Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Ludum dare 26 results

Here is the link to the winner, saddyl I didint get placed in this one  :(

I'm happy i got to play with an OUYA and got it running to an extent.

Theres always the next one!
This the next one is a mini one and it on this weekend and tis the 42nd one so thers a duglas adams theme. Gona be buisy at the showcase though , unless there is a quiet day and i can knock someting out at the expo. :P

Sunday, 19 May 2013

End of Year Presentation Criteria

A quick look at the student honors hand book and find what the presentation has to say/ be about.

Oral Presentation:

The student speaks clearly and confidently, and fully describes the work carried out during the session. 

Project outline :
The student outlines clearly a set of aims and objectives that comprehensively detail the entirety of the project work. Any deviation from the originally-planned project is detailed and discussed and an excellent and convincing rationale is presented for the change. 

Presentation of work: 

The student presents comprehensive and coherent work of excellent quality, which clearly demonstrates the trajectory of the project and the student’s authorship of it. The student delivers an excellent critical review of their work and demonstrates excellent critical judgement in the selection of material shown. 

Q&A :

The student responds very well to questioning. It is clear that the student has anticipated possible lines of inquiry and is able to deliver a robust response to all or most questions. 

So show aims and objectives, say if u stuck to them or deviated and why.
Show the best of the stuff of how i got to the end and then review the project as a whole.
Il mention ninja kiwi job , game jams and creative loop award too.
And speek clearly.
Dono how many slides this will be :P

And the key sucsess is ...
a lucky bowtie

Friday, 17 May 2013

Backface culling in Blender renders?

I want to get a nice high res image for promotional purposes and all of the characters use a scaled inversed mesh to create the outline. 
This is not a problem in the game engine as culling is turn on by default, but in the rendered its turned on .
With the latest realece of blender (2.67) It now comes pre-loaded with the freestyle plugin which allows easy editing or outlines for render. but i like the way that some of the outlines look and don't want to invest time in getting the outlines to work with freestyle.

So did a quick search and found this thread :

It starts off with onone knowing how to go about this but then the answer come up in the form or nodes.

Fist tick zTransarency on the material then click use nodes. 
open the node editor, 
create a geomitery node and plug the Front/Back vector into the alpha input on the output node

Render and your done :D

Heres an images with all the options highlighted in red that you have to change:

Im posting this to help people and for my own reference later on when i forget how this works.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Pencil updateweb version coming to (OUYA)

So iv handed in Dissertation its time to start the slides, but i wanted to revisit the Ludum dare game as the unity3D version  was soooo un-optimized. I took last night and this afternoon to mess with the code and see if i could fix some stuff i didnt want to during Ludum in case I broke the game.

Heres the link ot the latest web player version:

Updates to the game:
Mini Map (As a few uses requested this feature on ludum [easier to do than i though it would be])

I changed the text whilst playing to say Distance and then show the number

I stripped out the code for movement and started again , and now it controls like a tank and its nice and smooth.

I changed the drawing code to not draw when your not moving 

Removed the jump

Enemies randomly spawn(making every play different)

Demoved some debig log statemtns and some print stuff from some scripts 

Stopped checking every frame on ever eney blob where the player is and then changing the player pref several times,(sped it up quite a bit)

Delete the drawn line after your are far away from it. 

Kill the enemies after an amount of time

Other stuff to do:

Controles and instruction screen

Animation for when the blob gets cought so show where you went wrong

Hard mode where your blob can get blocked by your own line and you need to use the erasor(realy hard, implemented in the blender version for a while bit it made things far to hard)

Limit the enemy spawner to not spawn directly infront of the blob as that is unfair.

Fix the enemy push bug that they just float off into the distance.

test ways of killing blobs , (circling them, works thenow as there time just runs out)(add death animations)

And after all that get it working through the proper ODK (OUYA Development Kit) and publish to the store for free :D

Have fun playing it and post your high scores if u realy enjoy it.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Everything is submitted and here is the Final Game!

Submitted the honors project and professional practice modules today , working on the dissertation now.
Good luck everyone.

Also here is the final game:


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Final Post before Hand in

This should be my final post on this blog, It will almost centinly be the last one before submission. 
I'm orgonising the files for hand in as I'm trying , (waiting for stuff to copy) 
Hope nothing gets missed out  :S

This has been a long year and I have learned a lot and am now set to go into industry. It seems like soo long ago I was working on the Pop art Whaam! test adn now its the end of my final year at uni. 

My job at Ninja Kiwi should start on June 10th, hopefully things will go there and I'l be making games with them for years to come.

Till then I'm looking forward to the showcase, see everyone there.
On the 24th - 27th May 2013

Heres the trailer 

Public Speaking

Back when I was in school i remember being terrified whenever i needed to talk in class or do presentations.
But through my time at collage, University and Dare Plus I have gotten a lot better at public speaking. 
I am still rubbish when it comes to aquard questions as everything i say has been rehearsed a few of times before the actual event.

I gained a lot of confidence bingin the Lead artist for my group project in 3rd year. Having to talk to Outplay about the games art style and assets helped me overcome the star stuck part of my problems.

And dare plus helped me practice and focus in on what needs to be sed. 

My presentation style is thick and fast.
I find it hard to talk about a single image for a long amount of time so my slides have minimal things on them and I talk through what is on the screen. I don't read off of the screen because of my dyslexia and nerves make me worse than useless at reading. The only real breaks in my presentations are when a video is being shown. When videos are shown some time you can just be quite and let the video do that talking . 

All that being said I was invited to talk at the next Pecha Kucha talks in Dundee, volume6.

I thin its on the monday before the showcase, so i get to plug it at the end of the presentation.

the format is 20 slides for 20 seconds each , In this 6 minits and 40 seconds you can talk about whatever you like , and im gogin to tlak about NPR in games and a little on my honours project. 
The high school me would have been soo terified at talking on front of this many people but now im more exited than nervious. :D

Il link it when it goes live online but the hand in will be before then.

Showcase Preperations (Interface)

This post will be about getting the stuff ready for the showcase.

As I said before, I'm sharing a booth with Sam. We meet up and decided whos on what side, 
I'm on the left and hes on the right.

(It would have been cool to have the image of the project the full size of the pannel)

When we first got the interface layout we didin't like the way it looked so we did a couple of edits and tested that we could get stuff working.
Its easy enough and i can launch my game from it as well as loading videos and images. 

Things to include

screenshots of each style:
-standard house

-pop art

-water colour



-Possibly a couple of images showing the inspiration for the style ie , Scott C / Lichtenstein, with a comparison between the original and a screenshot from the game. This one might change...
Maby a contact page

-An image containing the critical framework.(might cut this page to show the 2 examples above, or add 4 more things)

-The video collage of all the tests from semester 1

-The final Game play video of The Art Collector

-An images which when you  click it it goes to the game, (Click here to play if its not on show, or something like that)

The interface loads 5 thumbnails at a time and i have listed 10 items so it will neatly fit in 2 rows.

i might add some more images of tests from semester 1 with comparisons to the origonal artwork
like this :

You'l all just have to wait till the show to find out exactly what slides are picked.

Friday, 10 May 2013

In the Loop (Creative Loop Award)

A whole back i Mentioned that i was working on the game a lot to get it read for the hand in for creative loop. 

Well that award ceremony was last night . here is the link to the no-monies.

The category I enterd was called :
"Best use of interactive media/apps/computer games"

I was up against -(all teams from abertay, so it was friendly compotition)
"Into the Sky"(10 man team)
"Constructs"(9 man team)
My Entry was 
"The Art Collector"(1 man team)

And ... I WON :)
This is my lucky month and I now have 2 lucky bow ties.

Here is me on stage accepting the award (Photo by Deborah Chapman)

 I'm sure the video of the awards will be up soon and il link it then.
So at my booth at the Showcase on the 24- 27th of may ther wil be an award wiining game on show :D 
I think i might put the award up on the wall too.

Heres the page with all the winners:

Also congrats to Francis Morton for her award winning animation , again from abertay.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Quick meeting with Ken Learning contract

Getting to the end of the semester and looking over the hand in specifications. Need to right a learning contract and get it approved by supervisor before hand in. So wrote a fist draft this weekend and showed Ken today and he thought it was ok.

Here is the learning contract so far might change a little before hand in:

Learning Contract

Module Code: AG1084A 
Module Title: Honours Project

Student Name:  Alastair Low
Student Number:  1002864
Telephone Number: 0790 606 96 20
Email Address: lowtek@hotmail.co.uk

Project Title: Emulating traditional 2d art media in a real-time 3d game engine.

Project Aim: Explore the methods of achieving a variety of traditional illustrative styles in a real time game engine through a deconstructive processing of existing artworks, followed by a reconstruction of the key elements which are unique to the style.

To emulate traditional art media in a real-time 3d game engine from an artist perspective.
Deconstruct key elements of existing 2d styles
Reconstruct Styles using 3d Techniques

Major Tasks: 
Research and Identify Non Photo Realistic techniques.
Test methods of achieving Non Photo Realistic techniques.
Create a critical framework to quantify an example’s successfulness. 
Create a simple story to contain the art switching in the art styles and implement successful test findings in a single final game project.

Submission Deliverables: 
Final game and source files, test files and source files, project blog, dissertation, learning contract, project diary meeting sheets,

Blender, Photoshop, Audacity, blender 3rd Person Template, blender artist
Signature of Student                                                                                      Date

NB The assessment of the Honours Project module AG1084A will be based on the material stated and agreed with your supervisor in the submission deliverables section of the Honours Project Learning Contract, which must incorporate the mandatory submission requirements stated in the brief. You must ensure that any changes to your Learning Contract are agreed by your supervisor. You must ensure that the latest signed-off copy of your Learning Contract is handed in, together with the appropriate submission deliverables as listed on the Contract, by the due hand-in time and date. Failure to do so will mean that the last submitted Learning Contract will be the definitive agreement upon which assessment of the handed-in deliverables will be based

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ninja Kiwi

I think this should go under Personal development Portfolio.
Earlier this year I updated my website to be ready for job hunting at the end of uni. I showed the site to Lynn and some other people and they said it looked good.

Here is the link:

However Lynn said my CV needed work. With some help from here it got upgraded and can be found here.

After this i heard about the position for  3D modeler in Ninja Kiwi, a local and not so local games company.
I applied and got sent out an art test pretty quick.

The brief was to make a flower and make it dance or move in some way

Fist I made this on the first night :

But it looked a little cheep and crappy so i started redesigning.

And came out with this

I felt a lot of these things worked with the flower design and the link to Ninja From Ninja Kiwi.

and here is the wire frame.

They liked this model and then I got an interview which went rely well. I found out they used blender and there company is really awesome. Then a few hours later i got a job offer :D

Things couldn't have gone any better.

Small changes

As i said in a previous post I had a meeting with Lynn and she said to change a couple of things , how i have.

3D sound:
I figured out how to make the 3D sound work in blender, i remember playing with this feature a while ago but couldn't find the button when looking for it this time.
Looked up a tutorial on it and it said the option wont appear unless the .wav is a mono track.  So take the sounds i need to be 3D into Audacity and split them to mono from stereo  load into a test blender file and it worked, the further away from the object the louder or quieter it gets.

Paintings within paintings:
All the paintings within paintings are now screen grabs from the house, and the perspective of the paintings you are in .

Again these were 2 things i initaly thought about doing but have just put off till now.
There in the beta 2_3.