Saturday, 28 November 2009

Story Telling in Games wk8

Sometimes players play a game plays a game for a sheer laugh, although talking about a game and its story sometimes it can be said that a game doesn't really have a story. Take for instance yourself on holiday in the UK perhaps Skeggy (yes mike, you with shorts and a hat on away from your favourite ceiling!!) your walking around enjoying the sights and that 99 you just can't go without and you go to an arcade. Knowing today's arcades there's plenty of 2p machines ect, but of course were all interested in those arcade game, take for instance the Tekken series, yes there is a story there but its not particularly in depth, but you do enjoy playing it because of the sheer satisfaction of beating the crap out of a giant bear named Kuma! Moving on to another game Time Crisis, again it has a story but its not quite full on, its entertaining but not Bafta award winning, and so do you see what I'm getting at? Some games are made for different purposes like short entertainment. Games such as these are also made to keep the user playing so the game play and the story has to be interesting enough to keep the player paying his money.

Of course these examples are arcade games, but overall it is still a type of gaming. It is more noticeable that storylines are produced in console titles it is also noticeable that everyone is entitled to an opinion, defining a story is often overshadowed by the rating of the game becuase of it graphics or soundtrack for instance sometimes games should just be rated on storylines as well as aesthetics.

My favourite story has to be that of Resident Evil, it has tested itself against time, and has produced over 15 titles, the story itself has many twists and turns but the vast amount of games produced, all add to the overall amazing story without ruining it with too many titles. Twists and turns also improve he general story like Wesker being alive after being killed by the Tyrant :O everything in the game adds to its entertainment and replay value.

An Introduction To Art Direction For Games wk7

Ahhh Art direction, so... the direction of art inside of a gaming company, sounds pretty simple, probably really hard!!

It was noticeable that the main link : wasn't actually working, (wells it dead) so i scouted some other links.

Anyway back to the point, merely to be considered as an art director, someone must have a minimum of 5 years experience as a technical artist or some other form of artist from the gaming community, so obviously they have to be good at what they do, as a director they have to evaluate the work from their different specified teams so production can be moved on and dead ideas can be improved upon or removed from the production process. They have to make a lot of important decisions about the work involved in their company's creation pipeline and they also have to have an understanding of the open market as a whole to see what the customer likes and wants. They themselves need to be creative and produce good pieces of artwork to inspire their artistic community, but I believe there main responsibilities are to evaluate and guide fellow employees.

I imagine there are many differences between a game art director and a film art director, but I suppose there could be many similarities as well. Game art directors have to have a large understanding of graphics programmes, as well as an understanding of other computer programmes like photoshop (I'm sure film art directors also use programs like photoshop etc) it is likely that game art directors have to have an understanding of the market and the wants of the customer, knowing this they also probably have to have understanding of environments that the customer wants to see in a game. Film art directors have to have a deeper understanding of areas and environments, they also have to have an in depth understanding of camera angles and the use of filming technologies and equipment.

Lots of skills would have to be improved to become an art director, evaluation skills would need to be improved greatly, an art directors decisions can sometimes make or break a company the right decisions have to be made to make a good computer game. Drawing and perspective work would also probably need to be damn near perfect (no surprises there with what we have to do on this course!!)

From Pong to Next Gen wk6

Well to begin with there are definite connections between that of Pacman and Fear but only in loose comparison, both games are similar in one particular way, as they both have an outcome or ending. Both games are also played in a competitive manner E.G. the player wants to gain satisfaction from playing and completing the game, or achieving certain goals. The main difference between the games are that one is produced now in the present and the other one was produced in the past, and so there is bound to be a difference in the quality of the outcome, obviously one game will have better graphics because of the time it was produced at.

Another way in which a past game and a present game can be similar is that of their own particular genre, take for instance "golden Axe" and "Legend of Zelda" or "World of Warcraft" the premise is very similar, as the genre denotes the game to be an adventure, the story is also that of a warrior (compared with Legend Of Zelda) or the choice of different characters with different area of expertise such a wizardry for instance (compared with World of Warcraft). The way in which games like Golden Axe and other fantasy games are played are even more similar the main aim of the game is to defeat the enemy, story is perhaps of no consequence it just differs throughout time from past and present.

There always has to be a winnable side to attract players into games, this is somewhat different nowadays because of online play, older games were always pitted against an A.I. opponent, this does produce a winnable scenario but the player is only ever beating the computer. Different from A.I. is that of online play on the Xbox 360 for instance, one game that certainly sometime feels unbeatable is that of "Command and Conquer Tiberium Wars" when played against certain seasoned veterans, being beaten multiple times deters players from a game but is also a big difference from playing against an A.I.

I suppose the choice of the genre is all down to the design brief itself, the outcome of the game all falls down to the chosen direction in which the company wants to follow, further development comes from the artists and this influences the outcome of the game from the development of art shows how the game should look or feel. The outcome of the game is greatly influenced by the artwork produced in the preliminary stages but many areas of the production influence the final outcome, the production of a game should be emphasised as a team effort!!

Looking back at the past of gaming and then looking to present of gaming, there are obvious differences but then there are not so obvious simularity's, gaming may have come on leaps and bounds but looking at the development of an idea and the process of creating a game, the old is somewhat closer to the new than you might think.

The games review

Sooo continuing with our radical studies we are asked to produce a games review. As a majority of people may well know I chose to do Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising. Voiding myself from repeating the information on the review I think I should groan on about the experience itself and my opinions.

So the general task seemed simple enough to me, write a games review and present it to the class, and so I went to the task of writing and editing my power point. I won't lie to you I thought that it was going to be a simple feat to produce and present a power point to the class, and I thought it would be a breeze, (well how wrong was I) the easiest part was making the slides and thinking about what to say, but actually getting up there and presenting my review to the class was well daunting... It was perhaps noticeable that I froze at one point in my review, which probably shot me down a lot...

So all I have to say is well done to those who produced good to the point presentations unlike me who whittled on abit with too many notes and not enough decisiveness. We are all human, and I suppose being on game art design the majority of us are well, for a better word sometimes "socially impaired" in some situations (notes Chris's comment about us staying inside avoiding the outside world as much as possible!!) . So when looking at the teachers and perhaps thinking wow they've got it easy teaching us fools, I shall probably look back and think actually presenting any form of presentation is actually quite hard and yes they may have had a lot of practise but one day maybe i'll be as good as them at giving people feedback on certain topics and information!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Writing about games

Multiple issues face games reviewers, I believe the most obvious constraint is that of actually getting employed into the business itself, how do you become a game reviewer for any self respecting games magazine or company? Perhaps most working in this sort of field study Media or English, I suppose its not just the general writing skill that is necessary its an interest in the gaming market itself, you have to enjoy what you work as else there's no point in doing it...

I would imagine that writers must have a general interest in the history of computers, gaming and the games industry itself. Without this background knowledge I'm sure they wouldn't be very good at reviewing games from the present market, everything they reviewed would just hold a typically similar rating from their part, they would either rate a game good, mediocre or absolute shit, but i suppose that rating a game in such a fashion is the base of the job they have anyway, they are basically paid to pass judgement on something created from the gaming industry. Having a job is one thing but keeping a job is another, as long as their judgement is concice against the game they are reviewing I'm sure readers will remain interested with the opinions of the magazine, after all the readers pay the wages of the writers all though this is similar to most other jobs out there...

Above all it should be noted that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, professional writers and amateur writers must be allowed such an indulgence. So... how do we class a review as good? Well that's hard to say... a good review is perhaps rated by how someone rates the game, but there has to be strong points that back the rating of the game up. Another way of knowing someone is a good reviewer is by stating what is good and bad in the actual game they are reviewing. A game cannot just have positive points, no matter how good the game actually is!!!

I would say that when I talk about games I'm a very subjective person... I make my opinion known but back my points up with the facts from within the game, if a game is good for one reason but bad for another I would say why and give my own opinion.