Sector Defence: Team cooperation

To begin with, I believe the team cooperation within the project was ok at best. The group consisted of seven different people. Matthew, Lee, Andrew, Billy, Steven, Gary and Myself. This is the largest group I have worked in so far, so even if the teamwork was not amazing, it was definitely a learning experience.

I had previously worked with Billy and Steven in the imagined worlds, and we were all 3D artists within this project. Which resulted in us all having a similar style of asset, and made things easier when deciding on the visual style of the game. They were also very talkative about their assets, and giving constructive criticism to myself, and the rest of the group.

Matthew, was a great game designer and project lead, as he talked to the group about the game style and kept everyone on track. He made sure everyone was working on what they needed to work on, and kept all of the pre-production up to date.

Lee was slow to begin with, his concept art was very simple and hard to get any inspiration from. However, the player concept art was created quickly which allowed Billy to get straight to work. The enemy concept art was a few weeks slow, and the communication between the Lee and the 3D artists was bad, as we did not know where the enemy concept art was. Once the art was completed, Lee was very talkative about what he had created and allowing Steven and Billy to change what they wanted. Lee was also very talkative to Andrew and Matt about where and how the UI would work. However I did not receive much communication from Lee, only receiving concept art for the generator.

Andrew was working well with the whole team for the first half of the project, talking about what our assets looked like in engine. What we should change and what we needed to create. However, in the second half of the project it was hard to talk to him about what the assets looked like as he was only focusing on the game mechanics, and not what the game looks like in engine. At several points we couldn’t even see what our assets looked like next to each other in engine. However, in the last few weeks near the end we managed to get an update on the state of the game, and what everything looked like.

Finally, Gary the animator in the group left after a few weeks. Leaving the group without an animator. As Matthew suggested we cut out all the animation, and anything necessary will be done with code,  allowing us to continue without him.

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Sector Defence: My contributions and performance

For the Sector Defence project I was assigned the role of 3D artist/Environment artist. As I gladly accepted as I aspire to become a 3D environment/ Props artist.

To begin with, I believe my contribution is slightly over average, I believe my communication, my time management and quality of work was of high standards. I started the project by starting a discussion with the team, on exactly what the game would be. I talked closely with the other 3D artists, Billy and Steven, and the Game designer Matthew, as the style of the props and environments would have to stay loyal to a certain art style throughout the project. We needed to figure out exactly what that style would be. I believe I remained loyal to the art style throughout the project and my assets worked well within the game. I was working especially close with Matthew as his job included designing the level layout and the way it looked. My first major project was the asteroid field as this would be the tutorial level, Matthew would tell me exactly what assets we needed to create the level and I would create assets based on what he needed. However the asteroid field was scrapped, due to the team being behind on the schedule. The next major thing I worked on was the canyon tiles. Matthew required several different shaped tiles to create the canyon. Yet again he told me what he needed and I made it, the look of the canyon stayed true to the style guide, however I had to later revisit the canyon several times. A few times to create different shaped tiles, and once to change the corner pieces as they were not symmetrical.

I created a flowchart to show exactly what my work flow was throughout the project.9

Overall I believe this work flow worked quite well, however I believe talking more with Lee and Andrew would have benefited the quality of my assets greatly. As I only received concept art for a few assets, and I only saw my assets in Unity a few times, as Andrew was busy coding the mechanics of the game.

I believe my areas of improvement focus around time management and knowledge of the software I use. My time management in this project was of a decent quality however it could still be improved, as I took too long on some assets which reduced the amount of the time I could spend on my next asset. I could also improve my knowledge of the software as when I first tried to create the asteroid assets I struggled to use mudbox, spending some of my free time learning the tools of mudbox would have improved the quality, and the amount of time I needed to spend on these assets, which would have overall improved the quality of my product.

Sector Defence: Generator 2

Since the last generator post I have completely finished the generator asset. I have improved upon the low poly of the generator, I have created a high poly and baked onto the low poly and also textured, rendered and imported it into Unity. 8

I tried to keep similar colours to Stevens shield wall, making it mainly a metallic silver and red. I also used a height map and stamps to create some of the panels on the side.

Sector Defence: Generator

Matthew had several game mechanics prepared for the canyon level of Sector Defence. However, because we are behind on our schedule we have had to cut several of these mechanics out. But Matthew was adamant that we would definitely keep the mechanics that involved destroying a shield generator to pass through a shield wall. Steven would be creating the shield wall, and I would be creating the shield generator. To begin with both myself and Steven looked at similar images of shield generators and sci-fi tech, when creating the assets we hoped to keep a similar look and feel. So they felt like they were part of one thing rather than being separate. For the colours of the generator I knew I wanted quite a bit of dark red and red emmissiveness so the player would know that the generator is something bad and should be destroyed, or at least considered an enemy.

Here is the current progress of the generator. 7

Scrum post: 2

Since my last scrum post, we have progressed quite far with out work, and we have also had our group MVP.

For the MVP results we got green marks all around except for the environment. The environment tiles were looking good, however the levels were too empty and a little boring to look at. So as a group we decided to allow Billy and Steven to finish the ships they are currently working on, and then they will move onto props to fill out the environments. We are behind on our schedule so while Billy and Steven finished their ships I would re-texture the canyon wall and floor tiles to look like a moon, which we can use for another level, this would cut out a lot of wasted time and allow us to add to the content of the game. The tutorial asteroid level will also be cut from the game, and instead, Lee will be creating a tutorial menu for the player instead.

Steven has created two enemy ships and Billy is nearly done with the first player ship. Andrew has improved the game mechanics, the shooting now looks a little more fluid from before. The enemies no longer fly through walls and the movement controls have been improved.

Sector Defence canyon: 4

I have started texturing the canyon tiles. To begin with I could not decide on what sort of texture I should use. Should I go for a more stylised texture, or more of a realistic look. After several in engine tests and the input of most of the group we decided to go for more of a realistic texture however, we could change the colours to look a little darker and ‘orangy’. As the rock texture we were using, which I found on substance share was too ‘limestone like’.4

However, even after all of the changes to the texture we all decided it still looked wrong, so after discussing it with the group we decided to add a different colour to each layer. To make it seem like the canyon it made of different types of rock. I also added a black mask between the layers just to separate the colours out.

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I have also textured the floor tiles, 5 different tiles for outside the canyon, and 6 different tiles for inside the canyon. 6

 

Sector Defense canyon: 3

Since the last post I have talked to Matthew and he decided he needed a few more variations of wall tile sizes to make certain areas of the canyon level. So I created three more wall tiles, all three were flat walls but different sizes. These extra tiles should help make the canyon look more unique in certain areas. All of the tiles are now ready to be exported as FBX files and textured in substance painter. The three tiles that are circled in red are the newer tiles3

All of the walls are unwrapped, and have one UV sheet per tile so the quality of the textures isn’t too low.

Scrum Post: 1

We’re a few weeks into the project now, and we have had several scrums allowing us to discuss the work we have done, what needs to be improved and what needs to be worked on next. These scums have been especially helpful for me when creating the environment, as it took me a while to decide on what style to go for with the canyon tiles, and the asteroids. The scrums allowed my peers to voice their opinions on exactly how I could improve the look of them.

At first I wasn’t too sure how to make the canyon look stylised but still look good, both Matthew and Billy helped me come up with several variations until we found one we all liked. We also discussed exactly how the floor would blend into the wall tiles and exactly how the floor would tile together.

During the scrums everyone also voiced their input on the player and enemy concept art drawn by Lee and the models created by Billy and Steven. The player ship concepts were changed as they were too simple and lacked detail, and the enemy ships were made to look more dangerous, so it you player was able to actually tell if they were enemies or not. For the actual player model, Billy changed the wings several times until there was one everyone agreed on.

For Andrew, during the scrums we discussed player movement, and the scaling inside of Unity for the ships and environment. Changes to the game mechanics are still being changed to help with the game schedule. The mechanics will only be implemented if we have enough time to create the assets that compliment the mechanics. For example, the tractor beam will only be implemented if the explosive barrel and damaged wall that can be blown up are created.

Gary had not been in for a few weeks, so we decided we need to cut out animation from the game, this was a group decision.

Sector defense canyon: 2

The first 3 canyon wall tiles are now complete. Since the last post I have changed the tiles to look more appealing, the different layers are no longer flat giving it more of a canyon like feel, while still keeping a stylised feel. The updated Fbx files will be Sent to Matthew so he can update the blockout. Matthew will then tell me if any extra walls are needed, if he wants to create different sized rooms, or if the tiles dont fit perfectly in certain places, and the blockout will be sent to andrew so it can be imported to Unity.

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Next Lesson the group will be having a scrum and discussing what needs to be worked on and how we can improve, if no extra tiles are needed after the scrum I will move onto texturing.

Sector Defence Canyon

The first level of Sector Defence, after the asteroid tutorial level will be based in a canyon. At first I wasn’t sure how I should create the canyon walls. I could have created the walls as one big object that follow a path that Matthew would create and design for me, as he is designing the levels for Sector Defence, or if I should create several different wall tiles that could be placed where they are needed in order to create the level. After discussing it with the team and a week of trial and error (longer than expected), we decided on the tile idea, this would be easier to model, the textures would be a better resolution, and the tiles could be used to create another level if needed.1.JPG

Currently I have three different tiles, one flat wall, a corner going out and one going in. and 3 different planes for the floor, on the inside of the canyon. Matthew will use these three tiles to block out the canyon shape, while i focus on making these tiles look more appealing.