Make a World! Tulip Flower World!

Another world! Another Group!

This week we got passed onto a new world, the tulip world, to be honest this world is great since there’s so much colour that can be involved and this week we are going for colour adding it to our environments.  In our new group it is me, Ryan, Jack and Even, it’s a really great group since everyone is really having fun with the range of colour palettes that we’re working with. We decided to take a look at the previous groups sketches and tonal studies of their worlds environment then redraw them ourselves as well as add our own designs into their drawings, we also did some of our own environments and took influence from their work and added it into their own

Game Week!

For our final project we have a 2 week period to design and create a game that is playable within our world. We got sent to a new team and a new world. This week I was teamed with Thomas, Kristina and Rosie and we were put on the crystal egg world. We started off looking at some of the older groups work and what they did with the world and then began thinking about what we could do for our game, we came up with a lot of ideas, me and Thomas had a huge brainstorming session and wrote down a bunch of ideas.

thomas 1

Initial Concepts and Ideas

We looked at how in the world there would be different stadiums through out the world and how they would change based on where they were geographically. Thomas began researching some concepts for mazes.

Thomas then started to draw up some concepts for what the stadium could actually look like in the world.

We brainstormed for a long time writing down whatever came into out head no matter what it was since it could have been an idea that would spark brilliance. In the end the random ideas did actually help towards our final product as some ideas that we had originally ended up being in the final game, like the easter egg hunt style game.

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However after all the brainstorming we were still fairly lost about what we should do with out game. So instead looked at what kind of game it would be played as. we first of thought that the best route to go down would be a board game like snakes and ladders that children of the world would play. Since the backstory of our world was that after a magical object worshipped by all the creatures was stolen a war broke out between the territories, the resulting expolsions from the war caused the crystall shell of the egg to crack and break apart revealing the inside.

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Development of Ideas

We thought that the game could be played by the children of the territories and this game would help bring the communities back together through their children. The game would be played as a board game, with a grid layout like snakes and ladders. The objective would be to reach the end first and you would claim the prize (this prize would have been the magical item worshipped by all that was stolen in the war). There would be short cuts in the game like climbing trees if you were playing as a forest character however this was far too similar to snakes and ladders in fact it was basically a re-skinned version of it. so we decided to scrap this idea. Another old idea that we had was an easter egg hunt. We thought that we could build the game around the idea of bringing the territories together. It would be team based, there would be 3 players per team, 1 from each area however we decided against the idea as it wasnt original enough.

Rosie had an idea that she put together, it was based around the characters moving up a social ladder, they would have to complete puzzles/ riddles to move up the ladder and the ultimate goal was to reach the top of the ladder to win. However it took away from the culture aspect of the world and focused more on the economical aspect of the world but the ideas that Rosie put forward for how the characters would advance in the game, stuck with us and they ended up being a major part in the final game.

With none of these ideas sticking and we were starting to get worried we decided to go  back to the drawing board and get a final idea. We looked at the snakes and ladders game, Dungeons and Dragons, cluedo, pac man and finally the maze. The maze idea was one of the only ideas that really stuck out so we looked into it more. We thought what way it could be done, a board game? a physical maze? we weren’t sure but we were just glad we have finally had an idea that was sticking. After this we thought is it really the best idea to have everyone getting along after the war? so we decided that we would have the territories still hate each other.

The Maze

The maze turned out to be a really great idea so we stuck with it. We initially wanted to keep it as a board game where the movement would be based on dice roles (You would move a certain number of tiles based on the number you role, this idea was taken from D&D and cluedo as they both revolve around a free roam of the world the game is based in). There would be 2 board games, forest and yolk, the two sides games are the similar with the same objective and layout however the enemies that you encounter in the game (to set you back tiles etc) are based of the opposing territory (eg. the yolk game will have forest creatures as their enemies). We decided to not include the crystal mountain area and instead have the mountains as a separating wall between the two territories and the creatures living their to be neutral. After working on the maze for a while, designing new mazes and researching how the maze would look in the world, we saw a big flaw in the game. The players could see the routes.

It was a board game so what would stop the players from just looking ahead see the path to the middle and just following it, it takes the mystery from the game, makes it far less competitive and makes the whole idea of a maze game too simple. One idea that we had was that there would be a cover over the top of the game and as the players moved through the maze the top would be gradually removed to reveal the route they’re going however the major issue with this was that it was too hard to try and create a cover that could be taken apart without again giving away the route of the maze. Another problem with this would be it just wouldn’t be fun to play or look at.

Here are some concepts created by me and Thomas. Thomas used a maze generator to get the design for his maze.

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After this we decided to instead bring the maze into the world itself and have it be a physical structure within the world itself. The origin of this maze is unknown however it is now seen as a rite of passage for the children of the territories. They must complete the maze to enter into adulthood. This maze is a tool of fear. It promotes hate of the opposing territories and continues the divide started by the war many centuries ago. This was when our idea finally began to fit together.

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After all the discussion and ideas put together i went onto the facebook group that we had and did a post to simplify everything so we had a finalised idea and a clear path for what we had to do. The post is as follows:

“okay so just a brief description of what we got so far and what we did today:

– Backstory has stayed the same
– Game has developed from a maze based board game to an actual physical maze within the world itself (a rough layout of the mazes location within the world is included below).
– We changed the maze from a board game to an actual physical maze because it was hard to design a maze on a board game without taking away from the mystery of the maze like what was around each corner and where to go.
– To include characters from the crystal mountain area of the world we have the mazes in the crystal area with the cuttlebears (one of the creatures thomas made) standing guard by the entrance as they are neutral to both sides
– The idea of the maze is to act as a rite of passage for the younger generations of each side of the world (the forest side and the yolk side)
– The maze was designed so to spread the hate of the opposing side and to keep them from merging and to carry on the grudge of the war that happened.
– The maze are identical on both sides of the world
– We have kept the enemy idea the same with enemies in the forest creatures maze being yolk characters and vice versa

PROGRESSION IN THE MAZE

– At different crossroads to progress through the maze the character must answer a riddle, they may know the answer or not. If they do not and they guess and get it wrong then the maze will point them in the wrong direction, if they get the riddle right it will point them in the right direction

OBJECTIVE

– I believe the objective has stayed the same that they have to reach the centre and touch the ‘representation’ of the object that was once stolen by one of the sides (If im wrong or anyone has a better idea please say)

THINGS TO BE DONE:

– Concepts for the maze, different layouts etc
– In game items, like shortcuts, enemies etc
– Riddles
– Thomas is currently working on a quick animatic of the character in the crystal maze looking at the riddle then progression just to show what it would be like

uhhhh i think thats everything anybody else got anything? oh also heres the rough plan i talked about above.”

My design for the world including the physical mazes

My design for the world including the physical mazes

Here is a concept designed by Thomas (below) based of my own (above).

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After this we knew what to do and where to go, we were ready to develop the game. Finally we were on track and ready to roll. Thomas began to put together the animatic for the world that shows how the riddles in the maze work which turned out fantastic and really was vital in showing how the maze looked and how it worked.

Riddles and Concepts

Whilst I worked on the concepts for the world, Thomas worked on the animatic, Kristina worked on what skills the characters could possess and Rosie worked on research for riddles within the maze. Rosie did a lot of research and came up with the idea to incorporate children’s nursery rhymes into our game as our game is heavily themed around the creatures children. Rosie discovered that the back stories to children’s rhymes are usually very sad and dark, perfect for the atmosphere of our world. Rosie focused on the following nursery rhymes:

  • Oranges and Lemons
  • Ring a Ring a Rosy
  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence
  • Three Blind Mice
  • Humpty Dumpty

Rosie then created riddles and consequences based around the rhymes for our game. Here is an example of one

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice

History

The vicious farmer’s wife in this rhyme is believed to refer to Queen Mary I, the daughter of King Henry VIII. Mary, a staunch Catholic, was so well known for her persecution of Protestants that she was given the nickname “Bloody Mary.” When three Protestant bishops were convicted of plotting against Mary, she had them burnt at the stake. However, it was mistakenly believed that she had them blinded and dismembered, as is inferred in the rhyme.

Challenge Ideas

Possible another consequence for breaking the rules?
-The Characters start to loss their vision, eventually going blind as they hear the voice of Bloody Mary in their ear singing the Three Blind mice. They feel a knife go across their face, when she wishes them goodluck and leaves the to wonder the maze blind.

Rosie also brought up one of my previous thoughts about influences for the game, The Third Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Personally I found the book version of the maze task to be more influential than the movie version as at one point in the maze Harry meets a Sphinx who won’t let him past unless he answers her riddle correctly.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx – Pottermore Fan Forum

Kristina brought forward some excellent concepts for the characters allowing for us to see what the characters would look like as children which is a really important piece of work to show for our game. I worked on some character concepts myself and since Thomas has worked on it previously he gave us a look at some of his original character designs which were really useful. After Thomas showed us some work from his group before when they worked on characters in this world it gave us a better understanding of the characters in the world and allowed us to draw them more accurately

Thomas created some poster’s for our main character Gleep, he based it on World War 1 and 2 propaganda. It fits that they would have propaganda as the grandparents and parents have taught their kids that the maze is a part of life.

Thomas also did some alternative concepts for Gleep using a variety of colour palettes.

I also worked on some concepts for out world to bring it to life more. I wanted to show what the maze would actually look like in a 3D environment so i had a go at creating it. The 3 open squares are where there could be an exit so there are 3 possible exits but only 1 is real. I also decided to give the maze and smaller mini maze on a raised area just to give it more dimension. I also made an attempt at 3D modelling one of the characters that recurred through out the weeks and that appears as the main character in our animatic, this character is called Gleep.

One thing that I found that I was good at in a previous week was typography and a piece of work that I always found was awesome and had great typography in it was Tolkien’s maps from Lord of the Rings. So i decided to do a 2 page spread of a Tolkien style map of our own world. Later on after I completed this I wanted to do another because I was so happy with how the first had turned out but I didn’t know that many famous map designs but I was recommended to look at World of Warcraft and Game of Thrones and I found this great map from World of Warcraft that shows two opposing figures with maps of their areas beside them so I tried to recreate that. The Lord of the Rings map (below) was created by J.R.R Tolkien I believe and unfortunately I could not find the creator of the World of Warcraft Map.

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The Tolkien map shows the positions of the mazes in relation to each territory. Since the creatures from the crystal mountains are neutral and guard the gates to the maze we all thought it best that the location of the mazes be next to the mountains.

At this point we were coming to the end and we were finishing up with bits and pieces. Kristina gave us some more pieces of work that she spent a lot of time on and they turned out great. Basically since the characters are trained and taught about this maze for their whole life so when they enter the maze they will have specific attributes that they will have specialised in for the maze. Depending on where they are from they will specialise in different areas and they may not be able to specialise in areas where others can for example forest creatures can specialise in stealth and speed but not charisma or knowledge whereas the yolk characters can. This is based on their backgrounds since the yolk people have always been more civilised since the very first week when the world was made whereas the forest creatures were dangerous and predatory so it makes sense that they can be stealthy and fast whereas the yolk characters are more charismatic and knowledgeable. These attributes would be represented by certain objects that the character would wear before entering the maze as seen in the pictures below, for example the wizard hat represents wisdom and the shoes represent speed. In the picture of the forest creature he is wearing a wizard hat and shoes showing which areas he has trained in for the maze. This means he will get advantages relating to wisdom and speed in the maze like he will be able to get away from monsters faster or he will be able to answer riddles quicker.  She also did some beautiful drawings of the children being taught about the maze by their parents.

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So now that the ideas had been finalised and everything was coming together there wasn’t a lot left to do however Thomas thought of one last thing, Rules. He took influence from the rules in Maze Runner and these were the rules he came up with:

Rule #1: Retrieve the precious item.
Rule #2: Be prepared for all possibilities. For every corner, every shadow and every sound, could be the end for you.
Rule #3: Play by the rules, or the rules will begin to play with you.
Rule #4: Gear up – Choose your characteristics wisely. If not, it could be your downfall.
Rule #5: Think fast, act smart.
Rule #6: Answer all riddles wholeheartedly.
Rule #7: If you answer incorrectly and end up on an incorrect path, ensure you can retrace your steps effectively and get back on the right track.
Rule #8: Show passion and determination to succeed.
Rule #9: Know your enemy.
Rule #10: Survive.

He also did some further research into different types of mazes and terms used for them:

Unicursal – Maze without branches. Sometimes called a circuit maze.
Multicursal – Maze with branches and dead ends.
Blind Alley– Branch that is a dead end.
Island – A section of the maze containing walls not connected to the external wall of the maze. Sometimes also referred to as a detached wall.
Theta – A type of maze composed of concentric circles.
Braid Maze – A type of maze with branches, but without dead ends. All branches loop back to other branches.
Perfect Maze – Maze with no islands or isolated sections. A perfect maze has only one solution.
Delta Maze – Maze consisting of interlocking triangles.
Plainair Maze – A maze on something other than a flat surface. For example, a maze painted on the outside of a cube or sphere.

Last but not least we planned our presentation, bringing together all of our notes and research together to touch up for presentation, we also made a rough plan to keep us right.

Presentation Plan

Presentation Plan

This was the final animatic that Thomas touched up for the presentation, it got a great response and it turned out great (heads up earphone uses there’s a scream at 0:34 so watch out)

Group Blogs:

Thomas

Rosie

Kristina

Other Blogs From Previous Groups:

Becca

Phoebe

Caitlin

Opening Sequence/ Trailer

This week we changed group and world, I was placed on the sound world with Michelle, Megan and Ryan. Our assignment this week was to create a trailer/opening sequence for our world. It didn’t have to be animated it could be in whatever format we wanted but we had to include typography and sound/music. So we kind of got lucky by being put on the sound world on sound week.

opening title sequence 1

Since typography is such a big part of this week we had to do a lot of research for it. We took some inspiration from Monsters Inc. One thing that was seen throughout the sound world was the association of shapes with different genres of music and in the title sequence for Monsters Inc. a variety of shapes are used.

The shapes that we would use would be Squares, Triangles and Bubbles.

  • Rock Music – Squares
  • Techno – Triangles
  • Pop – Bubbles

Ryan then came up with the idea that the shapes come together into the shape of a character and then fall apart again.

A character that appeared over an over was Equaliser. In the sound world animatic it shows Equaliser not fitting in and not liking any of the music so we thought we could fit her into our title sequence. In the end we decided that we would keep it simple and have Equaliser not enjoying the music. Michelle drew up some storyboards for the team so that we could plan it out better.

The plan of the sequence is this. It starts with someone playing an instrument and creating a sound wave. The camera will then zoom in to the world. Using simple shapes the characters will appear before falling apart and showing the titles. Then finally settling on Equaliser. She will look angry and annoyed, she will then ‘pull the plug’ ending the music and the title sequence. The screen will go black as she pulls the plug and then the title will appear.

Here are the storyboards created by Michelle.

I then looked at typography, we were thinking of using something relevant to sound. I looked at the famous rolling stones typography and implementing stuff related to music like an equaliser or sound waves.

In the end we decided to go with the Moon Flower font. It’s simple and effective.

With the music Megan brought in her ukulele. We decided to use four notes that are use in many different songs. We got the idea from this video which shows numerous songs that can be played with these 4 notes.

This is the software that we used for the final sequence:

  • After Effects – For animating the shapes and the character
  • Photoshop – Writing the Text
  • Imovie – For putting everything together
  • Garage Band – For making and editing the music

Here is the final title sequence.

Storyboard and Animatic Week!

Over these 2 weeks we stayed on the same world as before with the same groups so I was with Jack, Ryan and Even. Our challenge this week was to create a 90 second storyboard sequence and then from the storyboards create an animatic of our proposed animation. Animatics and storyboards can be rather challenging as you have to keep the style of the drawings consistent through out the motion and composition of the scene.

From the previous weeks a character kept on coming up, this character was…

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We decided to plan the storyboard around the origin of Mossman. The story goes, he was travelling the system in his ship, the apollen 18 when he sees a nearby planet, as he enters its atmosphere his ship begins to malfunction. He crashes on the planet, after viewing his surroundings he heads into the nearby forest seeking shelter and help.

At this point in the story we needed a way to show passage of time. So we decided that we would have the character pass behind an object like a tree, and when he comes out from the other side he would have changed dramatically. To help change the feeling of him losing hope we wanted to implement warm and cold colours, so where he came from would be warm colours and where he comes out and walks of screen would be cold colours.

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To end the animatic we wanted the character to wander aimlessly through the forest, weaving in and out of the trees on either side of the scene. We also wanted to show that this is taking time, that he has been here for a long time and is becoming a part of the world, so with the last few scenes in the animatic we had the character get further away from the foreground, the scene would fade and he would appear further away until finally he would be really far in the distance and then it would cut to black.

Redrawn storyboards by Jack:

Original Storyboards by Even:

These storyboards are quite hard to see however they were the initial drawings for the storyboards and it helps show the development of our ideas.

My storyboards:

After we finalised the layout of what we wanted to do, Michael then talked to the class about how storyboards are drawn for an animation. After that I went back and did the storyboards again in the format that Michael had suggested.

Ryan also did a rough animatic before the final animatic. This allowed us to see what it might look like and also what changes we could make to make the story clearer. Jack also worked on a colour animatic to see what it could look like in colour.

Here’s is just some extra work i did for this week showing the different environments of the world. The image with the giant deer like create was actually going to be a scene in which a giant foot lands in front of Mossman and when he looks up he sees this perspective shot. It was just to showcase the environment and one of the many creatures in the world.

Group Blogs:

Ryan

Even

Jack

Reflection on first semester – Creative Elements

The first semester of this course has been extremely fun. There have been so many enjoyable moments from the very start of the year. The Induction days were very fun and allowed for everyone in the course to start to get to know each other. It made the first week of classes a lot more bearable rather than having to try and awkwardly go to lunch with people. The content of the course is exciting and interesting, it appeals in ways that many other courses does not. It promotes the arts, technology and a teamwork based course. From the very start it is always helping to bring you closer to others in the field and outside of your field which is very hard to find in a course. It has a real community feel to it and brings everyone in every year closer together. The other students are very supportive and are always happy to help with something that is new to you or that you find difficult. The lecturers who organise and run your classes are excellent. The course that they have designed and structured is perfect for developing your old and new skills. It doesn’t just focus on one field but on many very important fields that are involved in animation like photography and life drawing. The life drawing is not to be taken lightly and is a very important part of the course. The once a week classes can have a dramatic effect on your artwork, you will find yourself improving in areas that you once struggled with. The lecturers take a have a lot of experience in their respective fields and are very passionate. This passion and experience reflects of not only their own work but the student’s work who study below them. Their attitude towards the subject of animation and the areas around it really makes the course so much more worthwhile. The lecturers are very helpful, supportive and try everything they can to make the experience enjoyable and rewarding. The group work is a huge part of the course and this can be quite a stressful for a lot of the students. Meeting new people by itself can be very difficult but public speaking and new people can be even more of a struggle. In the first of the course, groups were formed with second years, third years and first years to complete a project and at the end the groups had to present their final outcomes. This was an excellent way to ease first years into the setup for the year and it also meant that the week after would be easier as the presentation would only be in front of your class rather than all 3 years. As time went on in the first semester everyone became a lot more comfortable because of the use of presentations and group based work. This semester has started us of well and has also given us a bit of an insight into the animation industry.