The life of game development…

So over the last long few months within the Game Art, Design and Animation module there’s been a lot of new things to take in and that’s not just with software. The idea of what process and stages that need to take place to make a game are incredibly vast and detailed, with each step relying heavily on one another.
The key point that I think any game development though, that I have found whilst doing this module, is to keep refining everything even when modelling and creating things for the game. It seems that nothing can ever be finalised. Although I placed a blog post like this at the start of this module I thought it’d be pretty sweet to just look back at what I made of these ‘stages’, the importance and where I could actually fit in, with all the new knowledge and experience I’ve gained.
The way I see it is that there are some main points that need to be done whilst creating a game. These would be the initial idea in which a script and storyboard could be set down in order to get an idea of what the game will be like and not just aesthetically but also the narrative as games have developed through the years and now many games are just as much an interactive stories than something we just do something on.
Once you had an idea of what the game would be about, its visuals and it’s characters, then you can dive into the research and referencing although what I found much better was to collate the actual references first as you are always influenced by something and nothing really is original even if it is unintentional. With this as well it’d be easier to get your point across to a team which you’d be working with and I wish I had whilst doing this module.
With these in place you can then move onto developing the art and style of the game itself working on the characters and environment. One thing that I’ve really noticed from this module and some of the events I’ve been to, is that there’s a large difference in which concept art is done and it’s a very specific area. Within the largest development stage within a game, which I see as the concept and layout stage of the development, there’s several parts that need to be done such as the character layouts, environment art, layout art and then the more finalised concept art. This is an incredibly large chunk of the process which I could really find myself getting into. But as you can see from this module it’d most likely be more character design and concept rather than any of the other parts as I still can’t get my head around all the environment work.
With the art work, colours, scales and turn around ready the modellers can then get on with actually creating the assets for a game. Although I did enjoy this part in the end I don’t think I could see myself within the whole creation within the 3D world. It’s a great feeling you get once you’ve done it but it’s a long way to go before I can say I’d be involved in this. I would love to get some more of my own characters modelled though and I may look into more 2D and 3D uses with the modelling side. Maya has probably been the most biggest learning curve within the module and I think I’d be pretty happy within more or similar 3D software now too. Box modelling seems to be easiest for me and I’ve now seen how important it is to get a good turn around and scale images of assets to model! It makes it incredibly easier.
The most satisfying part is putting it all together but then it’s all about testing it then and refining it even further. As with animation everything just needs to keep on being refined. The most enjoyable part for me was to get on with the animating of my character, giving that character life is something that I’d much love doing in the future.
Obviously there are lots more with creating a game within these parts like creating and developing the textures, sounds and lighting which are incredibly important, mainly sound, which I’ve found over this module as one of the main points.

What’s next with Peepa?
Here’s a newer playblast of Peepa and the animations with a look at the skeleton/rigging, the controllers I created and then the geometry and texturing.
I kept her at a less smoothed version for the fact that the game is aimed at a lower age range and with it going in as a game, I wanted to keep the character away from reality and keep her very characterised and simple with the poly count low she can move much move smoothly. Later I could always create a mesh for her if I really wanted too and place it over the low poly model to get a more smooth look.

With this it’s all about the final stage of refining the whole environment and getting it played through and tested. I’ve already had some lovely feedback and points from various other people who I’ve been able to work on with main feedback from people I’m aiming the game at.

Looking back at some of the information I was able to get from BAF one of the speakers also mentioned a site where we could get information as well as possible work expirence and things like that, named skillset. But after going through it, it also has a part that lists out all the various different parts of the games creation job.
http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_2768_1.asp
When you search games in general it has a large database of all the different information you may need to look further into detail on the various areas within the games industry. It’s surprising how many various parts of the job there actually is and how much work there is involved.

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