Self Assessment

In my Imagined Worlds group project, I am required to make the model of the robot which is the main asset in our animation. I am also required to texture it, rig it and animate it. I have created some concept art for this model before setting on making the model.  I have managed to make the low poly and high poly models; however, that is as far as I have gotten due to having some issues using the curves tools as well as naming around 66 body parts, parenting parts together and group along with setting a UV map layout for a set group of body parts.

In order to complete my task, first, I must import the low poly model into substance painter so that I can start to back the high poly model onto the low poly. Then I can start texturing the model. Once that is complete, I can apply the texture file to the model in Maya and start to work on rigging the model so that I can start to work on animating it.

In order to complete my work, I need the other assets models from my team mates so that I can get my model to animate around the environment as well as interact with some of the models. I need objects such as the table so I can animate it laying then getting up when the boy is finished making the robot.

Looking at my low poly (left) and high poly (right) models, I think that it has a toy like robot look right. The issue I had with tris has been fixed so there are only quad polygons in the model. I may need to figure out how I am going to animate the eyes since I think that it will be texture animated instead of having a model animate. That will be something that I will have to look into. I think that the main issues that I had making this model has been fixed such as naming the body parts and parenting everything.

I could look into some tutorials to see how I could get textures to animate as well as any substance painter tutorials that may help improve the look of my model.

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Crash bandicoot

General rules: Avoid hazards, break boxes, get to the end of the stage, collect the gems (optional additional goal for completion).

Characters: Crash Bandicoot, Tanya Bandicoot, Dr Neo Cortex, Dr Nitrus Brio.

Environments: First map has more natural level environments with a large emphasis on the jungle area with some more tribal areas and water levels. The second map is more focused on the temple environments. The third map is more machine focused the laboratory and factory level design.

Goals: Stop Dr Cortex from his evil plans and save Tanya from his clutches.

Crash soryboard shot

This is a storyboard for the first stage in Crash Bandicoot 1 from the N.Sane Trilogy. There are multiple different stages of the level which I designed in Photoshop. I got some images of the stage from the internet and traced over the top the image. Using tracing isn’t uncommon as it is a method that people use. They usually make some 3D models within a software called Sketchup to make a quick scene then put the image of the scene in a software like Photoshop and trace over the top. This is especially helpful when trying to get the right particular angles for a scene to make the 3D look right.

 

 

 

 

 

The elements of a story

The story The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is set in the distorted future about a young woman called Katniss Everdeen. She hunts for food to provide for her family along with a guy named Gale. She lives with her mother and sister in District 12 in the country Panem. The Capital of Panem have a yearly annual event called the Hunger Games. Katniss’ sister gets put in the Hunger Games; however, Katniss volunteers herself to take her sisters place and gets put in the Hunger Games as there are two people from each District that participates in this event. A male and a female. She gets put with a guy called Peeta Mellark and is trained by Haymitch Abernathy. Their relationship grows over time.

Characters: Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Haymitch Abernathy, Gale Hawthon, Promrose Everdeen, Effie Trinket, President Coriolanus Snow.

Theme: distorted future, competition, survival.

Two strangers are put together  and have to train together with the help of a mentor to be able to last through the Hunger Games against the other competitors. There can only one winner which means that the two have to go against each other. When Katniss and Peeta are the last two competitors remaining, only one can leave so they decide to attempt to kill themselves by eating poisonous berries to deny any winner to the Hunger Games which causes problems in the system and the two get allowed to live and both become the winners of the Hunger Games.

 

Establishing shots in storyboards

Establishing shots are used to give people an idea of where the scene is set.  The location of the scene being shown is rather important so that the audience knows where the movie is set in and get a general idea of how the area looks in various situations. Take a look at the image below.

establishing shot

This shot gives you an idea of where the scene is taking place, what type of scene it is and what is happening. This shot has a blue sky, calm water, and rather nice weather so the audience knows that the place that they are in and is rather calming. Movies use establishing shots as an introduction. Some movies tend to have different locations or scenarios happening in a current location so they use an establishing shot to make the audience see it.

establishing shot 2

This image is of the same location but, as you can see, it is more dark to let the audience know that it is night time. This could also be used to create a rather sense of dread like in superhero or horror movies when the darkness is taking over. The scenario has changed and it draws the reader in.

Portfolio Thoughts.

Recently, I have had to showcase my portfolio of my work that I have done throughout the year. My portfolio was a PowerPoint presentation which consisted of different pieces of work from all different parts of my course: Art, coding, modelling, animations and VFX. I started off with the modelling since that was where I felt most confident in then ended on my coding which was my least comfortable topicps4-screenshot-8

JeremieTop down gameplayHarrison Ford crushed betterSunset TreeIdent screenshotnightmare-bonnie-finished

Here are some examples of my work. In my presentation, I was very nervous throughout my presentation and I think that it definitely showed. Although I was complemented on being enthusiastic as well as showing care about my work, I think that I was rather laughing a bit with the nerves. I also was running out of times so I couldn’t show much of my games which I think I should have managed my time better. I had been rather in a panic since some of the videos wouldn’t go onto the PowerPoint so I had to put links in a separate word document so it wouldn’t look out of place in the PowerPoint.

I was complemented on my enthusiasm as well as how I put my own twist in some of the work; however, they would have liked to seen more of the games that I worked on due to have not having spent enough time on them and since my games had a bit more going for them the previous year compared to this year.

Sonic Heroes Analysis

The next game that I will be covering is Sonic Heroes on the PlayStation 2. Sonic Heroes was the first game after SEGA became a third party developer due to stopping making games for the Dreamcast. It was initially made for the Nintendo GameCube but then ended up also making it for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The capabilities of the PS2 I discussed in the Crash Twinsanity analysis. Sonic Heroes supported a more ‘cartoonish’ feel with much smoother animations, exaggeration in the movements, improved mouth movements and much better looking environments. Sonic Heroes also supports local multiplayer although it’s pretty much the stuff that you go through in the single player.

Image result for sonic heroes gameplay

This game actually feels like it was targeted towards kids with how it has the cartoon feel, not really much for story. Team Dark makes things a little more serious with Shadow trying to recover his memory and Omega wanting to destroy Eggman for sealing him up but it’s nowhere near to the extent of Crash Twinsanity or Sonic 06. Otherwise, it’s just Team Sonic stopping Dr Eggman, Team Chaotix trying to pay the rent and Team Rose trying to find Froggy and new comer Chocola Chao (who exists purely to make Cream involved as this is the only time it’s around).

Related image

The biggest problem with this game is the controls. They are very slippery which means that you will find yourself nearly running off of the edge and dying. Also a lot of functions are mapped to one button, mainly the square button (on PS2). This button holds the quick attack (you will probably only use for Espio), Rocket Accel (completely useless), tornado attack (in the air) and light speed dash (which was already awkward). Since the triangle and circle are used for switching characters, square is used for attacking which means that using the light speed dash is unlikely to respond resulting to it messing up and even dying when you have to use it over bottomless pits.

Each team plays pretty much the same with occasional minor differences. Rose’s levels are a lot shorter than the other teams. Dark’s levels are pretty much the same as Team Sonic’s (except Hang Castle at the end) but with stronger enemies and Team Chaotix have mission based gameplay (Mystic Mansion can take over 20 minutes).

Image result for sonic heroes mystic mansion team chaotix

There is also some camera issues such as Casino Park and Bingo Highway which have pinball sections but you can’t see where you are falling so getting out of it can be a pain. The controls also have a mind of their own in these sections as sometimes they don’t go where I want them to go. Control is also an issue in the special stages. The control doesn’t respond to you. You need to collect orbs to build up speed but the controls will have you going all over the place. You will get stuck on the ceiling then slow down as you try to collect the orbs.

Image result for sonic heroes special stage

Sonic 06 Analysis

The next game that I will be covering is Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 for the PlayStation 3. Like Crash Twinsanity, this game was rushed in development. The PlayStation 3 is a much more powerful console so that it can handle higher quality models, improved textures, more complex level design, etc. The controller is the same as the PS2 so it shares the same issues that I pointed out in my Crash Twinsanity analysis. Now some people may think that a rushed game for the PS3 may have done better than a rushed game for the PS2. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Crash Twinsanity mainly had the story suffer with little bits of pieces that affected the gameplay: in Sonic 06, everything is affected. Sonic 06 supports local multiplayer where you either work together to reach the goal ring or race each other to get to the finish first.

Sonic 06 1

Age is rather important consideration due to the initial targeting towards children which it still somewhat relative today; however, games such as this and Shadow The Hedgehog have been given a more dark and serious tone to them probably trying to appeal to the older, much more mature audiences that classic Sonic fans wasn’t too happy with. This game has a princess which I guess would put young girls into consideration as well as some female playable characters to attract more people into the game.

Sonic 06 3

Sonic 06 has you be able to select a character to go through their own stories; Sonic, Shadow, Silver (making his debut) and a final story segment. Naturally, since Sonic is the name of the game, you would think that he would have the most relevance to what is going on. Nope, Sonic just tries to catch a princess who constantly gets kidnapped (about six times in one game). In fact, Sonic encounters Iblis (a monster from Solaris’ separation)  once and doesn’t encounter Mephilis (the game’s main villain) at all. Sure Mephilis kills Sonic, but Sonic doesn’t even look at him due to being blinded by a Chaos Emerald. Sonic sees him in one instance but doesn’t actually confront him. Sonic is almost completely in the dark with what is going on, getting a little bit of information as to why Dr Eggman is trying to capture Princess Elise, but you are going to get more information as to what is happening in Shadow and Silver’s story making Sonic rather irrelevant (in his own anniversary game). The game is filled with plot holes, inconsistencies and bad pure writing. At least Crash Twinsanity had some funny interactions to keep me distracted from the bad story.

Sonic 06 2

That’s the story over, now for the gameplay. To say that the coding was ‘bad’ would be the understatement of the century. A more appropriate title might be ‘Sonic Adventure Bugged’. You can clip through walls like nobody’s business, control is super precise, frame rate drops and just general wonky coding. At the end of some of Sonic stages, you encounter what we call ‘Mach Speed Sections’. These sections involve Sonic constantly running with the player only being able to move directions and jump. On the first play through, you will die here a lot (and there is one on the very first stage you play). The main reason that you will die is the jump button: you can’t change your direction in the air so expect jumping into your death.  Another reason is the how it works. Since you are constantly moving forward, you may think that you don’t need to hold the analogue stick forward but jump panels actually require you to do so otherwise you won’t go the full distance. One instance that has this happens results in Sonic running into a small wall. When you take damage, Sonic enters a very weird animation and you can’t jump, this animation doesn’t stop playing until a bit after the invincibility frames stop (the wall you ran into will kill you before you can even get free).

Sonic 06 4

The animations and VFX isn’t all that great either. The spin dash animation is rather basic, the light speed dash just makes Sonic look like he is being pulled by an invisible rope, Sonic does a weird break dancing animation when he gets hit and I don’t really know what is happening in Shadow’s homing attack combo. He’s just rotating randomly making grunts. The Chaos Spear looks decent although it’s just a basic lightning bolt, Chaos Blast looks rather pathetic. When Sonic boosts, he gets blue lines appear and spin dashing and jump dashing gives him some weird effect.

Sonic 06This isn’t the end of it; you can escape the barriers of boss fights, get killed by horrible hazards (meteors in Flame Core), boss fight against Silver can be aggravatingly difficult (and take up to half an hour as Shadow) and you can even escape the games barriers completely then get sent to space. When you play as Sonic, you can get gems to give extra abilities, there is a bar that is meant to limit how much you can use them. It doesn’t work and you can slow down time as much as you want to get massive time bonuses and shrink to perform infinite jumps and completely skip platforming sections.

Sonic 06 6

The game is broken in almost every sense. The PS3 is a lot more powerful than the PS2 so it can handle a lot more but rushed development has made this game almost completely broken.