Design

This section of my blog is to show the design of my environment from the rough map designs to the final maps. the images below are my initial rough designs of my map going through different styles and different platforms to draw on.

drawing

drawing 2

level design

i was originally going to use the drawing above as my final design for the level but after starting my blockout i realised it would be extremely difficult to finish that design within the time given, as such i designed a new final level that can be seen below that is more achievable for my hand in but is still detailed and original.

drawung

Review:

after having my class review the current version of my environment and reading there feedback, i have taken the points that i agree with in too consideration while proceeding with the development of my environment.

the main response i got about my level is that its an interesting concept but there aren’t any ways of preventing the player from going out of bounds, this is because i haven’t got to the stage of doing my out of bounds, i have done the garden and main building so i know how big i need my buildings that are being used for the out of bounds.

Asset mood board 

below I have shown the mood board I have created so that when I come to creating my assets for the environment I can look at it for inspiration for each of my assets.

Made with Padlet

Game Assets-

above are the assets that I created within 3DS Max so I could simply export them with the embed media (the texture I add to them while still in 3DS Max) and drag them into unreal where I could alter the size so they fit correctly into my level. most was as simple as adding an editable poly and extruding certain faces to get the required look. the best example was the table as I only had to do was add a square shape into 3ds and change the sizes so that it looks like a real tabletop, once that was done I add more segments onto the shape which allowed for more faces to use to create the table. I selected the four faces at either corner of the table that I needed and extruded them to create the legs. to make the table look more realistic I grabbed the all the lines on the corners of the table and chamfer which give the table them more looking smoother edges as they would never at a perfect 90 degrees angle in real life as they would be too sharp yet again ruining the realistic atmosphere. they weren’t all as easy as that however as some wasn’t simple straight shapes, the best example of these sorts of shapes are the candle and bolder as they needed to look a lot more random in its design. to create that random design I used a cylinder for the candle and a sphere for the bolder, added segments onto and randomly grabbed and pulled different faces to make it look like a rough bolder or a melted candle with uneven wax. the asset that I thought was going to be the easiest was the wall as I thought with a simple case of grabbing enough faces to create a door and do the same to create a window and that would be it. that couldn’t be further from the truth as I had to add segments, remove certain lines, bridge areas together so there weren’t holes in the wall. I managed to get it to look like a wall but even now I’m still unsure on how to fix the door completely, as you can see in the picture of the wall above they’re two random lines on the door that didn’t need to be there and I couldn’t get rid of. I tried deleting the lines but that deleted the whole door but while trying to figure out a way I realized I didn’t have too. I was planning on having the door blocked anyway so I didn’t have to texture all the insides saving time, so I created a wooden board that I can put in front of the door blocking the player from entering as well as hiding the lines for the door solving two problems with one solution.

Project Rationale

What is an environment artist?

The role of the environment artist within a game company is to create the backgrounds and scenery for the video game they are working, this includes architecture like building, environments with the mountains and rivers and also smaller items like plants. When an environment has been designed correctly it can create incredibly detailed worlds more than any other media as the artist are given the freedom to create imaginative worlds that players love to get immersed in and learn all they can about it. Some games series that have created incredibly detailed worlds through there environments are the Bioshock and the final fantasy series.

Image result for game environment artist

The environment artist will work closely with the concept artist and level designers will all work closely together through the process as at the beginning of the project the environment artist will hand an idea of what they want the environment to look like to the concept artist so they can do multiple sketches of what the environment could look like. once the environment artist is happy with the sketch picked from multiple drafts it will be handed back to them so they can start the process of 3D modeling which includes adding textures, colours, and lighting.

Image result for game environment concept art

during this process, the senior environment artist will communicate with the level designers about the mission-critical assets, vehicles, NPC’s and where they would be included within. the environment artist has to take all these into consideration as if they don’t it could affect the game play and create an unrealistic environment or worse an unplayable game.

Before the environment artist can start modelling they need to wait for both the artists and designers need to plan the environment and map out any props that will be used within the environment as well as any scenery that is used to further progress the story.  an example of this is the environment artist that worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, West Studio. In a specific level called “cliffhanger”, the player has to stealth there way up to the top of a mountain to recover some Intel but they get surrounded and they have to get to some snowmobiles so they can get down the mountain and escape. the environment artist will need to create a route that the player will take as well as making sure the snowmobiles are waiting during the design face so when the game is released players won’t get to that section and find that there are no snowmobiles to escape making the level impossible and unbeatable.

Like I mentioned above the environment artist has to consider where they will be putting the props and scenery into the game during the design phase but they also have to worry about the limitations of the game engine and storage medium, these two factors determine the resolution quality that the environment artist is able to work with. if they go to render when the poly count is too high for these to handle it can cause the animation to lag.

an environment artist has to be well trained, so if they want to make it anywhere in a game design company they need to be at the very least have a bachelor degree or any other professional experience that is equivalent to a bachelors degree on environment design. they also need to have excellent 2D drawing skills, need to have proficient knowledge on how to use 3D modelling software like 3DS max and how to use Photoshop efficiently. an aspect that not many people would think of but is still important is their ability to work in a team as the environment artist will be collaborating with other team members and departments so they have to be able to take criticism so they can alter their work accordingly and created the best environment they can. they also need to positively contribute to the creative process of the company. the skills listed above are essential but it also helps if the environment artist had majored in fine art, game art, and graphics design as well as having coursework on architecture and studying themes and artistic style of different cultures.

Image result for game environment photoshop

Image result for game environment 3DS max

to become an environment artist you need to go to university and get a bachelors degree of environment design like I mentioned above as well as has all the skills that I listed above. while at university you should create a portfolio of all your work so any potential game company that are hiring an environment artist can see that you’re able to create environment using Photoshop and 3DS max as well as create it in 3D or 2D.

to create the assets for the environment the environment artist will create a low poly version of the asset in a software like 3DS max and creating higher poly of the same asset in zBrush before you bake them together causing them to have a higher-resolution model.

Research

Inspirational game levels

-Post-apocalyptic:

My first for a post-apocalyptic game level that inspires me is from the critical success, the last of us.

The-Last-of-US-screenshot02

what distinguishes this sort of post-apocalyptic game from the rest is how the apocalypse came about, in most of the other games the apocalypse was started because of humans usually because of war and/or nuclear warfare. in the last of us, however, the virus that took over and destroyed most of the population is all natural and found in rather than being created in a lab like the viruses in resident evil series. this means that unlike those sorts of games there was no way of preventing the apocalypse.

it’s because of this natural look that I choose the level “Pittsburgh” as one of my chooses for inspiration for a post-apocalyptic level design. as the title of the level suggests the level is set in the American city. but they removed all the people and replaced them with scavengers and zombies, they also let plants take back the city by covering the building and vehicles.

Because of the lack of sane humans, there’s no artificial light source apart from your main characters flashlight meaning that only natural light sources like the sun are used to illuminate the level.

for my second choice, I choose Diamond city from fall out 4. although it’s not technically a level and it’s more of an area, the importance in the story and design still inspire me enough to add it as one of my chooses.

Fo4-diamond-city-concept2.png

the reason I choose Diamond city is mainly for its design and purpose within Fallout 4, its the main last safe point for humans after nukes were dropped as such they had to build it out of scrap inside of a stadium giving it this rusted, scrapyard look but also shows how resourceful we are. Diamond city is very imported in Fallout 4 as it where you can get a lot of quests and items. kinda like the last of us through the day the only light source for outside is the sun but during the night is replaced by the light of the stadium lights.

-Fantasy:

just like for post-apocalyptic I researched different fantasy based games to find different levels that could inspire me to create an environment using that theme. my first choice for a fantasy level is from the legend of Zelda: breath of the wild with the divine beast vah medoh

Image result for Divine Beast Vah Medoh

this level sees you trying to figure out puzzles in a giant mechanical eagle that is used to protect the land. the mechanical eagle sounds like it belongs on the Sci-fi list but its the design and how it works that make it in the fantasy list. the divine beast is made out of looks to be stone and is covered in most giving an impression that it was made decades ago and is most likely powered by magic. because the level is designed around flying in the sky there’s a lot of wind puzzles as well as controlling the bird and steering it to tilt certain objects. the outside is light up by a clear sky but the interior is lit by windows on the beast or by glowing stones that are spread throughout.

the second fantasy game that I have chosen is dark souls 3 because of the level anor londo.

Image result for anor londo dark souls 3

the level is set in a massive cathedral but appears to take inspiration from castles a staple of fantasy. the level involves you fighting your way passed knights while looking for an entrance into the cathedral to kill the boss inside. the architecture is very Gothic and dark which I think is a great contrast to most other fantasy worlds that extremely bright and colourful. as the game is set in medieval times all the lighting in the game is either from the moon or from torches which really manages to make you feel like you’re exploring an ancient world.

-Sci-fi:

the final theme that I will be doing choosing two games for inspiration is sci-fi and my first choice is the level “the ark” from Titanfall 2.

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the level involves you on top of a spaceship with your robot partner BT trying to catch up with enemy ships so you can destroy the weapon they have on board. BT throws you onto the enemy ship as you run and gun through the ship before jumping to the next one. as the ship is filled with enemies there its also filled with weapons including big cannons and robotic guards. because of this they took something already existing, a battleship, and made it futuristic by turning it into a spaceship.

my final inspirational level is from Borderlands 2 and its known as “the bunker”.

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The immediate detail that sticks out about the bunker is how clean and pristine it looks creating a very utopia look. but this hides the fact that there isn’t a human insight instead being filled with killer robots and guarded by a flying war machine causing this utopia to be a dystopia. you travel to this area looking for a key to defeat the main villain. the clean look and bright lighting hides the dangers that are hidden within.

Mindmap

below I have created a mind map for each of the themes as well as inspirational games and other media based around that theme and the sort of environments they have within that I could use while designing my own environment in one of these themes.

my first mind map is for the post-apocalyptic theme.

 

Sci-fi mindmap:

mind map 3

fantasy mindmap:

mind map 2

 

Moodboard

Made with Padlet

above is the mood board that I had created so I could collect photos that all relate to an environment of three different themes that being Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Post-apocalyptic. I got multiple different sub-environment for all three of the themes for example in my Sci-fi section I had the typical space station but I also have floating city’s and even under the sea environment so I had more inspiration while designing my own environment.

all three themes have the possibility for a creative and interesting environment, with fantasy I could create a castle or maybe an underground city and if I was to choose the Sci-fi theme I’d be able to create an alien city but its the idea of altering a real-life location to make it look like the apocalypse has happened that has made me choose post-apocalyptic as the theme I’ll be designing my environment on.

because I have chosen the post-apocalyptic theme I can base the environment on real-life locations and change them till they look like they’ve been through a disaster whether that’s a natural disaster where I can let nature take over the building and vehicles or a man-made disaster where nothing is left but ruins and rubble. the real life location i have chosen to alter is a local garden that’s opposite the road to my college. because its so close and i pass it on a daily basis i can take some pictures myself of it for my primary research and use them images to create a realistic apocalyptic look.

garden

above is the most recent image i could find of the garden that i will be altering for my environment design. the image is from 10 years ago so the place has changed quite a bit but that’s not an issue as I’+ll be taking current pics myself anyway so this image is just to show you what my design will look like.

Level design types

below I have explained what different types of levels I could use to build my environment in by listing the pros and cons of each one.

  • Alley-

this level type is commonly found in first-person shooter as their object is to run from point A to B shooting anything in the way. as I mentioned previously the whole point of an alley level design is a linear level with only really one way to get to the end with maybe a few shortcuts thrown in. a pro for these sorts of levels is that its unlikely that players will get confused and lost in levels as they are linear, however, this could also be a con as the player could feel like there being guided and could easily get bored so the level designer needs to create an illusion of it being open and expansive. a good example of a game creating an illusion of being open when really its alley design is uncharted.

  • Maze-

this level design is pretty self-explanatory as it’s a level designed like a maze, often found in puzzles games as the player has to figure out how to find there way out. when done correctly a maze level can be fun and imaginative to design but can easily be made confusing and not fun to play through which could cause to leave and not play the game again cause of one section of the game. an example of this done right is from God of war 3 with hera’s garden. a small maze-like garden that uses perception as the puzzle is some creative and fun ways because its short and interesting its less likely people will get bored and quit the game.

Image result for god of war 3 hera's garden

  • Hub-

most commonly seen in 3D platformers hub levels are where you’re in a location with objects that will teleport you to one of the main levels. nearly all the most popular 3D platformers mascots have had hub worlds in at least one game, this includes Mario, Sonic, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro.  because of the fact that the hub is used to teleport to levels, you don’t have to as much consistency in level design as you would if it was all taking place in one area as such every level can be drastically different and more varied. hub worlds aren’t without there fault however that they don’t work with every game genre, that’s why you don’t see a lot of shooters that have a hub world. the hub world could also be too expansive and not filled with side objectives to do causing people to get bored while looking for the next level which has been shown with Sonic the Hedgehog ’06

Image result for CRASH 3 Hub

  • Island-

this kind of design isn’t as much for a level as it is for the entire game as an island design is an open environment where you can explore however you see fit so if developers use island level design they will most likely you that as the full game like they did with Fallout 4. they can, however, hint at which way your meant to be going with difficulty so if you wander into an area that way more difficult than any other area you’ve been to before its most likely meant to be visited later on when you’ve levelled up or got stronger weapons. this sort of design is good for world building as you can explore at your own pace and find out the lore of the world your playing but for a new environment artist that has never build a proper environment yet it could be too easy to build an expansive world that will be too much to complete within the given time frame.

Image result for fallout 4 map

  • Path-

this style of level works particularly well in stealth games as path levels give you multiple paths all leading to the same outcome. for example, a game series that path levels are prevalent in is Hitman where your given a target to assassinate but are given a myriad of options on how to do it, you can sneak up and get him, go in gun blazing, snipe him from a different building all different ways of doing it but all leading to the next level.

Image result for hitman kills

Research

I created a survey concerning my environment so i can get the opinions of others on how to design my environment. because of this, I can design the environment to be the most appealing to as many people as i can.

below is the results that i received from the survey.

survey 1

The first question that i asked in the survey is the most important as it will dictate how i will design the rest of my environment, whether the theme will be Sci-fi, Fantasy or Post-apocalyptic. as you can see Post-apocalyptic won by three time either of the other options as such that is the theme that i will be building my environment around. in the question i made sure to inform the player that i was considering to design my environment based on a real life location so they could give an better answer as they know what im planning for the environment.

survey 2

continuing on from my last question, i informed the recipient that the local area was going to be a city that my college was located in. i thought this would be a good idea as i know that area well and can alter that area to fit the theme that was most popular which was post-apocalyptic. 80% of people said that their chosen theme would work being built around a city and at least 60% of those votes will be recipients that voted for post-apocalyptic as my theme. now that my theme has been decided I’m am able to take pictures of the area that I’m wanting to design around to use as reference.

survey 3

Now that my theme has been decided, i can move onto deciding what art style ill be designing my environment in. as i mentioned in the question above, in my personal opinion a realistic art style will work best with my environment due to the fact that its base around a real life area as such it would make the most sense to use a realistic art style for a real life area. i wanted to get other peoples opinion however thus i added it into the survey and you can see that realistic art style won by a huge margin with 86.67% of people voting for the realistic art style.

 

Asset list

below I have created a list of all the assets I need while creating my environment of a destroyed outside are that have been overrun with plants.

  • walls
  • door
  • shattered window
  • rubble
  • poppies
  • trees
  • statue
  • memorial
  • bench
  • desk
  • chairs
  • monitors
  • cars
  • PCs
  • chairs
  • desks

Asset rationale

The environment I am planning on using is an enclosed area of a destroyed city that has been overrun with plants and nature as such the asset list I have written above is all to do with destroyed buildings and nature.

the most important object in my environment is the building as they will be used to block off the area preventing the player from exiting the area and wander around an area that I haven’t designed, as the environment is set in a city I also need the building so that the player can easily tell that they are in a city. to make the process of designing the different sorts of building faster and easier I will create all the walls, doors and windows separately so I can change them around for each building making them look different and make the city look more realistic than having every building look the exact same.

I want to cover the memorial in poppies as I believe it to be a fitting tribute as such I will design the monument and poppies separately so when it comes to adding them into unreal I can add the memorial in separately and then add the poppies over the memorial to save me time while creating the assets and I can make sure it all looks the way I want it too.

as my environment is set in a city and not a forest I’m only needing a few trees, 5 at most, so I can create 2 different trees and copy and paste them to save time and focus on other aspects of my environment that will be more difficult or more time consuming to do. finally, to make my city area look more realistic I’ll be creating and adding a few benches as well as a car and statue to make it look more realistic as well as different types of debris and rubble so it matches the theme of post-apocalyptic.

I am planning on having the player travel through an office building to get around a blockade. as such I’m going to fill the office buildings with  monitors and PCs so it looks like a realistic office as well as them thrown all over so it looks like theirs been a realistic apocalypse.

Asset mood board 

below I have shown the mood board I have created so that when I come to creating my assets for the environment I can look at it for inspiration for each of my assets.

Made with Padlet

 

Reflection and Evaulation

this section of the blog is dedicated to the progression I.m making throughout the six weeks of the project. I will be listing the aspects I’ve done, what worked well, what went wrong and what I did to fix the problem.

Week 1:

I have started work on the project including starting and finishing the proposal for why I’m creating the game.

I also started some concept art so I can get an idea of how I want the game to look which is why I’ve started doing some research which includes looking at different time periods to see which would suit my game the best. After some research, I’ve gone with Ancient Greece as they have the best mythology for me to in my game.

thank to the research I have done and now knowing what era my game will be based in I have Started to create some lore for the game that I will carry on working on.

week 2:

one of the benefits of using creating a piece of concept art this early in the game development is I know how the rest of my assets will want to look and if I’m not pleased with how it looks I can change. however, they’re also disadvantages of doing concept art this early cause if I decide to alter the era of the game I would have wasted time designing art that wouldn’t match my game. after weighing up the good and the bad points of doing concept art this early I am glad that I had done it as the possible downsides ain’t that bad in my opinion as its unlikely for me to change the game era as that the one I find most interesting and that works best with the lore of my game.

week 3:

after speaking to my tutor about my game and him reviewing and giving me feedback on my game. as I’m still in the research stage of the project he mainly gave me advice on what elements I should be explaining and that I should start designing some of the elements of the game. after listening to his feedback and take it into consideration I have decided that I will continue my work on the research elements while focusing on the points that Chris suggested such as focusing on elements like theme, art style, and mechanics and think of the key design element while I do so when my research is completed I can move straight onto game design with the research to use as a guideline.

Week 4:

this week has involved much more work as this was the week I started my research for my game that will be essential through the entire project as every choice and design will revolve around the research as such this is the week I have to put the most effort into this aspect.

because of the survey, I created and my fellow student’s responses to the survey I have a greater understanding of what people want my game to be so I can alter my game around them results to get as many people I can interest in the game increasing sales. however a problem with having other students fill it out they are all around the same age so their answers will all be similar than if teens and parents were to do my survey. another problem with my classmates filling out the survey there isn’t a great number of us leaving the responses a bit lacking which is why if I was to repeat the project again I would open the survey to more people and different age groups to get a better understanding.

week 5:

This weekly review I showed my tutor that I was had begun my concept art with a Spartan warrior I was planning on using as the main playable character that I had created early and the landscape of the temple of Zeus that I used to show off what my world would look like that is currently in progress. I also informed him that I was going to start my in-game assets using my concept art as guidelines once I had finished the concept art for my main playable character, environment, and monsters. my tutor suggested that I carry on refining and completing the designs and asset creation while I start to look into designing the code and mechanics for the game so I don’t fall behind with the game and get stuck trying to complete everything at the last minute causing me to become overwhelmed.

Week 6:

This week was the week that I had begun designing my game starting with the artwork while looking at the code and figuring out what I need to do with it as was suggested to me by my tutor during our last Tutor review which can be seen above. I prepared some concept art of the main character and what the buildings would look like on paper and then transferred it to Photoshop so I could use it as a template while drawing around the outline so it could be used as in the game as assets. however, it took me longer than I had anticipated to what my character would look like as such I only have this week coming up to complete my artwork or ill be behind schedule that I had created when I had first started this project. although what I had previously mentioned is a concern I believe that I will be able to complete the art as its mainly just background stuff and a few more buildings to design which shouldn’t take me that long with a combination of college and personal time creating artwork I should be able to complete it within the time frame

Week 7:

I continued the work I had started last week again this week  to try to complete my artwork so I can move onto other aspects of my project however, I still have a few more artworks to complete so I’ll continue to do that in my free time so I am able to complete the project while not ignoring other aspects of the project that is just as important. this upcoming week I’ll be doing more work on my scripts for the game while at college and do artwork during my free time. I have been doing some research on the scripts I could possibly use on the game so I am not going straight into next week without a clue of any codes I could use for my game. even though I’ve done the research on the code I still don’t understand it that well so when it comes to the scripting the game it will only be basic scripts which is the reason I’ve decided to focus on the art aspects of the game to make up for my laking coding skills.

week 8:

this is the week that I have to finish my artwork off to make sure that my project will be completed in my time frame.

Week 11:

this is the begging of the final week of the project, I still have a few areas of the game that needs doing like I still need to do the animation for the game and finish a few more assets but apart from them I have done well with the game and following the time plan I created at the beginning of the project. if I carry on working at the level I’m working at now I should finish the project for the due date. I have completed all my research, up to date with all the stuff I’ve done for practical skills so far and as you can see have been evaluating the project at the end of every week so I’m able to see how I’ve tackled challenges as I’ve gone along and how I’ve overcome them.

Week 12:

The final day of the project is here and although I still need to add a few elements to my blog like the final week of reflections and any other missing aspects my main game has been completed, built and handed in for marking. throughout the six weeks, I have done aspects of my game well, like creating surveys so I can get a feel of what others are aspects from the game so I can build it around the feedback I’ve been given. although the best part of the project from my point of view is without a doubt the artwork as I believe that is the best artwork I could have done for the game, i was originally sceptical of the art style as it was a new style for me so I was unsure if id be able to do it. even though I was nervous about using the art style I still choose it over pixel art for the sole reason that I could include more detail into a realistic art style than pixel art so I drew the concept art in that style and was only going to resort to pixel art if I needed too. I made the right decision using a realistic art style other pixel art as I managed to create some of the most detailed assets I’ve ever created. another aspect of the project that I did well with is my time management of the whole project, at the begging of the project I created a time plan for the six weeks so I know what I needed to do that week to ensure that I don’t fall behind on the project. although on some weeks have not been able to complete all the work I had set out and to do it the following weeks this has never been a major problem for me as it didn’t prevent me from completing the other aspects of the game or handing the project in on time, it simply meant that I had to do more work in that week than I intended. Even though this didn’t stop me from handing in on time its something I wouldn’t want to happen again when doing a project so to solve this issue I will create a more detailed time plan to ensure that I know exactly what needs to be done in that week as well as create a more realistic time plan to complete to ensure that I am able to complete it on time and not fall behind.

Not everything was a success however as the code is a bit simplistic and doesn’t leave much room for different gameplay and modes to keep the player interested and want to play multiple times. this is because I’m not as good at the coding as I am at the art and didn’t have enough time to learn the codes necessary for elements like combat, although if I was to redo the project with a longer time frame I could teach myself more difficult codes to add to my game to make it that much more interesting. I could have also included more interesting and various artwork into the game to make it that much more interesting to look at, however, due to time restraints I was unable to do any more artwork than what the in the game currently but for the next project I have decided to do all my codes first so I can get that aspect out of the week and focus mostly on my artwork rather than having to focus on multiple aspects at once, by doing this I hope that it allows me to get more art done as I will be focusing on that rather than having to keep stoping to do the code. The lack of music also makes the game seem baron and boring, by including music I would make the game more interesting to play through and warrant multiple playthroughs.

 

Practical Skills

This section of my blog is to show all the designs that I have created for my game including the mechanics that I will be incorporating into my gameplay, the art that will show how the game will look and will be used as an outline when creating my in-game assets and also the code that I will create a prototype of before creating my final code for the game.

Art and Assets:

helmets

Above is the initial design I created to see which style would best fit my game. as you can see I drew an outline of a head to basically use as a sort of mannequin so I could design the helmets around making them look more realistic. All three helmets are historically accurate to the time period that I have set my game in. Because of this, anyone of them can be used for my game so to narrow it down I showed it to my fellow students asking which one they thought would work best in the game. there was an almost even vote across the board with the middle having the slight advantage which I have to agree with as that one is based on the Spartan helmets which considered to be a stronger army than the traditional greek soldiers and they worshipped Zeus which work well with the backstory of my game. The other two would work as the helmets but the middle one has more advantages like the previously mentioned ones over the rest that’s why its the design I choose to use for my final design of the day.

heads.jpg

I also did some designs on paper while waiting for other aspects of the game to finish building or saving. as I only needed basic simple designs to choose which one I would expand further paper was the better option for me as all I needed was paper and a pencil to rather than on pc where I would have to open a software like photoshop and use a drawing tablet which would waste time. out of the three designs, I believe the third to be the best for my character as he’s meant to be a fierce warrior and a bold man with a beard is considered to be tough and manlier than most other people.

armour.jpg

I also did some designs for armor on paper while I was creating my unity project on the pc to save time. After doing some research on what armor the greeks would wear I design these three after similar armor that they would have worn in that time period. although the first one is the simplest one I’ve have decided to use that as the armour worn by my protagonist as that is the style of armour worn by the Spartans which the main playable character is a member of so it makes the most sense to use that as the armour so it matches my choice for the helmet as aswell.

conc-character

After drawing them thumbnails and deciding what aspects and style I would use for the final design main character I was able to design my final concept art for him that will be used as a guideline. I drew the basic outline of the character to make sure I got the anatomy right before I went onto drawing the rest of him and then when the anatomy was right I photocopied a few copies so if I messed up the armour I wouldn’t ruin the anatomy.

conc-character complete

The image above is the final concept art I created and as you can see it includes elements of all my previous drawings, specifically the ones that I said I was using for my main character. I drew the armour over one of my photocopied images as previously mentioned in case of the drawing getting ruined. I also included a medusa’s head in one of his hands to show the player that he is brave and tough enough to beat a dangerous enemy making the fact that he’s running away from this situation shows just how dangerous the monsters are and how that there’s nothing a mortal can do against them.

char-loadscreen

Now that I have picked the final design for my main playable character and drew his final piece of concept art I can draw the character into photoshop using the concept art as a guideline. this art was my first attempt at using a more realistic style than the pixel art I would normally use. For my first attempt, I am happy with my results as I believe the character looks well and I like his color pallet. however, if I was to repeat the project again ill try and get the lines looking neater as it’s not a major problem but it could make the art more aesthetically pleasing.

 

These are the sprites that I had created to use as my animation for the main playable character movement. to make the process easier for myself I had drawn the different parts of his body on different layers so I can move and hide them rather than always having to redraw them for each new sprite of the animation. the animation is simplier than I was originally hoping it would be however, I found the process of creating animation for an art style I’ve never done before incredibly difficult so I made the decision to keep it a simple animation to stick to my project plan and not fall behind due to a small part of the project.

temple concept

Like I did for my main playable character, I drew concept art for my temple but as I was basing it on a real-life location I didn’t need to do doodles like I did with the armor and stuff like that as all I need to do was research the temple of Zeus and draw it just as it would look in real life. I even tried to add some details to the temple with that wave pattern to make it look more realistic.

temple-1

After I added the concept art of my temple of Zeus into photoshop I used it as a template while creating the asset for it, this is the finished result. I used the bottom mountain part as a stencil as I wanted it to look rough almost like a real mountain but when it came to the temple I made sure to use straight lines to make it appear new and pristine as they would have been new and well maintained for the god they worshipped.

temple-final

The image above is my final design of the temple of Zeus that will be used for the final screen of my game and for my title screen. I noticed that I had forgotten to add any color to the bush as you can see from the image before this one. apart from the bush, I have also slightly changed the darkness and lightness of the temple to add shading on it to make it appear more realistic.  I also included a sunset background by painting bright colors and then using the blur option to make it look like one sky. The reason that I choose to use a calming sunrise as the background is so that it contrasts with the final screen as this will be the first scene before the monsters attack and the final screen will be during the monsters attack so we can see the difference making the chaos stand out more.

 

I designed the houses and ruins around what they would have looked like back in ancient Greece where the game is set to make the game more historically accurate from the design and even the color of the house. I also took the sunset from the background of my temple and cIpied it into the levels to use as a background as i believe it works well for the game.

 

 

Above are the two monsters that I designed to use in the background of my game and are the whole reason for what you are doing in the game. I was hoping to create more interesting monsters from Greek mythology but due to time restraints I was unable to create anymore and have to do with the two I created. If I had a longer time period for the project I could have designed and drawn other famous Greek mythology like the Hydra, Griffin and other mythological creatures.

 

Coding:

unity 2

Now that I have some assets to use in-game I can start building the actual game by using unity and the tools provided. I first need to create the unity project and name it the title of my game so it can be easily organized as well as create folders within the unity for all the different aspects of my game like the scripts, scenes, and animations.

unity 1

Cause I have already created the artwork that I am using for the title screen I can put it into unity and see how it would look in-game. I moved the game screen to the side so I can see how it looks in-game on the right while I alter it on the left. I started by adding the background temple in and altering it so it fits in the camera view then adding the character and repeating the same before finally adding the text in so I know where to place my buttons.

scripts

To save time I decided to recycle my code from my previous game and alter it to better fit this game. This means that I don’t have to spend as much time on coding and can put that time into other aspects of the game that I have not yet started or that needs a little extra adding too potentially gaining me extra marks.

unity 3For my game, I only need to have two scenes, one for the title screen and one for the actual level. to make up for the fact that I’ve only got one level I will make the level longer so that the game isn’t too short and customers will enjoy the experience.

game 1 the image you see above is a very early stage of my game as most of the codes are done and working it’s just the assets that need to be completed. I have however got enough basic assets to add to my game and test it all works, as you can see I’ve managed to add a box collider to my character and the house so he doesn’t just fall straight through it. While testing the box collider I also noticed that my movement script was working as intended meaning there’s not much more coding I have to do it’s mainly just adding assets in and adding box colliders.

scripts 2

I added the new assets into unity to make my game look better and then updated my movement script so that it will allow the animation I had created using photoshop to only play while moving and then when the player has stopped moving it will return to its idol pose. while I was testing the animation in-game I noticed that when I changed the direction I was moving the camera jumped and didn’t look right. this was because I had attached the main character to the player model causing that problem so I removed the main camera from my character model and created a camera script shown on the right to follow the character without it jumping. I then added it to my player model allowing it to work.

game 2

My game has been built including all the assets, codes and other aspects of the game. I added the assets into the unity project and was testing the game when I found a glitch that allowed the main playable character essentially fly which I know the cause of it. the script I created for the game allows the character to jump after a set amount of time, this is done so eachtime you jump you would usually be unable to do it again until your land but if you jump from a height you can repeatedly jump and fly across the game. although I know the cause of the problem I am still unable to fix the problem as I don’t know what to change in the script to fix it without getting rid of the jump altogether. I originally thought that I could change the time of each jump but that means that I cant jump instantly when I land making it look unrealistic. if I had more time I could research other codes and try to fix the problem but I am running out of time so I decided to leave the bug in and make a note for if I would ever return to the project.

If you would like to see my game in action I created a short youtube video that you can watch and see what the game has to offer

You can download and play my game here > https://wakecoll-my.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/personal/atk16001638_wakecoll_net/EZ_3r1OKcRtGtDktJMrpFqwBN14_oyGVMlUEP8sa2QN6FA?e=TCSBPg

Research- Year 1

Before I can do any other section of my game I first need to do my research as it will determine every other aspect of my game, from the art to the gameplay and even the whole theme of the game. however, before doing any other research I first wanted to do a survey so I can get over peoples opinions and take them into consideration while researching for my game.

below are the answers to a survey I had created.

Q1

For my first question, I gave them a brief description of what main gameplay I was thinking of using for my game to give them a brief idea of what the game could be and help with there decisions. To see what era would be most appealing to the consumer I gave them the choice of the 3 eras I thought would work best with my idea for the game and let them choose. as you can see it was a close poll but greeks won as such, that will be the era my game is set in. this instantly gives me an advantage for the rest of the game as it means I can focus my research on Greek mythology, armor, and architecture rather than having to do all them for Vikings and Romans as well which would waste that I could use in other areas of my project.

Q2.1

Q2.2

after each question I ask, I also ask why they choose that as there answer so I can get a better understanding of what they want from my game as well as get qualitative and quantitative research rather than just primary and secondary. As you can see the reason that most of the participants voted for greeks because they believed there are more possible creative designs for greek monsters than any of the others and do to the fact my whole premise of the game is escaping monsters it’s the most logical era to base my game in.

Q3

Q4.1

I repeated the same the technique for choosing what art style I would design all my assets around. although the majority voted for pixel art I’ll be attempting realistic instead as I believe it to be the better choice for the game over the pixel art as although I have done pixel art in the past I’ve never been able to add that much detail into it and I want my monsters to have a lot of detail so I’ll do attempt realistic and if I struggle to do it early on I’ll switch to a pixel art style as that is the most voted for.

Q5

this is another case of me having to go against the majority vote but this isn’t because of what I personally think. I’m not the strongest at coding that’s why I am going to make my art the major aspect of my game and any additional coding I would have to do will just make the project more complicated and make the deadline harder to reach. as such I have decided to leave my game as a run and jump platformer. although I am not adding combat during this project if I was to repeat the project for whatever reason and I was given a longer time period I will dedicate some time to learning the code for combat so I can make the game that much more interesting and making it so the consumer will want to play it multiple times.

Q7

I was originally planning on not including background music as I didn’t want to waste time trying to implement it but after doing some research I found that this procedure is quite simple so how the music will be able to immerse the player will be worth the small amount time it will take to add a soundtrack. however, I don’t have much knowledge on creating music or adding music in the game so I may have to leave music out if I am unable to figure out how to add music into unity.

Moodboard:

moodboard-architecture.png

above is one of the mood boards that I created, containing the main design elements that I will be incorporating into my game. as you can see from the title that this specific mood board has multiple different styles of ancient Greece architecture including the temples, houses and general layout of ancient Greece. this will help me when designing the levels of my game so it looks as historically accurate as possible, immersing the player that much more while being suitable for the BBC.

moodboard-armor as you can see I created another mood boards for different styles of ancient Greek armor just as I had done previously for the architecture. I created this mood board much the same reason that I had created the previous as I can choose which armor set would work best with my main playable character and the game itself. using this mood board I am going to do quick simple drawings to see how the armors look in my art style and can judge what looks best for my game.

moodboard-mythology

And the final mood board that I had created was all to do with ancient Greek mythology. I am planning on using them as an obstacle either use the actual monsters to avoid or use the monsters to cause the obstacle that you need to work around. Like for example, I could have it where a monster like a Minotaur throws a bolder at a building and you need to find a way over it.

http://www.legendsandchronicles.com/ancient-civilizations/ancient-sparta/spartan-religion/

I was originally going to make my main playable character a normal greek soldier for the game but after looking through the website that I have linked above I have decided to change him into a Spartan as it makes more sense in-game. the whole premise is to escape to the temple of Zeus for protection from the titan’s wrath. the Spartans worshipped Zeus so it makes sense that they would go to his temple in a time of crisis.

Because I have decided to make my main playable character a Spartan warrior I thought it would only make sense to set the game in a time during ancient Greece that will link my main playable character with the location the game is set in. Because I had chosen to use the temple of Zeus as a major area of my game and that is located in Athens I started some research to see if there were any point when the Spartans were in Athens and the reason behind it. while conducting my research and looking through different websites trying to find a reason Spartans would be in Athens when I found the website that I have linked below.

https://www.ancient.eu/timeline/Peloponnesian_War/

The link tells of a war that took place between 431 BC – 404 BC that came to be known as the Peloponnesian war. the war was waged due to Athens control over the Delian league which was a vast naval alliance that dominated the mediterranean sea. the Spartans were outraged when Athens had transferred the league’s treasury allowing them to become more like an empire than an alliance, which made them able to fight short wars to force member that wanted to leave to remaining the war. the Spartans saw this as an act of provocation and a year later the Spartan peace treaty with Athens were canceled allowing them to make the first move, taking control of a town called Potidea starting the war.

This is the perfect war to set my game in as it links my main playable character and the location together giving me a reason for what happens in my game. it also makes sense why he would be running to the temple of Zeus as he’s in a foreign land and the only place he can run to his to the temple as the Spartans were worshippers of Zeus.

https://classicalwisdom.com/top-ten-terrifying-monsters-greek-mythology/

From the beginning of the project, I knew I was going to be using greek mythical monsters in my game as I believe them to be some of the most creative and interesting monsters out of any of the possible mythologies I was given. however, I was unsure of what exact monsters I would be using for the game so I conducted some research and stumbled upon this website, that has been linked above, that showed me some Greek mythological monsters as well as the backstory behind which allowed me to design them accurately.

research

above is one of the entries from the website and as you can see it gives us information and a basic design of the monster in question. Because of the research, I have done I have now decided to use a minotaur as one of the monsters using this image as a baseline of what the monster should look like. They’re also other monsters in this website that I am considering designing to be used in the game like Medusa, Chimera and even the Hydra.

moodboard-artstyle.png

now that I have decided what art style I will be using for the game, I can start looking at similar games to use as a reference for what my game could look like. The mood board above is from different games, comics and some random art background that I found off the internet with different art styles that I believe would all work well with my ideas for my game. When I find the perfect mix of character art, level design, and background art from the mood board I can use them to form my own art style and use that within my game.

As the music for ancient Greece was universally present in Greek society and they’re way of life as it was played in everything from there marriages, funerals and even there religious ceremonies. Because my game is all to do with ancient Greece and elements of Greece I have decided to include background music that fits the game and its historical accuracy.  after doing the research I came upon an ancient Greek song that I believe would work perfectly as the background music for my game, it is called the Hymn to Zeus (song link below) which from the title alone as the main object is to reach Zeus temple for protection.

The actual song itself also works for the game as the string work is sort of relaxing contrasting with the whole idea of running for safety and the heart-pounding nature of the escape. this makes the game both relaxing and heart pounding at the same time making the game feel unsettling the entire game which works well for the game.

 

 

 

 

Context

I have been approached by a producer from BBC history to create a game set in a time period of my choice as long as that time period takes place between 900 B.C. to 900 A.D. this is to get more people interested in history. I want to be able to create a unique looking game set in ancient Greece that teaches the player about historically accurate architecture and armor while also teaching them the mythology that greek believed in.

For this project, I have decided to create a survey as a research method so I can get a better idea of what other people would like from my game so I can alter it to appeal to the largest audience. As well as surveys I will also be creating mood boards and looking at websites so I can make the game look authentic and make it feel like its the real ancient Greece.

The main software’s I’ll be using is photoshop to create all the art and assets that will be used in the game and unity which is being used to build the actual game. I decided to use these software’s as they are the ones I’m the most familiar in so I can produce the best game I can.

To make sure that I am able to complete the game by the deadline I’m going to create a project plan so I know where I need to be and if I’m falling behind if so ill make sure to catch up in the areas I’ve missed and not fall behind on the rest of my work. there are other reasons that I have chosen these software, for example, its easier for me to tranfer my concept art from paper onto

Week 1: Proposal- Before I can start any other aspects of my game I will first need to write my proposal to make sure that my ideas are suitable for the company that hired me. ill do some basic research just so I can get an idea of each time period and make a decision of what my game will be based on. The reason I’m doing a proposal is so the people know exactly what to expect from my game and I don’t do all the works for the game and then find out they don’t like it and have to start from the begging.

Week 2: Research- Now that I have done my proposal I am able to start work on other aspects of my game. the first thing I want to do is the research so I can get an idea of what greek wore, their architect, mythology and other elements of their time period to create an authentic look for the game. To make sure I get the best possible research I can, I’m going to try many different techniques like Moodboards, surveys and websites as well as other to get as much research as I can and show the clients in a neat and organized order.

Week 3: Design and Concept art- before I start anything else I want to have a look through my research and add any elements I had missed previously. once that is done I can start designing the game and the elements that I will include the game.  I’ll also start some concept art for my main playable character including his armor, face, helmets and any other small details and once I have chosen what the main playable character can look like I can draw the final piece.  this is to give me an idea of how the rest of my game will look and if I don’t like the design I can alter the art without wasting much time and falling behind.

Week 4: Art- This week I will be drawing the levels and any other background elements so once that is done I can add all my final pieces from the concept art into photoshop to begin drawing around them and adding color and shading to make them look good enough to use in-game.

week 5: Coding- I’ll be doing coding this week so that all my assets will be ready to add into unity and ready to start coding but if I’m unable to complete the coding aspect or there still bugs in the game I have another week to fix and finish the game. to begin the week I will start with the movement script as that’s the most important part of the game because without it whenever the game is played the character would be unable to move making it impossible to play. once that is done I will begin creating the scene manager which will start and end the game.

week 6: Finishing- For the final week I won’t be focusing on any specific part of the assignment and instead of looking at the assignment as a whole and see what areas are lacking and add to them if need be so I can assure that my game is complete and not missing elements. whether that be one of my scripts that I have been unable to get to work in the week before, a design for one of my game assets that I believe can be improved or any other part of the game.