Week 11

This week we looked at emotions and how player’s emotions and in extension there mood can change when playing games (Brook, 2015). An example of this was shown during class, when we watched two videos that showed PewDePie’s reaction to a cut scene in Last of Us and Walking Dead (Brook, 2015). David Freeman coined the term Emotioneering, which refers to engineering emotion in game design (Brook, 2015). Freeman has developed several “Emotioneering Techniques‟ to provoke a desired emotion in the player (Brook, 2015). While there are a number of techniques game developers can employ when creating games, most emotion comes from the characters (Brook, 2015). Character emotion can either be expressed though action or dialogue (Brook, 2015). It terms with dialogue, it is not only important to achnowledge what is said, but how it is said (Brook, 2015).

david-freeman-on-the-art-of-writing-for-games-20050315045807122

Figure 1: David Freeman on the Art of Writing for Games (Source: Kosak, 2005).

Who is this character? What is his background and his key traits?

Quest Giver NPC: “I have a job for you.”

A veteran who is trying to survive the apocalypse by collecting weapons from the desolated wasteland of America and selling them at McDonalds. After the player finishes purchasing there desired weapons the veteran will say “would you like a quest with that?”

Tutorial Activity

1) Discuss the role of emotion in games you have played and in the game you are developing. Are there any particularly emotional events that you remember? What about those situations affected you?

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Figure 1: BioShock Infinite (DePasquale, 2015)

An emotional event occurred at the ending of Bioshock Infinite where Elizabeth explains the plot line of the game and how the characters interrelate with each other. Elizabeth tells the audience that there are parallel worlds and in these worlds the only thing that makes them different is variables and constants. Within the game the constant is the baptism, while the variable is if Booker DeWitt accepts or declines it. If Booker DeWitt refuses the baptism he stays as himself, but if he accepts the baptism he is reborn as Comstock, therefore he is both Booker DeWitt and Comstock. Therefore Booker DeWitt needs to drown himself before be becomes Comstock, in order to stop all the Comstock’s in the parallel worlds. To view the ending of Bioshock Infinite click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPmzA_cRMgM  

2) Identify the major characters in your game (quickly sketch out new characters if you need to) and indicate at least four different aspects of the relationships between them from each character’s perspective (for example, one character might respect another, but that respect is not returned; the latter character might be envious of something the former character has but takes for granted, etc).

For my machinima there are three major characters a dwarf, elf and panda.

The Dwarf: He has a pessimistic attitude towards the Panda and life itself, this is because his family was eaten by murlocs. The dwarf only agreed to group up with the Panda to kill murlocs, because he has no friends and she did save his life.

The Elf: He is racist towards Pandas and uses them as a scapegoat for the luck of tanking jobs available to him. He also doesn’t particularly like dwarfs as well.

The Panda: Even though she appears to be wanting to make friends in reality she is just hungry and is looking for her next meal. She hates the taste of dwarfs (from experience), therefore she decides not only to save the dwarf, but group up with him. The panda then uses the dwarf to lure another racial character to a secluded location to eat them. The panda takes a sudden disliking to the elf when he accuses her of taking all the tanking jobs and therefore decides to eat him.

WoWScrnShot_102015_123649

3) If you don’t have a solid cut-scene scripted, identify a section of your game that might have dramatic and emotional importance for the story and its characters, and write a sequence of dialogue for that sequence.

A dramatic and emotional part of the machinima is the climax when the panda successfully leads the elf out of tavern and eats him.

5) How might humour play a role in the game you have been working on? Are there any ways in which you can incorporate humour into your dialogue?

For the machinima my group is aiming to make our viewers laugh. This is hopefully achieved by making the elf annoying, so when he is eaten by the panda the audience will enjoy it.

References: 

Brook, L. (2015). Week 11 Lecture – Emotion and Dialogue [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website:  https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/file?cmd=view&content_id=_4090026_1&course_id=_617928_1

DePasquale, (2015). BioShock Infinite [Image]. Retrieved from http://depasquale.deviantart.com/art/BioShock-Infinite-365864808

Kosak, D. F. (2005). David Freeman on the Art of Writing for Games [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.gamespy.com/articles/596/596254p1.html 

MrSinghOfficial, (2013). BioShock Infinite Ending ( Final Boss Battle ) Full movie HD Ending Final Mission. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPmzA_cRMgM

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Week 10

Cinematic forms used in the video games medium are cut-scenes, mini movies and trailers (Brook, 2015). Mini movies can develop a richer game world, provoke interest/ hype, be a non-crucial exposition, provide closure and be a fan service (Brook, 2015). Also mini movies don’t require the viewer to play or understand the game (Brook, 2015). Trailers are made to generate interest and hype for the game, therefore may inform audiences on the game’s background, atmosphere and game play (Brook, 2015). The Game Of War trailer is an example of a trailer that does none of the things mentioned above, therefore is not successful in providing a realistic expectation of the game (Brook, 2015). A cut scene is a pre-scripted game sequence, they often introduce, break up, and end games (Brook, 2015).

1) Do you think cut scenes have a place in contemporary video games, and why?

I believe that contemporary video games will always have a place for cut scenes as it is an enjoyable way to receive information, as opposed to reading text. Cut scenes are used for setting up the story/game background, developing the characters and plot, creating an atmosphere and providing instruction and clues (Brook, 2015). Also cut scenes can give players instructions, motivation, reward the player and encourage player interaction and emotion (Brook, 2015). Cut-scenes allow player to view the game in a way, which wouldn’t be able to be achieved from game play alone.

2) Thinking of video games you have played in the past, what have some of the most memorable cut scenes been, and why?

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Figure 1: the-last-of-us-sarahs-death-gif-set-2-of-tlou. (Source: sakuma-drop, 2013).

The cut scene at the start of Last of Us is memorable when Sarah was shot by the solder and is dying in her father’s hands. This scene is so powerful because it plays on every parent’s most primal fear of losing their child. Also by letting the player play Sarah prior to this scene it further encourages them to identify with her and be more devastated by the thought of her dying. To view the cut scene click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DidjobKweCs (FusionZGamer, 2013).

y9skY

Figure 2:  y9skY (Source: Anonymous, n.d.).

Blizzard is known for their talents in creating incredible cut scenes, Diablo III was no exception. The introduction to Act II of the action RPG features an amazing encounter between the angels Tyrael and Imperius. This fight is much more entertaining than Tyreal telling the player what happened in game mode via text boxes. To view the cut scene click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaUxSvAVdc (GameSport, 2012).

portal-1024x640

Figure 3: portal-1024×640 (Source: Dan, 2014).

I couldn’t help but include the final cut scene and credits from Portal 1 into this list. This is the first time the player sees the outside world after being trapped within the testing chambers and is congratulated for completing the game by receiving a cake. Although the real reason this one is here, is for the closing music, in which GLaDOS reveals she is “still alive” in song form. To view the cut scene click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zZZJm6pWQ0 (Firelyte, 2013).

3) Think of a game that you have played that could have been improved with the removal/ addition/ amendment of cut scenes, and discuss

Resident_Evil_1_cover

Figure 4: Resident_Evil_1_cover (Source: Mika1h, 2013)

The cut scene in Resident Evil (1996) where Barry Burton gives Jill Valentin a lock pick is an example of what would happen in games if there were no movie cut scenes. This cut scene is very boring and takes time away from the player’s game play. The game could benefit from not including this cut scene at all or reducing the length of the cut scene dramatically. Also I find it comical that the master locksmith, Jill Valentin has no lock picks, you would think she would always have several on her, I know I do when playing thief characters in games. To view the cut scene click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_QIXYnWtDo (Resident Evil Database | Horror Database, 2015).

Ff10_logo

Figure 5: Ff10_logo (Source: wikia.com, 2015).

Another cut scene that felt unnecessary is in Final Fantasy X where Yuna teaches Tidus how to laugh. I didn’t particularly enjoy this cut scene as it felt very forced. From doing film studies I learnt that if a scene does not set the mood or is part of the narrative, it is best not to include it and I feel that this cut scene in Final Fantasy X does neither of the two. Although the game developers may argue that it shows Yuna and Tidus’s relationship developing, but considering that there are many other cut scenes that do the same thing it leaves us to question is this cut scene really necessary? To view the cut scene click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5FTJxfV3pc (YoshiFan007, 2007).

4) Work through the in-class tutorial using the Unity game engine

5) Discuss in your groups whether you will be using Unity to create a game level, or using another game to create a machinima. Why have you chosen the selected format?

Alex and I are going to create our machinima in World of WarCraft (WoW).

6) Using a narrative concept from a previous workshop, or your assessment, storyboard a sequence with crude figures, using a format of your choice.

References:

Anonymous, (n.d.) y9skY [Image]. Retrieved from http://i.imgur.com/y9skY.gif

Brook, L. (2015). Week 10 Scripting and Storyboarding [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843058_1

Dan, S. (2014). portal-1024×640 [Image]. Retrieved from http://earnthis.net/dans-top-100-everything-54-portal/

Firelyte, B. (2013). Portal 1 – Final Cutscenes & Credits. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zZZJm6pWQ0

FusionZGamer, (2013). The Last of Us: Sarah’s Death Scene [HD]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DidjobKweCs

GameSport, (2012). Diablo III – Act I Ending Cutscene (Spoilers). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaUxSvAVdc

Mika1h, (2013). Resident_Evil_1_cover [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(1996_video_game)#/media/File:Resident_Evil_1_cover.png

Resident Evil Database | Horror Database, (2015). Resident Evil (1996) – Cutscenes: Jill Valentine – Diálogo #5 (Master of Unlocking). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_QIXYnWtDo

sakuma-drop, (2013). the-last-of-us-sarahs-death-gif-set-2-of-tlou [Image]. Retrieved from http://sakuma-drop.tumblr.com/post/57316775053/the-last-of-us-sarahs-death-gif-set-2-of-tlou

wikia.com, (2015). Ff10_logo [Image]. Retrieved from http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Final_Fantasy_X

YoshiFan007, (2007). Tidus and Yuna laugh…out loud?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5FTJxfV3pc

Week 6

The word genre has derived from the French term meaning “kind” or “sort” (Brook, 2015). Genres where originally used as a classification system for ancient Greek literature (Brook, 2015). Genres are currently used to classify print, film, art and music (Brook, 2015). Video game genres have developed naturally and there is currently no formal classification (Brook, 2015).

1) Do you think we need a standardised genre format for video games? Why?

I think the gaming community should allow academics to classify games into meaningful categories, as it will make games more accessible to the general public.

2) Do you think there are benefits to working within a genre when developing a game? Why?

Benefits of establishing a game genre include, but are not limited to game developers better knowing there audience, the developer will know what their audience expects of them, provides boundary to work creativity in, provides a template and forms a dialogue with their audience.

3) Pick a literary/film genre and, noting relevant books/films, identify their conventions of:

a) Stories, situations and themes

b) Settings

c) Character types

d) Iconography / cinematography

Horror is a film genre, which use audience’s primal fears in order to cause a negative emotional reaction (filmsite.org, n.d.). The macabre and supernatural are frequent themes, and may overlap with fantasy, supernatural fiction and thriller genres (filmsite.org, n.d.). Plots within the horror genre usually involve an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, disturbing everyday life and the main characters having to free themselves of it (findmeanauthor.com, n.d.). Prevalent elements include ghosts, extra-terrestrials, vampires, werewolves, demons, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers (findmeanauthor.com, n.d.). Horror films use a documentary style of cinematography and uses angles that will make viewers jump out of their seats.

MV5BMjE2ODMxMTk1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDEzNjEzMTE@._V1_SX214_AL_

Figure 1: The Purge: Anarchy (Source: imdb.com, 2014).

The Purge: Anarchy by James DeMonaco is classified as a Action, Horror and Science fiction film (imdb.com, 2014). It is set in America where the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period where all criminal activity is legal, in order to lower crime and unemployment. The movie follows three groups of people who are trying to survive the purge night, but find themselves stranded and vulnerable (imdb.com, 2014).

FTWD-NewKeyArt-400x600

Figure 2: The Walking Dead (Source: amc.com, 2015).

Another film series that fits into the horror genre that I have been watching recently is Fear of the walking dead. It follows a family who is trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.

4) In regards to character types, is there a recurring stereotype in the genre? If so, what ‘type’ is it (refer to week 5)?

Stereotypical character types in horror movies include:

  • African American male: He is usually muscular and possesses leadership qualities as he is always the first one to go through the door (Colebank, 2011). He usually lasts for 15 minutes within the film and has a quick death (Colebank, 2011). The purpose of the African American male is to ready audiences for the killing spree which is going to occur (Colebank, 2011).
  • Non-believer: Can be either female or male and says things such as “There are no such things as demons”, “No one in their right mind would come out here” or “I’ll prove to you that nothing will happen if I read from this book” (Colebank, 2011).  The non-believer will be the first one to die, if there is no African American male (Colebank, 2011).
  • Sexually active couple: The characters are usually all over each other until there death, which usually occurs during sex (Colebank, 2011).
  • Blonde female: She is loud, annoying and dumb, audiences end up enjoying her death more than they should, although she somehow escapes her death on several occasions (Colebank, 2011).
  • The Jock: Muscular white male who is in love with the blonde and after her death decides to face the murderer, but never returns (Colebank, 2011). Both the blonde and the joke can be the sexually active couple (Colebank, 2011).
  • The wise male: He is usually older than the other characters and is the person they come to advice for (Colebank, 2011).
  • Hysterical female: The girl that doesn’t want to leave the house is always hysterically, usually because she saw her best friend die in front of her or she was kidnapped and escaped (Colebank, 2011).
  • Eye-candy: She sticks around throughout the entire film and her purpose is to take off her clothes and look good. She is very ‘gifted’ and sometimes dumb (Colebank, 2011).
  • The red neck: Muscular male, which has a thick southern accent and has a lot of guns (Colebank, 2011).
  • The loner: Average looking male or female, they may or may not survive the movie (Colebank, 2011). Typically cynical and is always sneaking around (Colebank, 2011).

After writing this I realized I don’t particularly like ‘typical’ horror movies that follow the format described above, but I still enjoy the genre.

5) Think of a game that fits the same genre

a) Does the game genre work within the filmic genre (does the game ‘type’ suit the filmic genre)?

b) Does the setting reflect the filmic genre?

c) Are the character types similar to those in the filmic genre? If so, what are they?

d) Are similar techniques used (iconography, cinematography) in the game as the filmic genre?

Left4Dead_Windows_cover

Figure 3: Cover for Windows version of Left 4 (Source: DeadJasonS2101, 2010).

Left 4 Dead 2 is a co-op action horror game where up to four players will need to survive zombie hordes and mutant monsters (steampowered.com, 2015). Overall I think Left 4 Dead 2 fits the horror genre, as it creates a similar atmosphere and experience. The setting of Left 4 Dead 2 reflects the horror genre as it has dark scary atmosphere, which aims to keep audience on the edge of their seat preparing themselves for the next scare.

left-4-dead-2-characters-survivors

Figure 4:  Left 4 Dead 2 Characters Bio (Source: left4dead2.net, n.d.).

The characters for Left 4 Dead 2 are similar to the stereotypical characters we see in horror movies, but with a twist. The coach is the African American male, but instead of being overly muscly, he is overweight (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Rochelle is the eye-candy, but her purpose is not to look good and take her clothes off, as she is dressed modesty and is not objectified as she is a valued member of the team (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Nick is the loner as he has a cynical outlook on life and has a shifty past (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Unlike horror movies audiences tend to like the loner, although in Left 4 Dead 2 it easy to dislike him (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Ellis is the red neck as he is a young country guy, unlike typical horror movies Ellis is portrayed as having a naive and foolish way of viewing the infected (left4dead2.net, n.d.).

References:

amc.com, (2015). The Walking Dead [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead

Brook, L. (2015). Week 6 Lecture Slides- Genres [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843055_1

findmeanauthor.com (n.d.). Horror Fiction Genre. Retrieved from http://www.findmeanauthor.com/definition_horror_fiction_genre.htm

filmsite.org, (n.d.). Horror Films. Retrieved from http://www.filmsite.org/horrorfilms.html

imdb.com, (2014). The Purge: Anarchy. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975578/

left4dead2.net, (n.d.). Left 4 Dead 2 Characters Bio. Retrieved from http://left4dead2.net/left-4-dead-2-characters/

steampowered.com, (2015). Left 4 Dead. Retrieved from http://store.steampowered.com/app/500/

JasonS2101, (2010). Cover for Windows version of Left 4 Dead [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_4_Dead#/media/File:Left4Dead_Windows_cover.jpg

Colebank, J. (2011). Top 10 Most Stereotyped Characters in Horror Films. Retrieved from http://horrornews.net/41413/top-10-most-stereotyped-characters-in-horror-films/

 

Week 4

Games differentiate themselves from other forms of media (e.g. movies and books) by making the person consuming the content no long a spectator (passive engagement), but a participant (active engagement). Immersion is the sense of belonging in the game world; true immersion is achieved when you can play for long periods of time without noticing time passing. Anonymous (n.d.) discussed how readers can be engaged through complex storylines and interesting character development. Majority of Anonymous (n.d.) examples involved an interesting twist that changed how the player perceived a particular idea, character or object. Agency is the experience of making choices with consequences. Agency is attained through narrative structures, algorithmic storytelling, narrative devices, creating the illusion of interaction and using various story mechanisms. In order for game designer to tell a story through their game they need to keep players on the game spine and golden path. Bateman (n.d.) suggested that through the use of breadcrumbing and funnelling, game designers can keep the player on track without disempowering them and causing annoyance.

Think about non-linear games you have played recently, and identify:

1) A game that you felt had high-agency.

Minecraft is a sandbox game, which contains no linear narrative, thus empowering players by allowing them to create their own narrative. The only playable character in Minecraft is interchangeable and contains low pixels; this further encourages the player to project themselves onto the playable character. For this blog I will be referring to the Xbox 1 version of Minecraft.

minecraft-screenshot-01-ps4-ps3-psv-us-15aug14

Figure 1: Minecraft (Source: playstation.com, 2015).

2) A game that you felt had low-agency.

In Bioshock Infinite the player is following a linear narrative, while controlling Booker DeWitt. The illusion of interactivity is created by the player getting to choose what weapons they equip and how they go about killing the enemies.

Official_cover_art_for_Bioshock_Infinite

Figure 2:  Official cover art for Bioshock Infinite (Source: Masem, 2012).

Answer the following questions about the choices given to the player in relation to: Minecraft

a) Was agency impeded by player interaction? If so, how?

Not that I can record.

b) Where you prepared for the choices before you made them?

Minecraft prepares players for each choice they are faced with by providing various resources (minerals, materials, animals and fauna) in order to not only allow players to survive, but flourish in this virtual world.

1

Figure 3: Minecraft for beginners (Source: Cupertino Union School District, n.d.).

c) How did you perceive the significance of each choice?

Each choice the player makes is significant as it is dependent on their survival, for example if the player fails to collect wood, they may not have a weapon to defend off monsters.

d) Were the choices made fair or fun?

The choices made in Minecraft are fair, because they are logical. For example if the player does not eat, she or he will die of starvation. These choices are also fun, because it challenges players to see if they can not only survive in this virtual world, but flourish.

e) Could you make up for a poor choice?

Even though Minecraft punishes players for poor choices, players can always make up for them. For example if a player dies they will spawn in the game world with no inventory or levels, but can quickly run to where they died to collect them.

dinnerbonedied

Figure 4: Paperback Writer (Source: Beth, 2013).

f) Reflecting on today’s content, how might you improve agency in the game?

Agency can be improved in a game by making each choice the player makes important, while also giving them the opportunity to make up for their choices.

References:

Anonymous, (n.d.). Freeman_AgencyMotivStory. Retreived from https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843053_1

Bateman, C. (n.d.). Bateman_KeepPlayrOnTrack. Retreived from https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843053_1

Beth, (2013). Paperback Writer [Image]. Retrieved from https://chocolatesheep.wordpress.com/category/creativity/

Brook, L (2015). Week 4 The Golden Path [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843053_1

Cupertino Union School District, (n.d.). Minecraft for beginners [Image]. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/a/cusdk8.org/minecraft-for-beginners/home/getting-started/farms-and-animals/mobs

Masem, (2012). Official cover art for Bioshock Infinite [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock_Infinite#/media/File:Official_cover_art_for_Bioshock_Infinite.jpg

playstation.com, (2015). Minecraft [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/minecraft-ps3/

Week 2

For this week we explored the concept of creativity and tried to answer the question, where do ideas come from? I believe that everyone is capable of being creative and coming up with ideas, but not everyone is capable of executing their ideas. There are various techniques that can be implemented, which can help individuals come up with ideas; this includes general knowledge, freeform writing, writing exercise and brainstorming (Brook, 2015). I personally prefer brainstorming ideas, as I am a visual learner. We also discussed various game elements within a game; this incorporates rules, story, players, challenge, platform, genre, interface, and audience (Brook, 2015). Even though prior to this class I have already thought of a narrative for my game, I haven’t decided the various game elements that make up the game.

1. Split into two groups:

  • Take turns to write a sequential sentence on the board
  • After everyone has had a turn, break your group into smaller groups, of 2-3 people.
  • Using your story on the board, determine:
    • Type of gameplay: Challenge and obstacles?
    • Victory condition: How you you win?
    • Player role(s)/interaction: Who/what do you control?
    • Setting: What environments/levels?
    • Interface & perspective: How do you view the world?
    • Game’s structure: How does it work? How is it broken up?
    • Interplayer interactions?: Co-op, competitive, solo?
    • Story: What sets the gameplay in motion? Summarise the plot.
    • Genre: What elements does it draw from/avoid?
    • Fun: Why play this game?

As a class we broke into two groups and took turns to write a sentence on the white board in order to come up with a game concept. Below is the result of this activity…

ancient_french_mountain_village

Figure 1: THE VILLAGE HAS MOVED TO IRCSTORM! (Source: IRC Village, 2014).

Atop the highest mountain on a remote island, sits a small village. Nobody cared about the village, so it exploded into a billion pieces of candy and a fish. This fish was so beautiful that all the other fish worshipped it and gave it gifts as tribute to protect themselves from its shiny disco-ball like scales. However, the fish was violently possessed by the consciousness of the villagers. They wanted vengeance, and would decimate all forms of sea life till they felt satisfied. The fish’s last hope of salvation was a mountain goat god called Clide. Clide possessed an all-powerful dildo they could resurrect all forms of life, such as the village. Unfortunately, it needed to be charged. Once charged, this dildo would shimmer like a caramelized candy fish thingy. But alas, it was crushed by the mountain. The mountains amazing lego collection stepped in and rebirthed the village into small, Lego sized fish people. They lived happily ever after until Clide the goat god came and ate them.

Mountain_Goat_Mount_Massive

Figure 2: File:Mountain Goat Mount Massive.JPG (Source: Darklich14, 2014).

Individually I attempted to create a playable game out of this story. I decided that the game would be a 2 Dimensional side scroller, set in the ocean. The player will control Clide the mountain goat god and will have to collect batteries in order to charge his dildo. Clide will have to not only avoid various sea creatures, but the beautiful fish with shiny disco-ball like scales that has been violently possessed by the consciousness of one of the villagers. Players will be able to hear the beautiful fish coming, because of the 80’s disco music playing, which gets louder as it gets closer. The player will win the game when they have fully charged the dildo, only to watch the dildo being crashed by the mountain and the mountains amazing Lego collection saving the day. People will want to play this game for its humour and interesting game concept. I feel that the game concept we came up with as a class was original, as I haven’t or heard or played a game similar to it yet. Although during class Brook pointed out that religious interpretation can be made from our game concept, for example Jesus has been referred to as goat in biblical stories. This leaves us to question how original our game concept and if we were unconsciously writing a story in the bible.

2) Discuss:

a) What might be the difference between coming up with ideas for games compared with ideas for novels and films? What are some failed or successful attempts to adapt novels or films?

Infinite_Weapons

Figure 3: UI Artist & 2D Generalist (Source: Maryyovina, 2014).

Games are often criticised for being inferior to novels and movies when telling stories as they are not linear and need to appear to give players choice (Costikyan, 2001). In my opinion there are three types of ways a game can tell a story. The first way is when a player has to follow a narrative and the illusion of choice is created in the gameplay. For example in BioShock Infinite players get to choose what guns they equip, how they go about killing their enemies, and the pace of the game. Another way a game can tell a story is by creating an open world, players choose if they want to play the main quest, do side quests or just explore the game environment, examples of these types of games is Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The third way a game can tell a story is by creating a sandbox game, where the game designer relies on players to create their own story in their virtual worlds.

b) Draw up a list of games you have actually enjoyed playing. What qualities did you enjoy? What aspects did you find frustrating? Does this suggest some quality that you might like to put in a game?

Skyrim

Figure 4: SKYRIM ULTIMATE GRAPHICS (Source: Aspectral, 2015). 

I enjoy playing various games; this includes Skyrim, Minecraft, BioSkock, Witcher, Diablo, Prototype, Sims, Halo, Forza Horizon, Blur, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Fable, Civilisation, Borderlands, and many more. Some qualities all or most of these games comprise of are continuous challenge, interesting storyline, immediate rewards, choice, aesthetically pleasing environment and fantasy elements.

References:

Aspectral, (2015). SKYRIM ULTIMATE GRAPHICS [Image]. Retrieved from http://techcaffeine.net/page/2/

Brook, L (2015). Week 2 Lecture Slides and Journal Activities [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843051_1

Costikyan, G. (2001). Where Stories End and Games Begin. Retrieved from http://www.costik.com/gamnstry.html

Darklich14, (2014). File:Mountain Goat Mount Massive.JPG [Image]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountain_Goat_Mount_Massive.JPG

IRC Village, (2014). THE VILLAGE HAS MOVED TO IRCSTORM! [Image]. Retrieved from http://theircvillage.com

Maryyovina, (2014). UI Artist & 2D Generalist [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.maryyovina.com

Week 1

This week we discussed whether games need a narrative in order to be considered enjoyable (Brook, 2015). Traditionally games where created by programmers and contained no story (Brook, 2015). Today game developers are expected to contain a more diverse set of skills, including script writing (Brook, 2015). Enjoyable games need a balance between game play, narrative, and design (Brook, 2015). Although not all enjoyable games have a narrative, for example Minecraft relies on its players to set their own goals (e.g. collect wood in order to build a house) and the game will punish the player if they don’t achieve their goals (e.g. monsters will kill them at night-time) (Brook, 2015). Minecraft is a highly successful game, on the 25th of February 2014, Markus Persson announced that Minecraft reached over 100 million registered users and people are still continuing to register today (Makuch, 2014).

1) Make a list of any existing experience you have in game design, or of any skills you think are relevant to game design (for example, writing fiction, drawing, experience with design software and/or programming)

Kongregate_logo

Figure 1: Kongregate_logo (Source: Thanos, 2010).

I have been playing games ever since I was a child. I would often explore the internet for free online games; http://www.kongregate.com/ is an example of one of the websites I visited often. One of the games on the website allowed us to create our own levels, which our friends could play in real time. I also had a fascination with stick figure animations, to the point where I downloaded a program and started animating my own short clips with stick figures. I used to watch stick figure animations on SFDT.COM, but sadly it was taken down due to more malware found on the site (Stick Figure Death Theatre, 2015). This encouraged me to download a program and start animating my own short clips with stick figuresAlso I used to draw games for my brothers to play in, but then moved onto creating games in RPG maker. I have also written fiction novels and enjoy drawing.

SFDT

Figure 2: SFDT (Source: Abe, 2013).

2) Identify a list of documents, images, programs or other material you have produced and/or which you think are relevant to game design. Keep this list, as it will be useful to bring in some of this material on appropriate weeks.

I am currently in my 3rd year of my Bachelor of Creative Industries Degree, Majoring in Games Design and Management at Edith Cowan University.

I am competent with using:

  • Zbrush
  • Maya
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premier
  • Flash
  • Microsoft word
  • Microsoft excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project

I am currently enrolled in game level design and as part of this unit; I will be learning how to use Unity. By utilising these programs I have created a character Marquette, 3D models on Maya and zBrush, game design documents, short films, and manipulated images in Photoshop. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fantTWoyP5Y to view a short cinematic sequence of an incredible machine I made and animated in 3D Visualisation.

3) What role do you think you think you would be best at, and/or would like to enter into, in the game design process?

As mentioned previously, I am doing Creative Industries Degree, Majoring in Games Design and Management at Edith Cowan University. This unique combination of majors will allow me to take on a business role in the games design process, more specifically being a Project Manager.

4) Do you think certain skills or attitudes towards writing and games might prevent someone from being a good game designer?

As a class we explored what skills or attitudes makes a bad game designer this encompassed;

  • not creative
  • not flexible
  • bad communication
  • controlling
  • not able to take criticism
  • luck of feedback
  • focus on deadlines only
  • doesn’t create aesthetically pleasing game environments

I than asked myself what makes a good designer? Gamedesignschool.com (2015) tried to answer this question by coming up with ten qualities that make a good game designer, these qualities included enjoys video games, efficient and problem solver.

References:

Abe, (2013). SFDT [Image]. Retrieved from http://abeaguilar.com/how-i-got-started/

Brook, L (2015). Week 1 Lecture Slides – Authors vs Designers. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843050_1

gamedesignschools.com, (2015). Top 10 Qualities of a Great Game Designer. Retrieved from http://gamedesignschools.com/resources/top-10-qualities-of-a-great-game-designer

Makuch, E. (2014). Minecraft passes 100 million registered users, 14.3 million sales on pc. Retrieved from http://www.gamespot.com/articles/minecraft-passes-100-million-registered-users-14-3-million-sales-on-pc/1100-6417972/

Stick Figure Death Theatre (2015). Stick Figure Death Theatre Community. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Stick-Figure-Death-Theatre-148523065183447/timeline/ 

Thanos, L. (2010). Kongregate_logo [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kongregate#/media/File:Kongregate_logo.jpg