Calendar January 25, 2011 20:30

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Sick Day

So today I'm was feeling a bit sick and I couldn't make it to class. My first time missing class, including last semester. Hopefully it doesn't affect my grade too much.

Anyways, I emailed everyone to let them know the status of what I'm working on. So here is what I told them.

My current task include modeling a bomber class ship, which is about 50% done. It might need some minor tweaking, but not too much hopefully. Also, I had finished modeling the new space station last week. So over the weekend I had to layout the UVs and let me just say that its a nightmare. So I talked to Charlie later in the day, and he agreed to do the UVs for me.

Also, I think that we are going to stick to a pipeline workflow from now. I will keep doing models, and Charlie will do the UVs. I will try to do the UVs when I can, and let Charlie takeover when it gets too overwhelming.

That's it for me, thanks for reading.

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Calendar January 21, 2011 01:44

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End of First Sprint

So today is the end of our first sprint for the semester. I can't say that I got too much work done, but at least I'm trying. :P

The one thing that I would like to mention that I actually started to work on my space station again. I didn't really like that way that the other one looks, so I decided to hunt down pictures of other space stations and I found a few that I really liked.

So what I did is that I kept my original design, but I'm actually expanding it. My original design was kind of lame, so now I'm making look something more like this. It's not exactly the same, but I liked the way that it looks so I'm going to shoot for something similar.

Also, I volunteered to review one game this sprint. This is so that it looks like we are active in the Indie Community, so when the time comes to submit our game we won't be turned down just because we didn't contribute enough.

I haven't gotten any of those two things done, so I'll post some renders when I'm done with the new space station and I'll post my review when I'm done with it tomorrow night.

Also, for my next sprint I'll have to work on making a mid size bomber type ship. So far, most of the ships that I've made have been sort of "disc shaped", but this next one has to look a little more narrow and long.

One more thing, last time was our presentation to the Master students. I wasn't there because I had a class at the exact same time that we had to do the presentation, but it from what I heard I think it went ok. We got a lot of good feedback which will ultimately make our game that much better. Based on what we got from the survey forms that James & Brandon collected, we will do some adjustments to the game to get it polished.

Thanks for reading.

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Calendar January 18, 2011 16:21

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Presentation Tonight

So we are suppose to present our game to the Master students tonight to show how far we've gone in the development of our game. Everyone in the group really worked hard this weekend to have something better to present, since we got a lot of good feedback from our "play day."

My main task this weekend was to get a mid size enemy ship modeled and UVed. I managed to get something done, but I didn't get a chance to do the UVs for it. So Charlie will be able to take care of that for me.

Here are a few renders of the ship that I modeled:

I used the Corellian Corvette as inspiration for the front of the ship and then I used the wings from the ship that Charlie created not too long ago. Then I added the wings on the top since it looked a little too plain. And finally, rocket boosters on the back of the ship. Like I said, Charlie will UV it.

We didn't really do much in class today. We got a little time to work on our stuff and to get organized for the presentation tonight. I'm not going to be able to go to the presentation because I have a class at that time. I was really looking forward to going, but maybe next time (if there is a next time).

Now I'm just waiting for my next assignment. Thanks for reading.

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Calendar January 13, 2011 20:37

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New Scrum Master

So today was our "game day", this is where we got to play the games of the other teams and give them some feedback.

I didn't play any of the other games, but it looked like it was a good experience for everyone. This gave us a chance to see how the other groups are doing, and maybe even get ideas from testing the games.

We did get a lot of good feedback for our game, mainly saying that our controls are too confusing and we need to work a lot on game balancing because it is really hard to kill the enemies. A lot of people also complained about the radar, so I don't know what the programmers are going to do about that.

We are planning on working really hard over the weekend to get something that looks more like a game by Tuesday night when we have to present the game to the Master students that to have them critique it.

I talked to Charlie, and I have to designed a new mid size ship for Tuesday. I don't really know where to start, all I know is that it has to be big enough to have a small crew but not to bulky that it looks like a capital ship. :(

Also, at the end of class James told us that he need to split up his role in the group. So from now on, Felix is going to be Scrum Master and James will be the Technical Director.

Thats all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar January 11, 2011 20:37

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New Semester

So yesterday was the start of the new semester.

I didn't really do anything during the break, I was thinking about polishing my models and making new ones. But that didn't go too well.

Our group did meet over the break to talk about what we would do for the rest of the semester as far as polishing our game to make it "fun".

Since today was the first day of class, we didn't really do much. We got an introduction to what we are going to do this semester. We also had to talk about where we are in our game since we presented in class last semester.

We finally pined down a lot of the stuff that we are going to do to finally get our game on its way. We are going to start our sprints in the next few days because have to have something better to show for our "play day" where we get to test the other team's game.

That's it, thanks for reading.

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Calendar December 9, 2010 19:59

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Semester Done

So we have finally come to the end of this semester. Remind me to not take 17 credit hours again.

Anyways, we made our presentation today and it went really well. Brandon and Pc were working on a really cool level that would spawn a squadron of enemy ships and attack. Then once all the enemy ships were dead, a capital ship would also appear. But they were having some issues, so we had to present using the old level we used on the last presentation two weeks ago. Bummer.

Anyways, I can finally catch up on my sleep because I haven't had much of it in the last few days.

I didn't really do anything else other than what i posted last night. I was going to work on the texture for the enemy ship today, but Charlie already had a texture ready to go, so we just used his texture.

But just because the semester is over, it doesn't mean that we get to do nothing for the next few weeks. It just means we now have more time to dedicate to the game. :( We won't be working on it as much as we have during the semester, but we are still expected to keep working.

Charlie said that I should UV and texture all my ships because they are most likely going to end up as enemy ships. Then if I really don't have anything else to do, then I can either make more space content (debris and stuff) or make more ships.

Also, after class I went down to L130 and reviewed a game called Break Limit. I can't remember who it was, but someone in our group said to try and review games that have to do with what we are doing. Even if I was somewhat constrained on what I could/should review, this game seemed fun from the description that they give.

Prepare to go mind-numbingly fast as you Blast, Smash and Break Limit through every one and thing in your way! Powerful weapons that get stronger as you play, will help to power a ship that becomes an invincible wrecking ball while accelerating. Alpha Centauri will never be the same! Featuring online scoreboards for Gold subscribers, and local scoreboards to prove you’re better than your siblings!
It actually turned out to be really fun. I spend around 1 -  1 1/2 playing the game before I realized what time it was. I wasn't really good at it, but it still kept me hooked for a really long time.

Anyways, that's all for now. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar December 9, 2010 01:55

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The End is Near

So tomorrow we have to present out Alpha version of the game to the class.

I've been working on the enemy ship for the demo, but it wasn't the one that I had originally made. The one that I made was funky and had triangles in it, which we can't have. So Charlie game me one of his models that he had made a little while back and I cleaned it up and tweaked it just a bit before I started to work on the UV mapping.

I don't think that I've said this before, but I hate UV mapping. Its time consuming and its hard to get it just right. I was trying to take a shortcut and used Maya's auto mapping tool... huge mistake! It did an OK job at mapping out the UV with out distorting them too much. The only problem was that it had broke it up into a ton of little pieces.

So thinking that it was still going to save me time, I sat there putting together the pieces into bigger chunks. But it was taking too much time just trying to figure out which pieces went together. After almost 2 hours of work, I saw that I had made little progress so I decided to start over and do the UVs by hand. After another 2 hours of work, I was done.

The UVs don't look too great, since I just did them in a rush. Also, the lack of sleep might have had something to do with it. Last night I didn't sleep because I was working on a project for another class. I've had around 3 hours of sleep total.

Anyways, here are a few renders from the model the Charlie made and that I UV mapped:

That's all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar December 7, 2010 21:04

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Junk Space Ship - Reworked

So I have to rework on the junk space ship. To make it look beat up, I was trying to use deformers in Maya. But I couldn't make it look the way I wanted it to look, so I will probably have to work on it in Mudbox and get a bump map on it instead. But I will leave that for the next sprint in the mean time. We have to demo our Alpha version this Thursday, so I have to make sure that the ship we are going to use as enemies look as good as possible.

In the meantime, I'll just post the renders of the ship that I did before I used the deformers.

I've also started to work on making the enemy ship that we will be using for the demo. I had to rework the model because my original model's geometry was really messy. But fixing the problem was more difficult than I originally thought. In the process of cleaning up the geometry, some triangles formed. I'm trying to get some help in fixing the triangles.

Once that's taken care of, I will work on making the UV maps and a texture for Thursday's demo. 

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar December 2, 2010 20:57

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Junk Spaceship Done

So today we didn't have anything in class as far as a lecture goes. Bob and Roger left open for us to talk about the stuff that we want to do and just keep working.

I finished a NASA space ship and made it look old and beat up. I finished it today and I didn't have time to do renders of it, but I'll do them and post an update on my blog about it.

In the meantime, our last sprint starts today and I have to focus on making one of my ships really good since it's going to be the main enemy ship in the meantime. I have to finish it in the next few days so that I can layout the UVs, make a texture, and maybe even a bump map on Mudbox.

Thats it for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 30, 2010 19:37

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10 Days Left

So we have 10 days left in the semester before we have to have an Alpha version of our game done. We have to finish nailing down the features that will be in our game, this means that we have to cut out all the stuff that we won't be able to do with in the next 10 days.

This is because next semester we won't have time to insert new features since we will have to focus on inserting content, polishing, and submitting out game for approval. Roger and Bob said that we might be able to insert some new content, but only if we finish everything before schedule and as long as we don't have to do much tweaking. But we shouldn't count on it.

Us on the art side are going to have to crank out models, levels, and content. And programmers are going to have to optimize the code and make sure that none of the code violates any of the things on the evil list. So we will have out work cutout for us.

Today we nailed down the pods and the control scheme.

We decided that we will be limited to: one shield pod, one engine pod, one laser/weapon pod, and a handful of special pods. We also said that only the first three will have a passive effect, and then a consumable effect. For example, when you use your engine pod, it will make you go faster for a few seconds. The special pods won't have a passive effect, but will have some cool effect when launched.

I didn't work much over the break, and I was planning on finishing my stuff today while at school but I forgot my external hard drive. So I will have to finish it sometime in the next two days.

After I'm done, Charlie said that the ships that I created will act as the enemy ships for the Alpha we have to turn in. I have to take my crest like ship and make it  better. I have to work on the base model and make it look as good as possible.

Thats all for now, I'll see how much I can get done in the next few days. Thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 25, 2010 20:24

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Space Station

So I forgot to do a blog for Tuesday the 23rd, so this post will be for that day.

Due to some really bad weather, campus was closed at 2PM and classes were canceled. So we didn't get a chance to see the professors or the other people in the group. We did exchange some email on that day, but nothing too importnat.

For this sprint, we moved to one week sprints instead of two weeks. I was assigned to model a space station and other random space debris.

I've finished the space station, all I need to do is scale it up and uploaded to the repository. I'm not going to add anymore shaders because they do no good. We have to texture them eventually, so there is no point on wasting time and effort into adding a simple shader.

I'm almost done with  one other model that is suppose to be an old NASA space ship. I need to finish modeling it and then deforming it to make it look all old and worn out.

That is all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 18, 2010 17:09

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Second Sprint is Over

Today is the end of our second sprint. We had to do another presentation to the class about the progress of our game.

James and Charlie explained what we've done in the last two weeks and so far it looks great. They showed the new ship that Charlie made that has laser guns attached to the ship and is able to shoot lasers and pods. They also collide with asteroids and enemy ships and are able to destroy them and take them out of the game.

Since last time, I started to look on an old space ship and in a space station for the game as space debris. I haven't fixed my models because Charlie said that we should focus on just one ship at the moment, but I'm still not sure how I can help him make one ship look really good.

As last time, our next sprint starts today. Last time they took a while to assign me a task in ScrumWorks, so I'll just keep working on the old ship and the space station for the meantime. Then once I get an update task list, I'll know what to focus on.

With Thanksgiving next week, hopefully I'll be able to get some work done. Also, we are moving to one week sprints instead of two weeks. This is going to put more pressure on us to get things done instead slacking for a week and then rushing to get things done. We will also have smaller tasks since it's only once week, but this way we will constantly be busy working on the game.

Thats all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 17, 2010 00:48

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1st Satellite Done

So I managed to finish my first satellite, but it looks really bad. The model its self looks really good in my opinion, but the shaders that I put on the model look horrible. In order to make it look good, I have to layout the UVs and use Photoshop to make the colors look descent, so I'll get to it sometime this week before Thursday.

Here are the renders for the model with out color:

Here are the renders for the model with color:

Today during class, the art team meet up with Roger to talk about where we were at in the art side of the game. We talked about the idea that we have about having two corporations in the game and Charlie said that he would be in charged of one corporation and I would be in charge of the other one. Brandon showed him the mock up of the HUD that he made and Roger told us to switch to a virtual HUD instead of the of what he made. Roger said that it would end up being a lot easier for everyone in the end.

Roger also told us that we have to focus on completely finishing at least one ship before we keep going.

Before I can start working on the art for one of the corporation, I have to go and fix the geometry of the ships that I made. Even if there isn't anything technically wrong with them, the geometry is a little messy. Brandon also said that I should probably try to round the edges of the ships since it might cause problems with the normal map technique we are trying to use to keep low poly models that look like high resolution models.

Thats all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 11, 2010 17:03

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Making Space Debris

So I've started to work on space debris and miscellaneous space objects for the game. I decided to start by making a satellite for the game. Basically the satellite will just float out in space, not doing anything besides looking pretty. I'm not sure if they will have the satellites just moving in random paths or if they are going to designate a path in Maya since we are using Maya a level editor now (it was Brandon's idea).

This is the picture that I'm using as a reference for the satellite that I'm making:

And I think that I will add the antena dishes from this satellite:

I will try to finish this today and add a shader on it and uploaded to our art svn. I will post a render of the finished satellite once I'm done.

Also, today during class, Roger gave a lecture about reviewing games. He gave us some info from the origins of game reviewing. This is because we have to review at least one indie game before the the end of the semester to get us to be active in the XBox Indie Game community.

That is all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar November 10, 2010 10:35

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Working With Locators in Maya

So I finally went into Maya and split the ship into pieces just the way that the guys in the tech team wanted. This is so that they can use the different bounding spheres around the separate meshes of the model for collision detection. This way they don't have just one giant sphere with a ton of empty space.

Pace made a program that can draw the spheres around the models that we make to better give us an example of the "final product." But I noticed that even with the separate meshes, there is still a ton of empty space. I don't know if I have to separate the model even further or if I'm just missing something. I'll have to ask everyone next time we meet since I think that it might be a little to difficult to do it over email.

Also, during class the tech guys said that they wanted to have locators attached to the models that we give them so that they could use those points to attach pods to the ship. Sounds easy enough, but I've never actually worked with locators until today. I attached a total 13 locators to the ship for different kinds of pods like: lasers, engines, cockpit, and a few extras for the tech guys to play around with.

Ideally, they want us to model a laser gun (for example) and attach it to the ship. Then attach a locator to the gun so that they would know where a beam would be coming from. Also attach several locators that would function as pod slots for the ship so that the player would be able to choose what kind of pods would be equipped to the ship.

Also, I've decided that I will start to work on miscellaneous space debris since we have enough concept ships at this point. We talked about making a total of 9 ships that the player would be able to use, 3 ships for each faction or corporation in the game. Pace mentioned that we might want to make 2 more ships (one for each faction), these would be the "super ships" that would be unlocked towards the end of the game.

I still don't know what kind of space debris I will make, but probably not asteroids since they already have a ton of those in the current version. I'm thinking of making something like old space ships or satellites. Or if I'm feeling up to the challenge, even a space station.

But probably not.

Thanks for reading.

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