As I lay in bed ready to sleep post our Mobile / Social Design class, I begin to realize that tomorrow and the rest of this week will be the defining moment of what I am going to get out of my experience here at VFS.
Tomorrow, I begin my day with Programming 2. As I have stated in this blog before many times (or at least it feels that way), Programming is definitely my extreme weakness when I consider everything I have done so far in the past four months. It requires a certain way of thinking that hasn’t quite clicked for me yet, but I am seriously hoping it comes soon. (Oh, what I would give to be Sylar to just understand how things work!)
This week is the deadline for choosing our stream for the next two terms. As mentioned before, they are Game Art, Programming, and Level Design. Currently, I am enrolled in Game Art and Programming, but will still sit in on the Level Design classes. I have done so because as a person who would like to pursue an independent game development route after school, these skills would be the most valuable to me. I also believe that I would benefit the most from having instruction for these two, whereas I could refine my Level Design skills through massive amounts of quality playtesting. Whether or not this opinion of mine is correct, it helped me determine what is most important to me as a student wanting to learn all that I can, and what I want to be capable of doing straight out of school. First Day Value!
My greatest fear right now is thinking about Friday and the possibility that I might actually swap out Programming for Level Design. I just hate giving up on something, knowing how badly I want it. Like I said, I plan to sit in on every class anyway, regardless of the streams I’ve chosen, but I feel like the pressure of being graded for something will help me learn it better and care more about it.
I can’t think about it too much tonight, or I’ll never sleep. Tomorrow is Wednesday, and it’s a full day of class from 9:00am to 9:30pm, starting with Programming 2, then Mission Design, and finishing with Game Interface Design. It actually sounds like a really fun day. And hopefully the coding won’t be so bad.
- Jean ( jeryes )
The title of this post is misleading. It’s not that I didn’t love term two, because I did, but rather, I barely wrote about it during the last two months. Obviously, this is my fault, because no one else is going to be writing in my blog on my behalf, but it was a busy term, and although I meant to do a recap about it sooner, I figured that today, the first day of term three, would be as appropriate of a time as any other.
In a week, we would have the following classes:
These aren’t ranked in any order of preference or anything, just so we’re clear, because Game Art 2 would definitely be up at the top otherwise.
Anyway, this term was our first foray into using UDK for Level Design, and it took a lot of getting used to, especially the one Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut, which isn’t used to save, but rather a substractive brush which we weren’t allowed to use. If it had been me who designed it, I would have left the Save shortcut as is, and done some Ctrl+Alt+A thing so it was opposite of the additive brush, but… I digress. All in all, I ended up with a pretty strong mark in Level Design 2, making a pretty swankified disco ball space station level with a light that changes colours. (OK, yes. I wanted to make a gay level. Sue me.)
Unity 1 was definitely not my best class, though I really wanted it to be up there alongside Game Art 2. Programming is still something I do not fully understand, and it is frustrating to me for that reason, but I don’t want to give up. However, we declared our streams at the end of term (Game Art, Level Design, or Programming) and I chose Game Art and Programming. I have a feeling this will change…by this Friday, because that is the deadline. But I did make my first solo project video game which is fun. A one button game that also counted towards Game Mechanics.
I don’t really have much to say about Game Mechanics, other than it was an interesting opportunity to think about the mechanics that are put into a game, their value for the game, and how you would go about fine tuning everything within the game system so that it is balanced. And ultimately, if it doesn’t work, chuck it.
Game Theory Digital was playing games during the practical sessions, and learning more design choices in the theoretical part of it. 2D Gaming Project was learning new things in Unity. Critical Analysis was all about, obviously, analyzing video games critically. Game Art 2 was creating pixel art characters with animations, learning how to texture 3D models using UV’s, and creating low-polygon art with the help of bump maps, normals, etc… Probably stuff that doesn’t make any sense to you if you don’t know anything about 3D modeling. I would advise you look it up instead of me attempting to explain it. Haha.
Team Management, though, was a very interesting class. Apart from learning what it takes to have a well working team, what it takes to be a great team member and/or team leader, our instructor gave us the real talk about what it was like to work in the games industry and what kind of expectations we should have about it.
Term two really flew by. And here I am, on a break from the first class of term three, finishing off this post. I’m ready to do this all over again after twelve days off. Bring it, VFS.
- Jean ( jeryes )
So it has seriously been a while since I wrote an actual post in this here blog. Let that be an indication to you, would-be game design students, that this program is demanding. And to be completely truthful, I haven’t been working on assignments the whole time I’ve been absent. Oh, no, no, no. On the contrary! I’ve been playing video games because I hardly gave myself time for that last term!
I’ve learned that it’s very important to maintain a healthy balance of school work and your life. Last term had too many nights of staying up too late. This term has been lighter on the homework side, but that’s because we’re working on our 2D games right now!
My group is working on a game that we’ve tentatively titled “Thread”. We really like this title, and it may be the one we keep at the very end. We’re a team of four, with myself being the project manager, and then we have our art lead, programming lead, and audio/QA lead. My team has some pretty rad people, and we’re super pumped for our game.
We’re currently trying to shape it so that everyone can share the same vision, which is essentially my responsibility. I’ll be producing a Game Design Document (GDD) that will contain our vision so everyone stays on the same page. It’s all very exciting!
And that’s just a bit of a taste of what we’re going through right now. It’s late, and I’ve been working on an art asset for the game. Until next time. And hopefully it’s sooner rather than later!
Note: This tutorial was created in 2007 for my personal website. Some small tweaks have been made since then, but nothing too significant.
In this 10-step tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a “sprite”, which is a stand-alone two-dimensional character or object. The term comes from video games, of course.
Creating pixel art is a skill I picked up because I needed graphics for my games. After a lot of practice, I became kinda handy with it, and started to see it more as actual art rather than just a tool. These days, pixel art is quite popular in game development and illustration.
This pixel tutorial was created many years ago to teach people the basic concepts behind pixel art, but I’ve streamlined it a lot since its first incarnation. There are other pixel tutorials around, but I find them to be overly-complicated and too wordy. Pixel art is not a science. You should never have to calculate a vector when doing pixel art.
I figure for anyone looking to create pixel art, this tutorial might be useful!