Catch up by reading my previous entry here:
A Journey into Production: Part V - http://gamasutra.com/blogs/SamyDib/20150810/250811/A_Journey_into_Production_Part_V__Alpha_Testing.php
Ascendance Website: http://www.gamerslifeproductions.com/ascendance/
This has been quite the busy week for us here at Ascendance. The team is continuously trying to fix bugs and optimize the gameplay every week. There is one thing though that has been missing from the social media front and that was an icon. Our artists were jam packed busy working on the game so this small aspect has been left unattended. As a Producer though, we have learned that we must step into any role in order to see the game to completion. It just so happens to help that I have a game art background so I took up the task to create the Ascendance icon.
The only guidelines that were given were that they wanted to keep the industrial triangular shape of the “A” for the icon. That shouldn’t be too difficult since there are plenty of things you can do with a triangular shape. So I began to gather different shapes for an “A” and get to work. This is the fun part since you can mix and match different colors and textures in order to capture different feelings and environments within the icon. I loved it and it definitely brought me back to my roots, almost feeling like I was texturing a 3D model. So below are the first three iterations that I created and put forth in front of the team.
After seeing these three, the team collectively agreed that the first one was their favorite, but would like to see a bluish hue on it for testing purposes. Changing the hue was easy so I created the next versions of the icon in cyan and blue. Ultimately we ended up going with the cyan version of the icon and it is now up on all our social media sites making a proud statement.
Show me the goods
The UAT Greenlight event is this coming Friday and we needed to showcase some gameplay footage for our presentation. Since I took on the task of creating the teaser trailer a few weeks back, naturally I felt that I should also take on the gameplay trailer. This would be a short two minute clip showcasing some of the various gameplay and features of the game. It was agreed that we should probably keep with the same theme and format as the teaser trailer had for consistency. If you read my previous blog post about creating the teaser trailer, then you knew just how many hours of work I had ahead of me.
I got to work and began recording certain parts of the game, but found it difficult as I only had 2 minutes to get sufficient recordings in. It was tough cutting out some good pieces but I felt that I was still able to capture really good moments in the game. After editing it all together, I sent over the raw footage to the lead so he can watch it and begin working on his talking points for the presentation. Meanwhile, I popped the video into Adobe After Effects and began to format the previous trailer theme to incorporate the new gameplay footage. It took a few hours, but I was able to adjust the trailer template to meet the entire mixed recording.
After doing some edits to the soundtrack, the entire package was ready for rendering. I wasn’t looking forward to this part since the one minute teaser trailer took three hours to render, but I didn’t have much of a choice here. The entire rendering process took a whopping seven hours to complete for the two minute video. Needless to say, I cannot wait to upgrade my computer so it can perform these intensive tasks just a little bit better. You can watch the finished gameplay trailer below:
Alpha Ver. 2.0
The current version of the alpha build is also available for download right now from our website. The team has worked hard to get as many kinks out of the system as possible. We appreciate all of your feedback and take it to heart, so please give it a try and let us know what you think. You can submit any comments or bugs through our website or the Unreal Engine forums.
It’s been quite the experience working as a Producer these past few weeks. It really is a “do whatever it takes” kind of position and I’m definitely feeling that now. Coming from an art background, I find that these skills are being put to use in this specific scenario, but who knows what the future will hold. I’m not a great programmer so hopefully I won’t run into anything like that soon. I will continue to fill in any holes and hopefully meet the needs of the team while we are working hard to bring Ascendance to the best possible state that it can be.
Well that’s it for this week, so until next time, happy gaming!