Thursday, 2 December 2010

Big face showed up; taught me about planning and concepting.

The most obvious example of planning a project or not, having a successful or unsuccessful outcome is most defiantly myself. As with the abysmal quality of my first project this year, that in itself was the result of basically non-existent planning, which I am still, genuinely embarrassed to call the result of a second year project. Too self critical? I’ve been told that but refuse to accept its standards are welcome on this course in the second year, let alone industry.

Moving on from that though, a brilliant example of industry quality planning, would be to look at a returning childhood favourite of mine, Oddworld Inhabitants. Although, they’ve been focusing on film production, television and online space over the past 6 years, it is well worth looking back over their beautiful work in games. Take their first game, Abe’s Oddysee. Plot: you play as a hero who breaks the mould of your typical bad ass hero, by basically being a weak, retarded alien whose mouth is stitched shut and dies from a single hit from ANYTHING. Manages to overcome the most freaky and equally retarded looking enemies to over through the planet’s biggest slave business and save his even more retarded and lazy friends. But if you take a look at every aspect of the game, everything fits, everything works and creates quite a believable world, all be it freaky looking. The creatures, including the hero Abe, are all caricatured and twisted in the same way . After reading the “Art of Oddworld Inhabitants first ten years” it’s clear that they took every day concepts and exaggerated them in a way which is damn creepy and hilarious at the same time.

Take for example the Kento. Not actually in any of the games but this example is as good as the rest. One of the artists took the concept of body builders. Guys who work all day on their upper body and get huge, but their legs get tiny. Exaggerate this, and you end up with a Kento. Obviously it’s not as smiple as that. They worked how far to take it and exactly what it would do, move like, it’s roll in the world, natural habitat etc. But just about everything in Oddworld has this kind of “what the hell is that” kind of look about it. Almost all enemies don’t even have eyes. Oddworld itself is supposedly 7 times the size of earth and as I’m sure you can imagine the diversity across the world in both flora and fauna, yet all the Oddworld games are set in different locations but all maintain the same kind of out landish charm which brings the world together. I am truely glad to see them returning to games and looking forward to what other wierd and wacky creations they can bring to Oddworld.

With my future projects, I am aiming at putting more time into prior concepting. I found that in my first year when i was doing preliminary sketches for 2D, they were just sketches for the sake of doing sketches, I wasn’t actually gearing my work towards my final piece which resulted in an often sterile, personalityless piece of work. If I take a page out of Oddworld Inhabitant’s artist’s book and actually gear my work towards working my style, not only will my outcomes be better in schooling, but in industry it will put me in good stead for aiming my work towards that particular project’s aesthetic.

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