I've been going around as a writer, but started getting drawn into Concept Art and 3D modeling. I'm currently finishing my studies as a 3D artist and will then be let loose on the world. Beware!
I was asked to pitch our project to an audience of game designers and other developers yesterday. It was a successful presentation and I have a very good feeling about getting funded. I think "Bigguns" is going to be hard to make and somewhat hard to sell - since its weapons are non-lethal - but it is starting to grow into something I really like. Something uniquely original and vivid. We're moving it from the realistic to the absurd, which works well for the game.
What worries me a bit is the coder role, since I can't seem to find someone in my area of Germany (or willing to move to Lower Saxony), in order to work on the project; it's required for the funding that we work locally. However, there can be exceptions made.
Overall, I am really glad to get back to some creative work now, because the past weeks were filled with calculating budget and local effect, getting licenses and certificates and writing countless pages for the application for funding. This took my mind off game design and development for longer than I thought it would. However, it also gave some new impulses, which I have to process into content now. I'm quite happy with not having made a public profile of the game yet, because the game design is still evolving and lots of things are changing.
I think by the end of the year, we'll have a profile and possibly a project to work on and invite others to work on. I hope to make it to the final prototype within a year and from there to the final product and to crowdfunding that project. Then we can start paying more people and expand the team a little, hopefully.
This is gonna be one hell of work for currently only 3 people...
I feel like writing, so it's time for a short update. I have sent away the documents to get funding for my original game concept "Bigguns". If I get anything out of it, it also means I have to cancel my life insurance (which mostly my parents paid for some time ago) and put the very last of money I have into it, in order to get something back from our lovely state.
But if that works, we could work on a prototype and have one year to deliver something to put on Kickstarter and get crowdfunded. That's not half bad, and I would really prefer to have that kind of goal in my life, at this time.
So keep yor fingers crossed and wish us luck for the launch of our studio and game. Indifferent of the outcome of the funding, I'll start making a public profile on IndieDb, before the end of the year. I just wanted to wait, until I know what the future brings, fundingwise.
A few words on 3D:
- it's so goddamn hard to motivate myself to keep pushing on with 3D. The problem is that everytime I do something, I learn there are better ways of doing it a few weeks later. So if I'd built - let's say - an entire city by now, I would also have learned that I did it completely wrong by now.
It is really easy to make something uniform and repetitive in 3D. That's what I have been doing for the most part in the past (e.g. same windows over and over). Just recently I began understanding how modularity can work and how extremely well-planned a scene has to be in order for it to make sense. I think I will have to adapt my workflow to the new findings and, for example, start building entire scenes first, before I can make sense out of their materials and UV maps. It should be fairly obvious to me, how to plan a scene (since I always made concepts/design sketches); however, this is much more difficult when I'm doing it for myself. And there's just so much to learn.
I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I'm finally making progress with modeling and got my workflow down pretty good. Need to brush up on my texturing skills and take things a bit slower sometimes. I think it's better to put some effort into good-looking models than cram out a lot of crap ( which is exactly what I have been doing these past months ^^)
Yet, I am currently unemployed, trying to get a game concept funded, so I can start working and create my own studio with a few friends. But there is always crap happening. People disappear, others give up and it gets real lonely in the saddle after the horse has died. I want to make awesome things happen, but I am often powerless at the necessities of the world (money mostly) and bureaucracy (the amount of things you have to take heed of when applying for funding in Germany is insane. It's like a job of its own to manage all the paperwork and requirements. It also means changing my original game concept, just so I can get the money to do it.
Yes, I am a compromise whore now, but how I see things, it is either a compromise or many long years of shit and nothing. I'd rather suffer a little bit now than for the rest of my life. And that's why I'm doing this thing and that's why this will work: you got to believe it yourself to convince others!
Jeez - I'm looking for work in my town Hamburg, Germany. If you ever look for work in games, don't come here. Last year Bigpoint released some 200 developers and they are still swarming around here. It's virtually impossible to even get as much as an internship.
After 3 years of studying and looking back on all the things I can do (write, paint, model/texture) that is quite a setback. So what to do?
The only thing I know to do is to apply worldwide now. I hope to find a position, where I can learn writing for games or work as a consultant to the writers. Since I worked as storyliner before, I might be able to help. However, if I find work in a bigger studio it will probably be so specialized, I won't have much time to think about other things.
I wonder what the work situation is like out there for "ordinary" people. I have gone to college and took some extra courses. I got degrees in English and Spanish Language, wrote and co-wrote several books and screenplays AND I learned 3D and most everything involved. You'd think that would score me a job, right? Polly want a cracker?
I've always been wondering, why people who learn 3D prefer to work in advertsing or on non-realtime projects. I kinda get it now. The 3D for games runs through multiple stages of simplyfying, cleaning up, texturing and sorting out. In comparison, the rendered projects I did during the 3D study were simplicistic. Making games is a shitload of work and when you just look at a model you don't even notice the different processes that come together in it.
Basically, when you are finished and ready to render in a 3D studio, you still have 3/4 of the work ahead of you, if you want to make game assets. So, yeah - it is a lot of work, but to me this is the only 3D work worthwhile. Some modelers cherish making something that looks photorealistic. I don't, and I don't even see the point any more. Haven't we had enough close up of electric shavers and other hovering hardware? The real deal is making games. It's the King's Discipline of 3D and everything else is just wayyy below it, for me.
school's out forever ^^!
I managed to end it well, and ever since that burden of getting the final presentation done left my system, I am working on game-assets on full steam. I really like how I can work with the tools, unwrap and texture things. It's great how you can send files front and forth, between XSI, PS and Mudbox.
It's a lot of trial and error, looking at what others did and how to improve the workflow of my modeling. What I find cool about the whole 3D job, is that I can actually use the PC to build something on it. It's not the same feeling, like writing a text on it or sending a mail. Modeling, texturing - all of that - are part of a big, imaginative circle that usually starts with an idea in my head, then becomes drawing, multiple sketches and finally: reality.
It just feels neat to be able to do creative tasks with a machine. I can't wait to do bigger, better, more :)
It's the final phase of my projectfor"school".
I'm currently working on the documentation. It's alright to work with InDesign, but the whole project strikes me as completely meaningless for my carreer. I was willing to work hard to put something together for my game portfolio and finally have a map for UDK done. However that's the kindof 3D my school doesn't encourage.
So what happens then, is you are stuck with a project that is imposed upon you, and which you feel not passionate about at all. It's just a job, just routine. This is what life is like when you have no dreams. On the other hand: what good is life when you have only dreams?!
I'll have to work on getting that game portfolio done until the end of the year myself. All my school does for me at the moment is cost money, time and nerves. There are no practical applications to my project. It's like I'm doing it completely for someone else. This is the reason, why I think you cannot learn 3D very well at a school. In the same time they teach you 1000's of things you don't need, you might as well concentrate on the ones you care about.
I'm bored, so it's time for a new entry.
I'm not doing what I'm supposed to, instead I waste time drawing cartoons and trying some modeling again. I find myself most efficient not doing what I'm supposed to and doing everything else, instead.
Also, I'm hungy. Could be a good day for pizza :)
Apparently Moddb doesn't allow pointless blogs, so I have to add this line in order to get enough characters to let me upload this. Holy cow! And now you've read it. So pointless.
I have started with my final project for university. It's not really useful to me, since it's got nothing to do with games, but that can't be helped now. I want to go through with it and finally close that chapter, so I can move on to the more interesting things.
Of course it's hard to work on something you have zero interest in, but for large parts of it that's life!
On the bright side: I've done some interesting work lately, found good people who are willing to help and share their wisdom. I also find myself becoming more useful to projects, since I'm really getting a grasp on 3D and texturing now.
So the summer of 2012 is work, work, work. I originally wanted to concentrate on the final project only, but since my school gave me no chance whatsoever to work with mudbox and high/lowpoly objects, I feel forced to take up some side jobs again. I'll see you around.
I'm still waiting to start working on the project I've been signed for. The bigger the project, the harder to release its budget, it seems. While I'm upset about the wait, I also learned something important; even though you are getting payed work, don't stop there - look for more projects, always!
My current projects are:
- AAA title, budget on hold
- MMO fairly known Korean/Japanese MMO, which needs more assets and new worlds; anime style
- Mech Override - A.D. 2078, my pet project for many years is about to see a trailer this year
I'm learning, always learning (concept art, modeling, sculpting...), but it's hard when things aren't moving forward. Sorry doesn't seem to be the hardest word, money does. I wonder, why companies keep losing money while deciding if they should really do a project, if most projects could build a workng prototype with a fraction of the time and money the discussions take. It's annoying and non-sensual to produce games like this.