Crunch crunch crunch
So the last several weeks have been hectic, As we near the deadline for the semester (At the end of the month) Naturally things become more stressful, although I'd say I'm still pretty positive all things considered. Since returning from the Easter break I've worked through several major elements of the project. I tackled several large tasks, primarily the character modelling and the character animation. These felt like monolithic tasks and honestly I'd probably been putting it off until now. Fortunately I had Bernie working on Character models and he creates very nice character meshes which in turn makes animation easier. At the beginning of Easter I cleared my schedule and began getting to grips with animation, I wanted a more effective way of modelling and I'd understood that 3DS CAT rigs (Character animation) Would be a time effective way to achieve animations for 5 characters as lots of animation elements can be saved, reused or procedurally generated. This was a large time invested and relied heavily on me being able to understand the workflow and utilize it effectively to generate humanoid animations within a short time period, With the volume of work left to do after Easter I couldn't really afford to not get the hang of it looking back retrospectively, Fortunately I figured out character posing and animation layers that allowed me to work on multiple animations and queue them on one rig. Naturally 3Ds max hates anything remotely complicated and crashes at any available opportunity however this is unavoidable at this stage. Within the first week of coming back I managed to model and create the basic animation for Piano man. Since then I have been able to create 3 animations for the player character and rig both the flute and brass character. I have also figured out how to animate a mesh and then add additional meshed afterward allowing me to rig and animate meshes that aren't yet finished, this speeds up the pipeline between Bernie and I.
In my Downtime I've been working on Visual shaders. Working on things such as Water shaders for the violin town and pseudo Volumetric light for the flute tree-houses, although there are other things one could argue are more important, I sometimes want to diversify my work to allow me to stay interested and prevent burnout. When I haven't been working on the game I've been working with Ella to finish the website, although far overdue it's making very good progress and is nearly ready to go, I've also been collecting B-Roll footage for our documentary. I have also been posing and texturing environments to get visual screenshots of the game for promotional reasons. Over the weekends I've been working on modelling the tower level, several times actually, I wasn't happy with the original layout of the whitebox as I didn't think it was a very inspiring final level. After 8 iterations and failed circular layers I finally had a working layout that I was happy with putting in the final game.
Making a game really is a full time position. We still have a long way to go and the mountain of work never gets smaller as we inch closer to deadlines, generally I think my biggest concerns at the moment in regards to the game are how everything will be paced and if it'll "feel right" But we won't know until testing, something we can't do until everything's in the game. My other concerns are is my documentation process, I haven't complete anywhere near as much as I'd like and that could potentially pressurize the final weeks that I wanted to dedicate to the game, but time will tell. Until next time ~