Mini Brief: Inventory


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.

My Idea

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.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

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.

H1Z1: King of the Kill

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.

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds

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.

Initial Sketches

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.

Lasso Technique

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.


Developed Sketches and Final Idea

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.

Inventory HUD Final Idea

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.

Scan_20170423 (8)


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.

Final inventory ConceptFinal HUD

3D Model

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.

Rendered BAg.png


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.

Boxer Environment


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.

Types Of Textures Research

Since texturing is the next stage of my developing my 3d skills for use in a video game I decided to research into the different types of textures as well as the layers that make up a final texture.

Normal Map

This is a technique that is used for faking lighting to give a texture depth, for example, bumps and dents. The reason this map is used is because it can add more detail to a prop without increasing the polygon count of the model. The way it works is that it stores a direction at each pixel of the model meaning these can be placed to imitate detail by having lighting and shadows.


Specular Map

Putting it simply a specular map is what is used to alter the textures shininess and highlight certain colour areas so that they are either more visible and give depth to the model. Another aspect of this map is that it shows the different pixels in different colours to represent the different levels of lighting in that part of the texture. This makes it easy to alter the lighting and make parts separate from one another. When looking at what the specular map is I came across a good youtube video that explains the basics of how to create a specular map.

Specular map example

Metalness Map

This map is pretty self-explanatory as it is used to make certain parts of the textured model look as if they are a metal material. This is done using black and white. The colours of the model which are white are the metal parts, the parts which are in black are not. This helps to add realism to the model, making props look more believable. For example, a sword blade would look silly and fake if it didn’t have the metal map as it would not have the shimer and roughness of metal.


Base Colour

The base colour is simply the actual texture which is used for the model. The map is then used on top of it so that it can contain more detail.

Base colour.png

Occlusion Mapping

Similar to the normal map, the point of the occlusion map is to simulate soft shadows that appear in the cracks and curves of an object. this helps to make the texture more 3d and prevent it from appearing flat. It also helps to separate different parts of the model from one another. A good example is on a brick wall. The occlusion map will help separate the bricks from the mortar so that they stand out and don’t blend together from a distance. This would usually be added after the final render of the model in photoshop.



The albedo map, also known as the diffuse map is the basic colour of the texture. for example the red of a brick texture. The user can then adjust the shadows and highlights of this colour.

aledo example.jpg

PBR Workflow

PBR, also known as physical based rendering, is a process that the user has to go through manually where they remove the light from the texture. This is a longer process but the majority of the time creates a better outcome as it gives the user more control on where they want the lighting to be. It is done using a combination of the previous maps.  The final result is more accurate to what the user desires than the other texture processes available. Here is a good video on what PBR Workflow is.


Research: A Pattern Language

‘A Pattern Language’ is a book written by Christopher Alender et al and is about the different patterns which show how everything around us has been designed. The book consists of 253 different patterns for specific things which can be found here. The main focus of this book appears to be environments as the patterns are split into sections which are Towns, Buildings, and Construction.

Instantly looking at this list I feel like it doesn’t benefit me for this bridge project as I have already developed a concept for an idea. The second section, ‘Buildings’, would have benefitted me the most as it explains what needs to go into your thought process when developing an idea for a building. This same process can be taken and used for my bridge. One of the patterns within this section is titled ‘Fine tune the shape and size of rooms and alcoves to make them precise and buildable. This has made me think about the immersion of my concept as well as the narrative. The bridge that I designed is extremely large compared to its surroundings and may be considered unbuildable due to the fact that its narrative is meant to be a medieval time set. However, this then implicates a fantasy feel as it is unrealistic, which can add to the narrative instead of taking away from it.  A lot of the other patterns in this list

A lot of the other patterns in this list are specific things that make that building or town instantly recognisable as that title. This can be done for a bridge. Making a simple list of the patterns that follow in a bridge they would be this;

1.connect two points

2. pillars

3. cables.

This list doesn’t apply to all types of bridges however these are what make them recognisable. I feel like I have taken this into consideration with my project as I have tried to make my designs related to a realistic bridge.

These patterns will be commonly used in the games industry, especially in large scale games such as role-playing games. A good example of this is ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’ as it has all different types of environments. one of the most occurring is towns. Lots of these patterns, specifically in the towns section such as that shops, roads that loop, gateways, children in the city, are all taken into consideration so that the towns within the game feel full to the player, constantly offering new places to explore, detail to see, and obviously maintaining the immersion of the player. The first two sections are the most beneficial to the games industry. The town section, obviously for designing exteriors, and the buildings section which is about both the exterior and interior. This section would be used to help people in the games industry to design a building that the player is able to interact with and enter.


Mini Brief: Research on Bridges

Starting this mini project I wanted to look at what the different types of bridges are and how they are classified as that type.

Arch Bridge

The first type of bridge is an arch bridge. This is probably the most traditional type of bridge and is usually used on a smaller scale, for example just as a river crossing. The reason this is called an arch bridge is because the underside of the bridge which gives it support is in a curved shape adding strength at either end. These bridges are not only used across rivers as they are also used to cross chasms or gaps between mountains, especially with for the use of trains.

Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge is probably the first image that comes into anyone’s head when they hear the word bridge. A suspension bridge is where the main platform of transportation is held by cables that connect to pillars in the ground, hence the name suspension bridge. The most iconic suspension bridge would be The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, however, there is also the Humber Bridge, here in Hull. Looking at both of these bridges it is easy to see the similarities in the way that they are designed. The cables that hold the bridge balanced appear as if they aren’t actually doing anything as it looks like they are loose as they curve down rather than tightly held in place. Some of the first ever suspension bridges ever made were not steel but in fact made from twisted grass. Just visualising this seems a cool concept that could be used in all different types of environments.

Beam Bridge

The beam bridge is the simplest of all the types of bridges and is also known as a ‘girder’ bridge. This bridge has a box-like shape usually with large diagonals railings on either side. These bridges are usually to cross large rivers and have been designed so that they can raise to let boats pass by. As well as this the main reason these bridges exist is because the box like shape allows them to support extremely heavy weights as the middle is designed to dip inwards to compensate for this. This gives me an idea of what this type of bridge would look like if were destroyed or untamed, dipping in the middle and possibly bending out of shape.

Truss Bridge

A Truss bridge is a type of bridge which that has a ‘wavy’ like the pattern and has a very rigid structure. It has been designed like this so that the weight load of what it is carrying is spread out to te entire bridge so that it con contain an extremely high amount of weight. These used to be very commonly used bridges before the industrial revolution and were mainly made out of food. These are extremely cool looking bridges and in my opinion look extremely modern. I feel like they would look good in a fantasy style of game.

Cantilever Bridge

This type of bridge is basically multiple truss bridges that are connected in the middle with something called a ‘cantilever’ These are often the largest of the types of bridges as its width span can be over 1500 feet. As well as this is it obviously extremely strong since it is designed using the truss bridge. Since it usually has a high span you would presume that it doesn’t have a high weight. The design of this bridge is simple to that of the Truss Bridge if not a combination of that and the Suspension bridge, however, I feel like It doesn’t look as unique and interesting as the other types.

Cable-Stayed Bridge

The cable-stayed bridge has a very simple design to the suspension bridge and even a very similar appearance, however, there are differences between the two. This bridge has one pillar anchored into the ground which is usually centred. IT then has multiple cables spanning to either side of the bridge. These cables are not slack like the suspension bridges but are extremely tight. Looking at some of the existing bridges of this type they appear to be extremely modern and look the most unique of all the types. One bridge which I found appeared to a curved pillar at one side with the cables then stretched to the opposite side. This is a very sci-fi looking design which gives me lots of inspiration for my bridge.





Truss Bridge



Prison Simulator: Sc-Fi Prison Research

Before advancing anymore with the concepts that I am creating I want to look more at the work created by other people and what they have done to give a prison a sci-fi feel. This way I can draw inspiration from them and improve upon my concepts. As well As this I also looked at how this has been done in movies.

Guardians Of the Galaxy

In the popular movie Guardians Of the Galaxy, there is a scene where all of the characters in the prison. This prison is actually a giant structure within space controlled by the humans and contains lots of different species as the prisoners. This already has a huge similarity to the idea of our prison which is more reason for me to look into how this has been designed. The first thing that I can tell when I look is that the structure actually appears modern rather than futuristic. This is because usually, sci-fi concepts have a white, clean look, whereas this goes for the ‘garage’ look have rusty parts that don’t appear to be maintained by the crew which reflects on the atmosphere of the prison and how little the people that work there care about the inmates. Another thing that I noticed about the design of this prison is that appears to be very compact. Real prisons tend to have different wings with only a couple of floors whereas the main prison scene from this movie shows a small, rounded room that has at least 10 floors of prison cells. This makes me think that the structure of the prison within our game needs to follow this process, which will benefit us since it is a 2D side scroller as it will allow the player to jump onto more platforms to go upwards. Finally, the last influential piece from this prison was actually the guards rather than the prison design. The prison mostly uses humans so that they have the most control, but for more intense situations such as prison riots would be controlled with robot guards. This gives me lots of influence on what our group can do for the bosses of our game, using different species and robots for the bosses, getting harder as the player progresses.

Chronicles of Riddick

Looking at another movie, The Chronicles of Riddick, a lot of the movie is set within a prison built in the underground of an extremely dangerous planet. IN my opinion, this seems to be done so that the prisoners do not try to escape as they will die instantly on the planet’s surface. Typically when you think of a sci-fi prison you think of it being in space, but the idea of it being on a dangerous planet gives me inspiration on what we can do for the surrounding environment. This is something I do need to take into consideration as there will need to be a background environment when there are things such as windows. Even though this is a sci-fi movie the technology seems to be primitive. No immediate indicators that this is futuristic such as lasers, or fancy computer screens. Instead just typical barred cells. This shows a lot about the society of this movie universe as it shows that the prisoners are considered unimportant as money has not gone in to how they live and to making sure that they remain a prisoner. The design is the prison has a similarity to that of guardians of the galaxy as the prison is just a pit dug into the ground with a wrap around staircase leading from the top to the bottom. Of every inch of this put, a hole has been dug into the wall to create a cell, making the prison feel compact and immovable. This feels like it is purposely done to intimidate the prisoners and make them believe that there is no way of escaping.


Halo 2

In the second addition to the halo franchise, there is a particular level where you are storing a covenant base in an attempt to save the planet and destroy the halo ring. Within this level, there is a part where the player passes through what appears to be the prison segment of the base. This simply consists of one large corridor with cells running all the way down it. Just looking at this it is what I expect to see when I hear the phrase Sci-fi Prison. the cells are small and compact so that there can be more cells for more prisoners. The design has lots of curves and a simple design which looks clean and gives it that futuristic feel. However, the main inspiration that I can get from this design is the colour scheme. The main colour of the covenant is purple so this can be seen plastered all other the cells. Finally, instead of bars, the cells have a laser field which is a common technique used to make it appear sci-fi, however, this doesn’t really give me any inspiration as I feel like this is too common of a technique used.




Topology Research

Topology refers to the layout of the model and shows the flow and polygons of the character. In our case only using quads. Topology determines the number of polygons that the model contains. and shows ‘Edge Flow’ This is a clear view of the flow of the model.A good example of this is with a character model. The edge flow through the pectorals can be seen going up and around the back of the head.

Edge flow can be identified by drawing a quad shape and having an arrow pointing to it. The side the arrow then comes out is the edge flow. The reason that we are using quads and not triangles are because the edge flow is harder to follow on triangles as when the arrow enters the triangle it is hard to determine which side it should come out as there is no way to show this.

Bad topology is where the polygons have been stretched and the flow can not be seen.It also disrupts the shape of the model. Another example of bad topology is where an excessive amount of polygons have been used where they did need to be. However, this can also be an essential thing on models such as characters as the elbow need more polygons so that they can bend.