Thursday, May 24, 2007

Crunch Time

Yes were now into the Dreaded time more commonly known as Crunch. I’ve missed a few weeks for posts; I don’t think I have to explain why. Jason if your reading this I’m not wring those dam weeks. they've been pretty much the same as day eight and day seven although we've got the alpha release next week, and I’m about to die, I look like walking dead most days due to lack of sleep. cant wait for the minute after the hand in of gold,

No make that the millisecond

backgrounds will be in the game and GUI (graphic user interface) is basically complete. Animation is letting us down a little at the moment but they will get there. Alex (main character) is fully rigged and sprites have been rendered. There's a lot of alpha channel work to be done in Photoshop. There’s a lot of work to get done so I leave ya at that.

p.s. I’m releasing alpha to Digital Design Year one, that only 5 students though.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Personal / Team Reflection to date

This is a requirement due to the marking schedule. Each member of the game design class has to write 750 words about the three sections of the game that are already complete and marked. i.e. story, logic and design document. We’re to write about our involvement and what we think about the final outcome. Each team leader has to write a little more, they’ve got to reflect on each other team member i.e. Dino has to write about all the members in his team, I’ve got to write about everyone.

Our marks are as follows:

Story: 8/10

Logic: 7/10

Design Document: 8/10

Story was the first thing started as a class. It started as a group discussion about anything and everything. We were just trying to get a general idea of what we could create for our game. Our main idea / theme of time came from a conversation I initiated between Scott and myself. Initially it was a small conversation about time and how it affects the world. We were talking about what would happen if time was stoped / paused and you could walk sideways and how the light waves would bend and change our perspective or would we just cease to exist. I was really getting into the conversation when Jason said that the rest of the class should be listening to what we were talking about. So there arose the main theme, although it was developed into a parallel universe the main idea of time was due to Scott and I. My input seemed to be hugely influential within the story over the next few weeks. It’s been some time since we had our brainstorm so I’m still a little confused as to what input I had, but if I remember it was a considerable amount. I managed to sway a few minds off ideas that I personally didn’t like. Maybe that’s why I became the project manager.

The rest of the class took some warming up to get into the brainstorm, that also may be one of the reasons my ideas were so influential as I was one of the few actually saying stuff at the beginning. It soon became apparent who was going to become a huge part within the game. Cody seemed to speak up quite a lot. Joseph is always loud and always says his 2cents. I agree with Joseph’s way of thinking and rarely disagreed. Cody on the other hand has a different way of thinking. It’s hard to explain in words, but I do notice it. Jared too has the same way of thinking; I think it’s their logic. I personally don’t quite understand it sometimes, Jared more so that Cody. Never the less these two, Cody and Jared, seemed to have a large influence on the story. Both are natural writers. Cliff is another whom I rarely disagreed with. They seem to think on the same level as I do. Cliff was another whom had a decent say in what happened in the class. We already know that Cliff is an avid RPG guy so he was frustrated with some of the ideas but he seemed to warm to them. Returning to Jared, He appears to be a quite boy whom doesn’t say too much, but he did input his ideas. They, to me were conflicting with my ideas so little debates popped up now and then with an even share of winnings. Dino and Scott amazed me, to be honest is didn’t quite see them saying too much but they were in with a shot and quite easily said what was on their mind. Both had similar ideas to me and I agreed with the majority of them. Lincoln too was outspoken. He seemed to agree with majority of what was said, James was just as outspoken as Lincoln.

There was to begin with a bit of a language barrier between those whom spoke English as their primary language and those that spoke say Japanese or Chinese. Jason is a quite member of the class and didn’t really speak up too much. He did listen to what we were saying and when asked if he liked what we were doing and talking about he did respond. Other than that he didn’t say too much. Carter was a little more confident. He did speak up every now and then, and since the starting classes he has improved dramatically. So too has Jason. Keshiwei was one whom didn’t say much. We almost had to physically threaten her into speaking, she did say a little, a little more than Eugene, who sat in the corner of the room doing something completely different. He didn’t say anything at all. I personally was quite disappointed in this. As I’ve said before it, makes it hard to work with someone who doesn’t want to do what they’ve been assigned.

Ellie had more say than Keshiwei but again didn’t seem too interested. However she has warmed to the class. Ellie’s participation was more so in the story than in the logic and design document, but still could have been better.

The classes contribution to the story depreciated when the story team was delegated the task of taking over.


Logic for me and the rest of the class was only done in the initial brainstorms. It was the basic story of how our main character, Alex, is transported to the parallel universe along with Eva. How their mission is to rebuild the machine, rescue the professor and return safely back to the real world. Therefore the main arc was created by the class as a whole. The nitty gritty, confusing stuff was down to our logic team Cliff and Joseph. Joseph has always been off the planet in his way of thinking and I was pretty sure that he would come up with a twisted and out of it logic tree. Personally I would have liked Cliff to be the Leader for the Story Team but Jared was elected, not to worry I can work with Jared. The reason for this is due to an argument Jared and I had over some of the logic in the story. Cliff whom heard what we were talking about agreed with what I was saying. Jared seems to be defiant. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that sees this and I’m sure that he’s a really nice dude. He just sometimes gets on my nerves.

Design Document:

I did a lot of this. About 70% was written by me but then again I went back and referred to the people I had to so really about 30 – 40%. Lincoln helped a lot for the first draft copy along with Jared’s contribution for the story half of the document. Joseph wrote the Sound section. Cliff helped with the finishing touches for example the contents and appendix. Cody went through the rendering section as it’s his idea on cell shading.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day Eight ------------------------------ May 09th 2007

Another week of mayhem. Things are beginning to get tough in the class, people are getting stressed and the tension is high. As far as the Digital Design Course goes were all prety much focusing on other assignments at the moment. weve got one due on monday/tuesday next week and another due 3 days later. both worth a conciderable % in each paper. The one great thing about Game Design is we've realy only got a few deadlines to meet. the game design document, the personal summary due same time as game design and the final Game. That said there is the problem of procrastionation of game design; im just a bit worried at that.

We made some heafty decisions today.

Cell Shading
weve droped the 3d modeling for our backgrounds and have taken up illustration. for the characters whom are already modeled in 3d we've decided on the option of cell shading. i personaly don't like it all that much but i can see the advantages to this. we've had to opt fot the quicker option coz we'er running out of time. it means the art team has a set specific rendering style: that being similar to the style of the cell shade we use in 3ds Max.

we continued prety much with what we were doing for the rest of the class. me just floating and giving pointers etc.

ive dished out some deadlines again, (just like last week)

Get the story/ logic completed to 98% for next week. cody's to have the script 70% done. i want to distribute the story team into the other teams. the remaining 2% are just pick ups, completed as we find flaws with the story etc.

i initialy asked for 5 rooms completed and done for next lesson but uped that to 10.

have had a devent look over the sound library, completed puzzels for story team

have at least 2 walk cycles completed and main characters boned.

ive not got a lot of stuff to give to asif as of yet, the work load will start soon. for now its go over the tutorials.

same as asif

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Day Seven ------------------------------ May 02th 2007

We started with a bang today. It’s been 3 weeks now since our last class and it was interesting to see what everyone’s been up to now that they've decided to actually turn up. We didn’t really have a class meeting today but I had a quick chat to Jason about what’s been happening. He’s pleased that we're into the modelling stages. Then it was a meeting with the team leaders. Pipeline was the topic of discussion. Will post an image to our proposed pipeline once I’ve finished creating it. Fortunately we have 8 weeks left on this assignment, compared to the 6 weeks that I originally thought. That takes a huge weight off my shoulders. to be done by next week.

Jesse - (me) finish and add more to the game design document. Apparently what we handed in previously would only be worth the equivalent of 11/20 so will have to pick that up.

Cody- finishes modelling characters and have main 2 characters boned and ready for animation

Dino - have all backgrounds drawings completed and ready to start modelling

Joseph - he’s still working on the story logic tree stuff so he won’t be working on sound. But he is going into communications to listen to sounds.

Chi - (newly appointed Graphics User Interface designer "GUI") is to have the concepts fully completed for a crit next week.

god knows where Asif was, not too sure if he’s going to be in the class too much longer, which means I’m going to have to pick up the Code Lead and know the AGS program backwards and forwards. It’s going to mean even more work but I can handle it.

Overall I’m feeling a lot better about the game now and am really looking forward to looking back on our finished product.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fixing Our Teams

upon noticing that our art team wasnt preforming as should be expected, and it is by far the largest team, ive sent a strongly worded email to Dino our Art Lead to sort it out. i was glad to see his quick response, he imediately rewrote my email and sent it out to his team, this time using stronger words than myself. if i can find the email i will post a Quote. i added to dino that if we ask for a lot of work to be done, almost too much then knowing students then im sure we will get just enought come the hand in day. we've got to start turning up to the meetings and weve got to start turning up on time. im going to bring this up on wed at the beginning of the class.

Meeting ------------------------------ Apr 13th 2007

Ok today was a total waste of my time. its been nine days since we had our last class, see last post, and id have thought that our art team would have done quite a bit of work. I’ve just finished reading what cody thought on the meeting on Friday, and I have to agree 100% with him. i was expecting more work from our art team, so I could start to dish the work out to the animation team. its clear now who wants to be in this class and who’s only here because they want the grades. (they cant want them enough) I’m going to have to work out how I’m going to get this art team cracking.

Again I’ve noticed that our story team and a few others, Lincoln James and myself are the only ones taking this seriously. I have to congratulate the story team on a well co-ordinated and organised team. They definitely set the bench mark!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Day Six ------------------------------ Apr 04th 2007

Today we were introduced to our game engine AGS, see below for links. I’ve already seen this program work so I wasn’t as amazed as the rest of the class, but I hope it sends a message that our finish product can be as professional as we make it. We had a quick group meeting at the start of the day to discus what each group had already produced and what they intend on completing in the near future. I mentioned some important things that I had to say, e.g. had to come up with a group name and had to finish the design document by the end of the class, and a big one, Pick your Sh*t up after each class. We don’t want people stealing our ideas, coz their good ones ha. Anyway we then split into our designated groups e.g. art code story animation etc, with me just bouncing between each group and the design document adding my 2cents every now and then.

We now go away each knowing what we have to do during our holiday (I wish it was a holiday!!) and I intend on having a group meeting some time within those two weeks. Hopefully people do their work.