Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Final Major Project: Evaluation

For this project we aimed to create a simple hack n' slash game with a cartoon aesthetic, whilst by the end of the project we got the cartoon aesthetic we didn't really have the complete game we wanted.

Overall the whole process to make Gutsy's Quest went well but it seemed that we stumbled at the end, underestimating the complexity of the programming stage. The Research phase went extremely well as we had a rough idea of what kind of game we wanted to make and after this stage we knew exactly what we wanted to include to make sure that our game would appeal on the levels we wanted it to namely aesthetics and gameplay, this stage of collecting information and decision making was quick and it really did help move us move onto the development phase more quickly.

During this stage my job was to design the character's whilst Will would research the coding and build prototypes. Again this stage was relatively easy as we quickly decided the definitive looks of characters with help from critiques from class mates and friends (and in my case customers at my work) I felt that I managed to create characters that people would want to play as and that I tied all the work together nicely making it all clearly belong to the same world and aesthetic.

Next came developing the HUD & GUI, I felt that by the end I had created an easy to understand HUD with GUIs that are easy to navigate thus cementing the fact we were building this for a wider audience than hard core gamers. Unfortunately when it came to applying this to the game it didn't end up looking like the concept art, but this will be fixed in the next version of Gutsy's Quest for Game Republic. I feel that the Start and Game Over screens are perfect for the aesthetic we're trying to get with Gutsy but I may end up re-doing the start screen for the next build to make it more general rather than a specific image retaining to a specific level.

The modelling process was almost a breeze due to my familiarity of the process and UV mapping was also easy as from experience I knew exactly how to unwrap UVs the way I wanted them so that I can paint the textures to look their best. Texture painting is an area that I know I've vastly improved at, partly because of my increased knowledge concerning UV unwrapping but also because I've learned much more about the process and how to make the textures look their best with a mixture of clever photoshop tricks and shaders than can be found in the Unity game engine.

Working to layout the game level also took some thought and in a way was like working on a piece of art as I wanted to create something that people could really get absorbed into and experience and to do that require little touches such as adding in grass and borders. For the Next version though I think I'll be adding variations on the flat textured trees and grass to add a bit more of immersion but as it stand it functions perfectly well for an alpha build.

The only part that I think I fell short of in this project is putting together the game bible as even with example I wasn't sure at all what I should be including, I understand that it's used to make sure that a whole team is following the same kind of aesthetic but when it's just a team of two I think it was harder for me to write the bible as opposed  to following one if I received it and it's really only this part of the project that I feel I could have done better.

The things that I still want to work on are obviously my skills are conceptualising, modelling and texturing, but I now want to work more on my ability to work with unity so that Will isn't alone in doing the coding. I feel though that if I keep on developing my skills in these areas over the next year I can increase them by a vast amount.

For this project I tackled most of the art side of things bar modelling a few assets And I feel that I completed this to the best of my ability and quicker too as I've finally understand how to manage my time to get the best out of myself. This project like other has been about person growth as well as growth in terms of building upon skills but I come out of this project feeling as though I've grown as much in this project as I have over the last years and I am more than ready to enter the working world in the Games Industry.

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