It's all over.

So I haven't written anything for over a month due to this 3D group project. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine and anger. Luckily it's all over now.

The aim of the group project was to give everyone the experience of working in a group and to build a level together. Well it was defiantly an experience. Unfortunately our group was not a group. We had so many problems through out the entire time together and because of this we didn't even finish our level. The problems weren't even work related it was the people, well person. You wouldn't think that one person could pull the group down but wow, it did.

Ok so at the start we were all split up and put into groups of about 5 or 6, it was all random. This meant that most if not all of us were with people we hadn't actually spoken to in the year group. We had the choice of the Queen's building project or the off the map London project. As a group we chose the Queen's project. This was to recreate one of the buildings on the university campus and change it into a 'resident evil horror shoot-em up'.

After a fair few meetings over the first 2 weeks we all finally decided on a theme: Abandoned Asylum. This was my idea as I thought it was very cliche as I thought everyone would have a basic idea about how one might look like on the inside, this meant it should have been easy to create some ideas to expand this even further. I don't know what it was but the group just didn't budge, didn't do anything, maybe people were scared to speak up about their own ideas. At this moment of the group project we should have given each member roles within the group. But being us, we didn't think we needed any or even a group leader, except one person just sat in the seat and thought they were above all rest. Anyways, we had gotten an asset list together but it wasn't scheduled, results lead to no work being done by anyone. So Easter arrives and we scheduled a Emergency Meeting.  Our supposed group leader just dropped everything and said they quite and laughed. So putting myself forward I said I would do the job but would prefer a second leader as with the work load it seemed more logical. This became a great advantage. 7 weeks had passed and no work had be produced. Taken into my own hands I made a new asset list with the assets we had all put together and created a time table, giving people assets and dates for when they needed to be completed for. We had about 4-3 weeks left to get everything made and finished. This didn't even involve actually creating the level.

Each group member was given a role, everyone was fine with this. The technical artist did alot of work but thought that they were still group leader, which caused more than alot of problems. But In the end we all got some work done and the level was almost presentable.

Ok so these are some screen shots of our level. First image is with out any light effect and the second is with all the effects. We used the engine UDK as we found out that this was more suitable for interior scenes rather than Cry-engine which is more suited for outside environment.

Before we could import any of our assets into the level we had to make everything 'engine ready'. This meant that everything needed to have;

  • a diffuse and specular map
  • Pivot point was centered
  • Had a collision mesh  
  • Named correctly
  • Had a 2nd UV channel for a light map (this is because UDK can not read smoothing groups)
Here is a quick image of all my assets in a clean level in UDK;

After so many emotions and troubles through the group, I found that no one wanted to work to their full potential let alone work at all. This was all because of one person and none of us knew how to get by it. It is really hard to even think about what we could have done to improve our level as anything we suggested would get tossed aside and ignored. As one of the group leaders it was harder as you would of thought they would listen to you. In the end we just carried on with what we had left, it was just about enough. I made a little extra as I found the level so boring and to be honest the level is just a photo realistic model of the building. There is no fun! 

I made a doll to represent each of the teachers on our course. I found this alot of fun to do. Yes they're small and simple but they added a little something extra to the cells within the level.

If I was to do the group project again, I would approach it completely differently. Preferably having everything structured and set to a time limit. Also I would listen to everyone and set every a role at the beginning and make sure everyone sticks to it.

But for now I'm glad it is over and hopefully I will not have to visit that experience again, too stressful and emotional for me.

1 comment:

  1. yep, sometimes the groups implode. make sure your evaluations reflect that, wouldn't want anyone to get good marks if they didn't pull their weight.

    i would seriously doubt that another group experience would be as bad - if only because you now have lots of invaluable hard-earned experience you could use next time. sometimes the best lessons we learn from dealing with adversity, when things go wrong.

    so the project itself may not be as you would have wanted, but you are so much more experienced. and I love the dolls. i want the one of me, for real!

    I think you've come on pretty well this year, and I hope you continue to grow and develop into the third year.