Exploration!

Hey everyone! Gen here!

SO – the game is still in progress, but moving along quickly! There is indeed a pre-alpha version available to staff as was mentioned in a previous post, but there are still scripts of chatter and communication direction in the works as the levels are edited. Still, it’s amazing to be part of a project and see it coalesce into a cohesive product!!! It’s an exciting time!!!

Personally, I’m also having a bit of fun exploring new skills and practicing existing ones. Currently taking a Python programming class with MIT through edX…so will see how that turns out. (Obviously you can all see I’m all about online learning and alternate education along with the traditional. It’s helpful, especially when you have a busy schedule.)

But besides that, I’m exploring some concept art and perspective practice…if you wish to follow what I’m doing art-wise, my Instagram is primarily for that sort of thing: g.d.franco. Check it out if interested! Currently trying to improve with environment sketches and three-point perspective.

Speaking of art and games…very soon, I will be broadcasting a Twitch series on concept art, writing and a handful of reaction Let’s Plays. Mostly art and storyboarding, though. Upon the startup, I’ll be creating content for Legacy’s universe, specifically. Again, if you are interested, keep an eye out for the channel gdfrancoart. Coming soon!

Haha – lots of self-promotion in this post. But it’s an FYI, if you all are interested. No pressure!

Also, a question for anyone: does anyone want to see Legacy on a particular social media platform? There is Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook already, but is anyone particularly interested in a Legacy-centric Instagram? Or even later on, a newsletter production booklet of some type? Just throwing about some more ideas.

~G

 

 

Momentum!

Hey everyone! Gen here!

Just an update on the writerly side of things – everyone is working hard to complete Futuretech: Flight Academy, and already there is a pre-alpha (or rather, first-playable) version out to internal staff, which is awesome and exciting! So progress has taken a tangible step!

As always, the story is never, ever finished – and even now there are scripts being written for intros, radio chatter, reactions and briefs! The game flow and voice actors’ considerations dictate a lot of how that process goes, too.

And along with the writing comes new storyboards! Working on the trailer and changing an outcome for a character!

As people know, the game design document, comprised of pretty much everything that goes into the design process – art, writing, assets, published announcements, flow charts, info/lore sheets, controls, etc. etc. – is always changing, even up to the last second. Currently, the Legacy universe expands to its main game as well as Futuretech‘s, so a lot of its production is along the same story foundations. There’s a substantial amount of art and planning done already, and I’ve been looking into publishing processes for books lately – specifically art production books.

So, the question is…if our team could compile, publish and distribute a production book of sorts for Futuretech, would players be interested in it for an affordable price? Just an idea I’ve been kicking around for some time. All up in the air right now and ultimately up to the director, but it is something worth considering, what with many fans (including myself) being avid collectors of their fandoms’ production art books…

~G

Happy 2017!

Hey everyone! Gen here!

Hope everybody had a lovely New Year’s! I think most of us are happy to start afresh, and not unwilling to let 2016 pass us by. But lots of great things happened too; lots of milestones made, social issues brought to the forefront, environment and animal protections and of course, our art/entertainment industry is growing and changing for the better.

And so have its independents! 😀

A lot is planned for 2017 for us, so this year should prove to be exciting in that regard. As for one of the initial goals for this year, the official trailer for Futuretech Flight Academy will be coming together! That will definitely be thrilling to see!

Otherwise, at least for my corner, working on final touches to that trailer script and storyboard set. It is mostly organizing and re-editing the content I have for Legacy after that!

Will blog again soon with updates!

~G

Importance of Diverse Characters!

Hey all!

Gen here! Again!

Just some thoughts on story development and character design. Of course, at this point, everything is fairly thought-out and nearly in its final stages for the Futuretech Flight Academy upcoming game. There’s some amazing concept/modeling/design art happening in regards to vehicles, weapons, environments…and characters!

There are, basically, unlimited discussions everywhere that analyze the significance of representation in all types of entertainment media – but especially within the realm of videogames now. This is natural, as it is a massive genre that has exploded along with the advancement of technology. Videogames are so versatile, and can really be almost whatever the audience wants – whether it’s a simple game of online Scrabble to Robot Unicorn Attack, or from Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto to VR gaming. There are fitness games, self-help games, adventure puzzle games and violence/horror simulators. This is a genre approaching the vastness of film and literature.

Yes, I know I’ve said this very same in a previous post some time ago. But it has only grown more true, I think.

This is why it is important to appreciate their power. Videogames are now part of the Humanities. They have been for a long time. The simple fact is, they significantly influence culture; especially our culture.

It is extremely important to recognize this.

Depending what the overall goal/purpose of the game is, there is a measure of responsibility upon the creators and the fans. (Yes, the fans. The great and terrible forces of fanbases are not to be underestimated!) It is always important to include all types of people in all types of life. It is important to represent them in our characters that we relate to and identify with in our media; in our humanities. It is particularly important to include diverse characters within games – because we do not merely stand by and watch; we take part in them.

Of course, the story may not support as much as is needed or wanted, but then questions need to be considered. We need to ask ourselves why. Is it for marketing purposes? Is it for historical accuracy? Is that version of historical accuracy accurate itself? Are stereotypes played into for a statement and/or purpose or just because that has been the status quo?

Obviously, no one is perfect. And group projects always must come to a compromised result/end product – that is the nature of them.

But it is our goal to always improve. This is only one area, of course. But we as humans tend to be drawn to the characters of a story, of a realm – so it makes the most sense to start with their transformation and development. Diversifying them and making them relatable both – is the key.

 

 

A Trailer in the Making!

Hey everyone!

Gen here!

So lately what I’ve been working on – in addition to a lot of other things – is the writing and storyboards for a spot reveal trailer for Legacy Futuretech Flight Academy. These tend to run about a minute to a minute-thirty seconds. Teasers tend to be shorter, around thirty seconds. Although of course, these terms are not absolute and a teaser may be two minutes while a spot may be one. It depends. Especially between large, multi-million studios and, say, indie ones. 😀

For writers – and artists too, with visual language – the formulaic plot line is your best friend. Or rather, becomes your best friend very quickly when it comes to writing or drawing up anything visual for trailers. You know, that witch’s hat structure that English teachers have drilled into your brain: Exposition, Rising action, Climax, Falling action, Resolution.

Although an enduring trend nowadays is to either end on a climactic note – because obviously companies want you to be hooked and want to know what happens next – or to avoid too much resolution, especially if the franchise and/or game is character based. It’s interesting, and makes sense. This format works very well; it’s comforting, the audience is used to it, and there is an assured effect that comes from utilizing it well enough – people are intrigued by your product. This goes for films too.

Just some thoughts here at the start of November!

~G

Intern-ception!

Hey guys! Gen here!

Just thought I’d check in again; let you all know what’s happening –

Been taking an additional art class with CGMA (the 2D Academy; they’ve got a whole other 3D Academy, too) to improve artistic skills, along with a (albeit slow-going) screenwriting course with MasterClass and some Udemy and Coursera videogame structure courses on the side of this internship.

The class I took with CGMA was Environment Sketching, which has now just ended and was awesome; I definitely learned a lot. The instructor was Dzu Nguyen, who is a freelance concept artist and illustrator in the videogame industry.

If anyone has the funds and wants to take an intensive art class online from professionals in the industry, I’d go with CGMA. The forums may not be so active depending on the students’ schedules, but there are chats which are pleasant and generally helpful, along with weekly Q&A videos with the instructors (Those are really great!) And honestly, if you can put forth the effort from home, then it’s worth the money.

ALSO, as mentioned in the previous blog post, there’s a publishing internship I’m doing for six months (well, about four and a half to go, now) that will help gain some insight into the traditional publishing/editing world of an independent press. This is something I am doing for myself AND for this internship, if that makes sense. (Before I even found this work with Polyfountain Media – waaay back when I had just graduated from college, I thought I would go into editing/publishing. It was a major interest and I had done some undergraduate work in designing/editing spreads for multiple campus publications, submitting pieces and being a cartoonist for a section of the main newspaper.)

For now, I wanted to have some additional experience in that field that could apply to what we’re doing here – what with the sheer extent of Legacy’s lore. It’s really become a vast world; there’s the Futuretech Flight Academy lore, which ties into the main feature game’s lore, and there’s also intense world-building being done by a fellow intern, Summer. There’s some really great projects in progress!

So. In other words: keeping busy! Haha.

But really, as far as I’ve ‘researched’ through podcasts, creative career fairs, job hunting and even from my experience at PAX this past spring…creative careers tend to require more from you. Especially the gaming world – and that’s okay. But it’s something to keep in mind for a career path in a fairly new, quickly-evolving and multi-purpose field.

Some Intern Thoughts and Updates!

Gen here!

Just some things!

The cutscenes for the mini-game so far are written; the only thing is to perform some minor edits and whatever else is required for them to flow with the rest of the game itself. As per the process, the writing/story creation provides only one part of the whole product; the rest of it is of course the visuals, designs, animations, gameplay, and all the research and trial and error that go along with it in the background. Also as per the process, if there are any elements in the artistic or gameplay development that are later established as essential, the story may be altered so as to reconcile with such changes. It’s a continuous back and forth.

BUT, the first drafts are complete. YAY!

Additionally, there are plans to pursue a novelization of certain aspects of the game’s story. This is where some news comes in – readers who have kept up with our production blog and our Facebook page may know I’ve got a day job working at a museum, but now I’ve also acquired a short internship with a publishing house at the same time. This is a good way to gain experience in the publishing process, particularly a self-publishing angle where marketing and promotional work is mostly done by the author. The goal for this is to bring more skills and knowledge to the Legacy table!!

~G