Section 1: The Host Organization
I would like to inform you that from December 2015 I work in Humble Sage Games as a general artist, working for them becomes also as part of my 11 weeks internship subject where I have to do 80 h of work for the company. I myself as a general artist as my specific job wasn’t yet defined or better, maybe write I so far I do bits of everything. http://www.humblesagegames.com/
About Humble Sage Games: This is brand new video game company established by musician Dean Watkin and fantasy book writer Jake Harris. The Humble Sage Games team has about 20 members. However, I’m not sure if that didn’t change already. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance so far meet everyone.
Can you provide feedback on the processes you observed and which systems/ technology did you use?
I will provide short and honest feedback on the processes that I have observed in this company that may be not nice to read, but it is a problem that needs to be mentioned. Starting from good things. What I love most about this company is that leaders really value communication and the fact that they try to make everyone feel equal. Each of us (artist) has received freedom to decide what we want to do, how much time we want to spend on a project and be leaders to ourselves. It is a fair point since it is 1st ever HSG project and no one paid for their work. However, this in my opinion, one mistake that was made, at least for the art team where the consequences could be seen after the first couple of weeks. There were no team work and people seems lost or not present at all.. We have 2 leaders in art team, although leaders do not have any responsibilities as I mention everyone is a leader for himself. This lead to extremely slow workflow (if any at all) for art team, lack of motivation, responsibilities and purpose. Only a few people seem to work, time to time on some art projects that contribute to the game. Without clear directions, roles and responsibilities, in my opinion brought the art team to shameful position. It makes me upset as I use to be often a team leader and I always tried my best to give everyone work, responsibilities and feedback… make people feel needed and make them feel as a team member. In this company I can’t do it, as it will look like breaking law.
The second thing that I believe discourage artist in the team is fact that we have learned and use unfamiliar for us software.. Maybe that would be fine, if we would not get a degree in animation and spent 2 years or more of our life on learning Autodesk Softwares. We leave Uni, get degree and we just get punched in the face of free to use program. What makes me actually feel angry at the education system.. Autodesk programs are really expensive and not affordable for just starting an indie game company what force people to use the free version of the software in order to be able at the end sell what we have created. Each of us now have to learn such program as Blender and stop improving skills on software that took us at last 2 years to learn. I do not have anything against free programs as most of them are really great as Blender that offers a lot and contain a lot of options that are split on different programs in Autodesk. However, I find Blender difficult to learn especially with my attitude towards it, as I feel cheated by life.
I can’t write much about other teams how do they perform as audio, programmers and so on as teams use different software to communicate.. so I even don’t know if they work at all.
What I hope to gain from this project?
More experience, knowledge and understanding. See different team workflow, make mistakes and learn about them as well observe others and see how people work. I also want based on that improve my portfolio and test myself how much I can adjust to the new software.
What I have done so far?
My first week in Humble Sage Games I start of concept art for one of enemies and one of the main characters that will be in the game.
“Bufons are dakini (demons) in the world of Angaria. They are the oldest breed of Dakini and are the stupidest of all creatures. The know a few basic words and stick together in small clans. Bufons are used by the moss God Zopus because of their smaller size and speed. The spikes on a Bufons Back and arms have been modified to inject a toxin that effects the brain of whatever it injects. The brain is flooded with chemicals, and the amygdala is forced into fight or flight mode. From here most things that are infected begin attacking whatever is near them, and unfortunately they need to be killed before they will stop. Bufons share some appearances with our toads, with the exception of being much larger, with the largest coming up around someone’s knees.”
Concept Art of Bufon:
Final Concept Art:
Additional: I have also tried to sculpt Bufon in 3D software : )
Concept of Bryana:
In Humble Sage Games we use Fuse for creation of the basic models that will be later edited in 3D modeling software as Fuse how great it is, it still do not give so much freedom in character creation especially in the area of hair, clothing, teeth, unique face or body contraction.
I have so far created 12 characters based on description that I receive from game story witters.
Orc with reference of Orc from World of the Warcraft movie:
And some crazy things that may happen when you do not rotate character to often.
Still I have to create plenty of characters.
Mixamo in HSG is used for basic animations, which will be later tweaked in 3D animating software. So far I have provided together with 1 friend from team about 300 animations.
I have also done some experimenting and problem solving in Mixamo using Jessica Fay Bufon model.
The reason why animations will have to be edited manually are because some overlapping, stretching or other unnaturally looking things happen like here:
Blender is the program that any of the artist from our team didn’t ever use… our mission is to learn how to use it.. what become as a huge obstacle.. as when I ask the artist about their feelings and approach to blender I have received negative feedback as everyone have experience in software such as 3Ds Max and Maya + Mudbox.. and no one of us (students/graduated students) can’t afford the cost of lenience.
Learning blender took me most of my time, so I will present to you what I have done so far based on tutorials.
Tea/Coffee cup, based on tutorial: link
Steampunk boy based on tutorial: link
I start to write some notes from this tutorial for other artist from the team as well for myself as I have really good but short memory. (all this goes on turtle tempo..)
I have done some experimenting with a sculpting tool in blender in order create for one of the characters long hair. Honestly, I do not know how did it.. and definitely I do not have an idea how to start fixing all efficiently.
Business’ Cards: As a general artist, I have done business cards design for company front and back :)
I have done also a Leadership Intensive: Foundations Program that is organized by NeuroPower Group. Thanks to Humble Sage Games 11 of the team members had a chance to participate in this program artists, musicians, writers, game designers and programmers.
3 Day program -8 hours a day of theory.. (my brain screaming after 1st day “No More English Please!” as English is my second language).. Anyway, here a bit of information about each day:
Other things that may be worth to mention is that each of us work from home, and to communicate every day we use: Skype, Slack, Trello, Google Drive and emails. We had as well few group meetings : )