Throne Wars:

After coming up with the concept of the game itself (click here to familiarize yourself) we set acourse for plotting to turn this into a level design in Google Sketchup. We initially planned on it being developed and fully rendered in Blender but the only member in the group with the expertise and know how of how to efficiently use Blender within the timeframe we had was, Adam. And so it didn’t feel fair pinning the group effort onto his expertise. We instead opted for Google Sketchup and got to work on some sketches, although we changed our minds later and allowed Adam free reign within Blender to create a detailed version of the map.

ThroneWarsMapSketch

As a collective we were content enough with this sketch to get plotting a map in Sketchup. When it came to crafting the map, Tim took the initiative as to crafting the level because he felt most confident in Google Sketchup.

ThroneWarsFinalMap

I think Tim did an excellent job on this finished product. I was guiding him in some parts of the construction but i thought it best to let Tim decide if parts of the map worked better than others. I’m generally content with this product, it was exactly what i envisioned it would be when i initially sketched the level design. I don’t believe this is the final product that is being produced for this project, the reason i haven’t shown the more detailed version because the person within the group has yet to release it publicly.

Interactive Slideshow

For an assignment, we were tasked with creating an interactive slideshow in Adobe Flash. We had to come up with the main premise ourselves in a form of a 10 image narrative but the slideshow had to contain a; forward, backward and home button.

I chose to model the narrative after a cartoon version the Cerebral Knight character i had crafted and shown in previous posts. As a concept i went for this:

Concept

I wanted the concept to retain to the brief by having the main screen for the narrated image, the right hand bar for the text narration and the bottom half of the screen for navigational purposes. Eventually i took to Flash and constructed the template design that i now use. But before i could use this i needed to implement the imagery. As i have an inexperience with Photoshop i took to hand rendering the 10 images i used because i thought i could better convey the message i was trying to get across better through physical means. Here are the 10 images;

image1 image2 image3 image4 image7 image8 image9 image10 image5 image6

After this i was ready to construct the slideshow, the coding became difficult at times because of human errors i kept making with lapses of judgement and a lack of common sense. I prevailed eventually and came to this final product.

Screenshot

Overall i’m satisfied with the result. If i had a better attenuation for using Flash i think it could’ve been a lot more efficiently handled and more streamlined. I’ll take this as an experience and hopefully learn to improve the artwork next time and my ability to code said slideshow.

Sound used. (If it works)

Their Pride & Joy

For an assignment we were asked to sketch a scene using only our own drawing abilities to render on paper. There were 3 possible avenues for this; a car, a boat or a plane. I chose the plane out of a fondness for things that fly.

One of my favourite aircraft is the F-16 Raptor, so i knew without question that was what i wanted to attempt to draw. Here is the research i found: (All original links to the images are accessible through clicking the image)

3Q 3Q
3Q

From here i then crafted some initial sketches to get a feel for the different perspectives that the plane could take, so that i could better visualize it.

TheirPrideAndJoy2ndPersp TheirPrideAndJoy1stPersp

After i this i took my time trying to visualize the right angle to approach the final render. I took account everything the brief had told me about the plane needing to be in disrepair, in or near an air strip. So i decided to plot the render of a plane with a broken wing waiting to be fixed, with a partial view of the air strip from an open hangar door.

TheirPrideAndJoySketch

Overall i’m fairly content with the final product. I feel that if i had a greater drawing ability it would’ve fared a lot greater had i known prior how to shade correctly, but for a first attempt at a finished piece of art i’m generally satisfied.

Battle of the Magazines: EDGE vs Games™ (Review)

For an assignment, i was asked to purchase two distinctive and recognizable magazines relating to gaming that would be suitable for analysis and a comparison. After hopping on down to the local Tesco, i found myself bewildered by the choice on display. I recognized EDGE as a distinctly familiar name as i frequent their website, so i decided to purchase it to see how the written publication differs from the digital version. I then decided to choose a randomly selected one, that ended up being Games.

Generally when comparing something between two things you need certain criteria to look against both sides, because without something to compare i’d end up comparing it page by page, which wouldn’t be pleasant.

Criteria:

Overall scheme of the content: How each of the magazines are structured? Are they full of game reviews only? Do they have discussion material for ideas and problems within the industry? etc.

The front cover: In what way is the front cover appealing? Does it relate to the content inside?

Reviews: To save you the heartache of having to read through 30 pages of content about me comparing review styles between every single one, i decided to choose one in particular, Halo 4.

Round 1: Content

EDGE

In terms of content, EDGE generally has an amazing array of varied content. As a gaming news outlet it generally isn’t surprising that the magazine provides useful gaming news as one would expect. The interesting aspect of this magazine is the fact that it seems to be more primed to give the reader knowledge than simply ‘news’. There’s ample amount sections that include in-depth discussion on topics like “Female representation in the gaming industry”, which piques my interest personally because discussions as in-depth as these that tackle major issues plaguing the industry are rarely ever seen in publications as from my perspective, they generally stick to game specific related discussion.

Games™

As far as content goes for Games, they certainly do have an impressive array of gaming related content. With just over 30 reviews stacked into this magazine it’s a sure sign that this magazine is brimming with gaming goodness. There’s a variety of discussion content in regards to the games themselves and speculation for example, but it seems there’s little to no discussion of any placating problems or non-games related gaming news.

Verdict

In the overall scheme of things, EDGE seems in contrast to have a better lineup of varied content in comparison to Games of which seems more gaming related than anything topical. One would infer that EDGE would be more suited to those within the industry or those looking to get in, for a source of inside information. Whereas Games seems like a suitable option as a news outlet for a pure gamer, rather than those associated with the gaming industry itself.

Round 2: Front Cover

EDGE

3Q

The front cover on the EDGE magazine front page is fairly simplistic. From this issue i had picked up it has the Transformer themed stylings of the Fall of Cybertron game with two distinct covers available (Deception and Autobot themed). From an outsider point of view, it would seem to any person picking up the magazine that this is a Transformers magazine because of the blatant use of a singular image.

Games

3Q

Their front cover has a lot of things happening on it, which could become confusing to people trying to identify what the magazine is selling. Although more frantic, follows the same theme as Edge’s front cover by sticking with one themed game on the cover. Initially before buying this magazine, i did think it was Nintendo oriented with its Mario themed front cover.

Verdict

Both equally have bizarre traits when it comes to front covers. It’s mostly for topical reasons so that it is in relation to a game that is currently popular, or of interest in the public eye thus drawing more attention to the magazines. Out of the two i’d say that Edge’s simple design of not crowding the cover puts it out on top in my opinion.

Final Round: Review (Halo 4)

3Q

EDGE

The review overall seems to balance between the theoretics of the narrative and the implications of Master Chief returning and how that’ll affect future installments and the game itself with 343 industries at the helm. It talks about gameplay but not as much depth as Games does.

Games

The review overall seemed to be more gameplay oriented than anything else. Obviously with any blockbuster title the narrative is key but it seems like they ignored it for the most part within this review.

Verdict

Game’s review seems to be more gameplay centric than Edge’s review as that seems to have a more refined approach to being within the middle of gameplay and narrative discussion. In a sense they reflect the magazines themselves as Edge is more for theoretics than Games is as that gives more of a primary gameplay notion

In conclusion…

In the overall concept of things, EDGE in comparative terms seems to deal with articles and pieces of news that greatly reflect a more encompassing portion of the gaming spectrum and reside to more of the stance of encapsulating the entire industry, including developers and recent technologies. Whereas Games seems to be a magazine that revolves around what the title suggests, and does little else other than that. In terms of value, for those outside the industry without any desired notion to learn the inner workings of the industry and how things are produced and managed, then Games may be a better choice in terms of preference for those types of people. However, for those more inclined for wanting to know of the latest technologies and inside knowledge of the goings on within the industry the preferred choice would have to be Edge.

Google Sketchup: Break & Make Mesh

As shown in a tutorial, a quick way to come up with concepts and ideas for this is to use pre-existing material and alter it. In the method we were shown, we took two distinctly different objects from the 3D Workshop inbuilt to Google Sketchup and meshed them into a singular object.

Initially i envisioned taking something and simply “adding wings to it” and so began the premise for the design. I scoured for appropriate models until i came across the following Pirate Ship.

SketchUpMeshBefore1

It looked so eloquently designed for adaptation that it was too good of an opportunity not to adapt into a flying Pirate Ship. After this is then went to find an appropriate plane to set a course for making this ship fly. Here is said ship;

SketchUpMeshBefore2

When i acquired the assets i began to ponder on the configuration. Wondering if i should then convert the plane into a sail-able Pirate Ship or turn the ship into a flight worthy plane. I decided on the latter and construction began. I wanted to keep the hull of the Pirate Ship intact because of how structurally key it is to a pirate themed vessel, so i decided to mount the wings of the plane onto the sides for better effectiveness. In order to make it look less like a “Pirate Ship with wings” rather than a Pirate Warship, i decided to remove the sails and replaced them with a scaled version of a military star, to give it more of an authentic feel.

SketchUpMeshFinal1

Overall, i’m rather impressed with the result. I didn’t quite believe that i had the skillset  (or RAM on my computer) to pull this off. I quite enjoyed the process of breaking down the objects and meshing them together. If i could change anything i would most likely alter the exterior texture of the pirate ship so that it looked more authentic.

Google Sketchup: Experimentation

For a tutorial session, we were shown the basics of using Google Sketchup as a tool for coming up with quick concepts for ideas we may have in future projects. We were shown a simple, yet very effective way of creating a basic level design. I had a quick go myself attempting create a city level map;

SketchUpFirstAttempt

As you can see it’s fairly basic in design and easily represents my skill-set at the time. After the tutorial i had another attempt at making a similar city level but with a bit more complexity added to the level.

SketchUpSecondAttempt

And here was from the portion of the tutorial from when we were shown how to import objects that had been pre-rendered and completed by those in the online community who’d uploaded them for public use. I used this to implement into the street design to give it more of an authentic look.

SketchUpSecondAttemptObjects

Overall, i enjoyed the first attempts at producing something in Google Sketchup. I can definitely see the use of it as a tool for creating quick 3D visuals for concepts and should prove to be a very useful tool in coming projects.

Adobe Flash Tutorials

Over the course of the semester there were various tutorials on how to do specific things within Flash. The tutorials ranged from manipulating objects in the form of rotating, scaling and hiding them. They advanced further into covering subjects such as galleries and MSPaint-esque buildable creative suites. I enjoyed all of them immensely and they all brought a particular accolade to test again my skills that has helped me improve my craft. I would’ve showed these tutorials in singular moderation but i thought it better fitting because the last tutorial melds the rest together in to one collage.

And here is a quick video of myself demonstrating the results of the Flash tutorials.