Calendar November 18, 2011 15:58

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Prototype 3 Done

I haven't done any blog entries for this project, and I feel kind of bad. But we did a great job.

We presented our project on Wednesday to the Museum and they loved it.

I don't know if I wrote any details about our project before, but it changed a bit since then.

Originally we wanted to make icons of cities for people to shoot at, but we eventually decided to go a little more abstract. I ended up making a duck target like in many traditional shooting galleries. Then we put a banner around the duck with the name of a city around it. This is to make a point that this game is about Utah.

There is a lot more detailed information about our project at the project blog and our game is now on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

We still need to clean up a bit to improve the experience, but that shouldn't take too long. For now, we don't know what else we will be doing until Monday when we find out what we will be doing next.

Thanks for reading.

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Calendar October 31, 2011 00:10

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Prototype 3 is Underway

So I haven't posted anything since we presented our 2nd prototype. The presentation went really well, thanks to Josh's awesome presentation skills.

We got some good feedback, like we needed to make sure that the circuits looked a little more complicated and that it had to make sense on how it all works. I thought that the layout I made would get the idea across that it was a bomb and that everything was connected, but I guess it needs to be a little more clear.

I still don't know if any of the prototypes that we showed will actually get deployed to the Mechanical Engineering students like we were told at the beginning of the project.

Since then, we've started on our next prototype. This time our client is the Utah Museum of Natural History. They just finished building a new building for the museum and they are in the process of getting all the exhibits ready for when they officially open their doors to the public. But they have one problem, one of the exhibits that they had wasn't working the way that they had hoped.

The exhibit is called Futures (or something like that) and it has to do with technology and the future of Utah. They want to have a short game in that exhibit that will teach the visitors about how Utah will be impacted by its doubling of the population in the next 40 years and what we will have to do to manage all of our resources.

The game that they have right now has all that information, but its too wordy, too long, and really confusing. So we were called to try and save the exhibit.

We have to incorporate as much information about water conservation into our game, but it has to be a short game (about 2-4 minute play) that will be fun and teach something to the visitor about the future of Utah.

My team this time consists of: Brandon Karratti as the producer, Jorge Elola & Pace Sims as engineers, and Christine Olinquevitch & I as artist.

I'm so happy that there is another artist in my team this time, it means that I won't fall behind like on the other 2 projects because there is too much art to do and I have to do all of it.

So for our game, Pace got the original idea of coming up with a game that you have to "shoot" your resources to parts of Utah that need it the most. While making sure that you keep everyone happy and keep track of your limited resourced. We hope that this will make it easy to understand and fun to play for children and adults.

We are going to make this game using flash, I'm still not sure how all the technical stuff will work but I can leave that stuff to Pace and Jorge to figure out. In the meantime, Christine and I have to come up with some placeholder art so that the engineers can start to put stuff in place since we only have 3 weeks before the museum opens.

If we succeed over the other team (there is only 2 teams working for the UMNH this time, everyone else is working for another client on a different project) we will have our game shown on the exhibit.

I will have to brush up on Flash, but I don't think that it will be too hard since Christine is a graphic design major (or something like that). :)

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar October 19, 2011 19:49

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Prototype 2 Presentation Today

So the time to present our second prototype has come.

Overall, it went really well. Our game really emphasized that it was going to be used for educational purposes and we managed to get our idea across of how it would look once it was finished.

It was still a little confusing for some people, but they managed to get the idea in the end and gave us some input on how we could make it look better.

One of the things that someone said that really got burned in my head is that the assets have to scaled up, never down until you have had time to experiment with them. This was because the grid for our game was really big compared to the size of the circuit/problem on the board. So basically the cells needed to be bigger to allow the player a more clear view of the art and it also gives us more room to work with.

Finally, I don't know if any of the games will actually be used/fully developed but it was a nice experience getting to work for a client.

After all the presentations, they told us a little about our next project. Apparently there are a few people that will be flying in from a company that is looking to expand but don't have much experience with games. We weren't really told what we were going to do, so will have to wait until next week to find out.

In the meantime that is all, thanks for reading.

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Calendar October 17, 2011 15:33

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End of Fall Break

So over fall break I worked on a bunch of stuff, and I still didn't manage to get everything done that I was suppose to.

I manage to do the following things: a new game board, title screen, icons, and some text for the buttons of the title screen.

Most of the art work that I made was done in maya and then I just rendered it and tweaked it in photoshop.

Here is the new title screen:

Bomb Defuser is just a working title for now, and it will most likely change.

I still have a bunch of stuff I need to work on before the presentation on Wednesday, thanks for reading.

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Calendar October 2, 2011 20:13

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Simple Layout

I've made some progress in the art needed for our game. A while ago I posted some really crappy "art" for our game. 

Well, I think that I've at least made some improvement. Here is what I have so far, and keep in mind that I'm not done yet.

So that is the general layout of our game. We have our main grid in the center, then our tool box to the left and a box that will provide hints, tips, and the game state at the bottom. I'm trying to do something simular to what Bioshock did with their hacking mini-game. I'm planning on adding more stuff to the background to make it more interesting. But it the meantime, this gives something to the programmers to work with.

The red things at the side of the grids are suppose to be wires. I don't know I think I did a good job, but please let me know if they don't look right. For this project, I'm going to try and focus on the layout and the art of the layout as our "one sliver" of good art for this prototype.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 26, 2011 17:38

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Prototype 2 Coming Along

So today we were suppose to get another visit from our client since he came up with a few ideas to improve our games over the weekend. But he never showed up, so for the meantime we continue to work.

Our group sat down and talked about some specifics of our game. We talked about how the game is going to be laid out, and how we are going to do it. For now, we will stick to the "bomb diffuse" idea that we have and I've altered an image that I found on the internet to be our bomb for the game. I made the fuse longer and straight so that Felix and Derek can use it as a timer for the player.

The idea is that we won't so how much time the player has left to solve the puzzle, but the length of the fuse will sort of tell him how long he has before the bomb explodes. This will add some tension and hopefully get the whole "bomb diffusing" idea across to the player.

Josh will be helping me with the icons and I will try to focus on the layout to make it look as good as possible. This will be our "one sliver" of final art on how the game will look if it were ever to be developed beyond this prototype.

Here is the image that I reworked for our prototype:

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 21, 2011 19:38

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So today Josh presented our idea to the client and overall it went well. They seemed to like it and we are going ahead with it.

We sat down and decided on what tasks each of us was going to work on to get a solid version of the game by next week on Thursday. After that, we will polish and add more levels if we have time.

In the meantime I have to work on better art than what I submitted yesterday. One thing that we added is that since we need a some reason to motivate the player, we decided with defusing bombs. So for now, the idea is that there will be a bomb with a lit fuse and it will move slowly. Once the fuse reaches the end, it will blow up if the student didn't finish the circuit in time.

So to start out, I will be working on the bomb. I will also be working on some tiles and icons for the game.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 21, 2011 01:53

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Stuff For Circuit Mockup

So like I said before, we are going with a circuit mockup for tomorrows presentations and I had to make some quick icons and 2 grids for the game idea that we have. A few of them I just grabbed from the internet and resized them.

 Here is my stuff:

So as you can see, all the images are really simple and it's just to get the idea across. Some of them I make, but its just easier to adjust images for this mockup.

I also emailed all my stuff to Josh and I can't wait to see what he will come up with for tomorrows presentation.

In the meantime, that's all. Thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 19, 2011 23:16

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Prototype 2

So today we found out what we are going to do for the next prototype, we are going to work on a game to teach core concepts of Mechanical Engineering to incoming freshmen.

At first it was kind of hard to try and come up with something because what the client told us was so broad and didn't really narrow anything down to try and focus us in a particular direction.

So after our team sat down and talked about different possibilities for a game, we decided to stick to a game that would teach students about circuits. Felix (we are in a new team now, which is: Josh as producer, Felix & Derek as engineers, and myself as artis) found a game that is really fun that shows the player simple concepts of a circuit board. 

Here is the game that Felix found:

We are going to take this game and make the player think a bit more than just trying to figure out a puzzle. We are going to try and make it so the students will have to try and think about what they've learned in class and try to apply it to the game to solve the puzzle.

Felix was also saying that they (the engineers) might even be able to make it so that the level design will be done through text files. This will make it so that once everything is set into place, anyone can design a level for the game and then have a student solve for the problem.

I have to come up with some quick art assets for a concept UI and icons that will represt: a light bulb, a power switch, wire, battery, and a resistor. I will have to get this done by tomorrow night so that we have a mockup ready by Wednesday when we pitch our games.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 14, 2011 18:02

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First Prototype Finished

So today was when we had to present the prototype that we have been working on for the last two weeks.

It went a lot better than I thought it would, but we still had some feedback that made me reflect on some things.

For example:

  • Since this is an internal prototype, we can use existing material and modify it to suit the needs of our game. I tried to make original art, and got "marked down" for it because none of the art was close to finalized.
I had a few more things that I was going to write for my list, but I can't seem to remember them right now.

Also, we were told some details about our next game.

This time around, we are going to make a game for incoming freshman students in the Mechanical Engineering department. The games that we make here will be deployed to students to try and get them interested in Mechanical Engineering and teach them core Mechanical Engineering concepts.

I'm still not sure what the last part means, but we will find out more information on Monday.

I'm already in a new team, and this time the producers were in charged of putting together their own team. The only catch is that everyone in the team hasn't worked together in the last game. So this is an entire new team.

We will be using XNA for the next game, but I'm not too concerned since Felix is the same team I am and he has experience working in XNA.

Other than that, we are not required to but we can do some research over the weekend. I think I might ask a few questions to one of my cousins in California who is now a sophomore mechanical engineer, and see what it is that he had to know before starting and if there is anything that he didn't know, how did he go about learning all the necessary information.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 13, 2011 23:11

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Factory Character With Gun

So I did some tweaking to the factory character that I made, but this time I aded a gun.

I don't know if we are even going to add it, but if we do then we have something to work with.

I also made a really simple factory to place at the end of the level so that people can see where are going to go "next". We just won't have a next level for this prototype.

That's all for now, I will post another entry if there is other stuff I end up working on before the presentation tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 13, 2011 10:54

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Improved Background

So yesterday after the professors went around the room critiquing out games, it was clear that I needed to make some much needed changes to the background. A lot of people couldn't tell that the blue in our background was actually water and not the sky.

So I had to go in and tweak it just a little and I added some islands that I made in illustrator (btw, my skills in Illustrator are definitely getting better) and not it looks way better.

Here is an example:

Compared to how it was before, it looks much more like a beach now.

I still have some stuff I need to do before we present tomorrow. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 12, 2011 15:07

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Factory Character Finished

So I finally finished the last character for our game. I think this one looks much better than my last 2, I can at least say that after this I know Illustrator just a little bit better.

Here is what I did:

I think the first one looks better, but I don't know if people might think that the character has his knee caps really high, so I brought those things down a bit. But I don't know if it helps since he looks a little square now.

I still have to add a gun to the guy to finish him. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar September 5, 2011 18:44

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Main Character Sprite Sheet Done

So I'm not very good at 2D art as I've mentioned before, but I sure as hell have improved over the last week or so.

After finishing the background, I started to work on our main character and the sprite sheet for the actions.

It's not very complicated, but when you don't really know what you are doing it makes it really hard to get anything done.

So here it is:

I still have to make 2 more sprite sheets, hopefully the next ones won't take me 7 hours to complete. :(

Thanks for reading.

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Calendar August 31, 2011 22:04

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Background Is Done

So I finally finished the background for our first level.

Here is a section of the background I made:

Now that the background is done, I have to create a mask for them and I still have a ton of other stuff I need to work on. Troy is going to help me create assets, but I also have to make sure that these next few days I don't slack and that I try to get as much work done. That probably means that I will have to spend a few hours after work in the MGS lab. :(

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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