So the Honours project submission is this friday, since I’m superstitious and that would make it Friday the 13th I will be handing in my project on Thursday the 12th, this will probably be my last entry before then so I better make it count!
Finally the application on the iPad is finished, tested and all written up in my diissertation. The feedback has been very positive and with only minor cosmetic things to change its all going very well :) My dissertation (2nd draft) is done and sent away to be looked at by both of my supervisors so its all very exciting. I have also posted some in game screen shots in the ‘progress artwork’ link to the right. These include the storytelling aspect and the colouring in game.
As we have only managed to create one game within the iPad I have created a number of mini interactive videos to demonstrate the interactivity which I will load onto the iPad in preparation for the degree show :) Also I need to make a short video of the application to hand in for my honours as well as the project file as an .exe will not work on a PC as the buttons only respond to touch screen commands. So far this week I only need to write up some ‘read me’ files for the submission, organise all of my artwork into folders, make a video of the application, get all my documents printed and organise the rest of my folders :) seems like a oong list but the tasks wont take too long and hopefully will be finished by the end of tomorrow night!
Throughtout this honours project I have learnt a lot from working within a team and also from working with an international company. I feel that my professionalism has expanded and also my patience with others has been improved as you don’t always get what you want, when you want all the time and sometimes you have to wait on people finishing other projects. This project was the perfect thing to get me ready for the real world, although it was completely professional it means I have a years experience leading a team, working towards a brief for an international client.
I’m at the stage now where the application is done,it’s been tested, the second draft of my dissertation is done and sent away to the supervisors to get marked. I feel like I am missing something and that TERRIFIES me! I am going to sit down on Monday and organise everything into folders on a disk so all I need to do is add to that(hopefully not mush more to be added) and then burn it on the Thursday for submission.
In one week today the entire honours project will be done which is so sad, no more running about daft in whitespace and conducting impromptu yoga classes to ease off the tension in the muscles!
As far as dissertation is concerned all that is really left to do will be changing anything that my supervisors suggest and sorting out my bibliography, then I can start to organise the degree show and paint my lovely tower that keith made me :) Also barbie needs more extensions and I need to get my hands on a Ken doll some way or another! It all seems to be coming together nicely and the fact that I am so calm is what is worrying me. Only had one major freakout this year and although it ended in tears it was the one and only :)
I think this year I have learnt how to cope much better under pressure and also to accept advice/critisism from others. I feel that I have grown up a lot and can act in a professional mannor, even though I still mess about a wee bit when I should be doing work! This year has seen me change my goals in life and also how I have changed as an individual. I feel more confident about going out into the big bad world and working in a proper job, rather than just a pub. This timelast year that would have scared me so much but this year has helped prepare me for that. Working for an international client has contributed to it also :)
Finally my application is very nearly finished, the coder is just working on the last couple of bits and pieces. It should be completely finished by Friday so I can start my testing to see if it is actually any good or not. Once thats done I can start writing it up in my dissertation and that will be my final chapter! Speaking of dissertations my first draft is completely done (minus the project write up) and its already been seen by my supervisor so I’m off to make lots of changes to it today and I need to add some images into the appendix and also a list of ALL the childrens books that I have consulted for the project and also ALL of the interactive storybooks, which is a lot!
I’m eventually filming my application for the show reel today so I can edit all that this afternoon :) and see if there are any other little bits and pieces to get done for the application ie sprite sheets for special effects and rewards etc. so that will hopefully be the last bit of art to do, its so exciting to almost be there and at the degree show. I also have to paint my 2m high tower for the degree show, and get the screen saver together but thats just a case of importing and exporting in flash or in premiere/final cut. Need to find out how to get the screensaver on ALL of the computers being used but thats next weeks job. As well as testing my iPad next week as well to get all my results I’ll just be ambushing people in whitespace and at work!
On Saturday we got the chance to show our iPad application at the Future of Gaming conference in the McManus Galleries Colections Unit, so we got some really good valuable feedback where we can now go back to the client for our final presentation and say we have done this and how we would change the application, given more time! So that’s where I’m at right now….dissertation being worked on….project pretty much done….testing next week….screen saver being put together very soon :)
By our meeting tomorrow the programmer should have managed to get all the cameras in place and the 3d tilt working. On top of this the colouring in/painting game should be almost finished if not completely finished. On an artwork side the models/textures are all finished and the lighting has also been completed. My scene (the exterior tower) that I I have been working on recently has just been finished today, the textures look much nicer now that they are lit and a bit higher quality. There is updated images of this on the artwork page to the right.
Once the prototype is finished I will film it for the showreel and also start to do my testing on it by showing people it and getting them to answer questions on it. Hopefully this can be started by the start of next week, and I can write up my results in my dissertation. The dissertation side of things is going well as the first draft is done and this week I’m spending a lot of time looking it over and fixing all the things that need fixed. Also I need to write an abstract which I will be doing on Thursday.
As well as working on my own stuff the showcase stuff also needs done, the screensaver is getting worked on by me, bruce and martin. I have done the first of 2 or 3 animations. I chose to do the robot waving and its not quite done yet but I have uploaded a video onto the page to the right. I will also try and animate the robot walking or dancing in some sort of way but that will be done next week after everything else is done.
I also have to speak to Keith about building my tower for the degree show, once it is built I will have to find somewhere to paint it, hopefully I can just do this in whitespace instead of dragging it up and down the road to my flat.
It’s so hard to keep on top of things these days, especially the old blog so this update may be rather large.
So dissertation wise I have 5000 words written, obviously this needs cut down, rearranged and mixed up a bit but its there on paper and I finally feel I am getting somewhere :) The last chapter still has to be written its all about target market and the devices and applications that are out there already, mainly the devices though since I have written a lot about applications in previous chapters. After finding all my quotes for it I’ll start writing, its kind of exciting writing it and finding loads of things that you never would expect. I always expected children to find interactive narratives more interested and engaging but through all my masses of research I found that this isnt always the case! I found how important it is to research everything cause you might get all confused half way through when you read a whole bunch of stuff that is so conflicting to everything you have written.
Our prototype hasn’t made much progress since the Disney presentation cause we haven’t had the right software in Uni and my free trial has run out but we have accquired a mac laptop thanks to my dad on Wednesday so another free trial has been downloaded so basically we have 30 days to finish this prototype in time for my degree show and submissions and the final Disney presentation to Julie. We have some new features to try to implement so this week and next the programmer needs to get everything programmed and then we can work on making it prettier :)
I have learnt loads about team management and design and have totally fallen in love with it, as much as I have moaned this week about lack of sleep, writing stuff, meetings and organising stuff I actually love it after all.
In the past week we have managed to get together a working prototype, fully textured and lit models in maya, a sound track for the game and characters and examples of all the interactivity we would like to have in the game. Oh and also a script of the scene we are doing. PHEW! a lot of work for one week but it all paid off in the presentation to the client on Friday and she was really happy with all of our progress that we have made since the last time she was here and even used the words ‘almost up to industry standard’ which is absolutely amazing to us!
We are all still working hard and Sam should come back to us this week with a list of assets he needs for the game and if we have the right software on the computer in uni so we can update our application here, since my trial period of Unity has run out :( I should have a video of the application working by next week to send to the client, the degree show people and to put up here so it’s all really exciting!
I have started working on case studies for my dissertation, today I have written my one on Jack and the Beanstalk and tomorrow I will hopefully write one up on Alice in Wonderland then I can start on the rest of my chapters and have a pretty good outline of my dissertation and will feel a whole lot better abut it…HOPEFULLY!
Also getting to work on the website and interface designs for the degree show although it seems like a bit of an extra headache at some points it’s important that it all looks and works well together so we can all show off our stuff to the best of our abilities.
This week has been so ace for progressing, despite having to shell out 60 bucks for an Apple Developer ID. We have models in place for our storytelling app which should be textured by the end of this week and then it is just looking at the lighting to make it look magical :) I added a ‘progress artwork’ link at the side of the page of uv mapped models and a textured tower model. not only have we managed to get the models imported into unity and built onto the iPad we have managed to implement the 3D tilt function that was required and excited the client. There is a presentation on Friday the 11th of march where we will present all our progress to the client! It will be the major big boss that will be presented to so it is so important that we make sure all the important bits are shown. The research, artwork and prototype will all be shown to the client by myself and another team member.
As far as research and dissertation stuffs is concerned i have a couple of case studies written up on interactive stories vs traditional storybooks with a cross over into films (the film bit is tiny and not that important, will probably get cut) As well as this I have also written my introduction so am starting to finally get my head around all the written bits and pieces. although until the 11th of march I probably wont write anymore as it is such a big presentation. I also wont try and be fancy and make the presentation in flash in case something goes wrong, that would be embarrassing!
Crit week is also next week! so morning time I will be presenting my dissertation and project work and then afternoon will be presenting to the client, which will just be the project side. I will hopefully have a video put together of my project very soon and will upload it here :)
I realised it has been quite a while since I posted an update on here, no excuses other than my memory :)
Sorting out my team has become a priority for me, all team members now know exactly what they are doing and when they have to do this for. I think within the team this has made everybody feel a lot better and as if we are moving forward. By tomorrow night we should have the prototype on the iPad and then we can start implementing our own assets and designs.This week I have been modelling the environment and designing the menu system for the application which should be completed by Friday, Monday at the latest.
As far as research is concerned I definitely need to do more.This week as well as modelling I will be looking into interactive toys for children and reading reviews from consumers and industry professionals to see how people think they work and how entertaining that they find them. I’m heading up to toys r us again soon to play with some interactive toys and take notes on them myself, to get my opinions and how they can be implemented into my own project.
As well as all of this I am part of the interface group for the degree show, this will be made in flash but we cant really get going with this until other people have designed the look of it and we know who will be on what computer etc.
First official submission of 4th year tomorrow so I thought I should post an update. All my research, inspiration and concept sketchbooks are now done and I can move onto sorting out my proposal. I still have to organise some emails and sort out some problems my team is having, but we’re getting there, slowly but surely!
After this weekend I can finally start on the fun stuff and actually do some proper focussed art work :) I have uploaded some work from my sketchbooks in the links under my smiley face ——>
Finally I have all the written bits at least drafted up! Just need to sort out my proposal but I’m leaving that for a few days :) Production Document is now completed as well, ended up writing a bit too much but I got there in the end!
I’m just about to upload some of my research sketchbook onto a different page so you will be able to see it from the link on the right —-» :)
Other than that I’m working on getting all the ends tied up and then start working on a few flash interactive animations for our presentation to the client in January, as well as that there needs to be a massive design document put togetherby me from everyone elses design documents to send away to the client. Its all getting there slowly though. By the new year I want to have all the written work completely finished so I am happy with it and my sketchbooks for concept development done by the end of this week. So that in the new year I can focus on my flash interactions and working on some bits for the prototype.