What are the basic premises of my project
My project is going to be a 3D visual environment where visuals help to narrate a story throughout the environment. It will be within one room so increase the look and appearance of my overall environment. That way I can work more on the texturing and models more enhancing the visuals.
If I have extra time near the end of my project I will add in sounds and interactions giving the environment a bit more of an atmosphere but primarily focusing on the visuals of the overall environment.
What do I seek to achieve and how does it relate to my targeted audience
I hope to be able to create a horror inspired environment that tells a story through the use of visuals. As my game will be more directed towards indie development. the game will be more exclusive to pc gamers but then hopefully move to console platforms to reach a wider audience.
The horror and story telling aspect will be more directed towards pre-adults and teenagers. due to the in depth visuals and the rating the game could receive if going out into the industry. A majority of horror game look towards 16-18 year olds and when looking at age ratings.
Who Am I?
When I first joined the course I have developed as a character, but when looking into my career element of games, I first of all looked at what suited me a person. I came from a very artistic background so I first thought that I would be more directed towards concept art but lately discovered I had more of a passion and creative thrill for 3D modelling and texturing. I loved the idea of being able to Make a object that was visualized in my head come to life.
When I was looking more into my own experiences and how they collided together to lead me down the path of a 3D artist. I started out by writing about some of my favorite hobbies and the reasons behind them. This helped me to expand upon my own growth in order to see what has created my character to be inspired to become a 3D artist.
A lot of my hobbies focus around creative and artist traits, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy creating 3D objects and environments.
When looking more into why I joined the course and to get a better insight into my personality and traits I asked Liam Bowditch to interview me, so he asked me questions about why I joined the course and stuff surrounding my background history. This was one method to get a more direct approach towards showing why I choose this course and how it led me towards the path of becoming a 3D artist.
What did I learn on my course?
When learning something it has always there have always been times where you will look back upon everything and it will show how you have got to the point that your at.
For me my journey wasn’t as simple as I wanted it to be, I started of being more attached to concept art due to my previous experience with traditional art. After a while I started to become more comfortable with 3D I started to strive more towards the 3D aspect of games.
My first ever experience with 3D was when I used basic grey boxing knowledge to provide a layout for an environment. I just basic primitives in order to create the awareness of 3D. I really enjoyed creating the layout of everything and going into as much detail as possible.
I then went onto creating a small experimentation environment with the skills I had already learned. I created a layout of my own house using my memory to help me, this gave me a more creative approach as I had to create new objects to enhance the environment to make it look like something similar to my own house. I would say this was my most favourite point of learning 3D because I was able to create what I visualized in my head which lead me to want to learn more.
I then moved onto to focusing more on creating assets that would go into the environment to help give a better overall look and outcome. I focused on organic modelling with things such as tree’s, grass, plants to get a better understanding of the process of 3D modelling and texturing. This for me was where I learned a few of the core techniques and skills in order to create better looking models.
I then wanted to focus more on the texturing because it was what helped to bring alive the model so I created a simple box modelled and focused on creating a kitchen appliance that was boxed shaped and then texturing. This helped me a lot within my time on the course because I was able to texture more accurate and make my models come to life.
After learning the basic techniques I started to focus on texturing assets for my first project to do with Napoleon and I started of creating a Pocket watch. This was my first model where I felt I had got a more accurate result, texturing individual parts and modelling it as accurate as possible.
After this I just practised my skills as much as I could each time slowly improving, like when I created my chair I used a lot of new skills as well as using my old skills.
I then moved on to creating my first project which I found myself more directed towards the 3D element side of things.
As I became more confident with my 3D skills I also became more adjusted towards ‘soft’ skills like communication, time management, working within a team and more basic skills that you would need in order to work within the industry.
I also managed to enhance my skills within different software’s such as 3Dsmax and Photoshop, this helped me when it came to producing my 3D environments.
What is my project about?
story telling within a games, movie or even a book can cause the viewer to get more sucked into it. So for my project I am going to be looking at ways of creating narrative through the use of visuals within a 3D environment. Almost like how The Cabin in the Woods used dark intense atmosphere and old rotted cabin look and sounds to create atmosphere and add to the story. I will do something similar but in the form of a realistic 3D environment within a gaming engine. Where 3 teens end up dead and a journalist goes around the cabin looking for clues as to what happened.
Why is my project important?
My project is important towards a audience that love the story aspect of games such as the Last of us, Outlast, Resident evil Biohazard and more. I want to understand how much the usage of visuals can dramatically help emphasise the story within a game and what techniques, process and methods are used in order to create them. I am also looking into how horror can effect the story and why sometimes it can pull you in more than other genres, given that slight moment of suspense.
This chapter I will be conducting research to find and analyse some of my questions for my overall project, such as ‘how do visuals convey narrative’ or ‘how does horror use psychology to effect games’.
I will be looking at a lot of horror films for inspiration on their usage of visuals and how they help to emphasise and even tell the story through-out, Looking at films such as The Cabin in the Woods, Evil dead and the Device. I will be taking in the usage of lighting, decay as well as looking how to position and make a object to fit within a horror environment to create more atmosphere.
I will also be conducting research as well as expanding upon Native American history and curses of Native American Indians. This will help me to get a more developed sense for how I want my environment to look and it will also give me more of an insight towards the Native Americans.
After gathering the right resources and literature I will then start reviewing them and expanding upon everything and how I can use it to help enhance my environment overall.
Horror/thriller & Native American Indian curses
What is horror and how does it effect the audience ?
The horror genre aimed towards creating a sense of fear, dread, panic for the audience. These films are often uneasy to watch and they take upon the audiences worst fears and nightmares and try to convey them within media. Horror often directs it self towards an evil force, person or event.
A lot of horror films have mythical creatures in like the stories we get told as children. Vampires, ghosts, zombies this all enhances the effect to make you believe its real because of having growing up with the belief. Horror can also very often overlap into Fantast, Thriller and science fiction genres to add towards the story. (thescriptlad2016)
When watching anything with a horror genre involved you can get physical and mental changes. The first physical change is when you heart and breathing rates increase this happens when the suspense is unknown with the sudden shock appearance of Freddy Krueger. Another big physical change is muscle tension this can also occur during stages of having a panic attack. The muscle will automatically seize up through the usage of fear.
Native American Curses
For the story of my project it is all going to revolve around a Native American Curse that sends 3 teens on holiday into a world of killing each other.
One American curse that struck me when I read about it was the Wendigo curse (the evil that devours) this is one of the most powerful and deadly creature within the North American folklore, The Wendigo has been known to be involved with many tribal legends, and has a description that comes from surrounding lakes. The legend claims to make any human who eats flesh to become a creature of evil. with a constant unsatisfied appetite. ‘Not even loved ones are safe’.
This intrigued me because it was the sort of curse that I was looking at almost similar to within the film called The Evil Dead where they all start killing each other after reading a mysterious book. This film has a great sense of past curses and inspired me to create something similar.
When I started looking into Native American curses it was hard to find something like this at first, I kept coming across cursed lands instead of cursed humans.
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the woods was one of the films that inspired my project as a whole, one of the reason was because the filmed showed a great in depth story within just a small secluded area. Taking in consideration of my project requirements and my limitations as to what I would be able to create I decided to create something similar.
I also really liked the look of the cabin and how it was broken and rotten and how you could see know one had been in there for quite some time. This got me thinking about textures and it inspired me to look into creating more detailed and in depth textures for my environment.
Lighting was another aspect of the film I really liked, it helped to create so much atmosphere within the film, without the good lighting the films wouldn’t have looked as good as it did because it would have taken away the whole atmospheric feel of the film. Through watching how the the films uses lighting to its advantages it inspired me to use it within my 3d environment.
and the last thing that inspired me was the use of horror and how they used it to make this Cabin look even more creepy with weird noises, pictures on the walls, blood on the floor and so on. It helped drive the whole feel of the genre and created a really great film with.
Native American history and culture
Thousands of years before Chris Columbus’ landed his ship on the Bahamas there was different group of people who discovered America broke up into groups pushing south and east and started to form groups with similar habitats and characteristics
The Artic was where Inuit and Aleut made there home both groups speaking to each other. The Artics population was extremely small and scattered, the Inuits stayed in the Nothern region of the Artic following seals, polar bears etc. and the Aleut were a bit more settled, living in small fishing villages along the shore.
They both had a lot in common, a majority of them lived within ‘dome-shaped’ houses made of timber and sod (or in Ice blocks). They also used otters skins to make warm weatherproof clothing. dogsleds and also open fishing boats.
Within 1867 the United States purchased Alaska and the exposure to Eurpoean diseases came upon them
By the time the United States purchased Alaska in 1867, decades of oppression and exposure to European diseases had taken their toll: The native population had dropped to just 2,500; the descendants of these survivors still make their home in the area today.
Looking at the Northeast culture area I discovered they were the first to kept in contact with the Europeans, they reached from Canada’s Atlantic coast to North Carolina and inland to the Mississippi River valley. with those living in the Northeast inclined a lot of conflict involving groups such as the Iroquoian, who were very aggressive and warlike, Any villages or bands were never safe from their raids.
Life in the Northeast culture area was already fraught with conflict—the Iroquoian groups tended to be rather aggressive and warlike, and bands and villages outside of their allied confederacies were never safe from their raids—and it grew more complicated when European colonizers arrived. Colonial wars repeatedly forced the region’s natives to take sides, pitting the Iroquois groups against their Algonquian neighbors. Meanwhile, as white settlement pressed westward, it eventually displaced both sets of indigenous people from their lands.
The southeast culture grew north of Gulf in Mexico many of their Natives became expert farmers and started to grow their own food. The most familiar of peoples were Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole who became popular over time.
When the U.S. took victory upon its independence from Britain, the Southeast had already lost many Native people to diseases and displacement. In 1830 and act the caused the removal of Indians was compelled upon causing the relocation of five tribes so that the ‘whites’ could have their land. upon almost 100,000 Indians were forced by federal officials out of the Southern state and into “Indian Territory” Oklahoma west of Mississippi.
The plains culture area was located between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains before the arrival of European traders and explorers, its habitats-‘speakers of Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan languages’ were settled down hunters and farmers, After having contact with the Europeans and spanish colonist, the peoples of the Plains recieved horses within their region within the ’18th Century’. The peoples of the Plain became much more nomadic with the groups such as Crow, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche and Arapaho used these horses to follow great herds of buffalo across the Plains. The most common asset for these hunters were the cone-shaped teepee that could be easily folded up and carried anywhere. The plain Indians were also remembered for their elaborate feathered war bonnets
As white traders and settlers moved west across the Plains, they had many items that would inflict damage upon the Natives such as commercial goods, Knives and Kettles which is what the Natives came to depend on; guns and disease. At the end of the 19th Century White sport people nearly exterminated the buffalo herds within the area. Which led to settlers encroaching upon the land and with no way to make money the natives were forced onto government reservations
As white traders and settlers moved west across the Plains region, they brought many damaging things with them: commercial goods, like knives and kettles, which native people came to depend on; guns; and disease. By the end of the 19th century, white sport hunters had nearly exterminated the area’s buffalo herds. With settlers encroaching on their lands and no way to make money, the Plains natives were forced onto government reservations.
The Device (film analyse)
The deice was a horror/sci-fi film that implemented lots of different techniques to make the film look more authentic and realistic.
One major aspect of the film that they focused on was the lighting, they use it to a very good extent and didn’t over do it. They used lighting to portray emotion and help set the atmosphere for a majority of the scenes.
they used ordinary places like a house or a cabin and turned them into a almost alternate timeline for aliens, using the placement of object such as the device itself always suddenly disappearing and reappearing and also the usage of when the main character was having so called ‘nightmares’ made everything feel more authentic and real.
The story plot of the film was really interesting it started out a really innocent film and then as you watched on the film pulled you in making you want to learn more and find out the truth of what was going on.
Old horror techniques within games
When looking into games having a puzzle to solve is one thing horror games do, weather its looking into finding a certain object like a key for a door or a note to help tell the story. These sort of puzzles help to make the players imagination more vivid and feel like the actually player. If the puzzle is incorrectly placed within the game it could ruin the whole feel for the player or even ruin the story by giving away to much to early.
Another element of a horror game that I feel is essential, it the story plot, especially if you are doing a game such as outlast, Resident evil Biohazard or even the Last of us. They each contain a really detailed story and I believe that is what made each of these games so successful because without a good story the game doesn’t pull you in and make you want to learn more.
Level and characters
Level design can help make the game more fun and enjoyable one game that created great level design was Doom, the had no story however the level design helped to overcome that factor. The level design must not be simple but also not to hard, a game with a hard level design would be something like Dark souls due to how you have to remember everything and don’t really have much of a navigation system.
Characters within a horror game can really help make the game, they can either be the enemies, NPC’s or the playable characters. One game I believe had really good enemies was Alien Isolation, the Alien where really authentic and sounded real at some points. A game with great NPC’s was be something like the Last of us with Ellie, because without her the story wouldn’t make sense. and playable characters such as the journalist in Outlast helped to fit the story better together.
These are just some of the in game essentials you would need to create a good horror game, as the all fit together and help make the game. Some would have less in game essentials than others but that all depends on what sort of type of game your going for. it could be a faced paced shooter like Doom or a story driven game like Resident evil Biohazard.
How the Horror genre has developed over time
In this chapter I will being with research questions and I will look at how it can assit my Extended project. I will be using various different methods to answer my research questions and then analysis them while also taking in consideration my Extended project.
One experiment I worked on was the texture experiment, I used a basic object such as a teapot and I wanted to see how and what specific textures would make the object look more visible appealing within a horror generated environment, I looked at Dead Space for inspiration to see how they used blood in order to make the environments stand out and give it that feeling of horror.
I used a pre-set primitive of a teapot from 3ds max and placed textures making it look old, bloody and broken. I then took some screenshots to make it appear like it would within an horror environment.
This experiment overall will really help me with the production side of everything because then I can texture my assets more better according to the genre which is horror.
Another experiment I took place in was when I created a real model out of foam board. The reason I created this experiment was because I wanted to get a better understanding of the way models could be made.
When using foam board I discovered new methods of creating models in 3Ds max by pilling layer on layer like a 3D printer would do, this was a new approach to learning new methods for creating assets but I will use this method to create models for the production of my project.
I created a sketch of my college and decided to manipulate the way it looked, what I mean by this was when I used different variations of lines and shades in order to complete a more horrified look of the college. The reason I created that sketch was because I wanted to learn how to visualize objects; or environments in other ways.
It felt that it was important to do this because then it would be easier to create the production side of my project. being able to turn a simple ordinary Cabin, into a dark, damp and dimmed light horror environment.
I also sketched out a Cabin that I came across and decided to sketch it, the reason I decided to sketch it was because I wanted to understand the process of how the Cabin is built and by drawing each part of the cabin I uncovered how to create the cabin on paper as well as in 3D.
Unkown, (2017), In celeberation of the monster [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=horror&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcoKSLhZ3UAhUHCcAKHTDkBNYQ_AUIBigB&biw=1350&bih=615#imgrc=x708S838yxP8GM: [Accessed 1 June 2017].
tsl-thescriptlab. 2016. Horror. [ONLINE] Available at: https://thescriptlab.com/screenplay/genre/horror. [Accessed 25 May 2017].
Blumhouse. 2017. The 10 most terrifying Native American Legends. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.blumhouse.com/2016/03/31/the-10-most-terrifying-native-american-legends/. [Accessed 1 June 2017].
The Device, 2015. [DVD] Jeremy Berg, USA: October people.
The Cabin in the woods, 2012. [DVD] Drew Goddard, USA: Lionsgate.
Chris’s survival horror quest. 2013. Useful tips for horror game designers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://horror.dreamdawn.com/?p=202230. [Accessed 4 June 2017].