Once I started modelling and actually started to work on creating the game I made sure to try and evaluate my work every week for that current week so that I would be able to check on what progress I was making as check I was hitting my goals and keeping on schedule.
Evaluation for Week 5 (18/03/20)
Overall, I think I’ve achieved everything I set out to do this week to a decent quality, I am especially happy with how some of the textures turned out especially the Lifeguard tower as I wasn’t sure if it was going to look how I wanted it to. Also as a group I feel like we are doing a good job as were all currently on track and making good progress in our own individual tasks.
Evaluation for week 6 (25/03/20)
Overall, for this week I think I’ve achieved everything I planned on doing to a good quality. I am happy with how the texture turned out for the pier stall although creating it was a bit of a challenge as I had to try my best to make sure that all the lines were straight and equal through out the whole texture. Although, I probably could have made this easier on myself by having practiced this before rather than just diving in, I also could have given more thought when UVing so that I could have given myself an easier job when texturing the lines. Overall, as a group we are making good progress in our individual tasks and we are all still on schedule, we are also checking each others work and giving valuable feedback at almost every step of the process.
Evaluation for week 7
I think I have made pretty good progress this week as I managed to do everything I set out for myself this week. Also I managed to teach myself how to use masks and filters in Substance Painter to make not only texturing easier but changing the textures easier. My plans for next week is to try and do some of the assets that my team member who can no longer do them, planned to do.
Weekly Evaluation for Week 8
I feel like I have done a decent job and managed to achieve my goals this week all things considered especially because I wasn’t really meant to be doing the assets in the first place. The final scene turned out alright I think although, it is a shame I was never able to put it into Unreal and finish it properly but I’m glad I put most of it together in Maya so that I could still see how it would have roughly turned out. I think I also managed to capture the cel shaded art style quite well with my models and textures. My main issues with the final outlook is that I wish I could have had more assets to put into the scene that would have given it more life such as the boat or the rubbish that was planned to go under the pier. My plan for next week is to start working on some post production marketing work such as posters, game discs/cases as well as some other stuff.
Weekly Evaluation for week 9
I managed to do what I had set out to do for myself this week which was creating some marketing work for our game. I personally think for it being my first time trying to create cover art that it turned out alright. Although, I do think that I could have tried to have done some type of graphical design on the back cover but I didn’t know what to do that would also fit with the theme of the case, I also didn’t have enough time anyway due to this being an extra thing I originally didn’t plan to do. Next week is the final week for the project, so I plan on making sure everything is finished both work and this blog as well as finishing the final presentation and getting my teammates to put there work on it as well.
Final Evaluation (Week 10)
Overall, I think our project turned out alright when you take into consideration the unforeseen circumstances for the last few weeks.
The first sprint was pre production, in this sprint I think as a team we worked quite well to achieve a solid idea and develop a pitch presentation showing the idea we had clearly. Everyone worked on their own individual parts based around skills and weaknesses for the presentation. The main things I worked on were concept art and the narrative story of the game. Overall, I feel that I did a good job on my specified parts of the presentation manging to complete them all on time and to a good quality. However, I do think that I could have tried to do more concept art or at least different media of concept art like Photoshop. We also finished of this sprint by creating a Trello page so we could keep on track of what needed doing as well as a word document for our weekly meetings.
The second sprint was the production stage, this sprint started of well for all of our team as we were all on track and making good progress. We had made a shared network for our Unreal project that we could all be in and work in at once. However, a few weeks in we were all forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this affected all of us in different ways from not having certain software to also not being able to communicate as easily. I still tried to update our Trello page and weekly meeting notes as best as I could during this time. I personally believe that I did a pretty good job during this stage as I manged to still complete everything I was meant to do despite everything.
My modelling also went quite well and I made sure to stick to the low to mid poly that we had decided on. My best model was definitely the lifeguard tower as I feel I was able to get the exact look I wanted in this asset. However, I definitely could have tried to improve on some of the other models by using tools such as the soft select tool to manipulate vertex’s. I also manged to model all of my assets as closely as I could to human scale by making sure to always have the content browser character in the scene as well as using multiple reference images of people next to whatever I was modelling.
I believe that my UV mapping also went quite well as I managed to UV all my assets so that there was minimal stretching, I also made sure to keep them to the same pixel density to help cause less stretching. I also tried to lay them out as best as possible although, I could still do with practicing laying them out a bit more clearer so you can tell what the UV map is for without looking at the asset.
I feel like my textures turned out good and I was able to stick to our theme of a cel shaded art style. I also managed to learn new techniques in Substance Painter such as masking and using effects which allowed me to do things like change all one colour to another. I also tried to add little graphical designs to some of my textures like the surfboard and the stall signs to make them look more appealing to the eye. Although, most of my textures turned out well I definitely could have still made some improvements that could have just made them look better overall. I would also like to practice some more using the other tools and effects in substance that I have never used before.
The main problem I had during this whole project was the fact that we as a team no longer had a shared network to all work in our Unreal project together because of this I couldn’t build the environment in Unreal. I decided that I was going to build the environment in Maya instead, that way I would still be able to show what it roughly would have been like and still get rendered screenshots. Once I did place everything I had modelled I came across another problem, I realised the scene looked very empty and that was due to my teammate who was meant to be modelling the assets not being able work from home, so I decided that I would take it upon myself to try and model as many assets as I could into the short amount of time I had. I managed to model a few extra assets that I do think really adds to the scene and makes it seem more alive and just look better altogether.
Once everything was done and laid out I started to light the scene as best as I could. Due to our scene being outside and having very little lights there wasn’t much I could do to try and make the lights look much better. However, I still made sure to use things like colour temperature and HDRI images to try and make them look as good a possible. I then rendered out multiple shots at both night time and morning from different angles using Arnold renderer.
While also working on my production work I also was working in my personal time in Piskel to create a piece that was originally going to be played either before or over the credits but due to Covid-19 I was able to create it but it was never able to be put in with the credits by our programmer team member.
The final sprint was post-production, in this sprint I started to work on some marketing material for our game as well as creating our final presentation showing our progress to trying to make the game. A small problem I had when doing the marketing work was that I didn’t have Photoshop so I had to use Photopea, which works similar in some ways and then completely different in other ways so it was a bit difficult to get use to. Despite all this I still believe for my first time ever trying to create game case cover art it turned out alright. Once I was finished with the marketing work I created the presentation in a shared drive so all the team could access it and started to put my own personal work in it. I also put on one of the slides all the pictures I had from updates made to our Trello page while one of my teammates did the same for the meeting notes. Some days later my other two teammates put their work on however, our final team member wasn’t able to create any work while working from home so they had nothing to show.
Overall, I think our team management went quite well especially at the start of the project in which no member ever missed our weekly meetings and we updated our trello page every week. We were also checking each others work every week and giving each other critical feedback both positive and negative. However, after Covid-19 caused us to work from home our team management kind of slipped a little bit as some team member’s weren’t able to have online meetings. I made sure to take it onto myself to be updating the Trello page and meeting notes every week to try and keep us as on track as possible.
We had to make many changes throughout the project to our idea especially in the terms of realising we weren’t going to have the software and opportunities needed anymore to actually turn it into a fully finished game. I also faced a few challenges on my own which were mainly software based but I feel that I managed to overcome most of these by either finding alternate software or slightly adapting an idea so that all could still work out.
Overall, despite all the challenges we faced both as a team and individually I feel that what everyone was able to do turned out alright to varying degrees. I have learnt a lot of skills during this project in multiple different software’s such as Substance Painter with masks and effects as well as Photopea/Photoshop. I have also learnt more about building environments and making sure they look visually appealing but also match up size wise to stop issues like clipping as well as other things. I do think that our project as a whole could have gone a bit better if as a team we tried to work a bit better during the Covid-19 period of the project. This has taught me how important it is to have measures set in place in case stuff likes this happens in the future, one way as a team we could prepare for this in the future is by setting up ways to communicate while not together as well as planning who does what also based on the ability to wok at home or not. I do believe as a team we were able to successfully create an idea for a game as well as execute most things needed to put it together despite not being able to actually put it all together. I also think that what I myself managed to achieve during this project was good considering I manged to do everything I had to do as well as picking up after other teammates while also doing marketing and end tilt screen work. However, there are still a lot of things I need to learn and practice so that my work can be better overall.