So after learning that I fail at the UDK -immensely- (that or the UDK fails at 1024x1024 texture maps.) I've spent the past few weeks really sinking my teeth into traditional art. Sadly it also means I've put my entire side project on hold while I get myself some real skills in the artistic fields.
Basically that's been one of my major issues all along, I can envision something, but I can't draw it; if I can't draw it, I can't model it. I'm sure this is a common thing with people who do this casually, but considering the amount of time I tend to sink into 3D I feel this has become a massive hangup on me >>;
On a brighter note, I've figured out marmoset down to the last detail, sadly I have to purchase a single license of the engine now due to demo-time limitations (ie; my demo ran out and I am sad lol), shouldn't be to massive of an issue however.
In the meantime I've decided to teach myself animation, or rather get my teeth back into animation. It's something I started awhile back and -really- enjoyed, with both christmas and my birthday coming (lack of a traditional job kinda butchers conventional means of funding here) I should beable to scrape enough cash together to purchase some of the tutorial sets over at 3DBuzz. They let you watch an awesome amount of content free online with an account, but I'd rather have all the materials sitting here on a DVD so I can go through it at my own pace, seeing as my internet connection hasn't been brilliant as of late.
Amusingly enough I Started out yesterday morning at about 6/6:30ish AM, thinking the same thing (that I would get down to some doing some basic rigging) as the day progressed however it devolved into me spending a massive amount of time (till 10:30pm that night) OCDing about what mesh to use, creating one, realizing how -insanely- bad it was (figured that part out when I went to map the blasted thing), and spending most of my time recreating it from scratch.
Great thing was I noticed a visible difference almost immediately, the Low-Poly initially was pushing 18k+ Tris, vs now it's rocking out at 4.1k - 4.2k I believe. Seems to make a massive difference while modeling when I realize that what I'm doing is just the first step, instead of being the end result and leaving it go.
I can only imagine how high the highpoly will be, due to the massive amounts of minor detail I left out, but, considering I'm just using it as a showcase piece for -animation- and not my technical or artistic skills, I'm hoping that won't be an issue.
On a different note entirely, my personal 'secret' side project, a dungeon crawl based "hack'n'slash" has been put on hold till both my artistic & technical levels are high enough that I can carry most of the load myself (as per development). Lately, as I've stated before, I've seen a rash of 'indie' games jumping the gun and forming groups/'companies' that just fail, and if I'm going to take a serious shot at making this game, I feel I need to do it under the principle of "I'm just doing it to get better, and learn the ropes" (ie; it'd be created openly, without any inclination of going paid, or using it as some type of demo to pitch to a corporate suit.) and I think that's how a lot of people should start.
Not that they will, but, yeah.
I have a rough game design document knocked out, actually to be entirely honest in one variant or another I've had it floating around since a very young age, and hopefully like fine wine it's only matured and gotten better with age. Figuring out that part though is probably just as hard as creating the game, I believe an article on Gamasutra put it best in the statement (or something along these lines) "Write out a design document, and then bury it. Throw yourself into all of your other work, burn yourself out, and come back to it in 2-3 weeks. If you look at it and think 'my god..what was I thinking' burn it and forget about it, however, if you find yourself getting excited at the concept you've laid out, well, you might have something there."
SO that's what I'll be doing over the next few months.
Well..that and going to local airsoft matches.
..And playing the new Medal of Honor
..And playing the new Call of Duty
..And playing the new Halo (Reach)
..And playing Global Agenda
..AND failing at having a life :D