Saturday, 28 August 2010

Squaresoft Town

From the pages of Polycount, here is a beautiful CryEngine piece by Cycloverid, aka Justin Kenneally. Check the Polycount thread or Justin's blog for more info. Essentially he took inspiration from a piece of Square-Enix concept art and created this playful image with its clean feel. Seeing how well the CryEngine presents a more cartoony look is great - this is a style that I really relate to.


[Squaresoft Town by Juston Kenneally via Polycount]

Friday, 27 August 2010

Crysis Rick Roll

Following the CryEngine theme a little longer, here is a piece of machinima by Veli showing off the character and animation capabilities. Pretty fun little video that shows a stunning degree of control and skill. His creation thread makes a good read, just because it is chock full of stunned people amazed at the quality of this little piece of work - wonderful animation and reference lighting etc.

Crysis 2 Art

The might of Crysis 2 is inching closer and closer. There is some more artwork from the design/dev team released which keeps me enthused (see there for the high res pics). I like how the web allows us to see all this extra content around a games creation.


[Crysis 2 artwork via incrysis]

Thursday, 26 August 2010

MvsB Weapon sketch and thoughts

One more sketch for MOTHS vs BUTTERFLIES for today showing how the different character for the two races translates into their gear.



---

Here are some thoughts on how the MvsB world pieces together and the narrative structure might wind up.

Narrative involves the growing realisation that they should work together against a common threat that they each blame the other for. Protagonist is rejected by our own race, band with other like-minded lepids from both sides to defeat the threat and bring both sides together in peace.

Threats - assault on their habitat - 'humans' though not stated.
Something that can actually be defeated or worked around
Introduced invasive species
Mutant plantlife - source is a human waste - giant putrid pipes to the lepids
Plant kills the native plants, strangling vines, several types of noxious spores
One type of spore effects the minds/behaviour of animals - think zombies.
Spiders, beetles and such are cool antagonists as well.

Some anti-dogma stuff in breaking away from elders superstitions and ancient texts
Message about our environment is good.
Solution to the threat created by bringing skills/knowledge from both races is important.
Narrative would work the same way regardless of which side is chosen to play - this reveals that the problem is common, just revealed through different perspectives.

Game
Apart from an adventure narrative game, the world allows for a pretty nifty combat game whether FPS or RTS style. Maybe the game requires teamwork between both races to complete (2 player co-op)
Machinima
'Revelation at the Ruins' could work, hiding, scouting, thinking, then the reveal and the change.
Environment
Realtime world to explore in sections, each revealing more of the world. Maybe this is the trailer for the FPS/RTS game itself.

Lifecycle : What part can this play, are the caterpillars cool to play as well?

---

Sound - this should be fun (if challenging) with hopefully two sound/musical themes for the races which bled together to make something even better. Best analogy I can think of is the Big Band and Rock number, 'Dancin', from Xanadu, with 6 minutes of leadup to the final merge of the two songs (youtube vid)

Moths vs Butterflies Concepts 2

Here is that sketch of the Moth for MOTHS vs BUTTERFLIES with some colour added. These arent dead-on yet, but they are solid.

Game Engine Power and 4A

Checking on the performance of the ever improving array of graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA is often done by seeing how they cope with various games or game engines. Games push these cards to the limit and every now and again the games we use to compare cards evolves. If we look at NotebookCheck's chart there are newcomers joining the staying power of Crysis. Popular games like Starcraft 2 are there, but Metro 2033 is the first to add a scary red bar to the chart for a while.

Metro 2033 was created by 4A Games using their new 4A Game Engine. It will be interesting to see if the engine has legs. Engine details on Eurogamer and video of the engine features. Here are some trailers all created within the game.





Plus a few screenshots:

[Metro 2033 screenshots via the official site]

---

The HP8740w machines we have been getting in FBE lately for the graphically oriented staff sport the 3800m cards which fair very well in this list given their leanings towards openGL performance etc - cool.

AR Gameboard

The link between our mobile tech, gaming and more traditional board games has loads of potential I think. Here is another example presented (at the Uplinq 2010 Conference) by Unity CEO, David Helgason who with the Qualcomm guys created an Augmented Reality version of a more traditional iPhone game. See the video of the AR Unity3D demo (embed player is too annoying)

---

If only Unity 3 were here for me to play with already - or should I go Cryengine...

Architectural Projection Mapping

The idea of using grand building facades as projection surfaces is a pretty neat idea and the logic of that screen creates all kinds of interesting ideas. When in France recently we didnt have time to stay for the show at Chateau Chombord, I am not sure if it lives up to the amazing work in he videos here, but would have liked to have found out.
Anyhow, there is a great blog post on FuelYourCreativity which draws together some stunning examples of Architectural Projection Mapping, which take the largely 2D facade surfaces and create living 3D graphics effects on a grand scale. Buildings around UNSW have had projections on them at various points as well, perhaps the time has come for us to have an ongoing setup on our building - bringing it to life each night for a period. It would make an interesting canvas for student projects.

By way of inspiration have a look at these few vids:

Battle of Branchage from seeper on Vimeo.


KraftWork from seeper on Vimeo.


ACDC Vs Iron Man 2 - Architectural Projection Mapping on Rochester Castle from seeper on Vimeo.

---

As well as Seeper, check out the work of UrbanScreen.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mirrored Clouds and Mirror Cubes

Inhabitat does a good job of bringing design news to me with the environmental bent. Here are 2 recent Architectural designs with their fair share of cool.

---

First the MirrorCube treehouse hotel room, one of a set of individually designed hotel retreat rooms in the Swedish woods. The Treehotel features other rooms like the birds nest and blue cone. I really love the mirror idea, a clearly very man-made creation that feels so technological and futuristic, yet it sits so divinely in the landscape - reflecting back the nature all around. The design of this room is by Tham & Videgard Architects which should be applauded I think despite criticism for possible impact on birds and cleaning etc. This from their site "To prevent birds colliding with the tree hotel, a infrared film, visible for birds only, will be laminated into the glass panes." which also sounds pretty clever. See the official site for more.


[Mirrocube images via Inhabitat]

---

MAD Architects have designed a new museum for Xiamen in China which again features mirrors, this time on an amorphous cloud structure standing high above the ground below. I am liking this boom in China, that we are seeing some innovative designs coming through, far beyond any basic needs. Though the images dont illustrate the solar panels and green landscape to occupy the rooftop, the whole thing is another interesting mix of extreme high-tech and communion with nature and the environment. See Inhabitat article for more.


[Metallic cloud museum by MAD via Inhabitat]

Pixels

Have a look at this stunning animation/effects short by Patrick Jean and OneMoreProduction. Pixels cleverly brings together an array of very clever 8-bit computer game visuals and city film work. I have watched this over and over now looking at how it may have been done, I would love to be able to create something like this. The taxi dissolving into 3D pixels is beautifully crafted - love that bit.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Moths vs Butterflies Concepts

Today I set about exploring some more concepts for Moths vs Butterflies. Here is one of the sketches with a quick colouring done for a Blade-Maiden Butterfly. I was working on enhancing the differentiation between the 2 races and making sure the Butterflies are more blade-like in their armour, wings and equipment. I havent coloured the Moth version - should go up tomorrow.

These versions are 2 armed vs the 6 armed previous ones as I test this approach. They feel less cluttered which I like, their silhouette is looking the part.



I am not sure if MvsB will take over for the major project I am working on, but it does have some conceptual legs.