How I would love to spend months and months perfecting my environment and refining the smallest details... unfortunately the world of Uni doesnt grant me that leisure and my time scale for this project is just over 14 weeks... I have my idea and my vision which unfortunately for you guys is still stuck in this brain of mine...
(and no im not willing to have my brain dissected to show it!)
Ok so this is the plan... I have designated periods of time remaining into production stages that I must adhere to strictly enough to make sure it is completed in the given time yet loosely enough to allow the project to flourish and evolve.
Up until now I have been gathering image references, watching movies and basically inspiring the visions in my mind of this world. This will continue for the majority of this month as I delve into more concept art and ideas. A major resource in this process has been The Feng Zhu School of Design youtube channel... to all of you out there wanting to learn concept art and digital painting.... WATCH THIS CHANNEL RELIGIOUSLY.... If Feng Zhu is reading this... then you Sir..... ARE A GOD!.
Also lined up for this month is the 11 day plan (This is not a world domination plan)
Beggining Monday I will attempt to create an playable map in UDK in 11 days. I think this will be an amazing learning experience as approaching deadlines tend to bring out a productive almost sort of road rage type drive and in my opinion thats when you approach tasks more creatively. The remainder of February will continue with concept art, mood boards, sketches and tutorials.
The month of March will focus on turning the sketches and concept art into technical drawings and a well documented blueprint of the entire level. This will include creating block out alpha versions of various spaces within the proposed environment to really feel the space that I am trying to create. The last week of March will be finalising this blueprint and preparing to enter full on Maya - Mudbox - UDK WARFARE!
April will see the entire production stage unfold as I put the pipeline into full gear. I am expecting many issues and problems and will most likely be seeing May with a bald head (Lets hope the weather clears up right?). Hopefully I will have a 2nd year apprentice fetching my coffees and doing various menial tasks in this process. I am aiming to resolve alot of the pipeline issues during pre-production through a variety of tests so that I can know what to expect as well as documenting these issues into the blueprint so that in the production stage it will be on paper how to deal with the issue. This will also be incredibly useful for my apprentice to keep consistency in the project.
May is the deadline month and so I dont want to leave to much to be done during that month. Saying that I feel as production should be allowed a month and a half and so the first 2 weeks of May should see the final production stages including a complete combing and refining of the level. By this stage all assets should be within UDK and positioned correctly, lighting should be about 85% there and it should be working as a level with the odd few glitches and bugs. The week and a half leading up to the deadline needs to be essentially QA with a Beta version at the start of this period and a completed level by the end.
Along with this plan I will be planning weekly and trying to review daily as much as I can adapting an agile/scrum workflow as learnt previously in SS1. I also leave plenty of space for improvisation and evolution of the production stages as these kind of things usually have a life of their own.