blaclite STUDIOS in the Bucks Enterprise Creative Talent Showcase
I am very proud and happy to announce that I have been selected as a finalist of the Bucks Enterprise Creative Talent Showcase, run by my University.
Among a number of other competitors in a variety of fields such as product design, dance performance, stand up comedy, fashion, art fixtures and film-making, I will be competing for a cash prize, to impress a panel of creative industry judges and a celebrity guest with my game “Moonbeam”!!
This will be the first public demonstration of Moonbeam!
Logo designed by my good friend Nikola Jovic.
I have made a number of improvements to the game since its completion as a graded University assignment, with this competition in mind, including vastly improved graphics and animation… and bespoke original music which was very kindly composed by Lee Brotherton of the Remix Factory. You can find out more about the work they do at their website www.remix-factory.co.uk
The grand final will be held on the 6th of March from 6.30pm - 10.30pm at the Arts4Every1 Centre, Desborough Road, High Wycombe. A ticket is required for entry, which Bucks New University students can book for free here. If you would like some information about how non-students can get a ticket, please contact Bucks New University directly.
I would be very grateful if you would come along to support me! I’m really excited!
Music for the Winter…
Happy 2014 everyone. To kick off this year, I thought I’d share something a little more personal than usual. As you know, music is a huge part of where I draw my inspiration from. I see elaborate images in my head when I listen to some songs. One thing I’ve always been rather fascinated by is the association of music to the feelings of a season, so here, I’ve put together a “Winter playlist” on YouTube for you.
Click here to start the playlist. Enjoy!
Of course, not all of this music quite fits in with my creative ethos and so they would be out of place on the Blaclite soundtrack, which I occasionally add to, although you will recognise some entries from the Blaclite soundtrack included in this playlist.
However, the purpose of these songs are to hold your hand and get you through your days in that bracing cold with a mixture of positive energy and moments of calm, while at the same time, not taking you away into unfitting dreams of the hot summer! This is indeed, music for winter. Great music.
If you like any of these songs, I encourage you to support the artists and buy them.
Not a pool I’d have expected to be dipping my toe into during my studies, but I’m quite happy that I actually now have some semi-professional photographs of myself representing the visual ethos of blaclite STUDIOS. I feel like I’ve been really getting into my creative stride over the last two months - but I’m eagerly looking forward to a relaxing Christmas.
So, just incase anyone following me here has never seen the face behind the words, here we go!
The Moonbeam is shining.
Today, I completed my first ever 3D video game. It may only be one level and it may not be up to industry standard, but my god am I proud of it!!
Here is a screenshot of the finished product, which has made some improvements since the last one I posted.
This is the result of my imagination, the universe inside my mind, when paired with motivation and hard work.
Yesterday, I delivered a presentation to my peers showing how Moonbeam was developed and received some very positive feedback. You can see that presentation on the blaclite STUDIOS Vimeo channel, here.
The game itself is not yet available to download and play, but I’m going to be working on making it available on a limited basis in the next few days.
I can’t wait for you all to experience it for yourselves, I’m incredibly proud of it!
I know, I know…
The basic objective of this game is to get from the start to the finish, by navigating a path across an archipelago of very small islands. No bigger than oversized stepping stones, infact. The player does this by controlling the position of the moon in the sky, and by extension, the beam of light cast upon the water. The player would then be capable of walking on the surface of the water as long as they are standing on a visible beam of light refracted off the water.
That’s the concept, now there’s the design questions which all need to be addressed before this makes the leap from gimmick to game. Namely:
- Where is the challenge? Can the player lose?
- How does the player know they are doing the right thing?
- Is there more than one correct route?
Then there are more pressing technical issues:
- How can water be programmed to respond to light?
- How can I make sure that the light will be cast onto the water correctly?
- How can I make sure the player can’t cheat?
- How do I decide where to the put the different little islands?
So - walking on water! How can we do it? Nobody can, obviously. While the character’s feet may be stepping on water, it is the moonbeam’s refraction that they are walking on. Where there is no moonbeam, there is no path. So technically, what I have to do here is create an illusion. While we will only see a pool of water in-game, underneath it will be an invisible segmented area of near-equal radius. This segmented surface will be programmed with what are known as “colliders” - a property that makes an object solid and touchable in any CG environment. These colliders will respond to the stretch of light cast across the water. Basically, it’s like walking on glass that disappears when there’s no moonlight on it.
This gives the character something to walk on, but how can I get it to actually respond to light? Light is not a solid object, and as far as I know, you can’t add colliders to it. I think the answer to this problem requires some lateral “outside the box” thinking with the tools of 3DS Max and Unity.
More to follow…