Thursday, 18 November 2010

On Live Stream games and play instantly 2nd december

On live have announced that they are to release there game system on the 2nd of December (my birthday :D) on there site only for 99$. The release tittle include Batman Arkham Asylum, Dirt 2, Avp, Assassins Creed 2, among many others. Its just a shame I've played or owned most of them already. I expect there to be more added if its a big success. For those who haven't heard about it after it was shown at E3, you can instantly play game over a broadband connection via streaming. If you go to the website you can download a pc version for free and play all the games on trial for 30 mins. we have a 20Mb connection at our house and after trying some games I get lots of connection errors and there is about a 1 second lag between controller movement and on-screen movement.

If you want to play on your TV you will need to buy the little black box The whole thing is just a small box with a connection to a TV via HDMI. It also has a micro usb for power and the Ethernet port for connecting to your broadband line. You also get a controller that looks allot like the 360's. Its wireless and had the added ability of having dedicated media keys for music and video.

The applications for this are amazing. As its streamed the technology only requires the ability to stream the games not render them. That's done by other machines. This means that we could see the service pop up on the like of iphone, ipad, even smartphones. Just imagine playing Boarderlands on your phone just as if you were playing it on your xbox 360!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The importance of planning

Everything in life needs planning. Days out, even trips to the supermarket. So it's only natural to asume that the most important thing that would need planning is work at your job. Let's not talk in the context of game for a minute. Lets thing about a builder who has a client that are a couple who own a piece of land that they want to build a house on. Imagine if that builder just got his diggers in and started digging foundations without thinking it through before starting any work. Having a blueprint of the house not only lets the builders know how the house will look, but also the clients, so they can decide if it's what they want.

Now let's look at the same example in the game industry. It would be the same for the lead artist to have a similar role as our couple in our last example. He would oversee the concept or environment artists to make sure the asset ( let's say it's a building that's going into a city environment) is going to fit not only in size but also in style. That the complexity of features such as windows and doors aren't to complex as this would result in the game running at low frames per second or worse it would crash all together.
So with this in mind what can I do to make the process of planning easier for me and the person reading it. In my opinion the most important aspect would be simplicity. I don't see the point of having pages and pages of text. Sometimes a quick sketch that's been annotated can be more than enough to get the point across, rather than paragraph after paragraph of text. Also understanding limitation and restrictions. Or even the role of the "asset". For example, if it was a enemy character for a first person shooter, he may not need to be rigged for talking in cut scenes unlike the main characters. This may mean that his mouth could be model without the need for it to be opened, thus saving valuable time that may have been wasted if this area was overlooked and not first discussed or not made clear during the planning stage.
An example of restriction would be that a model needs to be under a curtain amount of triangles. So planning a budget amount over the entire model would avoid having all the triangle used up on the first part they you modelled, only to realise as you got closer to the end you have to make it less detailed as you would have like, due to the fact you would run over budget. Equal distribution of details is important to balance the overall density of a model. This would very difficult if it was not considered during the planning stage.
It's important to get into the habit of thinking about the projects were set as a whole rather than just jumping into max and start modelling something why were are studying at university, as this will become second nature to us when we end up working in the industry.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Game City 2010

I know it was a few weeks ago now, but I wanted to wait for the release of kinect, get kinect sports and talk about them both as Tom and I were able to get into a key note speech with Rare about said game and gadget. My plan was to buy it, play it, talk about it. But after looking at my account balance I'm going have to wait till Christmas! What I can talk about is the speech.
Rare Studio’s Executive Producer of Technology and Communications, Nick Burton, was the guy to give the speech. The thing I found most exiting, is how they play tested. The original office was to small for all the movements,. They found themselves moving backwards into the hallway for extra space, so in the end they just got rid of the cubical office spaces and opened the whole room into one massive kinect playground. Nick let us in on some secrets as we watched volunteers from the audience play testing. They wasn't putting enough effort into running. but the devise is able to pick up large, more eccentric movements and reward players with speed. This the resulted in the two gunny pigs delivering a very entertaining and hilarious display of Benny hill style running.

After the talk Tom and I had a ten minute team death match round of crysis 2. This was very enjoyable and after looking at all the E3 videos this game is looking very exciting. I've only just managed to play the first encounter on the PC after building my new computer (I can now play on full specs!) which is amazing title and it hard to believe its now almost 4 years old as it still stand tall among most of today's games. I was able to bag myself a "I love NY" t-shirt for being the highest scorer, which was a bonus. But as the day came to a close and it being the last day of the festival, I think they had allot of t-shirts left so everyone was getting one. As we discovered after a second go of the demo. So I didn't feel so special, but all least we had a spare to give our room mate when we got back. Should have put it on Ebay!
I could go on but I'm trying to keep this short and sweet. All in all it was a great day and I will be attending again next year as it only a short train ride away and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Jolyon Webb and Aaron Allport from Blitz Games.

Just like our first year we started the year with a talk from Jolyon Webb and Aaron Allport from Blitz Games, and just like last year it was very informative. It's always a good opportunity for us to get real advice from real industry professionals.

I've taken all of their points into consideration, and they made me feel a bit more straight headed about were my head should be at, and how I should go about finding a job when I leave. My big fear is not knowing what area of expertise I want to go into when job hunting. I'm hoping ill just fall into it after I try more things over the next two years of my course. Hopefully I'll be able to understand what I enjoy the most by then, as I like every aspect of the industry at the moment. It's a very hard decision that will affect my whole career. For now I'm just going to make sure my technical ability and keen eye keeps my work to a high standard.

As I look more into studios and job I'm finding that there is actually allot more studios in this country than I first thought. Let's hope that this means there will be plenty of jobs to choose from when I finish.