Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Project Conclusion

Initially, I set out to keep this blog up to date with everything that was going on with the project. Sadly this fell apart later in the project. I'm not going to make excuses, I just got carried away with things towards the end.

So, what's changed since you last saw the project? Probably the biggest thing is the revision of the exterior, which has had extra things added to the surrounding scene, and the change of the dining hall skylight.

I added shipwrecks and jagged rocks to the exterior scene, and tweaked the colour of the fog and the lighting to try and add to the spooky atmosphere. One thing I'd initially forgotten to include was the moon, which I added through a simple 2D plane.

The deck of the ship has seen some more assets but otherwise it's just seems some tweaking.

I'm not sure if the lifeboat was in earlier, but there are a few lifeboats now. They rock, too, but I tried to keep it minimal as I didn't want it to be distracting. A niggle I had with this is that the lifeboats had to be dynamic, and this meant the light sources had to be tweaked to fit. So they lit slightly differently to when they were first put up.

The side of the ship saw similar treatment to the deck, with new assets and tweaks added to it. One particular niggle I've only just been able to identify is the lighting on the walkway. I didn't duplicate the flooring to create an underneath as the original texture didn't require it, but since it uses the same lightmaps it's causing unusual lighting. This is unfortunate, as I did not identify the problem until after the project was over :C

The lounge and interior received a lot of new assets and decor, mainly in the form of decals and clutter assets. I also tweaked the lighting and added light beams to highlight the light source. I decided to focus mostly on natural light, even though the scene was set at night, because I felt it helped the theme more. In retrospect, it would be much darker inside, but I didn't want to use man-made lights.

The transition area was perhaps my least favourite part, simply because it's so empty. The reference I had gathered dictated that these corridors are empty, and this matches the purpose of the area as they had to be easy to navigate. However, this wasn't great for the level in general, as it made the area rather uninteresting.

The revisited skylight for the dining hall was, I felt, a much better shape that both what I had previously made and the original flat roofing. I feel it helps to make the room feel taller than it actually is, and it gave me a great way to raise the lighting level in the area without feeling like it didn't make sense.


Designing and realising the ship itself took a huge amount of time, and I had to redesign elements as construction progressed. It was an ever changing process that soaked up a lot of my time, and could've been avoided with proper thorough testing beforehand. I was too eager to begin construction, and I tripped myself up it seems.

I'm disappointed that I had to cut out the top floor of the ship, which contained the captain's quarters and the bridge. This was a combination of a concern about time, and about the route which the player must take to reach these locations.

The layout was originally designed to incorporate a dining hall with a staircase, allowing access to the second floor. However, with the redesigned dining hall, this no longer fitted, and so the player instead had to walk up three sets of stairs. This turned out to be tedious and ultimately uninteresting. However, I did not have time to design and implement a new method or reaching this second area, which combined with the lack of time required to make the second floor, meant it ultimately had to be cut.

While I feel the redesign of the dining hall ultimately benefited the project, it was something that took away time that could've been spent elsewhere. Overall, though, I'm happy with how the project turned out. It's rough around the edges, and needs more polish, but I feel that I captured the spooky atmosphere I set out to create. Though I modelled all of what I planned, I wish I'd had time to properly incorporate the second floor.

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