Sunday, 13 December 2009

Week 7

An introduction to Art Direction for Games

Art Direction role is that he/she will be in charge to unify the vision of the entire staff’s goal within that particular job. Art directions are not only in game companies but comply within other jobs such as advertising, filming, internet and etc. In a game company the art director will have to manage their time efficiently and must know what is going on in their environment, there role is to talk to co-workers and clients during the brainstorming process, this allows everyone to give ideas as well as their own opinions on if its good or bad, can it work, should this be put in and etc. At this process everyone has a say of their individual views and will be considered by every staff there, in the end the hard choice that art director will have to do is considers everyone’s input into the work and whether to use their ideas or not into the game they creating, as this is hard collecting everyone’s imagination and making into one piece the art director will think carefully to what he/she does for the final outcome because if art director makes any careless mistakes this could lead to a disappointing outcome to what whole staff was trying to achieve so it very important that everything is sorted.

When a game is being developed the art director will always have the last say, they will be responsible for the final outcome of the art aspect within that job area and whether it’s acceptable as well, this well then be presented to someone more higher than the art director’s role (depends on the business/company).

An art director in a game and film industry have pretty much the same roles in some areas, for example both will have to brainstorm to get ideas for their work, not only that will both have to present storyboards, concept art and etc. Though some of the stuff they well do is similar they will be achieving different goals as one will be producing a game while the other a film, but then again both are mainly targeting certain age groups as well as trying to meet there audience needs in the process so I guess they both play same role in overall.

What qualities do you think you need to develop if you want to become an Art Director in the future?

:O speechless lol. Ermmm............really i will have to learn a lot as an Art Direction job requires skills that will involve knowing about good storyboarding, concept designs and mainly everything that’s going on within the work. I guess if I was going for this job I would likely to develop my presentational skills as this job will require talking to the whole team, my knowledge of drawing will have to be developed as the it perspective would have to be right as well as having the right mood as well.

Week 6

An introduction to Game Design

As we all know gameplay is one of the main principles to ‘Play’ a game. Without this ‘gameplay’ there wouldn’t be a way to play a game, so in short the gameplay is really how the game is played. Gameplay is a connection between the game and its user where the user takes control over a character and plays the game by its rules; these rules are set by the people that make the game otherwise known as the game director but it’s not all credited by the game director as the whole staff that was involved in the project of making the game would of contributed to it, but the game director will have the most work as he/she would have to get everyone ideas and visualize it in to one. I guess the leading lights in game design would have to be everyone that contributed in making the game a success.

Where does Game Design take place in the modern Developer?

Well design has always been the same, creating characters, environment, story and etc but in the modern day now developers will always have a hard time as technology these days are so more advanced to what they were 5 or 10 years ago. Main problem these days is budget as without money games cannot be made, developers will always have to come out with something new for their audiences and over the course they will have to keep doing this so that the game or their company aren’t stuck in one position. - I found this link which I found quite interesting where some game developers from companies like Capcom and Square-Enix talk about how development goes and how it has changed and a few other stuff as well. (read if u like)

Is it a single person’s responsibility?

Well that would be crazy if one person making a game, obviously its not one person’s responsibility of making a game or how it does. When making a game there would normally be a brainstorming where everyone who’s involved would take place, here they would talk to each other, come up with characters, the environment, narrative, music, story and etc. Without everyone’s input into the game, the game cannot be 100% good nor make sense in other case, so is it one person’s responsibility....nope.

Do different genres require different design principles?
Well yeah, of course they will need different design principles. Like a book or film, games have genres as well, for example you wouldn’t see fighting elements within a racing genre. For each genre there would be codes and conventions that would specify a certain genre by having certain elements which other genres wouldn’t have, but like films games would have more than one genre which are normally called hybrids (but as I recall I don’t really think it comes into the whole game area), so as I was saying for example RPG genre could have shooting elements, fighting elements and etc. These days I would say it’s hard to give a genre to game unless it’s that obvious, but yes different genres will always require different design principles.

What's important for you, when you play?

When I play a game first thing of all is the graphics, these days graphic have improved a lot from 2D to 3D, if the graphic’s isn’t good or look realistic it doesn’t particular grabs my attention, don’t get me wrong I can play games that don’t look realistic but its whether the gameplay, music, story to it is all good as well. Without them I can’t really enjoy a game unless there’s something good about it, normally to me it’s the story that matters as without a good story the game can’t be interesting, not only that the environment and music has to be good as it sets the mood for the game. So I guess to me graphics, storyline, environment, music and of course gameplay has to be good. (pretty much everything really lol)

Week 5 - Presentation

Monday, 7 December 2009

Week 4

Writing about Games

Reviews are mainly someone else’s opinion about a game, so to me I find it a bit hard to trust some reviews at times as you never know it might turn out to be crap in the end. Normally when new games are coming out my friends are my main source of information these days (lol) but depending on the game I do end up doing my own research checking if the game is good, I guess studying Media Studies in A-level was a big help for me as it improved my analysis skills, when looking at a game the main thing I look at is whether or not the game well interest me because if it doesn’t I would most likely not to buy it. As I said before I don’t really take reviews seriously, for example my friends told me about Killzone 2 which was coming out back then and I also watched and read a review which said it would be good but when I actually got the game and played it I was like WTF, don’t get me wrong the graphic and gameplay was good but I didn’t really find the game interesting which basically in my opinion made the game suck.

I guess when it comes to reviews game mags are a good source of information as well as having a better written text which you can’t get bored off its a lot more entertaining, internet is good for vast knowledge and obviously there would be more then what you find in a mag, but mags to me well always have a upper hand as it tells the viewer the main key bits of the game without giving out any spoilers. If more information is needed on a game then internet would be the best option, one thing that you should keep in mind is that the sites you going on might not always tell the truth and also be sure that it isn’t too biased as reviews should be balanced so that you know the pros and cons of the game.

Reading the links posted for the week, 'New Games Journalism’ (NGJ) was different and interesting to other game journalism. NGJ tells us honest reviews, personal experience, emotion and focuses on the style more rather than the facts, not only is it personal but it is written in a way that people would what to read more. To me reviews in the end will never be 100% accurate or reliable so it is always hard to whether to believe it or not.

I guess the only way finding out if something is good or not is trying it out yourself, reviews can always be helpful at times but its whether they can be trusted or not. Experiencing something yourself will allow you to analysis it which will help you to make your own judgment on future game and other things, NGJ shows honesty which makes there viewer more comfortable and want to read more which I really like, not only was it good but something new as well. In the end it’s up to your own judgement as everyone will always have different opinions, the game will either be good or bad and reviews well be there to help with some main aspects of the game and most likely to help your decisions on buying it or not.

Week 3

A History of Computer Games

2000 – The Future

The era of computer games has advanced to a path to where some think that it’s impossible to get better, but then again we know that isn’t true. Computer games and the technology has been ever increasing and evolving to point where we say ‘can it be better?’, looking back in the days I played 2d games and now playing games on the my ps3 there is a total shift of what games have become now.

Main thing to point out is that starting of 2000, games began showing us more 3d animation within the game itself and where games were more 2d based more story plotting began, eventually games now are 3d base which can be seen on all consoles, and this includes portable consoles such as Nintendo DS as many of the DS game have showed a good quality of 3d in them. Graphic is not the only thing that getting enhanced, more development has been put in consoles, DVD, internet, online gaming, camera etc all these have been shown and used on consoles today. There are always consoles more dominate then the other but what games have showed us is that it will always evolve.

The best thing that I like about games now is how they have became online multiplayer where I can sit down and play CoD (Call of Duty) with my friends, the big change for me was this as normally I would play two player game with someone in the same room where as now I can play with my friends from where ever they are. I’m guessing games well be more interactive in the future where you actually play a game in a virtual reality world, guess many gamers think like this but I also think that if that were too happen ‘what will become after that?’ and ‘what will future games become?’ and etc. Game now and how they played are good enough for me now if that was to change it will most likely be for the better good.

Since everything more advanced and to where as consoles such as PS3 and XBOX 360 rely on more memory on their disc’s now, this era is a chance for game developers to show truly what games can be, with more memory space on the disc the more they can put into the game. Good game depends on graphic, gameplay and story. I guess the pressure that game industry face are exceeding their expectation as well as their fellow gamers, money is another key point as without money there won’t be any games to develop. Industries will always have to face obstacles in their paths, since the video game crash the history of gaming was recovered and gotten better to a point to saying ‘it will get better’.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Week 2

A history of computer games

Part two: 1980s - 1990s

Videogames started in the 50s and onwards but it wasn’t till the 80s and 90s when games started to become more popular. Games which were played on computer (PC) and arcades soon started to become entertainment that was played in households. With the first console ‘Brown Box’ which was created in 1967 to ‘Atari 2600 VCS, 1977, it wasn’t till the 80s when a game company Mattel released there console ‘Intellivision’ (released 1980) to challenge Atari dominance and the start of the early 80s console war (wow quite surprised there as I have never heard of Intellivision). Both consoles attracted third-party developers but because of unlicensed games and new home systems such as Atari 5200 and Vectrex lead to a major video game industry crash in 1983-84 in which many of the gaming companies went bankrupt.

The video game crash of 1983 was sometimes called the Atari Débâcle or the video game crash of 1983 and 1984. That year led to bankruptcy of several companies which were producing home computers and video consoles. The crash lasted about two years; the video game industry was revitalized a few years later mainly due to the widespread success of the ‘Nintendo Entertainment System’ (NES), Nintendo originally a Japanese playing-card company releases the NES in the U.S. The retailers were skeptical at first whether or not marketing a new console after the crash would be suitable but with popular titles like Super Mario Bros, Metroid, Zelda and a strict licensing policy which encouraged third-party game development, the NES broke sales records and became the best selling console in video-game history.

To me NES was like one of the best and first consoles that I played and finding out that it was the best selling console in video-game history is something new (good thing I’m doing this and learning). On the NES I remember playing Mario a lot as it was one of the best games in my opinion and I find a bit funny that I can’t remember playing any other game on it; it just shows that Nintendo was good at giving best games and also games that entertained their audiences as well.

Not only was the NES one of the selling consoles 4 years later Nintendo released their first handheld console the Game Boy in 1989. The Game Boy played games liked the NES but the Game Boy viewed the games on a black and white LCD screen (which was tiny but good). With the release of Tetris the sales went sky rocket, later on in the 90s the Game Boy went through loads of changes, this was mainly because technology was progressing fast that the Game Boy was released about four times (I think), the changes were mainly making the handheld a whole lot better such as brightening the screen, slim down the handheld and later adding colour to the games.

1990 the console by SNK, the Neo Geo was a home console which were years ahead of their competitors showed huge detail within their 2-D graphics, the console was a arcade level quality which were used for households. The one thing that didn’t get the console far was the price which was around $650 and the games $200 (F*** that’s extortionate).

A lot happened between the 80s and 90s especially with technology which gave the game companies the opportunity to make better consoles and games. One main thing that happened to games were that they were no more black and white, the game industry not improved the quality of games but made sure that games evolved to a new height, games we see today are only achieved by what have happened in the past and also learning from the mistakes of the past (the video-game crash for example). Consoles by the start of the 90s already achieved a lot, in those ten years they were able to create 4-5 console (I think) as well as the very first handheld, the 2-D games attained better detail graphics as well as sound. To think about how games changed in that 10 years, think to where they are now, within 19 years games have advanced to what they are now, its curios to think what games might end being like in the upcoming years and what they might change to.

Looking and researching this was interesting to me, I can’t remember the exact year I played on a console but I do remember it being the NES and finding out that the console was out before I was born is kind of interesting as the first console I played on was created right in-between the 80s and 90s, so my love for games started with this console. I do remember the Neo Geo as later the price went all the way down, my second console I had was the Sega Mega Drive; I really enjoyed this console as when the Play station was out I remember playing the Mega Drive instead which I find kind of funny, the games that I recall playing was Sonic, Street Fighter and Street of Rage (wow they all begin with S) these games were the best and still are, nowadays games rely on better graphic’s which is one of the most obvious change we see today (as well as game play, controllers, etc). To me out of all of it I thought the handheld Game Boy was best at that time, I did play on the consoles but most of my time was probably spent looking at a tiny LCD screen playing MARIOOO. Since I still have my Game Boy and the games I can always see the difference in how much games have changed as well as for other consoles (PS). For me seeing this change to what games/consoles have become today, I wonder what they may end up being like in the near future.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Week 1

A history of computer games

Part one: 1950s - 1970s

Who created the first known game??? That would be William Higinbotham, an American physicist. The game created was ‘Tennis for Two’. The game was created to entertain the national laboratory on visitor’s day to prevent people from getting bored. This is interesting as to when the very first game was created it has always served one purpose from the beginning and throughout the upcoming years which was to entertain its audience. Games have always served that purpose so that people like us could have something to do when we are bored, “for myself I normally play games to pass time”. Ever since the first game was created the evolution of games has been progressing to what they are today, games that are on the current generation of console (PS3, XBOX and maybe Wii) well show the full potential of what games can be (I said this as game creators will show different styles making each game their own if you know what I mean).

The first game that I ever played was either ‘Mario’ or ‘Sonic’; pretty sure it was Mario as I remember playing it on the SNES. I wasn’t too concerned about the story as I was so young and probably didn’t care but it was a game that got me addicted and started as I was practically told by my parents so many times to get off the game. From Mario I then started my gaming on the Sega Mega Drive, this time playing ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’. Watching the consoles change and how the graphic’s and game play gradually improved this is where my curiosity on how games were made began.

The most recent game I have played is Batman Arkham Asylum on the PS3 and Halo ODST on the Xbox 360. The batman game was quite a surprise to me as it was one of the first batman games I have ever played, this game was not only good but was one of the best RPG/Action and Adventure I probably played this year making it one of the best games I got. Halo ODST was probably a disappointing game I have played (good thing I played it at my friends) as compared to the other Halo’s this game was really short and wasn’t too interesting in my opinion, what I think was cool about the game was most likely the graphics as you could see the improvement of the detail compared to the others.I like mainly RPG games but usually end playing different genres, some favourite games are Call of Duty World at War, Devil May Cry series, Final Fantasy (like how there graphics improve in each game) and etc.

In between my years of playing games I knew that games was becoming a part of my life as it would be something I play anytime of the day, whilst doing this I knew that taking a break would be good an all, so instead of playing I would normally draw in my spare time mainly at that time copying from picture. What I like about games were how you could get into the story and the characters, better games would help me feel more involved in the plight of the characters (good example would be the characters from Final Fantasy or Zelda Ocarina of Time). Though most of the games I play are Playstation or Xbox titles, the one game that I like by Nintendo is Zelda as it is different in many ways to other games; Zelda is one of the games that I have completed over and over again which is one of the first Nintendo game that got me obsessed with playing games a lot.

I have to say that the main reason I play games is because it was something for me to play in my spare time and over the years it became a hobby (well as art), the way technology and software improved so did the games itself as they became more realistic (graphic) and also the characters in the games moved more fluently which gave games more realism to it. Video games are a popular source of entertainment which offers a wide variety and are easily assessable (it helps wave by those boring days).