Many ideas, stories, and discussions later, the latest alien invasion story passed all the requirements set by both animation and games departments. But, there is never a lack of drama. As I mentioned in the blog last week, the animators were asked to come up with a gameplay breakdown. This however clashed with what the games department was doing as a part of their game design document. So, the gameplay we made was thrown to the bin. Hours wasted. The time that could have been used for animation related projects. This shows the importance of communication or the lack thereof.
Back to the game or story or whatever we are doing. Yes, concept design. After quickly clearing the mess from the small clash, we, the animators were asked to come up with the concepts for the characters and the environment. That was day one of week 3. The rest of the class that day was used for concept designs. Christan, my co-animator, came up with a lot of weapon designs and I did some basic environments.
I was very excited at this process. We had to come up with three designs for one human and an alien. We split the work and started as soon as possible. One the second day, we showed the designs for feedback and approval. I did two environment sketches. I but was clueless about what level of detail the environment required. Since this is my first time working as such. In the production unit last trimester, the task was handled in a different way. I was more involved in the story than in the art department.
None of the concept designs were properly approved. The environments were completely missing the character that the concept required and the characters looked too similar. We were asked to redo most of the work. Again this is constructive criticism and from the critical thinking unit, I know this will help improve my work a lot. So we have to redo it.
All this time, in the third class, the game’s class, where we are learning about Unity, the game engine software. Correct me if I am wrong, I am still very new to unity. I knew that it is a game engine like Unreal. But like our game story, there is more to it. After the first two classes, I knew what my role as an animator is, in the games industry. I still have mixed feels about it. But again, only time will tell. So this week, the game conference E3 had started. Most of the big name game studios had announced their triple A titles. After only talking about the roles of animators, we finally got a better understanding of how the techniques that we are being taught is applied in a game. The example came in the form of a gameplay video. The lecturer explained all the tricks used by animators and developers to make all the elements in the game world exist as such. The best part is that he answered all of our questions and doubts giving prime focus on the animation part. This session was a great insight into our coming days in the studio as we also did our first import of a 3Ds Max animated model into to unity.