Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Week 7 - Art Directors

The Art Director sets the standard that everyone on the project is working towards, and works closely with the Art Manager for the project they happen to be working on, as well as the recruiting team to build the best art team they can. Their main focus is to manage the team as a whole, making sure different branches of the project are working along the same lines as each other.

Art Directors are responsible for all of the artist within a project and work directly under the company and are often in close contact with the client for whichever project the team is working on.

In some ways I would say it's one of the most creative roles you could have, as you have to solidify the visions from all the different sections within the project into something tangible.

Obviously to become an Art Director you would need to have good organisation and management skills as well as an open and creative mind. Communication skills would be invaluable in this role, and although this is speculation on my part, I would say that an Art Director would have to be able to keep a cool head in any situation - it is a very powerful title to have and without a cool head a whole project could collapse around one arguement.

As for "How is art direction in Games similar to or different from Film, for example?" I will come back to this question.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Week 6, Gameplay.

"We used to spend so much of our time on game play and today's games seem to
put too much emphasis on graphics and sound. It's the game play that makes a
game fun, sometimes they forget that."
~Larry Kaplan

Game play is a fairly ambiguous term from what I've seen. It describes the whole game experience excluding other means of describing the game such as graphics and sound. It can mean the way in which a gamer can interact with other elements in the game, and how enjoyable the overall experience is/was as a result.

One of the games I find myself playing a lot is Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube. Although it is not my favourite game, I keep coming back to it and getting friends that have never played it to try it out. The storyline is fairly detailed, each new level takes the knowledge from the previous and adds to it. You build up a repetoire of spells and techniques to tackle each enemy, and moving through the game feels like an actual progression that you don’t always find in other games.

The graphics in Eternal Darkness is not what makes it so enjoyable to play, it is the gameplay that makes it stand out from other games - the introduction of a sanity meter that not only messes with your character’s mind, but also the gamer themself.

SPOILER: There is a list of conditions you might find during low sanity can be found at - http://gameshelf.jmac.org/2008/09/eternal-darkness-sequel-highly.html

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Path Continued... Again!

Many current games have, in both my opinion and that of many others, taken a turn for the worse. This can most likely be related to the increased capabilities of 2D and 3D modelling and rendering programs, enabling game companies to produce higher qualities graphics in games. However, many games now seem to put priority into graphics over game play, which has resulted in a lot of games with a very short lifespan. You can also compare this to some of the latest films released, where the CG is quite realistic, but the films leave you feeling emotionally empty and unsatisfied.

Not everyone sees the increased graphical capabilities as negative thing. From a more positive view, the constantly updated graphics make it much easier to absorb yourself in the game without having pixellated characters and objects distracting you from the game play.

Saying that though, I must applaud Nintendo for their fantastic choice in 'Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess' as their premier launch title. Having played the previous console released Zelda games from Ocarina of Time onwards, I was already excited by the prospect of a new Zelda game and I was not disappointed. The updated graphics were refreshing, especially after I had only recently decided to replay Ocarina of Time. The game play was still in the familiar style that I was used to from the previous Zelda games and the introduction of motion sensitive swordsmanship was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire game from start to finish, even through the oh so familiar "How is this dungeon even possible" of the typical Zelda game. Congratulations Nintendo! You made a fantastic start with Twilight Princess.

...Red Steel? Why would you punish us like this *weeps*

Path Continued

I'm taking too long sitting here thinking up an introduction, so I'll just jump straight in.

The first computer games created were made for two players, but from 1977 until 1993 the true nature of the anti social gamer burst forth and the game industry was dominated by games created for single players. One of the most widely known of these is Doom, created in 1993. It has been described as a highly influential game, leading the way proudly towards our beloved first person shooters. Created a couple of decades before and developed parallel to Doom were the "interactive fiction" class of games. To me these seem to be the predecessors of Modern Day role playing games with more focus on the playable story and less on fighting.

The first console I ever got was a Nintendo64. It was a join Christmas present for both me and my brother, and we played that little machine for hours on end. Some of the games on there that I enjoyed the most were Super Mario 64, MarioKart 64 and Goldeneye, and I have never beaten my brother at any of them even to this date.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


This one feels a lot better than my last, I also put a bit more time into it. I think I like this method of painting, or at least it's growing on me. I chose this view point because the day that I went down to the canal, the colours were so intense, and the view really was quite breathtaking for something as ordinary as a canal.

Lemme know what you think!


Here's my first finished image for the Bradgate Park project. Problem is, it's too flat and lifeless, and I can't put my finger on what needs changing, any ideas?

Testing a messy method of painting, it's definately more fun, but I'm still not sure if i like it..

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Well first blog, here it is! Belated, as I tend to find writing a bit of a daunting task unless it's a story. I didn't realise that computer games had started as early as the 1950s, though I can say I'm not surprised since mankind finds games to play with absolutely anything.

While looking through the history of computer games from the stage they're at at the moment, it's hard to imagine such primitive games such as "Tennis for Two" and "Spacewar!" needing a computer the size of a refrigerator to run them. As the computers themselves were not really a household item at that time, these games were created and used in military bases and government places, where the funds to run them were available. 

The main creators of these games appear to be from scientific backgrounds, using the games as for academic and military purposes.. or so some of the sources i read said. I'm not entirely sure that Pong and Spacewar! are learning programs, but I guess they would be good for hand-eye co-ordination and honing reflexes. The fact that these institutions were the first to make computer games does indeed strike me as significant, because most of our technological advances seem to be made during times of war as each part of the world struggled onwards to create better and more sophisticated devices and programs than the last.

And now back to me..

The first games I played... and remember of course... were Word Rescue and Math Rescue by Apogee [http://www.3drealms.com/math/index.html] which was around the age of 3. They were simple yet fun games that helped me to learn to read, write and count. After that came Thinkin' Things and Thinkin' Science by Edmark. My Dad has always been into computers, so me and both of my brothers were able to get help in using computers to play education games. However, the educational side of this didn't last much longer, and soon I was playing Doom and Wolfenstien 3D. I am currently playing (as much as I feel embarrassed to say) World of Warcraft, as well as a few Nintendo DS games such as Tenshu: Dark Secret and Drawn to Life (that I'm borrowing from Aby). I'm not really sure what's driven me to continue playing games all these years, but one of the things that I have been pleased to see and play is the fast paced progression of in game graphics. 

That's all for today, will post more later.