Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Gaming Culture

When it comes to gaming, I’m more of a casual gamer. I’m not really part of any culture. I’ve never attended a launch party, a LAN party or a gaming conference. Neither have I ever played online. I have to be honest, I don’t play on games all that often but I do enjoy a quick round once in a while. Although there are some games that can keep me glued for hours.

How much of my life does it occupy? Recently with all the work and the projects we’ve been assigned, not a lot, but I try and find some time. Gaming definitely isn’t the biggest part of my life. I think it once was when I was in school. Now however, I’ve found interest in many different things and computer games are just a part of who I am.

Now I’ve been asked if I have friends who I only know through MSN. I’m not sure how this is relevant to game culture. Maybe I’m just being stupid but it wouldn’t be the first time. But the answer to the question is, yes I do. Some random people, from all over the world have friend requested me on Facebook purely because I have the same surname.

This has trailed off a little from game cultures but I have hardly any experience in this topic. I apologize for being a bit useless. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more to say in future posts.

The Industry

Currently the industry, like everything else, has fallen victim to the credit-crunch and where this will leave some casualties, there will be some smart minded individuals will be there to turn this around and create some brilliant games. It’s surprising how well some people can work having been put under some pressure.

Employees in the industry know the level of commitment you need to make it in the world of gaming which is why it is unfortunate that there will be so many layoffs from multiple of the big companies. Where this is a shame, it makes space for some fresh minds with fresh ideas.

It must always be a challenge to constantly be in demand to make new games but with the current situation in the economy and all the job cuts, it is probably the hardest thing some of the employee’s have had to deal with.

I think that the challenges at the moment, with all the layoffs, are to be able to release the games by their designated release date. I think the industry itself will make it through the storm nearly completely unscathed and when it is over the industry will be screaming for new talent and so the hunt for exceptional artists, programmers and so on, will begin once again.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Creativity Defined

What is creativity? Creativity is the ability to formulate new and original ideas. It is applied in nearly everything we do and it is represented not by itself but by the people who utilize it. Nor is it a skill. The real skill is how you convey your creativity.

Is creativity hindered or enhanced by technical constraints? Some may believe that technology can only hinder creativity but in some respects I think it’s a good thing. It gives you the chance to create something with a barrier, making the most of what you have to use. In cases like this it is a serious enhancement.

Who uses creativity in the game development industry? The truth is everyone. The whole team uses creativity. That is the basis of making a computer game. Using innovative ideas to produce a new gaming experience. If it weren’t for the creative minds of these individuals, would gaming even exist today?

What does creativity look like? You can easily look at something and call it original but then creativity’s face comes in infinite forms, so the answer to this question is, it is whatever you imagine it to be or whatever inspires you the most. In games, creativity is pretty much the whole experience of play.

How do games manifest creativity? Every game is different in one way or another and its creativity is what shows this. There are current games like Mirrors Edge, which have taken on a completely new level of creativity in style and concept. It is a first person perspective game but unlike a lot of games with the same quality you can see the arms and legs when as you make death defying leaps from one skyscraper to another. It uses realism to make the player feel more involved. This gives gaming an entirely new idea of creativity.

The graphics in games pretty much manifest themselves. You can see for yourself if the graphics of a game are good or not. Some games rely on graphics to make a new creative venture where other games depend on other things like storyline etc.

The AI of a game is manifested through the capabilities of the role you play as a gamer. An intelligent game would allow you to make many interactions. Let’s go back to Mirrors Edge. You are capable of walking, running, jumping, sliding, wall-running, and shimmying and these are only the basics. A game like Mirrors Edge which presents you with freedom in movement is one I would consider to be intelligent.

Gameplay is manifested by all of the qualities a game boasts. I have discussed gameplay frequently in my blog and like some of my previous posts suggest, gameplay is the overall experience of a game you play. I suppose the creativity of gameplay is the originality of the game, or maybe that is just my opinion.

If I had to choose anyone, in terms of individual or company, who I think are particularly creative, I would definitely say that Square Enix is one of my favourite for designing games that are unique and imaginative. With games like Final Fantasy under their belts, they are easily one of the most well known game companies in the world and that all comes down to their innovative ideas.

As an artist I like to show my creativity by fabricating distinctive concepts but I take inspiration from traditional ideas too. I don’t know how I would expect to be seen but that is the kind of artist I would like to be seen as.

I would like to end this entry by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. It’s a little bit I’ve been deprived of internet access over the Christmas break. Thank you for reading.