What's Next?

It has been quite some time since my last post on this blog. A great number of things have happened since the last time I updated the page. This blog was once dedicate to my college thesis, though having graduated college quite some time ago, it will now serve to update the world on any new personal projects I may be working on.

That is precisely the reason for this post!

I have several passion projects in the works, some further along than others. There are two remarkably different video games early on in development (one a retro 16-bit side scrolling platformer, and the other a potential VR game), as well as a short film I've decided to dedicate my attention to creating. I have contacted several talented friends to partake in this journey with me.

These projects have been designed to test me creatively and provide an environment suited to learning new skills and polishing others.

   Above:   Sketch, initial sculpt, refined sculpt, first polyurethane foam pull (it's soft and squishy!)

Above: Sketch, initial sculpt, refined sculpt, first polyurethane foam pull (it's soft and squishy!)

The short film will require not only typical video production skills, but also illustration, traditional clay sculpting and molding (for a creature puppets), digital sculpting of 3D environments, and of course design.



Final Thesis On Display

The game demo created for thesis was finally displayed yesterday. Here are some pictures from the show. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy playing the game and that makes all the hard work worth it.


Tweaks and Additions

The coding for Elder Gods: Atlantis is on track to be completed by Monday afternoon, according to developer Mayur Prajapati. Implementing more visuals and tweaking animations is the next big step for the game itself. The parallaxing background has been implemented (not shown in video) and the display is almost completed.

Looking forward to seeing the completed project. It is definitely coming together in a great way. Mayur is also excited. This game is going to function as a demo for a bigger game we hope to complete.

Logo progress and Environment

The logo is nearly complete, with four options currently being critiqued. Character animations have been added to the controls. The character has also been placed into the environment sandbox.

Next steps are to add enemies, activate the parallaxing background for depth, complete the logo and continue work on the display.

Character Progress

The character controller is now working and the code controlling the in-game gravity is active. The character is able to walk, run, fly and swim as of now. Some of these capabilities may not be present in the demo, but the long-term intention is to complete the game and to include all aspects of the code. I'm currently creating more in-game assets along with further sketches of the display. The display is nearly figured out. The logo is still being created, with the variations getting more focussed on a final. Next steps are to finalize the display design, get the logo as close to completed as possible. Along with those we also need to camera tracking activated and get the level more fleshed out.

I was fortunate enough to discuss character archetypes and story-telling with Michael Dougherty, who wrote X-Men 2, Superman Returns and Trick 'R Treat. He gave a lot of great insight on the formulation of a story.

Below is a video of controller and gravity testing.

Enemy creation

Some of the smaller enemy designs are nearly complete, with land mass and the HUD having been completed in a basic form as well. More land is necessary and the hud needs to be worked with more. The physical display work has started via sketch. The next steps will be to further these pieces as well as continue with the logo.

 Main character next to a basic enemy as well as a orb for health

Main character next to a basic enemy as well as a orb for health

 HUD and environmental example

HUD and environmental example

Walk Cycle Progress

Progress has been made on the main character's walk cycle. Environmental work is still being done, with the level having been mapped out further. Enemy designs are in the beginning stages.

I am going to continue working on the environment as well as the enemies. I need to start designing my kiosk and continue work on the logo.

Elder Gods: Atlantis

A steady amount of progress has been made on my thesis project. The game, once 'Project Tempest', is now 'Elder Gods: Atlantis'. This title refers to both the subject matter of ancient gods and the overthrow of an old power as well as the title of the ship the Annunaki use as their base on Earth.

Some new graphics have been made for the game, with bits of the underworld having been illustrated. Development has also continued. We seem to have found a way to possibly use 2.5D instead of simply using 2D. Development on collisions have been furthered as well as the artificial intelligence of both the main character and the enemies.

The next steps are to continue the game components for the environments and then further progress on environmental hazards and the game's control HUD.

Character Progress

Because of Directions, One Show and other obligations that were more pressing, my thesis project was mostly put on hold. now that my time is freeing up slightly, more progress can be made.

Since my last post, basic development has begun on the game. The character is being rigged and coding is being implemented. Currently impact coding is being plugged in.

The search for proper mentor for the subject matter being presented within the game has been not only cold, but frozen solid. The game is loosely based on the Ancient Astronaut theory and, because of this, some of the most prominent people to chat with would be the cast of History Channel's 'Ancient Aliens'. I have attempted to contact several of these cast members with no luck as of yet. I will be looking elsewhere.

My next steps will be making progress on more of the artwork and design. Some of the environment will be crafted next.

Progress on Project Tempest

Currently named  "Project Tempest", my thesis video game now has a full story and plan behind the functionality. Factors may change as time goes on, but overall I am very happy with where everything currently stands.

The game is to be based on the ancient astronaut theory, playing on the concept that humans were in contact with extra-terrestrials long ago. The game follows an Annunaki who was booted off of his Vimanna, Atlantis (Mount Olympus to the Greeks) and uses technology to save ancient civilizations from other technologies that they don't understand. He may use a flying device called the Icarus or a mining machine called the Hercules to progress through levels in a mining chamber. As he rises from the mines (the underworld of cultures around the world), he becomes a man of legend, with myths being spread about the technology he used (he is Icarus and Hercules, for example).

Here is the first piece of art about our protagonist.

Nintendo, Mayur and $1k

After having a Skype conversation with Mayur Prajapati regarding my thesis I decided that the video game concept was worth exploring. We discussed what our final goal was and how we planned to reach that goal. A demo of the game would be created for the thesis show using the Unity program and we would run the demo from the WiiU system to a flat screen TV.

Unfortunately, after some research, we found that Nintendo requires you to use a special CAT-DEV development kit to demo games on the WiiU. This kit costs over a grand, an amount of money which we do not have access to. A call to Nintendo is to be made today, asking what our options are. The company is typically very accommodating to new developers and they may allow us to lease a CAT-DEV rather than purchase it in full.

If this doesn't work out, the game could be released on another system as unity runs on Playstation, Xbox, WiiU, 3DS, iPhone, Android, Mac and PC. Our reasoning for releasing on WiiU was because, in addition to our love of the Nintendo platform, there is a lot of opportunity to lend third party support through independent games. Another option would be to code the entire game in HTML5, which still needs to be discussed further.

Greetings, Thoughts & Thesis

Hello! As my first blog post I'd like to cover some thoughts regarding one of the biggest things happening in my life at the moment; my CCAD senior thesis. I've been letting my mind run wild with ideas I may enjoy covering, many of which I'll share in this post. I'm a little mixed up as to what direction I'd like to go with my project, but I would love to make it big and enter some personally unexplored territory. Lets begin with some of my ideas, shall we?

 Could our religious and mythological history be a misrepresentation?

Could our religious and mythological history be a misrepresentation?

1) Mythology & Ancient Cultures
One thing I enjoy researching in my spare time is mythology and the ancient cultures from which they come. An interesting theory that I think would be fun to explore is the idea that ancient gods and deities were actually biological entities from outside our world. This theory claims that figures such as Zeus or Poseidon are not just ancient myths, but actually historical accounts of what citizens witnessed long ago. One way to explore this theory in an interactive setting is via the use of video games. Although I have never personally created a video game I think that, now more than ever, they can be a great method of storytelling. I, along with my friend Mayur Prajapati, are currently able to put any game we create on the Nintendo WiiU as we have been accepted into the developer's program. Mayur would be involved in this project as the developer, using Unity to create the game, while I would focus on making sure the visuals are working to tell the story. For thesis we could make a short demo of a level or two with an intro video explaining the basis of the game. A decently in-depth outline of the story this game would tell has been created and this outline will be posted if this idea is furthered.

Other areas I would be interested in exploring are:


2) The Seven Deadly Sins
I would create interesting representations of these sins and explain them to those who may be unaware of these interesting figures. There are various different ways to tell this story and the options are almost limitless. Could be a very fun project to tackle. This is definitely one of my top choices.

3) The History of Visual Effects in Cinema
Cover the evolution of practical and 3D special effects in cinema and how it has changed the medium and our world.

4) Unplug
A cause which aims to help with digital addiction and promoting a digital detox.

5) Fandy (Working Title)
Create and brand a business that sells fandom-related candies by teaming up with 3D sculptor Ashley Tatman.

My next step is to narrow down my options and to meet with instructors about my thoughts.