Sunday, 13 December 2009

The elements of Game Design - Story and Character

Characters are essential to all books, TV, games and films as they drive the stories/action forward. Since we cant really be a part of the experiences especially in books we have to
rely on "viewing" it through the eyes of a character who we can relate with. Any character in any film or book relate mainly towards the "Human experience" suggesting what actually makes
us human. Its mainly done through the use of what we understand to be emotions, seeing a situation and a character behaving appropriately. Even films involving robots, animated kiddy animals
all still have this element in some form or another, things that we can relate to are the most important things making us respond to these characters.

Any medium of storytelling is all about the 3 major elements of the script, the actions and how the actors look/are described. To view the internal "feelings" of the character one of these 3 elements cannot be ignored, how they speak, how they act/respond and also what they look like - there isn't an all important element to a character. My personal preference of a story are those that have an amount of action, a section of mystery, nothing that is too clich├ęd and predictable and that makes you "feel" like you are in a believable world. Books/TV/Films that when I have finished viewing them that fill me with ideas and questions are the ones that I like the most yet there isn't a specific genre that covers all of that. Stories are the drive of all our lives, its just impossible for anyone to not have heard/ be interested in since our Lives are stories in themselves.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow

The gaming platforms that I have used are the Playstation 1/2 Dual Shock controller,N64 gamepad, Gamecube Controller, Xbox, Xbox 360 and a Logitech Joystick.
I cant say which of them was the best/easiest to use, from all games that I have played the controllers seem perfectly fine in my point
of view. The one which is questionable is the Playstation controller, the original (ignoring the dual shock) looked quite awfull in my oppinion. It seemed
quite lacking a *feel* of a gamepad and was quite "weak" compaired to the Dual-shock. During the summer I dug out my old Playstation and looked and felt the old controller,
I was quite suprised by it. I hadnt actually used or touched it for quite a few years and it was actually quite a lot smaller to how I remembered it. As a Child
the controller felt fine but If I, at my age tried when the PS1 was releaased I dont think I could have used the controller too well. It actually felt a bit too small and your
hands/arms were quite compact in a *gamer* position. Also the N64 one is also questionable since in most games people dont actually hold it the "normal" way and usually
have 1 hand on the half and the other on the right of the controller, the d-Pad I never really touched. Since Gamecube however most controllers felt the same, they wernt too bad to handle,
there wasnt a problem pressing the other buttons. The Xbox Original pad seemed the best when I got one, it was bulkier and just felt
quite comfortable and the Xbox 360, although smaller still has a similar feel to the original one.
And following from that I also think the Xbox 360 looks the nicest with its "hi-tech" shape and design.

The future of interfaces is hard to say really, Im sure there is some talk about a "Matrix" system where it takes part in a persons brain. Im unsure what to think of that because that
way it can mess with the most powerfull system of a body leading to medical problems. Of course there is also the argument that this may cause problems where people choose this
virtual world rather than the real one and decide to live in it, which can be understandable at these recent times but I wouldnt like this idea that much. It would be interesting what
could be possible but there is the fear of something going wrong which botheres me a bit.
I cant say if the gamepad/joystick is actually dieing but perhaps its reached its limit, they have evolved and grown over the years but generally they are looking quite similar, its like
cars now-a-days.

Abbey Pump station

Today I went to the pump stations event where they have the actual pumps steamed up as well as other gadgets from yesteryear. It was quite interesting and the thing that I liked the most was actually seeing these old pieces of technology working and moving. Seeing the pumps rotating in that room was a good feeling, the sound, the speed and the rumbelling/vibrations of these machines was a good experience. It brought so much life to it rather than being dormant and non operational as many museum pieces are. There was only 1 wheel in operation which was unfortunate, I would have liked to have seen it all going at once. Eitherway I liked this day out and it helped me artistically if I was to do another drawing of it, seeing how it all works together. It was a good sight and although I knew that it was quite a powerfull piece of machinary I was suprised at how fast It was actually moving.
It was a good experience and was also nice to see the other relics from this time period on display, in good condition and WORKING!