Sunday, 31 January 2010

Gaming Cultures

Well as a matter of fact I have created my own culture (Clan) on Star Wars Jedi Academy and I have members who have joined and who we play together. We base it on learning to become a Jedi being one of the fictional cultures in the Star Wars world, I maintain this clan by playing online and have made my own ranks and everything. Iv been making modifications also so that me and my clan can do more exciting things that we can do together. It occupies pretty much most of my spare time and I enjoy it as its not only about playing a game, but its interacting with people who live great distances away.

The members range across Europe and we all have similar interests and still maintain this internet friendship by speaking inside the actual game as well as outside on instant messaging services. (I have flown out and met a few of the members properly and due to the distance we continue to play and get together via the internet)
Its not taken too seriously but things such as playing times and a minimum number of times weekly are enforced but in a more relaxed environment. I think of it as a virtual world which we can spend virtual time together.

It doesn't go to anything where its very political and having very heated arguments against certain people, its a friendly environment and I know of others that can be the contrary.

12 monkeys

Again this film was A strange psycological thriller/time traveling/hostage situation.
It was a little bit confusing towards the start of the film and i had a sense of "annoyance" with all these strange going on's and the thought of no one and nothing listening to me(main character)
and again in the asyllum with all these mentally ill patients, especially the character placed by brad pitt with the very quick speech which in essance didnt make a lot of sence after all.
With the situation of time travel and mental institutions you could clearly identify the "pointlessness" of convincing people in that area what actually is the truth. It was done well in that
respect but in the end the story seemed to go to the conclusion that time travel at times can be pointless causing paradoxes even with the best of intentions. At the start of the film I sort of had
that idea in my mind already so it wasnt particulary a shocking twist, the last scene i was wondering what the actual point of it was, if its about the idea of paradox's then I honestly dont think
that I needed to be explained about it. It wasnt the best film iv seen, was entertaining to an extent but wasnt something i could truley get into.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Games Industry

In recent years (within the last 15 years) the Games Design industry has blossomed, making multiple companies through-out the world with thousands of people working on.
It has become much more serious than the very beginnings of video games and is now a multi-million pound business, as anything these days its very competitive and its growing constantly.
At guest lectures iv seen during this course are people who haven't actually gone into games design specifically but have came from other subjects. Its a busy area to go into and there is quite a lot of demand for people but also a lot of people going into it as well.
Looking at how many games come out monthly proves how hard it must be, and then sequels come out. It still has this “young” energy full of fire and action making this area of work one of the most intense,again its competition based and there is more of a need to produce work faster and more efficiently. I dont believe that this industry will end any time soon, it wont get smaller but I believe it will get even bigger than it actually is. It will get tougher and the demand for this work is just getting very large and its getting a bit uncontrollable also. The realism is the mode for gaming at the moment, skills in art traditional as well as 3d computer modelling and its next “step” is uncertain, it will probably continue for a while.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Initially if I was asked my definition of creativity I would look more towards the area of Art and Design and is about producing original and new ideas to a problem, this way it can branch out more towards any things. How creativity comes about is uncertain, I believe that everyone is born with this trait but its often dependent on education and life. I recently did a BBC online test for the brain and had 1 question regarding if your left or right side of the brain was dominant, you hold your hands out and cross your thumbs over. The thumb from the hand that is on top of the other is said to be the most dominant side. You have "Creative" which is the left side of the brain and then "systematic" which is on the right, this makes things seem a bit strange arguing about if everyone is born with it or not.

In terms of games/film design creativity is hindered by constraints on technology, I can remember when I was making game levels/models for a game where I had the idea to do something but didn't have the skills, the game/program/computer didn't have the strength to accomplish this. This can also apply for those who deal in other areas, painting with constraints on the type of paper, the pencils/paints.
It is entirely dependent on technology and only when things advance and upgrade then the new ideas can be done, however this isn't to say that there is only 1 set way to do things, the new ideas may still be accomplished using older/modern equipment.

Initially I said that I would class creativity with the art and designers but now that I think about it even game programmers/scientists do require this creativity even in a systematic point of view. To solve problems, to understand them sometimes the initial "Law" of a problem isn't the right one to follow, other secondary equations can often benefit others. Programmers are often regarded as those who just do what they are told to do, in computers for example 1 person may ask a programmer to do something that was thought of rather than the programmer thinking about it them-self. I cant really say as I don’t know much about the lives of programmers but I think that this "creativity" maybe isn't only for the artists among us but can span out to other areas where this trait is thought to be in the most unlikely areas.

For me I would say that "creativity" is mainly seen in drawings, images, music, although one of the arguments I have about music particularly is that people can hear someone playing music that someone else has written and say that that’s "creative" where its basically copying what someone else has done. As a musician myself on the piano I constantly argue if what im actually doing is creative or something else entirely. Its a hard thing to specify this word, in games it can be so many things, many things which players dont think/care about. Graphics are obviously important, so is AI, Sound use, Interface.... in actual fact I believe that everything in a game is creative although to most people they can easily ignore it and just get excited about shooting the next persons head in game.

Creativity I would say is about creating something out of nothing, making a 3d model in 3dsmax/ a blank canvas is a good way to look at it. A Blank sheet or void is basically nothing but it’s a space where things can be created.

How I would show my creativity I can’t say, usually im blind to what I do if it’s creative or not though I often question if what im actually doing is copying or actually producing myself. Drawing so far that is in our course is about going to places and copying it, translating it onto a page, 3d modeling so far is getting an object copying it and translating it into a virtual space.
I argue with myself if I am actually creative or not although I don’t think I am a person who can say "I can do this and that" to be honest im not sure about what I can or cant do, perhaps there is no such thing as “cant” and its just an illusion.

I find that showing my work in a fairly well presented way to other people can assist me into thinking if what im doing is creative particularly to those who aren’t in the "creative" business but then again maybe that’s an illusion also for a non creative person to see a piece of work and say that it is creative.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The elements of Game Design - Gameplay

It’s hard to specify exactly what Gameplay is but it’s an element that is the most important in my opinion. The other elements are about Graphics, sounds but Gameplay is mainly how it all works together and it involves pre-dominantly the controls for the actual games, how the players interact with it. Its important because, well a good example that I can think of if you go to a foreign country in a certain car; the experience is changed by what car the people are actually in, an internal environment with external features if you will.
If seated in an old battered car with awful seating in Venice for example compared to a more open and comfortable vehicle the "value" is affected by the actual conditions. Basically for me like from this example the conditions that an area is seen in effects the actual area.
For a gaming example you could have a really intense environment with beautiful 3D models/sounds but it could be entirely destroyed by how the player operates in this environment.
Also the Heads Up display (or lack of it) graphical elements of the game can come into terms of game play as well.

Call of Duty for example, its a big success in many factors, 3d models sound etc but the big part of it is how "real" it feels; Looking down a gun cross-hair blurs the image slightly, when shot you have the intense red screen of blood, controls are in comfortable positions for moving the characters around. Gameplay is defiantly a design element to a game, if it was ignored then its just foolish in my opinion. It is an element to me that can enhance the game of make it worse, game play comes first to me and the other elements second.