AIGA students design new game level

The group hopes to showcase the project at the 2010 NASSCOM Gaming & Animation event

AIGA students design new game level

The team is gearing up to showcase their game level at the NASSCOM Gaming &  Animation event in November this year.

They developed a game level called the French Mobster Abandon Station using an ‘unreal’ game engine. The game is set in an unreal railway station in Paris. It challenges players to fight mobsters for the possession of the abandoned station.

The assignment involved conceptualising a game level that can be used by a first-person shooter (FPS). The challenge, the students say, was in developing the game assets (props) and understanding the software to create the game.

The project included a team of  eight second-year students — Prashanth DG, Rishi Patkar, Avik Jain, Yashaswi Shivanand, Satish Kumar, Hardik Sonegara, Dhanasekaran and Suraj Nambiar, who were led by Joshi Mark Premnath, art director at AIGA, and Uday Kiran, Assistant Faculty, AIGA. Students started by pitching ideas to the art director.

Then came the location and playing field. The railway station was then divided into smaller spaces. Each student was assigned the task of individually developing a user-friendly game level using an ‘Unreal Development Kit’ within five weeks.  The game level consists of platform, station master room, waiting room, basement, washroom/ exteriors, restaur-ant and warehouse.

Each student had to design the designated area based on French architecture and model it like other French stations in Paris.  Concepts and sketches became the main objective from here on. Students had to  develop a detailed spec sheet of the game and a tri-count of each scene to be evaluated and approved by their teachers.

The next step was to develop props and the playing environment. Game assets or props were built using tools such as 3ds Max and Maya. Creating props for the railway station was the most time- consuming part and needed smart planning, revealed students.  The final leg of the game development challenge was to incorporate visual effects.   Lights for the railway station were installed to match the concept sketches.

The students had to ensure that all props and environment structures were ported carefully into the software before rendering the game. A final round of quality check was done before rendering and exporting the game. The game level was  demonstrated to studio artists in the City after completion.

Game development is a part of the one-year course at AIGA. This year, the students had to design a whole new game level with software used by professionals in the gaming industry.

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