Tessa Lee: Technical Artist

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hello, World!

Hello, visitor, and welcome to my blog!  I've never written any blogs before, but as I'm preparing myself to enter the professional world of video games, I decided making one would be a good idea.  Other portfolio websites of professional technical artists also indicated that it would be a good idea.

So let me tell you about a few things that I've got going on.  I've recently updated my website (twice), but I doubt it's far from being finished.  I'm currently working on a few prototypes (do they ever really get finished?).

My favorite one is still untitled, but my home page displays a demo video of the character coding that I've put into it thus far (my home page will usually display a demonstration video of some sort, so it may change depending on what I'm working on).  I'd like to see how far I can take this project in terms of the pipeline production.  I've concepted it, modeled it, rigged and skinned the character, and wrote some codes to get the player part functional.  I'd like to see some cooler stuff added, like "edge detection" - if the player is standing next to the edge of a cliff (or box rather), then the game should know and react accordingly.

I've also recruited a friend, Briana, to work with me on creating better graphics for Mayan Math.  I plan to finish that game entirely.  Upon completion, it will be donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC) for the students to use to practice their math skills in their down time.  While working there, I've met a lot of students that really anticipate seeing what games I've made.  These students are all very interested in what I do, which is great considering my next prototyping.

This other prototype that I've made is a little maze game.  I've written a tutorial on how to make it on my other website here.  I focused on making the code extremely modular so that when I go to add in additional levels, there isn't a whole of of changing to the main class.  In fact, I plan on using this game as a little collaboration project with the students at GPLC (or anyone else for that matter).  Anyone who is interested can design a level and send it to me.  I then make it functional within the game, with credits due to the creator at the start of the level.  I'm sure a lot of the students who participate will be pleased to see something they've worked on go into something bigger.  I'm sure interested in the results in any event

Other than my projects, I'm entering my twelvth quarter at the Art Institute.  My most intimidating class is pre-portfolio.  The next, most intimidating class is the special projects class that I'm enrolled in.  Every Wednesday, I go to the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) to work with a staff member there to learn more about video game programming.  Last quarter, I learned the basics and a few advanced aspects of the engine, Panda 3D, and it's language, python.  This quarter, I'll be working with my teacher and a few other people in preparing their project, the Bridge, for the demo presentation they have coming up next month.  I'm really excited to be a part of that team and to really learn how my codes can affect the actual hardware of a project.  As you can see, all of my prototyeps have strictly been software related.  This will be something that's entirely different and new to me.

My other classes include interface design and team game production.  They will be tough, I'm sure, but I have [some] confidence that I'll be ok.  Confidence is good, right?  Well, look at me, typing for a decade, now I'm glad I put in a scroll bar instead.  This is probably why I've never written a blog before, ha ha.  Anyway, take care and I'll type your eyes out again another time!