Tag Archives: MProf

[UDK] Castle Fearghus

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.

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[UDK] Tochi Tochi

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.

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Non-photorealistic rendering

Following a lecture on Tuesday I and most of the MProf students now have a much clearer idea why we’ve been doing activities for the past few weeks and what we’re expected to submit come December. As such I’ve a great deal of reading to do and a blog to write. I’d best make a start.

I enkoy 3D modelling and animation – it’s what I’d like to be involved in when I finish this course – but I’m most interested in how it can be used to replicate the visual style of 2D animation techniques. The goal is to produce a 3D animation that is indistinguishable from a 2D animation, and in doing so reaping the benefits of working in 3D.

It’s little surprise then that I begin my search for research material looking into this field. I found a great deal of work looking into a broad range of topics. I shall begin with something most P.C. gamers should be familiar with, “Illustrative Rendering in Team Fortress 2.”

Abstract:
“We present a set of artistic choices and novel real-time shading techniques which support each other to enable the unique rendering style of the game Team Fortress 2.  Grounded in the conventionsof early 20th century commercial illustration, the look of Team Fortress 2 is the result of tight collaboration between artists and engineers.In this paper, we will discuss the way in which the art direction and technology choices combine to support artistic goals and gameplay constraints. In addition to achieving a compelling style, the shading techniques are designed to quickly convey geometric information using rim highlights as well as variation in luminance and hue, so that game players are consistently able to visually “read” the scene and identify other players in a variety of lighting conditions.” [Mitchell et al. 2007]

One of the reasons I found this so interesting, besides being a big fan of Team Fortress 2, is that although it discusses how the style of style of the game was achieved it also discusses in some detail why the style was chosen and how these choices impact on gameplay.

Mitchell also introduces to my blog the term “Non Photorealistic Rendering,” used to describe the myriad render styles that strive for something other than photorealism. In adopting an NPR approach 3D artists would “ideally draw from some real-world artistic techniques under the assumption that such techniques developed by humans have inherent value due to the evolutionary nature of art.” [Mitchell et al, 2007] Illustrating this Mitchell references the work of J. C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell.

Weapons for Liverty by J. C. Leyendecker
Weapons for Liverty by J. C. Leyendecker

Mitchell notes the key techniques used by these early 20th centurt illisytrators and descusses how these were achieved the game space, covering first the implications for characters and archictecture design then the technical challenges involved in realising these designs.

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Character research

I’m planning on doing a short animation of a builder/building site worker, one who initially seems a crude working class stereotype. The working class stereotype is, as defined by Alan Milburn in a quote taken from John Harris’ article in the Guardian on class snobbery, “racist, xenophobic, thick, illiterate, parochial.

UK construction workers

The physical appearance of the main character should be that of a typical construction worker. Hard hat, fluorescent jacket and heavy, steel toed boots, etc. The size and shape of the character isn’t tied to his working class or construction background in any way so in this I have flexibility. The only thing I’d like to avoid in this regard is an overly muscular or burly character. That’s harder to animate. No heavies here!

My rough outline for the animation is to present a character that initially seems to fit the media stereotype of the white working class male as described in the Guardian article linked at the top of the page, but then through the character’s discovery of an object (what this will be I have yet to decide) he is revealed to be a sensitive, thoughtful and intelligent person with interests outside gambling, football and drinking.

Relevant links:

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