Maze Progress #2

I’ve decided to do away with the 3-floor rotating part of my design as it proved to be too difficult to manage, and was taking far too long to try to even plan, so instead my maze is simply based on the time travel aspect and interacting with plants.

I spent a while today sketching out vines and doors, and how they will affect the path you take through the maze by covering holes, blocking doors, allowing climbing etc. I will still need to make some perspective drawings of these for model sheets for modelling. I have also begun to block out the maze in 3DS Max to get a basic perspective on how things look and the scale of the maze.

Am I ready to make a game?

At the moment, no. I still have to make some model sheets for my assets and tweak my level plants as I have come across a few issues with my pathing. I still also need to finish my flow chart for my maze, to help me plan mechanics and objectives. After that, I also need to design some puzzles for obstacles and figure out what needs to be modelled from those.

Maze Progress #1

I managed to finally solidify my theme in to something interesting, and even come up with a few ideas for mechanics out of it – a plant theme with a time mechanic to allow moving back and forth between different versions of the maze to access newer areas, with multiple floors that rotate. I managed to get a new plan out in the form of a Gantt Chart to help with the rest of my project and make sure I don’t fall behind.

I managed to get one of the floor maps for my maze done, but I will need to adjust it slightly to make use of the newer mechanics, and create sketches and concepts of the different assets I plan to have for the different puzzles of the maze.

For the rest of the week, I will need to make sure I get the rest of the maze layouts finished and ready for blocking out in 3DS Max, so I can then move it and assets in to unreal to finish building the level.

Updates

While I have been keeping up with my work here in my final major project on most of my pages, I’ve neglected making as many blog posts showing quick updates to my progress in the project. Due to this, I am not able to track the date I did certain parts of my project (such as my sketches and my models), although the work itself is logged.

Going forward, I should be making consistent update posts about my project – They can be short as long as they get the general idea across. I will aim to do this three times every week.

Another Idea

Over the many weeks of the project, I have again found myself drifting more and more from the original intention of my project – which was to create and model an alien creature, while having some concept art, and if there was time at the end – texture it.

I have found myself enjoying the concept part of this more and more, while lacking the skills to do a full 3D Model of an alien creature. While I would like to develop my 3D Skills enough to be able to do so in the future, I don’t believe I have enough time left in the project to do so, and had misjudged the difficulty and my own abilities from the beginning. I also have many more sketches and iterations of my concepts than I initially thought, and have found this part of the project a lot more enjoyable than I initially thought it would be. This part also allows me to better show my creativity and is easier to manage. As such, I have decided to change my proposal

I will create and design mutliple concepts for parts of an alien creature, creating basic models and some photoshop art of some designs that I may detail enough to do so. As an extension, if time allows it, I would like to texture one of my designs.

A change of pace

(This is a late evaluation for the work I did for weeks 6-7 of the project)

Over the last few weeks, I have spent more time working on 3D and a little on Photoshop, to try to flesh out my project more – although I have decided to change my focus from full production to the pre-production, and my concepts and ideas. particularly my sketches and notes, with some Photoshop and 3D to back them up and bring them to life. This is due to finding myself lacking the skills needed in 3D and Photoshop, as well as the enjoyment, to continue building all the assets, whereas I continue to come up with and pump out ideas and concepts. I will be slowing down the progress on my 3D and Photoshop (Although I still aim to get a few assets out) and doing more sketches and notes on my ideas and concepts.

I also need to update my research and inspirations, as of writing this post, my current inspirations are missing where a lot of my ideas come from and my research is lackluster, in particular it is missing some primary data such as my survey results.

I think changing the focus for my project will enable me to spend the little time we have left enjoying the project more as well as working better on it.

 

Concept and Development

I didn’t manage to review my work last week, so I’ll cover both weeks here.

 

The third and fourth weeks were spent mostly sketching out my ideas for the Alien Creature I wanted to do, along with some research development. However, as I was sketching down my idea and concept for the alien creature I wanted to do, I found myself making multiple sketches of certain parts of the creature separately – such as the head and the legs, and wasn’t thinking of the alien as a whole too much. This approach to the concept and after reviewing my idea made me realise it was rather large and difficult for me to complete within the given time-frame. However, I still liked the general idea of being able to create essentially whatever I want given the vague definition of “Alien”. So instead, my project now will focus on making certain parts of the alien as opposed to the entire alien, and will include my intentions for how to texture it and ideas after the model is done as opposed to fully texturing the model.

Smoothing

So, Today I messed around with MSmooth and Auto-Smooth in 3DS Max, and made a couple joysticks and a few taps.

The basic models were first created by creating a box, adding an edit poly modifier to it and just using extrude, inset and bevel until I got the basic shape.

For the joystick, I then added some chamfers (which cuts/flattens a corner/edge) to make the shape seem a little more natural and then added auto-smooth so the render visual would seem a lot smoother. The top of the second joystick looks much more smooth than the tip of the first Joystick.

With the taps, I simply applied M-Smooth and then a few Auto-Smooths (under Polygon Smoothing Groups) to the second one – it ended up very round, Not something I’m a huge fan of. With the third, I applied a few chamfers to some areas and then auto-smoothed, I think it turned out much better.

I found that while M-Smooth does apply a lot of smoothing to the shape, it also makes the geometry unecessarily complicated, and it gives me much less control – it will smooth the entire shape. Chamfer with Auto-Smooth gives me much more control on specific sections and groups of the object.

Overall the process was rather simple, Just a few modifications will smooth a lot of the object in almost any way I want it to. I could see use of this in modelling to reduce the amount of geometry I need to make something appear smooth – or make something appear smooth if I think it already has enough geometry.