Type: First Person / Player Experience
Given Time: 10 Days
This game is a close representation to an art piece already created by Candice Breitz, King (a portrait of Michael Jackson), which was shown in GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) Brisbane. The artists intent was to show how powerful fandoms can be in mass media. By taking sixteen fans and individually recording each person, then playing it back in unison across several screen in a dark room.
While still trying to convey the power of mass media, I have taken several YouTube recordings from people around the world who have made covers for the Bruno Mars song, Uptown Funk. Then recreated the original environment to this new song.
What went right?
Visually the game performed quite well. Apart from the limitation of mouth animations, I was able to capture a personality for each individual Character. The 3D Models were created with Mixamo’s Fuse application which can generate high quality models and then animate with their Auto-Rigging platform. With Unity’s RenderTexture I was also able to give the impression that these characters were being played from a recording onto screens. But in fact these characters were animated and played audio in real-time with camera being projected onto planes.
Originally I set out to challenge myself by creating a game that would require me to learn new things such as rendering a camera to texture or design a level that is focused on the visual aspect. Unfortunately, or fortunately, none of these design decisions were hard to make nor did they present any serious roadblocks for me to learn from and overcome.
What went wrong?
When setting up the functionality of the individual screens/mirrors, I had not previous experience working with reflections. So I had tried methods that did not represent how it would look in the real world. I wanted to created a sort of illusion were the player would look at the screens but be able to move and see it at different angles, much like looking into a portal or moving in front of a mirror. In the end I decided not to go with this effect and focus on making the Characters look good in terms of positioning and view angle. I set the perspective of the camera to focus on an offset position of the character, rather than base the camera on player view. This also allowed me to unrestricted the animations and let the characters move around a little without going off screen view.
This did not so much go badly, but rather not turn out as harmoniously as I would have liked. The original artists had no instrumental music playing which allowed the focus to be brought on the singers voice, and timing. I was not able to re-create the effect as well with having different styles of instrumental music. Still however it turned out quite nice and made things different in a way, that the room would have given of a different vibe. With the original piece have no instruments, no matter how interesting the intent was, it did have a kind of boring feel. Not that anything is wrong with that, the artwork was not meant to create joy or any similar emotion. With my creation, it was a little more upbeat and entertaining, while still having the necessary aspects to produce the same meaning.
In conclusion I am pretty happy with how this project turned out, If I was to go back and change anything then I would add more characters. This would allow me to capture a bigger range of different people’s singing, possibly making the message stronger, if not, more entertaining with both better and worse singing.