Easter:
Asset Creation

Thursday 7th - 13th April 2022

EASTER WEEK 2 - 3 -

TO DO: ASSET CREATION!

PURPOSE FOR TODAY

Now we are both aware of our tasks and which assets we will be creating individually. It's time to get started! According to our schedule and methodology, we should aim to get all assets completed by the 13th April, which allows us to spend a good amount of time focusing on the beauty of the environment. Today, I will be focusing on my first set of assets and document the process throughout. During this process, I will be also be undertaking regular quality checks and making sure our assets work well within the environment.

GOALS FOR THE DAY

Make a suitable plan for myself and begin asset creation!

MY PLAN

 

WHAT DO I HAVE TO MAKE?

This morning we scheduled ourselves and distributed asset creation between us accordingly. My tasks are as follows:

  1. 3-4 variations of the environment, different scenes consisting of different elements to keep players engaged.

  2. Interactive snowflakes and snowfall

  3. User Interface - 'Begin' and 'Pause' button.

  4. ASSET TESTS!!!

  5. Edit & Scan assets

  6. Final scene mockups to prepare for implementation Week 10.

 

UPDATING MY PROGRESS

I have read over the Asset List and familiarised myself with the expectations of each asset I create, I have also marked these assets 'in progress' to show Kiera that I have begun asset creation and throughout I'll continue to update this document with comments, feedback and mark completion. I have also marked Kiera's asset as 'in progress' because she has informed me she has begun this too.

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ASSET CREATION

 

WHERE DO I BEGIN?

I plan to begin by ensuring I have my Art Bible open and Asset List to refer to. Firstly, I'd like to sketch some quick mockups of the environment, splitting the scene into around 3-4 scenes, which I will then draw up as final outcomes. It may take a few experiments to get to the final piece unless we are perfectly happy with the first try, which is hardly ever the case! I will begin with the environment scene as this will take the longest and I want to ensure I have enough time to complete this to the best of my ability.

 

TASK 1

TO DO: THE ENVIRONMENT DESIGN & TESTING

CONCEPTS & PLANNING

PROCESS

During Week 3, I created concepts and mock-ups for the environment design, and today I have used this process as inspiration for my new series of environment designs. I took into consideration different compositions and positions on the horizon, as well as the smaller details like trees and lakes.

 

After my first initial review of my first concept, I made the necessary changes to create a new set of landscapes. I knew we wanted to make the trees look much fuller and more detailed, so used a new technique to add more detail and a more realistic approach. Using the guidance from the Art Bible and particular drawing techniques, I have drawn three new environment designs.

My drawing process involved two pencil types, B and 4B, to create distinct markings in the mountains and a good level of tone/shade. This helped to make the mountains seem a little three-dimensional and give it a sense of realism. Similar with the trees, I used the process I experimented with during my Art Experimentation, and used shading to create a 'fluffy'/full tree effect. I tried to keep the content of each scene varied, by using the 'architecture' moodboard as inspiration, I included different elements in each piece! I also considered the composition of the mountains, and thought about providing players with the opportunity to fly around mountains, at different heights and observe different elements. I especially like the scene with the small village, because this hints at our original inspiration - Hallstatt, Austria.

Using what I learned from Alexander Perrin's technique, I used delicate markings and negative space to leave it up to the players imagination to form the rest of the piece, and although there isn't much detail in the background, the scene still seems full.

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FINAL OUTCOMES

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

After discussing with Kiera and referring back to my first review of the environment concept I made, we both prefer the new iterations very much! The appearance of the new trees suit the environment much better and the new style is much more appealing than the abstract style in my first concept. There's also a good amount of variation between all three scenes, providing players with enough to look at and avoid them losing interest.

Something that we both commented on was the lack of depth. We felt as though each scene was lacking a sense of depth and distance, so I took note of ways to improvement on our Asset Creation Table. We also thought the composition of the first concept was more attractive and nicer to look at, so I noted this down too and plan to develop these further in the next few days. Once I have my final outcomes, I will progress with editing/scanning ready for implementation.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

 

CHANGES TO MAKE

  • Add depth

  • Re-create with a different composition of mountains (refer to first concept)

  • Finalise village

  • Combine the village/lake scene with a better composition.

PROCESS

To further develop, I began by finalising the village drawing and adding light markings in the distance to resemble depth and make the scene feel like it has more distance, rather than being a flat 2D piece. I then went onto creating a new scene, using inspiration from the composition of my initial concept and combined this with the smaller details in one of my latest drawings, such as groups of trees and a lake.

Again, I used pencils in the shade B and 4B on textured sketchbook paper and created lighter and darker markings on the mountains to make them seem textured and have a sense of three-dimension.

FINAL OUTCOMES

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

In comparison to the first iterations, Kiera and I love the new versions! The first drawing is a much better version of the first few, with more details in the lake area and lighter markings to form depth. This makes the scene look more interesting and should hopefully impress players! This scene next to the following scene make a good combination, as the trees lead into the next group of trees on the following page, with small details within the village and another small hut, closer to players. We are both happy with the outcomes of the environments, and are excited to see the animations built in to bring it to life!

NEXT STEPS

Next steps for the environment design in particular is to edit and scan my drawings, to ensure they are ready for implementation. This will involve using a scanner and Photoshop to make them appear much brighter and cleaner, as well as getting rid of imperfections after scanning if need be. Alongside this, Kiera will be making the accompanying animation assets, which I plan to test with and feedback to ensure the style is kept consistent throughout our creation. In addition to this, I will now be progressing with the creation of the 'snowflake/snowfall' assets and potential UI ideas, which I will also be testing with in the next few days.

TEAM UPDATE

Kiera is currently working on her next bird iteration, as the first few tries didn't quite match up and the animation wasn't as smooth as we'd like it. I have provided her with the necessary comments and feedback in our Asset Table, and hope to have the final outcome soon.

TASK 2

TO DO: SNOWFLAKES & SNOWFALL!

CONCEPTS & PLANNING

PROCESS

To begin the creation of the snowflake design, I familiarised myself with different snowflake shapes and outlines using my theme moodboards as inspiration, which eventually led to a series of concepts. I used different outline widths, pressures of pencil and tried to create as many variations as possible to choose from. I knew the design of the snowflake wasn't going to be as clear once scaled down and projected, however, I still made sure to perfect it.

Using the same drawing techniques, I created concepts and after choosing my favourites, finalised the final designs.

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

I kept the final design of the snowflake simple knowing how small it would be made later on. At first glance, it's not too detailed and I am a little worried that the design of the snowflake is too similar to the environment itself, meaning once snowflakes fall onto the environment, they'll struggle to be seen. In the next few days, I plan to scan and edit my drawings ready for implementation, so during this time I'd like to experiment with changing the hue of my drawing to a more bluey shade, which may work to differentiate the two assets.

NEXT STEPS

After editing, I plan to test with the appearance of my edited snowflakes and come to a conclusion regarding which looks best. To continue asset creation, the last thing for me to do is to create a series of UI concepts, which we may establish a use for later on. We have touched on the topic of using potential UI buttons, so I plan to create concepts which we can use later if they're necessary.

TASK 3

TO DO: POTENTIAL UI DESIGNS

CONCEPTS & PLANNING

PROCESS

I experimented with some fun User Interface, without establishing their use, it was exciting to just sketch a few items/objects related to the game which would work nicely in the environment later.

I considered the idea of Pause or Begin buttons, which as of right now, we don't know are necessary, but I continued to draw up ideas for this, which I also think could make great sticker ideas! I used the same drawing technique, this time with a more sketchier effect and less detail, to ensure they stood out on the page.

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

I created two final designs for the User Interface, because I think these two asset designs could work really nicely in the environment. If we establish the need for UI later on, we could definitely begin to experiment with these designs. But for now, we don't know if they have any use, other than potential sticker ideas!

NEXT STEPS

I have completed my series of tasks across the last week, and now it's time for asset review and testing. I will be testing Kiera's asset creation alongside my own, providing us both with feedback to make changes if they are required. After these changes, I can move forward with the editing and scanning part of asset creation, which will ensure our assets are ready to implement into the digital environment.

My next steps can be found here: Asset Tests.

AFTER TESTING

After testing and reviewing, I provided Kiera with feedback and we agreed on what to do to further improve our asset creations. Over the last few days, we have been working hard to get everything complete, and are now ready to edit and scan in our assets. I will be editing the assets, with help from Kiera for scanning them in.

I took note of Alexander Perrins suggestions for scanning hand-drawings to make them digital which I'll be using today! Documentation for this can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mVUOl7Mt3DrgoiZUx6gmh0OBPtaEllsJTBagcd8yn_w/edit?usp=sharing

PROCESS:

SOFTWARE USED:

300 DPI SCAN ON INKJET PRINTER

PHOTOSHOP

Kiera scanned in the assets and emailed me them as PDF's. From here, I was able to open them on Photoshop and adjust the settings to make them appear cleaner. I also used the 'Healing' tool to get rid of any random pencil markings that appeared on the page. To adjust the appearance of the assets, I used the 'Image Adjustments' tool to increase and decrease the 'Brightness' and 'Contrast' where necessary, as well as applying the 'Black/White' adjustment where necessary.

TASK 4

TO DO: EDITING & SCANNING

THE ENVIRONMENT DESIGN

SCANS BEFORE EDITING

FINAL ENVIRONMENTS AFTER EDITING

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

Scanning and Editing really made all the difference. We now have such a cleaner result and more appealing image. Thankfully even after this process, the detail in the drawing still remained! I was worried that after editing, we'd lose the high quality from scanning, but we didn't and I am glad. This is going to be important once we project at a much larger scale. Overall, we are both very happy with this and plan to implement them into the digital scene around Week 10, which is when we have scheduled our next major game version.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS

SCANS BEFORE EDITING

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MY FINAL ASSETS  AFTER EDITING

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KIERA'S FINAL ASSETS  AFTER EDITING

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QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

I am really happy with the outcome of editing/scanning, it made our assets appear much cleaner and look more professional, ready to put placed into the scene. Our assets work well with each other and we both put in the effort to make changes/improvements after receiving feedback from each other to make things better!

NEXT STEPS

The only thing left to do is to animate the animations, which Kiera has scheduled to spend her time doing over the next week or so. For now, I plan to create a series of scene mockups to gather a better idea of how these assets will work together in the space. This is so when it comes down to implementing our assets into the space, we know how they are meant to look/appear visually!

TASK 5

TO DO: FINAL SCENE MOCKUPS

13th April

Now we have completed asset creation, and are just waiting for the final few animations, I'd like to prepare for development/implementation of assets into the scene, by creating a series of screen mockups to demonstrate how both screens should look. We have to take into account that we are projecting two different screens into a space, but to enable players to play from home, we must also setup another server with just one environment variation! Today, I plan to differentiate the two and provide us with plans when it comes to doing this in Week 10.

SCREEN 1

MOCKUPS

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NOTES

  • Assets work well together

  • Placement of ski lifts is nice, works well with the composition of the other assets

  • Clouds to be looped and snowflakes to be falling constantly

  • May appear a little bit too busy?

  • Snowflakes look nice, however may blend in with the rest of the environment

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NOTES

  • Position of ski lifts doesn't look as appealing

  • Could potentially try with another cloud design, these may look much better once they're moving

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NOTES

  • Experimented with another cloud design, I much prefer the previous two, this one seems a little too cartoon-like and a little unnatural in the environment.

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NOTES

  • Position of ski lifts looks a tad to busy/overcrowded, this may be too overpowering to the eye

  • I've removed the clouds and this looks much cleaner than before, but I still think it'll be nice to have these on a loop animation, just to bring the landscape to life a little.

SCREEN 2

MOCKUPS

NOTES

  • I added different cloud designs to the environment, and already felt that this was enough!

  • Environment is already a little busy, so for this scene I believe less is more.

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NOTES

  • I've experimented with a different variation of clouds, and I much prefer this scene to the first.

  • Overall, the clouds, snowflakes, birds and environment work really well together and I am happy with each outcome!

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IDEAL FINAL SCENE MOCKUPS

SCENE 1 -

To be uploaded to itch.io & BitShort.Studio site to allow people to play from home.

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NOTES

  • This server should consist of all 6 tracks

  • Players to collect all snowflakes to play all 6 tracks.

SCENE 1 & 2 -

To be projected in the physical space.

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NOTES

  • Each scene to consist of 3 tracks each.

  • Threshold to be 5 snowflakes to collect 1 layer of music.

  • 10 interactive snowflakes on the first screen, 15 interactive snowflakes on the 2nd screen.

  • Scenes to be positioned next to each other.

QUICK REFLECTION & REVIEW

Kiera and I are really happy with the outcome of our asset creation, all that is left to do is continue with the animations for the environments. I have input all information into our asset table/list which we will continue to refer to, but for now we have all main assets complete! Over the next few weeks of the project, we are aware things may change and we are open to re-creating or designing new assets if need be.

UPDATED ASSET LIST (to track progress):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_ZyvR8A07sM6TfMOPH8mUQ88wrrn4Me_ystsSdrEiY0/edit?usp=sharing

All final assets have been uploaded to the sharepoint and Google Docs which can be easily accessed here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HDX9PIO_BN93u01D5I0TNK_XCqRlvKASwvuac21ubb0/edit?usp=sharing

 

ASSET CREATION & FINAL ASSETS

NEXT STEPS

We have a few last tasks to fulfil for the remainder of the Easter Holidays, but we are more or less prepared to pick up at Week 9 after our break. We plan to have our fourth game version made in the next few days, as well as an Update with Sound Production! When we begin Week 9, we'll be working according to our original schedule, and will begin to track progress from here.

Sound Production

Game V4

Sound Update

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