Update 27/11

 

 It's been a fair while since I last pulled back the curtains to talk about what I've been keeping busy with. And busy is certainly the word to describe the recent months, both inside the office at AVR London and outside, having started freelancing in the weekends and evenings at home.

 AVR has consisted of the expected day to day real-time development alongside some exciting changes in the studio. Since April the team has begun taking our initial steps as a new sister company, namely A-VR, focusing on real-time and VR content creation for architectural visualisation. It's been a real insight for me to see what goes into the creation of a company and brand from the website, the visuals to developing our messages and services to clients. That's been a process I've been very involved with creatively and emotionally, I feel a lot of ownership over much of the brand, our work and the team. In the year and a half I've now been working at AVR London/A-VR, you know, I feel I've grown a lot personally as well as how we've developed as a unit in the office.   

 Alongside the exciting task of building up a company there's been the bread and butter VR work I've been responsible for. Since The Madison I've worked on a handful of smaller non realtime projects though we recently wrapped up work on another VR experience, one I hope to talk about more soon.

 Turning attention away from office life to the homefront and as I mentioned above over the last months I've begun to freelance. Currently I'm working with two friends from university helping to develop their game JACKHAMMER. JACKHAMMER is a first person multiplayer shooter, launching in February, and is loosely based around dodgeball… with more explosions… and giant robots.  I've been predominately responsible for UI and the graphical aesthetic of the game though I've also had a hand in the level design and mechanic development over production. It's been interesting for me to apply much of the same skillset from work to JACKHAMMER, fundamentally they’re both realtime development, although applied to game development.

 I think you’d be surprised about the amount of crossover, at-least that I feel there is, between game development with JACKHAMMER and working at AVR. At any rate they’re both keeping me stupidly busy and taking up what is probably too much of my time. However, to see the time and work going into both endeavours coming together over the last month or so has been really rewarding.

 

Update 19/02

 

 It's been a busy start to the year and over the past soon to be two months I feel I've been building up momentum with my work. Following from my last entry where I discussed the clear direction that I want to spend my time growing my skillset it’s been my focus to create a routine that supports it. Alongside this I’ve tried to be clear and concise over what it is I want to study or work on week to week and month to month.

 Part of that over January has been continued practice in Substance Designer, something that has carried over from last year. It's been a mixture of both following tutorials and authoring my own materials, though the latter has been mostly at AVR. With the time I’ve spent working on these my confidence with Designer has grown to a level where I’m feeling pretty competent with it. I mean you'd certainly hope so after the hours I’ve sunk into it. It's fast become my texturing tool of choice, it's fun to use and to explore in which isn't something you can say about a lot of software, 3Ds Max springs to mind, and I feel it produces fantastic results.

 Substance Designer is something I’m wanting to keep as a background thing to keep practicing going forward with, if I’m not using it a lot at AVR or in my own projects then I’ll aim to author a material or two to keep in with it. There’s a lot of room still to explore with it, I’m no expert, notably organic materials such as wood and dirt are an area that I’m keen to push forward with in the future.

 For now however I’ve started on a new environment project based on Masashi Wakui’s photography of Tokyo as I mentioned in my new year post. At this point it’s little more than a blockout and an asset sheet so there’s not much to really show though hopefully in the coming weeks you’ll start to seem some output from it.