Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Abandoned Swimming Pool (End of Semester Brief)

The most time-consuming and involving University brief I've ever done (a.ka "the reason that it's been almost a month since I last made a post") is finally finished!

For the past few weeks there's been a few big end-of-semester projects on the go that have all been pretty intense in terms of workload, and they're now all pretty much finished. Definitely the most interesting and blog-worthy project has been the creation of a "modular" game scene, which basically means that we pre-make parts of the level's architecture, like walls and floors, so that they can be repeated to speed up the level building process. We then build a level and fill it with objects etc.

As you can see, I made a fair few 3D models for this brief.


Here's a few pictures of the finished scene.

It's taken countless hours of 3D modelling in Maya and texturing in Photoshop to get it finished. I've put a lot of time into this one and I'm happy with how its turned out. I'm definitely looking forward to getting home for Christmas and taking a break now. I plan on focusing on writing loads of music for a few weeks.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

"Crazy Jungle Swing" - User Interface Project

So my current project for Uni is to design a working user interface project for a game using Powerpoint, to demonstrate a main menu, in-game user interface, pause menu etc. We had to come up with a vague idea of what sort of game our UI was for, so I came up with a simple sidescroller for a tablet, involving monkeys. I also decided to do some (kinda rough) artwork for this to make it a bit exciting than clicking around some menus.

The UI itself is pretty much finished but I'm working on a video playthrough of it that I'll post sometime soon, for now, here's some of the art work that I did for it. They're not too fancy but I think they're a fair standard for the length of the project :)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Gas Pump Model Finished

Today I finished the Gas Pump model that I began work on a couple of weeks ago for a University brief. It's probably one of the highest quality game objects that I've made so far. I've learned a lot of new skills that I'm looking forward to putting to use in my independant projects. As usual it was modelled using Maya, textured in Photoshop and presented in UDK. I also tried to go the extra mile with the presentational sheet this time, hopefully this will pay off when it's marked.

Here's the presentation picture that I produced

Then the boring bit: the texture map and wireframes

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Dubstep Track: "Right Here"

This has been a very musical week for me, I've spent a lot of time producing and playing and learning new stuff.

The result (or one of them at least) is a new track that I uploaded to my Soundcloud the other day. It's my first proper attempt at a dubstep track and also the first time I've used a sample in a track.

Friday, 1 November 2013

3D Modelling a Gas Pump

This has been another busy week at Uni. Following the submission of my game character 3D model last week, we've started a new brief. This one is similar, but this time we're doing a low-poly game asset 3D model. This is much more suited to my abilities than the last brief because I spent a lot of time over the Summer making game assets and scenes and I think I take better to it than I do to character modelling.

Because I enjoy this area of games design, I'm already fairly ahead of schedule and I've got it modelled and UV mapped ready to texture at a later date. Of course, it's not finalised and I might revisit the model and tweak a few things, but here's a preview of it:

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Underwater Environment Art Finished

Today I finished my Underwater environment concept art piece that I mentioned in my last post. It's a lot more detailed than the work-in-progress version and has taken me roughly 8-10 hours to finish. It's my first ever finished Photoshop concept art (which is shameful seeing as I'm in my 2nd year as a Games student) so I'm pretty happy with it and I think now that I've done one, the idea doesn't seem quite as intimidating. I'll definitely be doing more in the future.

Here's the previous version that I posted recently, for reference.

A lot of changes have been made in the final version, here's a quick list:
  • Added plantlife and fish/animals (including sharks!)
  • Added highlights in areas where the light is hitting the landscape
  • Increased the intensity of the blue overlay to give more of an underwater effect
  • Tilted the ship very slightly

Here's the final version:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stuff I Made this week - (DnB Track / Concept Art Piece)

It may only be Tuesday but I can already safely say it's been a busy week so far. There's a couple of things I'm gonna include in this post. The first is a musical project that I finished today, and the 2nd is a quick work-in-progress concept art picture that I've been working on for a Uni project.

So today I made my 2nd Soundcloud upload. This time it's a drum and bass track, titled "Messages", that I started work on a couple of weeks ago. It's inspired by various different DnB artists and tracks, but I also tried to give it a bit of a Deep House vibe. The track was made in Reason 5 using only Midi instruments. 

Check it out on my Soundcloud page:

Now for a work in progress. This is a piece of concept art that I've been working on this week for a Uni games design project. The project is to create a game concept and accompanying pitch document, complete with art work, so I'm creating this piece of concept art in Photoshop to be used as a background to each of the pages in the pitch document.

Stay tuned for the finished product.

Friday, 25 October 2013

3D Modelling a Character - Uni Brief

Another week, another University assignment finished. In my last post, I wrote about a character design project in which I had to model and texture a character in the style of DOTA2. Today was deadline day and I managed to get the work done and handed in on time.

The project was to model a low poly character, some props, and a base for the character to stand on, all with low-res textures, that could be (hypothetically) used in a handheld version of DOTA2 (a game that I've never played and had barely heard of pre-brief). This of course involved some research into the art style and a load of work that I won't bore anyone with the details of this time around.

The final submission included an image of the concept pictures and character silhouettes, a presentation image, and an image with the model's technical details. Here they are in order.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Some work from my first month back at Uni

So, regular visitors to my blog (if such a thing exists?) may have noticed a lack of activity for the past few weeks. This is because I'm back at Uni now for my 2nd year as a Games Design student and the work has been coming in thick and fast. I've already noticed an increase in the work load from last year, which isn't all bad, it's good to have a steady flow of work and stuff that I can show off on this blog (when I get chance).

So far we've had 3 assignments, two of which are still under way. Here's a few pictures of stuff that I've produced so far this year.

Project 1 was about character texturing. We were given a choice of 3 pre-made, but untextured, 3D models to choose from and texture ourselves. There was an imp, a Sci-fi/cyborg girl and a guy who instantly reminded me of the heavy from Team Fortress 2, which gave me an idea. I chose to design a new character for TF2. I'd never textured a character before so it wasn't exactly to the standard that I'd hoped by the time deadline day came around, but I think the TF2 theme is still pretty clear. Either way, here's the outcome.

The second project, which is still in progress, is a group project consisting of the design of a complete board game. This has been a very demanding project so far. We've had to come up with the idea, produce a prototype, and rigorously play-test it. Our game is a turn based strategy game with a pirate theme. One of the many jobs I took on for this project was the design (using Photoshop) and production of some "bonus cards" for the game. I'm quite happy with how these designs turned out!

The 3rd project, which is also still in progress, is similar to the first, but this time we have to create the whole character from scratch, which includes the 3D model as well as the texture. The first step, however, was creating some concept art for the character using Photoshop. Here's the finished concept art that I produced for this project.

That's all for now!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Another Fallout 3 Mod Complete!

A few weeks ago I started a new Fallout mod following the success of my first one, and today I finished it and it's now uploaded at the Fallout 3 Nexus Site. This mod was heavily inspired by Breaking Bad and involves a quest in which the player infiltrates and takes over a drug lab.

This mod is a lot more complex than my first one, which essentially just added a lot of detail to a pre-existing game area. This mod not only involved the creation of a new game area, but also involved creating a quest, which itself meant a LOT of complicated scripting, which I was totally new at, so it was quite the learning curve. My self-imposed deadline was the 29th of September; the date of the airing of the final episode of Breaking Bad in America. I actually uploaded the mod at 11.57pm on the 29th of September. Very, VERY narrowly making the deadline. So I'm pretty happy about that, even though some last-minute issues made it a very stressful experience. This project called upon a wide range of my skills, even including Photoshop, which I used to create the promo picture that can be seen at the top of this post.

Here's a few pictures of the game zone that I created!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Alleyway Scene Completed!

So for the past month or so I've been working on my Alleyway 3D modelling scene project with the goal of getting it finished before my first day back at Uni. Today I completed this project, which is convenient because in 12 hours or so I'll be on my way into Uni for my first day back, so I just about made my deadline. As seen in my previous posts, I've been pushing the boat out a bit with this project and trying to test and develop my skills. I definitely think this had paid off, I'm pretty happy with how this scene has turned out. 

This scene features more 3D models than any scene I've done in the past, the most complicated of which is the dumpster which took a damn long time to model, and longer to texture. This is also my first scene to feature a model with an alpha texture.

As usual, the 3D models were made in Maya, the textures were made in Photoshop with a graphics tablet, and the final scene was created and presented in UDK.

Here's a couple of pictures!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

My First Finished Song

This year I had a very musical Summer involving a lot of time playing guitar and writing songs and so on, I also bought various music peripherals (microphone, interface etc). I also managed to produce my first ever full track using Logic in my brother's home studio and it's now uploaded on my Soundcloud page.

It's a trippy guitar-led instrumental rock track. The guitar tracks were recorded via interface and the other instruments (synth, keyboard, drum track etc) were recorded with a Midi keyboard. One of the two guitar tracks (the more distorted solo track) was improvised.

Check it out on my Soundcloud here:

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Springvale Chem Lab - My 2nd Fallout 3 Mod

It's been almost two months since I uploaded my first ever Fallout 3 mod and it's been much more well received than I ever expected it to be, with over 200 downloads and 4000 views so far. I'm pretty surprised at the stats because it was only a very simple mod without any scripting or associated quest.

I've now started a second mod that WILL involve scripting and a quest that I will write and script from scratch. This is all new to me but I'm definitely getting there bit by bit by watching and rewatching tutorial videos.

In short, the mod will involve a hidden chem lab that the player takes over in the quest. The mod is heavily inspired by Breaking Bad and is going to involve just about as many references to the show that I can think of/get away with, the first of which being the simple retexture of the in-game drug, "Jet", seen below (blue meth anyone?)

Not much in the way of screen shots so far but here's what I've got!

Entrance to the Chem Lab

Retextured Jet

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dumpster - 3D Model

Today I've finished one more 3D model for my upcoming alleyway scene. This is probably the most complex 3D model I've made so far because it involved several separate objects. The wheels, lids and bits on the side (I'm not sure what they are to be honest) are all their own separate objects. I also put a lot of effort into the texture and tried to make it as detailed as possible with graffiti, dirt and so on. The amount of stuff that I had to fit onto the texture meant that some of it looked a bit stretched but either way I'm quite happy with it.

My goal of getting this project finished before I restart Uni on the 24th is looking quite realistic. I'll probably do one or two more 3D models and the textures for the walls and floor of the scene then it'll be done!

I've also made a Pinterest board of research pictures that can be seen here: Alleys and Backstreets.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Two New 3D Models - Alleyway Scene

I've completed two new 3D models for my alleyway scene today in what can only be called an intense Maya sesh. The first is a simple cardboard box. The model isn't fancy at all, just a 3D rectangle (which I have just learned is called a "right rectangular prism", thanks Google) with a simple texture that includes some typical box-ey phrases and sellotape.

The second item was a cola bottle. This one was a bit more complex because I tried to loosely base it off a real world Coke bottle in terms of shape. With this one I finally got around to relearning how to use alpha textures to make semi transparent surfaces on 3D models! So I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Here's some pictures:

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Metal Barrel - 3D Model

Following the completion of my Gravedigger scene, I took a quick break from 3D Modelling, but now I'm back at it and I've got another scene underway. It's going to be an alleyway scene featuring a number of 3D models such as boxes, trash etc, and this dented metal barrel that I today in Maya. As usual it's a simple model with a simple texture, but I tried to make it a bit more unique by denting the side of the barrel a bit.

I aim to get this scene done a lot quicker than gravedigger scene, probably before I return to Uni in a couple of weeks if possible.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Gravedigger Scene Finally Completed

It's finally completed! The Gravedigger scene that I've been working on since I came home from Uni for the Summer in May is finished with a total of 4 3D Models and 5 textures, all made from scratch using Maya, Photoshop and UDK. This has been an ongoing project over the Summer and has seen a lot of stops and starts because of time constraints, distractions, other projects and so on, so I'm glad that I've managed to finish it, even if it did take much longer than I expected.

This purpose of this project, other than to just keep me busy, wasn't necessarily to learn new stuff, but simply to keep me in practice for when I get back to Uni in just over a month's time and keep my mind in a "games design" place. I think that has definitely been the outcome and I'm looking forward to getting back back to Uni and expanding my skills.

Here's some final beauty shots of the scene in UDK. I rearranged the objects in each shot to give good angles and vary it a bit. Unlike the shots of the individual items in previous blog posts, where the grass textures were pre-made, everything in these shots is original and made by me.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New Video: "Fun Stuff To Do In: Oblivion"

A while ago I got hold of a cheap capture card online so that I could record some Xbox 360 gameplay footage, and made a few videos of Far Cry 2 maps. The capture card then sat unused for nearly 3 years, until I rooted it out the other day and recorded some footage in The Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion and threw a quick video together. The video is short clips of "Fun Stuff To Do" in the game.

I'm gonna follow it up with a possible sequel with more Oblivion stuff and a GTA San Andreas edition too.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Treasure Chest - 3D Modelling

I've made another step closer to the completion of my Gravedigger scene today with the completion of my latest 3D model; a beat up old wooden treasure chest. This is the fourth 3D model for this project which means it's finally almost done! I'll be doing at least one more which might be a plant/fern type thing using alpha textures, depending on if I can actually manage this. Then I'll be doing some textures for the scene's floor and walls and so on.

As usual this model was made using Maya, textured using Photoshop and presented in UDK (using UDK textures that I take no credit for). I'm not 100% happy with the texture because it was difficult to get the gold/metallic effect that I was after.

Here's some pictures!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Fallout 3 Mod Video by aTinyTurtle

So as I said in my last post, a few days ago I uploaded my first Fallout 3 mod for people to download. A lot has come of this since then. It's already had over 1300 views on the Fallout Nexus and has been downloaded 60 times, which is way more than I expected in such a short period of time, and I've got some positive feedback as well which is great!

What's even more awesome is that I got a message on Fallout Nexus from a user called aTinyTurtle who has made a video of the mod and uploaded it to Youtube. This video can be seen here!
aTinyTurtle's channel features loads of videos of mod's for the Fallout and Elder Scrolls games and is definitely worth a look. Click here to see!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Fallout 3 Mod Complete!

The Fallout 3 Mod that I've been working on for a few weeks is finally finished and uploaded over at for Fallout 3 players around the world to download and play!

The mod, made using the GECK world editor, overhauls a building within the game (The Temple of the Union), adding loads of new content including furniture, weapons, items, clutter and detail items. I also made a new unique weapon by editing a texture file. This can be seen in a previous blog post.The mod is appropriately called Temple of the Union Overhaul and can be found at

Here's some pictures before and after pictures to show how major an overhaul it was:

General pics:


Friday, 19 July 2013

Gravedigger's Spade - 3D Modelling

Today I finally found the motivation to get some 3D modelling done and made some progress on my "Gravedigger" scene that I've been working on (for far too long!) I've finished the third of the objects for the scene now (the other two being the gravestone and the coffin from several posts ago) and I'm happy to say that the break that I took from 3D modelling didn't mess things up as much as I had expected. The model itself was a bit of an awkward one because of the shape of the spade head, but the real challenge came when I had to UV map it which was somehow much harder than I thought. The texture is quite a simple one but it didn't need to be particularly fancy (it's only a spade after all...)

Anyway here's some pictures of the textured model in Maya

And the final result in UDK