Friday, 30 November 2012

Extended Research

Just some extra material i've found to aid in my own design. This is a game called AtomMate.

AtomMate is a chemistry card game that consists of a deck of 49 playing cards with the names, symbols and facts about the elements of the Periodic Table. It is used to play games that involve making chemical compounds. Designed for students aged 10 and up, it is a grow-with-me game.
Beginning students learn the names and symbols of the elements. Intermediate students learn to combine the elements to form molecules and compounds. More advanced students can use the cards to enhance their understanding of simple reaction.

The reason I'm siting this game is it proves to be an interesting example of a suitable game platform for which I can then make my own interpretation of.

An update post of my design progress so far will come as soon as I get my scanner back up and running.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Slight Change Of Direction

Just had my tutorial with Alan today. After a long talk it has become clear that my ideas for this project and intentions of getting it done right were a bit too ambitious and wayward. However, there is a new plan.

The idea is to create a number of SIMPLE characters, similar to my mercury character, based still off of the periodic table. These characters would solely be based around metaphors of what they are. For example:

#1 - Ice
* What is ice most commonly seen as? Examples:
  - Ice Cube
  - Ice Lolly
  - Snowman

* Look at their shapes, what they are made up of.
  - Ice Cube = Water + Ice
  - Ice Lolly = Ice - Flavouring
& etc

* Try are make a character based around these principles

Use this method to create characters from various elements on the table

*Note- To keep the characters bound relative to eachother, they must all have some distinct similarity i.e maybe having the same/very similar body structures.

Influences & Examples

Garbage Pail Kids Top Trumps

"Each sticker card features a Garbage Pail Kid character having some comical abnormality and/or suffering a terrible fate, with a humorous, word play-rich character name such as Glandular Angela or Half-Nelson" Wikipedia

Pokemon: Gotta Catch'em All
Pokemon are essentially real-world creatures that have been combined with specific elements, most based on the creature's habitat, in order for it to aquire special powers. The Pokemon is then given an iconic name which is likely to be a mish mash of the creature and its provided element. E.g. Squirtle = Squirt + Turtle. The turtle has the ability to squirt water because that is its natural environment.

Lego Men

Lego characters are simple characters made from Lego, which can then be disassembled, mixed and matched to create new personalised characters.

I now plan to follow these examples in the creation of my own set of characters, based off of the periodic table.

Minor Crit Presentation

Minor Interim Crit Presentation

Monday, 5 November 2012

Mercury Character: Elemental Forms 2 (Ice)

I've put more emphasis on the ice silhouetes more then anything, trying to come up with different shapes & sized to pick from. I quite like them all really, but especially like #1,2 & 3 as they are the most variable.

Ice Silhouettes (Body)
Ice Silhouettes w/Skeletons

I add the skeletons simply to show whats what; indicating the base mercury form from the element attached/mixed/magnetised with the mercury, which makes up the body.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Mercury Character: Elemental Forms

Silhouettes exploring the different forms of Mercury under various elemental influences. Of course I plan to add more later, I just wanted to get these up. I will then pick the best from each and refine further.

*The ones I like

*1 & 2
*2 & 3 (1 will definately NOT be considered. It was actually only done for experimental purposes)


Character Influences

Heres are the type of things i've been looking at to gain influence for each character and their elemental form. I know I have some character references in there as well as natural ones, I find it helpful in gaining some ideas.

Melting Art 1

Melting Art 2

Melting Art 3

Melting Art 4

Melting Creature
Fire Art (Heart)

Fire Art with Woman

Man on Fire

Icicles 1
Icicles 2
Ice Mountain
Carnage vs Venom - Examples of melting/morphing forms

Cigarette Smoke Demon
Smoke Art 2

Gas Cloud

Vapor from the hot tea
Sandman, born from the ground up.
Regirock, Regice & Registeel - Same Sprites, Different Elements
Frozen Car
Eevee & Evolutions (Sprites)
Fire, Water & Oil


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mercury Character; Liquid Form Using Simple Shapes

Following tutorial advice, I've decided to go back and look into various poses for the character using a more simple approach. The character is for a more "pocket styled" world.

The characters base structure is made up of liquid, it has the ability to stretch and change forms.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Early Sketches

I done some sketches in Phils tutorial session last week. these were just basic skeletal drawings but Phil & I went on to speak about how I can convey the character as a morphing structure. This is where I will be heading to next in sketches

Game Platform

After my last tutorial with Alan, we came to the conclusion that I needed to build upon a suitable platform in order to give the character logical meaning. He suggested I look into platform games involving multiple sprites of the same character in order to form my character basis. After looking at characters from the Legoland franchise of games, I spread my search and found other sources of interest in this category.

Lego Indiana Jones


Worms Mayhem


Unown; Pokemon Series

The Patapon & Unown characters interest me the most. They are more interesting and more what I am looking for in terms of base structure.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ferrofluid, Ferromagnetism & Fun

While doing some research on the elemental form of Mercury, I came across this clever use of
Ferromagnetism, titled "Morpho Towers".

What you see above is known as "Ferromagnetism", done by using a material called "Ferrofluid". A ferrofluid (from the Latin ferrum, meaning iron) is a liquid which becomes strongly polarised in the presence of a magnetic field.

Ferrofluids are composed of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid, usually an organic solvent or water. The ferromagnetic nano-particles are coated with a surfactant to prevent their agglomeration (due to van der Waals and magnetic forces). Although the name may suggest otherwise, ferrofluids do not display ferromagnetism, since they do not retain magnetisation in the absence of an externally applied field. In fact, ferrofluids display paramagnetism, and are often referred as being "superparamagnetic" due to their large magnetic susceptibility. True ferromagnetic fluids are difficult to create at present.

“Morpho Towers--Two Standing Spirals” is an installation that consists of two ferrofluid sculptures that moves synthetically to music. The two spiral towers stand on a large plate that hold ferrofluid. When the music starts, the magnetic field around the tower is strengthened. Spikes of ferrofluid are born from the bottom plate and move up, trembling and rotating around the edge of the iron spiral.The body of the tower was made by a new technique called “ferrofluid sculpture” that enables artists to create dynamic sculptures with fluid materials. This technique uses one electromagnet, and its iron core is extended and sculpted. The ferrofluid covers the sculpted surface of a three-dimensional iron shape that was made on an electronic NC lathe. The movement of the spikes in the fluid is controlled dynamically on the surface by adjusting the power of the electromagnet. The shape of the iron body is designed as helical so that the fluid can move to the top of the helical tower when the magnetic field is strong enough.The surface of the tower responds dynamically to its magnetic environment.

Magnetic Thinking Putty

Another thing i've looked at is this "Magnetic Thinking Putty". It work similarly to the ferrofluid, only it is a putty infused with millions of micromagnetic fibres. It can be morphed, squashed and stretched into any shape and breaks apart when upon sudden impact

Friday, 5 October 2012

Proposal & Initial Research

Admittedly, progress has been slow in terms of getting this project rolling. After a tutorial with Phil earlier in the week, and going away to have a think/do some research, I think I am finally able to make my move.

Originally, my idea was to design a weapon for a character which I would later go on to producing in the Major project. My ideology behind this was for the weapon to give direction and drive for the actual character design. The idea now is that I will be designing & producing my character for the minor instead, the weapon is now a wavering decision. Now that's out of the way, I'll go onto talking through some ideas.

Taking on Phils advise, I've decided to go back to basics, looking at the real world for inspiration. Previously, I was looking at swords, guns and other weapons (previous idea). Phil then asked about my character, which then went onto describing its generic ism (which I agreed with). So now, instead of focusing on what my character may or may not be wearing, I am now looking into what my character would be made of. The fact is the character doesn't just have to be just a regular human being, this has finally sunk in so now I am looking elsewhere. I know for certain that I want the character to be of a firm substance, but I still want it to be interesting. Here are some substances I've researched so far.



[1] Ytterbium

"Ytterbium is a soft, malleable and ductile chemical element that displays a bright silvery luster when in its pure form. It is a rare earth element, and it is readily attacked and dissolved by the strong mineral acids. It reacts slowly with cold water and it oxidizes slowly in air." Ytterbium is also said to be somewhat hazardous as an eye and skin irritant. The metal is a fire and explosion hazard, especially in metalic dust form. Ytterbium metal seems a good contender to be the make-up of an object. However, it is said to be a reactant to water and has many other interesting distinctions. For example, Ytterbium is paramagnetic (meaning it is only attracted when in the presence of an externally applied magnetic field) which make it different to other rare-earth metals which bear different magnetisms. Ytterbium has the smallest range of liquid temperature compared to all other metals and it reacts slowly with cold water and quite quickly with hot water to form Ytterbium Hydroxide. Ytterbium is a rare material which doesnt provide much commercial use; The world production of ytterbium is only about 50 tonnes per year, but it is still significantly more abundant than its immediate neighbors, thulium and lutetium.


[2] Thulium
 Thulium is very similar to Ytterbium and is found in the same place, the main differencess about it is that it is a softer metal, easily malleable, is ferromagnetic (as opposed to the less common paramagnetic) and has a higher melting point. The element is never found in nature in pure form, but it is found in small quantities in minerals with other rare earths.


[3] Mercury (Liquid Form)

Mercury is an extremely rare element in the Earth's crust. Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg, It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum. Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure, which is one of its most interesting features. Although it is a rare metal in that it is a liquid, it still has one of the narrowest ranges of its liquid state of any metal with a freezing point of −38.83 °C and boiling point of 356.73 °C. The richest mercury ores contain up to 2.5% mercury by mass, and even the leanest concentrated deposits are at least 0.1% mercury (12,000 times average crustal abundance). It is found either as a native metal (rare) or in cinnabar, corderoite, livingstonite and other minerals, with cinnabar (HgS) being the most common ore. Mercury ores usually occur in very young orogenic belts where rock of high density are forced to the crust of the Earth, often in hot springs or other volcanic regions. Mercury is considered as a "Diamagnetic", meaning it causes its own magnetic field.

The idea behind this element is the character having freedom over its form, being able to shapeshift from liquid to solid simultaneously, when it pleases.


[4] Chromium (Solid Crystal Form)
Chromium is a chemical element. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable.