Digital Art


24 Apr 2013
Unity’s dropping of Flash support

Unity 3d today announced that it is dropping support for Flash. This might be a more important announcement than it first appears. Combining this with the new enhanced efforts on the Unity web player I guess we are going to see Flash drop away. Unity is about a thousand times better than HTML 5. So in a couple of years Unity will really start to dominate the web games space. I am guessing that this is very good news for indie game devs.

22 Sep 2009
Monsteca Corral

Greetings

me

me

This Blog documents the development of Onteca’s current project, a game called “Monsteca Corral” for the Nintendo Wii.
A bit of housekeeping first though.

My Name is Phill Hetherington
I’m a 29 year old junior 3d artist on a 3 month work placement here at Onteca.
Being the office junior, I have something of a unique perspective on the new game, since I know almost nothing about programming, not a massive amount about 3d graphics in games. And until recently nothing about the new game, and the world of Monsteca.
The team are 24 months into the development, and so are nearing the end. It’s a shame that I wasn’t here to document the project from start to finish, but I’ll do my level best to get you up to speed. I have to confess, I’m not sure what I’m going to talk about, but I suspect it’ll be a mix of technical stuff, as I learn about it, as well as some of the marketing stuff, and most likely some completely unrelated stuff.
I hope (whoever you are)that you enjoy reading it, and perhaps find it a useful or interesting source of info.
You can get in touch with me via phill@onteca.com or reply here . I’ll be grateful for your feedback, suggestions, insults and what have you.

28 Apr 2009
This is surgery – Promo Video

This is Surgery

A promotional video for an as yet unmade first person surgery game for the Playstation 3 – this is surgery

02 Apr 2009
MIPTV and the astonishing fact of its relevance to Onteca

blog-for1An industry event that appears to be useful and thought-provoking. Then again we are living in ‘interesting times’, especially for old media. I’m tempted to point out ‘all their base r belong to us’, were that not all a little 1997.

In the meantime, it looks like the ARG horse is still being flogged, Was there ever a point  in time when this particular format was alive, rather than just a seam of digital fake-gold seeded in the internets to lure investors? Thing is, giving life to simulacra is what we do, so maybe the next iteration will go beyond the existing tiny demographic into a mass market or two.

Oh, and they have finally noticed that ‘gaming is a force to be reckoned with‘.  Astonishing, although the speaker admits the old media industry is still sceptical. The guy who posted the article added his own comment, as you will see if you look closely at the following: (http://www.reedmidem.com/mipblog/index.php/2009/04/02/108-arse)

Onteca’s forays into the merging of of gaming and TV have shown plenty of scope for the field. In fact our collaboration with the BBC for the Brainbox Challenge series of games has become a talked-about proto-type of the genre, demonstrating the truly disruptive potential of this approach.

Onteca is going to do  further work in this area. Three of our programmers have just returned from BBC training in MHEG, a language for creating terrestrial interative TV. Under a hundred people in the country can code using this rather useful language.

Good job, though, that we didn’t pursue our plan to create a widget for helping content creators to make interactive TV. As it seems Yahoo had the same idea. Reason why Onteca has a policy of not getting over concerned with IP;  if your idea is any good, someone else is thinking along the same lines anyway.

Still, looks like an entertaining event. Made us hungry for more. Roll on BTween, which is in Liverpool this year.

10 Mar 2009
Animated beating heart

beating-heart

A 3d rendered beating heart, modelled and rendered in maya

25 Feb 2009
Liberatis – an early alpha version of an MMO produced by a group of Young People

Onteca is proud to announce the unveiling of a playable Alpha of our Mediabox Project, ‘Liberatis’ (a name thought of by a young person working on the project). This is an MMO created by young people, for young people. It involves some violence, within a Tolkienesque ‘fantasy’ setting, because that is what the young people called for. It is still at an early test stage, but is playable.

Given the theme ‘Freedom’ this is what a group of 14-19 year olds came up with

A screenshot from liberatis

A screenshot from liberatis

Over 50 young people worked for four months to make this game. First the young people planned out an overall story, a premise, a series of characters and detailed paper-based maps and Level Design Documents for each section . Next they had to painstakingly learn the skills they would need: Maya to create the 3D assets; Photoshop to create the mood-boards and textures; the Torque level editor to create landscapes full of trees, mountains, valleys and towns in which the game could be played. Onteca provided support and training at every step.

Onteca then worked on integrating all these elements into a playable game, to the design of the young people and under the direction of their representatives.

Some of the most academically inclined young people on Merseyside worked alongside young people from a local Special School who had learning disabilities. Everyone addressed themselves to the same tasks and were expected to prodice the same results. Sometimes the young people would work alongside each other, sometimes they would split into school and project based groups. Standards were high across the range of schools, with genuine talent and IT ability coming from all groups involved.

Areas worked in were amonst the most economically disadvantaged in the country. That said, the young people who involved themselves in this project were eager, polite and creative. Hopefully, they will learn from being part of the making of Liberatis, and consider a career in the North West’s still healthy Games Industry.

Thanks to all the young people involved, and Onteca hopes you like the game you helped create.

An alpha version of the game is available to download here to install it, just download and run.

if you get an error message mentioning python when running the game on certain versions of vista you will need to run the game as an administrator

12 Feb 2009
3d Solar System in Flash

Just a quick post to show off something I was working on last week, a 3d solar system with orbiting planets done in Actionscript 3

[swfobj src=”http://blog.onteca.com/flash_stuff/3d_solar_system/planet_view.swf” width=”600″ height=”450″ align=”center” required_player_version=”9″]

it uses displacement maps to make the planets look like spheres, the displacement maps are generated at run time, and affect the planets texture, cloud cover, and shading. depth sorting is done by flipping layers dynamically so that things appear in the right order.

10 Feb 2009
Hovership Test-Flight Demo
30 Jan 2009
MoCap FTW!

PsyBot Mocap Test render

This is a quick sample animation render of a little robot guy messing around, The animation data came from our first quick test with our new Motion Capture system, when simon was messing around in a skin tight suit, covered in shiny nipples. Not bad for a first attempt, methinks. We learnt about a lot of stuff that we’ll need to work on next time we get a chance to use the system, mainly regarding the calibration of the cameras, in this we had issues with feet going through the floor, because we hadn’t calibrated it to recognise the space within about 4-8 inches of the ground, we also had some weirdness when simon walked around in certain areas of the space, because we had gaps in the recognised space due to incorrect waving of a stick (with a little shiny ball on the end) in the space, that left the cameras unable to recognise a big donut shaped area going round the middle of the capture volume

30 Jan 2009
Multimedia C++ Framework

Very interesting course at the Fact Centre, Liverpool into a new multimedia C++ framework which of course i only found out about once if was over.  The examples of work look amazing and the aspiration is one we agree with the ease of Flash with the performance of C++.  Not released yet but will be LGPL – Open Frameworks

Open Frameworks