Fulldome: Somewhere out there…

…Is a really shitty spaceship going nowhere (kinda)

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Fulldome: Ships and Shade

While I’m still getting used to C4D (after years of Maya), I have a first draft model of the ship. It is mainly propelled with a hidden engine, primarily cruising in space (at extreme speed) with the help of its two triangular light-sails made of reflective material (some have suggested mylar. They will be able to fold into the ship for landing and containment purposes.

 

Also experimenting with C4D’s animated shaders, which there seems to be no shortage of. First I simply put them onto test spheres just to see what they looked like on rendering (which is “Gaseous Grey” to “Naki Glyphs” in a rough order). I also have a video clip of the animations running for this exact shot.   Needless to say, they come across as funky and relatively useful when modified. (Personally I like Giraffe) The “Cloudy” and “Gaseous” sets would probably be appropriate to use for creating planets or the backdrop of “dusty” space areas.

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I ended up starting with a few shaders to get the impression of deep space, with the most successful test being the “LukaDent” (bottom-left). “HamaBlueprint” (which is on the topright and rightmost balls) initially looked like it could fit, but after messing around with the settings I only ended up with a funky-looking ball.

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Here’s the four “space balls” in animation (link) 

The glowing effect seems to work well to represent stars, or even highlight planets. These are made from “GaseousGrey” and “NakiGlyphs”, altering the color textures.   (And here’s the link to the shaders animation in action) 

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And some shaders “for fun”, because I am a fan of pink/pastel colors and glowing effects in general. (Both are “GradientClouds”)

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Art Games: Modifying Part of a Game

As someone who plays games often enough to create art games, there can be some things said about imagining how an already-existing favorite could be changed. I personally find game mods to be a subject of interest, and I am moved mostly by how some mods are used to change how the game itself addresses the player as an entity that affects the events of the game (whether the game even has a narrative or not). I would like to write a possible proposal about changing gameplay mechanics of Touken Ranbu, one of my personal favorite games.

TranslatedUI

 

Touken Ranbu is a browser-based game that is primarily concerned with collecting anthropormophized swords that appear as a variety of handsome young men brought to life by the player; said swords can then be arranged into teams to be used in combat in order to advance through stages, which can potentially yield new swords to obtain. In the context of this game, the player is assigned a role as a “commander” figure in charge of leveling up swords through grinding and managing resources. This intended role of the player also draws me into game, as the characters address the player directly based on their actions, such as giving them equipment or tasks to complete.

Despite the amount of player involvement story-wise, much of the game’s elements are fairly automated: during the battle phases, the most that the player has to do is decide which six swords will be fighting and what battle formations will be chosen for each sortie (and whether or not to proceed to further battle nodes for each stage). The order in which the team members attack is based mostly on individual stat numbers (attack power, defense, speed, etc); that, and which enemy the sword attacks is also random. However, to involve the player further in the battles, I would suggest creating an option in which the player could ignore these stats and decide themselves which swords attack which enemy, and in what order they see fit.

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Inspired by other tactical-based games (such as Fire Emblem) and team-based RPGs, this change in gameplay would give the player more control over the actions of the soldiers. The player will know their sword’s exact stat numbers, but the opponent’s numbers are hidden. From this, the player will have to decide which enemies to target based on their team composition, paying attention to possible elements such as the types of swords in the party, the amount of “armor”/troops each member has, and whether or not one sword will have an advantage over a particular enemy.

Additionally, it also brings the player to be more involved in fighting “alongside” with their swords. As the game assigns the player as a “commander” role, the player is essentially given a certain degree of responsibility over the swords. This is reflected particularly in the sword characters’ in-game dialogues, as they respond to whether or not you assign them to an expedition, repair them, refine their strength/stats, or take them out to battle. The mechanic of directly choosing battle commands could potentially emphasize the player’s involvement in the game as a character themselves as part of several game mechanics that encourage a closer connection with the swords that they are responsible for collecting and caring for.

 

(Images borrowed from the Touken Ranbu wikia site) 

Art Games: 1/22 Update

I’m still getting used to working with Unity as a platform for making games!

Currently, I’m still working on Ink Story in RPG Maker (the VXA version), though I am also considering making a short spin-off game in Unity. Based on the world introduced in Ink Story, where artworks are “transformed” into anthropomorphized characters, I am highly interested in revealing the possible experiences of one of these artworks.

Art Games: Analyzing an Existing Game

One of the earliest games that I remember playing and enjoying was an archival version of Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega, 1991) for the Nintendo Gamecube system. Most of what I remember is playing through the first two stages as I was hilariously bad at making much progression; however, the legacy of this character and subsequent games are also a part of why I enjoy this game in particular. While this game was not conceptually striking, it is recognized and remembered for its highly-detailed graphics for its time, the music, and gameplay.

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Sonic the Hedgehog, at its most basic description, is a 2D-sidescrolling platform game. The player controls the titular character through each “zone” or level (divided into smaller “acts”), in which the goal is to guide the hedgehog to the goal at the end of each segment. At the end of the last act of each zone, a boss battle with the villain Dr. Robotnik would start. After the player defeats him, they are able to progress to the next zone until the “Final Zone” boss battle with the doctor is encountered. If all stages are cleared and the boss battles are won, the game is complete.

Common gameplay elements throughout each level typically include rings, power-ups, and enemies. Rings are scattered throughout each zone and serve as a sort of protection for the player, in which collecting these rings allows Sonic to withstand one hit from enemies or harmful obstacles. Otherwise, if he does not have any rings he will die from enemy contact. Collecting 50 rings will allow the player to transport Sonic to a “Special Stage” that involves navigating a maze; collecting 100 rings will grant him an extra life.

What I found to be notable about this game is the particular attention towards building a stylized, detailed world. The appearance and details, such as a panoramic, scrolling background indicating depth, are completely appropriate for the game as a sidescroller; these kinds of games in general seem to have a particular focus on environmental details.

INK STORY: Progress as of 11/14

I’ve been focusing on under-the-hood changes (such as interface appearances and little bugs in character dialogue), but I did add several *new* sprites that show up in the first gallery (apart from Hope):

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(Left to right: Ink, Mondie, Kono, Antony, Marge, Burgundy, Puddles, Hope, and “Serras”)

Some system changes have been made, including an enemy health bar to be displayed when fighting characters:

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And fixed character portraits on the main menu – they are all transparent “faces,” instead of half of a sprite:

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Here are also several character sketches (some names are still in development)

 

INK STORY: Progress as of 11/9/2016

Progression on Ink’s game has been wild. I got sick in the last few days, but managed to pull off a few bug fixes/graphic additions!

I added the second gallery’s parallax map/event tiling: log_06.PNG

Several artworks/artists have been represented.

Here’s Ink hiding behind Dubuffet’s “Tower of Lace.” Since it’s so huge, it gets its own sprite.

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This rendition of Calder’s Lobster Trap and Fish Tail mobile work actually wiggles in the game.

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There are two “mini-gallery” rooms in this level that feature works from Hirst and Rothko.

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Which also brings up an additional NEW CHARACTER: Hope, who is the mediator and resident of the gallery’s “chapel” room.

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Thus far, we have… 4 characters. At this point, I will need to focus on implementing other planned characters.

In the meanwhile, I’ve started picking up on the third gallery space:

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Visit to the CMA (and Beeler Gallery)

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to visit the Columbus Museum of Art and Beeler Gallery on my own time. The CMA’s current exhibition The Sun Placed in the Abyss is a showcase of photographic and video works that address the significance of the sun in the history of these aforementioned mediums. The Beelr Gallery featured one single artist Roxy Paine in a show titled Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor


In the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor exhibition, the viewer is faced with diorama-esque works from the artist Roxy Paine. The show features 5 of Paine’s large-scale models that portray modern-day human “habitats,” but without any humans to populate them. Each diorama is made in an almost life-sized scale and is constructed of a consistent material, such as maple wood in Checkpoint. Additionally, the objects are modeled in a way that when the viewer inspects them from a different point, the entire scene appears warped compared to another viewing point.The entire gallery is dimly lit with respect to the lighting featured in each of these large dioramas.

From what I saw, I felt that I could relate some of my recent works and my own interests to the art featured in this exhibition. Retrospectively, I can recall most of my works being influenced by the curiosity of viewing a “thing” from different, or many, perspectives. In a similar way, looking at Paine’s dioramas from the left side of the gallery room will be noticeably different from looking at it from the right side of the room. Much of my artistic interests involve the idea of taking many (or two, or even one) perspectives into consideration when contemplating any artistic work.

On another note, I am also interested in creating worlds through art. They may or may not be related to the real world, but I usually find that having some ties or influences from real-life events or things make these fictional worlds a little more engaging for myself. Paine’s recreations of reality appear somewhat “off” from the real world, in which normally busy spaces now appear quiet and still – these places could be places in their own strange universe.