Monday, 20 May 2013

Major Project Evaluation

Directing & Unity

My directing and unity portion of my projects is where I feel I've learnt the most this year. While at the beginning of the year I barely understood scripting and hadn't had much experience with a games engine, I have now directed a game project and been an essential part of the unity team. I feel the directing of the game went well - everyone engaged well with the project and accepted feedback and requests to change things to better suit the finish-ability of the game. I managed to arrange deadlines with people, and if I saw people weren't able to meet those deadlines, I would rearrange these deadlines before they past - so that no one was ever 'behind' a deadline, and those waiting on the model/rig knew what the new date for release was going to be. I believe this helped keep the project on track as everyone always had a deadline that was in front of them, not behind!

Within Unity I have found I have a preference for using javascript for coding, and have used javascript to create a GUI interface, many puzzles, and atmospheric effects. I've also learnt a lot about how level building woks within the games industry, and how the terrian editor works. I feel my environments I created were flawed, but a very strong attempt considering my lack of teaching and experience within the subject. While the levels lacked some of the usability of mainstream games, where I feel I excelled was creating the atompshere in the level. Each had there own personality and feel to them, with juxposation between them reinforcing their atompshere.


The dragon was the first model I created in the project - importantly as they model needs to be very quickly rigged so that it could be given out to the animators in time for them to complete their animations. I had a week and a half to create the model and unwrap the model, so that I could hand it over to Joe to rig. I feel I completed the base mesh quickly and efficiently, with the mesh coming under 4500polys. I liked the design, and adored getting to texture the feathers and create that sort of feel to him, but I wish I had taken the design further. In the end there was a giant version of the dragon in the level, and while the design worked perfectly for the tiny dragons, it failed to scale up well. I would like to go back to the model and do a 'big daddy' version of the dragon, with more wrinkles and a much older looking face. I would probably make his skin look a bit faded and streched, and possibly have it mid shred of it's skin. I feel that this design works well in a computer game, and was enjoyed by the animators, which I found very rewarded.


I made props for both environments, with a focus on the ambient scenery instead of the character main pieces of an environment. The props I am most pleased with in this block are my trees and the ruins with the optimized ivy. I feel the trees work really well within the level, and the fact I based them on bonsai trees helped give them a lot of character and style which really added to the game. Optimizing the ivy really taught me a lot about game techniques in this project, and I feel these have really aided me as an artist in creating props which are engine safe and quick to produce.

I feel possibly my downfall in this project was creating too many props for the project - I have a lot which are only to an 'alright' level as I had to split my time within all of them, and only ended up with a few props I feel reflect my skill level. I feel my position as director/level builder was one of the aspects which lead me to over creating props, as whenever I saw there was a gap I instinctively went to create a prop to fix it. However, despite this downfall, I feel that this has at least given me the confidence that I can create game assets very quickly if needed which are serviceable, if not great.

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