Industry research post 1 – Job roles within the video games industry

My desired industry to work for in the future is the video games industry. The games industry has many available jobs, and luckily this course covers most of them. Hopefully this post will cover enough detail on some of the potential jobs up for offer within the video games industry.

Animators¬†– This job interests me most, as I am extremely interested in becoming an animator. This job is responsible for bringing life to characters, making a believable environment, and adding charm to movement and behaviour within a game. This can be within gameplay or cutscenes. Animators work closely with programmers and artists to create the best balance between smooth life-like movements and optimising the platform’s performance.

Concept and Lead Artists – These jobs are mostly centred around designing the game’s visual style, and designing the look of the characters, and environments. Concept artists make the initial art for the game and roughly design characters, environments, and all of the important assets, which then get developed by lead artists into official game art that inspires how everything looks. These artists work closely with all of the 3D art teams, and animators to make sure that all of the visual works fit the game’s style.

3D Artists – This branch splits into many smaller jobs such as 3D modellers, texture artists, and rendering specialists. These jobs consist of creating the assets that will get used in the game itself using software such as Autodesk Maya and 3DS Max to build and make the models. These artists work mostly with eachother, and lead artists so that the game assets fit the official game art and style.

Programmers / Developers РProgrammers make and write the code that is used to run the game. There are different levels of programmers, but fundamentally they all share the role of making the code to run and control the game, and making custom codes wherever needed. There are specific specialisms, such as physics programming, AI programming, 3D engine development, and interface and control systems development. Programmers work closely in teams, and also with games designers to make sure that the code will apply properly to the necessary aspects of the game.

Games Designers – Games designers devise what a game consists of and how it plays, defining the core elements of the game, and designing levels and mechanics. They make the story, setting, rules, interface design, and all of the important features relating to the game. Games designers work with everyone and all of the other job roles so that their ideas get through properly, and work properly.

Producers – There are many levels and types of producers within the games industry, but ultimately, producers work on ensuring the successful delivery of the game, and making sure that everything is managed and organised properly. They are the managers of the projects, and they communicate with everyone involved with the projects, and they make sure that everything runs smoothly between all of the teams.

These roles are some of the most important roles within the industry. There are other important roles such as audio engineers, narrative copywriters, QA testers, and technical artists (and many many more), but it would take forever to describe every role in the industry, so I only listed the ones that immediately came to mind. In my next post, I will describe how I plan to try and become a professional 3D animator, and how industry professionals have gotten this job.

High Poly Sledgehammer Asset: Low and high poly models

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been working on making my sledgehammer model in Maya. I never got around to making separate posts each week, so for convenience I will just make one big post about my progress on this

I initially started off by making a low poly model. To do this, I got my scaled concept sketches of the hammer, and used image planes to make a set up that would make it easier to design the hammer. I then created a cylinder, changed the subdivisions to 8, and extruded faces to make the main part of the hammer. I then used edgeloops to make a smaller section in the ‘middle’ of that main part of the hammer, and extruded out the handle part. After that, I extruded the small part out of the top and merged the vertices to make a small diamond for detail.

Low poly sledgehammer creation.PNG

I then UV unwrapped the model in preparation for normal mapping. outUV.png

I then duplicated the model, and began working on a high poly version. Initially, my plan was to sculpt some scratches, dents, or engravings into the model itself, but I couldn’t work this out properly and didn’t want to risk damaging my model for now. I decided to just bevel some edges on the model so that it would look neater.

I then tried to bake the high poly model onto the low poly model, and this was difficult. I followed the steps, and actually managed to make a normal map. I played around with the hypershade settings, and I think I managed to apply it to a lambert. I then decided to make some renders of the untextured model, because so far any renders are better than none.

sampledNormals.png

Looking at these renders, I think something is wrong with my normal map, but this shouldn’t cause any problems. These renders have the normal map on, and the edges are very prominent, so it looks kinda weird but it’s worth showing.

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So far, I am quite happy with the progress that I have made on my model. I’m really surprised that I actually managed to make a normal map, this is the most advanced modelling technique that I have used that has actually worked out right. I like the way my model looks, I am slightly disappointed that I couldn’t work out sculpting, but some good textures can make up for that. My next step is to make some textures for this sledgehammer.