Author Archive

Developer Diary: Concept Art to Final Product

by on Mar.20, 2013, under developer diary, tsl

This time we are looking at how all the wonderful models and sets are created. Creating all the models is time consuming as they go through many, many drafts before we find the one we look feels like the one the script is describing.

In Episode 5 script, there aren’t any direct words telling us how the character looks however we do have their personality based on their name as well as how they speak and what actions they take during the game itself. From this we are able to do a base sketch. Let’s look at the character Rosella.

As you can see this is a rough sketch of how we think the character should look like. Based on what we know about the character of Rosella we have dressed her elaborately for her wedding. The proportions are off but that is not important at this stage of the character design, all the artist is concerned about is getting the general vision of the character down. Once the general idea is agreed upon, the next stage of design can begin.

In this picture, Rosella has been fleshed out more. The lines are cleaner and the designs in her dress are defined to the point where they could be created to the next stage. Also included are different views of how the character would look. You have the front view, side, and back. All three views are important in a 3D game because you will be able to see the character from all angles. Each angle must be as clean as the others. The close up on her face is required because again of how the camera moves in TSL. These images need to be as detailed as they can be because after this step they go to a Character Artist who will build the character in Maya. If details are not added in at this stage, the Character Artist who works off the design will run into issues that could end up having them scrap the character they have been working on for several days, and those days would be considered lost and mile stones will not be made pushing the entire project back.

In regards to TSL, the torque engine limited how much we really could do with the character in terms of poly counts (how smooth they look). Now that we have switched engines the world of characters and sets have opened up to us greatly and our characters have gone from blocky to smooth geometry. In TSL this process takes us several weeks to complete as most of the team is part time but Noelle, Ting and Tom are able to create amazing things from a simple 2D image and create a 3D character that walks on our screen. To show you how amazing TSL is going to look, here are before and after images of Rosella, the first peek into the art of Episode 5!

Click to see a larger image!

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Developer Diary: Becoming the Producer of The Silver Lining Episode 5

by on Feb.27, 2013, under developer diary, tsl

If you are new to the forums you may not know who I am or my history with The Silver Lining. My name is Adrienne Elliott and I am the producer of the final chapter, A Thousand Times Good Night. I first joined the TSL project back in May of 2010 to assist with the release of the first episode, and I shall never forget how excited everyone was on that day as they played through the game. Sure, it was short, but being back in the Land of the Green Isles made people believe that a group of fans could make a game and more would be coming soon.

Everyone on the TSL team wears many different hats, meaning we all have at least more than one job to do, but I didn’t get to even see the production side of game development until the start of the 3rd episode where I became coordinator and after that associate producer. I use to think production was simple and easy as you manage a team and make sure that everything is completed, but it is so much more than that, and I didn’t learn that until November 2011 after the release of Episode 4.

An opportunity had come up for the company and they were asked to produce their first commercial game, Cognition. You never pass up an offer like this and all of a sudden I got to see what production is really like. A producer is in charge of making things happen and that everything happens smoothly as possible, but I didn’t know that I would be in charge of making hundreds of decisions every day, making sure that people did what they needed to while interpreting the script and making the words come out in the form of a character motion or a background. I will fully admit that I struggled greatly with this new form of responsibility–not because I wasn’t ready, but I was afraid of letting you the fans down. You offered so much support during the Save TSL movement and were so patient and excited at the same time as you talked about the plot and what could happen along the road,and there is a lot of pressure when you finally sit down at your computer and try to answer all the questions your development team has and sometimes it did get to me.

Now that it has been a year, being a producer doesn’t bother me, I have accepted and embraced that this is what I’m supposed to do. Many of the decisions I make regard how the game will look or how something should be done, who should be where and what they are responsible for. The producer is like the captain of a ship. They decide ultimately what the end goal will be and below them are the leads of different departments. This was something I was not aware of when I first became a producer. I thought that it was my job to do everything, and actually watching Star Trek helped me to clear that vision away. Captain Picard doesn’t do everything, he has officers and a crew to help him once he has made a decision, and after looking at the production crew, I realized that I wasn’t using my crew to their fullest ability but now I feel that I have the best team anyone could ask for and I am truly blessed to work and know each of them. In the next blog, we will talk about concept art and how important it is to have good concept art before you start.

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The Derek’s Adventure Continues!

by on Jul.17, 2012, under four winds

A new Derek Recap Video has been posted! Follow his adventure as he escapes from guard dogs and faces the dreadful Lucreto himself! Follow all the excitement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JqK-V06PwU

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