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A jam submission

Magic SwordView project page

Submitted by BethKelly (@BethKelly98_) — 2 minutes, 52 seconds before the deadline
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Magic Sword's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Creative#142.1252.125
Presentation#152.0002.000
Documentation#152.5002.500
Research + Development#152.0002.000
Technical#151.6251.625
Overall#152.0502.050

Ranked from 8 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Overall Thoughts: A pretty, simplistic and stylized effect that's pleasing on the eye. It's lacking some body to it, though I do like your colour pallet and concepts. You've maintained your chosen theme throughout your project and the tone and colours all blend together. Nicely done! It's a pity we didn't get to see some of the other states of the sword such as attacking. It Would have been interesting to see how you tackled those visuals. Overall though it's a very clean aesthetic. You sword mesh is clean and you've got some simple, yet effective texture work. It's well made but from a VFX standpoint I'll be primarily focusing on your particle systems themselves. Areas of Improvement: Textures and optimization. The big thing for me here is that your black and white textures are all at least 16bit RGB, when they are greyscale images and that they're 2048x2048. You would benefit from either reducing their size to something like 256px. Alternatively you could make a larger 1/2k image as an atlas for all of your images, then use theSub-UV in Unreal to select your desired Mask. Packing them into each texture channel is another great option. You can do this using the Channels tab in Photoshop by simply copying and pasting your masks into each channel whilst it's highlighted. That way you're able to store 4 images, one in each channel of a 32bit RGBA. Fading the opacity of your particles in and out would allow for clean instantiation and death of you particles. If you disable your 'size by life' you can see them pop out of existence. Having your particles spawn from a small localized position and then Lerp towards an end position would allow them to emanate from the bottom of the sword, as opposed to spawning out of thin air; making them feel like they tied to the swords power. Adding some turbulence onto the particles would allow for some more interesting secondary motion and make it seem less constrained to a single axis of movement. Added some behavior to the sword mesh itself would help give the effect a bit more of a body. Perhaps try animating a pulsing glow on the sword, or creating a low poly sword mesh to overlay. You can then use a separate shader to make this mesh glow, add a nice Fresnel highlight or possible animate it's scale as if the sword is giving off power. Thanks for your submission though. It's a clean effect with a nice stylized aesthetic. Give the effects themselves a bit more substance and work on some optimization points and you have a nice overall piece. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors VFX Artist @Sony Playstation
  • The VFX seem more like a secondary in the document and the main focus was the weapon design.
  • It appears this project did not get to a finished state or honestly close. I had to hack the sword blueprint in UE4 to enable keyboard inputs to experience the full animation of the sword, I am not sure how it was meant to be triggered as there was no documentation or instructions. There was some blueprint work however which did show some technical aptitude. The sword is well modelled and has a great style, it has a style that would fit with the latest Wii Mario or Zelda games, however there was no reference or mention of these games on a mood board or images. The artist has Unfortunately the FX arent very complicated or imaginative, they do not appear to come from the weapon or feel apart of the weapon. The weapon could do with a trail and impact effect when the animation plays. To move forward I would suggest adding a glow and energy build up effect prior to the slash, including a trail to the sword to help emphasise the movement within the established style. I would consider how the particles are spawning and try to make them feel a part of the sword or perhaps the effect of the sword appearing. The sword could appear as if part of a spell? This could then use a transition fade up the weapon (there are tutorials on material transition effects which could help). Finally an impact when the weapon animation hits the target to sell the effect as per the brief.
  • I don't know if I am missing something but it seems like you just have the idle state uploaded. It is a good start but I wanted to see what you could come up with based on your research. The sword model looks cool but there isn't much to give feedback to.
  • Hi bethKelly, To be honest it's basique vfx here. Keep working ! LOWYS Clément Ubisoft vfx artist MONTREAL

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