Saturday, June 19, 2010

Echo - Menus and stuff

Last year for school, I was lucky enough to be invited to work on a really great game team, focusing mainly on ui and menu art but helping out here and there wherever I could. Below are a few pieces I got to design for the project.

The logo for the game team.

The logo for the game itself.

The main menu system.

A character status UI showing current equipped weapon and other two carried weapons, health (shown by color of character silhouette) and ammunition status.

Achievement popout with icons for each achievement.

A pitch meter, for a mechanic in the game where you hum into a microphone to match a beat, similar to Guitar Hero or RockBand.

A texture for one of the models in the game.

Unfortunately, due to changes in the game design (it was a student game, after all, such things are inevitable) nearly none of the art above made it into the final build of the game, but it was still a ton of fun to work on and a great learning experience.


One of my hobbies is building models, so when my 3d design class gave us the opportunity to build models of buildings from Hogsmeade Village from the Harry Potter books, I went a little overboard. Myself and two friends (Jermz Gallardo and Decker Geddes) were assigned to build the Hog's Head Inn.

We started by looking at all the references to it in the books and cross-referencing any other mentions online. We spent a lot of time researching the village and where it was supposed to have been built, and the types of materials and architectural style it likely would have had, as well as trying to put the story behind the building itself - it's an old, old building, and served as a public house for a long time, so it likely would have had a stables built at one point, as well as a couple of out-houses and such. We planned on building an out-building for storage for when the railroad was first built, but once we started looking at the limitations of the size of the lot we were building on, it quickly became evident that that wouldn't fit. Also, one of the defining characteristics of the Hog's Head is its ever-present goat smell, so naturally we included a goat pen.

Anyway, below are some photos of the finished product, built and painted within about two weeks during a ridiculously busy schedule with our other classes.

Building the foundation. The front steps are finished in this shot, and one of the outhouses can be seen in the lower left corner.

The stables and the well, along with the stone fence.

The building, before the roofing tiles have been applied, glued to the foundation. The chimney here has a three-quarters inch core square balsa core with sifted gravel applied to the outside.

The roofing tiles and the tunnel next to the goat pen.

A heavy base coat of chocolate-colored spray-paint kept the shadows on the model nice and warm and dirty-feeling without being washed out and black. Also, it looks delicious.

And the finished product, painted. The streaks on the roof were made by applying thin layers of wash (watered-down black and brown paint) over and over to give it a really nice aged look and help tell the story of all the years it has seen.

The bare earth here is actually beach sand I took home with me from my honeymoon in Monterey, California, glued down and given a little variety by adding little spots of the same wash we applied to the roof. The rest of the vegetation is model railroad flocking, static grass and field grass.

A nicer shot of the back of the property, detailing the taller grass, the stables and the well. The chain in the well is just an old necklace chain - it is amazingly hard to find straight-linked necklace chain, though. Most of it has twisted links, and it ruins the illusion.

I really enjoyed this assignment, and would have liked to have had mode time, but so it goes. Specifically, I would have liked to have worked out the windows better, using thin plastic for the glass and etching in cracks with a razor, and setting up a small backdrop behind them to add depth.

Also, not to show my geek side too hard, but one of my other hobbies is tabletop gaming, specifically D&D. I'm running an ongoing game for friends right now, and I recently painted a miniature for one of my friends' character.