Saturday, 29 November 2008

Art direction...

The job of an art director is of dire importance in skilled game art department. They are responsible for the style, visual tenor and quality of a game. And they are also partly responsible for the games contents such as textures, objects, levels, characters and effects that are shown in the game.

The art director is responsible to the game producer, who is way at the top. It’s unquestionably a creative role. Being the lead artist for the art team, it requires a high amount of imagination and willpower to fabricate new ideas.

I don’t think that there is a lot of difference between the art direction of a game and that of a film. Their goals are really the same. The one main difference I’m aware of is that in a game you have control over what direction you go in to unravel the story.

If I wanted to become an art director in the future I would obviously need to be a very talented artist and maintain a creative mind but what is also imperative is that you are a leader. You would need to be ready to give guidance to the team you are responsible for.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Game Design

It’s obvious that a great deal of thought needs to go into a game during its creation. For example, Gameplay. It’s an integral feature of game design and it pretty much entails the overall gaming experience not including sound and graphics.

I think one of my favourite game companies is definitely EA. They produce some of the most popular and successful games ever. They are most certainly one of the most crucial developers in the industry.

My next question is to say where game design takes place in the modern Developer. I’m a little confused about what this means. If it means, where they stand in the company, they’re quite far up the chain. Nearly at the top actually. They stand just under the producer who administers the whole development of a game. A game designer hones key aspects such as concept, layout and gameplay. Below game designers are artists, programmers, level designers, sound engineers and testers, all of who create the team that produce the games we play. It can’t all be one person’s responsibility.

In some ways I think that some game genres require a certain design principal. A survival horror game always seems to be designed in a more realistic way. A game like Ratchet and Clank uses a more cartoon like design. But fantasy RPG games can use variety of realism and cartoon designs.

I’ve looked through my collection of games and it’s evident that I prefer a game that is more real with the likes of Assassins Creed and Grand Theft Auto 4.
I’ll keep working on my blog with the next topic soon. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A recap... the good and the bad.

Hi again. Ok, so, right now my blog feels more formal than I like, therefore I feel now I should show some of the work I have done so far. I'll apologize for a few errors in some of my entries before I start. I'm just the biggest newb ever, hehehe.

So, our first project, "Paper Scissors". It was quite interesting coming up with a good idea. I was running out of time and I needed inspiration. I decided that I should brainstorm some possible designs. Basically this is where I chose an old western theme... with a twist.

So this is it. I decided to use a simple cut and fold technique using the cut outs as shadows. The twist is that it depicts a duel between a cowboy and get this... an astronaut. Well Heather did say to use our imagination. Although I still like the idea, the execution could have been better. Luckily I took this photo straight after I finished and before I destroyed it with coffee.

Next I'm going to show the two biggest disasters of all time. I was too embarrassed to present them in the assessment, where now they just make me laugh, so i'll share the joy. "The Wire Project" started off well and I didn't have much left to do but then, the day before it had to be presented to Heather, my flatmate killed it. It was meant to be a horse but now it really doesn't resemble anything.

Hopefully seeing this, you will sypathise for me. I forgot to incorporate nature in it when I made the basic shape so I ran outside, grabbed some twigs and used them for legs. I prayed that it would have some stability but again, I failed.

The next one is even worse. Its the "Self-portrait". This is the other project I couldn't bear to present to the whole group in the assessment but it is pretty shocking.

It started out fine with the neck and the jaw but when I began modelling the face, the clay began to dry and thus became really resiliant. Thats not the only humiliating part though. I then realised I had no clay left for my hair. I would give it another go but as a student, I'm not exactly in a position to be throwing my money around.I'll move on now anyway.

Now for the drawing work I've done. Firstly, "The Canal Project". Unfortunately, I haven't got much experience with drawing environments but I hope I'm getting the hang of it.

I was walking up and down the canal thinking of a good viewpoint. I eventually decided on this one. I think its alright but there is definitely room for improvement. Next is the "The Archway Project".

I feel, again, I could have done better. It looks rushed but I think its all in my line of improvement. Next is "The Fossil Project". I was actually proud of this one.

This is where I see a change in my rendering skills. I don't know why one side appears darker than the other. Perhaps it was merely due to the scanning process but I can't say for sure. I did a number of sketches which I was proud of but I think this is my favourite.

Soon I will need to add some more of my work so stay tuned!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Game Writing

I myself once considered a possible career of writing for a computer game magazine, or more specifically a Playstation magazine. I was maybe about ten or eleven and I would take great interest in what reviewers had to say about my favourite games. However, even now I feel a little insulted when I read a bad review of a game I like, and I’m privately thinking, “Absolute bollocks. What do they know?” But now I’m mature enough to realise that everyone is entitled to an opinion and that no one’s opinion is right or wrong, just different.

Opinions are maybe the most prevalent issue that a games writer faces. If one reviewer writes that a particular game is a good purchase and another writes that it would be a waste of your money, who should the reader believe. I for one don’t hold much faith in what a reviewer says because I think I can only really trust my own opinion.

Games reviewers are paid by the magazine they write for... I think.
What you will find in basically every computer game magazine you read is the objective ranking system, giving a game a score based on its content and characteristics. Again, this is only based on opinions. I quickly browsed through this month’s issue of PSM3. Most of the points they made to rate the game in question was based on opinion. This really isn’t necessary. All the reader wants to know is what is in the game so they can form their own judgment. At the end of the day, reviewers are just gamers, like us.

New Games Journalism has been used by game reviewers since 2004 and was created by Kieron Gillen. NGJ is pretty much a collection of subjective experiences gathered from both real life and computer games, forged to fabricate a unique story. I don’t often read the articles unless it about a game I love. The examples of what I have read in the past though are okay I suppose. I don’t have any particular feelings about it. I’ve tried to look up different styles of game writing but I couldn’t find any that I could say have definitely been used in game reviewing. I did find a technique called gonzo journalism however, which I found interesting.

When it comes to my own writing, I feel quite confident. I like the simple style I apply because using is never a challenge. I would say that I write objectively but at the same time I’m somewhat subjective. I like to think I use a healthy combination of the two.