Habboi's Blog of Games Design and All Things Awesome!

A Blog made of Awesome and Kittens. ;-)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Update 2012

It has been a whole year since I updated this blog. Why did I stop? I suppose it's because it's difficult to feel motivated when you don't receive any comments. Besides I don't even know what I use this blog for anymore.

I used to do the odd review or post an update on my current project but I usually just post on my regular forums now since I get replies there.

Regardless I look back at why I created it in the first place and I remember someone saying how employers like to see you post the stages of your work to show how you constructed it.

So I've decided to post my current project right now. Basically I worked at Beatnik Games for a short while but I had to leave once my time there was up and then I came across a post on Polycount by chance. It was about a level designer looking for an artist to detail his Counter Strike Source level.

Having used Source for a long time I decided to offer my help. Back then I thought I was just going to make a few models and stuff but funny how things change. At the same time I was currently working on a secret project that I kept hidden from everyone but my close family for half a year. The project was a 3D recreation of a famous scene in a 2D game called Chrono Trigger. I originally aimed to get it posted on news websites and my hard work paid off because the video was posted on Kotaku. In the end it received 60,000 views in a matter of days so I'd call that a success.

Here's the video for those that are curious. I don't think I can explain it but those who have played the original Chrono Trigger will probably have a soft spot for this video.



Back to my current project I finished Project Zeal (above) and then spent my full time working on the Counter Strike level. It turns out what started as a simple art job developed into a full time level designer / environmental art / tester / lighter role. I haven't counted the days but I'm pretty sure I've spent at least 4 months on this and I'm getting real close to finishing it.

I hope it gets me a job because I need one. So far the feedback has been positive so who knows, maybe it'll become the next de_dust or not. That's part of the exciting moment of release. I'll certainly update this blog to let you know how it goes.

Anyway it's getting close to 2013. Perhaps my next blog post will be in another year :) Thanks for reading.
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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Eurogamer Expo 2011

Hey all,

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. The truth is I was concentrating on my career in games and didn't have time to write large topics. I had some interesting ones planned out like how the games industry needs support in this country and I may revisit that someday but for now I'd like to open up with a post about my day at Eurogamer Expo 2011 that I visited yesterday.

First of all it was a fantastic day. I got to experience pretty much all of the anticipated AAA games that I wanted to experience. I also got to see a preview of Hitman Absolution which was incredibly epic and very cinematic. After seeing it in action I'm definitely sold.

You can view a leak of it here but I would personally wait until an official version is released.

So back to the show, the first game I tried was of course, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. We had 20 minutes to go anywhere we wanted to and experiment with the combat. I started off as a Khajiit and we were given iron armour, a bow, sword and a fireball spell which is actually more like a wide spread flamethrower.

The demo takes place in the exact same area that has been shown in official trailers so I took it upon myself to explore places that hadn't been shown yet. Obviously with 20 minutes I had to hurry so I followed the path down to Riverwood and quickly carried on and took a different direction from there out into a wide open field.

There I saw giants next to a large open bonfire and beyond that was a small stone tower. I noticed a wooden fort that was even closer to I went there first and saw a man wearing the exact same iron armour as me with the inverted horns. He pulled out his sword and slowly approached me so I pulled out my sword and backed away slowly.

I didn't test this but I believe that had I left the area he would have left me alone but since it was a demo I decided to be silly and go on a mass killing spree. I soon found out that the fireball spell is "very effective."

While fighting them the music playing in the background was over the top epic. It was such a small battle but just like classic Elder Scrolls, the music is always loud. After killing the remaining men and women I headed back towards the stone tower where I saw people in robes. I talked to one of them and I believe they said they were daedra (black eyes) and that they were part of some religious cult. I didn't talk for long because I was curious what was inside the tower.

Nothing much to my surprise. It was exactly the same as the one shown in the trailers where the player fought a dragon. I quickly went downstairs as I heard the words "5 minutes left" and to my surprise there was a wooden door just outside the tower. I went inside and was greeted with the loading screen.

The loading screen is black with fog rising from the bottom accompanied by the player model on the left which can be rotated with the analog stick or a weapon or armour with a description about it on the right. The loading times were surprisingly long as it took a good 20 seconds just to load a tavern that I entered in Riverwood. However this is a preview build and it was running on the Xbox 360 so there were a few times where the framerate dipped.

Back to the dungeon, inside I was greeted by men and women in iron armour who attacked me on sight. A quick flamethrower spell to the face and a slash here and there and they were swiftly dealt with. I saw some cell doors on either side of the corridor and a "money bag" which I could pick up. At the end of the corridor was a semi naked man who suddenly went nuts and shot lighting bolts at me. He was no match for me and unfortunately the demo ended there.

Overall I got a good taste and I am eagerly looking forward to the game. The combat was certainly improved as each slice of the sword made the camera stagger and the sound effects were gruesome. I swear, when I killed one NPC, the sound effects as it imitated a finishing kill were some of the nastiest sounds I've heard in a game.

Other games that I tried were Counter Strike Global Offence, Mass Effect 3, Dark Souls, Battlefield 3 and many indie games.

Counter Strike was just the same old game with a makeover. It was terrible playing with a controller so if you do get it I strongly suggest a version that lets you use a keyboard and mouse.

Mass Effect 3 was the same as 2 but a little prettier. That's all I can really say.

Dark Souls, the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls is literally the same game only with some minor changes and an increase in difficulty.

Battlefield 3 was interesting and it certainly felt realistic but since the demo only allowed us to walk around a small city with no vehicles I was disappointed.

The indie games were certainly "different" to AAA games as expected. There was a curious game where you had to rotate hearts on a wheel and figure out how to make them all face upright. There was another where you had to defend earth by building tower defenses out in space and shoot off invading aliens and comets. You have to see it to really understand it because it was all over the place and very addicting. Finally my favourite indie game was called "Greedy Bankers" on the Ipad and it featured a square grid battlefield where the objective is to form large rectangles or squares by dragging small coloured gems with your fingers. The fun part about it is that it's a two player game that is shared on the same screen so you can steal gems from each others side and it becomes really competitive and funny. Definitely my highlight of the day besides Skyrim.

Finally I never had the chance to see this "3D" technology that was introduced a while back so it was a pleasant surprise to see it being showcased at the Expo. First of all I tried the 3DS and the game running on it was The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D and sadly I didn't like the 3D effect. I adjusted the slider up and down and I found that it was most effective when it was near the off part. I could see how it worked though as the fountain in the market stood out compared to the background but it hurt my eyes quite badly.

The next 3D I tried was the Sony PS3 one with glasses. This was a lot better and for the first few minutes it just seemed like the character model stood out more but suddenly this black fly flew from the corner of my eye and I slapped the air trying to get rid of it. The people who were sitting behind me laughed at my confusion. Of course it wasn't really a fly, it was a black dust particle that was brought out of the screen and into my face. I must admit it was quite effective. Another effect that popped out was a small waterfall that I passed under and it felt like I was about to get drenched. Quite funny.

I really enjoyed the expo and I will hopefully go again next year provided there are some top games to enjoy. I wanted to try SWTOR but the lines were too long and it closed early for some reason just when the queues were starting to get short.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Canvas Mod Announced

I was asked very nicely to spread the word of this mod so here it is:



"After months of hard work, we here at Bloom are excited to officially announce the existence of our current project CANVAS. To go with this announcement, we have prepared a short press release to explain exactly what CANVAS is, and what you can expect to find when we release.

To complement this announcement, we have also launched our official website (http://www.canvasgame.com), on which you can find a slew of information about the mod, as well as screenshots, videos and wallpapers.

We have also created a short teaser trailer introducing some of the characters and environments you will experience in-game, which can be found below.




INTRODUCTION

CANVAS is a single-player total conversion modification for Half-Life 2: Episode 2. It hopes to provide a unique action/adventure experience based upon the versatile Source engine.

SETTING

In the world of CANVAS, psychics exist, and live openly alongside humans. Their existence has been noted throughout history, and while their powers are still feared by non-psychics, their culture has pervaded countries across the globe.

Seeking to centralise their cultural heritage, groups of psychics banded together to build enormous underground galleries. In these galleries are housed the greatest works of 'psychic' art – paintings that allow the viewer to psychically enter the paintings, and experience the artist's intent first-hand. Run by an unusual being known as the Curator, the Acanthus gallery is by far the most prestigious of these institutions, housing the largest collection of psychic art and literature in the world.

STORYLINE

Milena Desmaris is unhappy in her life. Having been left with her father after her mother passed away, she found herself neglected as her father buried himself in his work. Her only true friend and companion, Borden, is a teddy bear brought to life with her psychic powers.

However, when Milena's father seemingly goes missing, everything changes. Suddenly, Milena and Borden find themselves on an adventure, and while trying to find out what happened to her father, and why, they will explore locations and experience things beyond anything they could have imagined.

KEY FEATURES

  • Single-Player Campaign – Take Milena and Borden through a unique adventure as they investigate the disappearance of Milena's father.
  • Psychic Abilities – Utilise Milena's psychic abilities to overcome obstacles, puzzles and enemies.
  • Control Borden – Take direct control of Milena's furry companion in order to reach difficult locations, and use his own psychic powers.
  • Enter Paintings – Leave the real world behind as Milena enters paintings and explores entire new worlds.

CANVAS – a Half-Life 2: Episode 2 modification.

Website: http://www.canvasgame.com/
ModDB: http://www.moddb.com/mods/canvas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canvas/232883643394493
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/canvasmod
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CanvasMod"

It looks really surreal and I love the trailer music. I look forward to its release.

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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Luminesca - A Game by Matt Glanville

An old friend of mine from university is working on a new game and the least I can do is help support it and spread the word. I studied alongside Matt for three years and he always had imaginative game ideas. This is one of them.



Check out his development blog @

http://luminesca.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Pipe Shrine Sewer Scene - UDK Final



I am calling this finished as there isn't much more I can do to improve it. It came out pretty well and looks a lot better in motion. I uploaded a video here so you can see what I mean.



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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Pipe Shrine Sewer Scene - UDK 02



More progress on the sewer scene. I've changed the design slightly to a Storm Overflow System. This makes more sense design wise and saves me having to redesign completely.

Textures are all temporary at the moment and most of it isn't UV mapped properly. I also added caustics which obviously looks better in motion.

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Monday, 7 February 2011

Pipe Shrine Sewer Scene - UDK



While applying for jobs I've started a new UDK project to improve certain skills such as Z-Brush, lighting, composition and modular modelling.

This is my progress so far. It's still early days and I've already received lots of feedback.

You can follow my progress on: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80495

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