Video Games Design as an Art Form: Choices and Their Consequences

This dissertation assignment was submitted as part of my final year studies at Gateshead College, where it earned me a Distinction grade mark towards my H.N.D. Creative Media Production qualification.

The module was a special subject investigation on a subject of our choice. For which I chose to explore the subject by examining the role of game design and the consequences a developer’s choices have for the industry and society.

Continue reading “Video Games Design as an Art Form: Choices and Their Consequences”

“Riiidge Racer!” & Giant Enemy Retail

I came in late to the start of today’s first lesson, where we learnt about the history of video games. It was a fun lesson and I especially liked going over the video below, after seeing it last year and it reminded me how Sony can drop the ball like the best of them.

Sony’s E3 2006 conference wasn’t just perceived by many as a flop, it enriched gaming culture with so many great meme’s.

Later into the lesson, the tutor expressed two opinions which I disagree with, on the XBOX One’s game sharing feature and the role of retailers in the industry. Continue reading ““Riiidge Racer!” & Giant Enemy Retail”

I Could Be Your Mother

I knew it would be best to write this post today, after viewing a film which my tutor, Len, had suggested – The War Zonedirected by Tim Roth and based on the book of the same name by Alexander Stuart.

We were discussing cerebral films in relation to video games and the tutor recommended this one. I’m struggling to give an opinion on it, as I find it hard to articulate my feelings, given the strong subject matter. It’s certainly cerebral, but I’d say very emotional too, even if the characters are unlikeable, a lot of scenes are really putting you in uncomfortable territory.

So the lesson itself seemed to fly by but we managed to get through a lot. I felt the lesson went well because Len makes sure we get to make good use of our English and writing skills; with plenty of discussions and analytical writing. Continue reading “I Could Be Your Mother”

Jarrow: End Game

Today I’ve been able to sort my primary and secondary research. I now feel I have enough to begin creating a presentation for the fictional Jarrow video game.

Made this loading screen of my local shopping center.

Image by Carl Halligan

Carrying out the research is only one task of four from the brief. I have been working hard towards covering as many learning outcomes as possible, so I have already made good progress on tasks two and four. Continue reading “Jarrow: End Game”


Today’s lesson with Kaf was fast and we covered a lot of stuff. The first was a way to label scene objects in Maya, using medial capitals or CamelCase.

Camel case – Wikipedia

Some systems prefer camelcase with the first letter capitalised, others not. For clarity, this article calls the two alternatives upper camel case (initial upper case letter, also known as Pascal case) and lower camel case (initial lower case letter). Some people and organizations, notably Microsoft, use the term camel case only for lower camel case.

Playing with the tools in Maya helped me understand that I have a lot more to learn before I’ll be able to ‘rig‘ a character. Continue reading “CamelCase”

S.M.A.R.T. Target & Life Goal

Today Len taught us about the ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ mnemonic and he asked me to explain my personal goal based on this premise.

S – To produce a ‘Distinction’ quality portfolio of work which can be used to showcase my talents as a video game designer; allowing me to secure funding or employment in the industry.
M – I will measure my success against the marking criteria for the H.N.D. Games Production (Engines and Animation) course which I am enrolled. I see this as the standard to which I must work and I will be comparing my work to that of my peers and professionals, for inspiration.
A – I have worked hard through adversity to get to this point and have received encouraging praise for my progress so far. I feel the goal is achievable as I know I have relevant skills.
R – It will also challenge my known weaknesses; complex art and traditional drawing styles.
T – I do best when I have a large amount of work to do in a relatively short amount of time; preferring intense sessions of learning to maximize my creative output. Continue reading “S.M.A.R.T. Target & Life Goal”

Research…So Much Freaking Research

Despite today’s lesson on the new timetable being animation, Kaf was not available, so we had a productive session of project work with Martin instead.

I worked back over the assignment brief, expanding on my previous work, so I can meet the ‘merit’ and ‘distinction’ criteria for each learning objective. I still feel like I am often stepping outside of the scope of the given task. Continue reading “Research…So Much Freaking Research”

Animate Like Miyazaki, Go!

Today I had my glimpse into the world of 3D animation in my first lesson with our animation tutor, Kafui ‘Kaf’ Elorm Avornyo.

Kaf explained to us, that he will be teaching us the complexities of Autodesk’s Maya 2013, as well as checking our progress on the assignments we will be given. For the first assignment, however, we are not required to animate, simply research. This meant we had time to have a quick play with the program before being given a comprehensive study list and some interesting homework. Continue reading “Animate Like Miyazaki, Go!”