Evaluation of Street Fury project
This project was to create a 30 second video with alternate endings to promote a game called Street Fury. The purpose of the video was to get people to donate money as the video was made to go on Kickstarter as part of a campaign to fund the game. The video had to include characteristics of beat-em-up games as that is the genre of Street Fury, so I included a baseball bat as a weapon as that is commonly used in other games of that genre. I also included a special attack that the character could charge up and use on the enemy as some beat-em-up games do allow the player to do that to clear enemies from the screen. The context of the project was it had to be styled like it was from the 1980’s so I made my motion graphic use bright neon colours and have a gradient as that was a popular style in the 80’s. I also set my video as taking place during the Cold War as that was a big part of the 80’s.
One of the strengths of my video is the motion graphics I created for the decision screen. My choices were between a baseball bat and the character’s special attack which I called freedom scream because it supposed to be a patriotic attack. For the baseball bat logo, I made the text look like it had a bat texture on it by creating a rectangle and adding a fiber to it by going to filter and then render then selecting fiber. I then adjusted the fiber until it looked like the texture of a baseball bat. Then I created a clipping mask so that the texture would be attached to the text. To create the freedom scream logo, I imported an image of the American flag and then used the magic wand tool to remove the parts of it that were outside of the text. This is a strength because the audience can tell what they represent just from the texture of them which is linked to what they will be.
One weakness of my video is the 3D particle effects I created for the scream. I did not get the shape of them or the texture how I wanted them to be because I started creating it late in the project and then I didn’t have as much time to make it perfect. Also to ensure that it was very visible I made it a dark blue which doesn’t fit with the theme of my video. Also because of the angle of the shot you can’t see that the particle effect is a shockwave so it just looks like a group of shapes coming out of the character’s mouth.
Another strength of my video is the keying of my footage as my character’s blend well with the background, as the lighting when I was filming was good for the setting I wanted. This made it easier for me to key as I only had to make slight changes to the screen gain and balance and the clip black and white to make my footage look like it matches the background.
Another weakness of my video is I didn’t use as many characteristics of beat-em-ups as I could have. I could have used other characteristics such as having multiple different enemies for my character to fight, instead of just one. If I had included multiple enemies, my video would have more clearly been a beat-em-up style video. In addition, multiple enemies would have made sense for my story, as the premise is that Soviet Spies have infiltrated the USA, so it would make sense for there to be multiple of them for the main character to fight.
One of the other strengths of my video is the music I have used throughout the video. All the music I used is royalty free from Freesound.org and creates a different feeling for every shot. For example, the music I use when the spy character is first introduced sets him up as suspicious character.
Another weakness of my final outcome is the sound effect I used for when the baseball bat hits the spy could have been louder so that it is heard above the music, and also I could have edited it to make it sound more like a bat hitting bone, but I did not have time to do that.
Another strength of my video is I used an Eagle scream sound effect when the main character performs the special attack. This is because Eagles are the symbol of American patriotism and that is what I wanted my character to represent.
One of the other weaknesses my video has is it is much shorter than the 30 second video it was intended to be. This means that everything happens quite quickly and it could be hard for the audience to notice things. The reason my video is shorter is because I didn’t know how many shots would be needed to reach 30 seconds and so I didn’t plan to have many shots. If I had planned better, I could have had more shots or just longer shots so that the audience do not get overloaded quickly. One problem of it being this short is I could not add an end screen on YouTube for the decisions, so I had to use the annotations, which means it will not work on mobile devices.
The final strength of my video is the decision making scene as it clearly symbolises that the character is thinking about what attack to use before the audience make their decision. This scene also gives the audience plenty of time to make their decision.
Finally, another weakness of my video is it is not clear what the story is or who the main character is, as apart from the short voiceover I have included there is not a lot of information given to the audience about the characters and the plot.
The theme I used for my design took inspiration from the 1980’s as I wanted to use bright colours and include gradients as that was very common for motion graphics in the 80’s. The font I used was called Franklin Gothic Heavy as this looked very similar to the fonts used in the 80’s. The theme for my main character was just to wear smart clothes because I thought that would fit in the 80’s theme of the video. The theme for my spy character was just about making him look suspicious and concealing his identity because reference images I found of spies all had them concealing their face with something and wearing quite dark clothes so I wanted to create that look and feel for my video. The original idea I had for my character was to make them look extremely patriotic and wear an Eagle mask for part of the video, and also have the colours of the American flag present on his clothing, because many characters in beat-em-up games are over the top so I wanted that element to be a part of my video. I eventually decided against this because I did not want to spend money on getting the prop mask or the costume so I had to find other ways to make the character seem patriotic and include the American flag.
When I was creating the motion graphic to be the Street Fury logo, I did a lot of experimentation with different neon colours and gradients to try to create one that I thought looked like a logo from the 80’s. This affected my development as I spent a lot of time creating different logos and this meant I did not have as much time to spend on other elements of the video later on, such as the music. I also explored many possible sound effects I could have used for the special attack, as I wanted to find an eagle screech that would fit with the actions in the shot. This affected my development because I was not able to find one that I really liked but I was running out of time to complete the project so I picked the one that I liked the best out of the ones that I had found.
The key areas of development in this project were the storyboarding and editing. Storyboarding was important because I needed to know exactly what I wanted to shoot so that when the time came to film I could do it as efficiently as possible. Storyboarding was also important when it came to editing as I knew where my footage was set and what order it needed to go in and where I wanted my motion graphics to go. Editing was important as it allowed me to make my footage look and feel like a beat-em-up game from the 1980’s and it allowed me to add sound elements to give it an 80’s feel, which would help attract the audience that I wanted.
My final work is appropriate for the requirements of the brief as the motion graphics make it look like it’s from the 80’s and also fits with the theme of patriotism that I wanted to create. I also think that it includes characteristics from the beat-em-up genre that make it appropriate, such as the special ability attack and having a baseball bat as a weapon because that is something that is common among beat-em-up games. I also think the music I have used fits in both the 80’s context of the brief and also the beat-em-up genre as it is a similar style to music from the 80’s and is a bit cheesy and easy to tell what the music is implying which fits well with the music of beat-em-ups.
My outcome is very appropriate for the intended purpose platforms, which are Kickstarter and YouTube. This is because it is short enough so that it does not lose people’s attention and it includes an interactive element to allow people to choose their own paths. I think this would promote the product effectively as the audience that I am targeting this for would like it as it contains many of 80’s elements and is clearly a beat-em-up game so this video would attract people’s attention.
I think parts of this project went better than expected, for example the work I did in After Effects was better than I thought it would be because until this project I had not used After Effects much and I did not know any of the tools. Therefore, I thought I would struggle when it came to using After Effects to key my footage for example, and animating my motion graphics. However, I think the work I did in After Effects to composite my footage went well as I have made my footage look like it belongs in the setting I chose. However, I think the sound work went worse than I expected because I could not find sound effects that I really liked and I did not have the time to edit them to how I wanted them to sound. In addition, because my video was shorter than I expected I had to change my original idea for my voiceover and shorten it so that it did not extend to the decision making screen because I did not want a voiceover on that part I just wanted music. This meant that my voiceover is very short and does not give out all the information that I originally intended it to.
My peers suggested to me that I make my particle effects fit the theme of the video better than they do, because currently they are just blue triangles and that does not fit well with the rest of the video. They suggested that I could make them tiny American flags to further show off the patriotism of the character and add to how over the top he could be which would have fitted well with the characteristics of the beat-em-up genre, as many characters in those type of games are extreme versions. Another piece of feedback I received was to introduce the character better because I did not give him a name so it is hard to tell who he is, and since this video is meant to be promoting a game it would be good to tell the audience who the main character is. The final piece of feedback I received was to make it clearer what the story of the video is, because the voiceover is short and does not give much information out it means it can be quite hard for the audience to know what is happening and why.
To improve and develop the work I would definitely add more enemies for the main character to face, as this would further make the video represent beat-em-ups. This change would not be hard to do as I could use the same actor and just get them to wear slight variations of the outfit, as this is another characteristic of beat-em-up games, and then I could film deaths for the multiple characters and film the main character fighting them. I would also change the costume of the main character to maybe fit more with the context of the 80’s, by doing small things like giving him big sunglasses to wear or having him wear a polo shirt as they are instantly recognisable from the 80’s. I would also improve my particle effects, as they do not look good. One way to improve them would be to change the angle of the shot when the particle effects appear so that the character is facing the camera, as this would allow the audience to see the full shape of the shockwave. I would also use the feedback I received and make the particles tiny American flags, as this would fit with the idea for my video.