Research FMP

EGX – 2017

Was one of the biggest gaming events I’ve been and had a good insight , talked to a couple of developers and of course tried out the games that will be coming out through out the year

Let them come

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“Let them come” is a fast paced shoot ’em up games in pixel art style. The player is Rock Gunar , mercenary for hire. The task at hand is to survive the day while taking on and killing aliens on the ship.

Mechanics of the game are simple enough to understand and quickly get into , takes a bit of game-play to be able to last long in the missions. Overall a fun game to somewhat mindlessly play and kill time.

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De Mambo

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De Mambo is The Dangerous Kitchen groups first game that lets players up to four play a similar game like bomber-man on PC. The players compete in various levels picked out and after a while the level itself pushes the players to compete for survival. As Nintendo switch being a new console in on sale not many games are developed but for a party game this could easily be an option.

Visually it was another pixel design game that fitted in nicely with vibrant colors and the interesting designs of levels. de-mambo-game-header-1024x379-720x266

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Gang beasts was a great game where the aesthetic of it was simple and the goal even simpler, get rid of the competition and be the best at beating your opponents with fists and possibly throwing them down.

 

ARTIST RESEARCH

 

 

 

 

In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players take on the role of Geralt of Rivia as he roams the Northern Kingdoms and battles often magical threats, i.e. monsters, in an open world setting. It was important, therefore, that the launch cinematic reflect the ‘dark and haunting’ atmosphere of CD Projekt RED’s game.

Multiple years in development and multiple aritsts put to work on concepting the highly recommended game in the past few years. Visually stunning and environmentally beautiful game where there are multiple of diverse regions in their lands,ecosystem people. The concept of the players choices will have consequences through out the game, letting the players achieve multiples of endings depending highly on the choices.

Through out the process multiple references of places , nature were taken of multiple locations.And concept art drawn to fit the theme of medieval ages close to perfect from the characters, the buildings and how people were like the only difference is the presence of magic and its users plaguing or saving the lands. Mythical beings of various lores combined into the open world game.

In the game itself there are plenty of common characters that have their own little perks of maidens talking about the weather or any other topics assigned to them , the men maybe talking about a hunt, weapons being too heavy or little things that the witcher may over hear and start on a mini quest or find points of interest.

As any game it all starts with the ideas and concept art , pitching the idea and collecting references/locations to set the games mood.

“For the most part, the quest content dictated the size of the world, not the other way around,” said level designer Miles Tost. “We didn’t just start with a huge world and go ‘well, let’s see how we can fill this one up.’ This probably helped us to not end up with a world that feels artificially bloated just for the sake of size.”

“The quest team would look at it [the world] and think how many quests we should prepare to provide enough entertaining content to fill these levels,” said Szamałek. “Sometimes, we’d have to adjust a certain part of the world that felt too big or too small and react accordingly.”

Another main thing that the developer and their team worked on was the sounds and to give the realistic feel of even the smallest things as soldiers walking. In live action medieval tournaments sound clips would be collected,later one edited and implemented into the game.

Through motion capture cameras on the actors many emotions were captured and then rendered later on. Through multiple more renders and processes the final product that people play is released. The Project Red team worked in multiple teams on different things in the game to bring it to the great game that it is. Sounds , weather changes , character developments as most characters that Geralt Rivia meets is unique in its design and actions. A lot of time also was spent on the actual world development , on the little points of interest , little details that most players would’ve most likely missed through out their first playthroughs.

Facial capture.

Geralt progression.

 

 

 

 

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FMP

http://www.eilistraee.com/chosen/language.php (Drow translator)

Concepts

Lolth (pronounced LOALTH), or Lloth in Menzoberranzan,known as the Queen of Spiders or the Queen of the Demonweb Pits, was the most influent goddess of the drow, within the pantheon of the Dark Seldarine.

She drove the drow into heavy infighting under the pretense of culling the weak, while her real goals were to hold absolute control over the dark elves, prevent the rise of alternative faiths or ideas, and avoid complacency (even though she found amusement in the strife that plagued her followers’ communities).  However, in the long run her influence proved to be an obstacle to the growth and success of the drow, preventing them from unifying against common enemies or for a common cause.

(Other drow gods that may be followed apart from Lloth http://www.realms.force9.co.uk/UD/gods/gdrow.htm)

 

By drow teachings ( those who follow Lloth instead of realizing the lies of their people and try to escape ) were taught and believed that the surface elves are the evil ones and so is every race that are not drow. Propaganda of the surface elves driving the drow down under when it was the elven gods in-fight which was  Lloth in the end to drive the drow underground and take total control of their lives.
The sun would burn their ebony skin as soon as it made contact that is why most of the raids that would happen to the surface would mainly executed through evening and nights when drow have the advantage and see in the dark.

From a young age drow are used to being treated poorly as obedience to the matron is the main thing for them to know. Apart from that drow mainly go through Sorcere which is the school of magic to learn basic survival skills and magic needed for them to know. Females continue their studies for many years to eventually serve their house as a priestess of Lloth and in time overtake the Matron mother either form her dieing of age or executing the matron at a perfect time.

Drow also look a blind eye to those families who execute another families death without leaving any witnesses , or kills in general if someone saw you killed a person you will be taken account for your deed and most likely killed , possibly their family too because of the brought shame.

Those drow who are of royal or noble blood (mostly females)  are adopted into new families while the males either sold into labor/used as breeders/sacrificed. Until adopted into the new family they do not have a last name for example Alauna of house Haelka would be Alauna of House no worth mentioning.

Because of them living in the underdark drow are mainly excellent hunter as they see in the dark (because of their natural infra-vision) and years of practice to sense enemies and their heat signatures , to know what they’re coming up against, hearing their footsteps and etc.

Look wise most drow have dark ebony skin with some variations of tint to it from purple to blue and even brown-ish. White hair is the main feature that sets them apart from other elven sub-classes and just like elves drow are not able to grow facial hair like beards , their hair ( for women and men ) show their nobility and age.

(Most of this information was collected by reading the R.A. Salvatores books)

 

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As a digital novel game is it normal to have possible multiple endings depending on the choices of the player. Through out the process multiple characters would be introduced and had some kind of connection is one or two main characters. In this one the main character being a dark elf that escaped the underdark and has her own little events and adventures with her brother.Through out the games process there would be multiple of one time event pictures to make it more than just multiples of expressions and running text.

Up to 10 individual characters and a few minor ones that would be important to the story that surrounds the drow on the surface and the world around them.


Main inspiration for the project were R.A. Salvatores books about a family Do’Urden their youngest prodigy son Drizzt Do’Urden that managed to escape the underdark and live a hard life but the one that fitted him and his non-llothian ways.

Another major inspiration was for a short while starting to do text based role-play as fantasy characters and making stories along the way with new people, getting into funny situations.


Surface world : Upresh where all kinds of races and walks of life beings and humans live in somewhat of an harmonious life.

Guild / Neutral parties within the ‘kingdom’ :

Umbra Mortalis – Assassins / Mercenary group that was created by Greyraen , Alauna and few other members.Specializing in working for the coin no matter the job as long as it did not involve killing one of their own.

Roisinthorn – Human kingdom mainly sheltering humans or elves or other kind of beings that renown their race and serve the queen.

Atropa – The cultists of the realm as their sole purpose is to wreak havoc among the lands

Wolves – Lykins/ Werevolves that are somwhat of a neutral party in the lands apart from their egos being hurt by others.

Mages – Where people come and seek out help of the mages of the realm , learn magics that the Archmages can provide.


Alaunanfein Haelka 

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Alaunanfein Haelka ( Powerful seer – name meaning )

“As drows ever since we are young , we are taught things , blatant lies fed to us to believe…”

Alauna grew up in the A’Daragon family among a couple of sisters and twin brothers Shri’Vyrae ( Vyr )and Greyraen (Grey ). Being youngest of the bunch Alauna was not as looked after and luckily the weanmother ( Nanny of sorts ) kept Alauna from believing these lies and drown in the same tar as most if not all family members along with the rest of Menzoberranzan.

During her young days she would do her duties as a young drow along with her weanmother in hand but also sneak out and see or ever try and spar with her way older brothers. Until the house was destroyed , the daughters being taken in into other houses to live while the males of the family sent into slavery for another matron. Vyr being used as a breeding slave while Grey worked the physical labour part of slavery , clearing the tunnels but along that time learning of possible escape routes. Years later Vyr and Grey escaped into the surface to start their new life while Alauna was still in the Underdark during that time.

Alauna during her teen years in the end became a priestess of Lloth and helped with the Haelka families survival.On the side Alauna would visit the families weapon master Minryaen Haelka and learned the ways of a drow warrior as he also helped to train the soldiers on a daily basis. During those years the young drowess gained trust surprisingly among the soldiers of the family and the weapons master wanting to overthrow Matron Rizryne. Older matrons that came to see the defeated matron and her daughters and servants were found all around the houses walls and in the main room , matron Rizryne was found in her throne , a knife in her heart and her facial expression bared of one of disbelief. Priestesses near the throne also stabbed and it seems blinded easily with some use of magic, a well executed attack.After the attack was complete and successful , the house that soon become forgottens survivors escaped the city , some into the caves to find the dark dwarfes and leave to the surface , Alauna branched off to the slavers routes and for a few years more looked for some clues about her brothers. Within some time Alaunanfein heard stories of 2 noble drow rebelling to an extent and then escaping towards the surface. The information had some dust on it by the time the woman heard it but it was a lead, something better and more solid than she had had for some years before that in the house of no worth mention.


Greyraen & Vyr

Big brother along with Vyr of Alauna ( along with other sisters of course ) from a young age the twins went through the Sorcere along with a few sisters and learning how to fight from the weapon master of the house along with the soldiers trained under him. Years later as the weapons master passed away Vyr and Grey trained on their own until the grave day happened when they were sold into slavery by the matron mother of the house they belonged to Vyr was used by another matron mother to breed more drow daughters into the family , a personal sex slave. Greyraens fate was different as he worked for the matron with hard labor around the house in doing chores or risking his life at times in doing scouting with other parties. Years later the twins ran and escaped from the Underdark landing in the lands of Haanadir. Grey had ownership of  a tavern in the heart of the city and received slight disgust towards humans and other races to the things that would happen, not all of course. A human Elizabeth that was a main barkeep was in alright terms with the drow even if she would toss gold coins at the mans head almost daily while she worked there. On that time Vyr went missing , possibly died to the roaming monsters around the lands or killed due to a nasty fight that he might’ve been apart of.
After the tavern that was later given to Elizabeth to run Grey started to drink and the human helped the male to get rid of that need, at least a little. As he set of to continue traveling the lands the reached Upresh where he became the Elven Queen Opals main guard and other things as time went by.


Most of the other characters grew up in the lands of Upresh in different walks of life. As commoners and learning more about themselves and learning to use magic, getting into groups of various alignments and in some way or the other meeting the drow or not..

Rogmesh being a full bloodied ork but learned the ways of the humans in a long time and worked for the queen as her personal guard.

Opal a elven queen inheriting the crown through her mother that eventually died of old age , for an elf.


Drowess fighting Rogmesh the orc

In difficult times when humans and elves had conflicting ideals , their leaders not able to make a compromise the people under them suffer some of the consequences of their peoples rulers. A strong orc Rogmesh Ugosha wondered the mystical forest where the elves mainly resided looking for fresh blood so to speak…The orc having some honor on the matter did not draw his weapon towards the drowess that stood with her back towards the open lands ,standing guard but also enjoying the beauty of the surface world.
“Turn around drow.” Rog spoke in a gruff low voice , cracking the shoulders slightly. “You know why I am here , turn around and fight.” his voice sounding threatening, angry; as the drowess took a drag of a smoke hearing the familiar voice her body shifted with a small smirk, her eyes still not completely adjusted to the light of day but enough to see the orc clearly.
“Came back so soon…?” Alauna smirked with half of her lips while the other side bitten into the cigarette before it was discarded on the ground and her drowess’ blades unsheathed and ready “Finally some fun”she added, her voice sounded excited to fight a stronger enemy and with high hopes to defeat such a monster.

The giant orc chuckled in his low voice as if mocking the brave attempt of Alauna to fight back “See , I have honor…Let you prepare” the orc spoke and took out the the axe .Without wasting any more time the orc dashes towards the smaller frame and smites down the axe to the ground like lighting yet the drowess’ agility saved her there and dodged the lethal attack. Now standing behind the man Alauna let out a small whistle as where the axe was deep in the ground half way buried, the orc was here not to play at all…
“Knew you were a feared opponent if you’ve defeated my brother one on one” she said before lunging forward towards Rogmesh. Her blades practically itching for blood but bounces back as it meets the armor that covered the males body.The tall opponent simply laughed at the attempt.
“Nice try small fry, aim for a place not covered in armor” he said smirking and showing his orc tusks before swinging his axe through the womans chest and with ease slashes the fabric along with opening a wound across drowess’ chest. Taken aback by the attack Alauna stumbled slightly and places her hand that held one of the blades in disbelief and saw her own dark blood leaving her body before the immense pain kicked in.Couple of grunts left her mouth muttering something to herself as if tiny curse words in drow were heard but not understood, before her light would go out from bleeding Alauna attempted yet again to attack the orc fighter but quickly was blocked ,slowly her time and luck running out.
“I dont want to kill you. Just send a message to your queen that I do not joke”
Alauna screamed in pain as the axe came down on her shoulder ,gladly the wound was not as deep thanks to the shoulder pad but still deep enough, on her knee clutching the wound ,wanting to continue to run, to survive another day but shakes off that feeling and lunges forward to the orc man with her other shoulder knocking the giant on the ground and Alauna being on top of him. With some hope regained it soon vanished at the orc grabbed the neck of the drowess , rolled both of them , switching their position and yelled out in his low and raspy voice.
“You will not win weakling” his fingers gripping the neck , putting more force towards the grasp. Female rogue coughed a couple of times , head thrashing to the sides, gasping for air before some words left with her last breaths “I..Am not…My brother” . Final breath left the womans body, going limp, unconscious and still in a grave state as blood stained the green grass pouring from the wounds.
The orc stood up with a painfull groan and swayed to the sides slightly , regaining his composure looking down on the drow and giving Alaunas lifeless body a toothy grin “I’ll admit you’re good but not good enough…” as those words left his mouth he picked up his axe that was discarded on the grass and went back to report to his Queen.


 Fight for the mount Grey

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For the while when Grey lived in the lands of Upresh , he became somehow fond of a little hill where the farmlands were easily looked over and the Roisinthorns castle seemed like an unapproachable giant versus the single drow.

As the younger sister noticed it as a joke over the night crafted a small castle out of the magic she learned over the years in the Sorcere, a simple illusion casted on the hill with a flag signifying it was her work. As the day flew by Greys time to be on the hill approached closer and she was waiting for him eagerly , she knew he would not be happy in the slightest but for her it was just a little bit of fun. The drowess stood there proudly but slightly bored smoking on her cig until Grey emerged.
“What in the…” the words left his mouth in slight shock and disbelief that his sister would even /try/ to attempt such a prank.The older drow let out a groan and pointed at the flag “I challenge you , for this hill. Here and now.” he looked at his sister with a serious facial expression while the smaller one only looked back with a wide grin and an attempt to control herself before she burst out into a laughing fit”Remove the flag, and we can call it a day. If not I will make you wish you accepted.” grinning and revealing his self filed teeth. Alauna snorted a couple of times , such fun to her was like an enigma, so unknown but greatly needed. Small bits and pieces of laughter escaped finally covering her mouth that it would not grow worse “How do you want to do this dalninuk?”(Dalninuk- Brother in drow lang.)
The question of hers sounded so innocent but with a devious intent behind it , to get that hill.Grey after her question stepped up towering over her by a good head grinned himself showing off the fanged cavity before speaking up “First one to reach the bottom of the hill is the loser” he stated before taking a step back and spreading his arms wide , cocky and arrogant as ever that bastard. “Come now , do you think you have what it takes?Give me your best shot, let’s see if you can steal /my/ hill.” He grinned at her now , enjoying the bit of competition himself now. Alauna was glad that her brother finally got over the little bit of anger he had and exchanged it for a smile , the other one hummed and smiled again realizing that
“No hard feelings whatever may happen”Alauna grinned at him.”No hard feelings” he repeated he laughed before soon enough she female lunged at him , shoulder first towards his stomach to table him down, make him tumble and make it easy for her but it did not go as she may have planned as Grey twirled to the side as the master assassin that he claims to be and avoided the tackle.With a turn the male drow turned around and with a swift kick to her bottom that sent her just making her fall down , in a few seconds flat the she stood up and patted the kicked part as she pouted at him but enjoying this little sibling exchange, she was not going to concede so quickly , with the switft and graceful movement the drowess moved around Grey , he saw her but no movements were taken to stop her as she yanked as hard as she could to put Grey on the ground as he previously did to her.Thinking that she will fail Grey was overfilled with cockiness and sent to the ground. In that moment Alaunas face was smiling as her brother quickly he use the momentum to throw himself on the side. Twisting with a fair bit of power, his leg leading the charge and swiped the leg to catch her off guard with a kick which almost worked but yet again Alauna was on the ground laying close to him as she started to laugh and swatted her face aimlessly , trying to hit him in the face but simply patted the grass around both of them as she laughed.
“We could share the hill.” she said with laugher not leaving her.Both of them cocky and not wanting to give in.
“There would only if I said so!” he grinned at her and rolled to the side again , springing on his feet as Alauna still on the ground having her laugh before she could realise Grey was towering above her again with a wicked grin he said “Now get off my hill” he yelled out with a chuckle and kicked her side as if kicking a carpet to unroll but it was the drowess simply rolling off the hill as her defeat was imminent , her brother was stronger than her.
Alauna rolled down as she giggled and climbed back up just a little bit later “Deal is a deal” taking the tiny castle illusion again and the actual flag that was materialized and breaking it in two showing the remains the flag. “There, happy?” she asked approaching him “I am indeed, and quite amazing art.” he commended on the way she managed to pain her smiling face on it. As she came close she patted him gently on the face with her wide grin , grass stuck in her hair but happy.
. “Have her home before the moon rises!” he laughed at Alauna and kissed the younger sister on her forehead before leaving to have the alone time with the hill he allowed.
“Dalninuuuuuk~” she called out with her arms spread to the sides”You hurt me greatly” said with a overreacting tone of voice “give me a brotherly hug” she added in the end but to no avail he was already gone

 


 

The world

The lands themselves depending on where one would travel would be filled with green fields and thick forests getting closer to the elven home. The Mages guild hidden somewhere in the forest as the building stood tall out of old brown bricks , in some places the green would peak out and grew on it. The elves had in short tree houses or well almost a sort of city built , with the main buildings hugged by the trees of the forest (of course not naturally) , a hall for the elven queen , library and others…
Human castle was up high the mountain with a path leading up to it past a village of commoners that lived and worked the lands. In the castle itself gold and red would rule the color scheme with the cold gray walls. Fancy dance balls would occur inside of these walls , king coronations and of course schemes against the enemies of humans.
The commoner grounds were filled with huts and small patches of field to work on , daily labor was seen those who watched or walked past. A tavern or two stood near the coastal part of the city, small farmer market tents stood from day to day and sold their goods to get by their lives or travel further into other cities and sold their merchandise there.
Some of the caves around the lands would be occupied by the Atropa / Wolves of course in separate parts but both hiding in the cold corridors of rock.One of them being a somewhat secret lair of evil cult who wishes to destroy anything that is good . While the other faction , a pack of wolves that hold themselves as a family of sorts simply because they are able to become beasts whenever they channel their energy.

Smaller groups like the fae (fairies) and mermaids are of neighboring souls as one is on the surface and the other under ground of them. The fae have colourful living spaces with tents and small wooden huts decorated or overgrown by the fauna of the forest.
Mermaids made home of the ruins of an ancient small city that was once the surface, overgrown in the moss and kelps the ruins still stood there as the mermaids created their


Concept art 

 

 

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VR/AR Project


Through the years games gained more and more recognition and even became a massive industry in the span of 20 years or so, because of that partially big game companies had influences with their previously successful games but also game advertising and the ability to show the public the product and in a way ‘seduce’/entice them in buying the game or pre-ordering it whenever possible.

One of the major names that could be mentioned is “Konami” that since 1998 released the Metal Gear Solid(first for the Playstation then branched out to PC over the years) games that still to this day is a somewhat successful franchise. The main person for this stories creation is Hideo Kojima that on its own today is well known and has a big following because of his MGS story and games but also on his new project “Dead Stranding”.
As internet was not as popular then , the main source of advertising about the game and showcasing it were game specific magazines that covered the game , gave honest opinions and reviewed it.
Product placements were also used in order to advertise the game , at least in Japan. Keith Sutherland being the voice actor for Solid Snake in order to advertise it was in a couple of projects in doing so one of them were Japanese advertisements.

In Metal Gear:Peace Walker there were multiple ads in the game added as easter eggs, for example Mountain Dew and Doritos that till this day still is more or less said to be the “gamers friends” in a joking manner. In Kojimas games also there is no suprise that Playboy was added as in other games minor easter eggs of cut outs of women can be found through the game.

In Metal gear solid 4 , Hideo Kojima made a character outfit that was of  Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahd from the Ubisofts Assassins Creeds franchise , which later Ubisoft did the same in Assassins Creed :Brother hood repaying this small easter egg mention between the companies and the studios that worked on both of the games.

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Yoji Shinkawa is the briliant concept artist that gave character to Hideo Kojimas vision and started off the making process.

The game itself started off spreading word through different kinds of media in Japan first before possibly getting a license have a American release (later in 1998) and in Europe (early 1999). It being recognized as one of the most important and best games if that time. Because of the success the game has received from the public. The game is widely considered to be one of the best PlayStation games, and has featured in numerous greatest video games ever lists by GameFAQs, Japanese magazine Famitsu, Entertainment Weekly, Game Informer, GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and GameTrailers.

Yoji Shinkawa is the briliant concept artist that gave character to Hideo Kojimas vision and started off the making process.His work was used initially to make posters or ads for the series at first but later was changed into rendered mesh models of Snake as shown bellow over the span of almost 2 decades.

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VR past to now

Sensorama- In early 1960s Morton Heilig created a prerecorded film that was able to capture the audio in stereo educing binaural sound effect and to add to it would be the experience of outside forces like wind , scent and etc.As it was first of its kind the person would only be able to be a viewer but not interact with the visuals shown to them.

The Ultimate Display – Later in 1960s Ivan Sutherland came out with a fabricated world concept that included interactive graphics along with the previously developed experiences like scent , sound and other. Sutherland over that time developed a device that was also captured stereo sounds and first of its kind where head tracking was captured.

Through the years there were many more prototypes of VR inclusing VCASS (1982) , VIVED (1984) , BOOM (1989) until in the 2000s the VR became more manageable and easier to produce by multiple of companies. With success one of the first to be immersive was Oculus rift headset , once they came out there were predictions for many bugs and problems occurring with the Oculus and would not be released for the public for a while later.The headset would show the visuals captured in real time and some would be interactive. Headset itself though still heavy and weights the face down , hurts the persons nose if used for a long time.
In the past few years big companies like Samsung , HTC , Steam , Microsoft. With various degrees of success the headsets have gained recognition among Twitch streamers, Youtubers to show more in depth ( to an extent ) how the headset works along with playing the games that are available with one headset or another.
In the future the VR headsets will hopefully be lighter and easier for the normal consumer to purchase and use , extend the uses for them from being mainly centralized towards the gaming communities.


 

Moodboards of game concept ideas / Minor treatments

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Tavern game concept where the player depending what ale or cider or any other drink they have they see different things in front of them and would have a threshold in drunkenness, drink too quick you still pass out , prolong the drink and you may see fun things.

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[ Full view : http://imgur.com/gENeYxm ]

Working Title –  The intruder

Genre – Game concept / Video

Duration – Video itself 20-ish seconds.

Target Audience – Small audience of young adolescences and range to mid 20s. 

Outline – You are an intruder in a system of a ginormous computer as it asks you questions it seeps into your brain , seeks out your fears and projects them towards you , wants you to disappear , leave or be corrupted by the system. The player either chooses to continue to go through the nightmare or opt out and end it. 

Character Breakdown – No specific name/gender/looks/voice chosen. 

Visual Elements / Mise en Scene- VR type of movement , free movement of the head or hands to reach out towards something or the illusions that are thrown at you by the system.

Audio – Ambient sounds , crashes, glitches , cracks vivid colours. 

Rationale – Close to none apart from some basic knowledge in zbrush that may be of use along the way. 

Constraints and Contingency – Everything. 

Budget – My own lifespan. 

Schedule – A long time as I am but one person.


Ragnarok game concept idea

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The old myths of the North [ http://norse-mythology.org/tales/ ]

The idea was mainly inspired by a couple of sources that are the “Vikings” (2013-) show aired on the History channel but also by Dan Abnetts book “Prospero burns” (2011) from the “Horus Heresy” series from the Warhammer 30k universe. These factors gave an idea during the readings of the book as one of the characters was a skjald that took account of various fighters and their kills to be re-told another day by the fire and ale. The “Vikings” show play in the idea was that the main character with a a fire told the old stories of their gods they follow to scare his children before dusk.

Group work progress / Work seperation:

Viktorija – Storyboard , filming, editing.
Evelina – Idea development , drawing , concept art, voice-over recording.

Both of us separated the work as we were better at the matters then the other, first week we sat together we looked through my ideas and decided on which one will be worked on. Created concept art , read through some lore to have a better grasp of what were making and continued to plan other details for the project.

Treatment

Project tittle “Stories of the Dark” that is somewhat of a storytelling/ flashback VR/AR game inspired by the Nordic myths that should last for 15 to 20 seconds. Outline of the idea would be that over the years would it be teenagers or kids with time further themselves from reading would it be just fairy tale stories or myths and indulge themselves in technology more than a book, to change that some of the Nordic myths of their pantheon would be in the game as the player a simple skjald (remembrancer, poet, account keeper) that keeps accounts of stories either from warriors that he lived with or stories of the past that lingered among their tongues for many years. Having flashbacks and living through those stories the skjald manages to piece together the parts , make the stories scarier to entertain others because only story that others fear are of their interest. The setting of the game would mainly be dark as the player would go through tunnels or caves, faint blue smoldering lights may appear as runes as others speak appear near the skjald until the picture builds in-front of him and he sees the carnage and deaths from those stories. Research would be done from myths, images from various sources and later on used along with our imagination.

 

Working Title – Stories of the dark

Genre – Game/Video/Vr

Duration – 15 -20sec

Outline – As many know the old stories are forgotten and through this , the player, gets shown the myths about forgotten gods.

Character Breakdown – The player a simple skjald (remembrancer, poet, account keeper) that keeps accounts of stories either from warriors that he lived with or stories of the past that lingered among their tongues for many years. Having flashbacks and living through those stories the skjald manages to piece together the parts , make the stories scarier to entertain others because only story that others fear are of their interest. 

Visual Elements / Mise en Scene- Dark mood, caves , smoldering  small lights,rune writings and etchings, wolf sounds and growls.

Rationale – Because old stories or myths are forgotten either by the natives or others. 

Primary and Secondary Research – Research mainly done by reading up the Ragnarok myths on multiple sites where each told it a little bit differently.

Requirements and resources – Our work and time, camera with lights , drawings and recording of voice over. 

Constraints and Contingency – Problems that may be run into that we by working only as a group of 2 may not be able to finish up the project but one way or another we will have some final product done by the deadline of this project. 

Legal and ethical considerations – No legal or ethical considerations but the product may be shown as a quick advertisement would it be on mobile games,games news pages or as youtube ad to spread the word about the product. 

Budget – No materialistic expenses apart from our own time. 

Schedule – As we come together as a group bit late we had half the time to try and plan things together so the current time constraint is slightly scary to reach. 

http://www.vikingrune.com/rune-converter/  – To covert common tongue into runes of many kinds

http://norse-mythology.org/tales/ragnarok/ – The story of Ragnarok

 

Story

Skjald- A medieval Scandinavian poet, especially one writing in the Viking age.


You’re a skjald that has been sheltered by a tribe of vikings , it’s taken some time for them you to warm to them as they are merciless killers as other may tell you. Through time and patience you end up considered somewhat one of them, a skjald , their storyteller , keeping accounts of their kills , their stories of their gods to one day re-tell the lore you heard to generations to come or over a warm fire to pass the time.

As you are told stories you have certain types of flashbacks that help you imagine the heroic or tragic scenes you are told by others… Till you wait for your imagination to bloom the character goes through dark corridors etched with runes with the words that the others speak before immersing into the story completely.

Every different story would open different sceneries would it be Ragnarok where many gods fall and the lands are engulfed by the dark waters or simple stories of Thor or any other gods that are told to you.

The specific flashback that scares you comes along with the story of Ragnarok , the ferocious Fenrir ,a god who engulfed the sun and moon is out for blood during those times find you and “toy” with you like with food first before disappearing into nothingness as it is in the end only your imagination.

“You are our skjald , the keeper of stories from yore. You’ve experienced wars , deaths , fallen gods reborn and now it is your time to scare us with what you’ve seen. “


Final Art and Concept Art 

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The overall process of the project had a rough start as for most of the time a handful of people did not have a group. Started making as an individual to think of idea for the possible project(s) but the Nordic one seemed the maybe more interesting option out of them and most manageable to produce.Along the way I started working with Viktorija and we managed to work together as I made some of the art of the Fenrir as he was engulfing the sun and moon , Nordic gods profiles and those that were involved in the Ragnarok story and so did she.In the later weeks filmed the short takes in the green screen room but also a tunnel scene to give a sense of reality to the promo, they were necessary for the promo. As the editing process started record a couple of takes of a voice-over , extra drawings done and in the end Viktorija did her best  to make the promo video.

 

 

 

3D Maya Practice

Starter Maya projects in order to get accustomed to the tools in the software and customize it that we would be efficiently and comfortably using the program.

First experiments were making a set of stairs by dividing the mesh with the edge tool and then extruding, continuing to do so until satisfied with a result.

^Taught to you snap to grid/objects that the mesh would be accurately connected instead of eyeing it through wireframe and possibly misplace a piece.

^Started animating and using keyframes while moving the random objects at different frame rates just to show the movement and how different frame rates move objects at a faster/slower pace.

^Animated a bouncing ball , taking into account the physical changes that the ball might have as it impacts the ground (squishing , pushing it forward and eventually decreasing the bounce until a halt) .

^ Experimental sculpting in Pixologics free program called Sculptris (simple UI and tools to create something organic )

Video Production diary

Treatment

La Noire based trailer project (Filming ourselves)

Genre of this project is a Noir style would it be slightly unsaturated color wise or completely black and white short film (single camera).

The duration finished project should be 1min30sec. – 2min.+

Synopsis of this story is that a detective moves to a new city, new office, new crimes to solve.As hes settling in though a old ghost follows him and seeks revenge of sort for the wrong that Dustin Ken (the main character) has done to the other. Through some planning the old “friend” finds an opportunity to strike and murders somebody close to Ken – his wife. Anonymously left little box in Kens office didnt give off the tragedy that was to befell the detective , he finds his wifes ring drenched in blood ( most likely hers ) with a small note. After the mourning of a lover Ken seeks to find out who killed Elizabeth and looks for clues through countless papers and files that still lingered with him.

Character:Dustin Ken
Age: Mid 30s
Race& Gender: White background , male.
Backstory : Previously has worked as a cop in another city , climbing his way up the positions until a opportunity arose for him to succeed in another city as a well rounded and intelligent detective. In his years though he has collected some enemies along the way and few…Still linger, lurk to take their chances.

In terms of equipment we planned and rented gear from the Kingston College for 4 days , during them managed to shoot all of the necessary scenes for the project. The rented equipment was a Cannon DSLR , portable handheld light and a video tripod.
Props were mainly found by Harry which were a coat, hat; some of the props like papers and photos of fake files were done by me (and used Lorem Ipsum to fill out the page files)
Actors : Me and Harry switching between one another whenever the scenes required (Also Harrys father that filled in for the camera man when I was not able to)

The main audio song used for it was “Dark lullabies- The dusty attic” which Harry purchased from iTunes. The voice overs were recorded by me through my mobile phone and then edited in a software Audacity.Any other sounds in the video were natural and not pre-recorded and later on added in the editing process.

Rationale behind this story is after creating 2-3 and getting some feedback from the teacher the main story to be used had to have more exciting (?) elements other than a simple murder story. The skills that we knew was some kind of teamwork, filming , dealing with the rented gear and of course editing, Acting skills through were mediocre as we’re not drama students.
In order to achieve and finish this project we had to plan out small details and talk over constantly that there would not be any misunderstandings.


Production Diary entries

Things started off from doing some prior research on single camera productions to ease us in into the project , that we would have ideas and ways to efficiently do the project and in the end give in a completely finished product for the group to be at least content with.

Huddled up in groups of 3-4 and started off the creation process for the first few weeks while slowly planning along the way.

First few weeks were spent in doing some research on stories. At first I thought that we had to take one of the La Noire game missions and re-create them and film by using them.So did extra research by watching the actual game cases and taking notes in terms of story changes, props,characters and so on.

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Following weeks re-thought the ideas and saw that we needed original stories I had two stories written soon after and presented to the group. The one that was told to others was a simple idea that wouldn’t have been too intriguing , a chat with teachers made me re-consider and re-write that story in specific and add more to it.
After that the process of a storyboard and planning began. I drew the storyboard  which were alright, presented it and it seemed like a good project that will do so we continued working on the production papers (files)  filling them with information about the filming , getting papers ready once we were done filming.

During the Christmas vacation as we did not film we just talked out the details , what can be used, looked for props for the main character and think over the locations that could be used, in the end Harrys home was used to film everything.Rented the gear for mid of January and waited till filming days.

 

In the time of filming the scenes ,me and Harry managed to film most over one day , due to technical difficulties of no charger for the camera we had to stop the process for the day. In the next few days after Harry managed to get a charger finished scenes that had only him in it and wrapped up that, giving back the filming gear and starting to work on the filming process.

First idea for the narrative was to record my voice and for the ending to have a friend that had a manlier voice to say “Welcome to my parlour said the spider to the fly” and add it to the end of the trailer.Sadly, as I could not get a hold of the person I recorded both of the voiceovers and edited the latter one with Audacity and lowered the pitch to hopefully fit.
Filled out the final files and printed them out for the production and were relieved it finally ended.

Final Storyboard pages

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Final video project

 

 

3D Maya work-Scissors Animation

Treatment.

3D animating the inanimate (In Autodesk Maya)

Genre: Animation

Duration of the is suppose to be 20 seconds (500 frames, 25 frames p/s).

Synopsis of this project is to give character so an inanimate object through movement. Chosen object were scissors to possibly represent a human by the way it is made. Multiple type of movements were thought , each of them gave a different style and characteristics to the object.

The character used for this project is simple scissors.

Visual Elements wise it is simple with soft blue lit room with a low poly table ,camera unmoved as it captures most of the movement from a side shot.

Challenged myself with a more complex object to mesh which required rigging, during the creation process it was easiest to portray some kind of character through the movement , without adding any possible facial features to the object.

In order to achieve the final product I had the ‘fun’ opportunity to learn how to create rigging bones and skin them and use the movement graph ,messing around with the dope sheet just to make the animation itself somewhat better timed and smoother. I began with basic knowledge of Autodesk Maya and a few other softwares that I tried to use to achieve the wanted mesh (but the attempts were not successful)

Research wise we were tested during classes by our tutor but also during the process of creating the mesh object multiple tutorials were taken into account and looked over in order to help me to get a better grasp on how to possibly rig (In the end it was hours of experimentation that helped as tutorials only provided examples of humanoid rigging)

Equipment during the creation process was sketchbook,pencil and so on just to get the initial idea on the pages and add extra notes for a later date. While filming the possible movement a mobile phone and a pair of scissors were used to produce some kind of experimental movements (mainly looked from the movements that were drawn out in the sketchbook) to see how the object might have to move,its speed to achieve a certain effect of character.

Problems that were faced were my own procrastination but also the feeling of trying to overachieve by trying to produce a semi-high quality mesh model. The inability to create desired objects at a low poly count.

Possible budget issues were not a problem as only my own time was used in the process, no materialistic things were required to buy during the project.

For the whole project we were given approximately a month and a half. During Christmas vacation I spend multiple hours experimenting in other softwares when I started making the mesh, gave up on the project and came back to it

Work diary

(Kind of)

First 2 weeks or so started off with picking our objects and drawing out possible storyboards and motions that our objects would do would it be dancing, jumping around ,rolling everywhere, marching, skating, jumping and so on.

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Reference pictures
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(Original Artist :http://japhers.tumblr.com , taken inspiration from this artists picture of the scissors that were then personified by the artist but for this project I took that idea and applied to my own scissors making them worn out , taped as it would be an older pair(Which during the process of making the actual mesh seemed impossible to do so the mesh had to be simplified)

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(Office desk/Table that was also used as reference in making the table where the scissors were on)

For the storyboards I had a couple of ideas of how the scissors could move showing different possible characteristics like a person would have for example:

  • Ballet dancing scissors would be grateful in there jumps, steps smooth and flowing.
  • Marching– controlled and uniform movement with the steps constantly being repeated and the scissors would march across the table.
  • Shy walking – the scissors would make awkward and careful movements , looking around to the sides, possibly having a few quick steps while trying to be unnoticed and look around again before sprinting to their objective.
  • Sluggish movement– the scissors pretty much dragging itself as it opens up the blades , slides down the table as if doing a split and slowly moving across.
  • “Normal” walking cycle– the scissors waddling like a penguin with the blades lightly to the sides and moving around.Target audience may vary depending on where it would be implemented would it be a short animation (which could be seen by children) or possibly an advertisement that would be seen by a wider audience on the internet/TV.

Certain pitfalls before this project that were not want to face is the long process of figuring out how polygons work and how hard it is to fix vertex points and faces that the mesh would not look weird or out of shape/ certain points of the mesh overlapping. Also the long process of animation was a given as I have seen and heard from people how animation takes a lot time to clean up each individual frame (Mo-cap animations for example) and dreaded the time of when I myself had to have a shot at animating, with Maya though it was easier as the in-between frames were added and I only had to add the main points of movement and several rotations along the way.

Following week was spent recording our selves indoors or outdoors depending how much space we needed to try and imitate our objects and use movements from the storyboards or just create additional movements that could be added into the final product of the animation.

 

After the process of how more or less the mesh will move and will have to look had to move on on actually making a mini scene and make the object of our choosing using Autodesk Maya.(Which happened during the two weeks of winter vacation)
Starting process in making the mesh was tedious as a couple of other programs like Zbrush and Mudbox were used to try and give a go at making the object (sadly did not record the attempts as the  files were quickly discarded and started from scratch eventually in Maya) .

Before I could do any animation I come across a problem that was not easily beaten.As the center of the torus is not available to be moved to around the place of where the blades intersected it also meant that there was no no possible way to animate the scissors without adding joints to them. The process or learning how to create and place joints ,skin them to a mesh was excruciating as most tutorials on the internet referred to character joins instead of simple joints that were necessary for me.Tutorials proven to be somewhat useless as in the videos pre-made skeletons for the characters shown.

Rigging was literal pain without prior knowledge or help of how to rig, I managed to do it after countless tries to make it work , made 2×2 joints and proceeded to position them near the crossing of the blades and at the end of them, skinned the 2 joints to the separate toruses (that were sculpted and then made to look like scissors).

Throughout the process of making this animation hurdles appeared like giving move movement for the object to maybe have the possibility to be like an ice skater on ice and using the tables platform fully. As the mesh did not have any kind of spine joint to hold the other 2 joints together I was somewhat limited and had to go with a linear movement. In the end those movements were improvisation and using some elements from the storyboards that were drawn out weeks prior. Overall I believe this project turned alright as it was my first time making something and animating myself and the animation being longer than a couple of seconds no matter how flawed it turned out.

Evaluation

The main concept for this project started off with the wish to have something as close to a human as possible , to show the emotions that a person could so I chose the scissors pretty early on and stuck with that idea through out the given time.

During the time of drawing concept and actually making the model I intended to so somewhat of a detailed model of a old ,worn ,taped up scissors. As the time came to make the model I sadly had dumb it down , lose the details and only try to achieve some sort of mesh model that would look like scissors due to the fact as I could not achieve what I had drawn out and also that the main aspect of the project was to make an animation instead of creating detailed scenes or efficient models.

Overall I wish I could’ve been able to make a model closer to what I drawn in Zbrush but still happy about how it came out in the end . If I would have to make adjustments I would look into more rigging (or ask teachers) that the blades of the scissors for example would not clip together and in the end would move and a one grouped object instead of get messed up because of the way the bones were rigged.

Chosen color scheme was simplistic to only illuminate the mesh objects. In terms of possible alterations I would’ve done something like a new-retro color palette that involved a lot of purples/pinks/blues and other commonly used colors for that style.

 In terms of time consumption what ate most of the time was the actual modeling of the scene and scissors as I started off with a Torus and sculpted out and then edited the vertices and faces for a long long time after that. I think I used my time well as I managed to present the project in time but I did procrastinate a lot too during the process if I would’ve worked a few hours per day for example I could’ve had a more detailed animation in terms of textures, maybe a better model.

 

 

Pixar Short research

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As many know animation has been in childrens and young adults lives for years , many companies creating their art and showing it to the world.By now 3D animation has been used for many films and shorts but the titans of the industry are Pixar easilly going hand in hand with Disney who only not long ago started working on 3D movies.

MONSTER INC/Short “Mike’s  New Car”

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First off movie and short from Monster Inc made by Pixar around 2001/2002, many programs used and improvement has been seen for Pixars animations for future projects.

As the creative process begins nothing can be done without starting sketches or storyboards , for that artists in most cases use Adobe Photoshop along with tradicional art (pencil sketches ,quick notes and etc.) The software itself has been around for years and as it may not be primarily for drawing it is useful to know how to use photoshop efficiently. As storyboards/sketches of characters/enviorment are produced begins the 3D mesh modeling process.(Also at times sculptures of concepts of characters are made to possibly help the mesh artist to get a better grip on the proportions of the character)

One of many home-built programs that Pixar has made is called Fizt(Physical tool). Fizt is a program that was developed by David Baraff and Andy Witkin from Pixar animations studios to speed up the process the production of special effects around scenes and make the effects used to appear more realistic, incorporated physics and the ability to control the behavior of mesh objects in the virtual animation.One of the uses for this program was used to simulate physics around the millions of hairs around some of the monsters bodies and reduce the time of creation process for such a task.As before this kind of things were hard or close to impossible to recreate because of the time would be spent while animating batches of hair on top of the characters movement and increasing the render time for the final processes.

Another add-on for the program is that Pixar as of the creation of the software were able to animate all types of clothing , fur and other materials of their choosing without incorporating animators having to manually animate every little detail and decrease the time used for animating , speeding up the production time in the process.

Second program that is mainly used to make models with is Autodesk Maya. This program is widely used among Pixar employees and other game developers or animators. As this program was released since 1998 Pixar has most likely used this program ever since then to make at least basic models for their animators to work on while higher quality meshes are later made and added into the final product.Many movies have been made with Maya for example “The Matrix” , “Final Fantasy:The Spirit Within” , Pixar , Disney and Dreamwork movie names are also in the list as it proves that the program has been quickly added to every animators and creators list of programs to know. Program itself is able to do more than mesh high or low poly models but also to sculpt organic models (nurbs), texture , animate, create UV mapping and so on.Rigging and animations are done in a in-house built software called Marionette or Menv.

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Renderman & Presto

Presto is one of the softwares that are complimentary and compatible with Maya and is responsible for things like scene layouts, rigging, physics and animations. The interface itself looks somewhat similar to Maya itself or 3DSMax but is simplified that the artist would not be cluttered with information or panels that are not needed to whatever they are working on at the time.Animation wise the software allows the animators to have multiples of points and joints to easily move in real-time, tinkering with small details just to give that individuality for each character and their set of movements.

Open SubDiv – Maya shortcut to being able to make weirdly figured faces of mesh to lower the topology on a mesh , lower the render weight and the polygons used . The program itself was made as Pixars leads and Microsoft worked together trying to make Maya Autodesk a standart in the industry by showing people easier ways to work with Maya.

RENDERMAN

Pixar’s RenderMan is the premier professional rendering software used by talented creators and studios large and small, to generate the photorealistic visuals used in most visual effects and animated movies including all of Pixar’s films. For a more detailed overview of the features in the latest RenderMan 21.

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The actual process of making an animation of movie for pixar starts off with creating a concept would it be characters or story and then presenting it to the team. A lot of time is put into developing the story in the form of a text treatment and can take some time, after that is settled and the writers team and so on have a plot and script concept art is created to fit the story .
Drawings upon drawings created by multiples of artist , different concepts of one character, areas where it would be placed would it be a make up place or something taken from real life (Like in Big Hero 6 where Tokyo and San Francisco were merged into making the city where the main story happened).
With the script either in the works during concept art or already done voice actors do a loose read of the lines for the characters that animators would be able to use for accurate lip movement or express maybe the situation better (would it be a serious scene or a funny/goofy part).

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Later on in the process moodpboard like concept is created to better represent the colour palette for certain scenes or how the areas where everything is set looks like, it later on help 3D modellers to portray the wished concept art but in 3D.

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Along with creating the buildings/extra assets models are made, low polygon versions would be used for animators to get the real-time frames and get a rough idea of the characters are meant to move before moving on to complex models for the finished product. Depending on the model different things could be added to the more detailed models (like Fitz that Pixar used to add hair to characters and also lessening the render time and applying physics to them that the animators would not animate the hairs separately).

Most scenes were mainly hand animated by the animators with simplified scenes with basic colours that the animators during this process could easily orientate where the characters are and what do they need to do as they follow through the storyboards and script.Once the animations are good enough special effects, lighting, shading, textures, hair and so on are added and then the final project is rendered most likely in pieces or scenes because even with the software where render times are decreased it still may a long time for a whole movie for example to render out.

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Some references for information:

http://www.strangebeaver.com/2013/10/the-pixar-process/

https://renderman.pixar.com/view/renderman20

http://www.pixar.com/careers/Career-FAQshttps://www.quora.com/What-software-do-people-at-Pixar-use-for-design-and-animation

https://www.quora.com/What-software-do-people-at-Pixar-use-for-design-and-animation

http://www.pixar.com/careers/Career-FAQs

http://pixar-animation.weebly.com/pixars-animation-process.html