Monday, 12 December 2011

Monday 12th December

Monday 12th December.
    Just a quick update on all thing Game Art….
    Game Production: Finished my tree project off today and handed it in. It took me a while to figure out how to unwrap and texture it. I had a lot of trouble but in doing so, have learnt useful tips on how to tackle something with similar properties. I couldn’t have got by without the help from my friends. I feel I could have done them better, so over the next few weeks I’ll hopefully have time to practise it, putting the tricks that I learnt into practise so that the difficult layout of the programme will seem easier and will be firmly stored in my head. This way I’ll be able to produce better quality 3D items that I feel pleased with. Overall, I’m happy at how I tackle the projects that have been set, as I have had no experience with this type of software before, so the bits that I’m learning are very interesting, I’m just finding it a little difficult to grasp all the different ways of rendering items, and trying to cope when 3DsMax has a fit.
     Visual Design: I have been attempting to do more drawings than before to try and get my hours up. I find myself enjoying it and being pleased with some of the final results. I seem to get into this mindset where I’m lost in my drawing. In my A-level art, I would find it hard to get “hyped” up by any of the topics or to feel motivated to do my best. Thankfully, I’m really enjoying the drawing topics here. I don’t realise the time quickly escaping me as I try new techniques and rendering. I feel excited when I draw now, because I want to see what and how I can improve! I’m also really pleased with the topic of the next project, however, I’m going to have to plan my time more wisely. As this is a major problem for me.
    Critical Studies: I’m hoping to add lot’s of variety to my blog from now on. I always have good ideas stored up in my mind, but when I sit down at my desk and whip open Microsoft Word my mind ends up going blank. And when I do write something, it’s either really boring or inappropriate. Which is why I write this entry today. I feel like it’s a good chance to see how my views and opinions change when I look back and if I act on any of the negative notes I have made today, so that I can improve.
    Gaming: I’m in the mood for some scary games, even though I tend to chicken out quite easily…..

Sunday, 4 December 2011

New Game Journalism

   Game reviews are an important piece in the mechanical clog-work with regards as to the success or failure of a game. This is because many gamers, are influenced by other people’s opinions. Personally, I try no to rely on other people’s opinions as it tends to “taint” your own view, but when I do read one, I believe it as cold hard truth even though I know it’s far from it. But what makes a review something to remember? All reviewers want to be the one that “stands out” and to be the person who makes or breaks a game, as this is what will keep them in the business.

     There are a lot of issues regarding working with reviews in the gaming industry. To people who may not of had experience in this, may see it as an easy way to able to play games and talk about them for a living. But, because game reviews are taken so seriously, it’s a very hard part of the industry to get into. Anybody can write a review, but it takes someone very talented to persuade an audience for or against something. You need to have good literary reviewing skills to begin in this industry, but that means you need to have had some experience, but because you aren’t in the industry it just makes it a difficult circle to break.

       Reviewers are mostly employed by companies revolving around the media, like for example, magazines and gaming websites. This means that these companies pay the reviewers wages. The reviewers need to have something interesting to say, otherwise the audience (and therefore the consumers of games) will get bored of hearing the same thing told over and over again. They are paid to make it interesting, so audiences will buy their magazines and visit their websites.

         Personally, I think a “standardising” ranking system would make reviews more boring. They should be able to stick to a basic overall reviewing system to include the need-to-know aspects of a game but be able to extend on the basics, to make for a more interesting read. This means that you will have the information you need to know about the game surrounded by the “padding” of the other things which may make the game more or less interesting for the consumers. An objective ranking system isn’t totally necessary for sales, but a loosely based reviewing system may help expose any problems or benefits about certain games.

       My feelings towards new game journalism is, as I have stated before, I find them slightly too biased and perhaps a little tedious. People’s opinions on things will always differ, like everything else in the world, somebody may like one thing and somebody may despise it. This makes for a more interesting world to live in, though I feel like it is too easy to take these opinions as truth. If I do read a review on a game, I tend to find a variety of reviews from different sorts of people, to gather a collective response. However, if I’d like to buy a game, and I read some bad reviews, I will still buy it so that I can make my own mind up.     

     A recommended version of game reviewing is to gather a group of people and share the thoughts on a certain game. This way, it gives you the ability to see the sort of body language which comes with the reviews, as some popele may feel strongly against something and some may not. You would not be able to tell if you are reading the review instead of seeing it in person. Also, if there is a difference in opinion, then people may discuss and argue their points, backing them up with better reasons. The continual going back and forth from one reason to another gives other’s the chance to take in the opinions and reasons.

    If I were to review a game, I always tend to try and make it seem better than necessary because I want people to appreciate the effort that has gone into making it, even if it’s really not my sort of thing. I’d make my review too biased and then would easily be persuaded in a discussion. Instead of giving my reasons as to why it’s bad or good, I’d prefer to give reasons on how it could be improved, discussing the positives along with it. Therefore, giving constructive criticism as to not offend anyone.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Mist

    Today, we watched the film “The Mist” I shall discuss a few ideas conveying around the theme “Religion”.

       “Religion” plays a big part in “The Mist” as it is used as a metaphor for all things controlling and evil. This can be seen quite obviously by the way the Christian women (Mrs. Carmody) is acting towards the rest of the group. She first appears hostile and aggressive as she is the only one expressing a stereotypical Christian attitude towards the mist and the creatures. She believes they are the sign of the biblical end of the world. In doing this she brainwashes the other people in the supermarket back to the ages of human sacrifice all in the name of “God”. She keeps telling everyone of how they should repent for all their sins, she fills there thoughts and therefore influences them to follow her. She uses the religion to make her feel although she is God, everyone follows her commands like her mindless army. In “The Mist” the followers of religion are shown as sheep, just following the nearest person who believes they are “Gods Profit”. She doesn’t give the group any helpful ways of handling the situation, she just feeds off their collective fear. This shows the way “God” is perceived in this film, living off people’s fear and lies. This can be seen in real life, as nobody knows for certain if there is a God or not.

      Another example of the evilness of religion, is when Mrs. Carmody attacks the last of the military, for she blames him for the creatures coming through. This shows a interesting theme of Religion Vs. Science. Religion is based on purely what people believe, there is no certainty about any religion, they believe that the world was created by God(s). The military are working for the scientists, who believe the world was created by a big bang. Ever since these two entities have been a key part in people’s lives, they have conflicted. This is shown by the film, however the film is not shown from a biased point of view. In the same aspect, they are both sources of evil, the scientists being the physical of evil, and religion being psychologically evil.

     When Mrs.Carmody attacks with the rest of her “followers” she calls the military man Judas. In the bible Judas is the one that goes against Jesus. When the group picks him up, he is shown as the metaphor of Jesus, having the same body position as when Jesus was nailed to the cross, being taken to his ending by the mindless crowd. This is where we see the true meaning of religion, Mrs, Carmody is shown as evil personified, even though she is calling him Judas, he is seen as more Jesus, begging for forgiveness even though it wasn’t his fault about the monsters, as it was his job.

      The next scene with strong religious influences is when the “group” leaves the supermarket, this scene is accompanied by heavenly music, as the car leaves the car park in slow motion. The high beams of light from the car shines across the expressionless faces of the religious followers as they stand in the window wtching the other group leave. This represents the heavenly light that people see when they die, the expressionless faces represents death. They are like mindless zombies, as Mrs. Carmody has brain washed them with her religious views. The fact that there are monsters outside means that they are trapped inside the supermarket. They cannot reach the light. This is reminiscent of how life is, to get to the “safety” of heaven, you must first concur your fears and fight the “monsters” (Metaphorical of coarse).

     In conclusion,  the theme religion in “The Mist” is represented as the source of evil and is used as a way to control people into doing evil things, via the way Mrs. Carmody acts throughout the entire film, and how people follow her even though the way they act is evil.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tuesday 29th.

   Today we went to the Space Centre near Abbey Park. It was really interesting to be drawing some of the space shuttles and stuff as it's not normally something that you think of drawing. The shapes of the rockets provided some difference to how i normally render a scene. I still struggle with shading to create the lines around certain parts, instead of drawing a thick black line to show the seperation. I just wish i had a chance to be able to see more. The walk home was not so interesting, being cold and wet and windy made it  slightly troublesome to get home! Thank goodness we didn't get lost like on the way there!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Personal History of Games

     Gaming has always been a big part of my life, as for me, it provided escapism from the hectic antics and stressors of life. It provided me with an outlet which allowed me to be transported to a far distant universe where I could be someone totally different.

     The first ever game I remember playing was the classic “Space Invaders” on the Playstation 1. I have very fond memories of sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night from my room, just to have an extra go on it. I got so obsessed by the way gaming made me feel, I couldn’t wait for the next go. Thinking back to then, it brings me so much happiness. I would invite my friends to sleep over and we would spend all night playing games and creating little tournaments. They’d bring their games over and we’d huggle up in our sleeping bags staring at the tiny monitor. There are so many games on the Playstation 1 that I absolutely loved. One very important game to me is Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, as this started my lust for scary games. Okay, looking back at it now, it really wasn’t scary. But when I was younger I was hooked on the adrenaline from the fear I felt playing that game. It was certain little areas that just gave me the creeps.

       That is where my thirst for fear comes in. I love playing games that keep me on my toes, when you feel as if something’s going to jump out and you can feel your heart beat 10x faster. The reason why I find games so much scarier is because it’s YOU playing it, you are the one trying to survive, it makes it more personal than say, watching a scary film.

         There’s so many games that I have fallen in love with, they still allow me to escape into a world of uncertainty. However, after being on this course, I began to realise and appreciate how much effort, time and work has gone into the smallest part of these games. I definitely respect even the most diabolical game, for the amount of effort that has been put into it. I have always been a Playstation lover, I still have my PSone, which I refuse to get rid of. I’ll always be a dedicated fan of Sony.

         I look forward to what the future has to offer with regards to the level of gaming. I can’t wait to see the next step in gaming, where if you die in the game you die in real life, oh wait a second, that sounds like a film….. But seriously, it would be amazing if the player could be “imported” into the game, so you could physically smash zombies in the face or drive over a massive canyon or something along them lines, you could be transported to the “gaming dimension” to slay dragons and ride dinosaurs and then be back in time for tea. That sounds like my kind of game.

Bradgate Work Final

This is my final piece for the Bradgate Project. I feel really happy with it. I spent a long time trying to get the rendering correct. It was really nice to be able to practise landscapes as i struggle with them.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Just a little extra....

   This is just a little piece dedicated to one of my favourite artists, Banksy. To give an  incite as to why I find him so fascinating, not just because of his art but the motivation behind it.

     Banksy is pretty much well known by most people of Britain. His works are not pieces that will be appreciated behind a glass frame, with rich men pondering over what kind of reason as to why a certain artist has used the “wrong” sort of brushstrokes to define the way a flower looks like a rainbow or something stupid. No, Banksy creates a running commentary throughout his life in reference to social and political problems. For art to mean something to me, it either has to have massive fighting robots or it has to have emotion in it from the artist.

      You’ll see his defining style around the areas of Britain on public surfaces for everyone to see and discuss. People may moan about him being a vandal and ruining a perfectly nice piece of brickwork, but in all seriousness, if you want to make a point, negativity is the best way. That’s why the media focuses on the negativities, no-one cares about the nice things in life. We just want to read about the dark depressing stuff because that’s the way human’s are. Back to the point; if Banksy was to do some graffiti on some paper and neatly place it in a folder in a cupboard. Who would see it? Who would know? Someone needs to speak up about the current state of the social and political problems because if no-one says about a problem, then people believe that there isn’t one to rectify.

       His secrecy is another thing that I admire about him. The way he has created a large name for himself and still manages to create more and more inspiring and thought-provoking graffiti without being captured. The fact that there is not a “face to the name” allows the audience to be able to believe it’s anyone, perhaps placing them in this person’s image. Making them see if they would be willing to go to this extent to get their point across.

      These are just some of the reasons why Banksy is amazing! I definitely recommend seeing some of his pieces or reading books about him!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Blog Update 001

  Really enjoying drawing the dinosaur bones, it's my favourite thing so far! :D

History 2000's

   The year 2000 begins the decade that sees the main consoles begin that are still around in today’s society. Thus allowing the switch from Fifth generation to sixth generation  console.

    The “PS One” was brought out by Song in the year 2000, it went on to sell greater amounts than any other console throughout the rest of the year, including outselling Sony’s own “Playstation 2”.

    The “Playstation 2” was released in 2000 and became the best-selling console of all time, selling over a massive 150 million units up to 2011. Directly after the release it was difficult to find ps2 Units on retailer shelves due to manufacturing delays. People were so eager to have one of these consoles that they were paying more than a thousand dollars on auction sites to receive one. Sony put little interest into the ways of online gaming and focused on more stand alone gaming methods. This became a problem when Microsoft’s Xbox released it’s Online capable Xbox. Sony later went on to release a Network Adapter in 2002 so it could compete with the popular Xbox.

     After the success of the “Playstation 2” Sony decided to produce the slimline version, manufacturing and shipping problems slowed down the sales of the “PS2 slimline”. Making it sell only 6,000 units after selling 70,000 units a week before.

     Through the years 2000 – 2005 Nintendo produced a whole range of handheld consoles. In 2001 the “Gamboy Advance” was released,  It is the successor to the “Game  Boy colour”. A study had been released to say that Nintendo had sold 81.51 million consoles world wide after 8 years of it being on the market.

    In 2003 Nintendo realised the “Game Boy Advance SP”. In 2009, 43.4 million of the “Game Boy Advance” sales were from the “Game Boy Advance SP”. This console then went on to be re-released ps2 Units on retailer shelves due to manufacturing delays. People were so eager to have one of these consoles that they were paying more than a thousand dollars on auction sites to receive one aised as the “Game Boy Advance SP Mark ii” which was a slightly altered version of it’s successor. Both off these consoles were re-realised with numerous colours and different designs to try and boost sales.

   After Nintendo’s success at the hand held console sales, the next thing to be manufactured by them was the “Nintendo Gamecube”, which was Nintendo’s fourth home video gaming console. It was the successor to the Nintendo 64 and predecessor to the Wii. This console was the first Nintendo console t use optic discs as it’s primary storage medium, however this sometimes created un-necessary disc errors as their was a problem with the optic pickup.

     In 2001 Microsoft released the “Xbox” it was Microsoft’s first input into the gaming console market there was a few problems with getting it out to the public as Microsoft repeatedly delayed the console. When Bill Gates (Microsoft CEO) unveiled the Xbox at a Gaming Conference in 2000, audiences were amazed at the level of technology used in making this gaming console as Xbox featured a built-in Hard Disc Drive used for storing saved games and downloaded “Xbox” content which meant there were no use for memory cards.

    In conclusion the years through 2000-2010 were important years for the main console manufacturers that are still around now. Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo produced sixth generation consoles that allowed for the change in which audiences play by adding more visually stimulating and detailed games.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gaming Consoles 1980's.

   The 1980 through to the 1990’s were a big year for the generation of computers. These were the times where computers really began to take off, and in essence, the gaming industry with it.

     In 1981 the “Play Cable” system was created which allowed audiences to play games on there regular TV, by adding a converter created specially to allow downloads of games onto their gaming consoles. The down side of this console was that it had very small memory, and with the ever changing games that would be downloadable each month which starting being produced as 8K/16K of RAM which the 4K of RAM that the “Play Cable” had couldn’t adapt too ment that this system starting becoming unattractive to customers as it could only support older games. It was later discontinued in 1983 as audiences wanted the newer games. However, it is a rare collectable for Console collectors.

         In 1982 Atari produced it’s next console known as the “Atari 5200”. It was a more popular version of the “Atari 2600”. This console featured an analogue joystick with a keypad and buttons. This offered more control than it’s predecessor as the “Atari 2600” only offered a four-poisition joystick whereas the “5200” offers a fully movable stick. This moved on the gaming revelation as it began to offer a more versatile and stimulating gameplay.

      1983 was the year that the North American video game crash happened. This was a consequential event that devastated the gaming industries. It wiped out the Second Generation type console gaming which lead to a downfall for the business that produced them resulting in many companies becoming bankrupt. There were many factors which helped produce the downfall of the industry but it is believed that the main cause was supersaturation of the market with multiple low quality games which made the audiences loose confidence and interest in them. Many consoles such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Coleco Vision and the Magnavox Odyssey2 were produced at the time of the crash. One of the most famous  games to help the downfall of the games industry was “E.T the Extra Terrestrial” based on the well known film was hastily made for Atari resulting in it being very poor.

      Nintendo nowadays is a very popular gaming console. It began in 1983 with the realise of the “Nintendo Entertainment System”. It was orginially realised in Japan and later throughout the years realised in Europe and Australia. It was produced my the manufacturers for an audience of a “family unit”.  They made it a Family Computer  and helped revitalize the US gaming industry after the video game crash.

    Sega then went on to produce consoles throughout the years of 1983 -1985 starting with the “Sega SG 1000” which was the first entry from Sega into the home video game hardware business. It was a catradge based console which provided a potential basis for the more successful models yet to come. The “Sega SG 1000 II” was created next, it was very similar to the “SG 1000” except the shell had been restyled and the plug in keyboard socket had been moved to the front instead of the back. The “Sega Master system” then continued the Sega console in 1985.

   In 1990 the Commodore 64 Games System was another cartridge based console similar to the Commodore 64, this meant that the cartridges from 64 were compatible with the 64GS.

     In conclusion, the 1980’s were a very important era for the gaming industry, as they learnt a valuable lesson about over-producing poor games which ended in the games console crash, from this they managed to move on and produce better quality games which lead to a thriving industry for games.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

History of Game Pt 1

    In 1849 Charles Babbage built what is considered to be the world’s first computer. It had over 8,000 parts, measuring 11 feet long with a weight of 5 tonnes. This computer however, was manually driven via a handle that the user would have to rotate in order to get the desired output making it a mechanical calculator. The main reason for the making of this computer was to illuminate human error, The machine would print out the accurate numbers, and also imprint them onto a soft material for recall later. The military was behind the first computer as they wanted to be able to predict where enemy missiles would land.

       In 1939 the Hp audio oscillator 200 (Created by Hewlett) was used as an instrument which generates one tone or frequency at any one time. Over the years the Oscillator were used for telephones, radios and other audio equipment. This was also an analogue computer. The problem with it was that it had to obtain a constant level of output over a full decade frequency range. However this was solved by inserting a non-linear element, which would control the feedback.

       The 40’s was a very busy year for the history of computing. In 1941 the Zuse Z3 which Konrad Zuse made was the worlds first working programmable computer. Before this, computers would have to be pre-programmed. Project Whirlwind was created in 1943 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was the first real-time computer which also used video displays as an output. It was used during WW2 to train plane bombers. It was the first flight simulator, before this, pilots had to train in a real plane. This would be very dangerous and would cause a lot of un-necessary deaths, but with the flight simulator you could train pilots without them being at risk of killing themselves. Also in 1943, the colossus was made by Tommy Flowers to break codes and decipher encrypted German messages during World War 2. It was used to find possible key combinations for the Lorenz machine (The German encryption machine).

        A year later, in 1944 the Harvard Mk 1 was devised by Howard H. Aiken and was built at IBM. It began doing computer calculations for the US Navy. It was described as being “the  beginning of the era of modern computer”.

         1950 was the year that the computer started getting smaller, specifically for home use. The British believed that computing was for large businesses. However, computing would be a great addition to the home. The NBS Seac was the first small-scale computer which was designed quickly.

           Ten years later in 1960, the Dec pdp 1 was made, it was the first personal computer, which had a monitor as an output. This computer developed the very first games. Pong was the first game created on this computer. It originated as a radar demonstrator, it was then tweaked into a 2D game. Spacewar was the first 3D game created on  the Dec pdp 1. This was the start of the computer gaming era.

         The altair 8800 was made in 1975 and was the very first console especially created for gaming purposes. The problem with it was that it took ages to load and every time you died you would have to wait for it to reload.

           In 1977 the Atari Vcs prototype was made. This revolutionised the gaming console as it was the very first prototype designed specifically with gaming in mind, as the Altair 8800 was very slow, the Atari Vcs was much quicker. The Atari Vcs was the beginning of the gaming revolution.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Task One!

    Hello! My name is Samantha Fletcher! I’m very talkative and I love a good laugh! But this doesn’t mean that I can’t be serious as well! I’ve lived in Leicester all my life, and I really love it here!  My interests other than gaming are socializing with my family and friends, going clubbing and basically having a good time. I also adore theme park rides, they are my main love. There is not enough hours in the day for me to fit in all the things I would like to do, which is good because I’m kept busy! I also like spooky stories and things that make me scared, because the adrenaline rush is great! I’m incredibly energetic and hyper most of the time!

    I have come straight from my A-levels of Information communication technology, Film Studies and Fine Art. The reason why I chose to study Game Art at De Montfort University is because I love the escapism you can get from games. The way people project their ego’s onto the character creating an “alter-ego” is really fascinating. As well as having great admiration for the realistic 3d rendering and vigorous emotions portrayed in the art from games. It’s difficult to be able to draw, but to make someone feel some kind of emotional connection is even harder. I love sharing the feeling that the artist had creating their image. I’m not specific to any type of area of art, which is why I am so excited about learning digital imagery, 3D rendering and drawing techniques. Drawing is a great hobby of mine, mainly drawing cartoon animals, creating characters and making stories with them. I have learnt most of my techniques by trail and error. My main aim is to become the best artist I possibly can be.

    For the future I’d like to be a character or concept artist, but failing this I’m happy with any job that pays well and that I’m happy with. I want a job where I can express myself because I have a very active imagination and I would like to share my creative ideas with the world.

     Anything in the gaming industry would be classified as my “Dream Job”, however recently, I have come across a job that sounds very interesting to me, it is a Senior Environment Artist (For Activison). For this job you have to have 3+years of experience in photoshop, maya and experience with next-gen textures. Being a Enviroment Artist means I would make the environments in which the characters would move, making them realistic and believable. I would therefore need to have good knowledge of lighting and texturing. I am going to need to develop these skills further as I have only just started on texturing. To develop these skills I am going to need to practise and practise loads. The more I try the more I will learn which will result in the best of my abilities!