Reef Residential

Its disappointing looking back on this one.  Along with the Business Towers I posted earlier,  this one also broke ground, the first step in constructing the building.  The crisis hit and suddenly the project was canned.  It may still go up one day though.

Anyway, what I’ve put up are the earlier renders, the ones I felt best conveyed the concept, as well as the color coded design breakdown.  Continue reading and view more images…

reef residential A01-Typical Basement Plan

Windtower Villa

This is an old one from when I first moved to Dubai.  One of my obsessions is trying to modernize traditional motifs and nothing is more iconic in the UAE than the wind towers of their old traditional homes.  This was my first take on modernizing the modern courtyard/windtower homes.  Continue reading with more images…

sultan villa A16- Perspective

252 Towers

mubarak A01- List-Schedule-Analysis

252 was typical of a project I would do as an architect.  It would start with an analysis of the site in comparison to the building code as well as the client’s needs, conceptual designs, 3D renderings, and presentation layouts.  We can only build so much up to such and such height, before we can continue having only certain types of functions after said height.  A site would be zoned for a general urban function within which the client would say “I want to have,” such as in this case, “a mixed-use office and residential tower.

mubarak A02- Mass Plan

Anyway without boring you with the full process, we simply got on with building within the 3 general constraints of client, code, and context: the 3 C’s if you will in this approach of architecture design.

Along the way we not only design the form of the building but we also suggested additional functions such as the health club, half way up the building.  The health club, which is indoor within the larger tower and outdoor on the roof of the smaller one, served two purposes.  First, it obviously added value to the property, giving both residents and office employees a place to unwind.  Second, it helped create a buffer between the private residential and the more public offices floors.

mubarak A03- Basement Plan

One of the things I enjoyed working on these presentation boards, was looking for creative ways to breakdown and explain the organization of the building spaces for client consumption.  Most of the time, done well enough, the design itself will do most of that work for you, and you need to help it along slightly, as in below.

Its clear the building is divided into two parts with one side containing all vertical circulation.  Its just up to me to take it a step further and say what every sub-space is.

Even back when working on these and other boards, I noticed the influence of gaming HUDs.  With HUDs its so important to pack in as much information with as little impact as possible on everything else you are seeing.  Its the same here.

mubarak A04- Ground Floor Plan

These are all images of the layout as you slice through the building as you go up.

mubarak A05- 1st Floor Offices [podium] mubarak A06- 2nd Floor Offices [podium] mubarak A07- 3rd Floor Offices [garden] mubarak A08- 4th Floor Offices[typical] mubarak A09- 6th Floor Offices [mech] mubarak A10- Health Club

Some numbers are introduced off to the side to compliment the apartments on the inside.  A little gradient scale fill extending from the building to the HUD brackets to the side help make the connection between the numbers and their respective spaces.

mubarak A11- Typical Apt Floor Plan mubarak A14- Section

Similar thing is is done in the section.  The role of the health club as a buffer is clear here and is emphasized.

mubarak A15- Elevations mubarak A16- Perspectives low res

My designs tend to have clean minimalist looks.  I also like to have one feature that is exhagerated and characterizes the building.  This building funnily enough is inspired by ice cream sandwiches: Two thick walls on either end and a band of grills going all the way up one side, over the roof and down the back.

mubarak A16- Perspectives

mubarak A17- Perspectives mubarak A18- Perspectives

The Late Show | RLD | Module Identification

After figuring out some of the main ingredients for the level design, particularly for geometry, I needed to see how those translated into the “LEGO” pieces we planned on having to build our greyboxes.

Most importantly, those previously mentioned 3 street sizes, would combine into various intersection types.  Intersection types are what will eventually drive the difficulty for the player.  In the simplest of terms, the bigger the intersection, the harder it is for cameras to cover it, the harder it is for players to see what those contestant AIs are doing.  So intersection identification came first.

Module Identification

Above, you can see that in Unity, I crossed every street type against each other and the results are seen in orange and green.  Orange intersections are X intersections, while T intersections are green.  There are 6 of each.

Before providing values for these various intersection types, I went and built the pieces themselves in 3DS Max and attached placeholder textures.  This would be all linked via our pipeline into Unity so that any changes the RLD required, could be carried out in Max then updated automatically back in Unity.

Modules Textured

Above, you can see module identification level now textured.  Below is a closer view.  Above on the right is the same level changing due to us realizing, thanks to the RLD, that our largest street as way too wide.  It skewed our  valuing of the intersections.  A new street width ratio was adopted 4:2:1 instead of the old 6:2:1.

Modules Textured 2

On to valuing the intersections in the next post.  Do check back if hasn’t gone up yet.

The Late Show | Developing a RLD Recipe

TLS_LevelDesign_RecipeEvolution_00

One of the things we had to bolt down early was the RLD.  We knew that a major factor in the RLD would be the level geometry.  The essence of the game was the hide and seek [inverse-stealth] element.  A related critical factor would be the player’s navigation and spatial awareness.  With both of those in mind I broke it down working backwards.  I actually worked within Unity itself to make these studies.  It was convenient due to the ability to snap movement and also work towards eventually establishing a template for building module size.  Continue Reading

The Late Show | The Tools of the Trade

TLS_CA_Camera

Remember, if you want to keep up to date with our development,  please like and follow our facebook page!  Here is some more Concept Art I’ve done up for our game, The Late Show.

Every night, you are given a bunch of tools:

  • the previous mentioned cameras
  • billboards with ads to help increase ratings which in turn translate into more production budget
  • roadblocks to shepherd the contestants
  • and medkits, firearms, and safe-houses, to help them out when they are down which give the crowd a thrill.

TLS_CA_Roadblock

More Concept Art for our game, The Late Show.

TLS_CA_Medkit

TLS_CA_Firearms

Featured on Gamasutra!

Featured on Gamasutra!

Yesterday a feature that I had a hand in was put up on Gamasutra titled The Metrics of Space: Molecule Design.  I had the honor of  being asked by Dr. Luke McMillan to contribute to it and I of course rushed to the opportunity.

The feature deals with an aspect of level design that seems to be seldom addressed, the metrics of space, and its approach through graphing theory.  My work has been used to illustrate concepts within the feature by showing their application on one of my level designs.  I was also asked to describe the application of such design principles and its impact on the design process.  I wont go into further detail and instead let you read the feature for yourselves.  I hope you find it interesting.

DM-Concept-Board-03                      new map 2

If anyone is a game designer or even an architect, as I am as well, you’ll find that design principles or methods translate well over different media.  When lectured about the principles put forth by Raph Koster and by extension Karp, I was fascinated by how well they would apply and how familiar they were to architecture itself.  Design in gaming of course takes on an added dimension over space, that of time, and in retrospect could serve to teach architectural design a few lessons as well.  The experience of space through time is of course factored into many schools of architecture, but its something that most tend to neglect.  Its a pity because these are aspects touched upon from as early as Le Corbusier and his advocacy of the “mis en scene” in architecture experience.  I’ve gone off on a little tangent there despite promising not to, so I’ll definitely stop there  Would love to get people’s thought on the content whether it be on the Gamasutra page itself, and/or here.

Click on the link below to read the feature!

The Metrics of Space: Molecule Design

by Luke McMillan and Nassib Azar