrils of the nose as they kept looking flailed and too far off of the face.
Comparing this to my previous attempts at character modelling, my sensei in the Creative Futures Boxer project, I can see that I have certainly improved in the overall shape of the face. With my sensei, I was happy that he was old as it meant that I didn’t have to do hair. When doing hair with this project I felt like I didn’t d too much of a bad jump as the person’s hair was wild and crazy so it didn’t have to be precise and combed.
With my initial sketches, I was then able to go into photoshop and add colour to show what the environment is actually like. For example, the drawing of the planets does not show what environment they are filled with, therefore I added the colour, for examples green for the forest planet, so that it was obvious what this planet was.
It also allowed me to finalise my concepts and refine them so that the outcome was clear and gave a good visual for our game. One of my environment drawings was Emerald planet but this was not clear as it just looked like a modern city with skyscrapers, therefore by adding the emerald colour and the corruption from the witches castle I was able to make this apparent. I wanted the corruption part to look like it was bare land like a volcano, impossible for nature to grow or animals to survive and so I did this by using a dark grey to give the idea that ti is bare rock.
One of the galaxy layouts was perfect for the game logo and I decided that this would be good for a design of the game cover. In photoshop I wanted it to look like the book since our game is based off one, and then the logo would be a textured gold to represent the yellow brick road galaxy. This design is simple yet effect but before setting on this design I also took one of my environments and made that it into the game covers. To improve this further in the future I would like to take the Dorothy character design from my fellow team mates and insert her on the cover, but only slightly visible.
After all of this, I then decided I wanted to create another environment concept this time focusing more on the witches tower as it would be a key environment in the game as this could possibly be the location of the final boss fight. I wanted to recreate what I did in my previous drawing in which it shows a castle on a mountain, however, i wanted this to be more detailed. I had the idea that this castle used to contain royalty or maybe used to be owned by Oz himself but because of the corruption of the witch it has deteriorated over time and crumbled. I used photoshop so that I could imitate this and make it appear like a dangerous sd environment rather than it just being a sketch. I am glad I decided to create this as it gives me a better visual of how the game would possibly look. It even shows me that the broken bridge in the drawing could be the final cutscene of the game as this is a hard to reach a place that the player has not seen before.
The inventory system for this game had already been completed as part of a project in creative futures and can be found here. The basic idea is that it is a satchel which is visible on the hip of the character. The inventory HUD will show the actual inside of the bag.
The heads-up display is an important part of a game as it gives the player relevant information that will allow them to achieve a task. The most simple form of HUD usually contains the player’s health and a map.
Before creating any designs I decided to look at how other games have approached the HUD and see if that could inspire me with my designs.
The Heads Up display in Halo 3 has been designed to match the sci-fi style of the game. This is done by making the HUD partially see through so that it gives the illusion that it is a hologram. It keeps basic and simple colours so that very little in happening on the screen. The reason this is done is so that it does not distract the player from the actual gameplay itself. Only vital information is shown that is needed for the player to enable them to figure out where they have to go/where enemies are, and how much health they have. In the third iteration of the Halo franchise, the health bar acts as a shield. When it is fully depleted the entire HUD flashes red, implying that the player is one shot from dying.
The HUD is a very important part of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft since it is an MMORPG. Lots of information has to be shown on the screen that gives information to the user specifically and also information of the other players on the game. The HUD tries to be as compact as possible, containing small icons that are barely visible to ensure that not much of the gameplay screen is taken up. Since World of Warcraft is a fantasy game the HUD is also created in this style. It is made to be elegant and appear like it is made out of stone with engravings to show a high level of detail. The customise mechanic is heavily used within this HUD as the player has complete control of the position of the HUD. For example, the skill bar can be moved from the bottom to the side. As well as this the style of the HUD can be changed be the player. The game allows users to insert their own theme which can change the entire style of the HUD.
The approach to the HUD is very different in this game as Bethesda have tried to minimise this as much as possible so that there is more visible gameplay for the user. The majority of the HUD including the health bar and stamina bar are hidden until the player enters combat as this is the only time when the player needs to see it. However, this is minimised further as the health bar and compass as combined due to the fact that the player will not need to see which was is North when fighting an enemy. The most common element of a HUD in an RPG (role-playing game) is a mini-map as this allows players to easily find available quests. Instead of having this Skyrim simply has a compass bar at the top of the same which essentially does the same thing but with the benefit of taking up less space on the screen.
This game uses the HUD in a very different way as it is an actual physical design in the game that is not just what the player can see. The character you play has is wearing an exo-suit which has two LED meters on the back of it, these act as the health bars. BY having this there is no need for extra bars that cover the screen, the health is shown in the same space as the character in a unique way that also adds to the sci-fi style of the game. Another element of this HUD is the ammo. Usually, in games, the ammo of the carried gun is shown at the bottom corner of the screen whereas in Dead Space it is simply shown on a LED screen on the gun itself, which can be seen when the player zooms in. BY having all of this the immersion is contained as whatever the player can see, the characters within the game can also see that.
Before settling on a design for the HUD I decided to quickly draw out lots of different possibilities. These included different items within the HUD as well as just different positions. Once completed I was still unsure on which one I wanted to use as the final HUD so I decided to ask the other members of my group and get their opinion. After some time I finally narrowed it down to one design which everyone seemed to like and I decided to use this as the final HUD.
To finish off the HUD and refine it I took it into photoshop where I was able to add the colour to represent the health and stamina bars, and also add colour to the character coins in the party section which simply resemble the character. For example, I choose grey for the tinman coin since he is made out of metal, and orange for the lion coin as this is the colour of their fur. Using some of the sketches from my other team members I was also able to add a character to show where the other characters health appears as well as show that the top circle is the portrait for the main character.
The aim of this project is to design an inventory. this includes that actual item the player carries around, for example, a rucksack or satchel, and also the inventory itself.This includes what it looks like and how it works. The final outcome will be a rendered 2d Image that shows how it could be used in a 3D or 2D game.
Since I am currently working on a group project on a game adaptation of the children’s book, the wizard of oz, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to link to that and create the inventory for the main character, Dorothy. My initial Idea is to have a satchel that hangs to the hip of the character however, this could change after my research and initial drawings.
To start off this project I looked at inventory from multiple different genres of games. This would help influence me with my design as well as the possible way in which it could be used as a mechanic to benefit the gameplay.
Skyrim has an inventory which is not visible to the player but can be accessed through the menu. This is the same when the player is inside of the inventory. There is no visual which gives an indicator of what the inventory might actually be, whether it is a pouch or rucksack. The Inventory has a unique mechanic which is weight. Each item in the game weighs a specific amount. If the player’s bag limits exceed its limit then the player either moves slower or doesn’t move at all. This is an important mechanic as it forces the player to only carry the most useful items for that one quest. This also prevents them from being ‘overpowered’ as they can not carry all of the best equipment at once. This then plays into another game feature which is the skill. When the player levels up their character they receive points which they can spend on various different skills. One of these skills is weight. When the player upgrades this skill it increases the max weight limit, meaning that they are able to carry more items.
Similarly to Skyrim, Star Wars also has an inventory system which is not visible to the player. However, the mechanics of it are different. Instead of having a weight system this inventory has a limited number of slots. Each item takes up one slot and no more items can be acquired once all the slots are full. This is a common inventory mechanic used in MMORPG’s as it allows the player to carry the relevant items as well as a high amount of items such as health potions. The player is able to increase the number of slots in the inventory by spending the in-game currency which they acquire from completing quests and selling items. Another gameplay element feeds into this as players are able to become what is known as a ‘subscriber’. This is a common thing used in nearly every MMORPG and in this game it automatically gives the player more inventory space, therefore adding the pay t win element into the inventory mechanic.
This game has a similar inventory style to Skyrim in that each item has a weight which affects how many items can be carried. However, the main reason I choose this game is because it has a visible inventory for the player. Since the player starts off with no equipment everytime they enter a game they have to scavenge it from buildings. The default inventory is only small until they pick up a backpack. The design of the backpack has been done to match the battle royale style of the game. When the inventory is opened the player sees a basic menu system that displays the character as well as all of the equipment they are wearing and all surrounding them. This form of inventory certain gives a realistic feel to a game as it physically shows where all the equipment is being held. It also adds the gameplay mechanic of wanting to find a backpack as the player will not be able to get many items that allow them to win if they do not. The final element of this game is the skins. H1Z1 is known for having skins that change the appearance of armour and equipment, they can also be applied to backpacks. This gives a unique feel to the player and makes them separate from the rest.
This game is very similar to H1Z1 but the inventory has another gameplay element. This is level. IN the game the player has to find a backpack, just like in H1Z1 however, these backpacks are a different level. Each level of the backpack has its own design meaning that they can be easily separated from one another at a distance. This is not all that it offers as it also increases the inventory space of the player. Level 1 backpack can only carry a small number of items but the max level, level 3, can carry a lot of items. This adds to the gameplay as it makes the player continue to ‘loot’ for equipment even after they have acquired a backpack. It also gives them an advantage as a higher level backpack can mean that they can carry more health kits and ammunition, benefitting them in a gun fight. This has given me inspiration on how I can design my backpack to have multiple levels which affect the design as well as the capacity. For example, at level 1 the backpack can be worn and crudely held together with tape, whereas level 3 can be elegant and reinforced.
Starting from the design I used my usual techniques of pareidolia but controlled so that the outcomes looked like they could work as an inventory. I also practised drawing different types of inventory options such as a backpack, a satchel, and a knapsack. This helped me familiarise myself with them and possibly gain influence on how I could go about achieving my final outcome. I also experimented in drawing some of the different possibilities for my HUD of the inventory to get a sense of what would look and work the best.
Before going further with any of the initial sketches I thought that it would be a good idea to give the lasso technique another try and see if this would benefit me in this project. This helped with giving me an initial shape for some idea, however, I found that the pareidolia was more beneficial as it was quicker and allowed more fluid shapes, nevertheless, I am glad I did this as it helped me create more designs before developing them any further.
After developing some of the sketches further from my pareidolia I was able to come up with a final design that was in the form of a satchel. I felt like the satchel was the best option as it best fit the character, Dorothy. When doing the development I was influenced by the research I did into Battlegrounds and Decided that there would be different designs for the final inventory. These would act as three different levels, granting more inventory space in the game. The design would also be different for them as the bag would look stronger and more elegant as it increased in level. At the first level, it will look like it is crudely held together with pieces of tape and patched to hide holes.
My final idea for the Hud was to show the inside of the inventory as it is unique and I have never seen it done within a game before. The ‘flap’ of the satchel would act as the interaction menu showing the different slots for the items. These items would then be shown stored in the back, slightly visible at the bottom of the screen. In most games the character can be seen on one side so that the player can see what changes have been made when they use an item. Instead of this on the right of the screen would be a pouch with a plastic doll of Dorothy inside. This would then change when the player uses an item making the game feel more immersive and unique.
With my final Idea now ready I went into photoshop and added different colours to show the materials as they were not obvious before, for example, the duct tape on the level 1 bag. I also wanted to have each bag a different colour so that it represented the strength and elegance of the bag. For example, the level 2 bag would be green to show that it is for practical and outdoor use whereas the level 3 is brown so that it looks like it’s made of leather and is tough but also elegant.
After finishing the final concepts for my bag I decided to create the Level 3 version in 3DS Max. This would allow me to visualize the final product in 3D form and what it would possibly look like within the game. This was fairly easy to model as it it was simply boxes beveled. I feel like this design looks even better as a 3D Model as the details, such as the straps are more visible and give more depth to the design.
The final concept for the inventory turned out exactly as I imagined and I feel like it fits in well with the style of the Wizard of Oz game. My main concern when starting this project was that I was worried if the final outcome didn’t suit the character, however, I feel like the satchel suits the character and looks like it belongs to them, no matter what level version of the bag. By having three different levels to the back it adds another gameplay mechanic into the game as the player is forced to search for a better big so that they are able to carry more items.
To add a definitive narrative to my boxer character that I created in one of my earlier projects I wanted to create an environment that showed both of the characters in. Since I had decided my characters where sensei and training robots I already knew that I wanted some sort of dojo within the background of the environment. I had the idea of showing the character on a courtyard, training, with mountains in the background. Along one of the mountains would be a staircase that led to the Dojo on top. I gained inspiration for this Idea from the building that houses the League of Shadows in the movie Batman Begins. By having it surrounded by mountains and trees it shows that it is remote and cut off from the world implying that few people know about this place. This then led me to sketch out a rough version of what my environment would look like.
With the environment, I went into photoshop so that I could refine the design and add colour. This also allowed me to add the final concepts I did of my character to complete the concept and show the final narrative.