Prototyping – Animation of a Jar

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking at a variety of Jars for inspiration for the Bell Jar project idea. We thought this would be a good idea so that we can all get a consistent feel for the sorts of assets we could use in the setting. 

See them here on my Pinterest.

From this inspiration, I came up quickly with the below designs. See Sketchbook 2, purple tab labelled Jar Concepts, pages 81 – 88 for notes and sketches together. I tried to play with different sizes and styles, this being due to the fact that even though the game idea is primarily called ‘Bell jar’ the actual jars that hold the dreams don’t have to be limited to this. From the prototype, we hope to gauge more of an idea of the types of jars we could use and also the styles. I plan to use these drawings to turn some of them into animations to see how they could look and work. This also gives me a chance to play around with the colours which I plan to use in a survey if we take it forward next semester so that we can ask our target audience what the colours convey to the; whether it makes them feel like it would be a happy dream etc. I’d do this because the aim of the game is to not make Nightmare ones so if you can tell what a dream is by colour, it makes the player’s experience easier and helpful. 

Once I had done this, I began looking at some tutorials for After Effects as I had never used it before. It was easier than first thought, although luckily I did have Millie on hand who knows a fair amount about it.

I’ve managed to make a prototype, a quick animation, that shows a jar with stars (dreams) floating out of the top. I used a stock photo to start off with so that I could test to see if I could get something to actually work. Now I have succeeded in this, I will be looking to use a couple of my jar designs in order to produce more animations like this to test if the bottle/jar could have an effect on whether the dream looks happier, more pleasing, idyllic etc.

 

jar-animation-first-try

The jar is open and letting out the dream.

I’m quite proud of what I’ve already achieved today and am looking forward to producing more of these animations. Once I have done this, I will be moving on to the character customisation for Bell Jar. I would like to design what the customisation would look like and think how it could work – I’d quite like to make it different to what you normally see so I will do some research into a variety of games that use character customisation and see what I can change and develop to make it more user-friendly. 

UPDATE:

I have made two videos of another two prototypes where I was a bit more playful and ambitious. As I’m conscious of time, I will now continue on with my other prototyping tasks however I am quite excited to advance my skills and try to do a few more prototypes with these magic jars. 

After discussion with Millie and James, we have decided it may be fun for us all to try bits and pieces that others are working on. For instance, Millie has been working on some music stuff for the Bell Jar and myself and James have been inspired to make some music examples ourselves. We’ve thought that this may be a good idea to work on individually as we all have different interpretations of what the music could sound like, and therefore by bringing our ideas together we can get a variety of sounds made to understand the tone we’re going for. 

 

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