Archive for the ‘Self Initiated Project’ Category

So now that the self initiated project is over and done with, I want to address several key things, especially the way I handled the workload and how I seem to have lost my way with it towards the end.

Firstly, I was way too ambitious with my project proposal. Wanting to model and texture an entire cityscape in a certain style was way too ambitious considering I had a very limited set of modelling skills going into it, but on top of that I feel that I always take on more than I can handle and this is the reason why I tend to fall back on such escapes like writing a back story for just about everything, even if a back story isn’t even necessary in the first place, as I did in this project when it came to creating the Corporation buildings. I created two Corporations, gave them names and a basic back story so that when it came to creating their headquarters, I would be able to visualize it instead of just going into 3DS Max and getting on with it, because I could have easily created a lot more work if I had just gotten sat down, focused, and worked my way through the models instead of sweating the details.

The second thing I really do need to address in regards to the project is my lack of management skills. I planned initially to create either a timetable or some sort of organisational chart so that I could write down and record my project from week to week, setting myself targets and getting on with the work that needed doing, balancing it against the Client Project, which in the end seemed to take up the majority of the time, while the rest of the time I was dead in the water worrying about the research side of my project, and the written side, instead of once again getting on with the practical side, which was actually the more important side to it. In the future whenever I undertake a project like this again, I will make sure that once I know what I am doing, before I go anywhere near anything such as research or modelling, I need to sit down and create a time chart for myself and force myself to make notes of what I need to do and make lists so that each week I can tick off my progress and move onto the next step. This might also help me keep motivated and focused, as these are two other concerns that I have when it comes to my work, I can keep working for a while, but then I become unfocused and tend to switch over to doing something else and leaving the work that needs completing half finished in order to pursue something else. It’s unprofessional and I intend to spend the summer working on my attitude towards my work so that I can go into the next year ready and willing to just get stuff done.

On a more positive note however, I feel that as a 3D modeller, while I am still learning and improving upon my designs, I have actually improved a lot from when I first started the second year and especially the second semester with the return to the Client Project and the start of this Self Initiated work. I have picked up a number of different modelling techniques through the help of other members of the group along with searches on the internet if I need extra help with anything and I feel that I am slowly coming along to be a half way decent modeller. The downside of course is that I need to work on my texturing skills, as even though they have improved to a slight degree, they are still a long way from being adequate and so I need to spend more time just modelling and practicing, making sure I don’t get side tracked from my goals in the future.

I think that for the next time I have to do a project like this, which will be the case in the third year with my Final Major Project, I will be putting the work in over the summer to make sure I can drag my skills, motivation and focus up to adequate levels so that when I do go into the third year, I am prepared and ready to just sit and get on with work, instead of getting side tracked by the slightest thing. While I certainly aren’t happy with the way my self initiated worked out in the end, I have found many things that I can work on and improve upon and so this should help me progress as a designer in the future as I intend to act upon the feed back that I have recieved.

Corporation Memorial








I’m not really sure where I was going with this, it started off as a simple box and I really just started to see what I could create. I wanted to create some sort of memorial wall or another type of large memorial thing in commemoration for the Corporate forces that lost their lives in the early in the struggle for world dominance. This render however isn’t really something I was working towards and I feel that it would take up more space than anything else as it’s quite wide and has a slight curve to it. It might serve as something else later down the line, but I think that it might be better to just create something else.

Corporation Building








This is the first of my three Corporation headquarters buildings. It isn’t the best design I’ve come up with for a Corporation building, but it certainly stands out and is rather striking in the backdrop of the city scape. While I have yet to texture the building, I find that this is probably my favourite one so far, mostly because it isn’t really a conventional building shape and with there being two doorways on the top floor of the building to the roof, which I might alter so that it only has the one exit and a helipad instead, so that there is a sort of CEO access through the roof, or maybe I could rail it off and put a roof garden, although this is less likely as it is a Corporate building and would be void of such things.


Advertising Stand








This is the first of the advertising stands that I will be placing within my game level. Simple yet effective in design, I can place this in several places around the city scape I am designing, replacing one advertisement on the screen with another as I go along, so that there are several different advertisements for users to view as they walk along.

I say that this is the first of the advertising stands because I plan on creating two or three more of them, depending on how far I progress with the other buildings that I need to create for the level, as there is quite a list and time is rapidly running out.

Generic Building 1








This is one of the first buildings that I created to go within my project environment. It is meant as a general building that will have many different fronts on it so that it appears to be many different buildings, including a computer repair shop, general goods store and maybe even a small pharmaceuticals building. This building will make up the majority of the level, with a multitude of different fronts on it, along with altering the length of the building, so that it works for many different functions within my city design.

There have been one or two problems when making this building, as I wanted to make a generic building that I could work with and alter so that I had different texture maps for it so that when it came to importing multiples of the building into the level in the game engine, I could just make materials of the textures I created and then drop them on accordingly, populating a small portion of my level from the start with this one building. However, what I didn’t take into account was the fact that while this was at first a good idea, I found that I actually needed to make different shaped buildings with a texture on each of them and that this one building wasn’t going to get me through the majority of my level design.

I also found that I aren’t actually very happy with the design of this building, as it tends to look really boring and it stands out when it is in the game engine, so I think it is time to go back to the drawing board and create a new set of buildings so that I can offer some variety within my level design and so that it actually looks like a city scape instead of my attempts at making a city scape with only a handful of buildings.

Going into this project, I decided that I wanted to use Unity to create my environment, with models and textures being imported from 3DS Max. I wanted to do something different to what we are working on in UDK with the Client Project so that I could expand my toolbox of skills with programs, plus I have an interest in Unity as a program to begin with, dabbling with it for periods of time over the years without really making much headway till now.

So going into this project without much knowledge of how to operate within the game engine, I needed to look up tutorials on how to create terrain and make a layout that I could use for my project. I found several threads online in the Unity official forum, these threads offering advice and plenty of links to videos of how to create terrain, ranging from Beginners classes to Advanced. Here are a list of links of tutorials that I found while searching the internet. – Creating Terrain for Beginners – Creating Terrain for Advanced Users. – Terrain Editing Tools within Unity. – Importing Models from 3DS Max to Unity.

I’ve been wondering about the layout of the my map within my project for some time now and it was becoming a bit of a problem as map design is not one of my strong points, but it needed to be done. Then I got to thinking about the theme of the game and what that entailed. Of course the game is Cyber Punk themed and so technology is incorporated heavily within the theme, and then it hit me, why not have a city mapped out in a similar fashion to that of a memory chip.

So the above image is a memory chip, with the major parts of the chip in place and the bus lanes all in place as well, showing that it is a complete and working memory chip that I can use as a reference image for me project. The bus lanes I could use to design the streets layout of the map, while the major parts of the chip can be used as reference points for the buildings, or at least the major buildings of the map, with smaller buildings building up the rest of the level.