Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Game Technology

Game consoles used to focus on the technology rather than appearance; but today they focus on both technology AND appearance. Just looking at the Playstation series you can see the radical improvement of the technology and appearance...

Playstation = CD

Playstation 2 = DVD

Playstation 3 =Blu-ray

Recently I have heard that people don’t like the PS3 design... my opinion is that this is absurd! I just love the futuristic, black, slick console; and I am proud of the way that the controller hasn’t changed either, apart from adding analogue sticks and having it wireless- clearly it is good so that is why they haven’t changed it. However I didn’t like the concept idea for the PS3 control... it almost reminds me of the Xbox controller which I just don’t see how it had good ergonomics, I am glad they didn’t stick with the concept. To be honest I don’t understand the design of the Xbox controller, the very first one was massive, and a person of my size- male or female- wouldn’t have a chance of handling it; but to play it, you must be massive with immensely huge hands; and I presume that this is where Microsoft lost a wide variety of their audience, for being portrayed as a “boy’s console”.

I have never really understood what ergonomics was until researching it; now I realise that it is comfort for the consumer. Like the boomerang/wheel concept for the PS3, the design idea was “a more natural shape for a more comfortable feel”; I can imagine it being more comfortable- like a keyboard is designed so the most used letters are in the middle, and therefore you don’t strain your hands (I only just found out that today actually lol). But I do prefer the original PS3 control; although I think it could be due to the fact that it wasn’t released and I’ve never used it- or that it takes me a while to get used to “change”.

All in all my opinion is “don’t judge a book by its cover.... but people still do”, for example- the PS3 is “brick-like” compared to the Xbox; but the PS3 is more technically advance with blu-ray, whereas the Xbox is still using the technology of DVD.

These are just some cool Google images I found for the Playstation series which I like.

Monday, 7 December 2009

An introduction to Art Directon for games

Video game Art Directors cannot get a job in art direction straight away- most of them usually start out as game artists or animators, so they have the skills required to be an Art director. As they gain their skills, they can slowly move up. The job of an Art Director is to be responsible for any visual design of a video game; and is the one who has to attend meetings for the game, visualise what needs to be done, and to create deadlines for the artists and animators, so that they are able to stick to a schedule. They need to have a good background in fine arts and have a good amount of creativity so they are able to visualise how a game will pan out in the end.

Many art directors have to manage a team, with both experienced and amateur artist and designers; being able to cooperate well as a team is essential for any good director- listening to suggestions for the game by the team is taken into account; then the art director selects the best idea and develops it further, adding their own personal inputs.

I think that the role of an art director is essential as he is literally steering the ship in the right direction; without deadlines, motivation or perseverance, could the ship travel without crashing?
If I were to consider becoming an art director I would have to vastly improve my creativity skills and art judgment, as I am not as capable as I would like to be; I am always learning and improving every day. However I don’t think that I would like to have so much power, or that sort of responsibility (it’s not that I am lazy- just I’m not that good) so I would have to turn it down.

(This has been the hardest blog yet! I am glad to have finally done this [:)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Story Telling In Games

I feel that the storyline is absolutely essential to any game. Without a storyline, what is the point of a game in the first place? I think that the more realistic the storyline is, the better and more realistic the game is; for example Halo- it actually does have a pretty in-depth storyline, but the game play is quite generic, a first person shooter, running around blasting the aliens. I feel that it is a very overly hyped game when games like Uncharted, Bio-shock, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid have taken storytelling to a whole new level- or if it is too easy, it isn’t much of an accomplishment when you finally finish a game. Also the characters in the game are very important too; if you can connect with the character or relate to them, you can become immersed into the game.

“Emotioneering” is a term created by David Freeman, which was to describe a body of over 1000 techniques for making a game emotionally immersive. That is, they evoke, in a player, a wide breadth and depth of emotions. The emotions in the storyline are what integrates a story together; and it can make a game go into a more significant depth, or make it crash and burn. Also originality in a storyline is important; you don’t want to be playing one game one week, and a slightly altered version the next week- diversity is what is desperately needed in games nowadays!

I know I am talking about Eye Pet waaaaayyy too much, and also Little Big Planet; but I am only mentioning these to make a point. These games don't have a storyline per-se, but they show my point of how the character can add the same quality as a good storyline; as well as originality.