Presence

Good day! It has been a while. In this post I’ll be talking a bit about presence, one of our game design courses.

Presence was one of our free-choice electives for this year. The course puts focus on creating a simple game in collaboration with the PXL music departement. However, due to lack of participating PXL students, the music part in our group was done by one of our own Game student as well.

The theme this year was to focus on an animal, any animal, and create a fantasy environment as said animal would experience it (“Presence”). Overal, the theme and what exactly we would make was very open, which really excited us to get started.

To give you a brief view: We had many different ideas on which animals we could focus on, but eventually settled on going with the beautiful Koi fish. Figuring out the gameplay however… let’s just say that our group had many ups-and-downs trying to settle for one clear idea. Visual looks, 2D or 3D (or a mix perhaps?), movement… for several weeks it seemed as if our project was bound to fail. It wasn’t until we were near the end of the course that we suddenly felt like there’s was something we all agreed on, but once we did, our motivation and workflow suddenly rose up by several hundred percent and we created something we were all proud of.

With permission, we had created a 2D game but with a more top-down view of the koi fish, rather than a world seen through its own eyes. My part of our group was the creation of all the artwork. While my initial concept sketches (see below) showed a more realistic view of the koi world, they eventually evolved into fantasy-esque ponds inspired by pixel art and traditional Japanese/chinese art. My main lesson in this course was to try not to hold on to one idea too much, but instead learn to set it aside and create something entirely different. This was something I more or less already knew, but I think many artist notice that in some ways they still like to hold on to something once they really like it. Therefore, it can be really hard to completely step away from it.

First concept sketches

Evolved towards this more fantasy look. Created purely by experimenting with random settings in Unity.

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The final gameplay consists of guiding a koi fish in pond of umbrellas, while mimicing the path of a second koi fish.

You can see all of the final art & gameplay in this youtube gameplay video < < Nishikigoi Gameplay > >

Open Doors Day : Luca-School of Arts: C-Mine. 2016

(Game Art & Design)

A small reflection of the Open Doors Day that took place at our school this year.

This year all students were responsible for presenting a part of their course. Our class, Game Art & Design, chose to split up in smaller groups and each present a certain course or tasks that we made during the year (could be art, 3D modelling, cases/games etc.). I, along with three other people formed the group that chose to show a bit more about Game Art.

The first step was to decide how exactly we wanted to represent this. We could just randomly place some printouts on a table and walk away, but this wouldn’t be all that interesting. After a discussion with the teacher we decided that we wanted the layout to be a bit more organized and show people the different things we made during the year, as well as the steps/progress while making it. To show that there are many different styles and skill levels in our class, rather than just show the best and scare potential new students away. We’re meant to attract them and show them that they’re here to learn rather than being highly gifted individuals who are only here to quell their boredom.

We noted down all the different tasks we made during this year and organized them from ‘basic’ (grayscale, material studies etc.) to bigger tasks (character & prop design). We then collected several artworks, not only from the four of us, but from everyone in our class who wished to show their work. This to show the different styles and skills. These were not only finished works, but also wips and sketches to show people the progress of creating the artwork. We also thought about making a small book with the wips on different layers, but unfortunately we weren’t able to due to lack of time and amount of wip pictures.

On the day of the setup, we managed to claim a wall in one of our bigger classrooms where we hung printouts of the artworks. There was a bit of discussion about the overall layout (how to hang them on the wall) but eventually it all worked out. As the people would start looking at the wall from left to right, walking alongside it, we placed the artworks based on which task they belonged to, and which task came first in the year (from old to new). This way we could show the progress of the entire year step by step.

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For each task I wrote a small description about the task, what we were meant to make, to learn and practice. These were placed alongside the works so that people could understand the importance of the different tasks. Some students even chose to include a small quote as inspiration. For the last task, the character design where we had to mimic different art styles, we placed small cards with the original art style name next to the drawings, as well as examples of the original for one of the works.

Though it’s quite simple, a little bit of organization can really change the first impression one gets when looking at something, and the layout + descriptions help the viewer to understand our progress and goals.

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Bonus (note: no real person was harmed during the set-up)

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