Week beginning 6th – 12th March
For this week, we continued on from last Friday and are working on the Gardens environment. We decided that it would be best to get one ‘level’ complete that we can playtest and fix rather than work on many different areas at the same time.
I’ve spent most of the week designing some of the Plant icons for the UI bar, Watering can icon, Trowel icon; pretty much most of the UI for the Gardens. I haven’t really ever worked on UI before so this was quite a challenge trying to figure out if the player would understand the icons that I’ve made within the game setting. I showed my work to the team and others within our target audience and they mentioned that they seemed clear and plus the tutorial, it should all work well. I suppose this is something that will tell in time after we’ve done some playtesting and if there are any adjustments needed then that will be easy enough, hopefully, to rectify.
So, the Reflective Journal assignment is due very soon so I spent the majority of Wednesday and Saturday working on this. I managed to get a full first draft, full bibliography and citation of the 2500 word piece so I feel better a lot about the upcoming deadline. I’m just the smaller piece to write which I’ll hopefully have finished (first draft) by Wednesday 15th giving me a few days to sort out any issues and proofread it. I already planned what I will write it on and have the specific quotes and references that I’ll be using so it should hopefully not take me long to complete. Even though I have left it late with writing the essays this year, I feel I’ve managed to get better sources and have managed to focus on getting better material so I think my time management hasn’t been too bad.
On Thursday, we had a brilliant talk from Christian Bravery from Leading Lights Design and had a brief informal talk with Vanessa from TIGA. Christian mentioned the sorts of games that he’d worked on such as Until Dawn, Resident Evil and Dead Island 2 which was quite overwhelming as some of these are games that I’ve played or seen and it was mad to have some time with someone who’d actually worked on something I’d had first-hand experience with; he also had been working on an interactive narrative called The Lock which I’ll be looking out for as it sounds awesome.
Not only did he wow us all with his background, we had the privelage of getting to see his process and speed paints as well as get some fantastic tips from him about creating concept art. Having this time with him was amazing, however, I felt quite demotivated after the talk purely because I feel that my digital painting skills haven’t progressed over the past two years due to me focussing on the projects we had on at the time. I feel that if I had actually assigned at least an hour a day or even one day a week to working on my art skills, I would feel like I’m in a better place now.
Notes on talk:
– mock up in 3D as it gives you new views you wouldn’t think of
– by doing this it helps with lighting and values too
– sketch over with line work
– reduce opacity of line layer to help with painting
– more important to capture the mood than anything else
– use the lasoo tool = can grab areas an then you don’t have to be meticulous with strokes. It’s more relaxed and gives a softer blend.
– decided what you want the focal point would be and make that the most detailed part
I had a chance to work on digital stuff this weekbut not only was I out of practice, I also was quite overwhelmed by Christian’s talk and had a bit of a meltdown crisis. In order to combat this, I need to try and make sure that I practice more and try and use Sundays as my personal development day as this will help not only the project but also help my skills and selfconfidence improve. I plan to do this by watching speed paints from artists such as Christian Bravery (like on his Instagram videos) and through using the Twitch creative streams to learn from other artists.
Overall, this week has been quite a rollercoaster ride for me and I’m glad it’s over with. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get as much done as I needed to from the Sprint so I have added these tasks to the backburner chart and tomorrow, when I reorganise the Sprints, I will add these to my list of tasks. Having looked at the trello, it was originally overwhelming that we had so many things left to do, however, having flipped through the cards I managed to work out that we had finished bits of all of them due to our work that we did in the first couple of weeks. Once Gardens and Greenhouse is out of the way, I will be planning to go through the trello with the team where we can work out how much time we have left for each area. I feel it’s feasible that we’ll get everything out that we wanted to, it may just be a hell of a journey but it’ll depend how Easter goes. Due to all three of us being in a similar location, I will be looking to organise meetups where we can discuss what we’re doing, how the project is going and what we need to work on next; this will either be through Skype meetings or in person depending on work rotas etc.
It’ll be okay.