Saturday, September 20, 2008

Post the Nineteenth

Date: Sunday 21 September, 2008
Started: 1:35 PM
Finished (version 1): 2:06 PM
Finished (version 2): 6:01 PM

Hey, I didn't even realise how long I'd taken between posts here!

Well, the proverbial road has proved to be a rather productive one, it would seem, with the group members finally starting to get their acts together and become somewhat of a coherent body once again (although that coherent nature may have been shaken up somewhat by the onset of the holidays, starting two weeks ago as of tomorrow, their Terminus - we shall have to wait and see though). Although my knowledge of their holiday-doings is rather limited, apart from the fact that I know Kodie's been on-task, and Andrew's been in exile in, as he put it in his most recent email, "the land of Queens" (which I assume means either Queensland or England), I am assuming that we may actually be able to get a fully functional game (although not one as content-intensive as we were originally aiming for) together in time for testing (or, with hope, before our final presentations, although that's pushing it). Perhaps the one issue is that I am yet to be given anything to texture for the game. Sigh, but it's just brownie-points in the end, eh?

In similar news, the concept art mill has reopened for business! I have spent the past eight days or so, in between doing stuff for other subjects and just enjoying whatever spare time I have, cranking out conceptual art using the Wacom tablet (and, in doing so, having progressively developed a new and somewhat cleaner style - one that I think pretty much kicks all of those that I have used before in the teeth). Whilst I do not have these images up (and, indeed, I still have another that I am planning to complete today), I would like to state that, this time, they are weapons instead of characters, and that they take a slightly (emphasis there) more futuristic and, in some cases, industrial approach than we were originally intended (after all, that seems to be my thing when it comes to this game - gritty and industrial). Six weapons exist at present - a selection culled from a list of FPS essentials, one might think (including the rocket launcher) - and the seventh is going to be something more blatantly futuristic, perhaps being an experimental weapon that was hastily issued to elite troops in the wake of the mutant crisis. I'm really thinking I may just come up with exactly what is is on the fly, and include information in the .zip file that I'm planning to send to Kodie.

Website design is going... well, at a slightly slower rate, due to the need for me to do other things. But a couple of new elements have been devised, with Andrew and I currently debating on how to apply my sidebar design - no pics yet, but that should change soonish.

Lately, I have been looking back over the course in its entirety, I've come to understand a fair few things, both about our actions as a group, and my actions as an individual. Originally, we set out to see if we could make an FPS game with Source over the course of a single school year. Will we manage it? I cannot be certain here, although in the sense of a complete, fully polished and marketable product (as in an FPS with a visible start and end), that's clearly not possible, with the time left anyway. And the reasons for this, above all else, are as follows: busy timetables (that includes those other subjects that we all have), and human failing (many of us got lazy, I'll admit it). And, I think we can admit that we may have raised our expectations a tad too high, but in the end, I think many people in the course did.

And have I learned anything? Most certainly! I've learned to become much better with using Adobe Photoshop, for one - my recent website work shows that, as I've taught myself how to use things such as blending modes, in various combinations with filters, transparencies and layer styles, to my advantage, whereas before I, more often than not, found myself taking the long road and wasting a lot of time on the smallest of things.

I've also further developed my drawing technique, learning to make elements such as lighting look more convincing, and familiarising myself with the shape of the human form. I've also ventured into parts unknown in discovering new techniques, such as the Wacom style that I mentioned before (with the new weapon concepts), which has, overall, vastly improved my drawing skill. I've also learned, to some degree, how to use Audacity, although, as with any sound recording, it's really a "whatever sounds best" approach there.

And there's research tools - I've learned how I can use these to my advantage, even if just to keep track of anything I find that can help me (like, for example, texture guides). And I guess there's just generic teamwork skills too - at any rate, I'd say I've come out for the best!

Well, for now, I'd best be off - until the next post!

- N.

Trembling at the thought of feeling, wide awake and keeping distance...

Now playing: Amon Amarth - Fate of Norns
via FoxyTunes

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