Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Creating A New IP

For my final project, I will be working within a small team with the goal of creating two playable video game levels. This will mean that we will producing new intellectual property, and world building as a process. As one of two concept artists, my role will be to establish the game visuals in the earliest of stages. This video about the making of Naughty Dog's 'The Last of Us' illustrates well the process of creating a brand new IP:

One of the main challenges we will face with creating a new IP, is that we aren't strictly working with any existing game mechanics. Although we will be following tutorials and working towards an isometric shooter model, we really don't know much at this point how the game will operate, and whether it will be fun for the player. There will likely be lots of going back and forth between artwork, test levels, and character animations throughout the process to ensure smooth playability. On a similar note, developers in the film talk about not 'sugar coating' feedback. We will need to be able to take blunt yet constructive criticism from each other so we can keep moving forward with the development. A good model for my workflow would perhaps be the one discussed by concept artist Aaron Limonick in the video: Beginning with a loose piece to capture the mood and start discussions. There will then likely be several more passes, thinking critically about the virtual spaces, why certain aesthetic elements exist, and how the player will navigate and hopefully become immersed in the surroundings. More so than ever, I will be working towards someone else's vision, meaning that I will receive great amounts of feedback to help visually express what the writer and other team-members are thinking of. This video relates well to our project, as Naughty Dog appears to be one of the less corporate AAA developers. There seems to be a great sense of community and a sort of positive informality. Realistically, I cannot see us meticulously planning every small job and who it will be assigned to far in advanced. I believe we will rely heavily on communication and discussion, constantly reflecting on where we are in the development stage and where we need to be (Although we will be stressing the grander deadlines, for example when we will need to have the bulk of conceptual art finished ready for environment building and character modelling)

Although we are working in the realm of the indie game, looking at a leading company like Naughty Dog highlights some of the important thought processes that are crucial in creating a successful IP

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