Trailer sketches and plan

Subject to change, Using diagetic sounds mainly, the pacing will start off slower, then speeds up with more cuts as the trailer progresses.

Finishes with main market door open. More game play at the end of the trailer. 

The Orroti meteorological service has issued its highest possible "status red" warning for the arrival of Sandstorm Jaito.

the failure of generator malfunction is imminent. Evacuation is mandatory for sector D-17, D-13, and D-12. Prior to evacuation Secure all belongings and unplug all power items. roads will be closed within hours. no one will be allowed in or out of the highlighted districts.

Have a nice day!

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Teaser Trailer inspiration

The reason why I like this trailer so much is because of how much It communicates with such a bare minimum. There are 3 characters, and the conflict is directed by audio rather than animation. There is animation, however because the whole scene is one shot and takes place in just the refrigerator a lot of the movement is left up to the viewer.

I also like how in the end of the teaser, they show a little extra game play of the item being used in combat. The trailer sets it up so the viewer could assume that its a health item or at least something positive, so much so that other characters would go as far as fight for it.

Finally, I like the 2-D elements of the trailer as well, the blend in artistic title screens with graphics, and near the end there are blueprints of how to make the sandwich and what its used for!

 

Favorite game trailer

I have many "favorite" game trailers, although I love them all for many different reasons, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes the cake. There are many factors that go into why I like it so much. I can look at it technically as a game artist, and as a gamer and appreciate its merits, therefore I'm going to break it down as a person wanting to buy this game and how it appeals to the average gamer, and how professionally sound it is looking at it as a game artist.

Gamers perspective:

At the beginning of the trailer, the narrator mentions Oblivion, the previous elder scrolls game. If you're a player of the series, you already know whats next and what this game is. For people who don't know about the elder scrolls series, there is still enough information for you to understand, but also it's vague so you don't know whats going to happen next. 

The next thing I love is the intense medieval chanting music, It gives me a free feeling, flying through the wintery tundra trees and sets the vibe for what type of game this is.

One of the most crucial things that sell a game for me is real-time rendering and gameplay. This trailer has a perfect balance of CG, but also makes sure to show off gameplay mechanics, and in-game environments. By doing this, it shows what the potential and scope of the game is. The quality of the textures and what it might look like in the first person. there is a plethora of fight scenes and weapons that you can use, as well as spells and items you can collect.

The last thing I like about it is the ending. There is a logo and more importantly a release date. For me, when I see the release date at the end of a trailer, it's really bittersweet. the trailer reminds me that it's only a trailer and that the game is a year away from release, but it's so close you just have to keep watching it.

Technical perspective:

There's good camera direction and composition. The shots that they use to film it bounce between a dollied shot and a free camera first-person perspective. This is used to help take the player in and out of the roll of the main character. They do a great job bouncing between the CG cutscene and the in-game graphics as well. 

The camera fades they use to set an intense mood, something secret or brooding. When the action starts, the camera starts to cut much quicker and uses less continuity editing.

In the trailer, as I mentioned before they show off some environments, But they're not just winter biomes. There are a plethora of different locations with different color pallets, this shows the expansiveness of the world and give the player more of an incentive to explore, and shows that the game isn't just one lazy area.

The sound design is incredible. the music completely sells the trailer, without it, the mood wouldn't be set. Another bit of sound that got me was the waterfall. It made me feel like I was in the world. It was almost like a synonym for feeling empowered like the waterfall.

 

 

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Grid plan and level script

Engineer: lvl info

 

Background:  In the not so distant future, humans have achieved a level of technological advancement that far surpasses the capabilities of any energy source on the planet. The solution, massive worldwide solar panels that struggle to keep up with the power hungry people.
           
This solution is not long-term, and problems have already surfaced on the peninsula of Atrronaih, where massive sandstorms have made the cost for maintenance of solar panels to skyrocket. The government has decided to turn to wind energy, but this is a commodity only for the rich. Through Riots and sabotage, the government was forced to give the pauper towns solar shields and generators. Each town would have a mechanic who would be the inly one allowed to fix and restore power to the shields annually.

Scene: Arabic market-street and a fourm for trade and commerce. with a layer of sci-fi technology on top (solar panels, wind generators in distance). Skyscrapers in distance blending into the haze.

Time: Dusk.

Conditions: Dusty But clear

Characters

Mechanic: Garrek (players character)

Scientist: phone guy

Female Computer voice

 

Environment shot- low angle fade in from the road. Dust and paper tumble across.-> Fade out

 

Fade in - Shot looking up from the outside work station peering at the sun - fade out

Engineer: lvl section _A

Audio:  sound of a delivery truck engine whirring, then leaving.

Fade in-  game starts~ player(Garrek)

Start of the game takes place in the outside work area of the engineer, its bright and hes getting off of his lunch break tinkering away on some projects the locals commissioned for repair.

The gateing mechanism for the area would be a door on the right, and an invisible wall for the main door

Dialogue pops up bottom of screen:

Hit key “F” to interact with objects

 Player picks up package

Garrek

“I better open this thing on the table.

Hmmm, Odd I don’t think I ordered anything this week; It’s got my name on it.”

Hit key “F” to place objects from your person

*places box on table then opens*

Empty fuel cell and ear piece are now laid on table from box.

Player picks up earpiece (automatically equipped) and fuel cell is in inventory.

 Audio: beeping sound from earpiece and a phone pick up sound.

Scientist

*eating chips*

*coughs* ohh hey… ya finally got the thing. Yah, that’s a neat little contraption yours truly has been working on for quite some time now.

Garrek

What?!? Wait you mean a fuel cell?

Scientist

Yep!

 but this is much better than the crap that you got from the meat heads that put you in this shit hole.

Garrek

What do you mean?

Scientist

Well because of your current… umm… situation, I decided to lend you a hand and make your life a little easier

This fuel cell SHOULD last at least 4 times longer than the ones ya currently got.

Also I haven’t tested them yet and I don’t want to be near you if they malfunction.

Trust me, its not pretty.

Garrek

So your saying this thing is danger-

Scientist

Oh, hey look at the time I gotta go, I’ll call you after the vile is filled up with solar energy.

I sent it empty because usually… uhh well, its radioactive when its fully charged. it wouldn’t get through customs… so yah, good luck

*earpiece off sound*

Garrek

Shit…

As dialogue ends the player is now free to exit the work area and explore the environment.  The invisible wall for the front of the house disappears now that the player has both items. As the player leaves the work area, Garrek goes into monologue

Garrek

I better be careful for any imperial drones roaming around, could be dangerous.

Dialogue pops up top left of screen

{Charge fuel cell at solar panel}

Once the player puts the cell into the solar panel machine, a charging sound happens for 4 seconds, then a ding sound happens

*player then takes the charged cell*

Phone call starts

 

Scientist

Oh hey! You’re not dead and managed to charge the fule cell.

*muffles and writes down in note* subject doesn’t combust when in contact with fuel cell

*clears throat*

Anyway, im sure you know what to do now, just go find the generator and replace the old fuel cell with this new, really really powerful fuel cell.

Garrek

Wait wait ok hold on slow down, Before I do anything with this, I need to know who you are. This isn’t something I would just…

*Phone call ends*

the player now must search for the Forum area front gate, when the player gets there they find that the main entrance is blocked with a sign that says, closed on Sunday

Dialogue pops up top left of screen

{new objective: find a new way into market center.}

the alleyway to the right of the forum area has a hidden entrance with some broken bars which allows the player to sneak in. once the player is inside the area they must find the generator and open it.

F to interact with generator panel

The player then opens the generator interior and take out the old fuel cell, and replaces it with the new one. When the fuel cell is replaced, the beams of light turn on the particle effect of the shield.

Audio sounds: generator opening, taking the fuel cell out and placing a new one in, generator turning on and off.

Beeping sound of the phone goes off

Scientist

Hey man thanks for the help, I’m glad you decided to help me out with this.

Just as a heads up, the earpiece your wearing is programmed to self destruct after this phone call.

*phone call ends”

player dies. Fade out

Alternate dialogue, If player discovers alley way before charging fuel cell to get into fourm area additional phone call happens.

 

Scientist

hey your not supposed to be here yet, ya gotta’ fill up the fuel cell first, THEN come back here.


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Brainstorm: greybox

Ideas

  • Think about exploration games you have played.
  • What is successful about them? 

sending the player to find one item/ multiple items to unlock the area. using levels of height. vast enviornments. Player searching for power-ups. having the player solve puzzles, having the player intuitively go towards areas.

  • What inspires you about them?

visual queues, lighting, sound effects, stylization, color pallets. 

  • What could be better about them? 

help to show gating areas, create a difficulty curve, make intuitive puzzles, 

  • What ideas would you like to try?

solving a puzzle, exploring a hazards environment to get a goal, 

  • Brainstorm at least 20 ideas, gating mechanisms, story ideas, etc, for your level from simple to radical

What if my level had a main door you need to unlock.

what if my level had a key that you could only access with a certain item. 

what if my game had a keypad that you could only unlock with a code

what if my level had sandstorms which you should hide from every 2 minutes.

what if my location was an Indian city with a relic temple 

what if my location had scify elements integrated into the old temple

what if my level had houses you could enter and search.

what if the enemy's were robots who bury themselves within the sand?

what if my level had platforming elements within the temple area

what if you were a thief and you had to sneak into the temple to gain valuable information.

what if you had to find a weapon within the temple, and it was the only way to defeat the robots. 

what if you had to find scrap pieces within the houses to repair a machine in the temple which was damaged by the sandstorm. 

what if the houses had their own security to prevent you from taking the parts

what if there are secret underground tunnels 

what if you could interact with panels and communicate with technology.

what if there was an electrical gate blocking modern areas

what if there is a grand door blocking the temple, and you need to solve a 3 part puzzle to complete it.

  • List them out with brief 1 sentence explanations
    • What if my level...?
    • What if my door...?
    • What if my key...?
    • What if my location was...?
  • Which of these ideas hold the most promise? Add details for your favorite ideas thinking about how you will accomplish these.
    • Draw quick sketches to clarify your thoughts.
    • Feel free to start writing up how the story ideas would work.
  • Include reference images!

 

 

 

 

Photos

Videogame Analysis: Dark souls 3

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WARNING: you will die, a lot....

The Dark Souls series is known for being a notoriously difficult franchise with beautiful gameplay and extensive lore. 

Playing through the first level, I looked objectively at pure gameplay elements on what makes this game successful. 


Lets talk core mechanics!

heres a list of core mechanics that I found prevalant throughout all of the Dark Souls franchise. I created this list of major mechanics, however im going to cover the Main mechanic of the game, Rolling, all the others I'm going to briefly cover.

  • Rolling
  • Inventory System
  • creating a build and leveling
  • weapon scaling

Rolling

The most important mechanic in Dark Souls 3 is rolling. without it, you wouldn't be able to complete the game. This is a skill based mechanic that is supposed to be used as frame timing, there are 3 types of rolls:

Fast-rolling  Mid-rolling and Fat-rolling

The faster the roll, the more frames of inveunrability you have towards an enemy attack. Enemy attacks are also also randomized and rolling in the proper direction is crucial to avoiding attacks.

Vitality is the leveling system which delegates how much you can carry in your equip load. The equip load determines how fast you can role based on your weight. Not only is rolling a core mechanic, but all the mechanics I will cover are linked into one sound system of gameplay.

**NOTE** Not only is this a skill based mechanic, but its also used agains a luck based mechanic (randomized enemy attacks)

(source: https://en.softonic.com/articles/8-survival-tips-for-dark-souls-2)

(source: https://en.softonic.com/articles/8-survival-tips-for-dark-souls-2)


 

Inventory

The inventory system is carried through the whole franchise and never changed in any major aspects since DSI.

The inventory system has branches of statistics including your Items your carrying, Buffs, and character statistics. It also covers the equip load as mentioned previously. Its a well organized menu in the game which allows the player to easily manage and organize everything quickly, even in combat.


Creating a build/ leveling and weapon scaling

So given Dark Souls layout, I am able to put both of these things in the same category. Creating a build of a character is the defining factor of a players play style. Each type of build has different base stats and weapons. 

  • knight
  • mercenary
  • warriror
  • herald
  • theif
  • assasin
  • sorcerer
  • pyromancer
  • cleric
  • deprived

Weapon scaling is ranked using the letters E, D, C, B, A, S

The more the player levels their character by spending their SOULS (points you gain based on how many enemies you kill) in scaling categories like Dexterity, and Strength, the more the weapon stacks in damage. This can be used strategically through micro management.

(source: https://www.vg247.com/2016/04/11/dark-souls-3-beginners-tips/)

(source: https://www.vg247.com/2016/04/11/dark-souls-3-beginners-tips/)


Gating mechanisms in the first level

  • difficult enemies
  • blocked/locked doors
  • world boundaries/cliffs
  • level warp

Difficult enemies

depending on where you are in the game, enemies can be much stronger than you. This is a type of gateing because it tells the player that they are not yet strong enough to pass the boss or levels to come. Furthermore, It helps direct the player to a better location for them to work.

A good example of this would be the Dancer. She is a boss you can choose to fight during the beginning of the game, however, the is a mid game boss. If you choose to fight the Dancer for 6 hours, there are many more enemys like her that would take just as long. 

Blocked and locked doors

There are plenty of blocked and locked doors used for gating in the first level. On of them being a locked door for the tower. It is a special ending key location that you can unlock by buying the key from the shop keeper in the Firelink Shrine for 20,000 souls.

Level Warp

Level warping is quite self-explanatory. Further more, you are restricted to a level until you complete all the requirements. Sometimes you can get to another level or the world without beating a boss, however, you can't get to the final boss until you defeat every boss in the game. (Which is prevents teh player using a locked door}

 below are some examples of gating.

 

 

Positive and negative feedback for the player

In Dark Souls 3, the most important way to communicate feedback is through audio and sound effect design.

Below are examples of positive feedback using mainly audio cues.

Positive

  • Titanite Lizards
  • Estus flask
  • defeating a boss

Titanite Lizards: are little blue reptiles that are scattered and hidden through out the game. They are important because they give you a special material that allows you to upgrade your weapon called twinkling titanite. Because they are hidden, there is a twinkling audio sound to lure the player for this item. 

Estus Flasks: the only way to effectively heal in the game, the audio for this items gives a refreshing, revitalizing, and satisfying sound. 

Defeating a boss: Its a gratifying and rewarding sound, by defeating a boss, it rewards you with a special boss soul, including a lot of regular souls and a quick "boss defeated" graphic.

video time marker:

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Negative

  • losing souls
  • fall damage
  • cursing half's health

Losing souls: On death you lose all your souls you've collected through killing enemies, selling items ect. From the respawn point, you have to retrace your steps and recover the souls from where you died. If you die on the way to get them back, you permanently lose them. 

Fall damage: some games have it, some games don't. Dark Souls has it to prevents you from cutting corners. It is a risk reward mechanic, however a lot of the time, you end up dyeing because of how much damage you take in the first place.

Cursing: a special status effect from given from enemies. It permanently half's your health and prevents you from going back into ember form.

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How much is given to the player?

Controls: controls are viewable on the main menu screen, and are explained the beginning of the game. 

Game scope: Linear action RPG

Dark souls 3 is a linear game, although you are able to back track to different world areas, there's really nothing to do there except farm souls. and each area is a pretty straight path in terms of the size of the world. Dark Souls is successful at this because the level design is crafted in a way that makes you think its open world because of the size, and pacing of each level.

Most of the work including the story is up to the player. The player has the choice of either playing the game not knowing a single bit of lore or delving into the many hidden and difficult side-quests.

story integration:

The story is integrated by item and weapon descriptions, talking to characters, and world building. There is A LOT of lore, I'm not really going to cover it just because it's not really relevant to the games pure mechanics. The devs really take advantage of putting detail in every aspect of the game, if you really look at anything from a peice of armor, to a prop, there is a story behind it.

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First level map with ledgend

made in ilistrator.


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