“The Street” – (Games Design & Animation Production Design) Mini-Brief: Part D

Additional Assignment/Mini-Project: “THE STREET” (5 weeks), part of Yr 1 BA Games & Animation students Craft & Media Technology sessions, building on skills developed in earlier 3DSmax Modelling sessions – Part D (the prologue session briefs to this part of the project can be found HERE)


In this mini-project we you to consider the submission to a larger collaborative project for the design of an interactive “Street” …as individuals you are asked to develop designs for a single building/shop facade.


The building you design and make should be no wider than the equivalent of 5.5 to 7 meters in the real world (so you will have to consider scale) and no more than three-storeys high (it can be less) plus a roof/roof space (pitched, flat, you decide).

(Your design should be a building as found on a typical street, and your allocated space includes the pavement outside your 5.5 metre facade).

That said:

Should your building require to be larger due to precedent, and the research you have done on buildings (in your initial research and investigation phase – part A) point towards you developing a building of this type, you may, (only) after negotiation with your tutor, develop your project accordingly.

The building should be based upon/inspired by one, or (ideally) the combined details of several as found on one of the typical streets you have researched (you will be expected to show your references in your development blog posts).

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

A quick look around this small test environment.

Your building should not be generic (nothing in the real world is; this, as with environment/production design, should be a lesson in character design in absentia).

By this I mean if you are designing a “shop”, you should know what kind of shop it is, what they sell, what size the business is, is it part of a chain or a one-off etc.

Trust me, this will help you design your model.

Your design could be a bank, a post office, a shop (not a generic shop), a bar, a café, a private house, an abandoned building.

The façadewill be the most important aspect – the rear of the building unimportant in this case, as is the interior (unless you have time towards the end of the project).

Important! – The sides of your building should be flat, or designed in such away as would comfortably “butt-up” to its neighbour.

Above, two buildings side by side, from different periods, one set back from the pavement edge, the other leaning over it.

If you wish to incorporate an alley, “ginnel”, “ten-foot” or “snicket”, you will still need to keep that within your allocated 5.5/7 meters (unless otherwise agreed with your tutor). Perhaps incorporating an over-hanging storey above the alley that butt’s up against the neighbouring building.

…and what about Fire Escapes? Wheely-Bins? Air-Con Units?

…or Levels/floor areas that raise up or drop away…

See these examples >HERE<

Consider and document how these additions might work as a device for game-play or narrative.

Some photos taken looking at Hand Painted Signs, Fire Escapes and Air-Con in Alley-ways, Shop Windows, the use of floors above windows, signs, satellite dishes, wires and lighting attached to the front of buildings etc…

You will research and make notes, and develop designs in your “day books”; these development ideas will be part of your submission; posted to your blogs.

You will need to utilise your research of real city “streets”, architecture, and environment design, graphics & graphic design associated with shops; as well as good examples from existing games.

It may well be an idea to try and incorporate your name into the building for future reference (posterity). i.e. in the shop sign itself as the proprietor or a poster in the window for another service or a band or circus for example.

We expect and will insist upon photographs taken by yourselves and drawings/sketches made yourselves as part of your research, rather than just downloaded images from the internet. Good starting points here in Hull (East Yorkshire) might be: Princes Avenue, Spring Bank, Holderness Road, Anlaby Road and Beverley Road.

You should also research the UDK games engine and its relationship to your chosen 3D applications, whether it be 3DS max, Google SketchUp, Blender 3D or any other 3D modelling application; also (and for the Gamers this is particularly important) consider the movement of files between the two.

Oh, and don’t forget, we will be looking at your annotations to your visual blog submissions as well as just your design work.

Submission of Work:

The final submission of work will be in the form of a finished 3D digital model of a shop/bar/street-based building, with an appropriate low polygon count and textured ready to be placed in the UDK with FBX file format textures (no more than 2 and no bigger than 1024x 1024px).

Plus all design development work obviously.

This must be at the appropriate relative scale (discuss this with your tutors) and to reiterate should be no more than 5.5 to 7 meters wide – at scale) a digital account of your sketchbook or daybook work with all your developmental ideas, drawings, notes and tests posted to your blog including a short written summary of your process and intention (i.e. a self-appraisal).

∞ façade – the front face – this can be extended to include sides and a back, but only if your tutor agrees your proposal.

Suggested Reading & Resources

Magazines: Computer Arts/Computer Arts Projects, ImagineFX, 3D World etc.

Online Links: Google StreetView, CGTalk/CGSociety.

Books: Impeccable Scene Design, Weiye Yin – ; 3DSMax 2012 Bible, KL Murdoch; Games Design, David Perry; Principles of Modelling and Rendering with 3DStudio, S. Mealing.


The module reflects upon current industrial practice in terms of working methods and specific commercial client-led requirements. It looks at concerns such as compatibility, poly-count, optimisation, gameplay, aesthetics and the importance of research and a solid design process.

Teaching & Learning Methods:

This module is to be carried out within studio time as well as independently, away from the college facility as a form of assessment of the students current level of learning and commitment.


The project will be assessed at an informal interview/tutorial and via your blog submissions/posts.

Beyond the brief:

The hope is to run the project year on year and keep expanding the street map.

Further, some members of staff are considering looking at taking part in the project as well… I hope in the future to use this as part of the marketing for the department as well as a record of past students, and with that in mind, even in time to opening it up to Alumni (especially those who have moved into industry).


I’m looking at designing a bookstore (who could’ve guessed)… It’s a corner building, with an accessible roof space.

As a corner building I had to consider the two full faces and consider how the two unseen faces would interact with the neighboring buildings.

One thing I did consider was the “interactivity” of the building and the space around it, i.e. the alley that runs behind the store, the fire escape (as well as just being an aesthetic favourite) being a possible way up onto the roof (and so into the building itself); the doors on the front of the store displaying a “CLOSED” sign, blinds drawn.

As far as the look of the exterior goes, here are some photos taken as reference by me in Manchester, I’m hoping to get an abundance of signage on the outside, turning it into one of those timeless bookshops I find near impossible to resist walking past.

Some of the students results and the environment itself below:


~ by hesir on March 28, 2012.

One Response to ““The Street” – (Games Design & Animation Production Design) Mini-Brief: Part D”

  1. […] This project continues in Part D […]

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