Thursday, 25 November 2010

My Final Influence Map...

I'm pretty sure these were all the most influential images I used, especially those few on the bottom half!

Third Final Piece, done and dusted!

 < Final Piece

I added a little more detail into this one, the statue at the end has a face and there's a bit more texture to the mountains around them.  I'm not sure which of the top two is stronger (although I like the strong reds in the 3rd one) so I thought I'd have a go at changing hues and found a really powerful sunset/sunrise and I stumbled across one that looked like it came from Pandora so I thought I'd put that on there too :D

Finished First Final Piece...

< Final Piece

Fixed the shadows I think...
I prefer the top one but I wanted to have a go at another colour so I though I'd go for an earthy-ish orange.

Finished Second Final Piece...

 < Final Piece

Okay this is what I've ended up with. I've gone with blues again for the cave and I think it adds the space I wanted.  I like the angle but I'm not sure if it works but I'm mostly happy with it !
Please feel free to give feeback, it's much appreciated! :D

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Second Final Piece attempt, Feedback please!

This is what I have so far, sorry they're not the best quality but my PCs a bit knackered.
I'm pretty happy with it, I want to put more detail on the greenery around the statues but I could really do with some feedback.  Please let me know what needs changing other than that!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Rough Draft of Second Final Piece...

It's still really unfinished but the general idea is there. I've only coloured the sky because I was struggling to keep seeing only black and white.  I made some brushes to add the look of engravings onto the pedestals so they're not too plain and I've only just started putting detail into the sculptures that may end up being more suggestive than accurate.  The statues were going to be a brownish/orange stone with a blue hue as it's set at dawn and the green plants and heathers around will also have a slight blue and atmosphere too, hopefully.

Again feedback is wanted, especially constructive criticism.

Feedback please, Tweaked First Final Piece...

This is what I have at the moment.  It's getting there and I'm pretty happy with it but I'm not sure what's missing.  Any opinions on how it can be improved would be really welcome!

Essay Research

Since deciding to write my essay on Silent Hill I've been reading lots of books and magazines and watching a hugely useful 'making of' DVD so here's a list of all the quotes and sources I've been using to create my essay:

King, Geoff; Krzywinska, Tanya (2006) Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders : Videogame Forms and Contexts. GBR: Tauris

“In third-person games, in which the player-character can be seen by the player, character movements can be pre-orchestrated to indicate in certain directions at particular moments in the game. The inclination of James Sunderland’s head in Silent Hill 2 suggests that something of value lies nearby in that direction, a device also used occasionally in other games including some of the Tomb Raider titles and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Such devices are used primarily in games that provide large traversable spaces, much of which is superfluous to progressive game tasks and in which the design of the environment itself is not overly directive. In the case of Silent Hill 2, the large number of directional cues of this kind is also compensation for the lack of clear visibility provided in a world enveloped in fog. Non-player characters can also function as directional guides.”
(King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 85)

“Restrictive devices are used to create a palpable sense of fear and claustrophobia in horror-related games such as the Silent Hill, Resident Evil and Doom series. These include enclosed spaces and/or limits to the range of vision of the player-character, the latter the result of insufficient light or, in the first two iterations of Silent Hill, the presence of enveloping mist. Restricted visibility imbues exploration with an increased sense of danger, the uncertainty of what might be lying ahead in wait. This can also be created by fixed, pre-determined camera positions that prevent the player from seeing areas from which threats might come, removing the freedom of looking otherwise usually provided in third-person games. Suspense can be created by pre-determined cuts to spaces other than those currently occupied by the player-character; spaces in which threats are identified that will soon be faced by the player, a device used in titles including the Resident Evil series and The Thing.” (King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 90)

Silent Hill 2 is a rare example in which no player-related information is carried onscreen; even the state of health is embedded in the inventory system and can only be checked by a shift out of the main game-space. (King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 109)

“In horror games, the dominant source of spectacle lies in the visceral and the monstrous, in assorted weird and wonderful forms. Spectacle serves here not just to solicit the gaze of the player but also to unsettle.” (King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 156)

“Music and other sound effects can also be used to crank up the intensity of gameplaying experiences. The soundscape of Silent Hill 2 is designed to discomfort, to jar and to set the player on edge, as befits a horror game. Scratchy, sharp, metallic sounds are combined with a piano-frame being hit at the bass end, heavy echo creating a diffused skein of dissonant sound that appears to come from some hellish depths. The disordered crackle of radio-static adds to the cacophony, alerting players to the proximity of monsters veiled in the mist that cloaks much of the gamescape and often inducing a panic-stricken reaction in which the player-character is spun around in search of the source of threat.” (King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 163)

SILENT HILL- “3 The general tenor of Resident Evil and Silent Hill is one of vulnerability and dread, in which the relative weakness of player-characters seems appropriate (compared, say, to the rapid and easy dispensing of zombies in House of the Dead III). The physical limitation of characters, particularly in the need to avoid certain threats, contributes to the generation of emotional qualities such as fear and suspense. The player-character has to wander around in a state of uncertainty much of the time, wondering what threat might emerge.” (King, Krzywinsk, 2006: 216)

Bacon, Fancis, Devey, Joseph (2006) The Moral and Historical works of Lord Bacon. New York: Elibron
“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion”. (Bacon, Devey 2006: 119)

Hantke, Steffen, Hand, Richard J. (2004) Horror Film: Creating and Marketing Fear. Mississippi: University of Mississippi
“In terms of narrative, many Noh and Kabuki plays are infused with a mixture of the horrific, the erotic and the sentimental: ghosts of loved ones visit the bereaved, transmutations occur from the beautiful to the hideous, and ghastly hybrids of the sensual and the horrific are manifest. Such amalgamation is to be found in the Silent Hill games. As CG and Character director Sato Takayoshi explains: (Hand, 2004:123)
“Psychological horror has to shake the human heart deeply. [This means] uncovering people's cor eemotion and their core motivation for life. Everybody is thinking and concerned about … sex and death everyday. And if we want to scare or shake or touch the users who are spectators then we have to think about … sec and death deeply. To make a death scene, you know, somebody died or a monster's died...if we make that kind of scene we tried to mix erotic essence. This is … a visual and...core concept.” (The Making of Silent Hill 2: Alchemists of Emotion, DVD)
“Evidently, this is a core concept in traditional Japanese theatre as well. But it is not just the classical Japanese uncanny that is redolent of survival horror for the contemporary reader and game player.” (Hand, 2004: 24)
“The dehumanised monstrosities that inhabit Silent Hill which are themselves a disturbing mixture of the mechanical and the organic. Ito Masahiro (Monsters Designer, Silent Hill 2) explains his design concept:
My basic idea in designing the monsters of Silent Hill 2 was to give them a human aspect. In the beginning, the game player would believe they were human. Then I proceeded to undermine this human aspect, by using improbable angles for their bodies based on the mannerisms and movements of drunk people or the tentative walk of very young children.” (“The Making of Silent Hill 2 Alchemists of emotion”) (Hand, 2004:124)
“In Silent Hill 2 we discover similar sexual horror when the player is forced to choose whether to make James Sutherland walk away or take sadistic action.”

'Spin' Magazine, 2001
“It's genuinely scary because it's so restrained – the incessant crunches and groans that are never explained, the darkness that hides the monsters, James' quickening heartbeat, which thumps through the controller. Of course, the stuff you can see is pretty freaky too: an otherworldly little girl laughing at nothing: ... heaving cow carcasses swinging from chains. Previews of Silent Hill 2 had grown men shrieking at this year's E3 (the gaming industry's biggest conference)” (Greenwald, 2001:64)
“we were nervous to express the themes of death and sexuality, but fear is directly connected with those themes,” says Konami's Takayoshi Sato. “when we presented the game to the executives, nobody said anything. They just frowned.” Mission accomplished” (Greenwald, 2001:64)

Perron, Bernard, Picard, Martin (2009) Horror Video Games. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.
psychological horror is terrifying to gamers due to the tension built up around the story and characters' actions, It creates discomfort by exposing common and universal psychological fears, such as the fear of the unknown...or of the hidden self which is most often repressed or denied, as illustrated by the ghastly creatures of the silent hill series” (Picard, 2009:111)

The Making of Silent Hill 2 Alchemists of Emotion (2001) Directed by Nicolas Beuglet [DVD] Tokyo: KonamiSato Takayoshi – CG and Character Director
“The most important thing is how to depict a body”.
“I couldn't trust...face motion capture....If I make [gestures] in front of [a] mirror I can notice it, I can capture it.”
“same polygon structure...of a face exactly [the] same...Maria can make Mary's face, Mary can make Maria's face”.
Angela - “I tried to make her face special, there's something inside” lines & shadows”

Akihiro Imamura – Producer
“I want to express what's deep within the mind”.

Masahi Tsuboyama – Art Director
“I wanted to create something that would really disturb the game players whilst attracting them. Something with an aura of mystery”.
“At the beginning of the game we deliberately made the descent through the forest towards the cemetary longer. It's so you don't feel like turning back. At the same time, it makes you realise just how totally isolated the city is and you also!”
“The corpse is James himself! Same face, same polygonal model structure. In fact, this is an image straight out of James' imagination.”

Ito Masahiro – Monsters Designer
“The idea for the monster in a straightjacket, hit me as I watched a programmer friend who works here. One day, he came to see me. I saw him coming from a long way off. His hands were in his pockets, close to his body and he was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. He was also listening to his walkman and walking in a cool way.”
He drew inspiration from his favourite artist Sir Francis Bacon whose tormented features influence the visual world.
“What he was looking for was a monster with a hidden face, like that it was less human and therefore more disturbing.”
“The triangle has right angles and acute edges, their sharpness suggessts the possibility of pain. And the triangle shape also helps explain the monster's role in the game.”

Akira Yamaoka – Sound Director
“Above all, I want to make sure that people feel something listening to my music.”
“I really tried to create something that would surprise you, something that would challenge your imagination as if the sounds were going under your skin. What I mean by that is to create a physical reaction for the gameplayer such as a feeling of apprehension and unease.”
“The job of a sound designer is not just to create sounds, so to speak, we also have to know how to use silence. I think that selecting moments of silence, is an other way of producing sound”

“In Silent Hill 2, fear could be defined in terms of what you don't see makes you feel afraid.”
“Everyone is thinking and concerning about sex and death everyday and...if we want to … scare or shake or touch the users or spectators then we we have to think and death deeply.” Sato Takayoshi

Marcuse, Herbert (1972) Eros and civilisation: a philosophical inquiry into Freud. Sussex: Beacon Press
“the terrible necessity of the inner connection between civilisation and barbarism, progress and suffering, freedom and unhappiness.” (Marcuse, 1972:17)

Britton, Ronald (2003) Sex, death and the super-ego: experiences in psychoanalysis. London: H.Karnac (Books) Ltd.
Freud Proposed: “I believe that the death wish in hysteria is meant to lead to the consumation of a greatly desired sexual union: it is not intended to separate but to end all separation.” (Britton, 2003: 3)

Monday, 22 November 2010

I Have My Own Neighbourhood Now!

Last weeks Maya, a bit delayed because I forgot to take screenshots when I was here on Friday:

Some background images from my final Maya:


 Finally done! Well 'appy! :D

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Second Final Piece Idea, Feedback Please!

I was thinking this kind of angle for my second piece.  I'll change the mountains and all of the details obviously but I just want to know if the angle will be strong enough.

First Final Piece attempt, Feedback please!

I've done a criss-cross pattern on some of the lighting and shadows because I want it to look as if it's been chipped away at by someone.  I'm not sure if it works and I haven't done enough to the farthest point on the background but I'm pretty happy with it so far.
However! I need feedback because I want it to be a strong image so feel free to criticise it as long as it's constructive! :D