Sketchfab and 3D Scanning

Hi Heroes!

We're on the final lap of escrow. We close the 26th and will spend the weekend frantically moving our (well...my) hoarded books, movies, and games to the new house. I'm operating on just a few hours of sleep so excuse any typos. 

I've been experimenting with a new 3D scanning app called Qlone. At first, I was apprehensive that a phone could provide a quality scan. But, to my pleasant surprise, the quality isn't half bad! Now, I'm not expecting to use these scans as game assets or anything like that. Rather, this is a fast way to create 3D mockups for prototyping. I've uploaded the scans to Sketchfab, and you can see that even between scans I've been able to improve the accuracy quite a bit.

Once we have more phones with dual cameras with depth-sensing capabilities, scans like this will be incredibly easy to produce. Excited to see where this goes. 

Maybe I should have chosen something more exciting to scan...

Game Prototyping

 

Elenora Jones and the Raven Society - Designed for my game mechanics class at Santa Monica College, this game features a young psychic detective set against the backdrop Victorian London. Through a choose-your-own-adventure style mechanic, players will decide Elenora's fate as she solves mysteries and seeks to unravel the secrets of the Raven Society. 

 

Given that many board games have limited movement and interactivity, I had the idea to create pop-up set pieces for specific scenes as part of my prototype. That way, players can literally see Elenora move and come to life.

Simple demonstration of one pop-up prototype.

I've learned a lot from working on this project. Before this class, the idea of board games seemed outdated and irrelevant. If you said "board game" to me, I would immediately think of Monopoly or chess. But by examining the mechanics that drive these games (which I shouldn't have dismissed to begin with given their obvious success), I understood that board games are no less legitimate than my favorite PlayStation games. Even if the interfaces are different, that difference is no more significant than the difference between a PS4 and an iPhone. In my research, I also discovered that there is an extensive board game community that plays new and evolving games that contain a level of complexity and narrative that I didn't think possible from this medium. It's been such a pleasure to write out snippets of this story and create functional prototypes for others to enjoy. Who knows, maybe one day you'll be playing this game in your home!

Cellular Automata and Other Nerd Stuff

As referenced in my blog post, here's some expansion on the concept of cellular automata, as well as a small blurb about my game mechanics class.

The really trippy part about this is when you take these concepts and place them in a 3-dimensional space. Apparently, these are equations that break computers. During this week’s class, we did some hands-on brainstorming that produced some interesting game ideas (our group’s game, Elenora Jones and the Raven Society, is of course the best). I found the exercise valuable because, as an only child, I need practice playing well with others. In all seriousness though, going from a collection of random ideas to a solid game idea in the space of a three hours felt immensely satisfying. What’s best is that I would have never thought of the idea on my own, but I could still see my hand in the final result. For example, I pushed for a female main character indirectly as we were coming up with a title, pulling inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe’s stories. Having this insight into the initial stages of game development also helped me understand something I saw in the news recently.

This early Legend of Zeld: Breath of the Wild concept art involved Link on a motorcycle, Link with an electric guitar, and an alien invasion. Anyone familiar with the series would be very confused by any of these concepts. But replace motorcycle with magically-powered vehicle, guitar with mystical string instrument, and alien invasion with flying spires carrying flying enemies sent by a malicious force. All of a sudden, these odd and disparate ideas that feel like they have no place in the world start to fit. And that’s what the brainstorming process is – creating ideas that inspire other ideas, and then ideas from those ideas, and so on. Just like a cellular automata, you never know what you’re going to end up with!

This early Legend of Zeld: Breath of the Wild concept art involved Link on a motorcycle, Link with an electric guitar, and an alien invasion. Anyone familiar with the series would be very confused by any of these concepts. But replace motorcycle with magically-powered vehicle, guitar with mystical string instrument, and alien invasion with flying spires carrying flying enemies sent by a malicious force. All of a sudden, these odd and disparate ideas that feel like they have no place in the world start to fit. And that’s what the brainstorming process is – creating ideas that inspire other ideas, and then ideas from those ideas, and so on. Just like a cellular automata, you never know what you’re going to end up with!

This early Legend of Zeld: Breath of the Wild concept art involved Link on a motorcycle, Link with an electric guitar, and an alien invasion. Anyone familiar with the series would be very confused by any of these concepts. But replace motorcycle with magically-powered vehicle, guitar with mystical string instrument, and alien invasion with flying spires carrying flying enemies sent by a malicious force. All of a sudden, these odd and disparate ideas that feel like they have no place in the world start to fit. And that’s what the brainstorming process is – creating ideas that inspire other ideas, and then ideas from those ideas, and so on. Just like a cellular automata, you never know what you’re going to end up with!

VRLA!

That's right folks, VRLA is fast approaching!  For those of you who haven't heard of VRLA, it's "the world’s largest immersive technology expo."  I will be there Saturday nerding out and running around like an excited child.    This will be my third year attending, and I can't wait.  The fiancé thinks I have a slight addiction to nerdy t-shirts, and even though he's entirely wrong, I am so curious what this year's design is going to be. 

Clear evidence that I don't have a t-shirt obsession.