Tag Archives: Games

Unity – How to make things see where they’re going

While developing a game, I wanted to enable characters to “see” where they’re going; that is, to tell them what they’re about to stumble into, without using colliders. The answer was to cast a Ray, angled slightly downward,  in front of the character, so he can “see” if he’s about to walk into a tree, or a river, before it happens. Continue reading Unity – How to make things see where they’re going

Unity – Animation Blend Trees

How to create infinitely varied animation with your Unity characters.

A very powerful feature in the Unity Editor is the Blend Tree. This is an extension to an Animation Controller, which allows you to ‘blend’ the joint movements of multiple animations and control the ratio of blending with one or more parameters.

Continue reading Unity – Animation Blend Trees

Beckham Academy Games

FWA winner, Adobe Site of the Day winner and Creative Showcase runner-up.

I was asked by Tribal / DDB London to create a web based games site, for a joint campaign between The David Beckham Academy and Volkswagen.

Note that you’ll need Flash Player in your browser to play the games. There’s no mobile support, since the games pre-date most smartphones 🙂

Play the games

We decided to use filmed action of Beckham himself in-game, with the ‘video alpha channel’ support of Flash 8, which was very new at the time. I came up with the game concepts and shot list, then met with the film crew at ‘Off The Radar’ to organise the shoot with Beckham – we had less than an hour of his time to everything done, but he was a complete pro, completing most of the action in one take!

Tech used

  • Green screen at Flash Studio Norte, Madrid
  • Panasonic VariCam (1080p @ 50fps)
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • A football

dba-green1dba20I went to Madrid for the green screen shoot with Beckham as visual effects supervisor and was responsible for treating and editing the footage for game production and related media.

I stitched some of the sequences together with morphs to create almost seamless blends dba-kick01between shots and added real-time lighting filters to the footage to help with the in-game compositing.

I coded a 3-D projection system in Flash and perspective-matched each scene, so that objects move around the screen convincingly. I worked with the designers at DDB, who created the backgrounds and UI elements. I included ‘Express Install’ capability for those users without Flash Player 8, so 95% users could upgrade painlessly from Flash Player 6 or 7. All the games are mouse-controlled and were user tested with children for usability and game balancing.

A high-score table and ‘challenge a friend’ feature was included – users with the highest scores were entered into a prize draw to win a training day at the academy with David Beckham. While modern video games only ever motion-capture players and recreate them as 3-D models, the DBA games site, while it’s dated a little over the years, still remains a one-of-a-kind that I’m rather proud of.

By the way, there are a few ‘Easter eggs’ in the game, only one of which I can remember at the moment: in the ‘Shot Stopper’ game, type ‘safehands‘ to get some big gloves to make savings goals easier.
safehands