Welcome

Hello there! And welcome to my blog. You may be wondering, what’s this all about?

Well, let me tell you. I’m currently planning to use this blog as an outlet for;

  • General Ideas
  • Research
  • Concepts
  • Sketches (If they’re not all terrible)
  • Finished Projects
  • Tutorials
  • Other Projects

These for the most part, will be in relation to the Games Design course I’m currently partaking in at Hull School of Art & Design and the experiences I have during my time there.

 

Self Initiated Project: Evaluation

In terms of this Self Initiated Project, the primary objective of the semester was to create a playable level that would in time, house this game concept. This objective was achieved, although the level doesn’t have all of the assets and elements I would’ve liked to fully implement in the sense of assets and general population but still ascertains to the objective. The secondary objective was to look into the mechanics that would supplement the level and kickstart the inevitable game aspect of the project, this objective wasn’t achieved due to the primary focus being the level but I have personally researched the topic and how to do it in Unity so that may prove useful should I continue the project on within my personal time. The tertiary objective was to implement interactable objects and enemy AI/character models. This objective was partially achieved as I had the opportunity from another unit to combine work efforts and create something for both in regards to the people character models that will be used by the enemy AI.

There was a relatively sizeable period of time within the project whilst I was working on the people that my attention was turned away from the building the actual level and I think that because of this, the overall quality of the final product didn’t reach my own personal level of satisfaction that I would’ve originally wanted to attain.

Numerous amount of the assets shown within the level tended to be relatively rushed in regards to their quality. I feel like this was a result of my personal tendency to disregard their importance until nearer the deadline which definitely impacted their overall look. If I were doing this specific project again, I would most definitely look into utilising more project management tools to keep me within the parameters of my own objectives.

During the progress of the project I became self aware of the mistakes I had made during the start of the project, which meant that I would continually negotiate with the notion of restarting the entire building again, or attempting to piece together what was there. In hindsight I probably should’ve started again, knowing that I could’ve easily rectified the results in less time than it took me to adjust specific parameters of the project to it.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the project for the most part, regardless of the issues had and the grasping of Unity. It allowed me to pursue various avenues of development whilst sticking to a core concept and has given me the insight to see improvements that I can make in my work but also how far I have progressed in doing so. I would’ve preferred to have an actual game product as my final product but this project is a demonstration of how best to utilise my time and unfortunately I was unable to make that a reality.

Self Initiated Project: Biped In Unity

After completing the people to a relatively satisfactory standard, I wanted to use one within the level to demonstrate their potential in walking a route. I found this tutorial useful for handling Biped’s in Unity but it didn’t particularly help with the specific action I wanted to take as the individual recording was using far older versions of the software I was currently using.

Self Initiated Project: Final Level Update

The lack of updates from the previous to this one, in regards to the level, are a direct result of the character model inclusively taking a large portion of my attention to complete and I wanted to do that for personal reasons aside from and including an aspect of the project. I did ensure that the level was completed to a relatively satisfactory standard that would meet the primary objective of having a playable level at the end of the semester. Below are screenshots including the various assets I have created and also the completed architectural structure of the house.

Client Related Project: The Tower – Perspectives

In lieu of our contributions to the project, I though it best to evaluate my own personal work and effort towards the final product through the eyes of some of the stakeholders mentioned previously.

The Tower

Tower

General Public – To the perception of the public, those who are technically inclined like myself and my colleagues on this project, may easily be able to differentiate the notable weak points of the buildings architecture and texturing. Although those of whom wI encountered throughout the exhibition on the hour I was there on Thursday and my allotted 3 hour shift on Friday afternoon, did not seem to take note of any inaccuracy with the building or so I am aware of.

Student – As a student I view this building personally as something that I know I could vastly improve on due to its shortcomings and mistakes that I made during the time of construction. From its mishandled architecture all the way to its relatively rushed texturing. Overall I was content to handing this over for use in the exhibition and final product as a means of progressing past the point of trying to perfect the building, to which I am now grateful to the fact that I feel confident that I could revisit this and do an infinitely superior job in less time.

Peers – In terms of my peers/colleagues, I have received minimal feedback on the building other than a single colleague agreeing with my notion that the building could do with some improvements in the texturing department. From their perspective, if any of the general public were to comment on the mistakes made with the model, this could impact the perception of the entire project and thus my peers.

Games Designer – As a Games Designer, I highly doubt that this building would make it into a game level due to those shortcomings. If I were employed by a company within the industry and worked on this model for the amount of time that I did (October – January), I would most likely be fired for taking so long and doing a relatively poor attempt at it.

Client Related Practice: Showing Animations

For a while I’ve been battling with an issue with UDK, in that it wouldn’t show the animation set even after configuring it to how the tutorials showed me how. To solve this I found an alternative tutorial that helps with showing an initial animation upon playing the level within UDK. It’s a useful tutorial for anyone looking for a fix to this problem and/or a look into integrating animations overall into UDK without the necessitated need for Kismet.

Client Related Practice: Moving Objects in UDK

I haven’t as yet attempted to move anything within UDK as the people require a few tweaks in order for final hand-in so that they can go within the level. However, to prepare myself for the installation within UDK, I have found this tutorial that I will be using as reference for moving within UDK when the time comes to install it. It’s a very useful tutorial for those still confused by Kismet and how it works, and I look forward to potentially using it.

Client Related Practice: Stakeholder Perspectives

When it comes to this project, there are several different perspectives that must be considered when moving forward and assessing our goals and intended outcomes in contrast to those that may have a connection to the project in some manner. This could be from a production standpoint, such as the team building the various assets for the final level, or could be from the perspective of the general public merely glancing upon the project for the first time without any prior context or attachment/involvement. For this, we then have to consider shaping various aspects of the project around these stakeholders to best propagate their interest in the project.

Designer

We as designers and constructors of the project itself have to service the project around our own desires to which the project should shape to be. This means that it must be a product that we can collectively as a group collaborate on and agree on a goal to work towards. This project in particular is the 1914 commemorative recreation of the Paragon Station in Hull and the surrounding area upon which we agreed to develop, as designers we mapped an area according to our own collective preference to which would be the basis and setting for the final product that we wanted to achieve. For a while within the group, we wavered between developing the surrounding area and solely the interior of Paragon Station, this thus altered the dynamic of the project and overall shaped its outcome. If for instance we agreed to solely have the project center around the Paragon Station alone, it would have altered a number of other stakeholders within the project and their connection to it. An example would the client, of which would then be the recipient of a vastly different product that has a completely different scope and set of ideals that the client may not want.

Student

As a student our main objective is to maintain a steady workflow within the project to sufficiently satisfy our creative needs and also our academic desires, in relation to the module at hand and its learning outcomes. The module sustains the project by keeping us within the boundaries of it in relation to our own studies and provides sufficient academic stimuli to support personal growth within our respective field. This project is also aimed towards giving us an understanding of the real world practices that occur within the workplace of the aforementioned occupational field and how to navigate it in a professional manner.

Client

The client is one of the more important stakeholders within the project and they are the main recipient and correspondent to the final product. With this particular type of project, the content is generally dictated by us the designers/producers because of our creative license and the clients lack of knowledge in regards to our respective field, although their needs regardless of how minimal they may seem, do take top priority in terms of the construction and design of the project. For example, the client wishes for the level to have people roaming within it, and so as a group we have made it our prerogative to cater to this need, because they may advertise it elsewhere as having this element within it and if the obligation to implement this isn’t met, it may backfire on both parties later on. Their stake within the project is that their reputation as a company is being utilised by us the designers to showcase a product using their social status as a company of renown in the area and other marketing services. If the project were to misrepresent them or cast an ill impression towards the client, it could potentially damage business relations between them and us the designers. If the project were to do sufficiently well in terms of business, it would be bolstering for both parties involved in terms of public relations and renown.

General Public

In terms of the general public, their stake in the project is that they are the main audience. They are generally approaching this project for the first time and seeing it from a fresh perspective that the we the designers may not see. For instance, if something within the final product is seen from the designers as acceptable but could be misconstrued by the audience as offensive, it could call into question the ethical boundaries of our work, and this is thus something we have to consider when approaching all aspects of the project to justify if they are suitable to be implemented into the final product for viewing in the general public. In terms of what the projects needs to be for them, it needs to be informative to the point in which they know what the project is about from the perspective of the designers but also what the client wishes the product to be displaying.

Tutor’s Perspective

From the perspective of the tutors, their role in things is that they are one of the guiding stakeholders aiding us the designers in the proper direction and professional practice that we should be aiming to strive towards using when in contact with other stakeholders. In doing so they thus enforce academic protocol and encourage us to learn and interact within the medium in order to achieve our learning outcomes. Their stake in things is ensuring that we as students acquire or academic goals whilst maintaining progress on the project.

Academic Institution

Aside from the tutors that are an aspect of the academic institution, the institution itself is a stakeholder within the project as they are represented by the designers and students creating the product and govern their students academic progress, anything the students/designers do or produce is reflective of the university and so is a factor that must need to be analysed when approaching any other external stakeholder that isn’t primarily attached to the institution. A positive outlook and reception on the project could benefit the institution in terms of potential marketing and surges in interest into the institution as a place of learning.