Personal Reflection and Going into Year 3

Overall, I feel that the work produced this year has been to a better standard then what was produced last year.  My skills with creating characters has definitely improves, so has my use of character silhouettes.  I also feel that if I was to put more work into my level designs, they would look much better then they currently are.

One major aspect about this year that needs to be improved is my time management skills.  A large portion of my problems coming from this year is a lack of planning when it comes to creating artwork for games.  While I say this every year when it comes to time management, it may be useful to set up some kind of document to help manage the amount of time spent working on an aspect of the project.

Another major setback for this year was the lack of home access I had to vital programs such as ZBrush.  With how much time I spent working on the character models and not on the level, I wasted a good few weeks not doing anything constructive to the level work.  This is something that needs to be resolved going into Year 3

Something else I need to start doing is frequently uploading my work to my social medias to expand my audience reach.  It may also be a good idea to actually work on ensuring that my personal development blog is continuously updated and worked on.

Plans for Summer

Given we have around 18 weeks or 126 days, over the Summer break it may be useful to work on some of my skills for next year and to teach my self the software I will need for the project I am planning on.  Some of the tasks I need to do next year are:

Practice Conceptual art for characters and environments

While I am mostly interested in the character aspect of game design, it would be useful to be able to design environments too.  Some of my plans as to how I could improve both of these are:

  • Draw characters with randomly generated character descriptions
  • Draw real people
  • Draw real landscapes
  • Draw character T Poses

Overall, by practicing over the holidays, I will hopefully improve on what I have already done this year.

Practice modeling characters and environments

It may also be important to work on my 3D modeling skills since it seems to be a requirement for the job that I am planning on doing in the future.  This may mean that I will have to buy ZBrush so I have been looking around for the cheapest price for the program.  So far, I have found it going for around £345 for an Educational License and £550 for a Personal Licence.  Getting ZBrush will be useful since I could also use it to help create assets out of classes since that was one of the major setbacks I had this year.

Learn more Unity

While my plans for the future aren’t going to involve much use of Unity as a program, it Character_Ideawould be nice to know the program so that I could create something to display any work I do next year in, rather than just having a static model for people to look at.  I could do this by looking up tutorials on the internet and using them to help build better characters

Work on my ideas

Overall, I don’t have much of an idea of what I would like to build next year.  I have something in mind but nothing concrete just yet.  That is another task I could spend the holiday doing; refining the idea that I currently have.  I have already worked on a little bit of art work based around the idea but aside from that, I still need to work on it.

Character and Level Hand-In

Overall, my opinion on my personal development throughout BAGA 201 and BAGA 202 has been alright.  Not good, not bad but a plain alright.  My problem with both level and character is that I tend to have a ‘if I can do it, I’ll do it now and if I can’t do it, I’ll do it later’ attitude to my workflow.  This is evident in most of the work that I have done throughout the course of this year.

Character

Model_render

Generally, I like the work that has been produced in character.  I feel that the amount of time I spent on it has shown in the quality of both the Princess and Main Character ZBrush models because of the amount of detail that is contained in both.  Unlike level, I spent a long time working on looking at different items of clothing, working on character concept art and making the models which shows in the final models of the characters.

Final_Renders

However, if there is one thing I have to say I dislike about the characters I produced, it would be the texture work on the main character in that it took too long to finally texture the model meaning that I spent more time on that rather than working on other projects.  I think it would be useful to try and get use to making models have a lower topology in ZBrush over the summer break simply because spending weeks just working on one model is not something I want to do next year.  It may also be worth buying ZBrush to ensure I have the program at home for ease of access.

Level 

sneliawn.png

I am quite ashamed and disappointed at how level ended up.  I just felt early on that I couldn’t work on level concept art so I didn’t work on the level, which then lead to me working up until the deadline just texturing the level rather then having it done a week in advance.  This is something I definitely want to improve going into next year.  This is not to mention my lack of level fly-through because of both a lack of time to make the fly-through and a lack of knowledge on how to do the fly-through.

I think putting some time aside to learn perspective and how to photobash may be useful over the summer break.  I should also make time to learn more Unity just to make sure I have some understanding of the program so that next year, I can at least try and have a level done for the end of year show.

Visiting Artist – Jack Eves (Rebellion Games) teaches Photobashing

Learned how to use some techniques to photobash in photoshop.  Basically what I learned was that the best way to photobash is to block out the areas that made up the area that you were trying to build using black and white, then to overlay the photos on top of the black and white and add highlights were necessary.

While doing this, I was doing work on my Blue Peter Model for BAGA 201.  Upon reflection, I should have been following along with what he was saying on screen…

Level Presentation (19/01/2017)

On the 19th of January I had to give a presentation on the ideas that I have created for my level for the BAGA 202: Level Creation Project.  Overall, the presentation was 23 slides long, showing the influences for the game that I am creating along with level and enemy designs.

Overall, the presentation was a success in some ways.  some criticism that I would give about the presentation is the fact that I was not confident in the work that I was presenting.  During the presentation I criticised some of my work for not being that good.  However, according to some feedback, I now know that the problem may just be from me being overly critical of my work.

Some of the feedback I got was that the level sketches need to be refined.  Anther piece of feedback I received was that I needed to refine the design for the clown.  Since it is some of the first concept art that I created for the game, the final design looks like its apart of a different game compared to the artwork done for the main character and princess.

Something that was well received was the silhouettes that I created for the main character.   Apparently they look good.  A criticism against my criticism of my skills was that the anatomy of the characters are fine.  Personally, I feel that some of the concept art that has been produced for the main character and the Princess have some proportions that look wrong.  That may just be me being overly critical of my work.

Some research that I was recommended to do was on games such as Mafia 3 and Left 4 Dead 2.

Visiting Artist – Jack Eaves

The basic gist of this presentation was that the industry is hard to get into and that you should tailor your portfolio to the company that you want to work with.  Also that just because you may apply for a company who’s games you aren’t exactly interested in doesn’t meant that you aren’t going to enjoy working for them.

He also showed off some of his work.  One thing I learned from him was how art is treat in the games industry, than anything designed or made in a design studio is then the property of the company that you created it for.

S.W.O.T Analysis

Strength:

  • 3D Modeling Experience
  • Very Few Limits on What I Will Draw
  • Very Few Mental Triggers
  • Have a Sense of Humor
  • Experience with Photoshop
  • Experience with Professional Word Processing

Weakness:

  • Not Good With Horror
  • Not the Most Talkative Person
  • Get Distracted Easily
  • Detailed 3D Modeling Experience
  • Drawing Experience
  • Makes Constant Spelling Mistakes
  • Can Not Work Once Hands Go Under a Certain Temperature
  • Anxiety (need to see a doctor)
  • Fear of Showing Off my Work
  • Lack of Confidence in Work

Opportunities:

  • Work Experience
  • Apprenticeships
  • Game Jam’s

Threats:

  • Hypermobility
  • Other People With Better Skills
  • Development

‘Your Creative CV’ (3E’s)

Cover Letter

A cover letter is something used to allow the reader to understand what the CV is for.  Keep the cover letter specific to the job that you are applying for while also adding a little personality to it.  The cover letter has to be interesting and engaging.  It needs to draw the reader in to want to read the CV.  Avoid starting with ‘I am writing to…’ or something along those lines.

CV

CV’s are important because they allow to express your experience in and outside of the industry that you chose to be apart of.  It is also a tool to allow your future employer to get a grasp of who you are and could be a tool for getting into they job you want.

What you should put into a CV is anything relevent to the job you are going after.  This includes skills, previous work experience, qualifications, additional training and references both professional and educational.  It may also be useful to place a link to your professional blog, email address and professional social medias.  Presentation of the CV is also important.  Keep it clean and concise and don’t overload it with irreverent information.  Something else that needs to avoided is underselling self.  Also, it needs to be positive.  Don’t leave a list of reasons why you quit your previous jobs and other topics like that.  Finally, avoid listing your previous educational background.  Nobody cares!

 

What is a Utopia? What is a Dystopia? Compare Plato’s Utopia and More’s Utopia.

A Utopia by definition is an idealistic society where everything is perfect.  It is a place where everything has been designed by its architect to represent what they view as perfection, detailing the laws, the way that public life is ran and even in some cases how people socialise.  However, the problem with a Utopia is that the idea of ‘perfection’ is fairly subjective.  For the people who find the kind of Utopian society the Elite have created, there is the word Dystopia.  A Dystopia is a place in which nothing is ideal or perfect, where everything is in ruin.

Both Plato and More had an idea over their idealistic Utopia, both suggesting that a Communistic Utopia is in some ways perfect.  Communism is the concept of a society without Classes or Boarders.  Where all resources are shared equally to the people in the quantity that the people need.  It advocates for a lack of Private Property.

Both Plato and More have similar ideas over how their perfect Utopias should be ran.  To begin with, both the text on Plato’s Utopia and More’s Utopia talks about the ideas that made Plato and More conceptualise a Utopian Vision.  The text on More’s Utopia stated ‘Before long, it becomes clear that Raphael offers shrewd analysis of various communities around the globe – and that he finds most of them to be faulty in some way. Even Tudor England offers little in the form of civilization.’  What this is saying is that none of the societies that More visited were perfect.  The text goes on to explain the problems with the class system and how it punishes those which More saw as unworthy of the punishment, giving the example of a poor Thief steeling clothes and being punished for it.  On the other hand, rather than giving an example of ‘injustice’ the text on Plato’s Utopia instead talks about the idealistic rulers of a society by stating ‘He dreamed of a state that would be ruled by leaders who sought more than material gain.’ The idea is that the Lords and Kings of the time in which Plato crafted his idea only cared about themselves rather than those they ruled over.

In both texts, the writer describes the desires of Plato and More to control the way in which people view the world politically and socially.  The text on Plato’s Utopia states ‘Plato’s Republic introduces a city state defined by communism (the elimination of property and ‘selfish’ constraints such as the family) and common education – instilling of proper values through careful censorship’.  The Text explains further that “we must supervise the makers of tales; and if they make a fine tale, it must be approved, but if it’s not, it must be rejected”  By censoring the public view of the Country in which this brand of Communism is used, Plato could create a society where opposing ideas do not flourish, making public life ‘perfect’.  While Plato had more to say on how he would control public life socially, More instead focused on Religion.  The text on More’s Utopia states ‘In Utopia, one may practice any religion because, right or wrong, faith in some manner of God serves to unite the community. Only an atheist who does not fear judgement in the afterlife is ostracized from the Utopian community.’  The text explains how the society will be thought religious tolerance and that any religion will have a place in More’s Utopia aside from Atheism, the very belief that God doesn’t exist, since Atheists will not have a moral code to live by.

Where both Plato and More differ with the definition of Communism is their stance on the Class system.  Both advocate for some kind of class based system.  Plato’s classes refer to the different occupations of his society.  The ‘teachers, guardians, and laborers.’ since each occupation is seen as important to Plato’s perfect idea.  More on the other hand referred to the idea that the there will be only two classes, the public and the slaves.

Overall, while Plato and More had similar ideas over how society should be ran, their ideas differ in some ways.  They both focused on the idea that society should be ran by the collective rather than the individual.

Personally, a Communist society, while it seems idealistic focusing on the collective worth of people rather than the individual work of one person, I don’t like the limitations of the Communist system.  Say what you like about Democracy and how floored the system is, at least you can say what you like about Democracy since it is one of the main features of Democracy.  Also, say what you like about Capitalism, at least Capitalist system gives people something to strive for, where as Communism really forces you to take a role in society, not giving you the same incentive to strive further.