Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Mapping Project

It's been a very long timesice my last post. Now that I have more time, and more will power to work, I'll be updating this a lot more often.

The new project I'm working on is a mapping project. This time round I've chosen to work on something a bit more impressive. An underground bass, with living quarters, shopping, work space, maintenance areas, military zones, the whole shebang. I'm then going to work on a ground level area with a level switch between, Ala Deus Ex. I don't have much time right now, so I'll leave you with a video.

New Mapping Project

It's been a very long timesice my last post. Now that I have more time, and more will power to work, I'll be updating this a lot more often.

The new project I'm working on is a mapping project. This time round I've chosen to work on something a bit more impressive. An underground bass, with living quarters, shopping, work space, maintenance areas, military zones, the whole shebang. I'm then going to work on a ground level area with a level switch between, Ala Deus Ex. I don't have much time right now, so I'll leave you with a video.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Final Project

My final project has changed from a recreation of my previous level, to a completely new level. It's the environment from a game idea I've had knocking around for a looooooooooooooooong time. The premise of the game is that a zombie outbreak occurs, and shit goes downhill from there. Typical zombie story. But this is for an RPG. There have been RPG's which have incorporated zombies as part of them, but as far as I am aware, there are none which are solely based on a zombie outbreak, and nothing else.

The Area of the game I'll be creating is the strong hold area. It's an area of the city which has been deserted, destroyed, and then repopulated and secured, with some buildings be used how they were meant, and others being repurposed. I would like to have the whole city on show, with the surrounding wooded areas, and smaller villages past that, but for my final project, I'll be focusing on just the stronghold area. I've done a little bit of prototyping work already, which may or may not make it into the full level, just to get me back into the level design process, and to work on my architectural skills. I can map pretty well, but mapping theory changes depending on the type of level. Luckily my mappin skills mostly focus on open ended levels, which are ideal for roleplaying in. So this city should fit my skills, and allow me to show them off.

I've already put together a character concept, and I've been working on my level plan in Illustrator. My Level Plan will be printed out as a series of A3 prints, with a print for each height level of the map.I will possibly have another series of A4 prints with the plan of the interiors of each individual building, or at least the main housing block.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh damn it's been a long time.

Even though no-one reads this, I might aswell update it since I haven't done so in like, FOREVER.

Been working on a few projects. My favorite of which being the level design project. As you may know, I fancy myself as a bit of a level designer, and naturally, it really shun through with the level design project. It was using the Unreal 2.5 engine, which I did surprisingly well with considering I hadn't touched an unreal editor in roughly 5/6 years. Once I got started, everything came flowing back. I remembered every reason I loved the unreal engine, all the nice tools, the nice 3D viewport, the intuitive controls, the nice import system. However, all the negative points came flowing back with them. Unreal 2.5 is the buggiest, piece of S**t I've ever come across, preceeded only by the version of after effects we have at college. If you try to manipulate more than one light at a time, it crashes, if you try to compile it often locks up. If you put a light too close the wall, it casts a shadow of itself. Just lots of little bugs which remind me of why I switched over to the source engine. Thank you valve for putting in the time to make sure all your tools work how they should. Epic, you should be ashamed. It's a nice engine when it works, and the benefits outweigh the negatives, but for me, theres no point using it when theres a perfectly good source engine to be had.

With that out of the way, I'll explain a little about my map. I came up with the idea for a adventure/horror game, where you're a curious young man who goes snooping around an abandoned silo in a military base near his house. Upon entering, you become trapped, and have to look around for a way out, solving puzzles along the way and generally pissing your pants. I went about looking around for pictures of a particular type of silo which housed the Titan II missile, which was used in the cold war. I found some pretty cool stuff, lots of pictures taken by people similar to my character, only they didn't get stuck. They showed a very dark, dank underground silo wihch was slowly becoming flooded. It was very atmospheric, and if you were trapped in there, you'd piss your pants, because it truly did look terrifying. Whoever took the photos had some serious balls. whilst searching through the photos, I found some blueprints for the bases, which I took, and based my level plan on. I kept the whole feel of the base, and the way it conencted all the parts, but changed it around for the sake of gameplay.

Realism is something you learn about only through practise when mapping. When trying to recreate a place you've seen in real life, it's better to base it on the place than to recreate it, because alot of the time, it doesn't make for fun gameplay. The plan for the silo had alot of incredibly long thin service tunnels and access shafts which were so thin and low down that it would've been hard to navigate, and harder to enjoy playing through. So what I did, was I shortened down the tunnels, and generally kept most of the features, but condensed them into a smalled area, with a strong overall theme throughout which matched the photos I found. I also gave each area a main feature. Giving each major area it's own distinctive feature help to keep the level varied, and also gives the player a feel for where they are. Knowing where you are in relation to other things is very important, especially in adventure games, because you'll often need to find your way around a puzzle quickly, so giving big visual hints makes this easier.

I very much enjoyed working on the level, and for my final project, I'm recreating the level in the latest version of the engine, expanding the level, and giving it a coat of polish. More on this later... If I remember.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Unit 5 Research

I guess it's time to get my research up onto my blog for this unit. It's not due till Thursday, but I'd rather get it in sooner so that I can finish off my other projects.

Well, first off, the web page about optical camouflage and light emitting fibers which I showed in my presentation has disappeared, and the only trace to it which I could find is in Japanese, That is the front page, which is in English, however, the link further down the page links to a Japanese page, which is a shame, because it was quite interesting, and made up a large part of my research. However, it does show some pictures of the technology being used. The technology basically worked by using very tiny sensors on the clothes the technology was used on, in this case, a trench coat, and they outputted the colours they were picking up on the opposite side of the coat, giving the illusion of being slightly invisible.

This technology was also used in Metal Gear Solid 1, and during parts of Metal Gear Solid 2.

Metal Gear Solid/The Twin Snakes

In MGS and TTS, The stealth camouflage can be unlocked by giving into Revolver Ocelot's torture and clearing the game, where Otacon will give Solid Snake the stealth camouflage. This will allow the player to use the item the next time they play the game. However, if the player endures the torture, Meryl Silverburgh will give Snake the bandana.

Otacon uses the stealth camouflage though most of the game to avoid detection from the Genome Soldiers and mentions having made five of them. The other four are used by an unknown group of soldiers to keep an elevator in place during Snake's fight against Liquid Snake's Hind D and later ambush Snake in the style of the Four Horsemen in the same elevator. Grey Fox also appears to have a built-in version of the stealth camouflage in his exo-skeleton."

-Taken From the Metal Gear Wiki.

Other Technology I looked into was PAN technology. PAN is a technology which uses your body as a transmitter, and can be used to unlock certain things, or start cars, or do things which would usualy require your authorisation through other methods. It can be used in 2 forms, an implant, or a small device which is carried close to your body, like a card. When you go near a reciever near a door, or cash point you wish to pay at, or whatever, it will perform the neccesarry action.

Copy Pasta:

What is IntraBody Communication

The term Intra-Body-Communication or BodyNFC describes the data exchange between stationary or mobile devices using the human body as a conductor or capacitive area. Influencing the body with a separate modulated capacitive field, can provide an IntraBody detection or interaction.

The biological properties of the body is used to transfer very low currents or to change the capacitive body field.

Devices equiped with IntraBody or BodyNFC can exchange date bidirectional, by the use of the modulated currents or fields. They have to be conneted or to be carried on the body or operate close to it

Apllication fields are :

  • Detection
  • Identifikation
  • Interaktion

Only the identification requires an active BodyNet or IntraBody Transceiver. The Detection and Interaction can work in a passive mode, there is no transceiver necessary.

There are different synonyms used for this wireless communication, based on capacitive fields. IntraBody Communication (IBC), Personal-Area-Network (PAN), Human-Area-Network (HAN), Body-Area-Network (BAN), Human-Interface (HI) oder Muman-Machine-Interface (HMI) are some of it.

The above was taken directly from smartNFC's website. The Metal Gear Series uses the same technology in the form of a card carried close to the body, to open doors.

I then looked into Rail Gun technology. Rail gun technology is much more simple than it seems. You have 2 metallic objects, a barrel(or rail), and the ammunition. You pass a current between them, and a magnetic field propells the object outwards at an incredible speed. Railguns have been available since WW2. In world war 2, they were typically much bigger than the ones in use today. They were rail mounted, and required 2 powerful rail engines to pull them. Todays ones vary in size, from huge cannons uses on battleships, to relatively small ones the size of cars. The technology has been advanced somewhat, and has produced working handheld deviced, although they use very slightly different methods of achiveing the same effect. These are called coilguns.

Rail Gun Link Here, I would've copy and pasta'd it like the rest of my research, but there's too much to put up here without it becoming a mess. In Metal Gear Solid 1, Metal Gear REX has a rail gun mounted on it, which was quite large. In Metal Gear Solid 2, a character called Fortune carries a Rail Gun, which despirt being quite large, was still a weapon which could be used by hand, and carried. This shows how technology moved on between the games, as it did in real life.and how instead of the media influencing society, society, and technology in general influences the media.