Friday, May 2, 2014

Fool's Journey - Refined

Just turned in all DFA work today. Here's what I've got...


Model Sheets:

Hero Assets:

Color Roughs:


Saturday, April 26, 2014


I just got news that Fool's Journey was approved as my senior thesis!

You can find my presentation explaining the pitch right here.

This is my final animatic:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fool's Journey - Updates before final faculty crit

Iterating non-stop on my animatic. We had to reshoot the audio. Some of my own shots could be better but ah, the struggle is real.

One thing I can say for sure is I am SO glad I went for the GDC panels on directing voice acting because that made the whole process go by SO much more smoothly!

Shoutout to Kanra, Death's voice actor, for putting up with me to make sure we get the clearest reading going!

Change log:
Used a cut instead of zoom at 530
Logo added at the end
Cut to door closing (eliminated her walking towards the door)
Hold on electric chair
Cut one frame out and held longer for shots before electric chair 1583 1660
Updated VO to match character more + more instances of "calm down"

Add another shot exploring sequence (possibly ladder switch)
Add map HUD for 960 and 1290

I mean technically probably more than that but those are THE main concerns. I will likely also update the security camera hud. A simple "REC" feels so lazy. I'll throw in a few more lines or something.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mock Crit - Fool's Journey

Current state of my animatic for Mock Crit:

Still got a few notes to work on for final faculty crit:

- pose and bike jacket changes age and confidence, consider making more vulnerable
- cut instead of zoom at 530
- need logo at end
- fools slowly looks up ... needs to replace
- add another shot exploring sequence
- add tint of blue  to water 1319
- cut to door closing
- hold on electric chair
- hold on some frames a little longer 1583 1660
- add mask to tv noise
- use VO cue and hud element to clue in "calm down" is game element
- 1256 mess up the ladder sequence  ... having to change ladders
- use the opening sequence from non-linear montage

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fool's Journey - Assemblage Trailer

Here's an update on my animatic

Tried a different storytelling type but it still needs dialogue to tie everything in. Besides the whole "nine hours" thing.

I still have the linear segment, will update that next, since I already have all the shots. I just need to fix them up in the time line!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Character Update

Here's the current look for my hero asset:

3/4th view
3/4th BACK detail

Still have to finish the back view, btu that's the current detail on the back of her parka.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ten Principles of Good Level Design + Cognitive Flow

After reading Dan Taylor's "Ten Principles of Good Level Design", I decided to make my own ranking for these principles.

  • 25% Creates Emotion 
  • 15% Driven by your game's mechanics 
  • 15% Fun to Navigate 
  • 10% Efficient 
  • 9.5% Constantly teaches the player something new 
  • 8% Empowers the player 
  • 7.5% Tells the player what to do, but now how to do it 
  • 5% Does not rely on words to tell the story 
  • 3% Surprising 
  • 2% Allows player to control the difficulty 
I’m pretty sure we have all realized by now that the weight of these factors is heavily dependent on the intent of the game. It is important to keep in mind why do players play and what do they want? Generally speaking, it’s a mix of seeking challenges, dynamic experiences, bragging rights, emotional payoffs, exploration, and fantasizing. All games create emotion-- whether or not they intend to-- so I’m putting a heavier weight on that. I also feel that the emotion created tends to tie into just how empowered a player feels. Actions are driven by emotions, most often than not.

Level design being driven by mechanics makes overall sense-- even when the game is more of a story-driven one, such as The Walking Dead Game. This should have an impact on how fun it is to navigate a level. Whether this is because of the layout itself, the way in which mechanics are implemented around the map, or even the amount of enemy encounters and their difficulty levels; it is important to note that players expect direction to positively influence immersion.

It’s a bit difficult to categorize some things but I think maybe more emphasis should be placed on teaching players something new. While I believe that empowering the player is important-- empowering them too much can be plain awful and make for a boring gaming experience. Take the Assassin’s Creed series, for example. I often found myself becoming too OP semi-early in the game...which only made for a tedious experience once I got to Revelations and it was already too much of the same thing (usually once you master counter-kills in an AC game, the game is instantly 60% easier in terms of combat). Part of this could definitely also be attributed to playing as Ezio for 3 straight games. Again, too much of the same thing-- especially in a game where I’m expecting to play as different ancestors and was marketed as a triquel. But that’s another thing entirely, I guess.


Now let's do the same for Sean Baron's article on "Cognitive Flow"

  • 35% Have concrete goals with manageable rules 
  • 30% Only demand Actions that fit within a player’s capabilities 
  • 25% Give clear and timely feedback on player performance 
  • 10% Remove any extraneous information that inhibits concentration 
I’m basing my rankings on player expectation. Players expect direction inside a consistent world. They expect to understand the boundaries of the game world, and sufficient direction in order to accomplish a task incrementally. Players expect to be given fair chance at survival, although they will always expect setbacks (otherwise their want to be challenged is not met). In accordance to that-- players also expect to not have to repeat themselves needlessly or get hopelessly stuck. Players’ expectations of their gaming experience is practically never-ending, but it is important to note that they don’t always know what they want, but they WILL know when it’s missing.