Sunday, 28 February 2010

Where do you want to go, and how do you get there?

Well I joined this course as I was thinking more about going into the games industry as in my own time I found myself actually making things for existing games and I wanted to take this further. Though there are many elements to games design, I was actually doing quite a lot of the things for the games and I didn’t really know which section I enjoyed the most, I still am not quite sure at the moment but I seem to be enjoying more of the 3d modelling side. Outside of University I still am constantly making new things for the game that I have worked on, particularly game levels and environments. With 3d modelling in 3dsmax I didn’t actually have that much experience in it, in particular with modelling a human (which I have been doing recently) and have enjoyed it although I still feel like I’m not entirely sure with what I’m doing and how to do it in that area. As a decision about what I will do in the way of work I can’t actually say right now, obviously I should begin thinking about it but I have a feeling that I will only know when all my skills in general have been enhanced. I do really want to improve my 3d modelling skills however but my 2d art skills still and will be continued which as Iv heard and seen from guest lecturers that have came in, usually to get into modelling you need to be good at everything else also!

I hope to continue my studies which will help me to get a better idea for what I want to do in the future.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

'Why spend three years teaching folk what we already know?'

Its a tough question to answer really, Obviously the different pathways make it interesting to look at in terms of education. I guess logically you would need a course that has a bit of both Programming and art and to specialise afterwards in a specific field. I guess its a matter of the sort of games company it is and the spaces availiable, not everyone can be an artist/programmer or even work in both that I know of. Its difficult to find information to look at on this, It depends on the course, Game Art for example is purley based on the creative and artistic side but not only 1 aspect but looking at a range of older techniques of masters. Im not sure about this really, I cant seem to find information supporting or opposing it. Its particular in courses, im not aware of others that involve both these skills. I would say that the best way is to give students the whole picture on a basic level and then to specify in 1 area in learning more advanced.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sound In Games

Well yes, sound is a big element in games. It helps create environments in a virtual area and without it it would be less entertaining and unrealistic. Like watching a silent movie without the person playing a piano piece - its quite pointless to say the least. Used for interfaces, weapons, sounds of footsteps and things, action cues for the general sounds and also music. There are many composers and its hard to say what the key composers are, I know a few since this is the genre of music which I like and listen to quite often. Quite a large amount are Japanese especially with the NES systems but there are others from different countries that have worked with it but mainly the ones that are more modern are where these other people specialize.
I cant really say what my key moments of sound/music in games are, iv mainly been interested in Star Wars games but they take music pretty much from the originals that John Williams have originally created but in the Knights of the old republic (particularly 2) i liked the soundtrack used and it was more original in comparison to others. The Halo soundtrack also was another impact on me again with its theme and its use of sound. And also Call Of Duty had a really good use of sound for the effects as well as the gunshots, and developments in soundtrack.
At first I didn't know what the *good times* song was until i seen it on youtube where I recognized it instantly. Compared to other performances this one seems to have more people involved in it. 3 Main people on front backed up with quite a lot of other people and backing singers. Combines traditional rock band sections with some Jazz instruments. Makes it quite successful just initially looking at it. In terms of influence im not sure because it just seems to be another song created. Looking into it I didn't actually realize that Nile Rodgers worked with the soundtrack for Halo 2 and 3. "Sumthing currently focuses on distributing a fast-growing new genre: video game soundtracks. Soundtrack titles include Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3."
Since this person worked on this video game soundtracks genre its quite influential since its one of my favorite genres.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Game Technology - Game Engines

I have already used a game engine before and still continue to for my own projects with a game, basically its a general program for a game that gives you a set of boundaries and rules for that game and how is made. Texture budget, maximum amounts of models and triangles in an area, basically it gives a game something to take part in. Is rules that things can apply to (hard to say exactly). The engines come with their own programs, level designing on (exporting into appropoate files) A plugin to go with a 3d modelling program such as 3DSMAX and other things that are approapiate. Its programs working together to allow a game to be made, designed for game development.

The engines that I have heard of are,
Quake 1,2,3 (which use quite often for Jedi Academy)
Age of empires

One of the most well known engine i think is the Unreal one made famous by Unreal tornament. Other engines are not typically named after some games not making them we as well known. The CryEngine is also vaguly known with the game Crysis as well as "Far Cry" games which I havent played.

Subtractive and Addictive are terms which I havent actually seen but by links it seems to be a way a game level is created,
Addictive is what the Quake engine uses (which I use) and involves making shapes in a void of space.
Subtractive is what Unreal uses where to make objects you - things away from it. To me I think Addictive is preferable as it seems that things are easier to manipulate although from experience of using them its easy to make errors by "leaks" in the void. Subtractive apparently eliminates that error which In a way is good but im not so sure about the idea of subtracting things from other things.

Obvious disadvantages for propriatary technology is that its only limited to the company that has made it where for some companies it may be preferable for them to make their own engines to make their games work as they want to rather than to someone elses rules and regulations.

The next generation game consoles obviously want to be able to support more and more things, specificially models and sound effects. On the Quake engine that I have used I have wanted to create big war-like levels and things but because of the age of the engine its limited to only 1 specific thing so its impossible for a big action based level as it risks to have really bad FPS. Games are getting more intense and more detailed so its important for them as companies to get much better need to be able to do many more things.