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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Task 14, Elements of Game Design part 5

Planning and Concepting

To produce successful outcomes in any project, planning and concepting is always needed. The planning and concepting is only going to work if it shows the process and development from initial ideas to the finished product. Initial thoughts need to be developed and worked on within technical constraints to evolve into more solid ideas that lead to the final completed project. The outcome should always be through a series of progressive pieces that will, in succession become the desired or required outcome. It should not be achieved by random and incidental activities. This process is used in the game industry as well as other industries as well. It is the best way to formulate ideas and get results.

The Making of Assassin’s Creed:
In the initial production of Assassin’s Creed, the art team went out and got references of the time period from museums, like blue prints, historical descriptions and objects. They wanted to make the game look as close to the time period of the crusades as they could. But while also keeping true to the period, with the style and architecture, the characters and other parts of the game, it was all portrayed through a modern high graphic medium, so keeping the balance was key. A lot of research was done as part of the planning process. They had a definite plan that they wanted the game to be set in the third crusade, in the Palestine.  They also wanted the environment to be beautiful, representative of the time period while also being fully open to exploration. They had to make it so that every building was climbable and that the player could go anywhere and view the area from any angle. These initial plans led to the finished game which was very historical and yet unique, the environments were very detailed and period specific and the gameplay was immersive and fluid.

The Making of Gears of War:
Surprisingly, one of the main focuses from the start of this game was the main weapon, the chain saw gun. Cliffy B wanted this to be in the game, and fought a lot to make sure that it was. There was some controversy to the violence of it, but once it was accepted, it became some what of a trade mark. Also, they wanted this game to be pretty cinematic, with realistic shots and movement. They used a lot of motion capture for sequences. The results were very visceral gameplay, with sharp graphics, believable motions and gory fight scenes.

New Tomb Raider:
This trailer was used as a “turning point” literally brining a new light to the Lara we have seen over the years. For this game, they wanted to go back in time, to a younger Lara, showing how she became the tomb raider we know. The idea was that it would be interesting to show her transition from an aspiring archaeologist to a survivor and fighter. This is a good story for the game, and quite unique compared to the other previous titles.

Year 2, Semester 1, Task 13

Reflections and Ambitions

I’m very happy to be back at university for the second year. I’m looking forward to this year and I hope to do well.
Looking back at year one, I believe I have learnt a lot of skills, and that they will help me through this year. In year one, I’ve been given the tools to work through the second year, and now I know that the input from the tutors will be less, and I’m expected to work more autonomously. 

This year I hope to manage my time carefully throughout, and complete projects on time with no rushing. I know that time management is going to be very important since there is more expected of us this year. Also, there is a shorter amount of time to work on the projects in Game Production, so it would be best to make a schedule of tasks to complete and set my own deadlines for certain points. If I manage to do this well, it will be an invaluable skill for the final year. 

My ambitions for this year would be to improve on everything I learned last year, and to develop new skills as well. I also plan to perfect the way I approach projects and assignments, and also think about them in terms of the workplace. I know that I need to think more about how what I learn now will help me once I have finished the course and hopefully find a job. I am working towards being a contributing person in the game industry and I look forward to influencing future games.
I am confident that I have the fundamental skills to do well in this year, I just need to use them well and apply them accordingly to my studies. I hope to develop the skills I have acquired so far to improve my work and to learn to use them in more advanced ways. 

One of the things I learned from the first year was that if I don’t get the work written out in set goals, its easy to get lost in what you should be doing next and how long you should be spending on each thing. For my gladiator, I ended up spending an very long time on modelling the head, and restarting the head several times. After I had it finished, I realised that I left myself even less time for the texturing. So, if I write out what needs to be done, and also give it a weighting and order, depending on what it is exactly and how much time should be spent on it in relation to other things, it will make completing tasks a lot easier. Time management is definitely an important skill, and essential for the remainder of my course and then in the work place. 

In conclusion, I believe I am capable of doing well this year, and I am confident that I have learned a lot from my experiences throughout the first year. I hope to improve on my skills and learn to work more autonomously and also manage my time accordingly and consistently throughout the second year.