Wednesday, 29 February 2012


    I personally really enjoyed the movie “Angel-A” that we watched today. There were certain characterises which were reminiscent of the French New Wave style films from the 1950’s. Although there wasn’t much that was there, on a couple of occasions I noticed similarities. There were no conventional protagonists in the film, the main protagonist was an arab, scruffy bloke with a life that’s leading no where, and the other protagonist was a tall, blonde “slut”. They are by no means the perfect male and female role models that normal heroes are.

     The typical black and white scenario was very strange however, the dusty desaturate black and white tones gave the film a feeling of French New Wave,  however it wouldn’t be considered as FNW as some of the film like “A Bout deSouffle” or “Une Femme est une femme” by Jean-Luc Goddard. I found it a very artistic film, there was no need for the film to be in constant black and white, but it was, giving it an old, more cultural feel.

      Normally, having to read the subtitles for me can be a little bit tiring, but the whole emphasis of the storyline, theme and the bizarre mix of characters makes this a very unconventional film. I started the film with a negative attitude, as I’m sure most of the audience did, but once I got into the story and created an emotional attachment to the characters it interested me more and more.

    The general cinematography also helps the ambience and artistic presentation. In the film, France is romanticized, like once again in French New Wave films. The slow, lingering shots of France and the ever changing scenery glorified a lot of the areas in France, for example the restaurants and the clubs. Angela and Andre are shot on the same level, however tall Angela is over Andre. They are shot on a par with each other, which helps emphasis the relationship they have as being equal.

    Overall, I would definitely recommend this film for anyone who likes something abit different in a film, not just generalised sex and violence like in most Hollywood hits, with there conventional narratives and boring protagonists. It is a simplistic storyline, but good art direction and cinematography helps make this movie something different.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Elements of Game Design

     The act of gameplay or in fact the playing of a game is where an audience or member of an audience uses a gaming interface to interact with the game following a set of premade rules. Gameplay usually consists of challenges and overcoming these challenges to reach an ending goal. The important thing with gameplay is believability and the relationship an audience has with the characters and plot. People like to get lost in the idea of a game, that’s why we play them. For the escapism of life. This is the same type of style film directors use, usually in a film (But not in such films as in French New Wave) a character has some sort of goal, and they overcome obstacles to get there, this is a traditional character arc. By doing this, the character gets to learn more about him/herself and better themselves in some way, whether it’s by saving the world or learning new abilities. This is the same in gaming mannerisms, except the gaming has somewhat a larger, although not complete turn in the characters lives. Although saying this, the character will predominantly (Only on solitary storylines) end up at a singular ending point. It is the game designers job to make the story believable enough for the audience to emerge themselves entirely in the story and get emotional involved and manipulated.

     It’s difficult to say who the leading people are in Game Design, as it’s a matter of opinion on the games they help create. A Game designer must have a selection of different qualities about them, including being very creative, obviously, everything is a cliché nowadays because everything has been done before, several times. But if someone takes one of these ideas and make it so much better, cutting and pasting scenes and ideas from various movies, games or general inspirational places and creating something a little bit different. After all, consumers know what they want, and they seem to be in a trend, this means that game designers have to make games to fit that trend so that the games are bought. It’s one big circle of gaming that can be very difficult to get out of, people want things that they knew will please them, as trying something new is normally slightly out of character and outside there  normal comfort zone, so the game designers have to follow the trend. Game Designers also have to be able to work well in a team and work efficiently in these teams. There are always strict time limits in creating a game and there will be many problems and adjustments on the way, being able to handle these problems with the time set and with other people are qualities that you must have to be efficient in corporations. Taking criticisms and adjusting correctly to these will also be an important part in a Game Designers career. It’s very easy to get attached to the work that you produce, because when someone criticizes it, it feels like they are criticises your child, you poured your blood and sweat into it and they are ripping it apart. But this is something you need to get over, because you are not creating a game to suit YOU, you are creating it to suit an incredibly wide audience, so your ideas may not be the same as the general publics.

    I think a very important “leading” Game Designer is Will Wright, who was one of the designers of “The Sims”, which is a very popular series of games that is still going. The games appeal to a large audience and is an incredibly enjoyable game. Will Wright has done a great job of taking an almost simplistic gaming mechanism and create so many different variations and add ons. This shows how successful he has been.

    Modern developers must take into consideration the importance of Game Design, as with most of the job roles in the gaming industry. It is one of the first roles taken upon a company, as without the designers there wouldn’t be any backing to a game. You have to build up the storyline and figure out what storylines and characters work well together, during this time, many ideas will be scrapped and edited. This is a natural process in Game Designing, and is important to get the right mixture of ideas to produce a game that will sell well. After the initial designing has finished, modellers and concept artists will be able to begin working  on there parts, although the designer will have to liaise with the rest of the work team to see if the game is coming along to the plan.

     It is by no means the sole responsibility of one person, one person may be the main backing to an idea for a game design, but there will be much input from inside and possibly outside people of the industry. It is all part of the process of getting the correct mixture of ideas and views to create something the public will like and purchase.

     With the mixture of genre’s you will have to have a slightly different input with regards to the different principles of the variation of gameplay. However, somebody who is more comfortable to adventure may struggle to mix the design if they were asked to make a horror, however they may be able to give a unique adaptation to the horror theme with regards to there adventure theme. Because someone is used to making a certain genre, doesn’t mean they are incapable of changing to a different genre, however there may be some subtle giveaways if there are. There will definitely need to be a change in principles, as the principles are normally set around the targeted audience, it is no use making a horror game for an audience of 5 year olds. Certain parts of different genres could be mixed to make the games more interesting, but not too much as the genre will become a blur between different types.

    When I play a game it is important that the storyline and characters are believable, I like to taken into the gaming world and not released till I’m done, I want to be so caught up in the game that I don’t realise that a full day has gone by. I want to feel emotionally attached to the characters and get upset when one dies, or feel happy if one completes there tasks.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Woah, it's past your bedtime!

     I seem to be drifting off into a bubble of comfort. Yesterday, I wondered what it would be like if things were different. If I could go back in the past and see where ive gotten to now. I wonder if I would have done anything different and how much my life would differ now. Maybe, but that’s something I will never be able to know.

   I’m enjoying this course so much I couldn’t of asked for one that fit my personality more than this one. I feel like I actually belong here, and that maybe I could be someone. That’s why I know I’m meant to be here, I’m here on this course for a reason. That reason I’m not quite sure for definite yet. I know that given myself this opportunity has allowed me to gain better experience in something I hold so dear to my heart.

    It’s nice to be able to enjoy and learn so much from the lectures. Each of the three of them. I appreciate learning 3dsmax for it’s complexity. Such a difficult programme takes time to nurture and learn the different tactics of creating and texturing a 3d model. This is one technique that I can truly say I’ve learnt a lot by, going from no knowledge of the software at all to what I’m at now. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself, no I might not be the best but atleast I’m trying and learning from my mistakes.

    Ahhh, visual design, such a vast variety of techniques and styles being learnt in such a fantastic and friendly environment. What more could an artist want? In college, we were taught to copy. Not steal and make it better, copy. This drove me absolutely insane. I love the artistic freedom we gain from Visual design, I love the environment that the lectures give us. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a learning environment. The drive to learn more is far greater than it has ever been. I love visual design.

   And critical studies, reminds me a lot of my film studies a level. I love being able to see films that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to watch. And give my own opinion and critical analysis of the films themes and cinematography. I’ve always been interested in why, what and how a film is given a certain edge and the reasons and techniques behind it. With the added benefit of learning about video games, it’s such an interesting and vast topic that we are just scratching the surface. I can’t wait to learn more about my love and addiction to video games and why. Three out of three of the topics in the course I love. How much better can this get?

   I thank my life for ever opportunity of letting me get here and the people that allowed this to happen.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Random Blog Entry

   Inspiration and Motivation;

“The great and glorious masterpiece of
man is to know how to live to purpose”
Michel de Montaigne

   With this in mind I can truly say that I have goals for my life. Does this mean ill stick to them? I doubt it, life has a way of messing up plans. But whatever is thrown at me I’ll try and make best of it. There must be a reason for life it’s just figuring it out that is the problem.

     It’s hard not to compare yourself to people in this industry, there’s always someone that’s going to be better than you. I normally just go cry in a corner, I hate the fact I can’t do things when I try so hard. It’s so difficult to get where you want. I’m such a competitive person, i strive to be taught and to be the best. I just need to stop making it all I think about. I need to try and look at myself in a different perspective, from now on I’m determined to see myself not as a failure but as someone who has got this far in life, looking back at my old drawings just proves that I have developed my own understanding of art and applying that to my work.  As Hugh Leonard once said “My life is every moment of my life. It is not a culmination of the past”

And as I once said “I’m lucky to have a life as good as this”.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


  Yesterday’s lecture from the people at CodeMasters was very insightful. I originally wanted to be a concept artists but the idea escaped me when I kept hearing that it would be physically impossible to get that job. The lectures taught me that whatever I want to do I just have to keep pushing for it and not loose hope. I believe I was allowed on the course for a reason, even though this is un known to me now, I see myself looking back in the future and thinking “Thank god I stuck with it and got my ass in gear”.

   The PowerPoint especially made me feel really enthusiastic; all the way through it I kept thinking that I wish I could just go home and spend the next 20 hours doing non-stop concept art. Ideas where floating all around my head, what brilliant ideas, I must get these down on paper. Before I knew it I was creating characters with back stories, environments for these creatures and their personalities. There wasn’t enough time to get them all down, the thoughts were all fighting in my brain to be on paper.

    I found some similarities between me and the CodeMasters workers, some things they were saying made me wonder if they were much different to me when they started out learning art.  This made me feel hopeful for the future. Whatever happens, I’m meant to be here, that I know for sure. Looking through the past weeks I can see how much I’ve improved on certain things. At college I felt that my art course was a chore, but now I really enjoy getting into it. For example, making a sculpture of my Reef character is such an interesting thing to be doing! And I feel like I’m making good progress. It feels so good to learn something new, I love being fed knowledge, I thrive to be taught, to be moulded into the perfect gaming artist.

    I need to get out of the mindset that I’m still in the school system. Go to school, have my mind brain-washed, go home, do homework, repeat the next day. This is right, this is wrong, there is only one way to do something. No, I need to go about my days with a different mind set. I need to get out of the feeling that I’m still in that crazy circle of acceptance and disruption.