Category: Ben

Upgrade – Game Document

Design Document for:

UPGRADE

All work by Benjamin Halling

 Written by Benjamin Halling

 Version # 1.00

 Date: 10th November 2015

Story

 A colossal war between continental superpowers has left planet Earth in a desperate state. The widespread use of chemical and nuclear weaponry has all but obliterated life on the surface, and any human life that remains resides hundreds of miles beneath the surface in sprawling underground complexes.

Even in the face of its own extinction, humans continue to fight one-another for the dwindling natural resources beneath the earth, however with humans in such short supply, the war must be fought by other means.

The marvels of technology provide these means.

Game Overview

Philosophy

Upgrade is game that combines various elements from other titles in an attempt to create something unique, and more importantly fun to play. I wanted to create something that defies genre, as Upgrade combines platforming, action, puzzle and strategy.

Overall, Upgrade is a game that creates incentive and context for the player to perform actions. The enemies aren’t just an obstacle blocking your path, but are critical to your progression, favored play style and eventual victory. Upgrade creates situations that demand player choice on how they approach obstacles based on the resources available to them.

What Platform?

Upgrade will run on the Xbox One, and PC, it will be available for digital download through the Xbox One Arcade and Steam. The reasons for this being wanting Upgrade to be as easily accessible to as many players as possible, and both Steam and Xbox provide easy to access systems for small companies to publish their games.

The action portion of the game is generally fast-paced combat with use of verticality and platforming. The use of different upgrades obtained throughout the level change the gameplay style to the choice of the player.

Why create this game?

Upgrade is my contribution to the game community by providing something unique and original. I really wanted to create a feeling of context and incentive within players to destroy enemies, without the obligatory generic ‘kill bad guys’ objective.

I wanted to inject some originality with concepts that have yet to be fully explored in the modern mainstream industry, such as action puzzle solving with the likes of Half-Life 2, and fast paced platforming and sense of direction as Mirror’s Edge.

Where does this game take place?

With the surface of the world scorched and irradiated, Upgrade takes place (mostly) in the labyrinthine underground human colonies. Players will be exploring industrial facilities and complexes, using the slightly abstract environments to push your way to the surface and achieve your freedom.

What do I control?

You take control of a robotic hybrid designed for war, simply known as Unit-07. 07 is a heavy machine built to destroy most anything in its path. The design of this particular unit takes on a similar appearance to a large gorilla. 07 is tank enough to upturn a bus, and maneuverable enough to swing from rafters for a vertical take down.

What is the main focus?

The main focus in upgrade is to (unsurprisingly) upgrade your character through destroying enemies, and thus changing the way the game plays and reacts.

What’s the unique selling point?

The unique selling point about Upgrade is its uniqueness as a whole. Its appeal is also that of playing the game however the player chooses, but it’s also that the choice of play is directly influenced by what enemies are present. Combinations of platforming, action, puzzle and strategy I’m hoping will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Feature Set

General Features

Direction

Strategy

Game style choice/customisation

3D, 3rd person gameplay

Stylised graphics

Gameplay

Platforming

Upgrades and Unlocks

3rd Person Shooting

Movement Pace and speed.

Enemy variety

Dynamic Environments

The Game World

World Feature .1

The main world feature in Upgrade is how the player moves through it. Upgrade creates situations in which the player is required to think about how to traverse an environment depending on their currently equipped upgrade. Movement throughout some of the environments often includes puzzle elements.

World Feature .2

Another large portion of Upgrades’ world is its adaptability. Based on your current level and equipped upgrade, the game may spawn certain enemies specifically to counter it. This creates an interesting player-enemy relationship in which the player decides what foes he/she is to face, while at the same time providing freedom of choice.

The Physical World

Overview

The physical world of Upgrade mostly consists of industrial facilities and platforms; with large action sections broken up by smaller puzzle-based environments and tall vertical climb sections in your effort to reach the surface.

Key Locations

There is no real key location in Upgrade apart from the final surface portion of the game.

Travel

The player moves through Upgrade mostly via platforming and swift movement enabled by various environment pieces or upgrades.

Scale

As far as gameplay, Upgrade doesn’t present any truly large scale, as the game is built around fast paced action contained in smaller more densely populated environments. Huge scale is used purely visually however, especially in the later portions of the game as you reach the surface. The player will be able to observe large open landscapes and portions of the facility, but may not have physical access to these parts.

Objects

There are many, many different objects and pieces that make up Upgrade, most of them are purely cosmetic, (crates, barrels, canisters, pipes etc.) but a lot of objects can be used to the players’ advantage and disadvantage.

There are the main objects that are almost essential to the player, such as health charger stations, energy capsules, and of course Upgrades, and certain objects may also be used by the player to interact with the environment or solve puzzles.

The World Layout

Overview

The current rendition of the environment in Upgrade is based on an industrial loading warehouse, with small and compact areas designed for fast-paced action and movement.

The environment is constructed in a way that provides a clear picture of what is, and what is not accessible to players to interact with. The red bars provide indications of movement over platforms and obstacles.

The World Layout Detail

Final 2

Color coordination is important in Upgrade, and this render of the environment provides the insight onto how it works.

Game Characters

Overview

Unit 00 – Unit 00 is an antagonist/become protagonist and the mainframe artificial intelligence that maintains the human facility. With a shortage of human workers, humans create a powerful A.I to run tasks normally assigned to a living workforce. 00 is almost omnipresent within the facility, and can take control of most mechanical objects remotely.

Unit 07 – Unit 07 is the main protagonist of the game and the character you play as. Unit is a robotic/biological hybrid created from a Gorilla. 07 is very adaptable to its environment, and can take advantage of other technologies in order to upgrade itself. 07 was recently used for testing a new self-awareness augmentation, and upon learning of itself and its purpose 07 has a gone rogue in its attempt to escape the facility.

Creating a Character

The player cannot alter Unit 07’s appearance in the customization sense, but certain upgrades and perks will change how 07 looks.

Enemies and obstacles

Drone – Drones are small airborne units that the player will encounter early on in the game. They are fairly weak and slow moving, but have the advantage of flight and always being able to peruse the player. Some Drones are equipped with light machine guns, and some even carry shields, which makes them a diverse enemy to face. A Drone is required to obtain the Boost Pack, or the ‘Repeater’ Machine Gun upgrade.

Seeker – A Seeker is a humanoid unit with extremely advanced optics. Seekers are more than often deployed with long-range rifles, and use their superior vision and perception to destroy targets. Seekers have the advantage of ranged attacks and slim profile, but all those fancy optics and sensors come with a bright lens flare, so they are easy to spot. A seeker is required to obtain the ‘Long Lance’ Rifle upgrade.

 Phalanx – A Phalanx is a heavy-duty unit that was deployed en mass during human riots. Phalanxes carry with them impenetrable shields they use to ward off attacks, and use heavy machine guns to engage enemies with. While being nearly invincible from the front using their shields, Phalanxes are surprisingly weak from their back more unarmored parts. A Phalanx is required to obtain the Heavy Shield upgrade.

Spider Tank – Spider Tanks are among the biggest, most challenging enemies you will face in Upgrade. Spider Tanks are 8-legged units that carry upon them a giant long-range cannon that is capable of destroying the player in a single shot. Spider tanks are also surprisingly maneuverable for their size, using their legs to easily traverse any environment and even cling to walls and ceilings. Spider Tanks employ the shields of the Phalanxes to cover certain areas, so the player must work on out-maneuvering the tank to hit its weakspots, as outgunning it is rather out of the question.

User Interface

Overview

The GUI in upgrade is designed with simplicity in mind. All the interfaces, including the main menu, HUD and inventory screens will reflect the artistic style of game, providing minimalistic and clean visuals, only displaying the most vital information as to not draw the player away from the actual game.

User Interface Detail .1

Upgrade HUD

An example of what the HUD will look like, I want it to just sit quietly on the screen while you play. The white bar at the bottom represents your hitpoints, the blue represents your energy, and the white box displays your currently equipped upgrade.

Musical Scores and Sound Effects

Overview

The game will sound raw and industrial. I want sounds to echo around the metallic environments, and objects to feel weighty and physical when impacted. The game will be populated with 100s of unique sounds, with all enemies and objects having their own individual sound profile. Many sound effects will be used to inform the player of events happening around him/her, such as health or energy indicators.

Sound Effects

In Upgrade, I want almost everything to produce some sort of sound or ambient noise. The player will be able to hear the whirring mechanics of Unit 07 as it moves, and feel the heavy steps of its hands and feet as it walks across the metallic surfaces. The sounds need to feel physical to give the objects in the game a real sense of space in the environment. The sounds for the enemies will be varies depending on what they are. In the lore most of the enemies you will encounter are biomechanical, so the sounds they produce will have to be a mixture of digital, animal, and mechanical noises.

Dialogue or Voiceover

The game won’t feature many human characters, so any specific lines to voice won’t be present. However when human enemies are introduced, they need to have human voices for simple actions such as shouts and screams.

Music

The music in Upgrade will be most all digital, most of them providing more of an atmosphere to the game rather than being too pronounced. The soundtracks that do pronounce themselves however will be strongly centered on a beat that reflects the pace of the environment. Strong, heavy and industrial scores will narrate the experience when it comes to the most frantic parts of the game.

Overall Sound Design

The overall feel of the music will be mechanical and cold, while the music score reflects the fast pace and industrial environments of the game. Anything too organic and sweet will be absent in this game. It’s a cold, hard calculated world and it will have to sound like one.

Single-Player Game

Overview

The single-player portion of Upgrade revolves around you, Unit 07, trying to escape the underground facility and break for the surface. Throughout the single-player campaign you will be taken through the many aspects of the underground human facility, and in doing so take advantage of your ability to adapt to your environment through different upgrades.

Hours of Gameplay

The first play through of the game should satisfy the player for around 15 hours if they decide to 100% complete it, and around 12 hours for a casual playthrough. However, due to the diverse nature of the game, the player may want to replay certain stages using different upgrades that will ultimately provide a new gameplay experience. The replay value of the game is strong, and I hope that will provide more hours of play.

Victory Conditions

The main victory conditions are rather simple; destroy all the enemies and reach the exit of the stage.

Multi-Player Game

Overview

The multiplayer aspect of the game is surprisingly complex. Multiplayer takes the original concepts and gameplay of singleplayer, and twisting them into a competitive gamemode.

The teams will be 5 a team, and compete in an environment populated with the AI enemies from the single player game the. The teams will ultimately end up compete over the AI in an effort to gain upgrades, and prevent the enemy team from gaining access to those upgrades at the same time, whilst the AI continue to grow stronger in an effort to compete against the players. The victory is then awarded to the team who scores the most points by destroying enemies and other players. This should create an interesting dynamic.

Extra Miscellaneous Stuff

Idea 1: More controllable Units

I named Unit 07, 07 for a reason; it is the 7th of something, so it leaves an open opportunity to fill in the gap with other units; Unit 02, Unit 03 etc.

I initially wanted different parts of the game to be experienced with different Units that have different play styles, like a flying Unit or a shooting-focused Unit, but I felt that the player wouldn’t be able to settle into one specific play style well enough if it was too varied. So I devised the idea of one single Unit having a varied playstyle that could give the player choice.

I don’t want these ideas for new Units to be wasted though; I am considering how they could be incorporated into a multiplayer setting as powerups of some sort.

Graphics Production

From the concept art I posted previously, I have been tasked to produce polished, finalised digital graphics. I shall show the original ‘art’ alongside their finished, 3D counterparts and explain any techniques I used to create them.


UNIT 07

We’ll start off with the big one, the model that best represents my ability with Cinema 4D.

Original Concept:

Upgrade Concept Unit

Final Graphics:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 12.20.32

The production for this behemoth encompasses everything I’ve learned thus far.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.04.55

This is the main body of the model. I’ve tried to use as least objects as possible to create the geometry, and instead ‘sculpted’ the shapes I need out of a single primitive. Initially I started with a cube, but slowly extruded and pulled my desired shape into form.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.03.45

Eventually I was of course required to shape more primitives into the extra details I needed. I utilised symmetry a lot to save time but it also helps with the modelling process. Seeing how something is displayed on the opposite side instantly helped me a lot with the spacing and positioning of the fins on it’s back.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.06.59

Finally my main character was taking shape. For the main shoulder parts I had shaped a cube into the basic shape, and then used the bevel tool to create a smooth shape on the outside. I also used the bevel tool to achieve the look of the joins. The small hydraulic systems near the end of the arm are cylinders parented to the main shoulder, so that they can move with the shoulder as it rotates.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.09.10

It was now time to start the hands and feet. I had initially tried to sculpt the hands into a single model, but the problem with that being they were no longer posable. Eventually I went the more complex route and grouped each finger individually in a way that lets it move with it’s parent model, and also allows me to flex it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.09.57

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.58.46

Using the same techniques over and over again on different aspects of the model, It was finally completed. The model it’s very high-polygon, but high enough so it doesn’t look blocky and rough. All that remained was to add textures.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.53.10

This is the final rendition of the model. I wanted it to resemble the look and feel of my chosen art style, providing clean cut colours and materials, and also feel like all the colours work well with one-another.


Energy Capsules

These are obtainable items within my game that restore a small amount of your energy. This is by far the simplest model I have made.

Original Concept:

Upgrade Concept LEC

Final Graphics:

Capsules 1

This is by far the simplest model I have made.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.20.23

Everything has humble beginnings, and in this case the beginning is a single cylinder. I always create the basic height and width of the model initially to help me gauge the size of the final product.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.24.38

I created a symmetry on the axis I required, and simply dropped another cylinder in there that I then manipulated into the basic shape of the lid. Of course it was all then immediately mirrored to the bottom where I needed it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.37.34

I then extruded the top using extrude-inner and pulled out a smaller shape to complete the top of the lid. For the side parts I manipulated a cube and mirrored it on all sides and then on the bottom too. Very simple.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.40.51

The final rendition just involves a glowing texture for the centre. The render mimics the position of the capsules in the concept art.


 

LED Energy Charger

This is an object in my game that the player can utilise to regain a large portion of energy compares to the capsules, however they are not nearly as common to find.

Original Concept:

Upgrade Concept LED

Final Graphic:

LED Charger 1_0040

This model involves some slightly different techniques.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.21.40

Once again I start with a simple primitive. I used the extrude-inner tool to grab an inside section of the top and pulled it upwards to create an angled edge. I then started to remove sections from the model and filled the gaps using the bridge tool.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.28.24

For extra geometry where my previous techniques would not suffice, I used the knife tool to create a diagonal polygon to extrude. I also moulded an extra primitive to add the extra shape I need.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.45.02

Using the extrude technique further, I managed to add more and more detail to the model without adding any more primitives. Everything is built off the main model to conserve polygon count.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.03.36

Even more primitives were added to facilitate more detail.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.13.00

Ditto.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.29.13

For the pipe I used a linear spline. Positioning splines in a 3D space in tricky, but eventually I managed to form the spline into a shape that looks natural as the pipe hangs off the device.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 14.17.02

The finished model.


Crane Arm

The crane arms are objects in the game that enable dynamic portions of the levels.

Original Concept:

Upgrade Concept Arm 1

Final Graphics:

 

Upgrade Arm 1

Upgrade Arm 2

Unfortunately, I have no work-in-progress snapshots of this model, however all of the techniques I used to create this I feel I have already explained sufficinetly above.


 

Main title screen

Upgrade Menu

This is the first screen you will see when you start the game. The process of making it was relatively simple.

Firstly, I found an image representing the style of my game on google images. Secondly, using the transparency for the layers function on Paint.NET, I added rectangles to frame the text, and then added the UPGRADE logo.

The rest is simply adding text to make it seem more believable.


 

In-game HUD

Upgrade HUD

This is probably the simplest piece of work related to my game. Because of the game’s minimalistic art style, anything else would seem cluttered.

The process is even simpler, just adding a dark background and simple shapes is all there is to it.


 

All the models shown here can be downloaded here.

Unfortunately due to time limitations, I was not able to model the Spider Tank concept into cinema 4D. I shall indeed post pictures of it when it is completed though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research on Visual Design – Evaluation (Final)

Because of my research,  I know understand the many different aspects of visual design has certainly helped me realise my ambitions in greater clarity. It’s a reassuring feeling to know that other developers share my ideas and use the techniques I plan to use too.

It’s one thing to realise the artistic and graphical style of your game, but it’s a whole new process to be able to effectivley produce results with a set of software, and I personally plan to use Unreal Engine for this. I have used Unreal Engine briefly before, and have semi-successfully imported models from Cinema 4D.

Unreal Engine has the immediate advantage of having a powerful graphical engine already built-in, and more specifically it has a user-friendly interface for scripting called Blueprint. Blueprint is a way to visually represent and manipulate your scripts, and is going to help me learn the basics of programming.

There are two game engines I have considered; Unreal Engine and Unity Engine. Both have their pros and cons, but in the end it really comes down to personal preference and what sort of project you aim to create. Unity has always been renowned for it’s user-friendliness and and broad compatibility with other software, however Unreal engine is more to a professional standard. It has far higher-quality graphics settings than Unity, and is capable of translating itself onto almost any platform. Both of these softwares will do the job, but depending on what you want to create, one may always be more favourable to the other.

Having a powerful game engine is only half the battle though; it takes another level of understanding and skill to discover what your game needs to look like to provide the experience you desire. I’ve taken inspirations and techniques from games that provide a strong sense of direction and forward momentum, these games include Valve’s Half-Life 2, and DICE’s Mirror’s Edge. During the main portions of the game, I never want the player to feel lost or without a solution, so the graphics are stylised to work with the player and the gameplay elements to provide direction.

My chosen graphical style has the advantage of being easy to produce, and doesn’t require as many resources to render. Like Mirror’s Edge, I plan to create crisp environments with striking palette choices to help direct the player throughout a stage, and have important game assets highlighted in louder, brighter colours so the player can notice them easier. The aim is that eventually, players will learn to identify certain colours with certain in-game interactions.

So far within my 3D enviroment I’ve had different measures of sucsess with graphical direction. I haven’t considered level design as much as I’d like to at this stage, but I am slowly finding balance between colours and materials, and figuring ways to promt progression with graphics. As for Unreal Engine, I have sucessfully created dynamic particle effects and managed to port some of my C4D models into Unreal Engine with varying degrees of success.

To finish, I’ve founResearch on Visual Design – Evaluation (Draft III)d the research preceeding this evaluation to be quite useful. I’ve found ways to breathe life into my characters via subtle motions and animations, and experimented with character silhouetting.

Upgrade – Environment Progress I

The environment for Upgrade is coming along quite nicely. I’ll explain my progress and thought processes with some screenshots I took during the development stages.


Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 15.47.13

This is the first development screenshot I took. During this phase, I was just focused on getting the basic lay of the map started with simple geometry, as it is easier to work out. Game mechanics and visual features would be progressively built around it.


Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 14.22.36

The next stage was to fill/replace the basic geometry with detailed assets and objects. The crate stacks were modelled to fit within the basic rectangular cubes previously, and any extra detail like pipes, walkways and supports are modelled around even more basic shapes. Layer by layer, the environment started to look somewhat believable.


Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.45.48

Parts of the environment that are dynamic and can move have been grouped in a way so that posing them in different positions is easy. This is a crane arm that the player can activate to move the suspended platform. All assets have to meld with the environment in a realistic and physical sense, so any mechanics and structures have to look and work in a  believable way.


Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.52.06

Items and powerups were added next to make the environment feel more like a game space. Items visible here are the L.E.D energy regenerator, and it’s smaller weaker counterpart the L.E.D capsules. At this point I was also starting to add textures, most notably reds. A small part of level design also started to emerge as I began figuring how the player would move around the environment, and what objects and platforms would be available to them.


Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 15.46.41

A test render experimenting with the wonders of ambient occlusion. Thought it may be a bit too heavy in this scene, it’s one of the shaders I plan on using for my final animation. Almost unnoticeably I also textured various surfaces, but it seems that the default object texture in C4D is strikingly similar. Finding a balance of colour harmony without it all blurring into a a dark-grey mess is a challenge.


Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 14.49.52

This is a test render using Global Illumination. Global illumination is perhaps my favourite shader in C4D, but its also the most demanding to render. As you can see I ran out of time before the scene even completed rendering, so using this shader for my final animation is out of the question until Pixar finally responds to my letters and lets me use their render farm.



Upgrade – Rough Concepts

A few rough concept ideas for Upgrade. These sketches were done to help me realise what certain parts of my game should look like.

I’m really not proud of these sketches, and unfortunatley I don’t have a scanner available so I had to make do with my camera phone.

I’ll start with the half-decent stuff.


Mood Board

Upgrade mood board

This is what I want the general feel of my game to look like, cold hard and calculated, while being colourful and striking enough for players to find the game enjoyable to look at. Of course, an emphasis on the colour red is an important aspect of my game, so made sure to use that effectivley.


Main Menu

Upgrade Menu

This is the start menu of the game. I wanted to keep it minimalistic and sharp to represent the art style of the game itself. Since this isn’t a big budget title either, I wanted the players to feel involved in the game’s progression by providing a live feed of features and fixes in any upcomming updates for the game.


HUD

My game foucuses on a minimalist and sharp artistic style, so I need the HUD to fit that critera also.

Upgrade HUD

I know it doesn’t look like much, but anything more and it would draw the player away from the in-game enviroment and destroy the immersion. I want the HUD to sit quietly on the screen while you play and only provide the essential information; health (white bar), energy (blue bar), and currently eqiped upgrade (white box).


Concept Artwork

UNIT 7

I’ve been inspired by many different things throughout the design process of my game (notably Half-Life 2) At the end of the day, these are just rough concepts and absolutley everything is subject to change.

Upgrade Concept Unit

The main protagonist/antagonist of the game and who you play as; Unit 7. My currenent 3D renditions of Unit are really quite rough and flawed in many ways, and this is really how I wanted it to look. I wanted it to feel more biomechanical, so I added strange animal-like hands and feet, and I plan to make it seem very animal like in how it moves also.

I didn’t even realise what my inspirations for Unit were until I had finished designing it. The apparent inspirations include;

D0G from Half-Life 2, and the Antlion Guard from Half-Life 2

d0ge Jeffery


Enviroment/Items

I don’t have a sketch of my enviroment per se, but I have sketches of objects that will populate the enviroment.

Upgrade Concept Arm 1

This is a crane arm that protrudes from the wall and enables different dynamic game events, such as lifting a platform or transporting the player. The idea is is that players will come to recognise these crane arms as things that aid progression, and figuring out how to use them in conjunction with the enviroment and puzzles is a strong game element. The main inspiration for these are a range industrial manufactoring arms.


Upgrade Concept LED

This is in essence a health charger, an object the player will come to know as LEDs (Liquid Energy Dispensers) They are bright yellow in appearence and are scarcley populate the enviroment. The player can use them only once to regenerate their health, so knowing when to use them in the most effective way is something players will come to learn.To avoid confusion between full and spent health chargers, the light in the center will change from blue to red.

My main inspiration for the health charger was the HEV suit charger from Half-Life

HEV_charger_HL


The smaller and more common counterpart to the LED, is the LEC (Liquid Energey Capsule)

Upgrade Concept LEC

These can be easily found throughout the enviroment due to a blue glow they emmit. They are smaller, and thus only recover a smaller amount of health for the player when they pick them up. They are normally found in groups of 2 or more.


Enemies

The enemies in Upgrade are almost always other robots or units.

WP_000514

This is a design for the ultra-heavy platform Unit 2. It’s like a tank with the movement of a crap of sorts. Of course, it’s main weapon is the giant cannon on its back. I aim for this to be the first boss you encounter in Upgrade. I’m not really sure what the inspiration for this is, it’s really just an idea. At the moment it doesn’t reflect the style of the game at-all, and I’ll probably end up completley revising the design at a later date.

The inspiration for this probably comes from the Scarab Tank from Halo 3, and a small part of the Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell.

2061722gallery  Tachikoma


Research on Visual Design

Artistic direction influencing gameplay

This research is aimed at providing insight into how big game developers handle the issues that I face making my own game.bsmfe4sdiwqphao3c9nl

Mirrors Edge uses bright red items or objects to help guide the player throughout the enviroment. Players are eventually trained to focus on red objects and think about how to progress through their applications.

Source: http://kotaku.com/what-was-so-special-about-mirrors-edge-and-so-wrong-wi-1671726926

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 15.16.30

My game will feature similar design choices to help guide the player through the levels. Certain enemies, objects and powers will be red and/or a bright colour.

Source: http://kotaku.com/what-was-so-special-about-mirrors-edge-and-so-wrong-wi-1671726926


18iy7nvyhotorjpg

Team Fortess 2 is a class-based first person shooter, with an important emphasis on team play. The characters in this game are extremely unique, and can be told apart from eachother even from their silhouette. This is an important strategic element.

Source: http://blog.nomadicagency.com/inspiration/valve-art-direction-as-communication/ 


computer-arts-march-2013-cover

Palette choices are important in creating mood and atmosphere. This magazine cover uses a cool scheme of blues and purples for the background and uses strong white to highlight headers. No particular colour is lost among any other and they all create a wider visual feel.

Source: Computer Arts Magazine, issue 211 March 2013


community_image_1424676174

A low polygon model is a minimalists’ approach to graphics. Not only does this greatly reduce the amount of processing power required, but presented correctly, can be viewed as artistic. Using flat textures as shown here will further reduce processing power and make the model significantly easier to make.

Source: http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/31860461180539571/84C63F953C61CEC5B57CF8A778F7F345CBB521A1/


MO_png

Aside from being minimalistic in design (as is my game), the characters in Pixar’s WALL-E express complex emotions and characteristics through simple animation, rather than facial expression. I plan on using these subtle movment cues to express emotion in my many non-human characters.

Source: Disney Pixars’ WALL-E, M-O (2008)


Research log, displaying all sources and information.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 14.47.57