New Cathedral Texturin’

Well, decided to do a quick Katabasis update while I transfer stuff over to my hard drive for class tomorrow. As I think I mentioned before, I decided to do some rebuilding of the the cathedral, as well as re-texture it. It’s proving to be a good amount of work, but it’s definitely worth it; it’s much more interesting and has a lot more character.

Almost done with my main piece for the aisles. Soon I’ll get some of the “special” pieces in there, and this cathedral will really start coming together. The tile floor, statues, and lighting are stand-ins at this point, and some things need adjusting or rearranging.

And, as usual, it’d be nice to know if these are really dark for anyone. There’s a worrisome discrepancy between my two monitors. Like this first image, on my main monitor I can clearly see the statue, but on my side monitor I can just barely make it out. I’m assuming my side monitor is just really dark, but who knows..

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6 Responses to New Cathedral Texturin’

  1. Awesome! Very atmospheric – you can almost hear footsteps behind you, just looking at those first three. What are you making this in? (I’ll confess I don’t know anything at all about art production, I’m just curious).

    Also, for the record, on my screen I’d put that first statue at halfway between ‘clearly visible’ and ‘i can barely make it out’. Not that thats a helpful or scientific measurement.

    How big is the whole area? Presume this is modelled in an environment you can fly a camera around, yes?

  2. tylersnell says:

    Thanks! Building the game in the Unity engine, but making all the models in Maya and ZBrush.

    Haha thanks, yeah I’m pretty sure my side monitor was just really dark.

    The first three images are “in-game”, so they’re from eye-level. I’m working on making some smaller pieces to help give it scale. The level as a whole will be pretty big too, the aisles are a fairly small part of the whole. This is definitely the biggest thing I’m taking on for this project, partly just because of all the architectural design work it takes.

    • So how does it work as a project? Do you need to turn in a fully navigable level, and if so, how is it scored? Is it based on atmosphere, complexity, or something else?

      I’m interested to understand the process, and the goals you’re given when designing. Without nominating a particular educational institution, you’re in a rare position to reflect on whether what is well regarded (marks wise) aligbs with what the wider community is asking for…

  3. tylersnell says:

    The requirements for thesis is to have one complete and working game level. I’m going for more of a short story type thing though, with about 6 small levels. I might be biting off more than I can chew, but my goal is to have a complete and fully playable short game. I’ll actually be the first person to graduate from the program along with maybe one other person, so there’s a lot that hasn’t been figured out yet. I think the scoring will be based partly on the thesis’ focus. For example, I’m focusing on environments, atmosphere, and story(telling), so (hopefully) the scoring will emphasize how well I did with all that, and not as much on stuff like animation.

    Right now the program mainly focuses on visuals, with little emphasis on gameplay and coding (hence Game Art, rather than Game Design). Basically, the pretty stuff that sits on top of the mechanics and story telling. Right now it sits at a weird juncture between indie and large studio focus. We’re asked to make an entire level/game, which is really a lot to do, but again, we’re not asked to do much in the way of gameplay or coding. And this is actually the only school I know of that has students do a personal thesis project rather than a group project. I got really lucky though; this is exactly what I want to do. Most schools have more specific focuses, like if I wanted to be a modeler I’d focus primarily on just modeling, and I’d come out being a great modeler but with little other skills (which is what the big studios look for). So basically, I feel like it’ll be harder for us to get jobs at the big studios, but we’ll have most of the knowledge we need to work on our own projects, or on a variety of smaller freelance jobs. Honestly I’d love to see the program really embrace the indie side of the things, and not worry about getting us jobs at Blizzard or whatnot.

    It’s hard to say how well the program aligns with what the community is asking for. Another big focus is on story (though not so much story telling). If the program starts getting more of a focus, and starts to teach story telling, I think it has the potential to produce great fledgling indie developers who make smaller games that focus on story and atmosphere rather than gameplay. Seeing the success of things like Amnesia and Dear Esther, I think part of the community at least is starting to look for that kind of stuff. What I’m hoping for is a rise in a sort of new era of adventure games. Being in the first graduating class (and being so outspoken and opinionated on the subject) is really cool; I definitely have a say in where the program goes. At least I hope so.. I know a lot of the other students would disagree with my views. But that’s the other good thing about the being at the front, I get to do what I want without having something different set up before me.

    P.S.. added an “About Katabasis” page at the top if you’re interested in finding out more details about my thesis.

  4. Its interesting you mention it might make it harder for you to get jobs at the big studios – thats something I’ve been wondering about the game design/creation education field. I suspect from the studio’s point of view, they’d ideally like people coming straight out of university with a working knowledge of the specific area that they’re going to get hired to do, and not many studios are likely to be looking for entry level people who want to play in both the concept and delivery spaces, at least not across the full end to end product.

    On the other hand, it seems its becoming increasingly feasible to be highly profitable as an individual or very small studio – it sounds like the program you’re doing is more geared towards the concept/ideation of game creation than the ‘one among many’ delivery cog approach that would suit the bigger players. l imagine the ‘entrepreneurship’ model of indie games probably fits a little better with the aims you mentioned above anyway – it generally takes indie games to show the industry that radically different ideas can be profitable before the major studios invest in them – large companies (especially publicly traded ones) being naturally risk averse

    Sounds like a great program either way – its a positive sign of the times that things like game design are commonly available, serious areas of study.

  5. tylersnell says:

    They definitely want people to have niche knowledge, but most big studios actually require people to have anywhere from 3 to 7 years of experience in the industry and usually at least one shipped AAA title. So that makes it really hard for recent graduates to get into the industry; 99% of the jobs require experience in big studios, so there’s almost no way to get that experience. I think that’s part of why there’s the big shift towards indie development. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I suspect that the big company/publisher model will slowly start falling away, with “publicly funded” options becoming more and more feasible. I’ve been hearing talk about that happening in the music industry as well, with the major record label model starting to flop because it’s almost just as easy for artists to self-publish. But of course the flip side is that it might make it just as hard to break into the indie world. With so many indies with “great ideas”, it’ll get harder and harder and to get noticed, and for every Amnesia there are already probably a hundred failures. And I doubt the current big publisher model will entirely fall away, I’ve seen way too many people admit that they’ll buy the latest Call of Duty no matter what. But that’s just one audience, though it happens to be the majority. I think it’ll be a great shift regardless, with much more meaningful games being made.

    Ok I’ll stop rambling on about this.. I could go on for ages. I might write a post sometime soon about my thoughts on the industry on where it’s going. But yeah, I got really lucky in deciding to come to this school. I really like where the program is now, and it has lot of potential to really be something unique.

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