Csikzentmihalyi list and Flow of immersion of my experience of “Red Dead Redemption”

Red Dead Redemption is a game that I’ve played many time and every time, it has immersed me in an Open world filled with life, adventures, and stories to discover and explore. In my own opinion, Red Dead Redemption is one of the most immersive games that I’ve ever played throughout my whole life of playing video games. Csikzentmihalyi list and Flow helps break down the usage of immersion within the game in a few ways.

Concentration on the task at hand
– In Red Dead Redemption, you kind of know your main goal within the game. Yours told from the get go that you hunting your own gang but the question at the being of the game was why? It wasn’t until the first few missions of the game that the story started unfolding and you began to learn about your family. This sad story of the main character Jhon Marstan allowed players to be immersed in his life and drove people to play the story so that he could find them. This was my own motivation while playing the game for the first time and I felt implied to save his family. This immersed with the story and I knew what I had to do. Even small details kept me going like the music changing and playing once passing the border into Mexico just changed the game and I felt the urge to go faster as if for one second I was the character.

A sense of ecstasy – of being outside normal life
– Red Dead Redemption does a good job at making a sense of ecstasy as the Open World and NPS’s are nothing like our normal day to day lives as the time period is different meaning that certain historical meanings and lifestyles apply in this game world where in today’s world, they’re no longer around. This immersed me into the world, not like our own.

Timelessness
– Throughout my time playing this game, I lost many hours and most of my summers to this game as it made me experience a stunning world with grasped my attention with its aesthetics and story telling which allowed the game to immerse me into it making time past. From hunting deer within the desert of Armadillo to Scavenging treasure with an abanded town to clearing out a gang from a fort and saving an innocent woman, these events are what made the game enjoyable and immersive which allowed time to pass.

Intrinsic motivation
– There is a sense of internal reward within Red Dead Redemption which kept me playing the game as the more good deeds I did within the game, the greater the community and NPC’s of the open world respected me, allowing me to get discounts and special rewards (I got across from a Nun which, made bullets less likely to hit me). This sense of accomplishment kept me playing and immersed me into the world as it made me feel like a hero rather than an outlaw as you are perceived at the beginning of the game and in the main characters back story.

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Task 5 _Reaserch_Timetable_Week_1

Task 5 has started and it’s the final task of year one. From the beginning, I knew very little about 3D and now I know so much. I am grateful to the lessons I have been taught by Chris. Now, I’m ready to show what I can do with my current set of skills.

This task is to design and model a Dimension Gateway that leads to another universe called the Unsettled. This project can be set in any universe. The triangle limit must be under 4000. And the texture resolution must be at 2048 x 2048 pixels. This project seems to allow a wide range of freedom in design as long as it sticks to the brief. This budget is bigger than the Art test which does allow for a higher quality model. What I need to do is research and start developing ideas.

I went and looked at many different games and concept art to see other people’s representation of what they thought Gateways looked like. In doing so, I kept the theme of sci-fi in my mind the whole time while researching because I wanted to set my scene and Dimension Gateway in the future. I wanted to do a Sci-fi model because I’ve always admired the design of future tech. To imagine what the future might look like is both challenging, and rewarding.

I looked at the art for Halo and tried to look at the design and style of its creations and concept art to get a better understanding of sci-fi design and the amount of detail. I managed to get lots of good images and designs of Halo creations which then lead me to some artists who worked on the Halo designs of which I had a closer look at on Art station “Jihoon Kim” and “Albee Ng”. Both of them created stunning concept art and 3D models for Halo which I found interesting with the detail and colour choice used. I put these together to create a mood board so I could look back at for inspiration.

Halo Mood Board

I next looked at another game for some more sci-fi inspiration. I looked at the game “Titanfall” and took in the designs and style of the game. Similar to Halo, this game takes a sci-fi approach but adds a more military theme to it where as Halo had some military to it, it focused more on alien technology and alien worlds. This also had an artist which I found interesting and I also had a look at on Art Station “Danny Gardner”. I placed some of his work and some Titanfall concept art into a mood board.

Tittanfall 2 Mood Board

I next had a deeper look into the design of sci-fi buildings and interior designs. Now it’s not too important that I have a full scene for this project but I would like to because it would show my commitment and passion for this line of work and it would make my project look better. But I do have to put my main focus on the main Dimension Gateway, yet I still wanted to have a look at some designs and I gathered them all together and placed them on a mood board.

Sci-fi Structure Design

I next had a look at some designs of spaceships as with some of the ideas in my head, having the gateway mobile and in space is a potentially ideal idea for this task. I don’t know if I’ll use it yet but I’m still willing to keep a mood board for it just in case I decided to go with this idea instead. The idea is that the spaceship or station carries a tube similar to the gateways we’ve seen in Stargate as part of the ship where space crafts can enter through to another dimension. I choose multiple designs of spaceships which I thought could work for this idea and for inspiration. Another good idea would be to use a more modern approach to this idea by using an Avenger’s Helie Carrier. Could be a good idea to use the turbines as the portals but I don’t know if that would be possible with this triangle limit.

Spaceship Mood Board

I lastly looked at an Environmental Artist called “Gregoire De Coatparquet” on Art station and had a look at some of his work. Now I took interest into some of his designs of his 3D models and the way he detailed them. I find his work inspiring and how he has made them metallic but also slick with a sci-fi look to them. It’s inspiration and ideas for the Dimension Gateway. I gathered them together into a mood board.

Gregorire De Coatparquet Mood Board

I also gathered a huge reference library of images from other games like; Doom, Mass effect, No man’s sky, and portal. Along with images from current technology so that I wouldn’t always be relying on concept art and 3D models. And with this, I think that I have done plenty research and is ready for concept art Designs of what my Dimension Gateway could look like.

To keep myself up to date and planned for this project, I have also created a Timetable to represent what I should be doing within the next couple of weeks. As seen, I plan to spend a long time modelling as I see this section as the most important. Substance Painter might be tricky but I’ve given it two weeks. Hopefully, I can stick to this plan.

Timeline Plan

Art Test – Marmoset Final

Well it has been a long few days of work. The art test took me some time and i even had to tell work that i couldn’t come in because i had to do the Art Test (they were dine with it as they know that UNI is important to me and must come first before work). It has pushed my abilities of quick thinking and coping with a short deadline. I’m eager to take part in more Art Test’s in the future and i hope that my skills are improved by then and that the requirements have a higher triangle count and higher resolution. But before the project was finished, i had to render my model in Marmoset.

Now, i’m no expert when it comes to this software. It does baffle me with how you use it and how it functions but i believe that i understand some of the basics. I do want to learn more about the software in the next project as i believe that this will be vital to showing off my work.

screenshot001screenshot000

I made sure i had a wire frame and a basic render as requested by the brief and it allows me to see the building blocked of my character.

 

Art Test – Substance Painter

Now when it came to texturing i did have a few problems and discovered a few things. I never had these problems with the Barrel or Jersey Barrier but they were at a much higher resolution than the art test’s requirements.

Both the Barrel and Jersey Barrier had a resolution of 2048 x 2048 which allowed me to get a high end product once texturing was complete. I could get the materials of metal and concrete on my objects. However, in the art test, i was restricted to 512 x 512 resolution which was much lower than before. This meant that the textures would not look as good on the model and really wouldn’t work to be honest. I tried to texture but all attempts ended up being blurred and ridged. Nothing would work so i decided to abandoned it and go for solid colors. I wish i could have added more detail but the requirements would not allow me which i was disappointing.

Model EnteredModel Done

I hope that the next model i get to make for the final task will allow me to texture my model better and make it look more realistic. I want to actually spend time on it adding in so much detail with bolts, hazard signs, warnings and words. I can’t wait…

Art Test – Development

With basic research done and a general idea in my head. It was finally time to start creating my 3D character model. With Planetary Annihilation as my main source of influence, i looked at the design of there robots and used part to create my own. Of course i wanted to make this my own robot, so i adjusted the design to make it my own (and i needed to keep it under 1500 triangles so i would be able to make it that detailed like the robots from the game).

I built my robot in sections, starting with the torso and head, then the legs, and finally the arms. This was the order i decided to create the robot in but it did mean that the last piece being the arms would have far less triangles than the rest of the character because i had used most of the triangles on the other sections. I did manage to keep the model under 1500 triangles.

It was generally simple to make, it just used a lot of extruding and pushing of faces to form shape and size with the pieces. This did add more triangles however, but it did make the design of the robot look better and more complex for a low poly model with a low triangle count. You may also notice that the claw arm is not that detailed on the character, this was because i was running out of triangles and was unable to make that part look more detailed.

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I will say that i enjoyed making this robot. Of course the time pressure and limited triangles annoyed me a stressed my out, but i enjoyed the challenge and i believe that this has pre-pared me more for an Art test in the future. But there was still the UV un-wrapping to do before adding it in to substance painter.

My UV were just… just… There was a lot to do! When i first saw my UV’s i was just shocked that i had so many and i started to regret my decision in making this model. It was a lot but nothing that i couldn’t handle as i told my self “There will be bigger, more complex models in the future with UV’s like this, gotta get use to them”.

UV Layout Before

With a little bit of work and some inspirational music. I managed to re-size and complete my UV’s. It only took me a few hours (those hours that i’ll never get back. So much clicking. So much repetition. It’s like playing Mafia 3 again).

UV Layout Done

With that done, it was off to Substance Painter 2…

Art Test – Research

Now for the Art test. Now i was a bit worried when i first found out about the Art test because the word “Test” really makes me and other’s start to panic. But i knew that if i put my head down and kept focused that i could do it.

On Monday i was told what the Art test was and it was to create a character model. Now when i heard this i started to get a few ideas but the one thought going through my head first was “Oh no. Not a character. How do i? Oh god!”. I reacted like this because a character seemed like such a big jump from a simple barrier and barrel but after thinking about it, i started to see ideas in my head of what character i could make and the first thought in my mind was “Robot”. It was just simply the most obvious one to make and with the limited time we had, i thought that i would go for it.

So to start with i did some research. I looked at many images of mech’s and robots to get a general idea of what they would look like with the detail and designs that i could go for. But when i was looking at the images, i noticed that a lot of theses images had a high triangle count than the budget that i had. My budget was 1500 triangles when they most likely had a bigger budget and a better resolution. But it did give me some ideas.

Mood Board 1

Mood Board 2

After all the looking at images of robots, i found a game that used robots and what seemed like, a low poly count for them or from what they looked like. Planetary Annihilation is a game about robotic commanders and controlling armies or robotic units to fight over multiple planets in a star system with multiple planets of different environments and materials to extract for the armies. But what i took from this was the design and look of the commanders. I liked the way they looked and it looked like they were low poly with some detail but no too much. This allowed me to use them as my main influence for creating my robot.

planetary-annihilation-screen-1

Game Studies, Year Fifteen

This article was interesting by some of the points that were made. I thought some had more meaning and i managed to understand them better than others. But i found Philistinism, Fundamentalism and Resolutionism to have the best points and quotes that i found useful.

Philistinism

This section of the article tended to talk about games and who is guided by materialism and is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values, one uninformed in a special area of knowledge. A quote from this section sums it up as “Right. But here’s the thing: to talk about methods of creation and critique in games as if the history of art, literature, painting, cinema, and whatever else never happened, but we thought it up all on our own, this is also a kind of philistinism.” I found this section interesting by how the way he describes games as something new in today’s modern society but still taking influnces and ideas from other forms or literature and art as said “everyone working in games is guilty of this, because it’s been possible to get away with it. Why? Well, by and large game studies has failed to create the field it laid claim to”.

Fundamentalism

This section went on to talk about the connection between the design and play of a game as understanding hardware and software in a game. A quote from this sums it up “How can you talk about computer game design or play as an abstract practice separate from an understanding of the hardware and software systems that facilitate it?”. I like this point because it goes in to depth of how games are not different and should not be seen as any different from other subjects and studies. They are not separate, just because the design and the way we function with them does not mean that they are different. It sound a lot like stereotyping in the modern world.

Resolutionism

This section had some excellent quotes that support games and they way we view them. Like “In fact, it might be worse to pretend that we agree on the right, best, most pleasurable, or most aesthetically redeeming aspects of games (or anything) rather than to acknowledge that real differences in motivation, aesthetics, and political concern are at work.”. I like how this quote really sums up the way we as gamer’s in this study and others who view it see and view this field of study. It’s easy to agree with others but if you look deeper, games are more than just an atheistic virtual world but filled with talent, motivation and real life political reasons influenced from real world events and trying to give a legitimate point.

Another quote worth saying from the article is “We have to stop with this obsession of putting games and story in opposition to one another. We have to look at what each game is trying to do on its own terms, instead of making broad, sweeping generalizations about how all games should work.”. This quote really sums up the way we categorize games and how we compare them to other forms or literature and how this should be stopped as games need to be seen as there own area of study and class.