Saturday, 2 May 2015

Week 9: Feedback and Planning

This week was back to work for the team on the ‘Off the map Project’. It had been a long extended Easter break for our team, due to the other assignments given to us. Nonetheless, the team was ready and eager to get back on track with the wondering lands of Alice.

To start the week we had to present our Off the Map progress to the lecturers. For the most part we were given positive feedback from the teachers.

They like the quirky and original style to our level, furthermore they loved Braden’s user interface.

However, among many things, they mentioned a number of issues that we need to resolve and/or improve for the final deadline.

Namely, they wanted Alice to be put in the level. This was to assess whether Alice’s design worked well in the level or whether we were successful with the combination of different colour schemes and atmosphere’s throughout the level.

Our lecturer Stash, wanted us to focus on the strongest elements in our work and maintain a coherent theme throughout the level. This is as there are various sections in our level with their own colour scheme. It would be a simple mistake to make the level feel inconsistent.

However, getting the character just right is a very arduous process, once of which requires a lot of time.

Nevertheless, Dan was able to get a sample Alice unwrapped, re-topologized and rigged, that could be used for a test run of our level.

After importing Alice into our level, we were able to identify that the cream dress didn’t work well in some parts of the level. Similarly, we were able to see that some lighting and texturing incompletions, detracted from the level design cohesion. We will continue to correct the errors, however for the most part we are happy that Alice works will throughout the level.

Aside from fixing the lighting and completing some of the textures for the assets, another comment that the lectures made during the presentation was to improve the leaf pile in our level.

Due to the bizarre but quirky design for our level, we wanted the leaf pile to resemble the appearance of a cat; a ‘Cat-pile’. However, the lecturers commented, how it looked less like a life pile and more like a cat, which detracts from its purpose in the grand scheme of the level.
Original leaf pile
In response, Braden scrapped the old pile. Since, he had been working on it for so long he commented how it was hard to see its displacement in the level. Successfully however Braden was able to make a new leaf pile, which looks great!
New leaf pile
The pile has a slightly high triangle count than the previous version, nonetheless, it shows great improvement from the teacher’s comments. What is more, the leaf pile has a fantastic design.

Following this, Braden got to work on the User Interface. Unfortunately, he was not able to get the ‘restart’ and ‘restart to checkpoint’ buttons working. To resolve the issue he shortened the menu, nice thinking.

This week Luke worked hard to get the falling leaf particle effect to work. He has done a great job of the particle effect. Of course, it was by no means an easy task. Nonetheless, he has created an excellent and believable falling leaf effect. Moreover, when falling the leaves may change direction or even flip over. 

Freddy continued to work on her texturing and she is working well. Like Denzil however, she was preoccupied with the reflective essay and so progress has been slightly halted.

After the feedback Amber put together an action plan of what we have to do within the next 2 weeks to get everything done.

Amber received an email from Game city listing the requirements for the final hand-in deadline. They are as follows:

5 – 10 page presentation document/PowerPoint.
This should introduce your project to the judges and provide an overview of your project and process.
A longer document, either via blog or pdf format, covering your workflow throughout the course of the project.
Please use the following folder structure:
Top Folder (TeamName_ProjectName)
– Project Document PPT
– Project Document Detailed – Team Picture
– Project Logo
Game Executable (windows / OSX executable file/ installer)
Videos – 1 – 2 minutes long. First 3 – 5 seconds should contain the following information:
– Team Name & Project Name
– British Library logo
– GameCity logo
– Final 3 – 5 seconds should also contain the information above

To finish the week, Amber upgraded our unreal engine level from 4.6 to 4.7. This was to get all of the particle effects in to our level. She has done a fantastic job and here are a few renders of the results:
Here's a quick look at the level so far:
So there you have it, our week; quite eventful as you can see. Nevertheless we are still on track and look forward to polishing the level next week.

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