Ocean Chambers: Creating a concept document for review

For our major client project for the year, we have decided as a group of 4 to create the Ocean Chambers building for the Heritage open event.

C – Burstall’s Solicitors have commissioned Games Design to recreate their building (OCEAN CHAMBERS) on Lowgate ready to show at next years Heritage Open Days event.

A flypast of a reconstruction of the building in a given period (TBC) will be the expected final result. Client Feedback will be given.”

To start our project, we decided to create an concept document which was to be taken to Ocean Chambers to suggest different routes we could pursue.

The document was put together in word initially and images created with the use of 3dsmax, photoshop and sketches then was handed over to Dave Eccles in which he designed the physical concept document that our team was able to tweak. After small adjustments from myself and our team, we gave our finished document to Gareth who took it to the client. They were happy with our project idea and informed us they wanted us to recreate the building the year it was built. I am excited for this task at hand as it will allow us to hone in on our skill-sets and produce something for a big client which may help us pursue other clients, aid our portfolio and help us into the industry.




FMP Update: 16/12/2015

Since my last post my project was in pieces with nothing really giving much other than being rather still. Since then, I have managed to implement a series of small number of things which will keep the player entertained while exploring my environment.

Firstly, I have added subtle animation to parts of the part for example the park now contains both a moving ferris wheel and a round about which gently moves due to the wind. I have discovered around three ways to add animation within UE4 and I will be showcasing these different methods in my next blog post, each having their own positives and negatives.

Finally, I have added a character model from MakeHuman as a place holder which moves and the player is able to interact with. The only issues with the MakeHuman character is that the animation is very animation and for a living friendly character shouldn’t be doing this as it makes the player feel uneasy about approaching the character due to them feeling that the character is an enemy. The animation ended up this way due to myself manually editing the animation sequence within UE4 rather than keyframing a more realistic animation. Although, on the plus side of this, It made me realize how effectively animatronics would work within the environment.

Presentation skills review

We strived to achieve a high quality within our presentation skills during our project. Firstly, we aimed to have a proposal document which was clear and concise so that it was easily readable to someone who may have no technical knowledge within games design. It showed our idea beautifully within our proposal document with the document itself being carefully planned and then put forward to an illustrator who played a large role in its completion. The reason we passed our design to another individual was due to his experience with designing documents and who we knew would create something that would show their branding beautifully thus achieving a good standing with our client.

We have developed an online blog for our client project which is currently in development but can be found here. This blog will be used as an online gallery showcasing our finer work that we want the public to see but also once finished will be keeping the public up to date with the development of the project but also the dates the project can be viewed.
In the future when we meet the client again we will be showcasing the work we have produced over the last few months. This will mean displaying our progress in a more detailed draft of the project, showcasing finished models using software such as Marmoset and 3DSMAX to create professional lighting to achieve some stunning final renders which would be displayed both in our document for the client but also on our webpage. When next meeting the client, I will request that our group dresses smart/casual as last time we visited the client we were dressed too informal and I feel this may have caused us to look unprofessional which is the opposite that we want to put across.

Working within a group and communication with client

In order for our brainstorming sessions to work successfully it meant that the whole team had to be involved so that ideas could be generated for how we were going to create our project and also how this might be displayed later on in its development. Ideas were given out loud in which I took down notes within my notebook. We agreed on a range of ideas but it was one in particular that we all took too, which was to create Ocean Chambers on a turntable and then add game mechanics to it if we had time so that the player could interact with aspects of the environment. We set out clear objectives and goals in order to meet targets and achieve what had been set.

After this, we had to pitch our idea to our lecturers so they could see the ideas that we had come up with but also to see if they agreed with our decision on creating a 3d turntable. This meant making sure that we were able to produce our product in the given time but also that we were passionate about the idea and that it wasn’t something that was going to fizzle out. After talking as a team and agreeing that this was something achievable and something we all wanted to do, we spoke with our lecturers and this got the ball moving as they gave us the go ahead to begin our idea.

After this, we began designing the proposal document to take to Burstalls to see if they wanted us to pursue our idea but also if they had any suggestions on what they would like to see within the project. Within our design document we had to make sure that the companies brand identity was clear as it was something that had to stand out within our document especially as we were pitching it to a company. We wanted them to know that we had done our research on not only the product, but who they are as well as it shows earlier on the commitment and strong research skills which would be needed for the entire project. Within our document we had to have short pitches of what we wanted to achieve, who we were, and what we were able to produce. This would have a similar resemblance to the “45 second elevator pitch” as it would be short but to the point. When meeting our client, we would have to be confident and enthusiastic in order to have a good relationship with our client but also to give a good vibe about our product.

If the client didn’t like our idea and suggested something as an alternative this would have to overtake our idea although it should be within reason, for example if the client wanted an interactive playable environment with three levels then that would be achievable while if they wanted something out of our field then we would have to inform the client of this so that a compromise could be made. Within our proposal documentation we had put together a series of images so that when the client was looking through they may be inspired by something they saw and maybe could input their ideas or even just simply agree with the direction we were taking the project. It is extremely important to keep clear communication with our client so that miscommunication is minimal but also so that they feel comfortable with us on the project.

Music Clearance

Music clearance is the process of obtaining permissions for the use of an individual’s songs and debating a fee with the individual. This would mean that if I were to use an individual’s music for a video game, I would have to contact themselves or their publisher in order to negotiate how much of the music I could use, the duration I could use it for, what the music would be used for, how much would this cost etc. Once all the paperwork has been put together and agreed upon, I would receive a synchronization license which would clarify the deal that was put together and agreed upon clearly stating the terms of the agreement as a legally binding document. If the music already exists in a film or television then it is likely that a “Master Use License” would be required. This is an agreement in which the owner of the copyright for that sound recording gives their permission for that sound to be used in a visual work such as a video game or another film/television programme.

In order to get hold of the publishing information to a particular song/music would be to contact the ASCAP (American society of composers, authors and publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) or SESAC (Society of European stage authors and composers) and give them information such as the name of the writer and title of the song in order for them to give you the contact information for that publisher. Once gaining this information, contact the publisher asking what information they require in order to use their music. The information they tend to ask for is the title of the song, the author, duration of the song, where the song is to be used, will it be used on advertising or marketing, description of the scene in which the music will be used and how long you would like to have the license for. Once this information is handed over to the publisher, then a fee can be given and once paid you would be allowed to use that music as agreed upon.

Satire & Defamation

Defamation – The act of damaging the reputation of someone or a business through creating a false statement that could harm those individuals.

Satire- The act of using humour, exaggeration or ridicule to criticize people in order to make fun of them to the point that it can change the way people feel for the individual or company.

Satire and defamation can have a huge impact on many businesses and individuals causing huge declines in sales or damaging a company’s branding overnight. Many TV shows or games that use humour to the point that it can be considered defamatory can end up in court due to the effect that the comments/illustrations made on an individual’s reputation. The way that an individual could help themselves in this situation is to prove that the comments made had truth behind them and weren’t false claims but obviously with comedy being over exaggerated it can be difficult to do this. Although, satire can be confused with what is an opinion and what fact is. If an opinion is voiced about an individual using humour to express themselves then this is simply an opinion, but if something is said which suggests this is factual and could potentially damage someone’s reputation then this would be considered satire.

For example, If Simon and his team created a small indie business and a year into entering the industry someone within Rockstar discussed that Simon used to work for them and had stolen from their company then this would be defamation as the statement appears to be factual but isn’t true. As a result of this, Simon’s company could have a large decrease in sales causing his business to go bankrupt. Simon would have a right to take the matter to court and sue for libel due to a damaging of his reputation meaning that he would unlikely get work within the industry, a loss in sales causing his company to close and highly likely putting him in debt due to a simple comment that was made.