Sunday, December 10, 2006

books beat films by miles, cannot beat the power of imagination

well to start and with probably with most of my co-students backing, books are far better than games or films just because of the level of detail, the way they introduce a character telling you everything about him or her but in films and games you do not get that in depth coverage. books force your imagination to create the characters and with you making up the character the character will suit you more being more scary or better looking depending on the writers description. I feel more attached to characters in books as I have partly made them up myself were as in films you get everything done for you which to be honest is boring (the imagination by far ways out the imagination of another person).
when a writer uses in depth description and detailed biography it makes you feel like you know the character also they do the complete opposite to the bad/villains of the story so you are attached to the characters that are good but far removed from the characters that are bad this makes me feel sympathy and compassion to the good guys but love it when the bad guys get hurt. but this means writers can easily make you love a bad guy just by giving you a little information on something like a bad childhood, making you feel sorry for that character.
dependent on the script! I feel story is the script you cannot make a good story without a good script. but this by far does not make the game for example fighting games like “dead or alive” or “Tekken” have very little story line but people still play them because they were made for beating the crap out of friends and the artificial intelligence not made for the story, but when you get a game like an RPG, which you are playing a role in a large story, the script is integral to the games success, the characters design and the level design become almost irrelevant, the game or film just becomes a book, a story but obviously not as detailed as a book. The acting helps convey a characters emotion and style separating him or her from other characters in the story like the to most common opposites in any story and any game, the good guy and the bad guy both so opposite they require immensely different style of acting I.e. a characterisation of evil would be slow sly movement like sneaking and skulking, where as good would be big bold movements and gentle posture. so to give the viewers more in site, the story is very dependent on the acting as it shows the characters part in the story.
I find mysterious stories very irresistible because they require a lot of thinking and they have many twist and turns also I prefer stories set in the medieval era because I like stores with chivalry and good verses evil in its plainest sense i.e. dark wizard verses gentle knight. also whenever I play a game requiring you to choose which character class i always choose knight(oblivion) or paladin(Baldur’s Gate/Neverwinter Nights1/2).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

task 9

Well to be honest the best user interface is the Macintosh OSX it is so simple and that’s the way it should be, one time in college a bunch of us thought it would be fun to play the halo trial on Lan and it was the most simple thing ever to do even though we had to hack around the system we got it to work almost instantly because of the simplicity of OSX, but on the other hand have you seen the interface of Project Gothem racing it is really bad, you have to scroll through a lot of crap just to get to 1 on 1 mode its stupid, it took about 3 people to find there way around and they had all played this game before. I read this link on the net were a guy stated that the ps3 control pad(old design) was a good idea as it was designed to feel good well that’s what its all about, its not aesthetics, yeah true its ok to look good but would you buy a Ferrari with no engine. Have you noticed that all that changed in the shell of the computer console is, its got more curves and a lot smaller for the power you get so obviously if we keep going that way we would more than likely end up with a console shaped like a sphere and that size of an atom, well probably not but its fun to dream.

In the future I perceive that people will interact with consoles with there whole body not just a control pad or head gear. Full engrossed gaming with every sense used and for one you will not have the stupid robotic movement like in most first person games you neck will not be clamped to the character like he has a neck brace. The joy stick has been dying for along time as a personal thing I hate the joystick I prefer mouse and keyboard as it gives more control. Consoles are changing so much people have already started on virtual reality, if that got better and they used it to make games with graphics equal to reality then that would change the way people play games immensely as people would be more engrossed because they become part of the game instead of just a puppet master.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

debate on story eh! cant we just shoot each other instead(BF2142)

The story of games is the most integral part of a game without an in depth story there would be no game, the story is what keeps a gamer going through the intense and challenging level, if your stuck behind a wall with a barrage of gunfire blocking your way, its not will I ever get past this section of the game keeping you going its what’s in store for me when I get to the next section will that guy I’ve been chasing since the start of the game be finally in my crosshairs or will I have to take down a gigantic boss will 12 legs and a flame throwing head. I have played many games were the story is rather boring an I have played all the way through them just in hope of the story line picking up but to my dismay it didn’t and I never play it or speak of it again other than to discredit it to other gamers. There are games out there that seem to have little story to them but are there just for graphics or a little bit of fun most of these games are usually sequals made just for obtaining more money off the back of the first games quality story line for example oblivion, also other style of games like beat’em ups they have little story line to them but we still play them for the chance to kick the crap out of people without getting a bruise or be able to do that Bruce lee flying kick that we’ve always wanted to do but cannot due to our lack of skill and fitness of a real fighter. To be honest most games I play have little story due to there genre like first person shooters (battlefield 2142) that has little story because it’s all about skill who’s the best team who’s the best shot who can run crazy around a massive map taking out every online gamer without breaking a sweat. It’s just pure fun, your not trying to find out any answers to the story and it doesn’t feel like another episode of lost were your told so much but never given any f*cking answers, it is a breath of fresh air to have a game without a major story just so you can have fun but don’t get me wrong I love playing games with story but haven’t you noticed how similar they’re getting, I thing they’re all funning out of ideas.

wow! art direction

What does an Art Director do? Who are they responsible to? Do you think it?s a creative role? How is art direction in Games similar to or different from Film, for example? What qualities do you think you?d need to develop if you want to become an Art Director in the future?



An art director controls and focuses the crew on the main aspect of a game he/she chooses the direction and style of the game, without an art director there would be no focus and with many different artists there would be many different styles making the game seem like a patchwork quilt nothing would fit or go together. Different parts of the game wouldn’t go with others and the way they feel and look would be totally out of place with the previous section of the game. Art directors keep the artists together controlling there direction and keeping them in tune with each other much like an instrument, if one string is out the whole song would be awful and out of tune. As I’ve always been told, people see the bad things easier than the good so if there is one small mistake people will see that and forget about the good aspects.

Of course it’s a creative role, art directors choose the mood and style of a game if they don’t like it its not in the game. Without a creative art director the game would be flat and lifeless, true an art director does do the boring paper work but he also has creative input in the way the artists work and what they can produce is decided by the art director.

Art direction is very much identical to art direction in a film as art directors focus the workers just like the film director, art directors control the mood and style like a film director, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if an art director could change places with a film director and pull of the same quality of work.

Being able to focus people is a big quality an art director needs, if you cant keep the artists working to the same standard and style then you are useless. Being able to convey ideas easily and quickly through speech and sketching is a useful and essential tool an art director needs, if an art director cant get across the meaning behind a game then how can the artists.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

boom headshot! ha! take that gameplay!

What is meant by Game play? Who are the leading lights in Game Design? Where does Game Design take place in the modern Developer? Is it a single person's responsibility? Do different genres require different design principles? What's important for you, when you play?


Game play is large area of gaming, it means the feeling of the game or it can mean the way a game plays, if a game plays badly its game play for example the movement system is to complex then the game play would be poor but much like a car it can be fast pace and exciting as well as sluggish and boring. It depends on the game you are playing. Different genres have different game play styles. Game play is in the name, its how the game plays, moves, feels and flows.

The leading game designers is so broad that its not worth going into detail as there are many different companies that are toe on toe with each other at the top for example, Microsoft, Sony.. Which are the big companies but then I could go into actual focused game companies like Nintendo, EA, Sega, Id, Ubisoft, Square Enix. These are some of the big companies but there are more out there. You could go into subjective way of seeing this as I feel the leading lights in game design are upcoming game designers and just kids as we decide what games make it or not.

I feel different genres need different design principles as this further separates the genres. Every game needs a different style and every genre needs a different style these needs require much variety and if they had the same design principles then they would be to similar and many would not be played. No new ideas would be established if the design principles were the same that’s like creating all the films in the world off the same storyboard, its impossible.

For me my preference is on first person shooters, I require fast action game play coupled with a great in depth storyline the graphics only add to the experience they don’t make it, so they do not matter that much. Also need a large amount of atmosphere to make the game feel more real. When I run round the corner into a fire fight and pretty, greatly sculptured, beautiful landscape is being ripped to pieces by the yo-yoing fodder of the opposing forces I just want to stop and wait a moment to take it in….. at that point I’m shot in the head by an awaiting camped sniper. I need that dark destructive atmosphere I cannot find in the real world.

Monday, November 13, 2006

week five task

Review some of these links on Game Writing write your blog entry, and consider the following questions: What issues face reviewers? Who pays their wages? Is an objective ranking system for games necessary for sales is it even feasible? What are your feelings about the NGJ? What are the particular qualities of NGJ? What other forms of games writing can you find? How do you feel about your own writing, do you value objectivity or subjectivity?

Reviewing is one person’s thoughts and opinion of a game so when one person makes an opinion, so does another but that does not make either one right. One person may have a total different opinion to another and if that opinions creator is more credible than the other then the judging of the game will become bias. This rouses a point in which reviewing a game cannot be taken as fact or used to determine a games quality it can merely be used as a starting point. If I made a review on a game saying it was amazing and the graphics were superb but a well know games journalist says it was the worst game he has ever experienced, who’s opinion will be right. So the major issue facing reviewers are other reviewers.

Reviewers wages can be paid by a newspaper they work for or magazine company but there are reviewers out there who are not paid they are just gamers like me or you and have a little spare time to share there opinions on the latest news or game.

In modern day society this ranking system telling people what’s hot and what’s not on the gaming market is very important as there are many people out there who do not know anything about computer games and need a little help to choose what to buy for a friend or relative. But my opinion is that this ranking system is absurd, all it is, is a companies way of selling a product, through a bit of cash around for advertising and you can get a few more points on your games score. Its meaningless to rank a game as there are so many different aspects to take in. to me I would give project gotham racing a very low score due to the fact I hate racing games but as it shows in the review, some people like it and rate it one of the best games for 360. Rating is another way of giving an opinion, people like games for different things like graphics and game play or storyline it cannot be entirely accurate and for people to use ranking systems to decide what to buy is stupid as all your doing is buying the most popular game not necessarily the best.

Games are not just for intellectuals so when a new games journalist spews out this kind of stuff young gamers or even not so bright gamers will be thrown, to write in this way is to segregate game lovers, I think games journalism should stick to the points at hand and keep it factual, stay away from the imagination for a while games have that fantasy area covered.

New games journalism does have some good points, like it keeps in with a story feel and flows allot better due to its narrative. It is a fun way of reviewing a game and it gives a bit of excitement to an all-round boring factual look at a game. It also show that the writer has had a detailed look at the game instead of just playing it for five seconds then writing a load of dripple contesting its brilliance. NGJ can go a bit deeper into a game which cannot be found in standard games journalism. It gives a games review in a games way.

Games writing can be found in many places due to its massive world wide market, its in places like blogs discussion boards, websites build especially for it or it can be found in game online from person to person reviewing the game as they play or in a magazine devoted to the games world. Games writing is not just devoted to the games world either it also lends its ear to the world of movies and books, as we all know many books have become games and many games have become movies these all have been reviewed and written about.

I believe both opinions and facts are useful in most writings as they help give a better picture of what’s going on. Instead of focusing on one aspect of writing we must consider all points of view and all facts thrown at us in order to produce a worthwhile piece of writing. Both types of writing should be used to understand the factual point of view and the opinionated point of view.

Monday, October 30, 2006

week four task


Ah developments of modern day gaming, in this era of technology and increase in skilled game designers artists ect we are at the dawn of a new age of game development with the new machinery and programs coupled with the amazing art. Gaming is facing a big issue that all games strive to be, this big issue is realism, a lot of games that are coming out at this moment in time are made to look close to the real thing, using new engines and new techniques to draw the gamer further into there fantasy without leaving there seat. A game that shows this most is a next generation game that is not in stores yet, it looks to be the most realistic game at the moment the skins are fantastic and the way things move when you interact with them is realistic.
http://www.bit-tech.net/content_images/crysis_new_screenshots/crysis10_large.jpg

The games name is “Crysis”, as you can see from the photo it looks real. Another big development in modern day gaming is the use of realistic interactivity, which is shown up in many new titles one of which is Crysis were you can chop down trees run through bushes and have the leaves bounce off you realistically but its also been in games like Oblivion and earlier Morrowind picking up items and destroying items in real time is a big thing in most games at the moment. The experience of realism coupled with an immense and epic storyline makes for great gaming.

Ah pressures, we all have them and a big weight on the game makers shoulder is the price tag, creating these fantastic games may be all good fun but what about these prices, have you seen the price of the new ps3, its crazy and this echoes back to the game maker because if people can’t buy these games or cant afford the consoles or the powerful desktop computer to run them then game makers will become bankrupt. This shows that technology is moving way to fast for the average person to keep up, I don’t want to shell out hundreds of pounds to play a game that only lasts a few hours due to the immense memory usage from the intense graphics and high polygon count. It is not worth it. Also this eye candy graphics looks good but it takes away the time people spend on the story line. A great example of this is the elder scrolls set from the first games like dagger fell to oblivion the graphics and detail has increased but the in depth epic story line has vanished, I’ve seen many reviews saying elder scrolls has lost all it used to be and is nothing more that eye candy, well if that’s so it brings me back to price, I bought a brand new computer for a thousand pounds to play next generation games on and all I’m getting is great graphics but bad plot lines and quick endings.

What I want from gaming in the future is attention to detail, when a mage holds down a fireball in his hand I want to see veins popping out of is hand and when I shoot a man in the chest on an online shooter I want to see a gaping wound with blood and guts. Games have gone to the point of looking real now we need to make them feel real, they need tiny bits of movement that shows its not just a bunch of animated polygons slumped with a texture. I want it to feel like I’m running through a war zone or trekking across an immense field with my sword at my side. Games need feeling, immersion. I want to play games with hair blowing clothes moving people speaking to me with feeling not a set dialog of babble dependent on my race or class. Also a great feature for a game would be, if its in the game you can interact with it, I’m tired of walking up to a window and finding out I cant open it or climb through it. Set paths are boring and very linier when I have to get into a house I want to be able to jump through the window or climb down the chimney, I don’t want a conveniently placed guard or locked door sending me in the direction the game maker wants me to go.

A massive improvement to gaming could be more realistic real time gaming for example if I play a game for a couple of months I want to see the grass getting longer and the people getting older, when I chuck an item on the ground I want to come back a year later and its rusted or rotten. On this type of game I would go every were and any were do as much as possible, do something bad I want people talking about it on the street and guards searching for me, people need to be scared and some angry but not go to just the extremes. some people need to be more scared than others instead of people being frightened or heroic there are in betweens to emotion.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

middle history of games

Tasks:

review the ‘middle’ history of computer games
write your blog entry, and consider the following questions:

What were the significant developments during this time? How were games different by the end of this period than at the beginning?

continue to map out your own personal gaming history

What was the first game you played? What was the most recent? What happened in between, and most importantly, what made you continue playing for all this time?


Ah the middle history of gaming the essentials of what makes gaming the way it is for our generation. well in my last post i went on about the start of gaming with the first ever game on the rise of a majour game company now its time for the development of gaming history.

so from university games progammed by geeks with to much spare time to the present day arival of ps3 and nintedo wii. Acourding to most sources ralph baer is an influential man in the gaming industry taking gaming from the geek scene of coding and waste of time to the home television with a game called "chase" one of the first home played games but thats just the beginning there is alot more that spawned from the great idea, which is the reason im wrighting this and the reason we're all interested in this sort of thing. But tis blog is about the middle eras so makes it hard to really choose where to start you could of given us a date "micheal powell", but i guess we're stuck with it.

one sagnificant develipment include the "Magnavox Odyssey" which was one of the first home played computer consoles created by, yes you've guessed it Ralph Baer, ill jump a head here to more interesting developments like the creation of a little known console called sega mastersystem and that freakishly fun game "alex the kid" this game was one of the first games i played and got me hooked as i was very young at the time, it was not a very influential part of gaming history but was very influentiall to me so i thought i would wright a short bit about it. heres a screenshot to give you a taste if you have not seen it before.
http://www.consoleclassix.com/info_img/Alex_Kidd_In_The_Enchanted_Castle_GEN_ScreenShot2.jpg
A big influentiall part of the 1980's is the hand held lcd screen computer games, one of the games was super smash bros melee a games played on a game and watch hand held and because of the low power needed to run these games they only required watch batteries which made games small enough to fit on the wrist like a watch.

a large part of the 1980's was the online generation taking games to the masses this spawned games which aloud more than one person to play online games like online poker and it soon spawned to online rpg's one of the biggest online played genres in the world, but they were first called mud's or "multi-user dungeons" a smaller and less detailed version of games like final fantasy 11 or runescape.

abother jump in that era was the console from nintendo called the famicom an 8 bit console spawned from america. this blast of console mayhem soon gave way to the use of game pad instead of the old arcade joystick which is still used today on many arcade systems and flight simulators but the joypad is the way of the hime computergames, my opinion is the mouse and keyboard rule for certain games were the joypad is optional for other games i.e. fighting games.

the next big mark of gaming comes with the rpg and online rpg with games like everquest and the all important squaresoft creation finalfantasy which was so called titled due to the last fantasy creation by Hironobu Sakaguchi so much hardship and failure to create the most loved series of rpg ever created. In comes the game legend of zelda created at around the same time for the NES another big game in the wide world of gaming history. 1987 was a benchmark for gaming as it was the birth time for all these influentiall games aswell as the well loved metal gear, created by hideo kojima, this game was the first ever stealth based game in the world a bench mark for gamers everywere.

The difference from 1980 to 1990 was a jump from gaming on a console in a 2D format to gaming online and 3D gaming, which was thanks to the increase power of comuters giving gamers better detail and graphics giving way to the rise of the level of detail we have today.

The most rescent game ive played shows this high level of detail with the use of large levels online playability and a 3D environment its called "Battlefield 2142" This game shows just how far we've come in the past decade as it combines all the new technologies from the history of gaming into one action packed fun game worthy of our aproval. New and powerfull storylines coupled with intense realistic graphics is whats keped me hooked to the computerscreens all this time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

well the year is 1952 and a man named A.S. Douglas created the first ever computer game on a computer made from a vacuum tube, it produced a low buget game called tic-tac-toe, it was displayed on a cathode rod display and was of very poor quality due to only being created by a small team were as in the presant day games are produced by many people with alot of money. All of which douglas did not have.

The next interactive game that was produced was made in 1958 and it was a small adaptation of tennis, it was called "tennis for two". not long later a game was made which we all know and love, called "space wars", which i still have on my pc.

In 1967 the first ever television played gamed was created, the man who created it is called ralph baer he was working for a tv company at the time which may have been his insparation for this well known idea we all take for granted now. There was many adaptations of games one of which is called computer space, made from the game space wars but the next step in the game evolution is pong the tennis like computer game made from blocks and shapes, it was createed by Nolen Bushnell and he later went on to form atari computers with ted dabney, which recently created matrix and has games under its belt like "temple of elemental evil".

skip a few years and we come to the odyssey whcih is the firs playable home console made by ralph baer with the company magnavox. games were played firstly by inventors and technitians who made them it isnt ver sagnificant due to them making them so they need testing by some one.

My first console was not my oldest console it was sega and the game golden axe which nearly everyone i have spoken to knows about. the next consol for me is the playstaion which changed me from a sega lover to playstaion which i have never changed from. the first game i played on playstation was crash bandicoot a very weird and fun game due to its unusual style of charecter much like the use of a plumber in mario. it went from there realy changing to next generation consoles like ps2 and game cube but i still played the retro consoles like comedor 64 with the cassettes.

the most rescent game ive played it oblivion one of the next generation games so far, but this game was not the one that made me change from games passing time to games being my life, this was down to baldur's gate due to its fantastic story line and being the first rpg i ever played,. It hooked me to the point of rpg's being my favourite but as time went on i changed from loving indepth story lines to loving fast pace action of online and ofline first person shooters, which i love to this day I.e battle field 2
well the year is 1952 and a man named A.S. Douglas created the first ever computer game on a computer made from a vacuum tube, it produced a low buget game called tic-tac-toe, it was displayed on a cathode rod display and was of very poor quality due to only being created by a small team were as in the presant day games are produced by many people with alot of money. All of which douglas did not have.

The next interactive game that was produced was made in 1958 and it was a small adaptation of tennis, it was called "tennis for two". not long later a game was made which we all know and love, called "space wars", which i still have on my pc.

In 1967 the first ever television played gamed was created, the man who created it is called ralph baer he was working for a tv company at the time which may have been his insparation for this well known idea we all take for granted now. There was many adaptations of games one of which is called computer space, made from the game space wars but the next step in the game evolution is pong the tennis like computer game made from blocks and shapes, it was createed by Nolen Bushnell and he later went on to form atari computers with ted dabney, which recently created matrix and has games under its belt like "temple of elemental evil".

skip a few years and we come to the odyssey whcih is the firs playable home console made by ralph baer with the company magnavox. games were played firstly by inventors and technitians who made them it isnt ver sagnificant due to them making them so they need testing by some one.

My first console was not my oldest console it was sega and the game golden axe which nearly everyone i have spoken to knows about. the next consol for me is the playstaion which changed me from a sega lover to playstaion which i have never changed from. the first game i played on playstation was crash bandicoot a very weird and fun game due to its unusual style of charecter much like the use of a plumber in mario. it went from there realy changing to next generation consoles like ps2 and game cube but i still played the retro consoles like comedor 64 with the cassettes.

the most rescent game ive played it oblivion one of the next generation games so far, but this game was not the one that made me change from games passing time to games being my ife, this was down to baldur's gate due to its fantastic story line and being the first rpg i ever played,. It hooked me to the point of rpg's being my favourite but as time went on i changed from loving indepth story lines to loving fast pace action of online and ofline first person shooters, which i love to this day I.e battle field 2

Monday, October 16, 2006

Who's writing, and how do you perceive them to be? Does blogging strike you as objective or more personal? How often do they write, what do they write about? How do you see yourself using a blog? Do you feel comfortable writing for an invisible audience for example?


John A seems to me, to be a very hard headed gamer as he pulls down games for trivial reasons, even though his ideas are correct in some aspects, he doesn't understand the importance of variety. In one comment he pulled down the use of a car level in the matrix even though cars were a part of the story line as much as the bullet time and running up walls. The car level in the matrix made it seem as if you were running round a large city because of the length of roads were as if you didnt have this in the game you would be bound to the relitivly small obstical course levels. This also brings up the point of half life 2, the long levels in which you transgressed acres of land in fast moving vehicles made the game seem large as if you were fighting for the excistance of the hole human race not just your own private war. The levels gave depth and shows of the work of the artists, sculpterists and designers, which isn't a bad thing to us upcoming artists.
John A also seems to me like a knowlegable gamer with sound views and opinions even though he attacks little mistakes, which we are all intitled to make, even the best game developers make mistakes, look at "oblivion" bethesda missed out majour things from its predisessor "morrowind" which people liked.
Now onto a personal point John A needs to get of his second year high horse, us students are old enough and wise enough to work out what we can and cant do for ourselves, we are not lower than higher years because they had the fortune of being born a year or two earlier than the rest of us first years(no offence john).

Blogging seems a farcry from objective its more personal that wrighting a 10,000 word essay of crap the night before its due in. It gives the hole assey writing thing more merit as you are wrighting your views as they come instead of cramming worthless dribble into a few pages of copied and re-copied information from the net and as we all have our own personal blog it cant help to be personal. Personalities show more online as i have found out from years of forums, msn, and just online chatting, people seem to say what they feel due to the advantage of hiding behind a computer screen.

john A wrights a few times a month but it is slightly erattic due to him wrighting what he feels when he feels, which is the great thing behind blogging. opinions do not all come at once it takes time between learning new ideas and creating opinions of them. He wrights mainly about his ideas and experiences, his opinions and others opinions are a big part of his blog as he likes to comment on other peples opinions and explain his views.

i see myself wrighting in my blog alot, mainly commenting on opinions and getting accross my ideals to the class and tutors, it will be a way of comunicating outside normal lesson hours about the gaming world with people who have a similar love of the game world to me.

im not really wrighting to an invisible audience due to all of us meeting up in class to continue the conversation of last nights blog over a game of "call of duty", which means our audience is all to visble and by now we know each other by online alias and can picture each others faces just from names like Kung-Fu-Jesus(god damn sniper) or soft-entertainment(me)

EVEN THOUGH THIS IS LATE I HOPE YOU ALL STILL READ IT! SORRY MICHEAL POWELL!



Wednesday, October 04, 2006