GAM720 week 10:02 Aesthetic Problem

I set out to use this project for experimentation which meant that I could feel free to explore the tools that create videogames without trying to fit this in with my current portfolio.

As time has gone on, the plans for my portfolio have expanded in that I now want to include this project as a game within the Fizhogg world. This is because I feel that it is feasible to connect different apps together to form a collection of games.

The problem is that the connection between the games requires a common link because it is the intention to offer different kind of apps under one collection. The best link between them will be a common aesthetic.

As I began to design Wheels I wanted to connect the exterior world of the live event to the game app. My research led me to the 1920’s Avant Guard aesthetic of Van Doesburg and co and I used this to design the set of cards which would be posted up at the live event and this would be mirrored in the game app.

As I began to model my aesthetic designs in Unity, I was happy with the fairground entrance space because this fitted nicely with the live event design. However, I knew that I wanted to change the aesthetic of the fairground arena to a more papery, constructed style so that I could give a sense of ‘stepping over a threshhold’ into another world. Using a sense of paperyness I could connect the oracle cards within a papery world.

The problem is that I have two distinct styles within my practice

🌑  Paper modelling: This has developed out of my personal experimental work which explores interaction and construction in controlled and uncertain spaces. This presents itself as paper constructed kinetic models and projection screens constructed from watercolour paper and dyed thread constructed using a needle. This work explores personal themes.

🌕 Drawn Illustrations: This is my natural drawing style that has evolved from observing my surroundings and interacting with people in everyday situations. This is ink and water on watercolour paper. The work connects to the everyday, politics and extends towards fantastical world making.

The problem is compounded when I use Maya and Unity as my aesthetic pulls towards photorealistic representation because I am using 3D Models and material mapping which I am familiar with from
3Ds Max Box modelling techniques I learned in 2007.

This is fine for experimental purposes but, as time has gone on I have been thinking about connecting all my app concepts together as a connected world, Fizhogg world and the 3D aesthetic simply does not fit.

To solve the problem, I have constructed a paper version of the arena as a 3D model on my desk. This is a technique used by Aardman when they were trying to figure out how to best use Google Spotlight Stories to create their VR Animated film.

I have also been developing the concept designs for my main characters. These are the ringmaster, the fairground worker and the fortuneteller. I have developed these in my natural illustrative drawing style.

While working on the aesthetic problem, I have also been working on a way in which to connect my game apps. I have revisited RPG game making and interactive visual novel production. This has helped has been useful as I have been able to visualise how I could embed the Wheels app to the Fizhogg world. I have decided that one branch of the Fizhog world could take the player from the centre of the village towards Neville Holt, through a series of branching narratives which all lead to the entrance of the Wheels fairground. This is a kind of preamble towards the Wheels game which is essentially a set of small games that have to be played to acquire silver coins so that the player can pay for their own fortune to be played out as a set of short cut scenes.

So this is complex, and I am beginning to suffer from the terrible affliction that is ‘project overscope’
that leads to ‘scope creep’… Arg!

So… given that this is Week 10, I am being harsh in only looking at what I need to do to produce a MVP.

 Writing this reflection is helping to focus on the essentials that now need to be achieved to the end of the project.

To solve the aesthetic problem, I am thinking back to the webinar meet-up in which it was suggested that I should look at using my illustrative drawing within the arena and use unity to turn the 2D models towards the player.  I didn’t quite know how to achieve this affect but through my RPG research I came across Sorcery which is a digital RPG which was a great example of how to use an illustrative style in a visual novel.

So, although I have felt somewhat stuck this week, I have covered a lot of my SMART Goals.

My smart goals were the following:

🔲Maya modelling and animation
🔲VR Animation (Annecy)
🔲Academic Research

On week 11 we are convering Character Rigging and Animation in Maya. I intend to refine with my character design concepts so that I can work on the aesthetic some more.

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