Initial Idea

I’m not going to go to deeply into the initial idea for studio in this post, the post linked above does that. If you need a refresher, or didn’t feel like reading that post this is for you:

Picture yourself going to a gallery of some kind, maybe an art museum. For the most part there are paintings and photographs on the walls, a few sculptures in the bigger spaces. On one wall you see another landscape painting, and as you walk past it, something moves out the corner of your eye. You turn around to look, and you find that the painting you almost walked past has subtle movements in it, some sheep are grazing and there’s wind swaying the branches. It’s kinda cool, and you go show the painting to someone else. When you come back to it, you notice that a small settlement has appeared on a hill in the painting, and the sun has changed position.

Initial Planning

Since last time (which is quite a while ago now), we’ve done a lot of writing. Writing up our proposal document and beginning on out layout document. We’ve made our schedule in Trello, and are using something like scrum to prioritise our tasks. These documents are both necessary for our project, and useful for making sure we’re on the right track, and going in the same direction. Still kind of boring though.

Long story short, we’ve started filling lots of text into google docs.

Paper prototyping

Despite the fact that our project is not a game, we’re using a few tools from the gamedev toolkit. I went down to campus and met up with Eirik, together we made a paper prototype. We used this to get a clearer idea of what we want from the picture, and to brainstorm potential features. We spent a lot of time writing ideas on pieces of paper, and taping them together in categories. I later entered all the asset ideas into a new doc on our drive.

I think the paper meddling was pretty useful as it gave us both a good idea of our expectations for the painting, and we gave eachother a lot of new ideas about what to do!

[this is where a picture of the paper prototype would be, if I had remembered to attach one]

Trello and Scrum

If a scrum expert comes along, we’re probably not doing scrum properly, but we are also a 2 person team of students with no training in scrum. We read books about scrum, and adapted the ideas to our project. We made a huge master task list, where we put in all our asset ideas, we’ve labeled them with type of task, difficulty and priority. In the first sprint we’re prioritising a set of tasks that will give us a barebones prototype, in the next sprints we will be prioritising tasks according to user impact. In other words, we will focus our efforts on the features which will give a viewer the most interesting experience.


Quick Prototyping

Quick prototyping for me, is the process where I build up a quick and dirty feature test to see how quickly I can make a feature we are considering. We did this to test 2d versus 3d, Eirik made me a few versions of 2d assets, and I tried a 3d landscape with the Unreal Engine Landscape tool. I made a 2d Flipbook from the 2d assets, and we compared the two prototypes to see which we wanted to proceed with. Even before I was done with the 2d prototype we were leaning towards the 3d prototype. With some adaptation of the UE4 Skysphere we have a quite nice Day/Night cycle, and it seems to look best with a 3d landscape. We may still use some 2d assets, we’re considering making all the animated objects as animated 2d sprites. Things that don’t need animating can easily enough be made as 3d assets.

Where to now?

Next steps now:

Make some more prototypes, this allows us to asses how many features we can feasibly implement, and how to make them.

Researching visual styles and testing colour schemes.

Researching a place to exhibit.

Testing various software for making sprites