The pitch happened on Sunday. We were pretty confident in our ideas. After the first team presented. We got the first taste of the feedback in studio. I have to say that it was very similar to what happened in the Production unit. But more serious. The tension was high. The air was tight. We were presenting three ideas. We also had explanations for the art style. We presented second. The coders talked about the game mechanics and the animators talked about the story and the overall plot of the game. After we presented, the games lecturer talked to us about the Artificial elements of the game and the scope of each story.
After much discussion, we were asked to reconsider our ideas. The horror genre according to them was not interesting anymore. The scope was very low. After the pitch, I felt that the role of a story artist is very limited in the games department. The coders had the upper hand. So we had to make a new story that fit the criterion and scope set by the clients, here the lecturers.
We came up with a new idea. I developed the story with the others revising and editing it. Finally, we presented the story to our animation lecturer. He approved it. The mood boards were made and sent to the rest of the team for feedback. The basic plot is that earth is invaded by aliens. Yes, very cliche. But there is more to it. A man’s family is kidnapped and is lured into the alien facility. He fights his way through the ship. To know the rest, play the game. The problem is that the coders always say that the story is not important. But it is, for the animators. The game only shows a part of the developed story. I feel like most of the work that we animators did for the story will be unseen by the potential players of the game. This is a very interesting observation because now I know that I have a lot to learn through the studio unit.
Talking about the simulated working environment, it is very lacklustre. Three out of the nine hours allocated to studio per week is a games class. This is purely my own view of the situation. The Games class is very useful. But it sometimes disconnects us from the work atmosphere. Also, it puts pressure on the mindset. It makes me feel that we lack the full skills for being in this unit. Again, the feeling that animators are below that game students is highlighted. This might change as the unit progresses. The best part of the week is when we get feedback on our work from the animation department. Since I am familiar with animators from the other team, we find it easy to criticize and improve each other’s work.
The new idea looks promising. Next week in the combined studio hours we will have a discussion with the rest of the team. We were also asked to complete a gameplay breakdown after we presented the story to the animation lecturer.