Digital Design Studio II: Hamlet

Here is the finished prototype:







Digital Design Studio II: Final Week for Game Design

It brings me great relief to know that this assignment is over. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks neglecting the current assessments of this semester in favor of completing this game. Callum and I finished the level design with the assets we collected and I finished coding in the collection system. Its at this point where both of the other members of the team have decided that they need to contribute in order to pass this course and personally this annoys me more than if they had just continued to ignore the assessment like they have done for the last 10 weeks. Its too late to mess around with the game to add their contributions in. Conrad however has given us a game poster and hopefully a small storyboard poster which I asked for. I will not be compromising the final game this close to subsumption for the latest assets I have (still in question) received.

Without the models arriving on time there is simply no need for me to attempt to fix the dialog code which never worked properly in the first place.

Digital Design Studio II: Auckland Live Presentation

The morning before the presentation it was apparent that our “game” was not up to scratch. Callum and I spent the morning fixing errors so that the game would actually run, then tried to make the game look as good as possible. We used a skybox to add some dynamic lighting to the scene which helped a lot with the presentation. Then we started adding placeholder characters. The other two members of the group were less than helpful and I’m inclined just to throw them under the bus at this point. Its too late for them to start on this project and I’m no longer willing to give them the chance to help out.

As for the presentation itself, they seemed happy with our work and they liked how good the game looked. It would be good for people to come and watch as well as play around with for 5 min in the intermission.

Digital Design Studio II:

With the deadline for the game more or less moved to this Monday, I needed to rush to get more work done on this project. I’ve been focusing on getting our level design finished with Callum. I’ve had no contact or updates with the other members of the group. All that is left for the level design is some final touch ups and misc items dotted around the streets and the terrain texture.

Attempting to open a USB copy of the game on the university computers resulted in the project taking 2 hours to open. When it did finally open, the files were mostly broken and slow.

The entire project will have to be done on Callum’s laptop.

Digital Design Studio II: Modeling Horatio

I figured with Callum working on the level design, it would be easier for me to get some models done for the game, primarily, for the characters. I’ve done some modeling before but not in a professional capacity. I did not really understand topology and its effect on animation and rigging until recently thanks to Hazel. I started working with new software, ZBrush because its something I really want to do more of but I will admit I was very confused and still am, by the controls and features of the program. Nevertheless, after 4 days of solid work I created my 3D model for Horatio, the mentor.

The Base body:

Using the image below, I started work on creating Horatio’s slim, decrepit form.

Original concept art I created for Horatio


After the base was done, I made the shirt and jacket by extracting the base mesh and editing it.


From here I started work on pants and accessories like his belt, bag and glasses.



There is still a lot of work to be done like rigging, animating and of course texturing and I’m starting to worry about the time constraints. I have lost contact with all of my group except Callum so I’m thinking I’ll need to put this work on hold and start coding the game as a first person collection game. Its not what I wanted the game to be but its going to have to be that.

On another more positive note, I’m very happy with this model and while the topology is not as good as it could be, I’m more than happy to put it into my showreel/portfolio.

Digital Design Studio II: Game Reviews?

I have a feeling I know the answer to this question is “Yes. You should be reviewing games all the time.”

I was probably going to do a couple of last minute, short game reviews but with the pathways being the focus at the moment there is a lot to think about. At the start of the year, I wanted to focus on game design. A little into the course I changed my mind and started thinking about visual effects. After the pathway introductions, I’m torn yet again. I want to use this post as a way to clear my mind and focus on what I want to do in the future.

The game I will be reviewing is Fallout: New Vegas. I have been a huge fan of Bethesda games since I found a copy of Morrowind in the warehouse in a sale. I never really knew what I was doing in that game but I loved it so much. The immersion is something I fell in love with, so when oblivion came out you can imagine how I felt. I played that game non stop for months. Long story short, I have always and will probably continue to love the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. The reason why I am reviewing Fallout: New Vegas instead of any other title is because this is the one I have been thinking about recently with the pathway discussions. Fallout New Vegas is such a big game with so much to do that it is easy to dismiss it and say that the game was not great, its just good as a distraction (An opinion I used to have of the game). It wasn’t until after I played the game with all the DLCs that I realized how much I love this game. These game tell hundreds of stories, about people, places and even weapons and its all just sitting there waiting for someone to read or put the puzzle together. This level of world building is what makes me passionate about game design and definitely the main reason why choosing visual effects is such a hard decision for me. The comforting thing I tell myself is that I will learn a lot in visual effects which I can apply to game design. I can learn how to make games on my own and I will continue to. I am sad that I have to choose however.

Digital Design Studio II: Back into game design, starting with UNITY

While I dislike having to juggle several assignments all at once, it seems to be the only way of progressing in this course, at least for year 1. With animation and theory finished, I now have the last week of the break to myself. I intend to use this time to fire up the engines for game design once again. Our project is ambitious and with the track run of the two artists in my group, there’s unfortunately no guarantee that this project will be completed. Looking at other groups GDDs, it is clear that ours is severely lacking concept art. Despite hounding my artists and attempting to be fair and giving them ample time, I have to crack down at some point. The game cannot progress in its development without the artwork. I have decided to create the game in unity using placeholders for the moment but those placeholders may end up being permanent. I do not want to throw them under the bus. my hope is that once the animation is finished on Friday, my team will be able to focus on the game and get some work done.

Unity is something that I am unfamiliar with but I am confident with my coding abilities. There shouldn’t be anything super difficult to code into our game and if we encounter road blocks it may be easier just to look for a detour given the circumstances.

Creative Sound Design: Final Soundpiece

There were several things I discovered while creating my sound piece and recording things. The first and most problematic is the effect of recording wind or moving with a mic. I thought that the result of this would be small amounts of ambient noise. It was instead, a very loud and somewhat painful distortion of sounds. The second was that there seems to be a good amount of luck involved with recording. While recording some light rain out my window, a police car came tearing through my street. Straight after it went silent, the rain stopped. I decided to make this the opening feature of my soundpiece.

While assembling my sounds, I mainly adjusted the volume of individual sounds within each recording. I was able to amplify the sound of the police car and remove the distorted sounds of the wind.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 3.05.21 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-23 at 3.07.39 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-23 at 3.08.26 PM

I played around with overlapping folley sounds I reordered in the sound suite with the sounds from my chosen space. I really enjoyed the outcome of this and if I had more folley sounds and possibly a more planned idea, I would have been able to create something interesting.

Digital Design Studio II: GDD Presentation

While I understand that it was probably unwise to leave game design for as long as I have, I think the time was better spent on other projects at the moment. This is because crunch time has arrived for both Theory and Animation. Regardless, our Game Design Document needs to be presented tomorrow morning. I gave my group a deadline to give me all of the work they have been working on during this time. I have not had any response except for Callum who gave me a fantastic amount of work for the document, late only because of quality. What I have to do now is to see the rest of my group tomorrow during the presentation to see the work they have completed and work from there. I will also need to print out the poster before I can present it.

Introduction to Creative Sound Design

After catching up with the readings and previous powerpoint presentations, I decided to get stuck in with Pro Tools. The software is intriguing and I can’t wait to get stuck in with my sound piece. Before that happens however, I need audio to work with. I decided to go with something simple to start since I’m not overly confident with my abilities when it comes to sound. I chose to create my work space at home. For this, I booked a Zoom recorder over the weekend and recorded a few sounds that are familiar in this space. I will not be including dialog in this piece as I am very interested in using the software and the course to explore music. I have the sound room booked for a second time on Monday so that I can get a few piece of music to play with.