Friday, March 19, 2010

Work, work, work, work and Heavy Rain

Wow it’s been a while since I have written on here and I was doing so well at the beginning of the Semester! Well never mind because I have been really busy doing work on both my projects over the last couple of months and am going to recap on what I have been up too as well as talk about some influential things that I have played and seen recently.

So I’ve been working on both my projects pretty heavily and for the first project I have been making steady progress that is great. I’ve managed to build my character Sam in Maya and apply a UV to him which makes him look like a two dimensional illustration in a three dimensional space which looks really cool. It took me a little while to adapt my illustrative style into 3D but I do feel that the character now has the same feel as my drawings. I have also rigged my character so he can now be animated which after being shown how to do it I found remarkably simple to do apart from sorting out a few snagged vertices. I’ve also managed to finish a level design document for this project and have currently finished sketching up all my objects that are to be in the level. I am aiming to have the level and objects built by the end of the month which leaves me a while to animate and smarten up the final work for the project and compile all of my support work (which is going to consist of a game proposal document, a level document, scenery designs and character design sheets).

My second project hasn’t been going so smoothly unfortunately and I have come up against various problems with the programming for the engine on a fairly regular basis. My colleague who is helping me do the programming has had problems with the engine parts that control the character on screen and although the general logistics work there is one tiny annoying problem that we are struggling to iron out. The good news though is that I have managed to finish my games design document and my level design document for this project which pretty much means as supporting documents go all I need to include is a scenery design document and I’m done. For the final piece of work I am aiming to have at least 5 working levels for the game that are completed in their entirety including all relevant art and animation. This part shouldn’t take so long as soon as the engine is workable for these levels at least.

So all in all a fair amount of work has been done recently and work in general is going quite smoothly. Yet there still is a lot of work to be done if I want to hit my targets and get those top marks.

On top of all the work I have had a bit of time to play through Heavy Rain and I must say that in a past blog I have questioned David Cages ideas on the advancement of gaming and although I do stand by some of my points (mainly to do with whether to class it as a game or not) I must say I found the game to be an outstanding piece of work. There are flaws in it of course yet the parts which struck me the most were those that really made me question the situation posed in front of me as well as making me feel an awful lot of emotion towards those questions and often their answers. The characters were on the most part believable (especially Norman the FBI agent) and weren’t boring as the story uncovered. There were a few storyline points that are questionable in reason like the killers motives and reasons yet all in all the way the story unfolds (in my play through) was emotionally engaging and thoughtful and the control system although in theory may sound like a glorified God of War QTE sequence manages to handle the scenarios well, often making you feel you are in control of the characters actions. As a final statement to the game I would say it has been a while since I have played something this different.