Friday, 15 October 2010


Here is a super example of Architectural Projection, the piece uses a challenging clocktower as the basis to show off its history and working with the forms. I love the section from about 5:40 onwards where the 'brick' pixels undulate beneath the other elements - wonderful stuff.

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo

Plus this is an interesting portrait video!
Oh and we should look at another projection on the UNSW buildings, one like this that plays with the forms of the surface.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Levelling through a course

This idea comes from Lee Sheldon at Indiana University, who gives experience points as students progress through his Game Design course from level 0. The notion of using all this gaming parlance from XP, raids, quests, levels, monsters and more suits the course very well. That said the effect of the change has been improved student enthusiasm and performance in the class and takeup of the idea in other areas like business.

The Gaming the Classroom blog is a central resource for the idea, check out the most recent postmortem on the class with comments from both staff and students.

Here is a slice from the Syllabus:

Grading Procedure
You will begin on the first day of class as a Level One avatar. Level Twelve is the highest level you can achieve:

Level XP* Letter Grade
Level Twelve 1860 A
Level Eleven 1800 A-
Level Ten 1740 B+
Level Nine 1660 B
Level Eight 1600 B-
Level Seven 1540 C+
Level Six 1460 C
Level Five 1400 C-
Level Four 1340 D+
Level Three 1260 D
Level Two 1200 D-
Level One 0 F

*Your level will be determined by experience points (XP) on a 2000 XP scale. You gain XP by defeating mobs, completing quests and crafting.

· Solo: Craft your own game proposal. (Written, 50 pts.)
· Solo: Present your game proposal to the class. (25 pts.)
· Solo: Sell your game proposal to the class. (Extra credit. 25 pts.)
· Raid: Guild reading presentation (75 pts. each person, 1 of these per guild)
· Pick-Up Group: 2-Player reading presentation (150 pts. each person, cannot team with fellow guild member) OR
· Solo: 1-Player reading presentation (150 pts. but easier than above)
· Solo: Craft 3 page report on MMO article (Written, 75 pts.)
· Solo: Craft 3 page analysis of MMO-based research topic (Written, 100 pts.)
· Solo: Craft 5 page analysis on MMO of your choice (Written, 125 pts.)
· Solo: Defeat Five Random Mobs (5 written reading quizzes, 250 pts. total, 1 extra credit question per quiz)
· Solo: Defeat Level Boss (Midterm Exam, 400 pts.)
· Guild: Paper Prototype Presentation (50 pts. each)
· Guild: Craft Final Project: Video Game Concept (Written, 400 pts.)
· Solo: Class attendance (300 skill pts. total, 10 to start. 290 additional pts. at 10 pts. per day of attendance)
· Extra credit for early completion of final proposal (10 pts./Monday; 5 pts./Tuesday; see calendar)
· Solo Camping: Glossary Building (Extra credit. 1 pt. per entry. 50 pt. cap per player. First come first served. Each mob only spawns once.)
· Group: Peer Review Secret Ballot (Extra credit. 0-100 possible XP as follows:

1. Guild Leader 100 pts.
2. Raid Leader 75 pts.
3. Solid Guild Crafter 50 pts.
4. Needs Rez 25 pts.
5. Leroy Jenkins 0 pts.

Grading is rigorous. Spelling, grammar and punctuation must be proofed. Points will be deducted otherwise.

cool huh.


I have just started reading Jesse Schell's The Art of Game Design. I am having fun so far, though I have only read the intro chapter which lays out where the book is headed. With my Moths vs Butterfly project perhaps headed towards being an actual game environment and not just a setting with a plot, I am going with Jesse on the ride.

Sooo, I though I would blog about the book as I go here. One of the interesting aspects of the book will be the Lenses - essentially "The lenses are small sets of questions you should ask yourself about your design".

Here's one video of Jesse Schell talking about gaming, the future and our society - see also Schellgames for more.

(I love that idea of levelling through a uni course - very clever)

Fabled design

I havent played the earlier instalments of Fable, but looking at the videos and trailers below for Fable 3, they have created a rich and intriguing world. What is interesting for me looking at the imagery is the effort that has gone into the costume, equipment and building designs. The VillagerMaker is a web system to design your own villager who you can then include in the game you will play. This is a clever idea, there werent too many options but they include both physical and personality traits.

Here are some screenshots showing off the costume and environment design work and then some cool vids (run chicken run):

[Fable 3 screenshots via the official site]

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Moths vs Butterflies Concept 3

Here is another 2D concept piece to try and flesh out some more of the Moths vs Butterflies world, its characters and the now a little of the feel of the forest and the lighting. Here we have an over the shoulder silhouette of a Moth character with the Butterfly warrior in flight.

Here is the WIP sequence again that shows how it came together.

Gnomon Student Work

The Gnomon School of Visual Effects has been the source of some quality DVD training resources over the years. Students in their programs or individual courses clearly are creating wonderful pieces of digital work. The Gallery, Reels and Best of Term pages showcase the student work being done across all aspects of digital creation.

Gnomon Student Gallery Sampler

[Student images from the Gnomon Gallery]

Gnomon Student Reel Sampler

Essentially this is pure inspiration, showing what students in similar programs to my MDM can achieve and this spurs me on to really deliver for Moths vs Butterflies in CryEngine3.

RT Scripting Vids

Gawaine1066 has himself a cool YouTube channel that shows off a set of scripts he has worked on for real-time engines like Unity. Having tools that allow people to create things like this is one of the exciting things about these engines and the software we use to generate content for them. Have a look at the cool deformers, trees and racing game videos he has up.

I like the visual representation of the controls at the end of the car rig video - cool.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Force Unleashed Trailer Goodness

With Star Wars Force Unleashed 2 almost out for players, we all get to enjoy the trailers. Since the Betrayal cinematic there have been others and here we get the Darth Vader version, revealing more of our main characters and how things piece together - plus just look at all the force powers! This trailer is about gameplay, but still looks gorgeous and with an iOS version we can see it run on iPads I presume as well as more serious platforms...

Creepy Cuteness

Here are a suite of coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) images of various insects/bugs and they are incredible (Gallery the site). Appreciating the complexity and ingenuity of these tiny creatures is something we dont get to do all the time.
Since I have been doing the concept work on Moths vs Butterflies, this is of extra interest - but check out the awesome maggot, it is just so so cute and ghastly at the same time...

[coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) images via the Telegraph Photo Gallery]

This is just s small sample from the gallery and the site has plenty of other electron microscope images to admire as well.