Children’s Book Adaptation: Battle Scene

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.

Children’s Book Adaptation: HUD

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.

Heads Up Display

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.

Research

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.

Halo 3

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.

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World of Warcraft

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.

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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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.

Dead Space

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.

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Sketches

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.

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Photoshop

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.

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Children’s Book Adaptation: Initial Environment Sketches

Coming out of the research stage of this project I began sketching different ideas for what the environments could possibly look like. I created just simple sketches of each of the major environment on the planets including Kansas, the forest, emerald city, and the munchkin islands. These were just basic ideas of what the environments could possibly look like.

From these initial sketches, I decided to begin creating the maps that would be shown in the minimap and on the menu for each of the planets. These maps were fairly simple and where basically a top down view version of the initial sketches that I did.

I also decided to do this for the galaxy map as the player would have to navigate from planet to planet and that meant that they would need a map in order to do this. I created multiple different designs of what the galaxy could look like before settling on the final version. I found that this also made a good logo which could possibly be on the front cover of the game.

My next step will be to develop these sketches further, creating multiple variants influenced by the research that I did previously. I will also use the logo and environment designs to create different ideas for possible game covers. I will also begin to create designs for what oz’s house could look like as this is a crucial part of the story. As for the maps I would like to start designing the menu as these are where the maps will be visible.

 

 

Children’s Book Adaptation: Initial Ideas

To start off this project we began by doing simple Idea generation. We spoke to our group and wrote down all the different ideas that we could think of.

We then wanted to do the basic breakdown of the children’s book which included the environments we would have to adapt as well as what characters we wanted to use. For the environments, we picked the key places where important parts of the story happened. For example, the reveal that Oz was a coward in Emerald city.

After breaking down the characters into different groups such as heroes, villains, minions, NPC we decided it would be a good idea to decided what the point of the characters where. This, in turn, led us to gain ideas on how we could possibly have the combat in our game. We wrote down different possibilities as to how we could have attributed to the characters and different roles. These were all just initial ideas and are something that will be decided after we have researched into this and came up with a solid idea.

For the concept stage of this project, we allocated roles to the different members so that everyone had one piece they needed to focus on before we bring it all together. My role in the group will be environment design. Therefore my next stage will be to look at concept art relating directly to the wizard of oz as well as concept art of different environments and different themes which I feel might work for our game.

 

Roles:
Ryan- Environment Concepts
Jemma- Character Design
Connor- Props, Objects, and vehicles

Mini Brief: Children’s Book Adaptation

The aim of this brief is to adapt an existing children’s book into a role playing game. we were given a book at random so that we were not biased and had our hearts set on a specific choice. The book which my group is adapting is ‘The Wizard Of Oz’.

I am glad that we got this book as there are lots of different elements to the story as well as a wide range of characters that we can explore and adapt upon. The story of a wizard of oz is very straight forward allowing us to have a good starting point which we can they add our own creative input upon.

The first step of this brief will be to go and read the book so that I can take all of the main plots points out of it as well as the character attributes and main elements of the environments. The reason I will read the book rather than watch the movie is because movies tend to skip out of parts from the book and miss out on important things. In my case, this could mean that I can lose out on something that would make for a good part of a game.

The Wizard Of Oz