Year 2 – Unit 9 & Unit 10 Blog Post

Unit 9 1.1

My reflection of year 1.

In order to get a better understating of what I want to do in the future I reflected on my past year at college, the goals I had for I wanted to as a career and what goals I have now.

Last year I developed my knowledge and understanding of the technology and process involved within the production process of video games. Some examples of what I have learnt are that I can now use 3dsmax beyond a mediocre level and create mildly complex models, I can also texture those models using Photoshop and export them into Unreal Engine 4. My strengths at this point are probably mostly involved with sound editing, although I have greatly developed and learned other skills also. I mostly enjoyed the sound recording and editing of this course.

My goal at the start of last year was to pursue a career in programming/coding as that was really all I had experienced beforehand when it came to games development but this definitely changed throughout the year as I experienced the multitude of careers I could enter. At the start of the year I really enjoyed doing 3D work and my interest quickly changed to that as I found it enjoyable to do and learn about, but this did not last as during my second term I started doing more sound work and I really enjoyed what I was doing with challenging my creativity to create accurate enough sounds from any object I could find so that I could edit them to be how It needed to sound. My goals stayed the same throughout term 3 as well although I did let myself down with the overall work I produced I still enjoyed creating/recording sounds and experimenting in editing to see what effects I could get.

But all of that has changed, I have been thinking a lot and my idea of what I want to do as a career has rather disappeared, I’m not just not sure of what I want to do in the games industry but rather if I want to follow up in games at all, although I did enjoy learning last year and I’m sure to enjoy it this year as well, my interest for games development has lowered.

As for my goals for the future I do have ideas of what I should be doing, for the short term I am going to really work hard to assure I get through this course with at least a merit grade so I can go to university to study politics and history which are both topics I’ve always enjoyed; this leads me to a more medium term goal which is to get into university and get a definite idea of what career I would like to go into and then I would study hard and focus on getting through university with a 1st or at the very least a 2-1. When it comes to long term goals I’m quite unsure on exactly what I want but I would hope for it to be a career that I both enjoy and one that was worth going to study history & politics for.

Deconstruct the key features of 2 contrasting games characters.

I broke down 2 contrasting characters into 5 different features/characteristics; Appearance, personality, movement, voice, and their audience in order to develop my understanding of what makes a character as well as what makes them appealing to players and how their character/personality is portrayed through other features so when I come to creating my own character I will already have an idea of what should come into consideration when making the design choices for them.

 

The characters I will be comparing is Kirby (Kirby) and GLaDOS/Caroline (Portal).

GLaDOS/Caroline Character deconstruction:

 

Appearance: Robotic in nature, curvy in places but also very open as wires can be seen but still very organised in nature, the head piece is quite curved with a small slot for the eye which comes across looking industrial. Her body is rusty and scratched up to show that she’s very old and unkept. GLaDOS is a huge towering figure hanging from the ceiling, this help portrays her dominating personality. Another huge thing about her character design is that she looks like a bound woman upside-down which portrays her as trapped and forced.

glados-bound-girl-comparison
AllTimeGaming, (2016), https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mnF4X6sbIsM/maxresdefault.jpg [ONLINE]. Available at:https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mnF4X6sbIsM/maxresdefault.jpg [Accessed 23 September 2016].
But this is mainly just a theory but it may not be too crazy of a theory as the creators did admit that they looked to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus as inspiration for one of their concept where they imagined it upside down and made out of robot parts and wires. The birth of Venus was all about rebirth/rejuvenation which also relates to the backstory of GLaDOS as well as she originally human before being put into the robotic body.

Botticelli, (2014), botticelli-sandro-birth-of-venus [ONLINE]. Available at:http://images.photowall.com/products/44227/botticelli-sandro-birth-of-venus.jpg?h=650&q=90&%5BAccessed 23 September 2016].

Instig8iveJournalism. (2012). Complete Portal Developer Commentary. [Online Video]. 22 May 2012. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TBIfsPGeQ0. [Accessed: 23 September 2016].
Instig8iveJournalism. (2012). Complete Portal Developer Commentary. [Online Video]. 22 May 2012. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TBIfsPGeQ0. [Accessed: 23 September 2016].
Personality: She is quite sarcastic, resentful, bullying and quite dominating to others, this shows that she is rude and doesn’t care for others but this is due to her past experience of her mind being forced into the GLaDOS intelligence when she was human and the loss of the only person she cared about. This does change however throughout the second instalment in the series as she does turn from hostile towards the main character (Chell) to friendly, although she still insults Chell it is more in a friendly and jokingly manner, this shows that she still has the ability to care for someone and is still human behind the appearance.

Movement: The movement of GLaDOS is quite limited due to her being attached to the ceiling and unable to move from that spot, she can still move her central body around within the room but not much at all, this could be to show that she is imprisoned within the robotic body relating back to being forcefully put inside of GLaDOS.

Voice: Her voice is very sarcastic and passive aggressive to help portray her personality. Due to her being a robot her voice is synthetic and she talks slowly with each word seeming more separate than in a structured sentence, this really helps to separate her from being too human. In the first game her voice is emotionless and sounds like what a robot is usually interpreted as but in the second game she is much more human with how she talks which really allows for her personality to come through. In the first game she tends to have glitches when talking which also helps to remind the player that she is a robot with her own technical flaws.

Audience: The audience GLaDOS would appeal to is females and anyone would enjoy a bit of witty banter. The fact that GLaDOS is female helps bring in the female audience as it shows that females can also be portrayed as powerful beings instead of just damsels in distress. And due to the personality and voicing of GLaDOS she is actually really funny with a lot of the stuff she says, especially with all insults she says but due to this she targeted at a mature & adult age group.

Kirby Character Deconstruction:

Appearance: Kirby is a very small pink circle with a face, arms and legs. He has a very friendly look about him due to his face and shape. His round circular body helps show that he is friendly, safe and calm. His Huge eyes and small mouth as well as his colour are to portray a cute look to the character making him seem even more approachable and friendly. Kirby is a very young character.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/kirby/images/7/72/Kirby_RtDL_Kirby.png/revision/latest?cb=20110825044210&path-prefix=en
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/kirby/images/7/72/Kirby_RtDL_Kirby.png/revision/latest?cb=20110825044210&path-prefix=en

Personality: Kirby is a very uplifting and quite innocent character with a voracious appetite.

His appetite supports his ability to eat anything, including enemies. He loves to sing despite being tone-death which can help portray him as optimistic as he doesn’t stop trying at something he’s bad at. But as the games have shown he can act in naïve and impulsive ways without listening to the full story which helps to show him as something that’s more human like as it’s a trait that most people have, especially when they’re young.

Movement: Kirby runs quite fast and really kicks up his little legs when he runs, this helps to show that he’s rushing and correlates with his optimistic attitude to life and the world he’s in as he’s rushing as fast as he can without any sort of hesitation in his movements.

Voice: Kirby is very limited in what he can say so he doesn’t talk much at all, he’ll occasionally say “hi” and the names of a few of his special moves but he mainly just makes noises for jumping and attacking. He has a very high pitched voice, one of a young girl, this helps to portray the innocence of his character.

Audience: The loveable character of Kirby is aimed towards kids all of ages as he’s not too complex of a character in appearance and gives off such a friendly and welcoming vibe with both appearance and personality.

Was there a correlation between the above characteristics?

When it came to appearance there is a huge difference between the 2 characters, their size, age and overall look is completely difference but both their looks help to support the feel that character is meant to give off.

The personality of the characters is different as GLaDOS is a quite hostile character whereas Kirby is a very friendly and approachable character but they do both share the fact they’re both quite human in personality despite the fact neither of them are human in appearance.

The movement of these 2 characters is very difference as GLaDOS is extremely limited and Kirby’s is very free, rushed and optimistic, this really shows the amount of freedom that the characters have and just how big the contrast between them is.

The voice is hugely different with GLaDOS being able to properly talk compared to Kirby’s very limited dialogue, this is where the personality comes through with GLaDOS, without the ability to talk and show emotion through her voice she would seem like nothing but just an ordinary robot that only ever follows protocol without being intelligent enough to make its own decisions, but due to the limitations of Kirby’s speech there’s not much to get from this other than it helps to portray his innocence.

The audience of the character is quite different as GLaDOS is directed to a more matured and adult age group and Kirby is directed at kids. GLaDOS tends to be seen by the intended age group whereas Kirby is played by people of all ages due to his very warming and simple design.

Evaluate what you have learnt from this task.

From this task I have learned how to deconstruct characters and think deeper about the reasons behind each character and what the features and simple things like movement can actually symbolise in character creation. This will definitely help me later when I have to create my own character as it will give me ideas as well as practise in thinking about how to design parts of my character and what they may mean.

 

Kirby research and references.

GiantBomb. 2015. Kirby. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.giantbomb.com/kirby/3005-726/. [Accessed 21 September 2016].

The Betrayer. (2014). Kirby Voice Clips – Super Smash Bros Wii U. [Online Video]. 23 November 2014. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlaCLB2NiuA. [Accessed: 22 September 2016].

RetroBulbGaming. (2015). Kirby’s Return to Dreamland 100% – Part 1 (No Commentary). [Online Video]. 22 February 2015. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_dZ-rfmGFw. [Accessed: 22 September 2016].

 

GLaDOS research and image references.

IGN. 2007. GLADOS SPEAKS. [ONLINE] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2007/11/01/glados-speaks?page=1. [Accessed 23 September 2016].

Giant Bomb. 2015. GLaDOS (Character). [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.giantbomb.com/glados/3005-722/ [Accessed 21 September 2016].

STEVE BOWLER. 2008. GLaDOS Followup: She’s Your Venus.. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.game-ism.com/2008/04/09/glados-followup-shes-your-venus/. [Accessed 23 September 2016].

A lot of it is from primary research of playing the game.

Unit 9 1.1, Unit 10 1.1.

Pick one of the characters from your character study last week.

Consider the audience for that character (age range, gender, background, interests.

Re-design that character for a different audience.

Identify the age range, gender, background, interests of your new audience.

Explain how you would use shape, colour, voice and key features of the character to make them suitable for your audience:

Use research into visual examples of colour pallets, similar characters and shapes to illustrate your ideas.

The character I have decided to change the audience and design of is Kirby because I thought it would be both enjoyable and interesting to turn such a kind and lovable character into something quite the opposite.

kdcol_kirby_k64
vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net, (2013), KDCol_Kirby_K64.png [ONLINE]. Available at:http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/kirby/images/0/01/KDCol_Kirby_K64.png/revision/latest?cb=20120627075127&path-prefix=en [Accessed 29 September 2016].
First I have to look into the current audience of Kirby which is targeted towards children of the age E10+ so this shows it’s aimed towards a young demographic and this is represented within the art style and colour pallet and also the content and difficulty level of the game. It’s got a very simple cartoony art style which is accompanied by its bright colours and atmosphere which appeals to children because the art style is easy to follow and the colours are calming and not off putting for a child. Its specific gender can be debated as the pink colour of Kirby can be seen as more focused to girls but the violence of the game can be more focused to guys but in all I believe that Kirby doesn’t try to appeal to a specific audience but rather both genders. His uplifting and positive personality can also appeal to kids because it’s a very welcoming and open personality opposed to a darker personality which could scare children.

I wanted to take Kirby and make him for a much more mature audience by making him a more sinister character in design.

My version would be aimed towards an older audience of 18+ and predominantly male by making it a much more violent game with more gore effects to support the character’s new design of being much more sinister.

kirby-redesign

Explain how you would use shape, colour, voice and key features of the character to make them suitable for your audience:

In my redesign I focused heavily around how shapes are used to portray characters and how they can be used to reflect the character’s personality; the original Kirby was a very circular character, everything about him was curved and that can be used to show that he’s a friendly and approachable person so I decided to go with making him completely pointed, everything about him, his body, feet, arms, eyes and I even added teeth to help me make him more sinister in appearance, his new shape shows him to be dangerous to approach and that he’ll probably end up hurting someone. My inspiration for the shape of his body was Bowser from the Mario series, although he is quite curved body wise he shares the idea of using pointed shapes to portray danger through the spikes on his shell, tail as well as his claws and horns as all of them propose some sort of physical threat to the player and also help him to look more intimidating.

bowser___art_v_2_by_tails19950-d5m54xw
tails19950, (2012), bowser___art_v_2 [ONLINE]. Available at:http://img10.deviantart.net/082f/i/2012/329/b/5/bowser___art_v_2_by_tails19950-d5m54xw.png%5BAccessed 29 September 2016].
For the body of my redesign I decided to reverse the between his feet and his main body in order to help portray that he’s quite the opposite to the original version, also now that he is predominantly red he also comes off as more of a threat as red is usually used to show danger. I used black for the pupils of his eyes to help boost his intimidation factor as staring at them would be like staring into an abyss which also furthers the idea that he is quite a dark character as well.

For his voice I would make it much lower pitched and also much more demonic, either like he was possessed or he is a demon himself as this would really support the idea of him being dangerous, intimidating and overall just terrifying and not one to be friendly with anyone at all.

Another key feature about him would be changing up his ability to suck enemies in and absorb their powers, which already sounds kind of scary but due to the art style and overall happy atmosphere of the game it doesn’t seem to bad so I would make it so he still absorbed his enemies but rather he pulls their souls out of their bodies and consumes it, which would kill the enemy and leave its lifeless body on the floor.

Also to further the idea of him being the opposite of the original I would change his name from Kirby to Ybrik (ee-brick) the consumer which is to support his ability to consume souls.

 

Evaluation: 

From this task I have a better understanding of what decisions go into making a character, even if I only changed a pre-existing character I still understand what design choices are required as I changed Kirby quite extensively. This is helpful to me as it will assist me when I make my own character as I would already have some experience of the process of making a character.

Game review of Kirby’s return to dreamland.

commonsensemedia. 2011. game-reviews/kirbys-return-to-dreamland#. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews/kirbys-return-to-dreamland#. [Accessed 29 September 2016].

Unit 9 1.1

The suitability of Street Fighter for Lego.

To get a better understanding of what it would be like if there was a Lego: Street Fighter game I will compare the audiences of the franchises, what problems would have to be tackled, what benefits there are as well as compare the Street Fighter V audience to the audience of Mortal Kombat 10.

Compare the Lego audience to the Street Fighter (SF) audience:

The audience of Lego is vast and ranges from young children to grown adults, Lego games are silly, fun, have their own wacky sense of humour and its violence is very much dumbed-down from whatever franchise they’re creating the game off which allows it to be very universal to all genders, ethnicity, ages and so on. On the other hand Street Fighters audience is much more directed to people of around 13+ & male (I say male due to the representation of women who tend to be in quite skimpy outfits, although with most characters it’s not too bad) who enjoy side view Fighting games but prefer a game that’s not overly graphic.

What Similarities are there? 

Both appeal to a young audience (Lego more than SF) but also to the older audiences as well, they both share a bright colour pallet within their games as well as a cartoon art style (Lego is also its own art style in a sense), they are also both animated games with all animated gameplay and cut-scenes instead of say; graphic novels , and they do also share similarity when it comes to the diversity of characters in their games but that can be argued as the diversity of Lego characters in games tend to be from the characters of their source.

Which would be more appropriate for the Lego franchise, SF or Mortal Kombat X (MKX) and why? As well as compare the audience between the 2.

Street Fighter would definitely be more appropriate for Lego as they both avoid graphic violence whereas MKX is very gory and would be very difficult to make into a Lego game especially with the fatalities and brutalities and pretty much every move in the game, although it wouldn’t be impossible the audience of MKX prefer the gore, I know this because when Nintendo asked Mortal Kombat to take out the gore for their console most players bought another console so they could play Mortal Kombat with the graphic content on. Street Fighter is also already animated in a cartoon-esque art style whereas MKX does it best to be more much more serious and photo-realistic which is something that Lego tries to avoid. MKX’s age rating is 18+ and SFV’s is a T rating which already shows that MKX is trying to appeal to a more mature market whereas SF is trying to appeal to a younger and more universal audience.

What problems does Street Fighter propose for the Lego franchise?

boi
hes6789, (2016), SFV Cammy Fight Stance Pose [ONLINE]. Available at: http://hes6789.deviantart.com/art/SFV-Cammy-Fight-Stance-Pose-Download-607782212 [Accessed 6 October 2016].
Street Fighter has a problem with Character/gender representation with a few of its female characters being rather provocative with both their builds and outfits, although they do have female character which are very are quite the opposite of sexualisation and some border between; for instance Cammy for is slightly under-dressed is also very muscly which helps balance it out

but there are characters like Mika who are much more sexualised as the following picture will show.

boii
Edaine, (2016), Rainbow Mika SFV Wallpaper [ONLINE]. Available at: http://edaine.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-Mika-SFV-Wallpaper-564243348 [Accessed 6 October 2016]. Add to My References
The problem arises from how Lego is for children of around 7+ and the build of this character is really not appropriate for children, but this wouldn’t be the first time Lego would have tackled making something like this appropriate for children as when creating Lego: Star Wars they had to make Slave Princess Leia suitable for a young audience and to do that they simply just turned her into an entirely 2D texture which really helps to stop sexualisation and makes the characters suitable for a younger audience.

Another issue comes from the gameplay as Lego games tend to have free movement whereas SF’s movement are limited to a very short space and no real freedom to move around which can be translated into a Lego game but another problem with the gameplay is the animations, due to the design of Lego characters they are limited with their ability to do complex moves which Street Fighter contains many of.

What are the Pros of using Street Fighter for a Lego game?

It would offer a more challenging experience for children as they would have to learn moves and how to combo, it would be a very stimulating game for children as well as there isn’t much in the games industry to gateway the younger audience into serious fighting games which could in turn create a large amount of profit for Lego as it would be a very unique game and possibly a first of its kind which would appeal children, avid Street Fighter fans (Due to its very established audience) and possibly anyone looking for an easier gateway into Fighting games.

It could also be Lego’s gateway to online games as their current games are local split-screen. Although there could a few issues with safety for kids when it comes to the online, with the possibility of their opponent being quite foul-mouthed (Mic would be better off disabled) but it would also introduce a younger audience to the online gaming world.

Evaluation:

This task has significantly boosted my knowledge and understanding of issues that may arise when putting SF into the Lego universe but It also helped me to understand how well SF would fit in the Lego universe, especially when compared against the next most popular fighting game (MKX). It also developed my understanding of how much of an impact the audience of a game franchise can impact it which was very insightful as that would be a key issue that would have to be addressed when creating a new game in a franchise, especially when it’s audience is a limited one.

Unit 9 1.1

Audio Task – Ryu

In order to further my understanding of how sound/speech also helps portray character I am analysing how Ryu’s voice has developed from SFII to SFV and how audio has developed between the 2.

In SFII Ryu has a very limited amount of vocals where he can only say 3 lines, a throwing the oppenent sound and 1 KO sound effect, the quality of this is quite bad to modern standards but technology was the key limiter for SFII vocals.

(First 12 seconds of video)

 

 In SFV Ryu has so much more dialogue both in and out of fights; out of matches and in story mode there are clear conversations and though Ryu seems to keep to short sentences that is not due to technological restraint but rather to help portray his mysterious character; within game he says more lines relating to the moves he’s doing as well as more grunts when he strikes as one would do in a real fight and you can definitely hear the power behind his abilities.

The difference between the 2 is very clear as technology has obviously evolved so has the quality of sound and the ability to add more to the game with less fear of storage limits. SFII has a few low-bit vocals which are there only to name 3 moves and to support being KO’d but in SFV there are much less limitations to the quality and amount they can do as both software and hardware has evolved.

 

ChikikyoKONAMI. (2009). Super Street Fighter II VOICE COLLECTION. [Online Video]. 9 April 2009. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMmKUTxLms8. [Accessed: 24 October 2016].

 

cad5150. (2016). Street Fighter V Ryu Story Gameplay – No Commentary. [Online Video]. 16 February 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHx04UOrII0. [Accessed: 24 October 2016].

Unit 10 1.1, 1.2

I read through some articles about Street Fighter and how it tackles it’s audience. All games benefit from their audience but Street Fighter does so now more than ever.

Street Fighter used to be targeted to the hardcore gamers who are looking for a competitive game that rewards skill and by doing so built quite an elite fanbase that would scare newcomers away from the series due to the difficulty that came from learning the combos and facing the already very experienced players.

However Capcom attempted to address this issue in Street Fighter V by simplifying the combos and actually slowing the game down so that there was more time for players to react but that wasn’t all as they implemented a matchmaking system that would read a players skill and match them against someone of equal caliber.

Fighting games have always been based around fun and competition done through short successive rounds of 1 on 1’s allowing for games to be quick so they aren’t drawn out from players just doing the same thing over and over again.

Going from what I gathered from the articles I will have to make my character strong but also easy to play by kids as anything too complex would push the audience away from Lego Street Fighter.

Unit 10 – 1.2

Audio Task – Birdie

Just like the task I did with Ryu I will be analysing how sound/speech helps portrays character but instead with the character Birdie.

In SF Alpha, Birdie’s voice is almost impossible to make out any words but it does maintain a deep tone to his grunts which support the idea of him being a quite large and brutish character.

 

In SFV Birdie’s audio is so much clearer and expanded, from being able to understand him as well as making more grunts and sounds to the rattling of his chains as he moves and although hard to hear, there is sound as wind is displaced due to the force behind his attacks.

Unlike in SF Alpha Birdie is much more vocal in the later installment with a much clearer British accent within his voice. Just like Ryu there is a more extensive collection of audio for Birdie in the current game as both software and hardware has been developed.

 

Unit 9 1.1, 1.2

Pixel Art

In order to develop my understanding of just how crucial colour and design is I decided to create a couple of pixel art pieces, one of Ryu and one of Birdie, I did this in order to also demonstrate how recognisable a character can become.

capture capture

On the left is Birdie and on the right is Ryu.

I am quite pleased with how these came out because they definitely portray what I was trying to demonstrate, although I did make some mistakes with Ryu’s right arm as it’s too small around where the wrist would be and his hand does seem like it merges with his head so If I was to do it again I would correct those mistakes.

With Birdie I worry that I used the wrong colour for his hair due to my colour blindness and I could have possibly made his skin too dark, despite this I am still pleased with the outcome as compared with the picture of him from SFV the similarities are present. Also if I was to do this again I would have shaded Birdie more like I did with Ryu.

Unit 9 1.1, 1.2

Ryu and Birdie idle animation recreations.

Ryu.

Recreating Ryu’s idle animation was my first challenge, this was both a test of the skills I had learned and a lesson on how important an idle animation is as it is the base animation that a character starts most animations from and returns to after most, but the idle animation can also be used to convey the personality of character, for instance with Ryu his idle stance is very serious and it is also shows how ready his is for fighting unlike Birdie’s which portrays his disgusting nature through him scratching his backside and flicking the contents of his nose at his opponent.

capture1

I first began by moving the character rigs waist to match Ryu’s, the waist is the key bone that should be the first bone to move when animating as it will effect almost every other bone in the body.

Once I got the characters idle close enough to Ryu’s I had to start working on the individual parts of his body, like his limbs and head always trying to match them to the reference. I was impressed with my outcome as I thought my idle recreation was very close to the reference which definitely built my confidence and skill in animating.

Birdie.

After recreating the Ryu animation I started working on recreating Birdie’s animation but there was a key issue I had with Birdie’s like the difference in size between him and the character rig was huge which made my recreation less convincing.

Unlike Ryu, Birdie’s idle animation is much more than swaying back and forth but rather as stated earlier he scratches his backside as well as pick his nose. I only did the animation of him picking his nose as I did not have the time to recreate the whole animation.

Unit 10 1.1, 1.2

Audience/character analysis.

I recently read an article on zonegamer which talked about the dark skin characters, how they’ve been represented & race in the Street Fighter franchise so I looked into a couple of characters to see how they’ve changed.

Birdie: Birdie is a very brutish, disgusting dark skinned character and the look and personality of him were designed to fit within punk/biker stereotypes of the 1970’s as they are usually seen as ill-mannered, large and dirty people. Originally he was a white athletic character but Capcom managed to avoid controversy over his character’s change possibly being about racism by stating that he was ill which in turn made his skin pale. In Street Fighter Alpha he is a large muscular character but in the latest installment in the franchise (Street Fighter V) he is overweight and much more disgusting as he’ll do things like pick his nose and fling it at his opponent, in doing this they got closer to the stereotype he was based off.

Dudley: Dudley is was a quite well mannered character who over the games became more snobbish in nature which fits into the stereotype of rich British people but he slightly breaks the stereotype due to his skin colour, usually the skin colour is white for rich British stereotypes.

Capcom are quite notorious for using stereotypes which could be used to make the characters more recognisable but this way of designing does have its consequences as stereotypes can lead to impressionable adults and kids misunderstanding other cultures. The issue with that is that it can breed ignorance and racism by those whose perception is based on stereotypes (which currently a huge problem in the world today), and with a game franchise as popular as Street Fighter it can put these misconceptions on multiple generations. Although it can be said this issue arrives from the art style of the game and that Capcom is Japanese based (a country that tends to use stereotypes frequently) it is an issue that can found it a lot more games and other media.

Thankfully not all games think like this and tend to break stereotypes for instance; Lara Croft is a very strong and independent character who breaks the stereotype of females being useless and helpless in games.

Unit 10 1.1

Lego Franchise report

In preparation of comparing & combining the Lego and Street Fighter universes I will do a report on a movie franchise that has already been adapted into a Lego game. I will be looking into the characteristics, context and audience of the Lego franchise as well.

Lego prides itself on it’s durability, quality, safety, universal appeal and the creativity it can inspire within both children and adults.

Who is the audience for Lego?

The audience of Lego is very vast, although primarily aimed towards children it boasts a demographic ranging from the ages of 3-99 years old. When it comes to toddlers (the ages of around 3-6 years old) they have Mega Bloks which is similar to Lego but the pieces are much larger in order to cater for the possibility of toddlers trying to eat the bricks. Lego try’s to be for all genders without catering for either specifically but with the introduction of Lego Friends and how it’s sort of the Barbie of Lego there has been some thought about why Lego would make the move to target specific genders, although both genders could enjoy Lego Friends it is still primarily aimed towards girls.

Who is the audience for the movie franchise

The movie franchise I will be covering is Star Wars.

Star Wars has a vast audience ranging from Children to adults just like the Lego Universe does, although Star Wars definitely has a much more adult audience due to the violence and other adult content it contains which would be unsuitable for kids up to a certain age. Despite Star Wars attempts to be not targeted to specific genders it has more male fans than it does female, It also appeals mainly to fans of Science-Fiction, action, adventure and Fantasy.

How have they adapted the style for a Lego game?

A key issue of adapting adult violence into a Lego game is that Lego is aimed towards the age of 9+, in order to account for that Lego games don’t have any blood within them but rather the characters comically smash into Lego bits when killed, although that’s still quite violent in nature it’s much more suitable for children than blood & gore. Another key issue of adapting the Lego franchise was the issue of slave Leia, who was in very ‘limited’ clothing which definitely wouldn’t be suitable for children but Lego tackled it very well by making the outfit and any other noticeable sexual features completely flat against the body.

They had to do something similar for the Indiana Jones series as the bad guys in the films are Nazis which is inappropriate for children (the main audience of Lego), so in order to tackle that issue they simply removed any Swastikas and other Nazi symbols as seen below with the flying wing.

brickset, (2008), 7683-1 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://images.brickset.com/sets/images/7683-1.jpg?200812011049 [Accessed 8 December 2016].
brickset, (2008), 7683-1 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://images.brickset.com/sets/images/7683-1.jpg?200812011049 [Accessed 8 December 2016].
vignette2, (2011), Fwing-1- [ONLINE]. Available at: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/indianajones/images/c/c7/Fwing-1-.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20110317223805 [Accessed 8 December 2016].
vignette2, (2011), Fwing-1- [ONLINE]. Available at: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/indianajones/images/c/c7/Fwing-1-.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20110317223805 [Accessed 8 December 2016].

Unit 9 2.2

Deconstructing the shapes of Street fighter characters.

To further my understanding of the deconstruction of character I broke down Ryu and Birdie from Street Fighter first into stick men and then into basic shapes all while taking in consideration the line of action and how it effects the characters pose because it will come in handy when designing my own character’s idle and movements as I’ll already have some experience doing so.

Throughout the speed drawings I got a good amount of helpful feedback that assisted me greatly in improving my work which is noticeable when I was drawing Ryu because thanks to feedback I could keep realising that the hand of Ryu was too low down. Sadly not all the feedback/writing on the paper can be seen as it didn’t come through when scanned up.

Thanks to this I will be better prepared for drawing out the storyboard for my character’s moves as I will already have experience in breaking down movement to lines and shapes, but I could still have definitely done better as there are some obvious problems that took me too long to address and if I had a little bit more time I could have refined the images better.

Unit 9/10 1.1

Street Fighter Assassins fist report.

In order to further my understanding on how street fighter has been changed I looked at some street fighter movies, and watched Assassin’s Fist as well as the Street Fighter 2 animated movie.

The main thing I noticed is that the animation could keep to the colour style the games go with as there was much more freedom to use brighter colours compared to assassins fist which isn’t animated so it has to abide much more to the limits of reality.

Assassins fist is according to popular opinion is the best movie adaption of the game as it sticks to the source material as best as it can while being an entertaining movie. Thanks to the advancement of technology the film had very good special effects for all the abilities but it could never match up to the animation in how much it can show as the animated movie isn’t limited by trying to make it look realistic so they could create them with more ease.

Unit 9 1.2, 2.1

Street Fighter Character Pitches

Throughout the duration of my project I will be developing my Street Fighter characters and their compatibility in the Lego universe and what they would like look as Lego characters. Both of my ideas aren’t overly developed but contain the necessary groundwork to be developed further.

Link: characters-profiles

My first character was heavily inspired by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt so I wanted them to be quite a lanky character with low hp and weak hits but that would be balanced out by his speed.

http://youredm.youredm1.netdna-cdn.com/, (2016), usain_bolt-1250x750 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://youredm.youredm1.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/usain_bolt-1250x750.jpg?x98500 [Accessed 24 November 2016].
http://youredm.youredm1.netdna-cdn.com/, (2016), usain_bolt-1250×750 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://youredm.youredm1.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/usain_bolt-1250×750.jpg?x98500 [Accessed 24 November 2016].
My character’s design would be heavily inspired by what Usain Bolt in this image but slightly altered, especially because I can’t have any real world brands included within my designs.

 

My second character took inspiration from Cammy who is a character already in the SF universe and so I looked into the SFV story in order to interlink my character into Cammy’s life.

Usain Bolt. 2008. Usain Bolt. [ONLINE] Available at: http://usainbolt.com/. [Accessed 8 November 2016].

streetfighter.wikia. 2010. Cammy. [ONLINE] Available at: http://streetfighter.wikia.com/wiki/Cammy. [Accessed 8 November 2016].

Reflection:

Upon reflection and peer feedback I have chosen my first character design as the one I would use for my Lego character as I have better idea of how they would play out and what moves would go with them. When put to a class vote my first character was heavily favoured over my second because my peers believed that there more potential to expand Lightning’s design. Some of my peers were impressed with how well I thought out the lore of these characters and how I managed to tie them within the SF universe and major characters within the franchise without taking major parts of the plot.

Unit 9 2.1, 2.2

Storyboard and design of my SFV character.

I decided on what character I would like to develop and got to work creating storyboards for the Character’s moves as well as his outfit and face until I had a design I wanted to use for my final draw up but even then I decided to redesign the character slightly to make him more appealing from the back. The whole time I was making sure the moves and designs where linked to my character’s personality and history.

Storyboards:

The purpose of the storyboards was to assist me when I went record myself acting out the moves so I may use them as references. Without before planning and story-boarding then I would have a much harder time with the moves as I would have been making them up on the spot without anything to look back at whenever I got lost. With my storyboards I got assistance from a peer when creating the critical art as I was struggling to think of a way to convey speed but also to show some power at the end until I came up with the idea of a quick succession of hits which my peer recommended a powerful kick to follow it up which would also put distance between the 2 characters within the game as most critical arts do.

Character designs:

I designed the back, front and facial expressions of my character. At first I did a few designs and annotated them, I kept the colour pallet consistent to match the colours of Jamaican flag as he would be fighting in his old Olympic running clothes, these are both links to his lore. My character is also bald due to stress in the past and his skin colour is brown to match to his ethnicity. For his facial expressions I did 2 light hearted ones and 2 serious ones, the top right and bottom left didn’t come out as well as I wanted to as the the bottom left looked to old and the top right’s face is giving off the wrong impression but I really liked the bottom right one so I decided I would use that for my final design after refining it a bit.

 

Unit 10 1.1

Venn diagram

In order to develop my understanding of the audiences of Lego and Street Fighter as well as if they could merge together by outlaying similarities and differences.

venn-diagram

I’m missing a few points from the middle section here; the audience both have nostalgia, local co-op but they also appeal to casual gamers as well.

Although the franchises do have quite a few similarities they also have a lot of differences but despite that they could quite easily mix together and appeal to hardcore, casual, adult and young audiences.

Unit 9 2.1

Refining my character designs.

After creating them I on paper I went to Photoshop to further refine the final character draft as well as the 4 different facial expressions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I refined all the facial expressions on Photoshop to see how they would differ digitally from paper, and although the difference is noticeable and the quality did improve on the other faces I have decided to stick with the last one because it really helps to convey the anger Lightning has for M.Bison.

Unit 9 2.1, 2.2

Texturing my Lego character.

Using my refined designs I textured my character, I only went into the Photoshop for the body and the face textures as I filled all the other area easily on 3DSmax. when creating the body I kept looking back at my refined image, and although they may differ the design is near enough the same, the only reason I didn’t just copy over the refined design onto the texture is the difference in resolution was too big so It would have looked stretched and horrible.

I did run into a key issue when creating this as I’m partially colourblind colouring isn’t the easiest of tasks and although I did get assistance from my peers they also pointed out my refined design had some mistakes as well, hence why the colours of my texture may differ from the design.

The resolution of the face was bigger than that of the texture so I could copy it over and scale it down, carefully making sure it was in the right slots on the diffuse, although there is a chance the face has a slightly different angle but that isn’t noticeably visible within 3DSmax so I don’t see it as a big enough issue to fixate on.

I struggled with the head as getting it exactly into place was difficult and I had to switch between Photoshop and 3dsMax to make sure it was in the right position, adjusting it with the arrow keys slightly each time.

Unit 9 2.1, 2.2

Filming

As part of my preparation for my animations I had to record myself doing them so that I had references when in 3dsmax, this was so when I was animating I could do my best o match up the Lego character to my real movement but I did also have to take into consideration the characters limitations while animating.

Below is a playlist of the edited references I will use while animating:

In order to make sure the animations were as close as possible to my movements I recorded from both the front and the side by placing the camera equal distance away from me/the area I was performing in.

I was very pleased with how the recording came out as they were a spot on reference for what I was after.

 

TheLegendofRenegade. (2010). Street Fighter Alpha – Birdie Playthrough 1/2. [Online Video]. 11 March 2010. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD_VtJ1YKok. [Accessed: 31 October 2016].

Golden Frieza. (2016). SFV: F3alucarD [Birdie] vs THE_REAL_KS_TALI [Ryu] Ranked!. [Online Video]. 20 August 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_7wG13fHCI. [Accessed: 31 October 2016].

 

Evaluation

Introduction:

My project was about designing, creating & animating a character suitable to a mixed universe of Street Fighter and Lego taking into consideration their respective audiences, contexts and characteristics. Some of the key issues with this is the huge differences in style, representation and gameplay as they vary drastically.

With my design there were some noticeable strengths and weaknesses that I will discuss below.

Strengths:

It was a very clear and thought out idea with a very strong inspiration behind it, the character style and build was very easy to adapt to Lego due to the fact that previous Street Fighter characters were similar to what I was after which helped me to see how he could fit into the universe of SF as well as the type of audience he would appeal to but If I was to do it again I would push myself to develop him further and quicker.

My character’s simple appearance which was inspired by Usain Bolt’s Olympic tracksuits with a few differences made it easier to adapt it to the block shapes of a Lego character as shown below:

But if I was to all this again I would push myself to make the texture smoother, especially the stripes on the front as they were definitely unorganised and although they aren’t a huge detail nor do they effect the overall character I would put more effort into making them flow more naturally with the shirt.

The storyboards of the moves were really helpful and the clarity of them helped a lot when I came to filming for a reference, they also weren’t too ambitious because I always made sure in my head that the critical art can’t go over the top as it had to still be possible to animate without the character breaking or at least any breaks being noticeable.

The basic animations went well and came out with quite a smooth look to them, although they were quite simple and slightly generic they were never meant to be fancy nor hugely different to what is commonly done as they represent the character’s build. Due to him being lanky he gets hit back further than usual when hit; his heavy attack aims to represent that to get a real hard hitting punch he has to use both arms in order to get weight & power behind a singular strike. If I was to do the storyboards again I would try to draw them with a Lego character to understand that physical limitations earlier so I can plan my moves with more precision to what they would look like once animated.

Weaknesses:

Although my basic animations were very successful my critical had some key issues when animating due to the limitations in movement of the Lego character; I struggled greatly to get the character to spin and in my final animation he legs actually break at a point but I edited so many individual keys that it can’t be noticed and any other keys that it could be noticed in are at times the character is invisible so all in all it doesn’t make a huge impact but if I was to do it again I would definitely be more careful when animating in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Although I’m glad with the quality of the face I don’t like the fact that it doesn’t actually look like he’s particularly angry but just has a big grin on his face so if I was to do it again I would probably make the eyebrows straighter and close the mouth to show a more annoyed/angry expression.

I would have liked to put more detail into the back of his shirt to really make it look more authentic, especially on the tag as there should be numbers and the name of which Olympics it is from as shown below.

sportsinteraction, (2013), Usain-Bolt-London-Anniversary-Games [ONLINE]. Available at: https://news.sportsinteraction.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1341/files/2013/04/Usain-Bolt-London-Anniversary-Games.jpeg [Accessed 23 November 2016].
sportsinteraction, (2013), Usain-Bolt-London-Anniversary-Games [ONLINE]. Available at: https://news.sportsinteraction.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1341/files/2013/04/Usain-Bolt-London-Anniversary-Games.jpeg [Accessed 23 November 2016].
Both my characters designs had the same theme of trying to keep to traditional Street Fighter character so I created them with the key thought of ‘Would they be authentic to the series?’ but I also kept in mind ‘Could they be suitably adapted for Lego’; this led to them having quite understandable backstories that were both fit for the universes of Street Fighter and Lego. Both the characters had their own theme.

See here for character profiles: characters-profiles

Both my characters were quite speed focused although Ai is slower but hits harder than Lightning.

Ai’s design was heavily focused around being similar to Cammy from Street Fighter but she would hit harder than Cammy to demonstrate her anger and hatred. Although the idea isn’t terrible I had fears that she would have been too much like Cammy so I decided Lightning would have been better to develop as he was more unique than Ai but if I had time to redesign her then I would definitely focus more on making her unique possibly but redesigning her build or giving her a weapon to fight with.

Below are the renders of my animations, although short they can be looped by pressing right click on the video and selecting the loop option.

I am pleased with the outcome of my animations as they were as close to my designs and the filmed references, I am pleased with how they turned out despite the difficulty of the chunky Lego body. Although the critical art came out very close to my reference I am displeased with the particle effect I put in with my critical art as it was rushed and doesn’t fully show the movement of the character so if I could I would definitely improve the effect.

If I was to redo the whole project I would certainly focus on my time management skills as I took to long on some parts of the project and not long enough on other parts, some of my write ups are to a poor standard and given more time I would like to improve them.

Although I did record dialogue for my character I never got around to editing or putting it with the renders and if I had better time management skills or more time I would definitely record all the sound effects I wanted as well as combine them with my renders to fully show how my character is.

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