Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Post the Seventeenth

Date: Tuesday 13 May, 2008
Started: 7:15 PM
Finished: 7:56 PM

And so I now return, albeit a few days late, although that's really because I've been waiting for something worthy of reporting to happen in IM (and also due to the fact that I spent Friday night with friends, and breaking my usual rut of semi-nothingness in the process). We seem to have slipped into a state of malaise as far as group work is concerned, although I hope we can change that.

The workstation has, however, been the recipient of a makeover recently, with the addition of zip drives and a trio of graphiques cartes (did you know I spoke French? Neither did I). There's still been some problems with getting the group's server fully functional, although this has evidently not stopped a fairly large percentage of the group from indulging in a slew of games for what they will be defensively calling something along the lines of "research and evaluation".

Kodie and Rhys have still, however, been very active lately, with Rhys' base character model and Kodie's shiny new UZI looking top-notch - as I have said before, these will be great to texture, considering the high amount of quality that they clearly exhibit. I myself have had a tad of a setback in that I've had to contribute more time to other subjects lately, although I managed to whip out a sketch last night, to give myself an idea of the architectural designs of our first level, and to practise with drawing architecture (as it's never been a strong point for me). I haven't decided whether I wish to include it as a conceptual sketch, so it's not up here yet - I'll be making some more along similar lines though, and these should be finding their way to the Wiki directory, and to your screens, within a week.

We are still having problems with accquiring the new domain, as Rhys has discovered that all of the easily affordable routes may inevitably result in us being screwed over, given the terms and conditions of the companies that we would be dealing with. It seems that we may have to dig deeper if we want quality and no risk of abuse or loss of intellectual property, which could be a problem, seeing as how expensive some services in said field can be. Plus, I haven't had any money to spare for a while now, although I've been able to start saving up as of this week.

As soon as I can (read: as soon as I can financially manage it), I'm going to be looking into purchasing the Orange Box for mineself too, so that I can get more familar with the machinations of the Source Engine… and also since I'd like to get some new games.

Oh, and last week we engaged in a mentoring session as our weekly project, where we learned how to go about guiding and assisting those around us in their own projects. The actual task of mentoring was a tad dull, considering that, when split into groups, it turned out that Ian and Kye are very much lacking when it comes to their project (which really didn't leave much room for suggestions, apart from "Get to work!"). However, the information that was learned was still valuable, and may be able to help exand on our group dynamic.

Well, that's about all. I now leave you to savour this:

¡La muerte a la gente del mulo!

- N.

Who are you to raise your finger, you must'a been out your head…

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Post the Sixteenth

Date: Sunday 4 May, 2008
Started: 11:52 AM
Finished: 12:22 PM

Yes, yes, I know, the log entries are getting delayed, but they're getting done!

Might as well start off with the Thursday before last (considering that the "Sunn-Dae" is, by the Gregorian calendar, Day 1 of Ye Olde Weeke). As Dan had returned by that point, we were finally able to pull off our presentation, albeit with a lot of last-minute preparation that resulted in Todd's (?) laptop Blue Screen of Deathing a couple of times (or so I remember). However, we managed to pull off the presentation rather smoothly, with quite a heartening and ego-swelling response from our gracious audience (although we try to keep that second one in check). A few went as far as to actually question us, although I can't recall most of the questions (although there was some stuff about distribution of our game - which we cannot do, at least not for monetary profit - and Open Source music). Even I gained some knowledge from this - mostly, how much I have to feel sorry for the programmers (or would have to, if I had any lingering shreds of a conscience), considering all that code they have to sift through, and some extremely rudimentary knowledge of how Kodie went about constructing his Katana of Awesomeness and Doom. Come to think of it, I really should check in with Zoe (who was kind enough to film said presentation) to see what she's doing with the footage.

Tuesday saw a new level come into being, with Dan, Todd, and, to some extent, myself, mapping out what will turn into some sort of high-society, out-of-the-way clinic (think Rancho Relaxo from The Simpsons, but with celebrities getting facelifts) that's been ravaged by the mutant tide. From memory, not much else happened on that day, apart from Honni returning to photograph our nerdly exploits, and Kodie adopting the position of team maid (being sent to the shop to bring back edibles and that nice glass-bottled Coke). This (apart from Honni's photography and Kodie's manservantry) continued on into Thursday, with an extra layer (in the form of a secret underground bioengineering lab, which actually has, from what I could see, a very nice and compelling structure - not that I'd contribute this to Andrew taking Dan's place on said day) being added onto the clinic level, heralding a wave of plot progression in its wake. Rhys and I also took some time to discuss character proportions, drawing up some rough concepts (over images of a Half-Life 2 model, so that we had a human template) so that we could capture the proportions for some of the models.

Recently, I have been experimenting with using a Wacom tablet. Although I have had experience with them before, I'm trying to work with new techniques and larger scales, which resulted in this piece of Penny Arcade fan-art (which I shall be using for Graphic Design work) that I am quite fond of:


I stumbled across this sketchy and vaguely graffiti-like technique by complete accident, and I'm actually so pleased with the results that I may do some conceptual art for The Project in a somewhat similar style. I'm thinking it will probably look quite fancy with architectural concepts, although I'll be taking a cleaner approach in that case.

Anyhow, I may come back to this entry in the future if I think of anything beneficial, but, for now, keep watching the skis!

- N.

Give away the stone, let the waters kiss and transmutate these leaden grudges into gold…