Unit 4-5

My Original brief was quite ambitious- too ambitious. I wanted to create a first person shooter with open world aspects, but I was working alone, so this caused constraints in what I could do; note that when I wrote up this brief, I was unaware of how long it would take to learn both MAYA and Unreal to a decent standard. A lot of my time during this project was taking up learning, and this wasn't always practical learning- there were plenty of written reports- which went along side practical exercises. I wish I had better foresight when creating 3D models in MAYA earlier in the project, as I didn't make much useful assets- which would be in the final product of the game.

Here's a video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkVA05ZV-O0&t=6s

Now I will break down parts of my brief and evaluate them in greater detail.

The Clowns

I intended to create the clown enemies as a gang who dressed as clowns, and not actual clowns. I was going to make one player model and add different masks to it- to make it seem like there was more variety in the game. This was a good idea, and I wish I stuck to it, but I struggled to make a player model. The one I have was made quite unprofessionally- it was made up of an arm and a leg and a body that I each made separately- so they didn't match. Because of how bad my clown was I changed the theme of the clown to more of a horror theme as opposed to the more realistic theme I originally intended; I think that this is one of the few positives of the clown model- the face of the clown looks quite scary- but also quite silly, as it was not what I intended to make. I don't think I even attempted to make a mask, probably because I forgot, they would've been a challenge but I think I could have achieved it.

As you can see the clown model, is quite basic, and not very professional- for example it's not posed in the "T" style, which is common industry practice.

The Player

So my game doesn't really have a player, the player's  really just a gun and a pair of arms- I decided to ditch creating a player model for a first person shooter, as it would just be a waste of my time- because you wouldn't even see the player. The game also doesn't have any reference to the story I made up, and there is no vigilantes in the game, as I did not have time to make them. 

I made a player which had axis mappings all set up- it had a sprint function, and a crouch function, it was quite a basic setup but it worked. However, I did not have any visual representation of a character- no arms, or weapon, or any animations. I purchased a weapon from the Unreal Marketplace, and I added to the player, however it had no animations, and at the time I didn't know how to set up animations in unreal. But then I realised the weapon, I had purchased from the marketplace,  came with animations, and a pair of arms; so I just used this instead, although it did come with problems, I will go into more detail about this later.

The Town
I spent a lot of time trying to make the town a thing, I created a big world in Unreal, I added loads of trees which I got from the Unreal starter pack, I created a mountain in the corner of the map- to give the game some scenery. However because of all the trees on the map, the project would take too long to load up, so I decided to delete a lot of the trees, but the problem was the fact that I was placing individual trees everywhere, when I really should have been using Unreal's foliage tool- which created a large amount of trees as foliage, this makes them spend less time rendering, and saves a lot of memory.

However the biggest challenge I faced with creating the Environment in Unreal- was when I lost the project, and was unable to recover it. I don't know why is happened, but all my work on the town was gone- and this happened quite late in the project, so I needed to create a new as quick as possible. And I did, and I am quite proud of what I did in a small period of time- I basically made a more compact version of what I made before. The only building in the world is the Police department, which I where I decided to set the game. So the open world part of the game wasn't going to happen, all the game will be set around the police department- the idea is that the killer clowns have taken over the building, and the player has to clear them out. I also had an Idea which I don't think I put into the brief, I wanted to make some sort of enemy wave system, maybe instead of going in the building and clearing out the clowns, the player should defend the building from
 the clowns.

I made a number of 3D models with I intended to use in the game environment, here are some of them:

Here is a house I made for the game. It hasn't got any functions- it really just for show. This was one of the early Maya models I completed, as you can see the textures are not amazing, because I didn't know how to add a downloaded texture from the internet. If I were to make this again, I would use a wooden panel texture as the walls of the house- because this house is based on a small american house- and a lot of houses in America have wooden panels on the outside walls. For the roof I would have used the same method, but with a roof tile image. The windows just have a black texture on, as opposed to a transparent glass texture, I did this because there is nothing inside the object, it would look weird if the player walked up to the window in the game. The house is also quite small, too small that it doesn't make sense- it would be a one room house; so I made a bigger version- all I did way increase the size with the scale tool in Maya.
Still a small house, but now it's more than one room.

Another model which is in the game, is a circus tent model. I did not make this model, I downloaded it on turbosquid.com for free, however I did give it some colour. As you can see in the image below, it's a pretty decent 3D model, it also came with some flags attached, but I deleted them as them were not animated, and were posed as if they were blowing in the wind- it also can with no textures.

In my brief I wanted my player to have an M4A1 assault rifle and a Glock pistol for a side arm. I didn't manage to get the Glock, but I did purchase an animated M4A1 from the Unreal Marketplace- for about £10. The reason I bought this, was because of my lack of 3D modelling experience, I thought there was no way of me making a decent gun for the first person shooter- and the guns are very important parts of the first person shooter. The weapon was also fully animated in reloading, and even came with a pair of arms, and other animations- such as a prone animation, a aiming animation too.
However now I am having problems with this, as my character seems to not move at all, as of when I am writing this I still have not solved this problem- which came out of nowhere.

In my brief I wanted the clowns to carry numerous different weapons, but I didn't have the time to make all these weapons, so I will just give them the assault rifle the player has.

Overall I think the game was a overly ambitious failure, I planned the game to be something I couldn't do- an open world FPS, so I stripped it down to a basic FPS with one level- and this was easier to work with. I definitely learned a lot from all my mishaps, and I am now a lot more competent with MAYA. Although I could defiantly learn more about Unreal, as I still have a lot of problems with it.