19 Sep 2010

Summer Project - Compilation

Hi all.
Here is a compilation of the work that I have been doing for the summer project given to us:

Character Design:

(apologies for scan quality. New scanner being a pain, I'll get the hang of it)

This is the draft for 'Mr Friend'. He will later become Squib the Swig. The reason for the name change was simple really. While looking back at other references and influences for the project, I noticed that the names of the two most iconic platforming game characters are 'Mario' and 'Sonic'. Both names contain 5 letters and are incredibly simple. Coincidence? Maybe, but I decided to rename 'Mr Friend' to 'Squib' and the species of creatures that inhabit this world (the watery enemies and Squib himself) are all called Swigs. 

This is the draft for the enemies of the world. Originally titled 'Mr Baddy', this fellow become 'A Swog', the evil version of our lovable hero. Turned red with rage, the Swogs now follow the main antagonist in a effort to spread the red rage across the peaceful world. Simple enemy design in the same vain as 'Goombas' for Mario and 'Badniks' for Sonic.

This is the draft for Squibs nemesis, the then called 'Mr Evil'. Now named 'Swigger', this boss towers over our hero and appears in every level. Squib also gets past him though (obviously). Created to be a towering figure in the game, the music is meant to strike fear into the children playing it, followed by a quick boost of musical joy.

This is the scale of Squib and Swigger next to each other, the character of Swigger looks menacing at Squib that then runs swiftly past.

A spring board used in the game world to create extra height and distance for the characters.

Leveled out Playblast:

This Playblast allows me to see how I need to place out the level and the basic timing of the music 

Level Pre-Construction

This is the next step of the creation process. I added some basic textures to the enemies and ground and rendered through it.

Level after Construction:

This is the constructed level. I added coins to enhance that game world, as well as Mario and Sonic style blocks in the background for depth. I also added plain white clouds to go along with the simplistic nature. I also added trees into the part of the music that was quieter on the lead up to Swigger, to create some tension. I think the music helps pull this off.

Fly through:

Also, here is a quick playblast fly through of the level to show the scope and how it was put together.

Squib the Swig V1 

I call this V1 because all though it is 'out of Beta' it still needs a level of polish. Some sound effects are out of sync and the running is a bit 'iffy' at the start. I just need to flatten out these scuffles and I'll be be happy with the animation.

I believe it has caught the essence of what I was trying to create, an old school 2D platformer. When I give it it that extra polish, I believe it can shine.


Jon Stewart said...

I think you should study character/creature design further. Look at the DVD collection at Uni and find some ones in there and watch them. Work on your drawings too, it's really important.

Onto the time-based media;

Okay, the music doesn't work for me. Watch any side scroller 2d platformer, they never have such music. It's fast beat midi's and such. Whilst I know you were meant to use a set piece of music, I have to question why you picked 2D Platforming for that. Whilst It's good to try and bend a brief to your needs, I think that the music just does not fit this genre.

Using Sonic audio directly ripped from the game & texturing it too look the same is equally not so good. You should definately start designing these things yourself.

There are things in here that show promise though. The idea of a 2D platformer being able to zoom in and out on the character particularly was something that took my interest.

I think the main problem here for me is that instead of listening to the music, and letting the music take you some where out of your comfort zone, into some visuals that would suit the almost slapstick style of the audio, you just produced something you thought was cool and slapped the audio on top.

Believe me, we all do that at some point. I fell victim too it one too many times in fact. Wanting to do something I thought was cool and in my comfort zone, and bending briefs around those ideas. But it doesn't work that way. Start experimenting more man, trust me, you'll become a much stronger artist.

Jon Stewart said...

Ultimately, to sum it up in a too long didn't read fashion ;

Let the audio/image/reference what ever you're given guide you, not the other way around.

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