Posts Tagged ‘Tatiana Delgado’

“Detrás del Juego” is a documentary that wanted to expose the actual situation of the videogame industry in Spain. Several professionals of different companies and fields of expertise were invited to express their own point of view. I was invited to be part of it by their creators, Marina Amores and Xabier Pou.

(No english subtiltes, sorry!)

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Last april I was given the chance to speak at the “Women and Videogames” Conference at Madrid.

As a Game Designer, my first idea was to talk a bit about what does “Design Games” mean. Most of the people I know, even my parents, have no clue about what  I make my living of. When I tell them that I design videogames almost everyone thinks that I’m the one making nice drawings… I was told too that most of the audience would be students that are interested in breaking into the industry. So, the first part was mainly a description of the different tasks a Game designer does, and the different kinds of Designers you can find in the industry. I recalled that  in a Game Design workshop with Alfredo González-Barros we  depicted those roles in a plain and common language, so I decided to use it in my talk.

Then I talked about the “dark side” of being a game designer in the Spanish industry… it has usually a low salary, companies may close, you will have projects cancelled after tons of work is done, you will have to consider working in a foreign country if you want to progress… so I thought that many people would wonder… why do you still work in this?

The answer is simple… because I work in what I really enjoy. Because when it’s monday, I like to go to work. And also because you feel really good when you see something you have done in a retail store, and people having fun with it.

And at this point I also wanted to relate my talk to the topic of the Congress: Women and Videogames. That is why I thought to tell a bit about my own story as a woman working in the industry, and giving my insights about what challenges I had to face when I started in the industry.

I was lucky to have a gamer dad. And I’m taling about the 70s. They bought an Overkal and since then, almost every gaming system. Thanks to that, gaming was something natural, fun and a family activity. Since then I started thinking about my own games, and learning BASIC to program my first prototypes in Spectrum. But I had too many things to create and I was really slow… so I started creating those games with pen and paper. Since then I knew what I wanted to do in my life. I wanted to make games.

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Anyway, I will have the chance to talk more about how I started in the industry in future posts, and I will also publish some of my early designs.

One of the main challenges I faced in the industry as a woman were the prejudices. When people knew me in the first place, they couldn’t imagine that I was a gamer or even a profesional of the industry. The first impression was that I lacked the knowledge. But when people get to know me, and I prove that I’m a good co-worker, that I know what I’m doing, that I keep calm at crunch time, that I talk about games as any other… I no longer had problems for being a woman. I have to add, of course, that prejudices are not exclusive of any gender, race or nationality. So If I ever had a problem with someone, he or she already had it with most of the team.

Tatiana Delgado

And finally I talked about how games are evolving to a more universal target. And I’m not talking about facebook games for women. I’m talking about AAA games that have been designed to appeal both genders, like Assasin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Uncharted and so on. The best example we can find nowadays is the redesign that Lara Croft has been into. From a sex-symbol with unreal proportions, and marketed as a object of desire, to a more realistic strong woman, that can appeal to women too.

I also pointed out as a conclussion, that we as women gamers should focus ourselves in being that, gamers… and not using us as sexual objects, as you can see in many pictures on the internet with naked girls covered by game consoles, proclaiming they are gamers. That only contributes to continue the stereotype that the only role a woman can have in videogames is as a sexual object and eye candy.

Well, so I hope you enjoy the talk!

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This post is the second part of how to create a map in War Leaders: Clash of Nations. You can see the first post here.

The next step is to create an orography according to the 2D design. We will work with heightmaps, where the greyscale indicates the heights.

To add realism to our mountains we will create some elements using a terrain edition program like Terragen, and once we have something that looks nice, we save it to use it in our heightmap.

As shown in the picture below, we create the river, the plateau and some hills. We can use the photoshop to adjust the levels of greys and to copy and paste the pieces we got from the Terragen. We can add some features that will not interfere with the gameplay, but that will enhance the visual aspect of the map.

The heightmap has the levels adjusted so we are able to appreciate the range of greys

Once we think we are done with the heightmap, we load it in the map Editor. At Enigma Software Productions we worked with an own Editor that was being developed at the same time that the game. We had terrain edition tools, but we used them to smooth the details and to add small changes. At the end we mostly used photoshop. While we worked on the orography we usually added one texture layer of the main color that would have the final map. In this map, we used a grass green. It helped to get a better view of what the final map would look like.

The next step would be setting the roads according to the desing. We had a tool to create roads setting ponts over the landscape, and the editor would join them together using a bezier curve. You were able to choose between several different materials (asphalt, dirt…) and a wide selection of crossroads and forks. I used to set the roads adapting the curves to the hills and variations in the terrain, to give them a more realistic aspect. There is an option to apply the roads over the map texture, but we will not use yet. Only when the map is finished, with the final textures.

The Map texture in this game consisted on one final texture that was projected vertically over the terrain. To create this map texture, we used masks assigned to each different color texture, painting directly in the editor.  One of the big problems we found was that in this game the cameras could be very close, as in a first person shooter, and really far, while using the airplanes. So we had to add, on one side, detail textures in addition to the color texture, and on the other side, variations in the color of the main color (grass, dry grass, dark grass).

River's bottom color texture mask

Grass detail texture mask

So we ended up with one mask for each color texture and one mask for each detail texture. The final touch was given editing the mask of each texture and painting them with photoshop, because the editor brushes were not as accurate. Once we were happy with the result, we had to collapse all the masks in one .dds file that was the final texture you see in the game.

At this point we could apply the roads, but keeping in mind that we will have to make further adjustments to the textures once the objects are placed in the map.

Final Texture with roads applied

Once we are finished, it’s time to place the objects as we will see in the next post.

Welcome to my blog

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Me
Tags: ,

My name is Tatiana Delgado and I’m a Game Designer.

I love games, but what I enjoy the most is creating things that make people play and have fun. I believe that everybody should keep playing throughout their whole lives, because life would be dull if there weren’t any games.

In this blog you will find the games I’ve been working on, as a professional game designer, and those games I just made for fun. I’ll even post some of my early designs made when I was just a little girl. I hope you’ll like them 🙂