I did a little freelance work back in February – April this year but I’ve been reluctant to mention it here in case the game didn’t get released. It went live on Google Play last Thursday though so I guess now I can speak about it.
High Steaks was made by Future Fossil Studios in Dundee and I did some character animation and skin weighting for the main character. You can get it now on Android here. It’s free to play and pretty good.
This is a play-through of a game made as part of the Mrof Games Development course at the University of Abertay, Dundee. The game is created using UDK, with art assets created using Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max and Photoshop.
The game is set in a fictional Scottish castle overrun by vampires. Fearghus must storm the castle and defeat the vampires, eventually reaching the vampire lord. Defeat him to complee the level. The game controls similarly to games like Power Stone and Kung-Fu Chaos, with 1 or 2 player platforming and fighting action.
Team Tertiary are…
Producer: Kunal Patwe
Designer: Isabella Wang
Programmers: Donald Hicks, Tony Hilton, Hunter Zhang
Concept art, environment and UI): Bruce Yan, Neal Liu
Character concept, modelling and texturing: Yuting Jiang
Character rig and animation, character particle effects: James Kyle
Audio: Cam Goold
The game was shown at Dare Protoplay 2012 at Cairn Hall in Dundee as part of the Dare to be Digital competition show and associated events. Here’s a video of how it looked there. It’s not quite as polished and played a little worse than the final submitted version but was still received well by the public.
As part of my MProf Games Development I was working on a UDK game in semester 2 called “Tochi Tochi.” I assume that’s the main character’s name but I’e since forgotten why it’s called that. Here’s a video playthrough.
The controls for the game are a little tricky as it’s just a prototype, but it functions and all the game mechanics work as intended. The aim is to get the main character to the level goal while avoiding sunlight. As direct light kills the character it’s a good idea to avoid the beam of the critter enemy roaming the level. The player can possess the critter to move across brightly lit areas. It is essentially a stealth platformer.
I worked on the main character model, textures, rigging and animation. The textures and normal map were taken and improved upon by one of the teams other artists, Bryn Morrison-Elliot. I feel like it turned out okay but I wasn’t very involved in how the character looked once it got into UDK. In the next semester project I made sure to be far more involved in that aspect of the game.
I’m going to have to export some animations from Maya to UDK eventually, and from what I’ve been shown of the process by Kristian there has to be an easier way. There just has to be! It works, but it’s fairly clunky and there’s a serious likelihood of accidents.
Looking it up there doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all UDK mesh and animation exporter. There’s a few for meshes, such as jdUDK tools (looks great,) but the main job seems to be in making a FBX Export preset that selects only the necessary data to make an FBX that UDK will take without error.
There are a few resources on this. The first stop is the UDK support site, which details the bare bones of getting assets out of a few different 3D packages and then how to get them into UDK. The best source of info came from tech-artists.org, which had a forum thread on exporting without constraints, something you need to remove from the scene before exporting on default FBX export settings.
What I’ll need to do is follow this blog article to make a nice preset I can distribute to the rest of the team for animation exporting. It doesn’t sound that difficult but FBX is such a massive beast to work with it’s difficult to get all the settings just right if you’re new to working with it.
Though I’m posting these boards today I drew them a couple of months ago on my iPad’s Autodesk Sketchbook Pro application. Moving the images from the iPad to my Picasa account is a bit of a job though, so I’ve been putting it off for as long as possible. I’ve finally got around to doing it though, so here they are.
You’ll notice that there are two sets of boards that are nearly identical but for a change in the main cat/dog character. Early in the project I’d decided to an animation about the relationship between a cat and bird based on an actual cat that belongs to my girlfriends mother. The cat was sleeping on the pavement on a hot summers day and a local crow was pestering him, getting within a foot of the cat before the cat would look up, causing the crow to hop a few steps back. This back and forth of the bird trying to get close to the cat and the cat just not caring at all was really funny at the time and I wanted to capture that relationship in an animation.
I had the opportunity many weeks later to use a model created by 4th year student Rachel Shackleton, but it was a puppy rather than a cat. As it would cut out the job of modelling one of the characters I decided to use it. It’s a nice model, very cute and an easy replacement for the cat. Nothing is lost in the change. I adapted my storyboards, erasing as little as possible to create some boards that showed a dog in the place of the cat and got started on my animatic, which I will post soon.