Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design


November 2016

Interactive Environments and Level Design – Heritage Project – Hull City Hall History

I find it very interesting how the area that we have been told to model all appeared around similar times. In the 1900’s there was a scheme called ‘Junction Street’ which then was named Queen Victoria Square; most of the buildings in this area were constructed between 1900 and 1930, however the buildings have now changed due to the blitz bombing in 1941 and development of the modern day. Our task is to create Queen Victoria Square within the time era of the 1930’s and we all have a building each to research.

I am researching Hull City Hall a place originally intended for orchestras and special events and to this day still used for orchestral and special events but also various performances such as theatre, comedy and singers. The construction on Hull City Hall commenced in 1903, there was no official opening ceremony, however, The Princess of Wales laid the foundation stone. When the blitz happened in 1941 most of Queen Victoria Square was badly damaged, it was so damaged that some buildings that remained had to be knocked down as they were unsafe such as the Prudential Tower (which no longer exists but plays a large part in the History of Hull) and sadly the roof of Hull City Hall which furthermore damaged the magnificent organ and most of the roof.

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The Hull City Hall is still used for performances and also still has shops built into either side of the Hall I have gathered some useful links and resources to help me with building my model, however some of my model may have to be improvised as some images are not available (such as detailed images of the shops).

Some of my photographs


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Useful Links

Wilberforce Monument –

Ferens Art Gallery Part 1 –

Ferens Art Gallery Part 2 –

Maritime Museum –,631051&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Hull History –

Hull Prudential Building –

Hull Prudential Tower Demolition –

Hullwebs History of Hull –

Hull Images –



Game Theory – Self Initiated

After lots of thinking I have decided on a main game idea. I wrote my project proposal and throughout the proposal I changed many ideas and throughout creating the main game I will most probably come across some game changes. To finally decide on a game idea I had an in depth discussion with my teacher to understand what would be possible to make and what would also provide me with a challenge, I also created a survey in which I asked my classmates to answer. The survey features each game idea I created and I asked students to choose their favourite. Two ideas became favourites:

Idea 5 – Spyro/Gex style game. Finding Collectables to complete a level, also featuring a free-roam hub area and player choice of levels.

Idea 6 – Horror style game either 2.5D side scroller or third person view (similar to the way in which Crash Bandicoot plays). Cartoon low poly theme, jump scares and lots of enemies.

My idea at the moment (it still might have some slight changes) will play similar to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro as there will be a main hub area with separate themed level areas with individual levels inside. Rather than having a horror themed I have decided to do themed levels/areas. Below is my research towards my game ideas and inspirations.

Level Areas

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Crash Bandicoot: Warped – Medieval Area

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I like this game style and also the level area idea as the main character starts in one area and then walks into a themed zone which then gives you the option to choose 6 levels that match that theme. For example the theme above is Medieval so the environment around Crash Bandicoot features castle pieces, a time turner and some sort of wooden device.

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Crash Bandicoot: Warped – Futuristic Area

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This is the futuristic area which features futuristic skyscrapers and lots of lights to give a very technical effect. Again this is a really great area to explore as are the others. This game is great as it features many different levels that delve into different eras.

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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – Level Areas/Main Hub

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In this Crash Bandicoot Game the levels are not based on time periods, they are based on environments in general. For example jungle, snow, sewer, night etc.

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Spyro the Dragon – Town Square Level Entrance

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I like the level entrances to the Spyro levels because they don’t give anything away about the level theme but the title. Most of the doorway frames look quite similar, however depending on the time of day or weather the sky inside the portal will be different such as Town Square is at sunset (late afternoon) so inside the portal you can see a nice orange sky.

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Spyro the Dragon – Dark Hollow Level Entrance

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In this level you can see a night sky as the level is set during the night. I also like how the game is very consistent with the font as from portal levels to gem values you can see this font.

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Super Mario 64 – Level Entrance via Painting in Themed Area

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Such a classic game, Mario 64 has the use of paintings as your transportation to your levels. The main hub area is Princess Peachs Castle in which you can find many hidden secrets and find many collectibles. The aim of this game is to progress from level to level by collecting stars to get further on in the game and finding your friends. In the later edition on the Nintendo DS you start as protagonist Yoshi whereas in the older version you start as iconic protagonist Mario. As you explore the different rooms of the castle you come across different paintings/levels and usually depending on the level the painting matches the theme of the room e.g. this water level is set in a water themed room.

Super Mario 64 – Hidden Level Entrance Inside Boo Ghost

Within the castle there are hidden levels so that you can earn extra stars and there are even stars hidden around the castle. In this example their is a hidden level found inside a ghost. If you are a big Mario fan you will know that these ghosts disappear when you look at them and reappear whilst chasing you and when you are not looking at them, after defeating the ghost it drops a mini-mansion in which you can then explore as a level.

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Gex: Enter the Gecko – Hub Area, Level Entrance to Toon TV 

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This game isn’t as well known as Super Mario, however I love the way in which you are teleported to your levels via a television screen. The hub area isn’t really the best yet the game was released in 1998 so for its time it is ok. There are some aspects of the main hub area that I like such as the different colours to represent some areas, secret/hidden levels and interactive objects (the televisions); I don’t really like how plain the hub area is as all of the floors and walls are mainly all the same texture, also there is just a bit of blue or white as a background which does make the hub stand out but I think it is just too plain.

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Donald Duck: Quack Attack – Level Area no. 1

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Such a classic Disney game in which you play as Donald Duck. This game features a main hub area at the Duck house and then it has platforms you can stand on which transport Donald to different themed areas which then feature 6 individual levels that relate to the themed area.

WatchMojo – Top 10 Video Game Hub Areas

This video shows the top ten video game hub areas and explains very well each area and game. WatchMojo is very trusted and is watched by many, I find them great to look at for ideas.

Character Design

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Crash Bandicoot and Coco Bandicoot – Crash Bandicoot Game Series

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Girls Who Hack: Coco Bandicoot Was My Childhood Role Model

Generation gone: Where PlayStation mascot Crash Bandicoot is today

Looking at characters I am looking for a low poly style. Most of the games I am looking at can’t help but be low poly due to the time era in which they were made, yet some have been purposely made low poly for the choice of art style. Above is Crash Bandicoot and Coco Bandicoot from the Crash Bandicoot game series. The characters are low poly yet very recognizable. Crash is quite slim and lanky, whereas Coco is slim and small; comparing these to their older brother Crunch he is rather large in comparison.

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Spike – Ape Escape

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The Ape Escape character has changed over the years, however I chose the character from the first game because he is low poly. His hair is spiked (also matching his name) and he is that low poly you can even see some of the topology.

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Lara Croft (young) – Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

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Out of the large range of Tomb Raider games I decided to pick Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation because I played this so much as a child growing up with games and also I find the character looks so different to most of the other character designs as she is a lot younger here in this game. Again this game isn’t supposed to be low poly, however it is just because of the time era it was made. Also I quite like the clothing here as it sparks the look of a little adventure.

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Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong 64

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Donkey Kong is just as loved as Mario, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, however he is shaped different to the others. He is strong and has longer arms because of the type of animal he is, I have to take into consideration animals as characters as most games feature animals as the protagonist.

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Sam and Max – Sam and Max: Freelance Police

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From the subject of animals I have also looked at the game Sam and Max, this game was originally 2D, however the decided to make it 3D and the characters are quite low poly but the polys have been smoothed out. Simple characters made for a classic game remake.

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Pyramid Head – Silent Hill Game Series

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Pyramid head isn’t really low poly but his mask is amazing to look at for my sort of art style. In the original game Pyramid Head was low poly again due to the time era in which the game was made. Looking at his mask and his weapon though gives me ideas for my character design and also just the fact that the character is so well known due to his design and his appearances.

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Manny Cavalera – Grim Fandango

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A game I have not yet played, however the art style looks quite interesting. Also this game has been remastered lately but still has the same art style. Again it is low poly and the art is different as each level is set on November 2nd (Day of the Dead) which has such an amazing advantage towards the art style.

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Alice – Alice: Return to Madness

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This game isn’t really low poly but i like the art style and I like the outfit changing. Most levels throughout this game feature different outfits depending on the level theme. Alice in Wonderland is great to look at as so many people see the story of Alice as a way to express their art e.g. Disney, Tim Burton etc.

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Link – Zelda: Wind Waker

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A game I haven’t played but it looks like a very different take compared to the other Zelda games. I like the low poly style yet I would add a bit of edge to their faces as they look very rounded.

Art Styles

Ylands is a sandbox / survival game with a gorgeous, low poly style. It’s still very early in development, but the description hints at an interesting mix of world-building, exploring, crafting - and just trying to stay alive. Looking forward to how...

Ylands is a sandbox / survival game with a gorgeous, low poly style. It’s still very early in development, but the description hints at an interesting mix of world-building, exploring, crafting - and just trying to stay alive. Looking forward to how...

Ylands is a sandbox / survival game with a gorgeous, low poly style. It’s still very early in development, but the description hints at an interesting mix of world-building, exploring, crafting - and just trying to stay alive. Looking forward to how...

Ylands – Survival Game

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This is very similar to what I am wanting to achieve. A preview screen on the oculus gave me the idea to do the low poly style game, however this game is something similar to what I would like to accomplish as it is low poly, third person and it also serves as inspiration towards most of my design work such as character design and environment design.

Aer Game – by Forgotten Key

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Necropolis Game

Low poly style yet it differs from the others as it is quite dark and has certain hues coming from each light e.g in the image above most of the environment is blue because the flames and the pyramid light are blue. The character isn’t as low poly as the environment which makes the character stand out, however their outfit is also blue (bit of a cold colour).

Jackie Chan Adventures Game

This was a childhood favourite for me as there was a cartoon show of this and then the game was made so it was a great transition from tv show to game as the art style was similar and still portrayed in a cartoon fashion. The lines are more bold and I think nowadays a lot of games use this art style to make bold statements. Games such as Borderlands and any Tell Tale game has the use of this art style.

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MineCraft is such a well-known and popular game yet I am just not a fan of it. I really like low poly art styles but in my opinion I believe that this is just too low poly. I like the concept of creating your own world but I just can’t get into this game. Also a lot of people try to make really detailed towns or cities which look realistic because they have used so many blocks but I just don’t understand the point in that as the game is supposed to be for building low poly. Example above. I do think it is a great thing to


The game seems very relaxing to play especially by watching the trailer above. The music is nice and calm and even though you are flying a ship you can see a bit of freedom from the bird looking ship as it slowly strokes a wall with its wing. It seems interesting and is mainly a collectible based game in which the player learns a lot about the artifacts that you collect and about the environment around them as well as upgrading your own ship.

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I really like the environment and I also like the way in which the character was designed. I automatically think about using a normal human shape whereas this character is quite small with a large head for a more cartoon-like style. Also the shadow is a pretty good touch to the scene even if this is just a poster.

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Sea of Solitude

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Yet another low poly style but the water is incredible. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to do the water but it looks quite real as it is reflective and there is also a current if you look carefully. I really like the pastel colours, most of the games I have researched so far have quite bright colours so it is nice to have a different game style that isn’t so much in the players face.

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