Thursday, 5 December 2013

UDK platformer starter kit test

Just looking into some technical hurdles. 

I presented these images a couple of weeks ago to give a sort of idea of the look and feel of the project. The tutors wanted to see some sort of technical test in UDK regarding whether sidescrollers are actually doable for me, and I finally had a bit of time to look into it today. 
I compiled a tiny, blocky little scene sort of mimicing the drawings. It's very, very simple but it does the job. 

 Here's the thing in the UDK editor viewport with a white material applied. At this point I had loaded in all the necessary files supplied by UDK. This is a bit of a faff and I don't know if this needs to be done every time I have to work or show the project on a different computer. I imagine that could get annoying.
And this is the thing actually playing. The character can only move left and right. The camera is locked onto the player character and follows it at a set distance, always angled straight at the character. 

There are a lot of problems with this but the main thing is that it proves that this is doable, I suppose. For example, the camera is positioned too close to the character for my purposes.

But it is just a test and it proves what I need to prove.

Warrior project 2

I spent yesterday pretty much defining my design. I did a few variations, but felt like the very first one I drew was the strongest one anyway. So I took some details from a few other attempts and mashed it together with that and ended up with the one at the end here.  

Ekajati is often depicted with blue skin, but I thought it would be a better challenge for me to depict a natural skin colour accurately and opted for making her clothes quite blue instead. 

I'm going for the first one of these, but the skull knee pads look a bit funny, so might take those out. I also want to attach a few skulls to her belt, just to carry on the elements from her hair and neck.  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Warrior project

I'm really excited about this brief. It's a really cool brief and if I could do this brief for the rest of my life over and over I'm pretty sure I still couldn't run out of things to do. Which makes it difficult to choose one thing to finally settle on! 

After wavering a lot, I figured I wanted to do a character based on the Indo-Tibetan goddess/dakini (a sort of sky imp) Ekajati. She is a wrathful protector goddess of non-duality, or something. She appears in both Hinduism and Buddhism and seems to be a positive figure, despite being quite scary and malevolent.

Ekajati has some really cool and scary iconography. She wears a tiger or human skin (depends on how angry she feels I guess) and clouds and snakes and a garland of human heads. She can emanate one hundred iron she wolves from her left hand, and her servants are witches drenched in blood. 

I wanted to incorporate those elements into something more grounded, like a functional battle armour, implementing the more ethereal aspects of her iconography into the design, like making her wear armour decorated with clouds, for example. 

I find Hindu and Buddhist art really pretty because it is very bright and colourful and graphic. If I can incorporate that into my texturing and design, it'll look really awesome. 

For her body build, I'm referencing photos of weight lifter Samantha Wright. She seems to have the same sorta stocky-ish strong body that Ekajati is often depicted with. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Car enviornment

I finished the turbo jet and the toy environment for this brief. I had a lot of fun with this project, especially when I decided to commit to the toy car angle.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Vehicle project

For my vehicle project, I decided to do a car I saw at the London Science Museum when I went there with my brother before uni started. I'm not into vehicle design and wanted to attempt recreating something pre-existing instead of concepting my own thing, leaving me more time for thinking about FMP stuff.

This is the 1950's Rover Gas Turbine 1 that is part of their permanent display. It was a concept car of sorts, so this is the only one in existence. It was the first car to be built with a turbine engine, like a jet plane. It could go pretty fast for its time. As it turned out, this wasn't really a very efficient engine for mass market consumption; it drank 7 gallon of fuel a mile and could get pretty hot. It just wasn't feasible to put an engine like that in such a small machine. 

Mostly I like what it looks like. It's like they tried to build a sleek car but couldn't quite pull it off. 

Here's a progress render of where I'm at. Joe had the idea that I put a wind up key on the car butt and I thought this was excellent, so now I'm rendering this thing into a toy box environment. It is happening.  

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Rooftop project

For the past month I have been working on a practice brief. We were to make a playable 3D rooftop environment implemented in either UDK or CryEngine.

I decided to go for a leisure area planetarium thing. I've taken inspiration from art deco architecture and designs because art deco is a very geometrical style I thought might work well in 3D.

My friend and course mate Ewa suggested I do my textures with watercolours, which I thought was a really cool idea so after doing a couple of tests which turned out well, I went for it. It might not have been the best scene and idea to try it out on, but to me the practice briefs are all about experimenting and figuring out what works and what doesn't in preparation of your final major project. I'm glad I did this because it made me feel confident enough about the technique to think that I might implement this in my FMP as well.

Despite my previous good experiences with CryEngine, I decided to use UDK for this because I wanted to have a base for comparing the two. I like UDK a lot and think it's pretty straightforward to work with, and there's a lot of resources for it on the internet. Unreal even has a kit for developing side scroller games, so I think this project has given me a good foundation for saying that UDK is the right engine for me.

Here's my flytrough:

In the end I faffed about doing artsy fartsy stuff a bit too much and didn't have time to produce assets to properly populate the scene. I regret that, but I am glad I took my time to experiment with something that will come in handy later.

A small introduction post

Hi, this post marks the first post of my third year blog, I suppose. 

A short introduction; my name is Katarina Aasgaard Stromsvag. I'm from Norway, but moved to England two years ago to attend DMU's BA Game Art Design course, because it is a course with a good reputation and a history of teaching good graduates the right skills for the games industry. I also do a bit of comic art and writing.  

I like all sorts of video games, but am especially interested in the indie- and small developer scene because I think that's just where the coolest stuff comes from.  

This blog will be me posting about my work and thoughts towards my third year final major project and, along the way, my professional practice briefs. 

The brief run-down of my final major project is, at least at the moment, that I will be making a 2.5D sidescrolling game in UDK, drawing inspiration from work by Nordic fairy tale illustrators, such as John Bauer and Theodor Kittelsen. 

John Bauer

John Bauer

Theodor Kittelsen

Theodor Kittelsen

I am very excited about this project and I hope you find it interesting too.