Progress and London
Although generally I didn't want to write weekly posts as I wanted to keep blogging for important updates and reflective pieces however paradigms are shifting so fast at this stage of the project that it's almost necessary.
This week started with being us being lost in the ether as usual, cognitive dissonance an old antagonist of mine returning in full force, reaching the stage that things need to start to take form, I felt that we were afraid to make decisions, any decisions in fact. This was crippling our processes as not being able to set any definitive basis for design work essentially generated arbitrary patterns. Aka "the game-play will look like this because this could work, because maybe this'll be a nice way of handling it" This wasn't working and I sat down with Ella and we concluded that any direction that can lead to experimentation and generation of design work is better than nothing and thus we set a path, transitioning from a darker approach to something more uplifting, something with a lighthearted feel. This can now influence the ambiance of the game, the art style, music and general narrative decisions, this can always be changed later as long as we have a clear idea of what it actually is we're attempting to define, that being the game in general.
In the mean time, I decided the best way to create a cohesion of sound was for us to all start creating soundscapes, after all a game that uses music as an essential medium should have a soul. I gave everyone roughly an hour to assemble some tracks that they liked or made them feel something and then we went to a different studio and spent hours listening to them and talking about them, getting an idea of how we connect to music, how Ella's imagined potential music tracks, how I love romantic Piano and how Bernie generally doesn't express through actually music but more the lyrics and what it means in a literal sense. After this I created a YouTube playlist that everyone could access and suggested we keep adding to this for the rest of the project. Here's what it sounds like https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2MKbq3klfeBSXzL1-UHQRSCzm9YE4rRG
We also went to London this week. Firstly to visit UsTwo studios, the creators of Monument Valley, not only do they have a beautiful studio it was great to talk to some active creators in the industry, with insight from Programmers, artists and designers it was a helpful talk and at least helped me feel that we're going roughly in the right direction. As well as some helpful comments in regards to portfolio structure as a 3D artist and employment techniques. After this we visited the V&A game's exhibition. There was some great stuff here that was very useful including original design work and notes from developers such as Naughty Dog on the last of us, Fromsoftware's creation of Bloodborne and great sketches from Journey's development. This inspired me especially in regards to the develop design work from Bloodborne, using grid paper to concept levels in an almost Minecraft fashion and white box iteration in 3D is amazing and certainly something I will add to my workflow.
This week I also created a style compendium, a book that is comprised of hundreds of images that I will use to create an art style and inform style elements such as colour, after creating this I got some feedback from the team with elements that they liked, things that work well with our current designs and guides for potential future prototypes that I will work on over the Christmas period. That wraps up this week, next week will be busy as well, the last week before we break for Christmas means we have a lot of work to get done, we're also in London again next week visiting more studios so that should be interesting; until next time.