Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Not to be lazy with this post but there's only relay a couple of points I feel I can make as to enhance the course. First of all I think this would not only benefit the students, but also Heather. When she gives us tutorials and demonstrations it, it should be real easy to record the session with screen capture (I know a realy cool FREE one to use) software, and record your voice with a mic that way we can easterly go back and watch it again at our convenience. This would also save Heather the job of having to create a PDF to upload to the god awful blackboard.

My other point is, us students love to help each other and share tips and tricks, but there should be a place for students to share there findings as face book dose not facilitate this. Although face book does it's job showcasing work, I thought we should set up a wiki for the course posting links to artists and tutorial etc.

Anyway that's my two sense. That aside I've really enjoyed my first year and cant wait so start back in September.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

GDC 2010

With so many things to read on the GDC site, its hard to pick just one to talk about. The one thing I found that interested me the most however, was a talk about EA's success with Battlefield 1943. Using only 15 of the original developer of the franchise they were given the task to develop a game that was low cost and easy to develop. A game to fill the gap between the downtime of other titles from the developers.

The key top the game success was it simplicity. It was diluted that much that only the best things about the franchise were left. Mainly, the game play! Developers had key elements that they wanted to achieve for the game such as "make the game as long as resources last" and “simply revisit wake island” are just some examples. Perhaps the best outcome of the game, and one that perhaps benefited from its downloadable nature on consoles, was the fact that it was so easy to just pick up and play. There was no learning curve but it was difficult to master. There was no need for medics as health replenished over time and no need for ammo runs back to base and ammo replenished too. Vehicles were simplified to either be fast for transport of slow for seizing areas and defending. You were able to take the the sky's to give cover to your team-mates,but run the risk of being shot down by enemy flak cannons that were scattered around capture points. Everything made sense and was easy to understand, making it easy to concentrate on what really mattered... playing the game! Its a shame it never saw a release on the PC but it would have taken a hell of a lot more testing and developing to run on varied machines. I don't hate DICE for this as they created such a perfect piece to the battlefield puzzle, its a nice game to play now and again without having to take it to seriously. There's a valuable lesson to be learned from this, it just goes to show that there is always room for improvement and DICE have made a perfect example.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Where do you want to go, and how do you get there?

This is the million dollar question for me and one I've been asking myself constantly since before I started the course. For me it didn't make sense trying to learn this stuff by myself. It was impossible to have work alongside this. If I didn't dedicate my time to this it I would lose interest and treat it no more than a hobby. Being here at uni and living it makes me want to do it more and more. I've learnt so much in the this first year than I never would have been able to do at home. Some questions just cant be answered online. I know I have the skills to be a good 3d artist I just need to hone them and going to uni gives me that chance. Plus it nice to finally talk to people that share an interest in this as non of the people back home have any clue what I am talking about. By the end of the course I should have enhanced my abilities as a game designer, hopefully to a standard that the games industry will recognise and be willing to give me a chance to show them how good and how dedicated I am. I hope to speak to more people within the industry before the end of the course as this will help not only understand the industry better, but hopefully open new doors and opportunities when finding my dream job. Its scary hearing how hard the industry can be but I hope in the next couple of years our efforts and talents will be sort after more.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Creativity revisited

With the course now allowing us to show of our creative abilities more than when we started the course through our most recent projects. I'm hoping that I can find more to say about how my creativity is developing and what influences I've had since the start of this course. As the year is coming to an end I find myself wanting to explore more and more techniques and try more advance projects especially in 3d. I love 3d more than anything else and quite happily spend hours trawling the internet for new tutorials and techniques to try out. Its really satisfying to find so many great resources on the web to help fuel my creativity.

One thing that I think I have made more of an improvement on, is my confidence. In turn I believe this is the key to unlocking your creative mind. Believing that what you have created may not satisfy everyone's tastes but knowing in yourself that its the right path to take. It takes a lot of confidence to convince yourself that your making the right decision.. If we create something that's not quite what we had in our heads and have the creative mind to confidently see the problem areas as to why its wrong, only then can we rectify the mistakes and learn from them.

On the other hand imagineering is something (that like most other students) I seem to be having trouble with. The hardest part is to follow a theme but avoid obvious clenches at the same time. Striving to be original is maybe one of the most important things an artist creative side can be. I hate seeing people especially in advertising, ripping off other people ideas that they may have seen in movies or videos etc. By all means use it as a base to kick-start your own creativity but don't steal the idea outright, were is the fun in that?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Life Changing or Career Building?

With the game industry ever changing to keep up with the advances of technology, it's not surprising that it's hard to maintain a course structure that can keep up to date with the industry. The core skills are what's important to learn and that goes for any artist in any industry. Learning skills that can be carried and worked into different carers is the best way for people without work experience. My biggest fear is why would anyone employ someone fresh out of university when there likely to have interviewed people who already have lots of experience working in the industry. The only thing I can say to that is I just hope developers appreciate young talent and fresh thinking and creativity that maybe older generations don't see or haven't come into contact with. The ability to be original had a lot to do with things that we come into contact with and the way we see the world through our own eyes. That's why I feel that courses like these are important for the industry because it so hard to find people that share a common interest. Not just in playing games, but also really appreciating how there made.