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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Gender Neutralism – A Dialectic inquiry

This is a video where I discuss gender neutrality and heteronormativity, particular aspects such as marketing, what it is now and how it’s changed over time and its implications. While also discussing heteronormativity and it’s relation to games, I delve into my opinion on why gender stereotypes should be a thing of the past. I believe that everyone should feel free to be whoever they want to be and express and create things free from pressures of ideologies formed and forced by society. While this video is only very short in comparison to the amount of issues, opinions, facts and examples at hand, its purpose is to bring to attention that we are all ultimately equal. We have the power within us to reject existing stereotypes and inspire others to do so as well. As a creative practitioner in game’s development, my creations have bigger implications other than amusing whomever consumes it. As a practitioner, I hope to create pieces of media that aren’t forcing characters or players ideologies of characters that reinforce that we can be categorized into gender roles or stereotypes.

Warning! A Drawing of female genitalia is present 2:33 – 2:40.

Until next time –

Nic

 

Bibliography

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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

2D Sprite Sheet – Slicing

Studio 2’s second game is what will be a 2D walking simulator (with a jump button) that flows through 4 emotions. We have an animation collaborator Macauley. He’s making our character sprite and animating it through sprite sheets.

I’m really new to 2D. Art based 2D anyway. I’ve always just used assets I found on internet and unity’s asset store. Because we have an artist with us who is making our character and using sprite sheets. I needed to learn how to make it animate. Do its stuff.

Ash Jagath was close enough and had experience with this before. He showed me the ropes and basics of 2D sprite sheet splicing. I could go into detail about how – but unity pretty much has it covered. We are also using a 2D character controller I found online. It already has an Animation controller set up with it – So all I needed to do was – when I sliced the animations correctly parse them into the controller.

animation-controller

Animation Controller

idle

Idle

For some of the other animations – such as the jump, there were to many frames leading up to when the jump actually happened as opposed to when the character actually left the ground. This was partly our fault for not telling the animator that for the game, the jump would be instantaneous. But I edited which frames were being used for the jump to make it more instantaneous.

jump

Jump Shortened.JPG

Until next time –

Nic

 

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in 2D, Animation, Game Dev

 

The Ride – Post Mortem

‘The Ride’

Download link: Itch.io.

the-ride

What:

The entire intent of ‘The Ride’ was to try to convey some of the beauties of how it feels to ride a road bike. Overall for just over a two-week creation process I think it’s a pretty darn solid effort.

How:

I intended on constructing this game as if someone else was in my shoes – Someone that might have never had the experiences I’ve had, or the emotions I’ve felt on various occasions. This wasn’t just put someone on a bike and make it move forward and lean. That part needed to be mechanically sound but still needed the polish to make it feel real.

Majority of the game was about actually riding so this needed to feel right. Right enough for player’s to feel the flow – without the real world repercussions to having a heavy machine beneath you. Having the camera positioned in the right place above the seat, the speed of which the bike lean transitioned from side to side.

A very big part of trying to immerse player’s and really give them a sense of being there was to literally make them ‘Kit Up’ and put them in a simulated situation. I reached out to collaborators early to try to get them on board. Their skill sets would be vital to feel the part.

I (roughly) modeled the bike based on my own FZ6R in about half a day’s worth of effort.

Bike progress 2.PNG


Bike Gear – Peter Buck: Blog Link.

Bike Gear.PNG


Audio: With the exception of one song (Eleven8 – The Colour Of Distance).

All audio inside of ‘The Ride’ was recorded/generated/edited by:

The sounds of the bike gear in the garage and the bike audio itsself was recorded from my actual bike & bike gear.

As the players continue to pick up pieces of gear the playable characters movement speed increases. It’s to signify that as you get closer to riding, you feel enlightened and empowered, ready to be free. A small decision that makes a big impact is putting the helmet over the camera when the player has put it on. Makes the visibility quite the same as (but not as dramatic as) having a helmet on. Along with the sound of the footsteps going from: Having a dull no-shoe wearing thud. To when the boots are put on and changing the sound to the actual sounds of my boots hitting the ground.

helmet-floorhelmet-on

Switching from placeholder primitive shapes to properly sculpted bike gear makes it apparent that you are literally kitting up with bike gear ready to ride. The sound effects that Ash, Chris and Johan made really hone in on that extra polish feel to put the player in the The Ride.


Once on the bike and when the bike audio has played – you are ready to ride out of the garage. I wanted this to be the moment that the player’s saw the garage door opening notice the beauty that lies beyond. From here the game has been in greyscale – It’s definitely not to convey sadness or any dark meaning but only to make the flow of colour feel more enriching. The moment that colour starts to decend and the bloom kicks in is to reveal the beauty of what it’s like to ride on a day like the one outside of the garage.

The Ride - Colour Fade In.gif

Have you ever driven on a road that has trees running parallel to it? Perfectly spaced trees which it makes your inner OCD cry with joy? Which makes it feel like for the duration of that stretch – as long as those trees are zooming past, nothing else matters? Absolute serenity.

Straight Road With Trees.jpg

This is what I wanted the initial road to be and what it became. Beyond the trees just needed feel like an open field of nature. Away from the busy construct that is the modern-day.

Straight Road.PNG


Eventually venturing into more abstract concepts to take them away from the reality that is earth. Make their mind and body feel as if this wasn’t its usual place. Into a tunnel that starts from being realistic and gradually changing into a weird tunnel that feels like you’re entering a wormhole – before being spat out into a never before seen nebula.

From there it was a matter of giving the player more space to flow from side to side. Make it a little bit more abstract by adding a few bikes riding either side that follow the exact same movements. Let them soak in the atmosphere, before bringing them back to the realization that although you are on a road and you feel as light as a feather and flow like a river – You are not alone. There are dangers – you to them, and them to you.

Until next time –

FeenikxFire

Nic


SPOILERS

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Game Dev

 

The Ride / Vestige Similarities

So studio 2 is about creating games that aren’t mechanically heavy. And because that’s what I’m used to focusing on, I thought it was about time I found a game that tries to invoke a different experience.

I’m in the process of creating a small personal game called “The Ride”, where I’m trying to replicate and express (on a small scale) how it feels to ride a road bike. It’s not going to be to the quality of, for example: GTA V – but focus more on freedom, flow and beauty.


I played a few random games here and there where the title was the only clue as to what that game might have been trying to convey – some were great, but some were completely off the mark of what I wanted to convey. I wanted The Ride to a positive enlightening type of game – not focused on a negative/sad emotion or memory. What I ended up finding was practically on the exact same lines as what I wanted: An easy going, aesthetically beautiful soothing experience.

I found a little beauty called: Vestige. It’s a simple atmospheric walking simulator. And that description couldn’t fit it better. It’s literally about walking through a well crafted little landscape to view some ruins (and as I did: appreciate the environment).

Vestige Title.JPG

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Without the description I think it would still have an easily decipherable design intent. The way that the landscape is constructed guides the player through the landscape and presents a series of ruins that gradually increase in size as you venture further to the main ruin.

As soon as I launched the game: what set the tone for me was the background music – or in this case the ambience. The gentle background sounds that makes it feel like this is a soothing, relaxed, free area.

Everything from there just solidified the experience – The walk speed, the camera look speed, the particle effects, sun rays, the light but tasteful colour palette, the simple but consistent art style. This is exactly what I want ‘The Ride’ to be. Although it’s not trying to convey some deep and meaningful experience like ‘End World Hunger’, neither is ‘The Ride’. It simply says “Here I am, walk on me, soak in the atmosphere, feel what I am”.

What stands out to me – and what I can take away from Vestige and put into practice with The Ride is:

BGM: The background music really sets the tone and pace for the game. Along the same lines as Vestige – but less environmentally accurate and more mood setting. Soothing, enlightening but power and motivational feeling.

The light colour palette makes the area feel so much more bubbly and enjoyable.

Also like what The Ride will be: replicating a feeling real life environment. But I’ll have to end up using post effects to really enhance the visual aesthetic to make it really pop and feel more beautiful. Give the player something to look at, and a reason to look.

There’s a few other little ideas that sprung to mind whilst wandering around Vestige – many audio and input feedback related.

Until next time –

FeenikxFire

Nic

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2016 in Games