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Gaming Software & the Process of Character Development

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Games as art, new media cultural artifacts, and dynamic interactive story

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Gaming Software & the Process of Character Development

  1. 1. Maria C. R. Harrington, Ph.D. CCAC North Campus MMC/CIT Interview Tuesday, November 24, 2015 2:00 PM Room 3017
  2. 2. Gaming Software is comprised of Game Engines, 3D Modeling and Rendering software, Image or Photo Editors, and other Interactive Development Environments (IDE) used to create entire games • Art asset creation process of the digital 3D Model, “Avatar” and or tools available in the Game Engine may be used to create Characters, “The Body” Process of Character Development • Independent of the technology, “The Mind or the Soul” • Design a believable character (Author, Playwright, Producer) • Rule based, where the rules of the game design the character (traditional role- based games, like Dungeons and Dragons,World ofWarcraft - RPG, MUD, MMORPG) • Emergent, where the dynamic interaction of the game and individual choice allows for the character to evolve from interactions of the external forces of the story, environment, social context, and the choices, the morality, and intelligence of the player/Avatar as they travers a decision tree (Sims, Serious Games) Lecture Overview
  3. 3. Many different tools can be used to create the 3D Models and use them as Avatars in Games Game Engines and 3D Models 3
  4. 4. 3D Model, 2D Art, joints rigged for motion and animation Character specific behaviors, expressions, or reactions UV mapping (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping) Example 3D Model http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/deer-animation-3d-model/542770
  5. 5. https://www.blender.org/support/tutorials/ Blender
  6. 6. http://www.autodesk.com/products/maya/free-trial Maya Student
  7. 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spi4lGxnMZg Maya Body Character Modeling
  8. 8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbeI3hkYzIY Maya Face
  9. 9. UV mapping (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping) How to useTextures and UV Mapping
  10. 10. https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html 2D Art,Textures and Skins
  11. 11. http://www.gimp.org/ Free and Open Source GIMP
  12. 12. 3D Model, Art Assets, some are Rigged and Animated Buy or sell: http://www.turbosquid.com/ Third Party 3D Models
  13. 13. http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/deer-animation- 3d-model/542770 3D Model,Textured, Rigged, Animated
  14. 14. Art Assets • You will need a 3D Model • Texture maps, UV • Animations, Rigging Import to the Game (use the default 3D Models) • 3D Model becomes an “Avatar” • Rules of the Environment • Physics • Input Devices • Output Devices • Other players • Game AI Art and Game
  15. 15. Environment • Avatar stands on the ground, the sound changes based on type of ground, if wet it splashes, if covered with gravel it makes a crunching sound Directed by the user with input device controls • Keys, mouse, joystick, wand, glove, many different types of input devices Attributes (low level Character Development) • If the model jumps off a cliff, and if there is gravity, does the character fly or fall? That depends on the character’s abilities and the physics engine rules of the world Social interactions and rules • Other players and / or AI Interaction3D Model &Game Engine
  16. 16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clakekAHQx0 OpenWorld Demo
  17. 17. Gaming Software (Photorealistic AAA Titles) • Game Engines and other Interactive Development Environments are special purpose software used to create the entire environments for games, including the context, the rules, and even the characters. • “Proprietary” Development Environments (US Copyright protected) • Unreal Engine, Unity, CryEngine, ShiVa • Use to build a game title and you can sell your game title • Cannot sell the engine code • GUI/IDE, scripts, and or some C++ or C# access engine code • “Open Source” (different legal copyright agreements) • Torque 3D, Panda 3D, OGRE, Blender • Use to build a game title, and can modify the engine code and sell both (game and the editor ex. Shiva is an engine built withTorque 3D and other open software tools) • GUI/IDE, scripts, and or some C++ or C# access engine code and extend functionality Game Engines
  18. 18. Torque 3D Game Engine and IDE
  19. 19. Blender 3D and Game Engine
  20. 20. https://www.unrealengine.com/education Unreal Education
  21. 21. https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Videos/Player?series=PLZl v_N0_O1ga0IoRrpI4xkX4qmCrhGu56 Default 3D Model / Assets orTools to Import a 3D Model • Define animations and interactions • Define behavior of Avatar • Interactions with environment • (ex. walk, run, jump, swim, fly?) • Interactions with other 3D Models • User Input Device Events • (ex. Mouse and Keyboard) • Output Devices (VR headset) • HUD (GUI overlays) Unreal Engine
  22. 22. Unreal Persona Process of creating a Persona / Avatar, when the 3D Model becomes responsive to user input, environment, other players or AI, and game rules Programing the logic of the animations, events, and interactions
  23. 23. https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animati on/CharacterSetupOverview/index.html#workflowatagla nce Unreal Setting Up a Character
  24. 24. Blueprints (Visual Scripting) https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Bluepri nts/index.html
  25. 25. https://scratch.mit.edu/ Visual Programming MIT Scratch and Google Blockly https://developers.google.com/blockly/
  26. 26. Blueprints (Visual Scripting) https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Bluepri nts/QuickStart/6/index.html Goal: Student Publish and Sell Content https://publish.unrealengine.com/submission- guidelines
  27. 27. https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/
  28. 28. The process of character development, is this interaction between the external environment and the individual over time Characters, Context, Story Arc
  29. 29. Cloud Platforms (or not?)VM &VR
  30. 30. What makes a good character? • Think of some of your favorite characters, what made them so rich, delightful, real, what made you hate them or fall in love? • Archetypes! How did that character change over time in the story, the play, or the game? • What happened? How did they grow? What was their backstory?Their history?The arc of the story? What attributes defined them? Did those attributes help or hinder? • Story Arcs The process of character development, is this interaction between the external environment and the individual over time Character Development is More than Art or Code
  31. 31. The process of character development, is this interaction between the external game environment and the individual over time A NewType of Story
  32. 32. Does free will exist? • Do we make choices, or do we only react to outside forces and influences?Are we controlled?Or are we free? Are we victims of our environment? • Or do we create our environments? How do we know when we don’t know? Are we products of our social networks? • Or do we lead and follow from above, below, and the side? Does Fate, Karma, or God exist? • Or can we create our future, with every choice in every moment? And in aggregate, as a society, as a culture, create our total human experience, the planet’s future? Are we the creators of culture, or the result of it? We create our reality Character, Culture & the Classics
  33. 33. Like the Greek Theater, a Shakespearean Play, a Tolstoy Novel, a Mozart Opera, an original Walt Disney Animation, Computer Games could move beyond forms of visceral entertainment and become interactive stories, cultural artifacts, full of artwork and ideas Video and Computer Games are indeed consider Art, and protected under the First Amendment, as free speech, they are copyright protected by the US Federal Government, and software processes are patentable Games have evolved into training simulations, (FPS are training you!) interactive state machines, with parameters for both the environment - the physics engine and procedural landscapes - and parameters for the characters, both the archetypes, or meta characters, and the individual, as Avatars for role playing, and as a type of Artificial Intelligence for training and education (1984) Uniquely, Game Story Arcs are dynamic interactive partnerships, a collaboration between game designers - modelers, artists, producers - and the players, the social networks, and the individuals and their choices made over time and space Games are Cultural Artifacts
  34. 34. Therefore, the Process of Character Development is the intersection of the art, craft, and the code required to create “The Body” of the Avatar, and the creative design of the entire external circumstances, the context of story, social network, the environment, for the individual to evolve into a rich character, the essence of the “The Mind or the Soul” embodied in that character, as it dynamically changes over time, space, and interactions Process of Character Development http://mariacrharrington.org/seee.html

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