Monday, 12 October 2015

Character design project.

After talking to Justin about my first two ideas I now realise that I was focusing on the stone, metal and history cards too much, I was looking to base my whole game around these key factors and that my game would have had a very small market. So by talking to Justin we come up with a few ideas which he said to go off and look into.

I had a look at a few games that when you make decisions as the character, this effects the whole storyline. This idea of everything you do has an effect on your surroundings and the story, this really jumped out at me. I then took another look at what the stone and metal cards could do within my game with out having the whole game being based completely on them. I thought I could use these two types of materials as races, having the stone race as the good side whereas the metal race as the invading evil race. With the stone race being the good home team I thought of eras that had building built with stone which would involve the history card. So looking into this, I thought the medieval time period would fit this and the difference between the stone and metal buildings would almost look alien like and would make the metal building stand out as the invading race. To involve the stone and metal cards even more I thought the races could be able to control the material of the race they belong to. This idea would help the game along as it would mean that within the game the surroundings could change fast and on a big scale. Within this idea also come the idea of the hero and evil character being able to create monsters out of their races materials to help them fight throughout the game and at the massive war at the end of the game.

I feel like with this idea that there is still a few things that need a bit of a review but the main idea behind it is good enough to start coming up with character designs. 

Here is my first mood board

I look at different types of stone and metal building to idea of what sort of look I would like to use as well as types of monsters and their look. I think this is a good base mood board for my entire game idea, at a later point I will do more mood boards to help with design with in each of the raises.

Character tutorial 1 2015

In my first character tutorial we was asked to take a game that already exists and change the platform it for and make it suit a different one. The game I picked was Skyrim and the platform I pick to change it to was a iphone app.

So you would start the app and pick a character. You would then get the map of Skyrim and you would be able to travel anywhere on the map like you can in Skyrim. Once you pick a location the app would bring up a bunch of missions you could select from. Each mission would have a recommended level, if you meet this level or you are higher then it your character will have a 100% completion rate, where as if your character is a lower lvl you could lose the mission. If you complete the mission you will get both XP and items, whereas if you lose then your character will either lose XP or lose items. With the items you collect you can build weapons and armor to help improve your characters stats. With both crafting and doing missions there would be a wait timer, depending on how hard the mission is and the level of item you are crafting would effect the wait timer. You would be able to do a mission while you are waiting for something to craft but you would only be able to do one mission at a time.

I think that Skyrim fans would find this game fun as it would be the same sort of stuff they have seen before.   

Maya tutorial, Animation 2: Lip sync part 4

Lip sync part 4

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Group project - Narrative mood boards

These are my two mood boards for our narrative group project. My character mood board features a lot of old experienced looking men that in my opinion you would see in an old factory setting. My second mood board features a lot of old photos of factories as I feel that an oldish dark factory setting would be perfect to portray the feeling of loneliness . 

Monday, 5 October 2015

Film review - Django Unchained - The hero's journey

Django Unchained, the hero's journey

Figure 1 - Django Unchained poster

Django Unchained is a movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in 2012. Since the movie is directed by Quentin Tarantino, it has a few over the top blood violence scenes you would expect to see in a Tarantino movie. To sum up the story of Django Unchained it is about a slave that is bought by a bounty hunter, who is after a group of murders and thieves. After helping the bounty hunter, Django tells the bounty hunter about his wife and joins the bounty hunter on other bounties to earn money to save his wife.

Within hero films there is a concept that runs along side most of them, this concept has been around for ages and was  written about by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), this concept is the idea that any hero movie or story tale involve certain points that makes it a hero tale. With these points, they don't have to be set in the exact order that Joseph Campbell wrote about, but most of the points will be involved in the story. Of course these points are up to interpretation within different films and to different people.

This review contains spoilers from this point onwards.

At the beginning of the movie Django is a slave and is walking through the woods with other slaves and their traders. A man called Dr. King Schultz approaches the slave traders and ask if they have a slave from a certain plantation, which happens to be Django. After Dr. King Schultz finds out Django is who he is looking for, he offers to buy him. Things go south and the Dr. has too shoot and kill one of the brothers (the slave traders) and then shoots the other brothers horse. This is the start of the hero journey and is called the call to adventure. The next point is called the refusal of call. This is normally where the hero either does not want to go on the adventure, or is stopped from going on it. In Django I believe that this point does not really apply as Django never really seems to not want to go with the Dr. The only time this could really come in to play is when Dr. Schultz kills the sheriff. The Dr. in this scene says something to Django which means he is stuck with having to help the him. "On one hand, I despise slavery. On the other hand, I need your help. If you're not in a position to refuse, all the better. So, for the time being, I'm gonna make this slavery malarkey work to my benefit.". So this "refusal of call" in my option is more taken away of Django's story as during the time period it is set in a slave had to do what his owner said. Django's "supernatural aid" (also known as a mentor) is Dr Schultz, from the beginning Django seems to look up to Dr Schultz and the more the story goes on the more Django looks up to him.

Figure 2 - Django and Dr Schultz

Once the call to adventure, refusal of call and supernatural aid have been established this normally finishes of the first act (which is normally the first 15 minutes of the film) the next point of the hero's journey is crossing the first threshold, which in Django Unchained is when Django shoots John Brittle on the plantation. This is possibly the first time Django has killed anyone that the audience knows of, he does it because he can get away with doing it as John Brittle is a wanted bounty and previously the Brittle brothers lashed Django and branded his wife. After Django and the Dr shoot and kill the Brittle brothers, the plantation owner meets the two of them with weapons and ask why they killed the three brothers. After explaining why they killed them and that they are bounty hunters, the plantation owner lets them go. Later on, the plantation owner gets a mob together to go after the Dr and Django. This is when the "belly of the whale" point comes in play. This is where the hero is put in a situation where there is danger around. The mob attract the Dr's cart but luckily the Dr was prepared for this situation and fight back from a distance. This is also the road of trials come in to play as this is when Django starts to help the Dr on his bounty's.

Figure 3 - Shooting practice

Normally the next point is meeting the goddess, but in Django's case meeting the goddess has already  happened as the "goddess" is his wife who has been snatched away from him. This is one of the main reasons Django decides to go on this adventure. Now normally the next point with in the hero's journey is temptation, this is where someone or something tries to tempt the hero from his journey, but in Django Unchained there does not really seem like there is any temptations for Django. At this point Django and the Dr have met Mr Candy, who has Django's wife. Knowing this Django and the Dr come up with a plain to buy a Mandingo and a slave girl who speaks German (Django's wife).While heading to Candyland, the convoy come across a slave that has ran away as he does not want to fight in Mandingo matches for Mr Candy any more. Mr Candy does not like this and tells his workers to let the dogs tear him apart. Dr Schultz offers to buy the slave but to make sure that the Dr does not blow there cover Django says to Mr Candy that they will not buy the slave as he's useless and that he can kill the slave. This scene seem to be the atonement with the father point of the hero's journey. As Django stands up to Mr Candy and says no to him and with Mr Candy owning Django's wife he holds the ultimate power in his life which means saying no means he could have lost his wife.

After Django and the Dr. get to Candyland, Mr Candy is told by one of his slaves that Broomhilda is Django's wife and that they are really there for her rather then a Mandingo. Knowing that the Dr. and Django are there for Broomhilda, Mr Candy uses this new information to get the Dr. to buy Broomhilda for the price he was going to pay for the Mandingo. This is where Django believes he has got his wife back, which is the ultimate boon in the heroes journey where the hero gets what he started out on the journey for. this then leads to the Dr. shooting Mr Candy in the heart and in turn getting shot himself. Which brings the next point of the heroes journey apotheosis. This is where someone dies a physical death which sort of immortalises the Dr. in Django's eyes. After the Dr. and Mr Candy are killed Mr Candy's staff start shooting at Django, Django returns fire until one of the staff gets hold of Broomhilda and gets Django to give up. This is the magic flight part of the hero's journey, this is where the hero has to try and escape with the ultimate boon. Of course with Django's wife being caught he gives up to save his wife but he gets punished and sent away to a mine to work. On the way to the mine Django talks to the slavers who are taking him, he uses a bounty poster that the Dr. told him to keep after killing his first bounty to convince the slavers that he is not a slave but a bounty hunter. The slavers ask the other slaves they got from Candyland if Django's story matches up and it does so they go to release him. After letting Django go he turns around and kills the slavers. This is the rescue from without part of the hero's journey which is where something or someone help the hero at a point to be able to cross the return threshold which in Django's case is his bounty poster.

Figure 4 - Django's wife Broomhila, Mr Candy and Stephen.

The last three points of the hero's journey: crossing the return threshold, master of two worlds and freedom to live all happen in one scene at the end. Crossing the return threshold for Django is once he gets back to Candyland and starts to kill the people that have wronged him throughout his journey. The master of two worlds is where the hero is both a master in his normal world and his hero state, for Django this is being both a bounty hunter and slave. The freedom to live is straight forward, it is when the hero comes out of the hero and is free from his adventure, for Django this is when he blows up the main house on the Candyland plantation and rides off with his wife. 

Figure 1 - Django Unchained poster

Figure 2 - Django and Dr Schultz

Figure 3 - Shooting practice

Figure 4 - Django's wife Broomhila, Mr Candy and Stephen

Character Project

For my character project I ended up with "History" time and events/facts, "Stone" rocks and boulders/weight and "Metal" scrap/magnetism and conductivity. My first idea I had was a sort of card game and my second idea was a iPhone game.

First idea

Card game where you have to pick out five cards from a deck and have to use those cards to either collect the metal cards that go with each other to make a machine. This would help that player to uncover historical items or use boulder cards to destroy the other players machine. The main cards that you have to collect would be scrap metal cards, at the bottom of the card it would say what metal cards would go with what to make certain machines. The cards that would destroy other players machines would be boulder cards, the amount of cards that the player would need to throw away would depend on the size of the boulder card.

Second idea

My second idea is a iPhone game where you have build a camp near a historical site, you have to build up your population and go around collecting scrap metal till you have another of both to build a machine that would help you uncover the historical items. Once you have got the items in the first area you move on to the next location. The more you play on each area and the better you do the more scrap metal and help (population) you bring with you to the next area.