Thursday, 29 April 2010

The lure of gaming

I just thought I would spend this time and comment about how it is so easy to become so engrossed into a game. I suppose playing game in one respect can remove us from reality, honestly I don't the amount of times I've been playing a game and the day just went away, I suppose its all about completing objectives within a game or finishing a story line that makes people want to play games so much. I find it hard to believe that there was such huge interest in older games, but I suppose at the time pacman was like what any modern game is like to us, interest in something new is always the thing that drives people to want to play games and so that is why the industry has become what it is today.
As a game artist I suppose I shouldn't be as interested in gaming anymore, because my life now revolves around me creating games, playing them should really bore me and perhaps annoy me in certain ways, saying that though I really don't know. I've always been interested in games ever since my 7th birthday, but as to whether the novelty will wear off only time will tell. I think it will be more interesting creating the game playing it and saying yeah I made that but I have to make it to that point first!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Constructive critism.... High praise Wk 24

So the final blog in the tasks is that of feedback.

Well what can I say, it has been a good year and i know for a fact that I have certainly improved in that of the 2d area and I have learnt new skills in 3d, truthfully I would ask for more feedback within the blogging area and that of the 3d arwa, its fair enough we get feedback from formative and peer assessment but I have noticed that there has been a lack of any major criticism. Yes i do put my work on facebook, but no ever ever really comment on it, perhaps that means there's nothing wrong with it, but I know for a fact that, that isn't true.

I don't really raise any concerns about the trips involved, maybe trips further afield could be good though, and I do mean trips organised by the teachers with them providing us with a way to get there, cost wouldn't be that much of an issue as long as it wasn't over £30-£40. Leicester is awesome and it does offer a multitude of different interesting places to draw at but I really wouldn't mind seeing other places of interest as it were.

Finally I would like to see and hear more feedback from the actual teachers, I haven't had one comment on my blog other than some random spanish madeline Mc Cann group not good feedback for my studies really. It just concerns me because I need feedback to improve my work.

That's it I hope I return next year Farewell for now :D

Sunday, 21 March 2010

GDC errrrr Wk22

Well another topic I have limited knowledge on.... The GDC!!!!!! RAWR!! errr right

Well seeing as I didn't go to the GDC all I can really comment on is the what's on parts on the GDC homepage. A game that had a look in on the visual part of the GDC was "batman Arkham Asylum" The session covered the development of the game, and went through its realistic approach to the game. Having played the game I did find the game to be realistic in a sense that the way you roamed around as batman and traversed different heights and jumped to different objects seemed realistic. The thing that interested me more about the game was that of the darkness being batmans ally, so the lighting within the game appealed to me more, enemies couldn't see in the dark and that aspect of the game really took precedence.

I suppose Batman being taken from a comic book license it had to be stylised in some way, this of course perhaps presents a problem to the producers as they have to stick to a certain style that the comic was made in, and so any new game created would have to similar to this style, this is perhaps seen as a limitation.....

Thats all im going to write.... As I don't really know what went off because I didnt go to LA!!!! :-P

Where Am I going? How Do I Get There?!!! :O Wk 21

Well today i'll look at my possible future aims, I suppose this will be a very open door really.

Well like everyone else on this course I would imagine that I want to get a job in the gaming industry, it is perhaps my ultimate aim. I do tend to keep an open mind though, the more this course goes on the more complicated it seems to get, i'm not trying to say by any means that i can't hack this course but I do find things very challenging (3d especially) and again it is noticeable and true what a hallowed teachers say Keep up and manage your time!!! (words that break my lazy heart ha!)

It is noticeable to me that I prefer the 2d sort of side to game art design and although I myself do not have amazing drawing skills but it is always something that I can hone in time, perhaps conceptual art is the way forward then but time will tell. I do need to spend a lot more time practising skills and understanding shapes and forms more, this will help with overall drawing skills because that's basically what everything is shapes and forms. Photoshop is also a continual learning curve, the more time i spend on it the better I seem to get (or so i've been told)

At the moment i'm not looking much farther than that of the final hurdle on the 30th of April, I do intend to work my ass off until then and I hope I can produce enough work for then. It has sort of dawned on me within the last month that proper time management is necessary to succeed within this course, deadlines are best kept stuck to. I think it is wrong to sometimes expect perfection within our artwork, but the quality of peoples artwork certainly reflects that of future competition for jobs inside of companies, we have to work hard to achieve our goals and to become the best we can be else perhaps we aren't worth being employed....

Creativity (again!) Wk20

Ok it's time for another grand talk on creativity!! So here we go!

How can you define creativity? Reflecting back on a wednesday morning lecture Mike went through multiple ways creativity can be defined, my personal favourite was the football player analogy, (merely because i'm mental on football) a football player can be classed as creative because of his overall skill, the vision he uses on the pitch, the way the ball is passed to his respective players.

Truly creative people have to have multiple skills within their own working environment, yes things can be seen as creative because we are using creative skills to make certain things happen or produce something we class as valued, but truly creative people usually have a hunger to rpoduce and create as many things as possible. Leanardo Da Vinci was one of these people, he always had a hunger to produce art which explained things, but it was noticable that he never really wanted to stop producing work and that he was hungry to move onto another piece of work after finishing a previous piece.

Creativity is a mixture of the mind and body, more so the mind is involved in creativity because creativity take more thought than movement to produce... (all depending on the type of creativity) musicians would take more time to compose a piece of music than they would actually playing it, same as dancers would spend more time rehearsing and learning steps more than they would actually dance the routine for in a production.

Another point that was raised in the lecture was that of children and their creativity being destroyed by the school system, creativity so it is said naturally flows out of children, I myself wouldn't call it creativity I would call it growth. Yes children seem to improve whilst they grow, that come naturally though, it isn't them being creative it's more like play than it is creativity.

So how can we define creativity within the games industry? I would say that there are many different methods of creativity within the industry; I suppose the main flow of creativity is the actual outcome of a completed game, every worker within the company has put lots of effort into the game through development to shipping.

Games manifest creativity in many different different ways thinking past the actual creation of the games and the development process, games show their creativeness because of all the different elements within the game. The culmination of sound and imagery used in games sometimes reflects that of its creative qualities, when you look at a visually stunning game and the see the thought behind it you have to think about the creative effort made in its production. It's like everything we look at in games today has to be top quality and of course this is expected because of the competitiveness in the market. So the need for creative thinker within the industry will always be necessary, as creative thinkers will be needed to programme games and creative artists willl have to make the components in game and dream up wild and amazing artwork to interest the buyer.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Life Changing or Career Building Wk19

Well I have to say I find what Warren Spector said to be very contradictory.... unless he plans on living forever!! I could understand his perspective for a few years perhaps, but it is necessary to develop young, up and coming talent. Without developing young talent there would be no future for the business. The talent that exists within a company could well be amazing at the time and the company itself could be the most prosperous company, but it would still
need younger artists and workers to fill in the gaps when other workers move on or retire.....

Another speculation connected to this, lack of a need for younger not as experienced artists would be that university courses that specialise in training and educating the students would become obsolete, i'm sure that would cause an upset at some universities!!!

It isn't really sensible to presume that the industry would be good without an influx of new artists... In fact that probably makes it more volatile, how can different styles be made without new artists to bring new ideas? Industries to possibly become boring or even predictable because the same artists are used, new artists would bring at least a new amount of spice or variety, as of course.... variety is the spice of life!

There is a specific need to have normal artists and university taught students, I doubt many artists know how to programme games but I suppose there is a possibility that their knowledge in different subjects like programming could be extensive all depending in how much they wanted to immerse themselves into their work, having someone teach you specific things means that you should understand the subject matter more clearly and therefore learn it to a better standard.

All I can say is studying at university to do game art design is career building, and we as students are learning the necessary skills to become good game artists and workers in industry.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sounds For Games Wk18

Sound in games is all but similar to that of genres in storyline, games have to sound like how they feel, if that makes sense. For instance if you look at games like "The Legend Of Zelda" game the soundtrack itself is mainly based around quest, it feels uplifting as you traverse through fields and different areas. There are subtle changes within the sounds of the game as you go through it, perhaps with the change of scenery or going into different situations. The game itself provides moments of tense situations and so the music itself changes to suit the situation suspense can be well created by the change in musical components.

The two games that for me changed the way I looked at music was the resident evil series and AVP2 on the pc. I loved the diverse subtlety from moments u were just walking around to general musical background and then out of no-where something tense would happen! The horror genre for me seems to utilize music and the used of sound in the best way, whilst playing normal sort of games heightened musical pitches does produce moments of anxiety but there not as effective as what games with horror involved can be.

Even slight heightened pitches or sudden noises in horror games can basically scare the crap out of you and well I think thats a good thing because the music and sound what its supposed to. I wish they'd have utilized this better in Alien vs Predator on the Xbox 360.

Another thing with the sound in games is that imagine how different it would be without sound in games? Imagine complete deafness in games? It would certainly present the gamer with something different, Would a lack of sound be good in games or would it be frowned upon?

Game Engines Wk 17

Game engines..... Well I will be a 100% straight I actually don't have any clue about them!!!
SO from the mysteries of general knowledge here is what I can decipher!!! Game engines are basically the physics and everything the game does... Its how the game works the way it moves breathes and works.
Thats it basically, this is my general knowledge.... Lets consult other websites shall we???

So game engines is the software in which games are developed, most game engines have a specific amount of compatibility with other platforms once the game is made for a specific platform. Basically the once the game is made through a game engine it can be played on different platforms because of the engines it was made from, for instance multi-platform games for xbox 360 and ps3. Game engines put 3d objects into 3d environments also render the entire scene by utilizing in game graphics.
I suppose there are certain limitations with proprietary technology, the technology might not do what you want it to when you make things within the game engine, there may be issues with the way materials render within the engine, it might not feel right because of the way object are made or even the way the are lit or set out. Many advantages to using the technology available is that a whole 3d environment can be developed very quickly, objects can be inserted into the game engine simply enough. Further advantages are that you don't actually have to make the game engine yourself, everything is in place for you already meaning you don't have to worry about things like physics or even pre-set objects.

This needs more thought.... another time....

Monday, 15 February 2010

Gaming Cultures Wk16

I suppose games culture has taken on many different forms within the last ten years.

Online gaming opens up the whole gaming experience merely because you can talk to people in a different country, and although all people ever do online is shout and curse at you there is still a sublime difference from the days of old... All you did back in the day was sit nicely in your arm chair scaling the heights of different computer games and having that nice little sense of achievement, but now your sense of achievement comes from kicking down that whiney 12 year old American kid playing call of duty :D

Previously I have seen that games are integrating themselves into television and cinema.... I watched an episode of the Big bang Theory (which I know is geeky) and they used a sort of virtual world in which they played a game similar to that of WOW, the not soo geeky character (the woman) became immersed into the game. I suppose this can reflect that of actual life as some people do become obsessed by game worlds. Another television programme that used gaming in their show was CSI, Second life was used in an assassination plot. CSI is fictional , but the gaming cultures used in this way can show how easy getting to know someone online could be, gaming culture is sometimes perhaps too social and maybe even dangerous within that thin line of reality and fiction. The new addition of 3D within the cinema could possibly be linked to that of gaming, the viewer wants a more immersive and realistic experience from watching films and even football, just makes me wonder if gaming actually influenced any of the advancements made in the gaming sector.
I know for a fact that gaming perhaps makes more people trusting online, take for instance youself playing on a game and you get talking to some nice american chap, (one of the ones that doesn't annoy you!!) the game ends and you accept their friend request merely because you had a laugh with them and all though you don't know them you would still talk to them because you had a good time with them online, It's sort of naive but you do it anyway because its social and you won't really loose anything from doing it.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The games Industry Wk 15

So how is the industry doing?? Whats going on in the world of games creation? Well I would imagine a lot and not so much at the exact same time.
Review the current economical climate especially in England, and well ask almost anyone in business and there not going to say that its going all that well, yes England is now something ridiculous like 0.1% in the black out of recession but that really doesn't mean that industry has the same stability as what it used to, in fact I would probably think that not much has changed and that it will still be a while before anything amazingly drastic does change within most industries.
All though my own knowledge of the gaming industry isn't by any means extensive, and so I know it is something that I will have to look into in more detail. From my own general knowledge there a number of different areas within a gaming company, the licensing area, so the area in which the company can get a certain title or the confirmation of getting the rights to produce a title. The second area which is the creative area, where artists and designers dream up the ideas within games. The third area is sort of the game programmers and engineers, making the game components compatible in game. The fourth and final area is the publishing area, advertising, and marketing which control the distribution of the game worldwide.

Problems within the market that may affect its future is the economic state, yes I said this earlier, but it is a big problem at the moment, closures in this country happen all the time or so i keep hearing, but then what if all of England big hitters go down? Seriously that could lead to major repercussions within the English market we'll all have to move to America just to become employed, sounds good!! The thing is there will always be a need for the skills we are honing and in this industry, and well that in theory could make us employable in any area of the games industry anywhere...

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Snow and The Cold!!!

I thought I would take the time to explain about the difficulties and advantages of working in the snow.
Well first off its bloody freezing so it makes it incredibly hard to keep warm, and as a result you can't really draw as well as you could within warmer conditions. Obvious I know, but I can't really rave on how much this is a hindrance on presenting work, I really struggled at bradgate to produce anything and significance merely because of the weather.

Advantages within the limitations of the cold weather are that different scenes can be created, and colder colours can give a colder scene, emphasis can also be seen in warmer areas of the piece, with the use of warm colours. Claude Monet used hot and cold colours to emphasise shade and scene in his paintings, some of this can be seen in his paintings in the snow, but he was also good at painting normal hot and cold scenes.

colder tones are produced in blue and warmer colours are used in the wall and ground.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Creativity Wk12

OK lets talk creativity!!!

I suppose creativity has many different forms and shapes, creativity can be an idea that you have when your walking down the road to your local shop, creativity can be the local statue of a coal miner, it could even be that painting you've got on your wall that your grandad painted back in his hay-day. The main thing with creativity is how it is perceived, does the viewer see it as creative??
There have been many artists throughout the last century that have produced art that is controversial but it has been submitted and so someone out there must find it influential and perhaps creative.

As an artist I myself am influenced by the cubist period, I don't really know why i was drawn to the Cubist movement, I loved the use of shape and colour involved within the artwork but I also appreciated the geometry in the artwork as well perhaps I thought that the use of shape in the picture was creative but I had to think about what the picture had within it for me to appreciate it more.
I suppose creativity is all a state of mind, or more perhaps someones opinion within their state of mind, its also more of a masses sort of thing, if a group of people like something or something is liked by many people it will be seen as creative and it will also be liked.

I think creativity has many different faces within the gaming market, perhaps gaming or rather the production of a game reflects that of creativity, every area of game production from its start to it finish flows with creativity, conceptual art work screams creativeness, 3D work character and level design is also creative because 1 it is artistic and realistic at the same time, this to me is creative because of the amount of time and effort someone has spent creating this masterpiece it is almost like creating artwork, and waiting to see how many people like it eventually leading to a rating.

How do I as an artist be perceived as creative, well I suppose I need the fundamentals first, as Chris keeps saying, to be good in this industry you must be amazing at the basics, but I would imagine that this wouldn't do on its own, to truly become creative I would have to produce good pieces of work and impress my superiors. Saying all this though would I really have to do all that to be classed as creative? Is it a state of mind or people's opinion that define someones creativeness?

Understanding creativity and making something creative revolves around cleverness and interesting people in the area the you are working in, but its also the way someone presents their work and he style in which they produce their work, in my honest opinion i don't think creativity can be measured easily, but there are many forms of creativity out there and each is unique in its own way.

Gameplay Wk11

Gameplay the art of playing a game? Or just the motion of playing a game and getting through it?

Well considering gaming and the general gameplay of a game, I would have to say that most games that anyone ever plays are very linear, in fact even some of the best games that have come out so far such as Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Batman Arkham Asylum are anything but free storylines... I don't think anyone can really say that they are bad games because they've pushed gaming quite far but it can be said that you can't choose what happens with the certain parameters within the gameplay. You don't choose the ending you just get to it, and to me that seems right, but I can't help but feel that I want more.
I suppose there is no such thing as unlimited gameplay, but the imagination can provide a huge scope as to how a game could be made. Do games developers stick to what they are doing and keep the gameplay the same? As in start middle end? Or do they try and mix it up a little and give it more freedom? Is it even possible to change the way gameplay is produced.

I suppose i'm being a bit one sided within this approach, there are certain games out there that can offer an almost unlimited gaming experience. Star wars The Knights of The Old Republic offered the player a long and immersive gaming experience but the best thing about it was that you could do whatever you wanted really, but this game like all others does have an ending and is still set to the basic plot line start-middle-end.

Gameplay is important and it does define how the game is played and how everything happens within a game, I think a game should be more of an experience than a short story, but it has to be gripping as well as long which would prove a large challenge to any games producer!!

Elements on the game Story and Character Wk10

It is interesting to finally come across the topic of characters in gaming, characters in most ways make the game and in some cases they can ruin the game, there are also many good examples of games where characters have greatly improved a game and it storyline, good examples of games that do this are, Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid and Final fantasy.

Games have to have organised and well thought out story lines for them to be, so realistic characters have to be convincing to interest and keep the player involved with game and it plot line. Characters in games have to be realistic compared to the games storyline, you can't exactly have a cave man as a main character in a sci-fi epic!!! (though it may prove to be an epic game) another thing to realize is that swanky graphics and amazing cut scenes cannot make up for bad characters and poor story lines.

Some games like to unveil themselves as great stories which can be similar to that of books or movies, some games can pull it off, I got Assassins Creed 2 the book for christmas Ive only got half way through it, but it's one of those books that I can't put down. The story is interesting but the thing that makes the book is the main character "Ezio" it describes his troubles and how he has to quickly grow into a man to become the next "chosen" assassin. This sort of writing probably shines through in the game and will more than likely hook the player to play the game to see how the story unfolds, and also see how the character grows throughout the game.

The best sort of stories are those that keep you hooked, like I said with the "Assassins Creed" book you don't want to put it down and so the same method should be implemented in games. The best storyline has to be one that you don't want to switch off one you can't leave because your so engrossed in it and that simply makes a good game!