- Our group began by pitching ideas back and forth, with me writing them down and seeing who agreed on which theme the most. We sat at a large roundtable and were able to speak to anyone in the group due to the close proximity. For the DMA students, we voted on who would prefer a 2D game and who would prefer a 3D game, with 1 strong vote for 3D, 1 weak vote for 3D, 2 weak votes for 2D, and 1 strong vote for 2D, deciding on a 2D game with 2D assets. We then split the roles based on the amount of 2D experience, with the player character animation going to Kasey, and background elements going to Ryan and Thomas.
- I was responsible for some pre-production, along with creating taco-esque elements in the game. The tacos were originally going to be carrots, but were later replaced with enemies based on carrot/human hybrids. I animated the carrots and gave them walk cycles and death animations. I accomplished the task by creating my idea of what the carrot would look like based on the color palette and tone of the game, and asking for constructive input from others in my group. I also had a team member provide backup sketches to base the final version of the design on. When the main aspects were out of the way, I took it upon myself to create a few more assets for the level design, such as making water and suggesting rocks be made, and also constructing portions of the level itself in Unity.
- We were delayed when a group member left to attend to his own matters and we did not stop him due to us not knowing he intended on staying gone the whole night. Additionally, we as a group knew we needed more assets, but did not know what else to add, leaving us to brainstorm on extra elements for hours.
- The game strayed off from the source material greatly, with it becoming more satirical as time went on. However, the gameplay remained mainly the same, with the Bunnyman going around killing carrots on a 2D plane. However, the action of killing carrots was switched to effortlessly walking up to them rather than having a button command.
- The fact that the team primarily consisted of people with a substantial amount of familiarity of 2D gaming contributed greatly. Additionally, when we were all together, we communicated our ideas freely and we had a sense of trust with one another due to being on the same page for the most part. Organizing a more thorough schedule would have contributed as well, instead of the “meet at noon” plan we had.
A game that I could enjoy continuously is Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Using my left thumb, I control the character (I usually pick Tails), holding left or right to move across the level, down to crouch, and up to look upward and get a greater view of the level above me. By pressing the buttons on the right side with my right hand, I can jump while standing, or charge a dash attack while simultaneously holding down. When I press the jump button, Tails instantly jumps and makes a “boing” sound, and when I press it while holding down, Tails immediately bursts off as soon as I let go of down. In terms of rewards, having at least one ring grants you protection from death by enemies, aside from crushing and bottomless pits. Simply completing a level, even without rings, guarantees you at least 100 points added to your score. You also get rewarded with speed by knowing the route and taking the higher path, which usually houses less obstacles and more downhill sections with acceleration. You also get more points for complex actions such as completing the stage within a certain time limit or having a high enough number of rings.
A game that frustrates me is Flappy Bird for iOS. Its means of interactivity is tapping the screen in order to make the bird jump between two pipes continuously. With your fingers/thumb, you can jump, which creates a “whooshing” sound as the bird pushes air down to jump. The whooshing sound occurs when the bird is elevating, and lasts a brief moment. The sound effect also gets cut off by the following whoosh the more frequently you tap the screen and jump. The frustrating aspect of this game is the contrast in sound effects when you crash into a pipe. When you crash into a pipe, a very loud “WHACK” sound is heard instantly, in comparison to the soft whooshing and high pitched “dings” when you get a point. As a result, the player is thrown off of their flow. Due to the fact that the game requires a substantial amount of focus, the player feels as if they are actually in the game, and it gives the impression that they themself were hit. When people get hit, they get angry, and due to this, myself, along with many other players became frustrated at what happened, and at the same time intent on playing again to ensure that they don’t get hit a second time.
On April 10, Alfred University hosted an architecture based gallery by the name of “Abject Architect: Landscape Survey 1”, created by the architect, Lea McCormick Griggs. Architecture was the primary form of art utilized here, with a few photographs of tables also being shown. The term “abject”, meaning without pride or dignity, sends the message that the architect intends to show off her work for the sake of what it can do for other people for it’s own sake rather than what it was meant to be for the artist behind it.
One piece that caught my attention, named A Mountain “that Cannot Not Exist”, did so by providing a sort of gradient using solid squares of a size which, one would not normally use to give a sense of disintegration of shape. Additionally, a mound of unrefined earth is placed at the bottom of it, in a way giving it a sense of ascension, saying that earth starts off at a point, but there is a limit to how much can be done with it in its natural state. However, with refinement, it can travel upward, but lose parts of itself on the way up, with the mountain “ceasing to exist” more the higher it rises. The difference between the earthy brown of the mound and the milky-white, heavenly color of the squares almost gives a sense of the piece being “purified”, and “too good for the lower level” in its heavenly ascension.
The color white is a recurring color in McCormick’s work in this gallery, and it has different meanings in each craft. This speaks to me in the form of Twin Stem Vase, where in lieu of a theme of ascension, the size of the vases gives a sense of innocence and petiteness. This can help to realize that color itself can have an effect on the size and weight, and of how it is grasped. It can be inferred that the objective of these vases is to be shrunk down, and combined with the shape and dimensions of the vase, this can ring quite true.
Upon visiting this gallery, I feel it can greatly assist me in my construction of 3D models, both in programs such as Maya, and in physical manifestations. The increased sense of depth coming from aspects such as atmosphere and shadows are something that cannot be easily replicated by viewing it on a screen. The sheer size and magnitude of a piece alone determines whether or not it can overwhelm the viewer, or be analyzed from an overhead perspective. If I were to project an image, or just make one on my own, what matters is not only the size of the content, but how it responds in relation to the content around it. This is known as balance, and balance is a key aspect of creating art; it determines how things in a scene or webpage clash or compliment, and can help me in terms of design elements in webpages I create in the future.
Looking back, this semester has been full of learning experiences across the board. The skills required for rigging have proved incredibly beneficial to my progress as an animator. Initially, paint weights took me a considerable amount of time due to having to always find every nook and cranny that had been highlighted unintentionally, but with further progress, I have been developing an eye for it. My first rig had a few issues with hierarchy, but now I know the differences between parenting and orienting, and the functions of each. I owe most of my progress to my new laptop and mouse, which allowed Maya to move faster and allow my mind to try to keep up more effectively. As for animations, using different rigs other than the Norman one I had grown accustomed to taught me that no one rig can be perfect for everyone, but the goal is to have one that works best. This is what I aspire to achieve in my current projects, as well as future projects, with simplicity and efficiency being top priorities. Each rig presents its own challenges and as an animator I am learning how to tackle each one and have it work to my advantage. I felt like I performed better on the Norman rig in lieu on the Morpheus rig, however, I know that my level of mastery of Morpheus has a significant effect on my viewpoint.