Research ideas

Final Project ideas

For this task I will research and explain at least 3 ideas for my final project. These could be different variations of the same project or completely different.

Idea 1:

  • What is the premise?

The premise for my first idea is a character model, it would be a combat robot designed to serve as an enemy of the player. I would be creating the model, texturing it and rigging it. I would apply very basic animations to show how the rigging works.

  • What has inspired me? Why did I choose this?

The game that initially inspired me is Ratchet and Clank 2, there are quadrupedal robot enemies throughout the game and I love the design of these characters. They have a lot of personality even though they never talk and never serve as allies. I would like to create a character which gives off a sense of personality without the use of dialogue. I also like the unusual limbs and the glowing helmet of this robot, for my project I would like to incorporate something similar to one or both of these.

  • Where will my idea fit into the games industry?

My idea would simply fit into the production stage of a game’s development. It would be dependent on earlier stages of production such as concept art and research.

  • Is it realistic that I complete the project?

I believe it is realistic that I complete the project. I have already begun working on prototype models and I have experimented with rigging some of these models. The main focus is on the modelling and texturing, I am not aiming to add complex animations to the model and so I shouldn’t have many problems as I have experience working with animating in 3DS Max.

  • What do I know about my area of interest? What don’t I know?

I am familiar with a lot of games which fit the Sci-Fi genre, which this project would be a part of, however I haven’t immersed myself in much relevant media outside of games, for instance Sci-Fi films or books. To expand my knowledge of my area of interest I could immerse myself in these kinds of media.

  • What platform would it be?

I have no strong preference for any platform, however PS4 would be suitable as it is a single set of technical specifications that I would be working with respect to. This is different from mobile and PC gaming as these are systems for which everyone has different technical specifications, making it harder to design for.

  • What genre would it be?

The genre would likely be a mixture of Sci-Fi and action with a lighthearted overtone similarly to how the Ratchet and Clank games are as they are my main inspiration.

  • What would the target audience be?

My target audience would be most people as these lighthearted types of game don’t tend to exclude any particular audience. In particular my focus would be younger people such as teenagers given that the atmosphere wouldn’t be very serious, my project wouldn’t be in a game with mature themes such as gore and therefore would be suitable for younger audiences.

Idea 2:

  • What is the premise?

The premise for my second idea is also a character model, it would be similar to the other idea in that it is a combat robot designed to be an enemy of the player. For this project I would have a heavy focus on modelling and texturing and not rig or animate the model. Due to not needing to animate the model it could be more complex without risk of clipping. I would also have more time to focus on the modelling and texturing which would increase the quality of both.

  • What has inspired me? Why did I choose this?

As with my first idea the game that initially inspired me is Ratchet and Clank 2, there are quadrupedal robot enemies throughout the game and I love the design of these characters. They have a lot of personality even though they never talk and never serve as allies. I would like to create a character which gives off a sense of personality without the use of dialogue. I also like the unusual limbs and the glowing helmet of this robot, for my project I would like to incorporate something similar to one or both of these.

  • Where will my idea fit into the games industry?

My idea would simply fit into the production stage of a game’s development. It would be dependent on earlier stages of production such as concept art and research.

  • Is it realistic that I complete the project?

I believe it is realistic that I complete the project. I have already begun working on prototype models and the focus would be on modelling and texturing without any rigging or animation.

  • What do I know about my area of interest? What don’t I know?

I am familiar with a lot of games which fit the Sci-Fi genre, which this project would be a part of, however I haven’t immersed myself in much relevant media outside of games, for instance Sci-Fi films or books. To expand my knowledge of my area of interest I could immerse myself in these kinds of media.

  • What platform would it be?

I have no strong preference for any platform, however PS4 would be suitable as it is a single set of technical specifications that I would be working with respect to. This is different from mobile and PC gaming as these are systems for which everyone has different technical specifications, making it harder to design for.

  • What genre would it be?

The genre would likely be a mixture of Sci-Fi and action with a lighthearted overtone similarly to how the Ratchet and Clank games are as they are my main inspiration.

  • What would the target audience be?

My target audience would be most people as these lighthearted types of game don’t tend to exclude any particular audience. In particular my focus would be younger people such as teenagers given that the atmosphere wouldn’t be very serious, my project wouldn’t be in a game with mature themes such as gore and therefore would be suitable for younger audiences.

Idea 3:

  • What is the premise?

The premise for my third idea is a 3D modelled and textured interior, the interior would be based on a fantasy universe and might contain aspects of this universe such as weaponry or other items befitting the area.

  • What has inspired me? Why did I choose this?

The game that initially inspired me is Dark Souls, the area Anor Londo is beautiful, clean and bright. This is heavily juxtaposed to some of the earlier areas which makes the area have a lot of impact to me. I chose this because the area has a strong and interesting theme which I could easily use as a reference point for a project.

  • Where will my idea fit into the games industry?

My idea would simply fit into the production stage of a game’s development. It would be dependent on earlier stages of production such as concept art and research.

  • Is it realistic that I complete the project?

I believe it is realistic that I complete the project. An interior is much easier to make than an exterior and can be quite small if I want it to be particularly complex.

  • What do I know about my area of interest? What don’t I know?

I know a lot about the games that this idea is inspired by, however I’m not very familiar with what the areas themselves were based on. I’m aware that Anor Londo took inspiration from real world architecture but I’m not very familiar with what these inspirations are.

  • What platform would it be?

I have no strong preference for any platform, however PS4 would be suitable as it is a single set of technical specifications that I would be working with respect to. This is different from mobile and PC gaming as these are systems for which everyone has different technical specifications, making it harder to design for.

  • What genre would it be?

The genre would be medieval fantasy similar to my inspiration, the room would take aspects of this and demonstrate them though objects in the environment.

  • What would the target audience be?

My target audience would probably be late teens to early twenties. The room itself would be suitable for anyone as it wouldn’t contain anything graphic or offensive, though it wouldn’t be designed specifically to appear to children so they may not be part of the target audience. The game this idea is based on is rated mature, but the room I want to make would not contain any mature elements such as gore.

Idea 4:

  • What is the premise?

My fourth idea is to create some type of small spaceship designed for a single person. I would aim to create a ship which looks realistic rather than a stylised ship.

  • What has inspired me? Why did I choose this?

Star Citizen has an array of impressive and realistic ships, these are the kinds of ships I would use as a reference. I chose this because I find the ships from Star Citizen to be very visually appealing and would like to create something similar. I find the sleek design of Sci-Fi spaceships very interesting, there are a variety of games which contain this type of ship such as the Ratchet and Clank series and the Wipeout games.

  • Where will my idea fit into the games industry?

My idea would simply fit into the production stage of a game’s development. It would be dependent on earlier stages of production such as concept art and research.

  • Is it realistic that I complete the project?

I believe it is realistic that I complete the project. I would avoid making the model too intricate and focus on the quality of textures.

  • What do I know about my area of interest? What don’t I know?

I know about the ships of Star Citizen and about the ships of some other Sci-Fi games, but I don’t know much about Sci-Fi spaceships from other types of media.

  • What platform would it be?

I have no strong preference for any platform, however PS4 would be suitable as it is a single set of technical specifications that I would be working with respect to. This is different from mobile and PC gaming as these are systems for which everyone has different technical specifications, making it harder to design for.

  • What genre would it be?

The genre would be Sci-Fi as it has a strong futuristic theme and the game it is based on is also part of the Sci-Fi genre.

  • What would the target audience be?

The target audience would be teenagers and young adults, though most people could find it interesting . It wouldn’t contain mature elements or be designed for children, both of which might turn people away.

 

 

 

My project type ideas

Skills learned and how they will help me

Throughout my course I have learned many skills which I will use to create my Final Major Project. My project will be based around 3D work, I plan to create either a 3D character or an environment. Regardless of which I create I will use an array of skills which I acquired on this course.

First is 3D modelling, I will employ techniques based around working in 3DS Max during my project, this includes creating the model, maintaining an awareness of the poly count and the ability to unwrap the model for texturing.

I have also been taught how to create textures using Photoshop, I will use this ability to develop unique textures and apply them to the unwrap map of the model which can then be applied in 3DS Max.

Where would the project fit in the production process of a game?

My project would fit into the production stage as it is the process of asset creation. My project would rely on pre-production  processes such as concept artwork and research. The research would outline similar pieces of work that my project may be similar to, such as characters from pre-existing games of a similar genre. Concept art may just be a general idea of what my project could look like, but it could also be technical specifications such as dimensions of the models.

Requirements for my project

What will I need to do? What are the key production stages?

For my project there are two main stages; pre-production and production. During the pre-production stage I will do research and design concepts for my work. I will rely heavily on these pieces of research and concept work during the production stage. The research I do will be a mixture of primary and secondary and the concept work will be a mixture of ideas and concept art that may contain technical specifications such as dimensions. During the production stage I will create my project, all of my ideas will rely primarily on modelling and texturing, this means I will be working in 3DS Max and Photoshop.

Are there any skills that I need to learn or improve?

The main skill I need to improve is my ability to unwrap models and create unique textures. For this project I will be trying to create different map types such as normal maps and specular maps which means I need to gain more familiarity and understanding of developing and using these. I will also need to learn about visual effects such as ambient occlusion and inner glow. I also need to work on my skills in Photoshop such as my ability to paint textures.

What are the hardware and software requirements?

For this project I will be using an assortment of hardware and software, the software I need for this project are 3DS Max and Photoshop. 3DS Max will be used to create the model and to unwrap it in preparation for texturing. When texturing I will use Photoshop, I am going to create unique textures and apply them to the unwrapped template. The only piece of hardware I will need is a computer capable of running the necessary programs, the computer must meet the minimum requirements for both 3DS Max and Photoshop. The computer is vital as without it I cannot run the programs and therefore I can’t create any models or textures.

 

 

 

Secondary Research

Inspiration

What has inspired me?

One example of a game series which has inspired me would be the Ratchet and Clank series, even when modelling and texturing was relatively simplistic the characters were always brimming with personality whether they were friend or foe. Some of this came through striking appearances and some of it came through the quality of the animations.

Who has inspired me?

One game developer who inspired me is Jen Zee, she is the Art Director at Supergiant Games and has worked on Bastion, Transistor and Pyre, which is still in production. All three of these games have extremely unique and appealing art styles which can be accredited to her. One of the things I like about her creative style is how different and vibrant it is, all of her works look like nothing else and they always have impactful colours. Below is a screenshot of me reaching out to them on social media asking about the inspiration for the upcoming game Pyre, I will update this post with the response if I receive one.

JenZee Tweet.png

 

 

 

Legal Requirements and Health and Safety

For this task I aim to outline the dos and don’ts of the legal areas listed below and to relate these issues to my project.

 

  • Copyright and intellectual property

When dealing with copyright do maintain an awareness of what qualifies as plagiarism and what is legally considered dissimilar enough. This is important both when creating new works and when protecting your own existing works. For my project I must avoid replicating someone else’s work, I can take inspiration, but the idea must be unique to me.

Don’t attempt to use a trademarked name or a copyrighted work without express legal permission. Without this permission you may face legal repercussions from the copyright holder.

 

  • Representation

When representing a group of people, such as a race, religion or gender, do remain respectful in their portrayal. My project won’t represent any group of people, but I should ensure that in future projects I am careful with my portrayal of any type of person.

Don’t create a culturally insensitive piece of work, otherwise there can be ethical issues and lawsuits may arise. For example Resident Evil 5 had issues with racial portrayal which started a large controversy surrounding the game.

 

  • Contracts and commissions

When given a contract do read it through in detail or get a legal contact to read it for you before accepting or rejecting it. Signing a contract that you don’t understand can get you into problems later down the line. If you are commissioned for work ensure that you can complete it within the set time frame or you will be in breach of the contract, either negotiate the contract or don’t accept it. For instance if the employer takes action that you have a problem with then you may depend on the terms of the contract to support you. For my project I have a timeframe and a deadline so I must work with this in mind, I will allocate enough time to each aspect of my work.

Don’t accept a contract if you are unhappy with the terms and you are unable to negotiate them, being stuck in an unfavourable contract can be extremely problematic. Declining an unsuitable job which cannot be negotiated can often be the best option.

 

  • Health and Safety and risk assessment

When working do ensure you understand all risks and hazards in the work space, also be aware of how severe these risks are and act in accordance to these. My work doesn’t have many large hazards, though I must ensure that I take regular breaks from work so that I don’t cause myself problems like eye-strain.

When working don’t unnecessarily push yourself, working for hours at a time without stopping can cause problems such as eye-strain and Repetitive Stain Injury. Regular breaks can greatly reduce these risks.

 

  • Regulation

When creating a product that will have a rating do ensure you understand what defines the ratings set by PEGI and other similar groups. You must understand what qualifies a product as each rating so that you can create a product which reflects an intended rating.

When producing work don’t create a product which is inappropriate for the target audience, if the content of the work is going to result in an 18+ rating then the target audience should reflect that. When working on on my project I need to avoid adding mature aspects such as blood and gore as it wouldn’t be appropriate for the intended audience.

 

 

 

This week I outlined my main project ideas, examined the requirements for my project type, discussed my inspirations and covered the legal dos and don’ts. The main idea of this week was to gain an understanding of what my project would be, what it would require and why I was doing that type of project. Having this understanding is important as it helps me to know if the project is reasonable to undertake and what I must consider when undertaking it.

 

 

References:

Megacorp Security Robot I – Chainsaw v2.0. Available: http://ratchet.wikia.com/wiki/Megacorp_Security_Robot_I_-_Chainsaw_v2.0. Last accessed 25/04/16.

Megacorp Security Robot II – Flamethrower v2.0.Available: http://ratchet.wikia.com/wiki/Megacorp_Security_Robot_II_-_Flamethrower_v2.0. Last accessed 25/04/16.

Page0rz . (2014). Dark Souls Diaries – Day 16. Available: https://vaguespeculations.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/dark-souls-diaries-day-16/. Last accessed 25/04/16.

ESRB. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando. Available: http://www.esrb.org/ratings/Synopsis.aspx?Certificate=32123&Title=Ratchet%20%26amp%3B%20Clank%202%3A%20Going%20Commando&searchkeyword=ratchet%20%26%20clank. Last accessed 26/04/16.

ESRB. Dark Souls. Available: http://www.esrb.org/ratings/Synopsis.aspx?Certificate=31419&Title=Dark+Souls. Last accessed 26/04/16.

Giuseppe Nelva. (2014). Star Citizen’s Fantastic New Screenshots Videos and Renders Introduce New Ships, FPS Module and More.Available: http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/11/01/star-citizens-new-screenshots-videos-and-renders-introduce-fantastic-new-ships-fps-module-and-more/. Last accessed 26/04/16.

Hilary Goldstein. (2009). EDITORIAL: IS RESIDENT EVIL 5 RACIST?.Available: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2009/02/10/editorial-is-resident-evil-5-racist. Last accessed 26/04/16.

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