Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Persone 5 Trailer Screenshot 1

Persona 5 is my most anticipated game of the year and with the latest trailer showing some game play I thought I would share my thoughts on whats going on.

As soon as it begins the game play footage you can see that it is using the same style the team went with for Catherine and it looks great. It also looks like the protagonists are thief’s this time which is the polar opposite of persona 4 were you played as detectives solving the crime. The mascot character looks like it will be a cat and if it is the teddy character of the group I expect cat burglar puns to be used. Each character has different thief outfits but they all wear masks and in the last scene of the trailer you see the main characters mask set ablaze, engulf him in blue flames, then when the screen goes black you hear the persona summon sound effect from the previous game. This implies that you turn into your persona using your mask which does make sense since personas are facades you put on to deal with different situations and are usually referred to as masks you use to hide behind so including this as the summon mechanic would be taking the metaphor and make it literal. The enemies shown in combat were not shadows but personas, this could mean you have to capture your personas by defeating them. the setting looks like a large city which will make it the largest area setting yet. This has also  influenced the dungeons because they are much more open with platforming and stealth element which is refreshing to see compared to the hallway layout of previous persona titles.

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The menus in this game are amazing and remind me of the title screen animations they used in Catherine. Each menu is eye grabbing and not just because of the animation but the slick colour scheme choosing to keep it simple having just black and white for the character silhouettes and text with a third colour comprising the back ground and borders. The sharp contrast between colours makes the designs pop grabbing your attention, I cant wait to see what other menu’s are in the game and that’s not something i’m usually drawn to.

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The velvet room looks like a jail for the protagonist with the twins that have replaces Margret and Elisabeth watching over your cell. Igor sits on a desk opposite you possibly as a lawyer or your prosecutor.

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Seeing all this has made me even more excited for this title however the worrying part about the trailer was the lack of a date at the end. It would have been nice to see a vague 2015 once again to reassure everyone that it is still coming out this year.

What makes you feel attached to objects?

-Nostalgia

Notes from websites:

“When you’re nostalgic about something, there’s a little bit of a sense of loss—[the moment has] happened, it’s gone—but usually the net result is happiness,” says Clay Routledge, a social psychologist at North Dakota State University.

Nostalgic memories typically entail cherished, personal moments, such as those spent with loved ones. Those memories, in turn, inspire positive feelings of joy, high self-regard, belonging, and meaningfulness in life.

Negative feelings, and specifically loneliness, cause more nostalgic reaction. In another experiment, participants read one of three news stories that contained depressing, neutral, or positive content. A story about a tsunami disaster provoked more nostalgic thoughts than an article about space or a polar bear birth, the researchers found.

“If you’re feeling lonely, if you’re feeling like a failure, if you feel like you don’t know if your life has any purpose [or] if what you’re doing has any value, you can reach into this reservoir of nostalgic memories and comfort yourself,”

What it means:

By looking at this information and by using my own knowledge on the subject I can come to the conclusion that nostalgia is caused by coming in contact with an object or event that makes you remains about the past through either been linked to that time or by been upsetting which makes you long for a better more comforting time in your past.

How to replicate it in a game?

Looking at this information it would suggest that to cause a player to be nostalgic over something in a game it must either link to something in their lives or very quickly create fun enjoyable events so when something bad comes along they will remember the fun causing nostalgia, in theory.

Sources: Link.

Things that could be implemented:

Naming system – Naming a character or object in a game

Small Customisation

Side quests to fined manuals and tools around the world in hidden locations to unlock the ability to perform maintenance and unlock more systems or slight upgrades to the robots performance rewarding the player for their time investment. This investment will be very important in getting the player to feel invested in the mech because of their personal time input.

Does the mech need oil or electricity like how you need to feed a pet? This would give the player more of a responsibility.

Ululu needs to touch the rabbit at different intervals so it does not leave her when she is exploring on foot should this be more of a stroking motion?

Fall asleep with the rabbit curled around you next to the camp fire?

I was asked to help out at the 2014 UCAS event in Manchester on the 25th November, I was their to man the Oculus rift and explain a bit about the project to anyone who showed interest. manning the Oculus was the same basic jobs, making sure the lenses were clean and making sure it was all fastened properly and comfortably on their head. I also helped out filling bags with prospectuses to be taken away by people who were interested in the courses as well as guiding people to the tutor most suited to talk about the course they had interest in. This was a really good experience because I am quite nevus at public events and tend to rely on other people to do the talking. This forced me to take charge and sound confident in what I was saying and after the first couple of groups it no longer bothered me. I felt much more confident in talking and asking people to come over instead of waiting for them to come to me. This was a great experience for my social skills and confidence and I think in the future I will try and take a much more prominent role at talking with the public. Along side this it was also a good test of my time keeping skills as I had to make my own way there from Hull and if I missed my train I would not have made it to the event.

An interesting point in the day was when an attendant manning another booth who was also showing the Oculus came over to see what we was running because they were using the demo disk. This allowed me to talk about the interest we have had from museums and other applications we had discussed outside of gaming that a 3D navigable space could be useful for.

mortal-kombat-logo

 

My thoughts on the game:

Mortal Kombat 9 is Netherrealm studios first fighting game for the PS3 and XBox 360 and is a great game the combat seems fluid and even though every character moves at the same speed it feels right as everyone is different enough in their techniques that they don’t feel the same with some characters having special ability’s focusing on range melee or aerial combat allowing more variety in characters. The combos can be complex and are the meat of learning each character, this ranging from quarter turns to more complex strings to execute special moves and keep the combo going.

The story mode is the best feature of the game as it reboots the whole series and takes you through the story of the first three Mortal Kombat games making his the perfect starting point for newcomers.

Though this game is fairly old now it hides its age well and its combat system is superior to their newer title injustice in my opinion.

Some of my favourite fighting stages from the game were:

The Bridge:

Bridge_mk9

It feels very much like a busy city under attack with cars going by in the foreground and the battles going on in the background, my only complaint is the battle animations loop it would have been nice if it progressed in different areas as the match timer goes on.

Bell Tower:

Belltower

I love the clutter in this stage from all the moving parts in the back ground and to the ropes dangling in the foreground. The rats running along the beams and the dingy colours make it feel like a very old space as well.

Time Management Revisal.

Posted: November 5, 2014 in FMP
Tags: ,

I have been loosely following a time table for a few weeks but looking at it now it is unrealistic in the expectations I set myself.

This is the original time table I made:

Origional Time Table

This gave me very little time around work, the problem with this was there was very little leeway for anything if i had tea late then everything was thrown off in the night for example and it was very daunting and intimidating knowing that I was aiming for 54 hours a week.

So I decided to redo the timetable with more realistic goals based on how I have been working:

Time Table Revised

To start off I set aside Monday for my driving lesson and theory because I have been putting it off for too long and need to set aside time to get it done. The next big change is make every night during the week cats work and every afternoon from Monday to Wednesday as I am terribly slow at reading so I need the extra time to read through the books I have because if I fail the dissertation it doesn’t matter how much work i get done for my other projects. I also set myself to work through the lunch hour because I found myself doing this most days while i was in the studio anyway eating while I work.Lastly I completely freed up my Sunday as its the one day I usually go out and never get back in time to do anything. The new work goal is 49 hours only 5 hours below my original however this is because I am including my driving work as work for the added motivation because it will be useful to my future. at this stage in the project I have also decided to cap the time I can count playing fighting games as research at 2 hours this may be reduced further in the future but as it stands I feel it is a reasonable amount as it will stop me using it as a cheep excuse to wrack up hours in the weekend as I have already reflected in the tally.

Hopefully with these changes in place I will be m,uch more productive and be able to get closer/ surpass my weekly targets.

FMP Preposal.

Posted: June 6, 2014 in FMP
Tags:

This is my proposal for my FMP I chose this idea because I felt it was well suited to the career I would like to peruse as well as be based in a genre I am interested in.

For my final major project I am going to create a character themed stage for a fighting game. To do this I will create a premise and 2 – 4 characters with back story and basic move set information. I will then do quick concept ideas for themed stages based on the characters I create. Finally I will create a stage with three layers the foreground, midsection and background and a GUI if I have time. I will split the project as follows:

Primary goal:

  • Create 2 – 4 character designs.
  • Create stage concepts based on characters.
  • Choose one idea and refine.
  • Create foreground for the fighting stage.

Secondary goal:

  • Create Midsection.
  • Create GUI.

Tertiary Goal:

  • Create background.
  • Add Movement and interactivity to the stage.

Though there seems to be a lot I want to achieve in my primary goal most of it is planning. I want to get at least the character designs complete over the summer and some stage designs created so I can focus on refining one of them and starting modelling over the first semester. This should give me plenty of time to complete my Primary goal and give me time to give proper attention to the designs of the characters so they could also be a focal point of the project displayed in an art book or Photoshoped into the stage when it is complete to make it look more like a game.

I decided to choose a fighting stage instead of an environment because of the fixed perspective allowing you to have more control over what is visible; this also gives me the chance to use the detailed alphas that I was going to use in the visual novel proposal to add more details to the environment. I want to try and make the stage using hand painted textures in the Unreal engine and would like the game to be a 2D fighter with sprite based characters, so the stage must fit into that style. I got the idea to do this when playing the game Blazblue because the environments are very detailed and mostly 3D models whilst the sprites are all 2D. I really liked the detail that was achieved and realised that was the sort of thing I do create as a career, it would also make a good portfolio piece showing off my skills in the field if executed properly. It was while looking at the stages more closely I realised that the stages seem to have three layers the foreground, midsection and background and this is true in other fighting games like Mortal Kombat and PlayStation all-stars some of which even have pieces you can interact with in the level itself.

For research I plan to look at existing fighting games like all of the ones from Arc system works, Nether Realm and Capcom as well as some independent titles like Skull Girls. I have already bought some art books for research on how the concepts are done professionally and will continue to search for more to broaden my research. I will also have to look into how to set up the side view camera angle in UDK, I can use blocking volumes to block the players path if I was to have a character walk around.

Example of foreground, midsection and background broken down:

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There must also be a balance so the back ground does not draw too much attention and become a distraction to the player.

Goals

My goals for the project are:

Primary goal:

  • Create 2 – 4 character designs.
  • Create stage concepts based on characters.
  • Choose one idea and refine.
  • Create foreground for the fighting stage.

Secondary goal:

  • Create Midsection.
  • Create GUI.

Tertiary Goal:

  • Create background.

I plan to document all of the concept designs in an art book to go alongside the stage in the show.

Project Content

Content:

A hand painted 2D fighting stage that utilises a combination of plains and 3D models made with hand painted textures. There will be a supporting art book filled with the concept designs for the stages and characters.

Functional Requirements:

I plan to make the stage using Photoshop for texturing, 3Ds Max for modelling and Unreal 3 or 4 for the engine, this will be decided by the time I return from summer. All of the initial ideas will be sketched in a sketchbook I will buy and dedicate to this project so it can easily be handed in with everything ells.

Project Structure

This is a plan for how I will spend my time over summer if this goes will I will plan out the rest of the year using this method I will also set myself weekly goals once the concept for the stage has been completed. Doing it this way will also allow me to add in anything I may have forgotten to allocate time for like additional research or practice into a technique.

FMPinitial project time plan

Initial FMP Idea.

Posted: June 6, 2014 in FMP
Tags:

This was the first Idea I had for my Final Major Project (FMP) but decided not to go with because of the lack of focus it had on the field I wanted to work in, I have gone into my reasons in more detail at the end of the post.

For my final major project I plan to create the first episode for a visual novel that has point and click elements from old mystery FMV games. The initial idea is a crime drama/ detective themed story that I will write over summer. The backgrounds will be modelled using 3Ds max and the characters will be hand drawn. This allows me to work with writing, modelling and sketching which is why I am only focusing on getting one episode done leaving it open to be continued. I am looking at doing this in Unity but there are other visual novel engines that I will look into however Unity has the most export options.

For the art stile I was thinking about doing something similar to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. The game utilises mainly flat plains in rooms with alpha maps to give a popup book sort of effect. This works well in heavily detailed rooms because the player’s position is fixed.

DGR screen 1

DGR Screen 2

The conversations play out using stills of different emotions to reflect the tone of the conversation.

DGR Screen 3

I was considering doing the art in black and white and only adding detail through shadows and highlights. For the story I have already got ideas I can build upon and to help with the dialog I plan to finish the murder mystery and then take it to my D&D group and have them role play it taking notes on what questions they ask and what responses I give to try and have more natural dialog.

I also want the game to be less hand holding than some of the other detective games I have played were it auto stores clues and key points even if you as a player over look them. To do this I want the game to require a note book were the player takes notes of the conversation themselves. To add an easier difficulty mode I can add colour to key words and phrases to help people if needed. The players will then use key words when asking some questions or as key evidence these will be typed in a box were only the specific words will be recognised to move on to the next scene.

During the development process over third year I am considering upgrading my steam account to a developer one so I could enter the designs into the feedback section of green light to gain critique from a wider audience and hopefully some advice on how I could improve the game.

Since this is a big project I plan to have the script and characters finished by the end of summer and the engine picked as well as look into the basic coding I will need to do what I want, this will leave the artwork, construction, coding and modelling for the year. For the research I will play and watch murder mystery games to try and expand my considered mechanics and write a more interesting mystery. To help keep things simple I want to have 6 – 8 characters and 4-6 unique areas for the player to walk between keeping the scale contained.

If my summer goals are not met I will need a backup plan for my project to make sure I still know what I am going to do.

Games I have in mind to look at:

  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
  • Phoenix Wright.
  • Heavy Rain.
  • L.A Noire.
  • Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward.
  • Ripper.
  • Phantasmagoria a puzzle of flesh.

Series I am going to look at:

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Case Closed
  • Death Note
  • Majin Tantei Nogami Nero

I am also receiving a Development document, for a mystery visual novel game that I backed on Kickstarter, in December. This should help push my own documentation as well as being a good source of research into the planning and development of these games.

While researching into the coding and making notes on story ideas I decided this is not a good project to do for my FMP. I decided this because I was mainly looking forward to creating the areas and making it look nice because asset and level design is what interests me most. Whilst I am interested in character design it’s not what I want to focus on as a career path and coding and writing are my week points making this project a bad choice to show off my skills as it focuses too much on areas that I am weak in and uninterested in working in. So I decided to think it over again and gear it more towards asset and level design as the focal point.