About the Artist
Environment Modeling
What a Dream, What a Nightmare!
Software: Photoshop, Flash, 3D Studio Max
Platform: Flash
Class/Project/Team: Special Projects 2009, Team for GDC 2010
When Created: Spring to Fall Quarters 2009
Back, starting in Spring 2009, my second Spring at the Art Institute, I had the privilege of being chosen to participate in a team that was building the Art Institute's first-ever entry for the following year's Game Developer's Conference. We were to, all by ourselves, design a Flash game from start to finish, build it, test it, and (if possible) also present it as part of a competition at the Game Developer's Conference in 2010.

From the outset, we faced many challenges, not the least of which was settling on a design for the game. Nonetheless, we were able to pull a working design together and, from there, divvied up the responsibilities that would see the game constructed.

By the time the game was being in the process of being created, our team had become quite small, and I claimed two "hats" as my own: Design Lead and environment builder. (Or team had already decided upon a design, so my job in that respect was to maintain documentation and keep everyone on the same page.) I was not the one to design the environment: All of the aesthetics were the province of the Art Lead, and the actual composition of the room had already been decided upon by the team as a whole. What I was responsible for was building the room, and that I did in 3DSMax with custom-built Ink-and-Paint shaders that used tiling cross-hatching patterns that I made myself in order to appear, as much as I could possibly make it, like a 2D hand-drawn scene. Utilizing 3D models in this manner allowed me to set up multiple cameras in the scene and take additional shots that, later, became menus and other scenes in the game.

In the end, I also became one to design and create sprite sheets for some of the enemies, the protagonist, worked on the UI, and created a cut-scene that shows the backstory of the game. I also tracked down and supplied most of the sound effects from Soundsnap and provided them to our coder, Alan Dennis. Thanks to him, our Art Lead Heather Decker, and everyone else in our group, we had an amazing game that I'm still proud of to this day! Go Team Flying Cotton! It was such an incredible experience, and it instilled in me a permanent love of making Flash games. It is such magic!

By a stroke of sheer luck, while working on this portfolio entry, I found that Art Lead Heather Decker's site has the game up and can be played! Make sure you check out her portfolio, too, she's such an amazing artist! What a Dream: What a Nightmare! Flash Game
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