Sunday, 22 November 2009

Forcast for [Yr2Proj2]: "Scorchio!"

Just had a meeting with Ben, things are looking wicked. We're planning on having a tutorial sesh with a lecturer, because they could really help us with certain aspects regarding presentation.

No idea how the coursemates will react to the idea, but I'm pretty sure a few of them will think, "Are you serious?" Which, to me, is a good thing, because it is going to be a little out there... But it also means we have to be very careful and really think out how we present it to the big boys. Some of the rest will love it and laugh, while others will be a combination of the two, who might laugh while asking, "Are you taking the piss?" [Reply: Maybe. Whatchoo gon' do about it?]

Ben's also brought a contact to the table, a friend he made last year who's doing music [possibly Creative Sound and Music, I didn't ask]. He can create ambient stuff like this. But from the looks of some of his other YouTube videos, he's also got a sense of humour on him.

Friday, 20 November 2009

New Project [Yr2Proj2]

Sooo, for this project I'm working with Mr Ben Williams. Never ever worked with him before, so there's a chance it kinda of goes against what Dave said about picking your next partner carefully. That said, I guess I wouldn't have agreed to Ben if I thought he was someone who wouldn't pull his weight.

I had trouble coming up with ideas to begin with, blank pages tend to do that to me. So I tried to get Ben to give me something to bounce off. First thing was: He didn't want to do anything to do with butterflies or ants [my old project], or water [his old project]. Sounded fine by me, seeing as the only constraints we have is the fact that we'll be pitching to people who will tell us our idea is crap if it is, and Dave said that if we're up against anyone, we are up against the animators. That leaves a lot of scope for game ideas, seeing as we can make it about anything we want.

Second thing was: He fancies doing something playful, cheeky, and non-serious, with some memorable characters that people can talk and reminisce about. Also fine by me. It reminded me of the Gastronomy project [originally titled Fartman].

We've started off by doing some character designs, then met up to look at what each other had done, then decided things were looking good and that we can expand them a bit by putting them into scenarios and give them family members. Here's what I've drawn so far:

I've also come up with a rough idea for the scenario in the game, but we'll see what Ben thinks before I write it up here.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles trailer

It's well interesting. If you've not seen it, click here, put in your date of birth, and just press play [no need to watch it full screen].

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

OH MY GOD!11!""!2

...Traditionally, what would happen next on the course is, we would produce a 30 second animated vignette to be handed in to the desk in 6 weeks time based on what we've been working on in the past 6 weeks.


Dave is bringing over what is basically the panel of GameCityU, in 6 weeks time, to critique a 30 second animatic thing, based on a brand new game concept that we have to come up with starting from now and pitch to everyone in exactly a week's time, with a brand new partner.

But then, I spose it's not unlike that time in Year 10 doing the Enterprise thing, where I worked with some classmates to come up with an idea to place Pembrokeshire on the map and pitch our idea to the teachers in like, a day. And then when we went on to do pitch it again for our area and went on to London to rep Wales. And then came second in all of the UK... [Woo, go Ysgol Greenhill School!]

Except, this time we have like 6 weeks to prep...

Okay, I think I'm calm now.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The 300 Words...

... plus a bit more, adapted to put the player into the narrative.

The large blue sky lies above. You focus on a bird gliding across it, which suddenly stutters. Changing its direction, you guide it down towards a tulip, whose head is heavy with water from rain the night before. The bird swoops down, crashing into the tulip and spilling the water. As this flows out of the flower, you release the bird, which shakes itself as if waking up. It gets its bearings again and then stretches its wings out, taking back to the skies. But the water quickly spills into a little hole in the ground.

It shoots through a tunnel, and you follow as it winds down into the darkness, until it reaches an open chamber full of surprised ants. Some are washed off their feet, but they quickly realise that they need to move the larvae to another chamber. You focus in on one near a pink caterpillar, adopted by the colony by disguising itself as a queen grub, and guide the ant to rescue and carry it to a safe chamber along with its “siblings”. It is left alone with them, while the naive workers hurry and rescue more of the others…

Outside it becomes night time; you can see the silhouettes of bats against the stars, as they dart around catching unfortunate moths. You watch them a while, now and then switching between helping a bat catch a moth meal, and saving a moth from becoming that meal. Then a badger catches your eye, and you make it the centre of your focus. You try and guide it towards a nearby fox to see what happens, but it resists like a reluctant horse pulling against its bridal. Suddenly the badger starts digging where it is, dirt and little stones and ants flying everywhere. Ants… You realize the badger is digging into the ants nest, and you pull back harder on its mind, trying to make it listen to you. The fox saunters off, on the hunt for rabbits.

Months pass; it’s been some time since the great flood. There’s an unusual stillness in the tunnel, apart from the gentle twitching motions coming from within the pupa resting near the entrance. After ten months of hiding away in the ants’ nest, a Large Blue Butterfly is finally ready to reveal its true identity to the world. It pulls itself out of its protective casing, out of the tunnel and into the bright world outside. Having not seen the sun for as long as it has been adopted, the butterfly bathes in the light, waiting for its wings to warm up, shimmering. It’s been a long wait. You take the butterfly to the sky in triumph, and large blue is reunited with large blue.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

DJ Hero [ that even what it's called? I can't remember]

Soooo, today was, uhh, interesting shall we say, slowly leading on to pretty rocking, to absolutely epic rocketing multiplied by two! :D ... I'll leave that at that for now.

Onto the topic of this evening: DJ Hero [I think]. I just played it for the first time ever with some friends who have had much more experience with it than me. I gotta say, it looked a little daunting what with the little twirley nobs and slidey switch things that you're supposed to use... when? [I'm a guitarist, not a DJ...] And the buttons on the circle thang, which moves under your hand almost when you least suspect it, like a skateboard when you've never stood on one before.

But, [oddly, not unlike the rest of my night] once I got into it, it was pretty damn cool. You'd probably have to have some kind of appreciation for mixing and remixing tunes and the like, because it could get confusing if you're not used to the kinds of sounds and beats you can get out of it. But yeah. It's definitely a game I would recommend myself to buy for the Fam. The little ones [who aren't that little anymore] and possibly the brother would be well into it.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Games Designers are People too, & The Importance of Notebooks.

Got back from Nottingham's GameCity on Halloween. It felt very different to last year's GameCity, but it was still very interesting, possibly more interesting to me than last time because I've become more into the whole thing over the past year. I won't write about the whole thing here because I got a few points from the different talks, so I'll write about them seperately.

One of the events, GameCityU: 2 Hours is Not Enough, involved my lecturer, Dave Surman, and a lady named Raina Lee asking a panel of people [including Mr Katamari: man of few words, sweet Dr. Babsi from Papermint, Masaya music man Masuura, and sad Jon Burgerman below.. I realise those descriptions would make more sense if you'd seen the event] a series of questions such as "Boxers or briefs?", "What's the worst dating experience you've ever had?", "Rock, paper or scissors?", and "What are the best and worst things about being a creative person?".

I did overhear someone saying " was like watching Dave have a gathering with his BFFs", which to me was a pretty good summary. However, as trivial as I might be making it sound, I did actually find it both entertaining and interesting to hear all their responses and reactions to the questions, as it really went to show just how varied the personalities in the industry are. I think it would shock some gamers to actually think that behind those companies who make those games, there are actually real, normal people, people who you can chat with, have a drink with, and partay on down with if you ever get the chance [as some people did. *Cough* Todd *cough*. I wonder if there are any pictures].

I can't remember now whether it was the GameCityU event or the GameCityU: 2 Hours is Not Enough one in which Robyn Hunicke, a lady from ThatGameCompany, talked about how important it is to have a notebook [illustrating my point nicely; if I'd had one with me, I could have written it down]. When she spoke about it, she referred to it like a journal, a place to write stuff down so that it would free your mind to think of other things, as well as letting your brain relax and spend less energy juggling all your thoughts.

This is something I tend to do, although I don't write in mine everyday. If something's really annoyed me or upset me, I'll end up carrying that around with me until I can write it down and get it out of my system [it's also quite fun to write in it when I'm drunk, and then laugh the next morning at my inability to write legibly when under the influence. It's also probably safer than posting things on Facebook while drunk]. The video below shows Jon Burgerman explaining another good reason for having a notebook with you. Mr Burgerman, over to you :)