Friday, 23 December 2011

Final major Project: Game Influences (Pt. 3)

The other game that really impressed me recently was "The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword". This was because it blended two artstyles from previous games together, with models similar to those found in Twilight Princess and a model shader/texture found in Windwaker.

I feel that this art style captures the essence of a light hearted adventure game that any audience would be able to sit down and enjoy. Again there's the wonderful self illuminating texture used in conjunction with the bright colours and a Cel-shader, which helps players distinguish areas from characters easily. The textures have a very matte painting feel to them (like Mario 3D land, with no real world textures used) and whiles are not as bright as the ones found in Mario 3d Land still pop out at you. With an artstyle like this is makes the game very marketable to whole families.

Ofcourse when looking closely at the designs it's clear that the game follows the heritage of it's ancestors of the green capped hero, but at the same time something new is presented. It's good to keep this in mind as it's familiarlity that keeps people interested as sometimes something too new doesn't seem interesting, but I don't think Will and I have to worry about something such as that yet.

Much like Mario 3D Land and Windwaker, Skyward sword features a much more stylised art aesthetic (although not as stylised as Windwaker) with characters ranging in many different shapes to better portray their archetype visually to the player, this is much betetr than just explaining "this guys is a bully" or "this girl is the love interest", and it reallys adds to the visual element of the game otherwise you might aswell be reading a book. It's really the breadth of interesting designs in this game coupled with the beautiful textures that makes this a great example of how a game should look.

The gameplay for Skyward Sword stays true to the series legacy in terms of controls, but again like other nintendo games, it's incredibly easy to pick up. What I love most about this is the method in which you control your sword, by simply swinging your wii-mote, Link's movements are perfectly translated from yours in real time with (as far as I can see) no delay. Previously in the series there was one button for the attack ability and pressing this several times alnog with the directional pad in certain combinations created psuedo-combos which in my opinion would still work for a game today, so I may pitch this idea of easy attack combos for our game as I feel it would keep it accessible to all players. Another thing I like about the legend of Zelda series the way things are animated to be more like a cartoon than something life like, there's something about the movements of the characters that is just so unique and to try capture a similar look and feel is going to be an interesting challenge. For a better representation of the game's graphics and animation check out the video below.



As for the overall artstyle, I love it and feel that I would love our game to look similar to this but a little more western-ised, as when looking at it with an educated eye it's clear to see it's a japanese/eastern game, from the way the hero is portray and the way eyes are drawn. I would love to see what a design by myself would look like if it was modelled and textured by the people behind Skyward Sword. The main thing that should be taken away from this though is the use of the self illuminating Shader and the Cel Shader (used sparingly in the game but, still used!).

It's interesting to look at these games, 3 years on from when I started this course being more wiser about the overall production process of how these games come to be as I'm more interested in the overal process rather than just one aspect of it. I feel that with a little more research into textures, this game will be one of the nicest looking pieces of work I've ever completed.

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