BAFTA Game Evaluation

Game Concept Evaluation

 

For this project we needed to come up with a game concept, the concept could be anything so long as it was suitable for kids at least 12 years of age. This meant that most concepts for horror games would be out of the window as they would not be suitable for young audiences.

 

My idea was for a group of people to become trapped in an abandoned building and have to find an exit, completing puzzles and talking to other trapped individuals to discover why they’ve been trapped here. I also wanted there to be a supernatural element, such as a spirit of some sort, which would either chase the characters or give them information.

 

I made some art for the concept, it showed a hallway that might have featured in the final product, in the hall there were a number of doors that the group could enter to so they could search for clues in order to escape. I also had the spirit on the upper floor patrolling the hallways, the group would need to hide from it in the rooms or by some cover in order to get round it, as there would be no way to fight it in game. I mentioned earlier that there would be other characters aside from the main group in the game, these for the most part would be on their own and would not follow the group aside from a few specific NPCs. Their purpose would be to give information to the player however, depending on how well trusted the group is, they may be given misinformation by the NPCs. While this may seem bad in the long run, it would be countered by NPCs who would be considered mistrustful by other regular NPCs, these NPCs could share important information with the character, which could be more valuable than what is given to the player by the regular NPCs, however it could also be a lie that would lead the players to a Bad End.

 

Bad Ends are special endings where an incorrect sequence of events have played out, perhaps the members of the group have been captured and not saved, perhaps a puzzle had been solved, but the answer was incorrect. These bad ends show the group as they become trapped in building, either losing hope, getting captured or just getting lost in the maze like structure. There would be an achievement in the final game for collecting all the Game Over scenarios.

 

The idea for these game concepts was to enter them into a competition known as the ‘Bafta Game Concept Awards’ unfortunately by the time I had finished coming up with my idea and compiling it all together, the competition had closed and I could no longer enter my submission. This was a set back, however I decided to keep going and fully flesh out my idea even though I could no longer enter the competition.

 

Overall I am very happy with my concept, I like the idea and I think I have fleshed it out well enough. Though I wish I could have made a horror game as I feel that my game would really shine in a horror environment as I had to tone down the content in the game to make sure it would stay within the PG12 rating. Of course the other issue was not making it in time for the competition which was a real setback but I feel I was able to overcome it quite well.

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BAFTA Game Evaluation

Short film Audio Evaluation

Short Film Audio Evaluation

 

For this project we had to take audio from our Genre Film and use the program Audacity, to edit the audio, making it clearer or distorting it as necessary, this is my evaluation on that project.

 

I decided to edit Stephans audio for my film as he had been quite quiet throughout the film, so I removed background noise to make him more clear and then raised the volume of his audio track, however this didn’t help much as Steven had been so quiet that even with all of these changes you could still barely hear him.

 

Another thing I decided to do was to ad music over my track. This helped to keep the movie from being boring. Luckily I didn’t need to open the music track in audacity as there was nothing that really needed to be fixed about it. The only thing I needed to do was to open the music track in Premiere Pro and then lower and raise the volume using key-frames as appropriate, though there were moments when the audio was still a little too loud.

 

I think that the editing of Stephan’s audio went well because even if I wasn’t able to fix it entirely, it did teach me what I needed to do in the event that some audio needed adjusting. If there were anything that needed to be improved then I would say that it would be Stephan’s audio, from the film, as even with all the editing I did I was unable to make his audio clear. This meant that no matter what I did, you wouldn’t have been able to hear Stephan in the film.

 

Overall I think that my Audio editing went quite well, even if it didn’t turn out as well as it could have because I was able to learn quite a bit about how to edit audio and what to do if there is audio that needs cleaning up. So overall I think the project was very helpful.

Short film Audio Evaluation

Short Film Audio Production

Part of our short film project was to edit the audio of the film. This included things like making people’s voices easier to hear to adding music to the project. For my Audio edits I decided to try and make Stephans voice clearer, this was because he was rather quiet during filming and the Microphone had trouble picking him up at times.

To edit the audio, we had to open the selected track in Audacity, then we had to select part of the track that had some unwanted background noise. After capturing this sound, we selected the option to find sounds at a similar frequency to this one, we made sure the captured sound didn’t have anything we wanted in it, such as voices or sound effects. Once we had ensured that the audio only had background noise in it, we deleted it and cleaned up an artefacts it may have left behind.

The other thing I did was add some music over the film. This was to help keep it interesting, as a film without music can be very boring. I decided to add some horror music over the top of mine, so as to fit the theme of my film. Though I think the music is still a bit too loud at some points, I couldn’t lower the volume any more without it becoming too quiet to be heard easily.

Short Film Audio Production

Short Film Audio Planning

For my Short film audio I had to choose which parts of the audio needed to be changed, removed or added. This meant listening to my film several time over and identifying which parts needed to be changed. Once I had ascertained that something needed changing I had to decide what needed to changed about it. Aside from making changes to the audio I also had to decide what music I wanted to add into the background. This meant surfing Youtube and other sites to find a fitting track.

Short Film Audio Planning

FMP Evaluation (Continuous but grouped into one for easier reading)

FMP Evaluation

 

For my FMP I decided to make a game. I downloaded the Unity Engine at home and, using some tutorials online, I started to teach myself some of the basics of the Unity Engine. Once that was done I began constructing my game.

To begin with I had to set up a platform to start on. This was quite simple, as I just had to drag some blocks into the scene, give them a 2-D box collision mesh and then place the character above them.

The character came with almost all the controls I needed pre-added. This helped save a great deal of time, however there were still a few things I needed to add to character. The first was a camera follow script; this meant that the game camera followed the player. I edited the values a bit so that the movement of the camera was a bit smoother. I also added an audio source and an audio listener to the character. This meant that audio could be played through the source and, because the listener was also attached to the player, it wouldn’t fade out as you got further away.

Next I had to lay out the course. This was quite simple as it consisted of just applying platforms into the scene and then giving then a 2-D box collision, what was handy was being able to highlight a group of platforms and then applying the collision mesh. I wanted to include traps on my map so some of the platforms don’t have collision mesh’s, which means that the player can fall right through them. I did this in a number of locations. Some are just regular traps, with no indication of what lays ahead. Others try to trick you by making it seem like there is solid ground in front of you, but end up trapping you in a hole or dropping you out of the world. Sometimes you might need to choose a tunnel to pass through and choosing the wrong one leads to death.

With the course laid out and the player character set up next I needed to change the art style. Before everything had been utilizing default textures and sprites, so to help make the game recognisable as my own. I created the sprites in Photoshop CS6, using the paintbrush tool, I then used the eraser tool to delete the background so that the sprite wouldn’t have a white cube behind it in game. After that I used the smudge tool to make the outline seem more fluid and so that it could blend easier into the scenery. I also used the Burn tool to darken some areas of the sprites. Once that was done I saved the sprites as a PNG file and copied them into the project. I made the sprites fairly quickly, so I would have more time to work on the engine and insides of the game, so they’re not of the best quality If I were to go back and change something I would probably make the sprites look better.

With all that out of the way I was left with some time to experiment with some things that I wanted to do. One thing in particular that I wanted was to have some scripts in the game. My ideas for the scripts were, to have an enemy chase the player throughout the level and to have a script that would allow you to restart the level at the press of the ‘R’ button. The first script, where the enemy would chase you, unfortunately would not work. I could not figure out how to apply it or fix any errors in the text, for that reason that I unfortunately had to abandon the idea of having an enemy chase the player, as I didn’t have enough time to get it working. The next script was the Restart script and this one was much more successful, I was able to create a script for it that contained no bugs or obsolete lines of code. I was able to successfully export the code to the project. It was here that I ran into a problem, it wouldn’t let me add the code to the project, saying that the file name and class name had to be the same in order for it to be placed into the scene. I tried to find a solution to the problem however I was unable to fix it. This meant that I couldn’t include it in my final product which was a real shame because I was very happy to have a working script that I was unable to use.

Overall I am very happy with the way my project turned out. I thought that I was going to have a very hard time in Unity but it ended up being much easier than I had anticipated. There were things that troubled me along the way, such as the issues with the scripts or applying the new sprites to the objects (which turned out to be a larger pain that I had been expecting) But overall I am very happy with what I accomplished. I am glad that I decided to challenge myself for my Final Major Project as it has given me confidence that with enough practice I can achieve my goal of becoming a Games Designer.

FMP Evaluation (Continuous but grouped into one for easier reading)

Podcast Evaluation

Podcast Evaluation
For this project we had to create a project, this could be based on whatever we wanted (Within reason) For my podcast I decided to do an interview with several quests, similar to what you’d find on a talk show.
To begin with I had to create a script to work from. This wasn’t too much of a problem as I had already had practice because of the Genre film project, however I found that coming up with questions to ask the guests was a little troublesome as I wasn’t entirely sure what would make a good, interesting question that they could speak a lot about. I was able to come up with the questions eventually but I still wasted too much time thinking of them.
Actually recording the podcast went quite well. It only took one take to get the podcast recorded so that mean that I had a good amount of time to do the editing in. However before we recorded the podcast we had to set up all the equipment for it, this is where we encountered trouble as for a little bit the computer was not recognising the microphones we had plugged in and it wasn’t recording when we ran tests to see if it worked. It meant that we had to wait until help arrived before we could begin recording.
The people who I worked with to record the podcast were mostly compliant, however I did have a few issues where one team member would get a bit distracted. However it wasn’t too bad. One more major issue I had was that one of my team members answered the questions very quickly. They didn’t explain them much. This meant that my podcast ended up being only half as long as it should have been and that I had to bring in someone else in order to fill out the rest of the time.
With all of the recording done I had to move on to editing. In general there was not too much work that needed to be done. However I did find that my microphone had picked up my team-mates voices and vice versa. I solved this issue by cutting and deleting my team-mates track in the places where I began speaking and then doing the same to my audio track when my team-mates began speaking. This solved the issue of the echo. Once that was done I just needed to add some music to play in the background. I found a nice relaxing song and then placed it in the track. I lowered it volume and raised the volume of my team so that they could be heard over the music, next I looped the music so that it would run over the entire track. Overall I think the editing went quite well.
I think if I had to improve anything then I would perhaps put more planning into what questions I was going to ask beforehand, I would also chose team-mates who I knew could give detailed responses to my questions, rather than one word replies. I think I would also go over what to do to set up the equipment more thoroughly as we ended up getting quite lost as to what to do because we weren’t sure how to work the equipment. As for editing I think that for the most part that went ok, however I want to perhaps be careful of the proximity of the microphones in the future so that I can avoid the echo effect that occurred when I did the recording the first time around. In the end however I think that my podcast went extremely well for a first attempt. Aside from a few errors here and there, there were no major problems and everything went rather smoothly.

Podcast Evaluation