Survival Master Concept Art Gallery

When creating art assets for Survival Master, the development team will generally use a mix of both reference photos and concept art to get our ideas across to the producer and other members of the dev team. Once ideas have been approved then the team gets to work on building, texturing, lighting, and exporting the assets for use in the game.

Here is a selection of concept art from our Senior Environment Artist, Ty Hegner, and our Art Director, Cecilia Mason. Click on the small images if you’d like to see them bigger and in more detail. The links will bring you to our Flickr gallery where you can see them in all their web-sized glory.

Concept art of the starting area for KSB4 Concept art for the collectable materials in the Multiplayer Thumbnail sketches of environment pieces for KSB4 Sketch of the Avalanche Concept art for the starting area of the Dead Load obstacle in KSB4 Possible designs for the look of collectible materials in the multiplayer Cave of Volume Entrance during the Multiplayer Map of the Multiplayer level Sketches of a potential redesign of the Cave of Volume Launcher for Bomb Bowling in KSB2 Thumbnail sketches of Spinner Silhouettes for KSB2C Environment Concept Environment Concept Early thumnail concept of a facility Sketch of the Labyrinth of Heat Entrance Concept art of a bridge over a canyon Concept art of the front of a lodge


Development Team Meeting – KSB3+

Due to unknown circumstances, we were unable to webcast today so it was a phone meeting only. That means no meeting recording either, which is a pity since we discussed a major change to our character animation workflow and rig.

Despite the technical issues, we had a full meeting with plenty of new stuff to go over and continuing tasks to finish. Next week we’ll be ramping up playtesting on KSB3 (the Snowshoe Race), first with small internal testing and tutorial video making, and ending the week with an open playtest on Friday. We’ll post more about the playtest next week, and also tweet our updates.

Kyle Bean is our master QA, Dialogue, and Game Design guy. For KSB3 he’ll be working on the tutorial videos that will be seen before the player starts the game. He’ll also be developing the entrance and exit questions, and the Project Testing Database System Presentation. Ty Hegner is our amazing Environment Artist and Musician. He’s working on the gray level for KSB 2, various game props, and in-game instructional videos. And Cecilia Mason is our awesome Art Director and Character Animator. She’s working on various environment props, establishing web content, and also re-rigging and re-animating the male snowboarder character (player avatar).

To elaborate on the decision to re-rig the snowboarder, the old rig was… old. It would need some significant modifications in order to add all of the functionality that was required, and most of the mocap data that needed that particular rig was dense and could have used some serious cleanup in order to lower file size. Since we had so many unique actions that were destined for hand animation anyway, we decided to push forward with the change in direction. Cecilia will create a new rig in Maya, then bring it into Motion Builder so we can share the rig between all team members with a variety of software. We’ll post a workflow video to our youtube channel once we make the shift.

Our next meeting is this Thursday for Design. See you then!

Meeting Schedule and Art Update


Originally uploaded by Gaming2Learn

Just a quick update to make up for last week. Our meeting schedule has reverted back to the old one, where instead of meeting every Monday for General and Design related things, we have one meeting a week – every other Monday and every other Thursday for General/Design stuff (if that all makes sense). Every Tuesday is when the development team gets together to assign tasks for the week and give status updates.

Also, check out our recently updated Flickr account. We’re currently working on getting art and photos from the Survival Master Alpha stage up. More to come soon!

What is Survival Master?

Hello! Welcome to the Survival Master blog, where the design and development teams can share updates and news relating to the game. We will be posting weekly with meeting notes, artwork, animation, and hurdles we encounter during our time working on this project. Hopefully, this gives fans, researchers, developers, aspiring developers, and curious passers-by some insight into what goes into creating a serious game (at least in our particular case).

At this point you may be wondering “What exactly is Survival Master anyway?” In the story of Survival Master, the player is auditioning to become the host of a new survival reality TV show (think Survivorman or Man vs. Wild). Through a series of mental and physical trials, the producers will determine who is best suited to take on the position. Along the way, a group of survival experts will challenge and assist the player, while the producers work against the host-to-be to ensure the show is as entertaining as possible.

Here’s the technical description of the project as seen on the website:

Survival Master is the digital game-based learning component of the Simulation and Modeling for Technology Education NSF research project at Hofstra University.

The game incorporates the informed design process, leveraging a single player, self-paced sequence of Knowledge and Skills Builder (KSB) challenges that prepare learners for the culminating multiplayer survival challenge. The research compares the learning performance of game-based, traditional class room, and hybrid delivery.

Survival Master is developed with 3DVIA Virtools using the Havok Physics Engine to produce realistic physics and engineering behaviors experienced in the gameplay based upon engineering parameters determined by the learner.

The digital game-based learning system incorporates Moodle learning management features and serves as a classroom curriculum for Technology Education classes at the 8th grade level.

Hope that was enlightening, and please check back again soon for some cool links and video demonstrations!