Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Concepts - Main corridor chairs and other stuff

Did some sketches for the corridor today. Now that I'm set on a colourscheme for that area, it might be easier to come up with furniture. I still need to think some more about symbols, logos and narrative I could incorporate into furniture. Anyway, Tim's kicking us out of the labs now, so here's what i've done so far:

Coffee table and mirror ideas.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Layout concept

Yet another paintover. This morning I've done another UDK layout based on my last sketches: made curvy walls, tent-like rooftop and drapery for the staircase, this time all in max. Also did a small corridor at the entrance so you could get a better look of the scene. I didn't plan on having the walls checkered, but it looks kinda cool in the painting :0
 Here's some more screenshots. Sai, feel free to do a paintover if you like :)
Now, to sketch out the actual assets to populate the corridor. Not sure if I should do it now, or if I should finalise my assets for the Ringmaster#s room first :/ I'm getting a bit confused with how much work I need to get done until we begin the FMP. I think I'll start by making a list of all the assets and then concept them as fast as possible. We still have a lot of portraits for the rest of the characters to do - should I just concept heads or whole bodies? :I
Anyway, here's a sketch for something I want to put near the entrance- a ring of fire a player is supposed to jump through. I randomly drew a monkey, but it could be anything. If only I could model stuff as quickly as I draw it XD

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Concept - Ringmaster, part 2

This is not entirely finished, but we're about to be kicked out of the cintiq room, and I really wanted to post my progress today :D Did some more silhouettes, the napoleon-syndrome-misget somehow turned into a tall-ish guy, although still with heels and fake shoulder pads. I have more sketches of the face in pen, I'll update this post once i scan them in. The last version needs more detail, accessories, and a better pattern, as I hand-drew this one really quickly. Crits  and suggestions are always welcomed :)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Concept - Ringmaster and his stuff

After Mike's crit today (where we were told to start doing cool shit already XD), I've decided to work on the Ringmaster's character and his room.
Here are just some asset sketches. I imagine him to have a very narsissistic personality, the kind of person that lives stupidly above his means and what not.  I'm planning on making all the framing either gold-like or platinum, and a lot of over-the-top accessories. Here are just a few of the ideas so far, later on I will flesh them out some more and do finalised concepts in colour.
And here'are some concepts of the guy. I started off with general silhouettes to define the general proportions and stylisation. In the end I went with the last one, as it didn't look too cartoony, but also more confident and classy. 
This still needs more work, as I have other clothing ideas. He also needs a face, as much as I like a moustached gimp mask XD

Layout - More sketches

Alright, here's the last minute bunch of sketches before presentation, mostly so i wouldn't forget what to talk about. Basically i thought of including a staircase for some height variation in the level. Perhaps also some height shift on the floors, but it's something i'll have to try in 3D.

Concept - Contortionist's Room

Thought I'd have a little go at blocking-out my initial idea for the contortionist twin's room.

I liked the suspended bed idea, so I thought I'd have it chained to the ceiling, with perhaps a little tea-party underneath.
Had a go with mirrored walls/floor, and to be honest I think it looks pretty cool (not the effect in the image... obviously it will look better if done properly) but I think it will go with our theme of playing with space and depth. On the same note, I thought I'd have quite a tall room, with a small floor area and a wide roof space. Duno why.

Ribbons! Well, they need a way to get to their bed. The contortionists at the circus looked beautiful when they were ribbon-dancing, so I thought "yay for ribbons."

Anyway, sorry the renders are a bit blurry and unreadable. I'll bring the file in with me tomorrow anyway and you can have a spin-around if you want.

Oh. And the spiky thing is a chandelier. I was being lazy.

Layout - more UDK

Another quick blockout of previous ideas for tomorrow. At this point I'm quite sure we'll have to use static meshes,as bsps are clearly just too bulky and even such angular corridor creates a lot of problems like random UVs. Ideally I want the walls to be smoothly curved. Problem with that is fitting in the doors and stuff. I'll try to find some articles on Alice mcGee's level design, perhaps also some modular dungeon design, even though it's not relevant to the theme :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Inspiration - Twelve Chairs

For the past couple of weeks I've been desperately trying to find the subtitles for the old Russian mini-series "The Twelve Chairs" (1976). It's based on a classic book by Ilf and Petrov. The plot involves a desk clerk and a sly conman looking for twelve chairs with diamonds hidden in one of them. They travel around the whole country trying to hunt down each chair, revealing the life of that period of time.

There are multiple versions of this story filmed in America, Prague and and Russia. Russia released two versions in the span of 5 years, and I've seen both as a child.
The one I love in particular is a later  version by Zakharov. It's very different from classical comedies of the time - comparing to the first version, it has a more theatrical feel to it. There's a lot of narrative, characters often break the fourth wall and the entire film was created indoors, including the street scenes. While many saw it as a disadvantage, I really liked the staged, stylised look of the 1920's Russian streets. (Generally Pre-soviet Russia had some beautiful designs before the commies came and ruined everything) It combines antique interiors and sleezy atmosphere, which is why I thought it might be relevant for our project. Unfortuantely, I couldn't find an English version anywhere, so here are some stills I took from the first episode:

More stuff under the cut-

Overpaint and room concept

Finally remembered I still have this picture and decided to finish it quickly. Not very happy with it anymore, looks empty and and too broad, and the colours are kinda meh. But failures are a part of a development too :P

Just finished a doole of a room I started a while ago as well. Not much detail in terms of furniture, just playing around with the lighting really. Also thought padded walls might good for safety ;D

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Layout - More ideas and UDK

Spent this morning re-learning UDK. We had an idea of doing the circular area, so I tried to see if it's possible to create in UDK. This screenshot had all the cool stuff drawn over it, but it seems like I didn't save it >:I

Perhaps this ingenious doodle will clear things up. Sai and I were thinking of doing one big room with a waiting/relaxation area in the middle for the guests, and a big entrance to the stage. That way we could also make a circus tent for a ceiling. After blocking it out it seemed like the space is way too open, and even if I position some chairs/tables in the middle, it would still look empty.

I thought of ways to create a circular corridor, and one of the ideas is to make one corridor wall as simply as a bunch of stuff - clothes, wardrobes, and stuff performers would normally have in the dressing room.
This sketch makes it looked a bit too cramped, but for now I'm just trying to throw in some ideas without becoming too focused on the details. (which is something I like to do a lot >_>)