Convergence of Genres/Platforms

“Technological convergence is the process by which existing technologies merge into new forms that bring together different types of media and applications”

Quote from wiseGEEK

Technological convergence speaks of this nature of technology to be continually streamlined. It isn’t a dissimilar concept to what is occurring within video games. In terms of gaming genres such as; Action, RPG, Strategy, etc. They all seem to be continually being meshed and categorized within the same sphere for a more extensive experience that effectively covers more than 1 genre. It wasn’t too long ago however, when games were far simpler than this. They’d have the player do one specific thing, then be categorized into one singular genre. Take Mass Effect for instance, it’s concurrently three different genres; Action, RPG and a Shooter. But are these created for the purpose of strengthening other genres?

I mean, the shooting genre is particularly bland if taken by itself. It’s the player shooting at a target until they get bored, but if you add in the the advancing technology and strengthening story elements seen in games today like BioShock Infinite and Mass Effect, they come together into a highly action-packed experience that is both entertaining, has a interesting story and most of all fun.

So is it all bad? No. I’d much prefer to see a bland shooter such as Call of Duty with a far greater and richer narrative experience if they genre merged with say, an RPG element to it.

Mechanics themselves are even beginning to merge into one. Bethesda creators of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and the Elder Scrolls series have implemented in their past 4 games, the ability to switch between First Person perspective and Third Person perspective. I thought this an interesting topic to bring up in a post about convergence because of how these two distant elements that are practically the encompassing element of a game rarely, if not at all, ever co-exist within a game.

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Imagine every First Person game having a Third Person element? It’d be very strange. I can see it being an up and coming thing though, First Person perspectives for narrative purposes put the player inside the characters mind thus which why they are a predominant perspective within gaming, but the ability to also have that distant viewpoint of Third Person to allow the player not only to immerse within the world, but also to see the character is an oddity. I’d like to see more of it.

In terms of convergence between platforms, i think Sonic The Hedgehog is the best example to pull into scope here. Sonic was a hit on the 2D platform, revered by fans and created by SEGA in their competition with Nintendo’s Mario. Yet when they tried to pull the character into the 3D environment it was met with much criticism because of how it altered the gaming dynamic being on a three-dimensional plane. So, is it fair to say that 2D-3D convergence doesn’t work and should be left alone? That’s subjective. To those that initially experienced the 2D experience, it may be unusually atrocious in comparison, but to those raised in a different generation that were raised on the later 3D experience, their opinion would vary tremendously. In essence, the two experiences are infact two different games. They may have the same speedster ethos that Sonic has, but if you alter the perspective of a game, you alter the experience, thus making a differing game.

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.

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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;

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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.

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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.

3D Shapes and Perspectives – Tutorial Session (Drawing 101)

Throughout this tutorial it was an essential look at the basic shapes and primitives that consist within art and how to easily replicate them using various techniques.

Spheres

The first technique shown was how to create a sphere, simply out of two circles. This i found fairly interesting because i had seen this before previously but had forgotten how to replicate it. Now that i can fully remember and have learnt to do this, it should come in very handy when trying to conceptualize 3D imagery.

RoughCube Perspective

The next technique was perspectives, we started off having to freehand what we thought a cube would look like without taking any measurements prior, and having done this in school whilst partaking in Graphic Design at school i already had a basic understanding of the concept. It was interesting and enforced the ideals of perspectives that i had long since forgotten.

Contour

The technique after this was contours, and i had a slight knowledge of how they worked oddly from studying Geography in school so i knew what they were and how they acted i just didn’t necessarily know they would be implemented into a drawing of this kind. Overall i found it particularly useful, i won’t deny it was particularly confusing at first because it didn’t seem from my eyes to be remotely 3D but i stuck with it.

Overall i see the benefits of all techniques, in teaching me how to comprehend 3D objects and keeping to perspective to ensure a greater sense of realism from my drawing and other works.