Friday, April 13, 2012


     After a short hiatus between quarters I'm back at it.  This time around putting together all the business-y stuff I need to get the heck out of school.  One of the first things I'm sending to get printed off is my business cards, snazzy!

     Right now (if I remember correctly) that template is just the basic one from Jakprints, though I noticed they have a slimmer business card template available that I might use instead.
     The other two big bits of business I'm working on is putting together my demo reel and personal portfolio website (plug here: Kevin's Portfolio Site)
     The website has been (fairly) simple to set up, despite having no previous html or css experience (please don't view the site's html source.  It's cringe-worthy).
     Additionally, I've got a working rough cut of my demo reel put together, with the music supplied by a very good friend of mine.  The only major issue I'm having is the encoding of the video.  I have no idea how to stop Youtube from re-compressing it and ruining the quality.  Even the dropbox webplayer plays it back with higher fidelity!  When I was exporting it I used the settings suggested by Vimeo, and double checked those against what Youtube recommends.  Both seemed pretty standard (H.264 mp4 44.1 khz audio).  I would just upload it to Vimeo and use them to host it, but they don't have a solid mobile viewer that would work on iOS and/or Android phones/tablets; something extremely important to me when developing my site.  I've been striving to design it in a way that is accessible on any viewing device, especially mobile ones like tablets with their growing popularity.  For now, Youtube will have to suffice.

     In an effort to try and combat the quality destruction, I've put production of the actual game itself forward (against my better judgment).  I'm going to have to change a lot of the original idea in order to fit the new production schedule, but I would very much like to have (at least) a working prototype by the end of the quarter, in time for graduation.  This gives me an 8 week timeframe, so hopefully I can knock it out of the park.  The hardest issue I can foresee is getting the level streaming to work properly, though as the notes on my desk that I found this morning show, I think I've pretty much worked that logic all out.

     Indeed, the crazy-hacky level streaming solution worked.

     If I'm lucky, using level streaming in the UDK instead of hard map changes via console commands will preserve level changes between environments (eg a door being unlocked STAYS unlocked), since their visibility is merely being toggled on and off instead of reset with instanced map loads.
     As far as details go, they're pretty scant.  I know it'll probably be very self-referential with a lot of tongue-in-cheek directed at myself and/or the person playing the game.  I'm being half-lazy by not including any character models.  It'll be a challenge to make a rewarding game from a first person perspective without an NPC to interact with...

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