Postponing the Inevitible

It’s coming to the point now where i will have to start getting more practical; I mean I should of been doing practical a long time ago… -sigh-
So what have I been up to?
Apart from being distracted by the unavoidable responsibilities at home and becoming a slight hindrance to my group -insert horrific sobbing here- I have at least set out my thoughts and plans in a more manageable approach. My google drive now holds my weekly plan of…weekly plans, which is a completely new experience for me for as you can see organizing is just not my forte, but its helped out a bit.
Onto the main subject, when I was planning out my puzzle, it was hard for me to articulate, to the point that drawing it out just didn’t help put it into perspective; I needed to know how it would work. What did I do? I tried making it. Now please don’t laugh, I’m not a clever bunny, in fact a rabbit would most likely out smart me, but I tried. Thankfully I had some card lying around my bedroom (yay for hoarders!) and some other bits and bobs to attempt this miniscule hopeless excuse of a contraption:

Tadaaaaa... Don't laugh! (Pardon the Hello Kitty Pj's)

Tadaaaaa… Don’t laugh!
(Pardon the Hello Kitty Pj’s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see here, the three wheels will not be entirely visible in the room, and still seem to take a lot of space. But that can be adjusted and corrected later on. It’s not anything special, but it gave me a better understanding of how it would roughly work. And so I went on to do a very basic drawing of it too:

I don't have the patience to detail right now

I don’t have the patience to detail right now

And to top it off, i did a little concept of what the outside of the building would look like:

Oh boy...

Oh boy…

The look of the building was inspired by pretty mineral rocks with their precise points and angles poking out at whatever direction they desire.

So where does this take me now? Modelling. I don’t have a huge issue with it, in fact, when i know what I’m doing, I enjoy it, and thus enjoying the result even more!
But in all honesty, I’m terrified. This module feels too big for me, like its more than a challenge. I can barely get a grasp of anything I do and needs to be done in UDK (and even 3DS). I get this helpless feeling, and I’m incredibly sorry to my group for being so weak in this subject. But i need to pull my socks up and try harder. Lets just hope I don’t f**k this up eh?
Wish me luck.

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Here we go again

Its been awhile… sorry.
It’s funny, the idea of this blog was pretty exciting and I thought I’d commit to it but I guess not. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, so I’ll try to be a little more loving towards it ūüėČ
But I’m not gonna lie, something did force me back on here, and that’s my Platform Evaluation module in my second year at uni. Yes, I am back with my old friend UDK, and actually we’re no where closer to being friends, but who knows, this could be the year? The year we join forces and take on evil! Modelling the salvation of this world!!! Importing justice!!! And at the end of it all, we’ll hold hands and walk towards the sunset…

Anyways, for this module we had the option to either work in a team or by ourselves. I chose to work in a team for reasons, good reasons, such as spreading out the work load, team mates helping out one another (which i need a lot) and just the opportunity to experience working in a team. And for our brief all we have to do is to design a level, a working prototype, which includes new things we learned (I’m still a noob to this so everything’s new to me…).

So, lets start with the Basics:
After a lengthy discussion (which took 4 weeks) we finally decided on an idea based around a mysterious island entwined with puzzles (no not Myst). The idea was born from the recent incident in Pakistan, where a little island emerged from the earthquake. And from there we branched out with a concept of the island being a mystical representation of the protagonists life. I suggested the protagonist to be a girl, just for something a little different, and so there’d be less for us to model!
Actually, when I think about it, its not just an island, its a collection of small islands…that float…in the sky (no not Bioshock Infinite), and google tells me that this would be called an¬†archipelago,¬†but I wonder if it’s still called that if they’re floating in the sky…
Moving on, There will be a center or starting point island which will be surrounded or branch out to four other islands. Theses islands will consist of puzzles that, once solved, grants the player a fragment of a story which ultimately tells the story of how this protagonist died. Yeah, the girl is actually dead.

Our group split up into major parts of the production of this level, though we still made decisions of the game together. One of my roles is to provide some concept work and puzzle ideas and because I focused on the puzzle more, i didn’t actually do any concepts of how the entire level would look. Unfortunately, the group is still constantly bringing up new proposals and ideas for the level, which would manipulate the islands appearance, so although having a lot of concept ideas would be great, time is of an essence and is ticking against us.

Puzzle Ideas:

We ended up coming up with the idea of thinking up a puzzle each.
I thought of two but of course went with one.

So here’s the first idea:

 

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Ok i suck at planning out a lot of things, and worse at explaining too. So please bare with me as I try to explain, I mean its a pretty basic concept, nothing genius or incredible, but hopefully decent.
Basically, there will be a room with 3 wheels in it. The wheels will have four parts which will be slightly thing (but not really see through) and each section will have different shapes. From behind, a light will beam through the wheels creating a shadow on the opposite side.
When the shapes are aligned correctly, they will create an image, thus solving the puzzle.

 

The cog-like wheels and the shapes that create the image

The cog-like wheels and the shapes that create the image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puzzle solving image

Puzzle solving image

 

 

 

 

I thought it would be cool to do the image of the girl falling as the puzzle solver.

 

 

 

 

 

I also came up with another idea, and although it would be a little challenging for me to do (and I chose not to go with it) its still something to consider for my plans:

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So this idea takes up the whole island and takes place outside. Its the classic shine-the-light-mirror-to-mirror-to-hit-the-target puzzle… hah.

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A few ideas for what the mirrors could look like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, the character herself. 1378472_10200690662371584_2008892891_n

 

 

 

 

 

Level Design: well done genius!

So for starters, let me just explain my relationship with 3D level design. Its like a snowman trying to embrace a hot stove which undeniably would result in a miserable puddle of failure and¬†befuddlement. And I’m the snowman’s nose, the carrot, lying in failure and befuddlement… Didn’t make sense? Yeah that’s the point.
I just can’t seem to get a good grasp of UDK, and when I do manage to do something, it’s rare that I remember how I did it if i need to to do it again… gah!

Ok, so confusion to the side, I took a really silly approach to this module, and that’s not doing it. No, not because I didn’t want to, but because I stupidly thought I wasn’t meant to start on my level yet and just went along with the tutorials in class. Clever. So, I’ve had a late start on this which doesn’t pair well with my perpetual battle with understanding UDK.

To start off, this is the plan of what the overall level will look like:

IMG_2780

What its meant to look like is an overview of a cul-de-sac neighborhood of flats. But for some odd reason, there’s a little house at the top of the street (the pink block). So the atmosphere and look of the level is meant to be quite dull and dreary, the flats aren’t gonna look very flattering….yup. But the house will be somewhat adorable and brighter in¬†color¬†and light. If I have the time and skill, the lighting around the house will be brighter compared to the rest of the street.

The house itself is actually inspired by the lovely home of Carl from the Pixar animated movie¬†Up. Unlike the surrounding flat buildings, you’re able to go into it and explore the interior (yay more work for me). This is where I’m focusing most of my skills on, adding 3D modelling and little poorly done interactions here and there.

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First Floor

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Second Floor

I also planned out the inside of the house; the second and first floor, which is loosely based on the Up house plans:

So here we go, lets see how I do with this… wish me luck…