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CIU211 Cultural Perspective : the Globalization of Gaming.

Since the beginning of gaming there as being a drive to make entertainment for the masses and have it be accepted and profitable. It’s come in many forms and has a several different companies all buy your business and well-earned dollars.

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This has been in the way of console gaming and in PC gaming both with a very different dedicated fans and consumers. Every new generation of gaming console see a new market of games and more profit for their respectable companies. But this is where it end with countries of people play the games at home and interaction with people on line but this doesn’t have a global impact.

When it comes to a gaming market the dwarfs any other you only have to look to the mobile device at your side to find the answer. This market stretches to more  then just a gamer demographic as not never one will side down to play a console game or look to outlay a large amount of money on a powerful PC.

Mostly every has a phone and will have spare time at some point in their life to maybe tap way at a game for a little and this happens when most are out and about or on a lunch break.

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With these games being a lot cheaper to make the console and PC counterparts these games can also have  high income of money as most are free to play with in app purchases being a way to make money on the product and it down to consumer impulse being the drive to revenue.

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Here shows the average amount spent per player.

 

A strong want to travel is something that Globalization and people desires to see and experience new places and thing. Like Mobile technology people to newest and best and they want it on hand where ever they go.

Niantic is a developer that has focus on the these two wants new a couple of different ways one is a travel app that is a way that people can find out information about anything that my want while they travel, be it food entertainment, or the landmarks of the whole around at the current moment or place in time.

Niantic have also done this in their game Ingress which see people using their GPS location to interact and compete for territory in a digital space based on their real world location.

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This is Niantic newest use of this technology and as they coupled with a brand so well known as “The Pokémon Company” the success of this has been amazing. Not only has this coupled the use of mobile gaming and people wants to be out and about. It has boost this with long running eastern band that both her an overseas is highly renowned.

However the success of this game hasn’t been without its down side incidents like:

  • Car accidents with people play the app while driving here
  • Shooting resulting from people trying to rob players of the game here

Being some of the resent occurrences.

But there have been good things come from this also, be it that some are terrible

  • A lady in the states find a body will Pokémon hunting here
  • Criminal found as he was playing Pokémon go here

Other place this game has had an impact it in the stock markets also with the very large over site from a lot of investors buy up great amounts of shares in Nintendo

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However as Nintendo isn’t the creators and only have a very small amount of share in the Pokémon Company this turn out to be a lot of nothing. As during a reveal of their forward earning the company told investor that they didn’t make the game and don’t hold much of the expected profit form the title.

So what does this mean for mobile gaming as a whole from a stand point of a consumer I don’t think that it will change how gaming continues to be assess and interacted, from an investors side of thing in the global markets does this mean that only games that so this level of interest will thrive or will this not have an impact on the future of games.

 

 

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Studio 1: 3DS Max and Making Assests

The making of  modeling assets for games.  Today i jumped into 3DS Max, having used the program Blender before is point a few times it was complete alien to me, but i had to familiarize myself with the lay out of 3DS Max.

I was able to answers a lot of my question here 

It wasn’t long before i knew my way around the basic and set about looking at making some basic object. But i tied them in with the theme of out current project, a barn.  This way if they turned out half decent they can be utilized for our first prototype .

To begin i started on a basic crate. With a standard box, and converted it into a editable poly, this way the program looks at this box as polys and vertexes. This ways you are able to add different lines line and more ways to edit. This is how i was able to indent the sides and then extrude the corners of each on to make the cross supports.

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This wasn’t very difficult, but i did find the was able to achieve this a lot quick in the second attempt below, there is also a cylinder added to add to our theme of the futuristic re-purposed barn. This was done to pull away from the all wooden barn feel and an element of a futurist feel to play in with the robots that are our player character models.

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With this grounding i kept the ball rolling and i was pleased with outcome of the first objects i looked at making a barn door. This was similar to the box but i had to focus more on the design and how to make basic spaces to look like effective.

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These were a few other elements that i put together to help our prototype. With all of these assets i have made them so as they can be modular and with the fences i have made different variants so as when these are all used side by side they will not look repetitive, it is very difficult to do these and it help out more the you would thing to a players eye.

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This is some thing that is use for assets and for material in all games. Making something that can be tied or is of a modular design is really effect way of making thin look and feel right, but are done with little effect so that they can be made on mass and placed into games and environments with ease.

 

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Hay! It’s a Barn.

See what I did there.

But what is this really for? In the last week there has been a lot happening with is being one of them and I’ll explain the rest with more blog this coming week.

We are working on a new game called Motion_Exitus, a Futuristic World War setting. The barn is a production line for robotic soldiers, were 3 of these robots have a bug in their AI, and are trying to escape the barn’s maximum security protection.

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Using Fallout 4’s Build mode and new content of barn build components, I look to making a physical are and design to better help our team and collaborators a better idea of what it is we are look to portray.

Instead of an awkward meeting or chat trying to explain an idea that might get misconstrued in translation. With these images of my mock up.

It wasn’t just a matter of throwing a bunch of prefabs together. In our Art bible there are several example images that I pulled different aspects of the architecture from.

ArtBible

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There several design reason for the 3 step roof style barn

  • There was the need for a large floor space to the barn to allow for an eventual 4 space division
  • The high centre atrium in the middle of the design for a place to exit barn but also that there is pretension for vertically in the levels design.
  • Having the window of this style barn higher up the barns structure will allow for lighting to play a part in the environment.

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This style is one that we are looking toward as it will be better suited to our requirements these styles below with a single roof style and no side wings. With the art style we are looking to use these would be very fun to use, but to scale this up to meet our need for a large barn with good floor space these would look comical and silly.

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1.Wall and split roof, knowing that the area of game play needed to allow for a third person camera i allowed for the design to be of some hight so that the player would not need to wrestle the camera with over head obstacles. I had this to begin as a “we need x amount of head space” ” ok double it”. As fallout 4’s  wall pieces work to a 1 high, and half high scale i felt that doubling the 1 high walls would suit the grandeur of a barn better.

2. Center Atrium and Barn ends, In the image about what is outlined by the read box was actually the beginning  idea for the barn structure i had in my mind. It was until i saw this in a physical scene that i realised that it would fit what we were after in a size and atheistic. However i felt that the look of having these window on the end of the barn would still look effective and not leave the end of the barn bare. So i endeavored to adept the size of the barn and keep these windows as part of the final aesthetic.

3. High Windows and Barn Hight, Due to the point above i look at making the barn higher as later down the the design process this would help our core mechanic as there would be more space and allow for verticality. I also however didn’t want the barn to look out of proportion but just making it taller. I research barn designs and saw about making the roof drop down in steps to allow for a transition in the height this also made the floor space feel adequate and not too large. Also the step allowed for the windows that would give possibility for the interesting use of lighting and draw the eye to the upper area of the barn.

This is just the start of our third project and I look forward to update on our progress and how our design take shape over the coming weeks.

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Studio 1 Say what I mean, Write what i say.

A week past now I had my TSSK (Transferable soft skills) meeting, which was a sit down with my facilitators to discuss my progress so far in studio,  my aspirations in a career stand point and how I can better you process to meet these ends.

Talk to Text

This is something that has been a point of improvement for longer than I would like to admit. When it comes to our discussion in a group environment I can articulate my ideas as easy as I think of them. I able elaborate on my own ideas and run different trains of thought with other groups ideas and stumbling points in design and development.

When it comes down to typing these thought down onto a page be it documentation or a blog like this, quickly and effectually that is where this hits a pretty large hurtle and a drain in time.

Speech to text is something that I have heard of and is something that I’m going to endeavour to look into. That this point in time I haven’t began to use this tool in all of my work but have trailed a few different programs to see which are better and use and which have an accurate interpretation of voice.

So far “Speechnote” is become a strong favourite and feel, to me like the reliable tool. Keep an eye on this space and there should be a great improvement in the quality of my blog and designs.

Time Management 

Improving my time management is going to come to discipline and scheduling. Setting achievable deadlines and always sticking to these constraints that I set myself, will help my work become more fluent with its completion and the quality of work that I create will be of a higher standard. I was recommenced s program to help with my personal scheduling proved useful. Trello is a tool that is in some ways a digital to do list which has proving useful for me. It has help clear up all those scraps of paper laying round my desk with half don to do list and note that mean nothing 2 seconds after I have written them.
Trello is also an app for iOS which means these list are on hand when I need them and can be updated anywhere. This will mean that at a glance I can update and make sure in using my time wisely
this being said how I plan this allotted time for work is another way that I will improve my time management and my piece of mind. Setting time limits for tasks into 20 – 40mins increments, instead of 1 – 2 hours is something that I’m starting to do. Hopefully with continued dedication to this my productively will increase and better my work. Additionally, continuing to implement a team calendar and project schedule will ensure project success, and the margin for error will deplete significantly.
With Project 3 and my new teams I have been placed in, we have completed a working project calendar and schedule which has been converted into a Gantt chart. Out lines and planning these jobs early, means that we can start developing the project, and we are not going to be stressed on these little thing later in the project where they hurt more than the little time it take to put these in place before hand.

This Gantt chart that our team has developed is only in its rough stages, but I have already seen improvements in my personal scheduling and knowing what tasks I should be working on and how much time to devote to them.

Hopefully with addressing these elements in my own soft skill I will be able to find more areas to improve to help me in their future as we all know you never stop learning.

 

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Studio 1 “What the Matter” Post Mortem

We’re done! That’s what the matter is. This is the end of project 2, our board game design project. What the matter is a point were player are able to play and complete a game with a definite winner. This is the end of the design work for this project as our graphic designer will take it from here and produce a complete board game by the end of week 13. Our team though minus a remember by the end are happy with what we have ended with after these last four week of testing and iteration. From now until week 13 we are moving on to another project but we are still will be trying to make this a great produce by that point, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This blog will break down our last four, what went will, what could have gone better and what could we do for next time to help replicate the good or stop the bad from happening again.

What did go well?

Scope 

Our team from the start consisted of 4 members, 2 designer and 2 programmers. So we came into this with different approaches and skill sets. With a 4 week window we were all the same page that is game need to have a scope that was achievable, this was something that we made sure that we adhered to. There were several times that both designer (myself included ) had plans of grandeur only to have a programmer worry about if there was too much being crammed in to the design. So they keep that in check at times which was a great help.

Things that help this was everyone being part of brainstorming and documentation ground work. So what we wanting the game to be from the get go was a group idea and had different level of consideration on all parts with helped others learn and build a solid knowledge of a design framework.

Our Random element

Scoping the board game wasn’t difficult as we had a random element that would work as the main form of random the players were to interact with. A bag of 3 colours and 9 of each colour, was an interesting element to make work well as draws from this bag were random. This become something that changed greatly. But we stuck to a core design and made work well without it becoming convoluted by the end.

Player Fun

This was something that you could say all good games have but I feel there was particular allowance for this from the start in ways that we designed or decided on elements in our design. Giving players a choice at several points in players turn or over the course the game did result in a very uncertain game flow and duration. But every game that was part of a play test had friends laughing at what would play out or players would team up on one only for that one to have a comeuppance. By no means did the game work there were broken elements for sure but once  this become something that players did on each play through, we made sure that it was kept and that we didn’t made drastic changes to alter this .

Collaborator involvement

This was something that members of our group were wary about as working with someone outside of game design might be difficult. Early on I was put as lead on the project and made communication a big thing that was open and clear for all and between all. Our designer also made this top on the list of things to make work, he would always play our game on play tests and give feed bad too all elements, something else that made this flow a lot better during design was not try to make this game in a style that our designer didn’t feel comfortable doing. There where elements that come to light that our designer feel didn’t fit the theme or continuity that we change and where the better for instead of saying just go with it. Leaving some of the interpretation of elements style to our designer also yielded good results and made the designer fell as if this was as much as his work as ours. That scene of ownership I think is a great sign of collaboration.

What didn’t go well?

Team communication 

Communication between all team members and that goes for myself as well, could have been better. For a majority our group meeting and time were all team members worked on elements went will and was productive. However getting everyone to that point was something that would be something that was arduous. Member schedules would be vague and something not update to reflect their movements. This meant that not all team members would be up to-date with changes or on the day of deadlines. This meant that there was a perpetual catch up of info that lead to productivity being something we were always chasing and not achieving in the long term of the project.

Responsibility 

Establishing roles and responsibilities would be a good idea for us early on in the development. Unfortunately this wasn’t something that happened and added to loss of time for our team. Establishing a leader was a start but there wasn’t any other roles determined is would have ensure that all communication and planning wouldn’t be on one person. In addition having one elected person that all final changes. Is like have the start and finish of something and none of what happens between.

Our team consisted of 2 designer and 2 programmers, which by the 2nd week of the project become 1 designer and 2 programmers it become clear that some member uncomfortable and couldn’t contrite to areas of the design process of our board game, which is fair as there wasn’t any programming in a digital scene. There were time that their logic came in very useful but that was only after the fact of hours of work taking place where the thinking in the design process could have help see this issue earlier.

Establishing roles and responsibilities and helping each other out with different tasks that others may not be as well adapt in is a part of teamwork and learning new skills, and this was something that was missing from our development team. This wasn’t always the case but more often than not this would be evident.

What have we learnt from? And what will change next time?

Determine a Leader

Determining roles and responsibilities is going to be the first thing we organize when transitioning into our new teams for project 3. This will solve a lot of issues that have been occurring in the past. Having clear roles and responsibilities in place beside that of project lead, will have others taking the load of just one person. This will help everyone to know where to go and who to go to for what information.

Since receiving the brief for project 3 and being decided into a new team we have already determined roles and responsibilities, we have a rough schedule at this stage and it’s being added to constantly, and we have a clear and consistent calendar that shows availability. To help better inform the members of our team.

Scheduling and Calendar

Creating a personal work schedule and your team schedule is something that will happen early on, this will help clear your minds for the tasks at hand if all the planning is own in writing, this will also help you know what will need to be done, when to do it by, who will have it covered, and list for everyone be that team and collaborators to know where the project is at.

This will only be possible if a clear and well-structured schedule in place, this is something that has happen in the transitioning into project 3 our team has created a rough schedule and calendar that shows, tasks we need to tackle first, and a shared working calendar shows our week and availability so we can better plan tasks and the flow of the project

Communication

It’s important that clarity with your team is paramount , being aware of what others are working on and what is coming in a couple of day window will help everyone stay on top of the work load physical and mentally. Allowing for face to face meetings or establishing a set day and time each week where you will hold an online discussion is important, as you can establish upcoming tasks and check up on progression in these times.

Our team for project 3 have not discussed a day and time that this chat will be held, but now that we have all updated the teams working calendar we can start to see time slots where we are all available and we can start to discuss possibilities.

 

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Whats Inside? “Inside”.

I recently picked up Playdead’s newest game inside with my steam sale games and waited with anticipation for it to be released. Inside is a game about a boy running away you know not what and running to you know not where. With what to come next being both entreating and surprising.

This is the second game form the Playdead developers with limbo back in July of 2010. Like Inside, Limbo is a game that has no spoken narrative or on screen instruction and it makes the play progress forward at their own risk with death and misstep being a way to teach players how the rules of these eerily beautiful worlds work.

Limbo (2010)

 

If there is one thing that these games do amazingly well and that i admire and am interred by is how they lead or instruct the player in subtle and obvious ways. When you take words of the table as a tool to help you design you have to get creative and this is something that I’ve look at with my own design. You wouldn’t think a game like this would have and thing to do with a board game. This idea of less is more i need to use it for play cards in my game.

They are not something that you can put a lot of word on so images and symbols are a way the you can instruct players on what something means or what they need to do.

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Inside (2016)

 

In the image above there are a few very subtle was the you are shown what is important to the player :

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  • All the light sources in the image come from the right  this area and shine on the player and the back wall. This light plays as a beacon that thew player wants to follow as players have come from a dark area before this point.
  • The boys head is looking at the object of importance the safe on the ledge and the light from before is highlighting this.
  • the safe itself has a hue of white light behind it and the safe is all covered in shadow to stand out in the white black contrast.
  • Once i saw all this it had me looking around the scene and i noticed the lumber under the safe and i connected  that these will have an interaction in the future.

All of this was giving to us without the use of words or distracting “press this button to look here”, this game begins tho do this in small ways to start and then ramps up these interaction the further the game goes on.

Light is use to show importance to elements in large areas too so players do spend large amounts of to wondering around nit knowing what to do.

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In this image the light above the boy is the only light at the top of the screen when you enter this area. From my experience on my play through i saw this and immediately when for it to see what this was.  

Inside is a games that add little bits of narrative that can be read in different ways. Like limbo before it Inside is a game that has you pushing forward to find out the unknown, this question being answer most of the time with more question. The outcomes of events and the ends of the game leave you walking away pondering and discussing with other what it all meant and how differently you each perceived it. With Inside having and alternative this is only discussion is only elevated.