Group name: Remnant Hope
Trello board: https://trello.com/b/qe9J1YHj/remnant-hope
Members: Ash Cox,
Bhishma Ale, Denise Edmed & Mark Odillo
Role: 2D Artist, Producer.
Research, Lore & Inspiration.
Our Game idea hopped around a few concepts throughout the project, but the idea we comitted to was a 2.5D side-scrolling game. Drawing inspiration from games like Vib-Ribbon and Klona: Door to Phantomvile and the side-scrolling segments of games such as Paper Mario we had a good selection of games in the genre to give us ideas on how to tackle it ourselves.
Although the story was was a subject we did not develop in great detail, we had several key points that were consistant throughout the process, and thus could be considered “The Lore”:
- The main character was a time/dimension traveler from the distant future.
- This character used a device to change the time periods/state of the level. Resulting in two parallel “levels” in each stage, requiring the player to bounce between the two in order to progress.
- Each stage of our game would take place in a different location/time period.
- The stage we chose for our vertical slice was a fantasy-eastern setting, which would be a combination of eastern themes in order to allow us more creative freedom with using conflicting designs (Japanese straw mats beside Chinese paper lanterns etc.) – all stages would be based on real locations/times (for example, Japan/China for the Vertical slice level), but not necessarily restricted to a single place/time/event.
Having our vertical slice set in the fantasy Asian setting, I researched architecture and recognisable objects from those areas. Distinctive nature (like bamboo, large boulders, bonsai/cherry blossom) are all common in these areas. I also looked at distinctive items like samurai armour, alongside paper lanterns (found around temples) and rice paper sliding doors/partitions found in both japan and china. This, alongside saved photo reference would give us ideas of what we could populate our scene with.
Eastern “noodle” Dragon Design
After the group had decided on theme for our vertical slice (A past/fantasy, eastern themed level) I started designing a eastern inspired dragon to act as a boss/environment piece. The original idea was to have him flying in the background of the outside of the level, then land at the end of the level.[seen below] However this was far too complicated, and he was reverted to background decoration, before being removed entirely due to complexity of modeling and animation.
Left: Sketches made while discussing “Noodle”‘s purpose.
Above: Initial pitch, first sketch. several shape variations at the bottom alongside face detail, Red colour palette to go alongside the warm colour palette of the game and the theme of red items being hints/important items. Red body would also contrast the blue sky/mountains in the background.
Above: Model Sheet Line-art and concept with colour palette. Design and colour palette refined to make him easier to model/texture while still retaining unique features (mustache/mane/glowing eyes)
In hindsight, The model sheet should have been made in a T-pose like form, The dragon should have been laid out flat, like a snake, for the ease of modeling rigging (this was one of the reasons we ran out of time to model him).
Statue (Shi-shi lion/Foo-Dog)
This statue was designed to breathe fire as an obstacle for the player. The state change would be between the statue breathing impassable fire and not. The design was based off the Japanese foo-dog and the Chinese shi-shi lion. Both of which are canines with lion-like qualities. These stone statues would be static objects, The obstacle being the fire they spew.
As a predominantly 2D person with a lot of skills in Adobe Photoshop. I took on the role of creating seamed and seamless textures for the project. Although I did not make every texture we used. Most were created by layering photos/other textures and colours in order to create what we needed for our game.
Here are some textures that I created:
As audio is my forte, it was only natural that the sound effects [sfx] and background music [bgm] were assigned to me. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the sound recorder, so I had to work with sounds I already had in my hard-drives.
The footsteps folder contained 16 singular files each containing one footstep sound. In my previous project we had a script which randomly accessed a footstep per X distance traveled. However, by the time we got a copy of this script we had no time to iron out the bugs, and thus had to drop it altogether. A real shame.
The SFX files were all short sound effects which were used as sounds for things such as pickups. These sounds were pitch-shifted/modified common sounds (Such as keys dropping) in order to make unique and interesting sounds for the futuristic technology used by our protagonist.
the BGM is a track called “Life is Good” by Blue Fox Music. A Royalty free song which can (and has been, by myself) bought off their website. For a singular fee the music can be used in projects such as these with no fee to be paid to the artist beyond initial payment. Actions like these are very strategic for small/indie developers starting in the games industry.
Despite having a lot of pride in some of my 2D work for this project, overall I feel that I could have done more for my team, but due to personal circumstances and a lack of clear communication there was a lot of work that was left incomplete. I feel like I should have picked up more slack after one of our team members left in the first few weeks of the project. We had high ambitions and effectively 2.7 people to try and accomplish them.My attendance being low and travel times high made it difficult to converse with my teammates in person, and that simple thing makes group projects so much easier.
I feel with my lack of attendance, the role of producer was filled by everyone at some point in the project, depending on what was required at that point in time (2D/3D/Scripting etc). I fell into a role of being the 2D artist with the responsibility of managing the Trello board and calculating dates. Although communication on the Trello board from the other team members seamed scarce despite my efforts.
Next time, I hope circumstances are not quite as dire, and my whole team including myself can dedicate ourselves to creating the entirety of what we envisioned for the project.