Sunday, 17 October 2010

Update 1

I am pleased to report that in these first two weeks I have produced a significant amount of work! Especially pleased since a certain someone I know typically spends much too long doing much too little! But all of that is going to have to change…

I have never been more jealous of my sister's time management. Not because she has a fully packed schedule and does a million things; but because she does the million things without fully packing her schedule. I'll be sure to ask her how she pulls it off, since now that I am at university, too many things are pulling at my time in different directions.

So, in no particular order, in my first two weeks of term I have mostly been doing:

Visual Design (the drawing/painting bit)

We have been looking at single-point perspective. Its a topic I'm fairly comfortable with. For one, my former art teachers managed to drill this into me many years ago (thank you!). Also I think I've always had a very mechanical eye as far as art has been concerned. I mean that metaphorically - any artistic flair is always constrained by a need for a technically "tight" drawing - not that i have some sort of cybernetic ocular receptor in the sockets of my skull.

Our first subject was the canal near the university. I have completed my preparatory sketches for our second assignment - an old stone archway on a cobbled street, but have not yet finished.

Game Production (the modelling/texturing bit)

Our first assignment was to create a Dalek - a tall order for the students on the course who had never done any 3d modelling before! Fortunately, I do have some experience and was able to help out some of the other guys. I find explaining stuff to others actually fleshes out my own understanding of the topic, so it has been helpful for me too. Working to a technical brief really made me rethink how I could model more efficiently. On the advice of a third-year, I redid my first attempt with what I had learnt and am pleased with the final result.
The second assignment was to model a wheelie bin. I chose one of the bins from my building's bin store, though later regretted the decision upon seeing all the interestingly grimy bins my fellow game artists had dredged up. So then, my disappointingly clean paper bin...
The Mod I have been working on for the past 9 months

Its finally drawing to a close. Or at least, the first chapter of it. I am working in a small team to remake an old role-playing game called Baldur’s Gate 2 in a new game engine - Dragon Age. Although I took on the project with a sentence something like “I don’t want to take a major role in this mod”, before long I found most of my free time was sinking into this mod, and I ended up being the guy organizing it.

I can’t say I regret doing so - it has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have learnt a great many skills from it. I will let you know how it is received after the first chapter releases this Friday.

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