Sunday, 5 February 2012

Our Project Overview (Again)

Apparently the lecturers were unsure of exactly what it is we are doing Marianna. They seemed confused at the presentation on Friday. They mentioned it being a bit of a mish-mash and they were unsure of what exactly it is we are doing (though, if they stopped giggling and quietly insulting their students from a distance, they might have heard better. Don't think we haven't noticed, you three >_>).

So, I thought I'd explain our intentions again.

The theme is basically a circus / a freak show. We will have an environment and some characters to place around the environment. The atmosphere is intended to be rather dark and humorous, with hints towards the circus doubling as a brothel. The project will be stylized, taking inspiration from all over the world (circus' tend to be like this due to travelling). We hadn't really decided on an era, but considering the concepts so far, it defiantly isn't modern. Perhaps Elizabethan / Victorian? It seems to be going alone the lines of "Alice, Madness Returns" and "The Circus of Horrors."

The basic idea for the environment is the back-stage area to the show. We were considering doing the stage, but we thought it would be such a large, empty space that would have a lot of repeated assets. Instead we thought the smaller, backstage area would be more interesting, especially if we had individually themed dressing-rooms.
So, the environment was decided:
The player would begin at the back of the stage (behind the curtain), then would proceed down the stairs into a circular room. This room would act as a waiting room or a main hall, and would have doors evenly spaced around it, leading to the dressing rooms of the characters. In the middle of the circular room would be a staircase (later changed to an elevator) which leads up to the ring masters room.

We decided early to take a character each. Mary wanted to do the Ringmaster, and I wanted to do a contortionist (which later turned into twin contortionists). The rooms for these characters will be open, and you will be able to explore them. Depending on time, we may have other characters rooms open, or perhaps even more characters.
We are trying to concept many characters just in case we have a chance to create them later. Also, we want a portrait of each character on their dressing room doors, so even if we don't have a chance to make them, the player can still view the rest of the performers. We talked about having a mermaid (perhaps with surgically altered legs), a midget, a drag-queen magician, a bearded lady, and animal trainer, a fire dancer/ eater, etc.

The Ringmaster is a very strong character. He is the leader (and somewhat the pimp). I think Mary had intended to have his theme (for his costume and room) to be very luxurious and over the top. She also mentioned having a connection to Mexican superstition / gang symbols and collection of whips and props, and hinting towards a supernatural and a rather S&M theme (before you start, they did an S&M room in Fable 3. We are allowed).

For my twins, I wanted a rather feminine and French feel, but I wanted to also play with depth. I intended for the twins to be tall and thin, and their room will follow this concept too. A high ceiling, mirrored walls and perhaps a suspended bed that would only be easily accessed by contortionists. The furniture in this room will be bent into strange shapes to fit the theme.

Right, that should do it.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment.

Oh, and if one of you doesn't read this and comes to me asking something I've covered in the post (after having us re-link you to this blog 6 times), you will be placed in my basement dungeon, and you will stay there forever with the other gimps.

And I'll let Bart have his way with you.
Polish love'n.


  1. Sai, thanks for writing this - don't think I'd be bothered at this point.
    To be honest I'm very upset that I have to read about this in a blog post, and not personally from the tutors, when we are presenting the damn thing. I think I deserve to know first hand as well.
    First of all, most of this has been described in our pitch back in December. Second, we have more concept art than anyone to back up our style. If anything was unclear, it had to be said earlier. At this point I just don't care anymore, so far communication has been lacking, and not due to our fault.
    All the students presenting their stuff last Friday got no useful advice, at least not to their face. I don't think it's really professional to bitch about students behind their back and this issue should be addressed asap.

  2. It's all right.

    Now I'm not sure how true this is. It's what other people had heard coming from them whilst we were talking. It would be nice to have one-on-one talks instead of presentations - I think we'd get a lot more feedback.

    Actually I think Nicki and Cristian had brought this up before. And I think the student reps from 2nd year brought up the issue of lack of communication and feedback in one of the meetings.

    I know its our 3rd year and that we are to be left to our own devices, but generally we are a hard-working, proud year. It would be nice to hear feedback early-on, instead of being told down the line that we aren't making sense.
    During the presentation the only feedback we received was to draw and write all over our blogs, and that was directed at everyone, not us specifically (by the way, you didn't specify in that statement, so in theory I can draw penis' all over my screen shots, and I'm going to milk that opertunity).

    It's childish, but I regard you three (le tutors) as friends as well as tutors, and I think a lot of the third years do. Out of mutual respect, come and talk to us in person if their is an issue with work. Most of us aren't retarded and will listen and adapt, or re-explain ourselves.

    Actually, maybe we should go have a chat with 'em Mary. You can use your scary Latvian ways.

  3. oh, so they didn't tell you either :I
    Yeah, I refuse to write essays on the screenshots. Typing is a lot faster and I generally bother to describe what I'm doing. I might have missed on bits before, but I'll make sure everything's clearly annotated now.

    But yes, it's ridiculous how students need to eavesdrop to get any feedback at all (and even then it's hardly descriptive). I got more crits from guest lecturer in like 5 minutes, and I'm considering posting some of our work in progress on polycount once we're a bit further ahead XD

  4. I love how quickly you turn psychotic. It's my favourite part of you Marianna. You just don't hold back :3 If you want to commit mass-homicide, you'll commit mass-homicide - it is why we are friends :D <3

    and oh my o_O gona get on with making shiny assets and characters then!

    Did you still want to do characters? I know you were considering not doing your character and concentrating on the level?


    I understand exactly what you;re aiming to do, and most of what has been produced so far is very nice. The idea is strong, and has a lot of potential.

    The presentation was a mishmash, and the thing that concerns me most is that you don't seem to have a plan, at least not a plan that I have seen nor one that was presented. You have a rather vague asset list post December 8, but nothing since.

    You may well have a very rigorous plan, I would like to see it. This should contain a proper list of all assets, an idea of the priority of each asset and an indication of construction time. There should be an element of proper time management and planning evident in this project which so far seems to be absent.

    I'm not suggesting you aren't doing any work, clearly you are and good work it is too. However, the project is complex which carries a high risk of falling short of its potential if it is not managed robustly. I'd like to feel secure in the knowledge that you both are managing the project in a way which guarantees a successful outcome.

    Based on the presentation, it seems a bit random and haphazard at the moment. And don't think that's because I wasn't paying attention. I was, and you didn't present a coherent plan of activity nor a structured overview of what has happened so far.

    You're both very talented and creative, but I don't think project management is as strong as it could be at this point. Think gantt charts, get the organisation down on paper so we can all see it and the project should hit its full potential. Don't let yourselves down by scrimping on attention to detail and ignoring the 'boring' project management bits.

    You may have all this information somewhere, but if I haven't seen it then it doesn't exist, and there was no evidence of it in the presentation.

    That is all.

  6. Thanks Mike! This cleared things up for me. I'm in a way relieved that it's not the visual part that is causing problems XD But yes, I was supposed to finalise the asset list for ages, but keep finding more important things to do..I'll make sure I put all the assets and milestones down in the next couple of days. At least now I know how long everything takes to make.

  7. Mary ~ we need to have more meetings xD Your'e still living in the labs right? I'll come in more. Sorry Im not in most days. Honestly its because getting dressed and covering the game-art-eye-bags takes a lot of effort.

    I'll work on an asset list now, like your one, but I wanted to chat to you about a few things ~ you seem to be enjoying building the level (and to be honest its fun watching you get carried away), but you were thinking of dropping doing your character?
    Honestly, I hate environments. I was going to suggest that perhaps I could pick up your character? that is, if I do another character and less assets for the level? What do you think?

    I also rather enjoy the documentation side (because im fun like that) so if you cant be assed just feel free to throw the textual shit my way.

    Anyway, I'll be in tomorrow ~ we can cluck at each other then <3

  8. Oh, by the way Mary, yell at me more okay? Im in a right fickle mood at the moment, so when I'm not working enough don't be afraid to tear me a new one. I'll still love you. I like your scary side.