Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Post the Fifteenth

Date: Tuesday 22 April, 2008
Started: 9:10 AM
Finished: 9:14 AM (excluding edits)

Hello again. I apologise for the late update, offering another player character sketch - the "quick guy", I guess (excellent for sniper and scouting roles).


The past week has mostly been focused around things such as the final revisions to the submission document (which has finally been sent off to all of the gun companies - here's hoping for a yes on all fronts, or at least the vast majority), as well as the presentation that our group was meant to give to the rest of the class. With each of us assigned specific roles, we were asked to give a 15-20 minute (from recollection) presentation about our project, explaining its different aspects, as well as the less prominent stuff (behind-the-scenes work, Phase system, etc). However, this had to be dropped on short notice this morning (which is when it was supposed to be done), as Dan was trapped up in Melbourne due to some technicality with his plane flight (having been up in Byron Bay for a week to see an old friend of the group). I personally found this to be quite a disappointment, not only due to the fact that I'd put a bit of stuff together in advance for the presentation, but also as I had been looking forward to getting some informed feedback from the others in the class. Whilst I, personally, feel that the whole team structure we have is quite well-organised and efficient, it would have been great to get some opinions and suggestions from the others as to how we could improve our group dynamic, or even for things that we could add into the project itself.

There has been one small issue on the forums due to a conflict of opinions (as to whether the characters and enemies will receive names or not), although I wouldn't say it's anything monumental. In fact, it's only a minor issue until at least Phase 2 (see the Phase system page for more information), although if we can get it out of the way sooner rather than later, it'll save having the conflict merely resurrect in the future.

As far as research is concerned, I'm still looking over Warhammer Online and Penny Arcade, as far as researching the progression of others in our (approximated) field. For conceptual art inspiration, a friend of mine has suggested looking at the Fallout games, and the imagery behind them - something which I had already considered, and am now planning to do with, as they say, "gusto". Or, perhaps not that enthusiastically, but you get the spin of it. In addition, I have also been looking into the conceptual art behind other projects, such as Mark Gibbons' work on the "Primal" games, and Ian Miller's "Shrek" preliminaries. Which reminds me, some environment-related concepts, as well as the rest of the characters, are about to be started.

We also scored some more computers for our workstation today, which will be vital for playtesting, as well as for when we get well into making the first version of the game. I'm pretty sure Roger and Dirk won't mind.

On another topic - Kodie's been hard at work on the cutscene, although we have yet to see all of what he has done so far. He has not been able to complete it due to commitment to Maths and lack of time, but an even better version should be coming in the somewhat distant future. Judging by all of his other modelling I've seen, it's going to be absolutely sweet, and I'll be looking forward to when I get to texture some of his work.

- N.

Days away, I still feel you, touching me, changing me…

Monday, April 14, 2008

Post the Fourteenth

Date: Monday 14 April, 2008
Started: 10:55 AM
Finished: 11:00 AM

I am come again, this time with a new piece of "arts-work". This one is, and will continue to, remain an enigma to you all, at least until we see fit to divulge more information on the matter. Does it even have anything to do with The Project? Does it have everything to do with The Project? Should Nick shut the [EXPLETIVE DELETED BY THE INQUISITION] up and let you get on with it? You decide. Suffice to say that it's open to interpretation on the part of you, the viewer, until the meaning is released beyond the confines of the Glassbiscuit "krew". Anyways, here's the damned sketch.


Anyway, I really should be doing Graphic Design work, considering I'm in Graphic Design right now, so I shall depart with this warning - watch where you aim your gun, because whatever you point it at may come back to haunt you.

- N.

But I'd trade it all, for just a little… peace of miiind!

P.S. I just noticed that the last post (the thirteenth) was posted on the thirteenth day of the month. Excelsior!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Post the Thirteenth

Date: Sunday 13 April, 2008
Started: 2:28 AM
Finished: 2:49 AM

And, as the week died, he rose from the depths of his chitinous cocoon, standing spread-eagled against the ghost-light of that long-forgotten abode as the last vestiges of sleep fell away. Ichor pooling in the wake of two-toed feet as he marched, he approached the monolithic console, talons grating an arcane activation rune, and then he began to type…

Sorry about that… thought I'd add in a little flavour this time.

Anyway, the level has been quite productive in terms of general outcome (or so one might think, anyhow). Despite one setback in the form of Heckler and Koch's company policy (they won't let us use their guns in our game, basically), we have managed to make some progress, including work on a new level (which shall function as a hub level - essentially a base to which players can backtrack later in the game, where they can store their equipment and prepare for later in the game, and so on). Having played games that have included a system of the sort before, I can say that I am in full support of the idea. This level will also come with something extra that we've conjured up (as long as Kodie approves, as he seems to be the only group member who's not in the knowhow on the matter of this little detail), although you'll have to wait a while to see what I mean.

Another great result of the week's dabblings is that the Phase system beta is now up, replacing the rougher "Meeting Minutes" (which was, in itself, some sort of "proto-Phase"). Rhys has been hard at work on getting the layout of the Phase system out of the way, as evidenced by the obvious effort that has gone into it - the full Phase system should be up soon, by which point I shall inquire about altering the name of the tab to correspond with the content. Of course, some of the professionalism of the Phase page is undoubtedly due to my proofreading, but you get over that.

Glassbiscuit also has a letterhead now, thanks to the work of The Todd. Although he did appear to be struggling with producing it in Photoshop for a while, due to the fact that he didn't have Illustrator available, the work has paid off, resulting in a rather flashy design which shall accompany our project submission, along with anything that Rhys wants to make professional-looking. I salute you on your efforts, Todd. And, speaking of the project submission, this is now in the final stages, and is ready for, as you would expect, submission.

Oddly enough, I, like Rhys, have been looking at others in our field. For some time, I have been observing the production of Penny Arcade Adventures - On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, having been a fan of the webcomic that it is based upon (note - coarse language and occasional adult themes warning) for a few years now, as well as occasionally checking in on the progress of Warhammer Online - Age of Reckoning. The Penny Arcade site, whilst not having the most jam-packed information resource, goes somewhat hand-in-hand with its parent comic, the (b)log for which has regular updates on the progress of the game, giving fans information practically as it happens, straight from the creators of Penny Arcade themselves (who better?), as opposed to some guy down in website management. Rhys has basically covered the WAR (the generally accepted acronym for Warhammer Online - missing an "O", ain't it?) site and its somewhat interactive and highly informative nature, so I suggest you read more in his log.

For now, I am off to bed, as the hour is late.


I can't say what I want to, even when I'm not serious…

P.S. Oh, and Rhys went bald this week. Suffice to say that some of us were confused as to his motives for ridding himself of his natural wigging.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Post the Twelfth

Date: Wednesday 9 April, 2008
Started: 1:23 PM
Finished: 1:32 PM

Hey, it's me again (so soon, I know). Just thought I'd show off my latest piece - a possible design for a player character.


It seemed to be confirmed (as of yesterday) that the player characters were to be rather generic in appearance, and I took this into account, producing a rather casually dressed and genericised character that really just looks like he woke up and had to find some armour and guns in order to protect himself (which is kind of the idea). Some suggestions were made during the production of the piece, including a long-sleeved shirt (to reduce the amount of skin exposed to the enemy, apparently - this seemed pointless to me, as a shirt will offer no protection against feral mutants, regardless of sleevey goodness), and gloves (which I would have incorporated if the inks hadn't already been underway at the time of suggestion). Some more PC sketches will be underway very soon, in between other work and drawing things for friends, but, for now, this will have to do.

- N.

Shine on forever, shine on benevolent son…

[Note, added during transfer to Blogger: The fanart image from the last post didn't transfer over due to an embedding issue... I'll fix it later, if I find it important enough to care about at any stage.]

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Post the Eleventh

Date: Tuesday 8 April, 2008
Started: 9:01 AM
Finished: 9:07 AM

Howdy all, just a quick update for now - I've finally managed to get this concept done, and now I have it here to show to you all. It's another "Oxen" design (the status of that name is in question, mind you), based on some suggestions made by good ol' Rhys.


Rhys suggested to me that I make this version look like it was, whilst still truly human, a member of the military, hence the ragged remains of the flak jacket beneat his armour and the fractured ballistic helmet. The scavenged armour plates remain a consistent feature, as well as the bandages, and some more flavour has crept in in the guise of a mangled leg (probably stepped on a mine or something). Oh, and note that the ruined leg is the right length, approximately - the fact that the armour plating on the right leg starts about halfway down the knee could lead to some confusion, and has done already. This version has received consistent praise all around the group, meaning that the final product will probably be closer to it than the first one.

One thing that I dislike about this sketch (apart from the accidental over-darkening with the Levels tool in Photoshop) is the fact that the paper that I drew it on was much heavier and textured than the lighter, smoother paper I've been using for the other sketches. This led to difficulty with shading, which would explain why the sketch was already quite dark before I touched it up in Photoshop. To help conquer this issue, I have returned to using the paper that I was using before - another sketch is waiting to be uploaded, and it turned out a lot better than this one.

Also, just to show off some of my experimentation, I give you a piece of Warhammer 40,000 fanart (specifically, a Space Marine, late '80s style) that I produced prior to the Easter break, as a way of experimenting with a more cartoony style (which, if we require illustrations for anything, may end up being used again soon… the style, mind you).


The emphasis here was mainly on the use of flat colours, with shading created more manually by means of inking. Despite Photoshop's issue with me trying to get the white sections of the original scanned image to appear fully transparent (hence why some of the flat colours look a tad patchy), I would deem it to be a success. It's only with the start of my conceptual work on The Project that I've actually come to like the images I produce, most likely due to the fact that I've built up my skills with things such as proportion and muscle structure.

Just to keep safe, I now direct you to Games Workshop's legal section (located here), and state that the above image is is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited. No challenge to their ownership of the concept(s) contained within the image is intended or implied.

Anyway, I'll cover everything else on Friday or Saturday. For now, I'm off.

- N.

My warning meant nothing, you're dancing in quicksand…