Monday, 23 September 2013

And We're Back!
So today has been my fist real day on my masters course at Birmingham City Uni and im so freaking PUMPED! 

Break down of my day and what iv learnt.
The day started with a Power Point just to show us the dates of our terms and what we will be covering in them, as well as a in depth chart of our next few weeks day by day. I found this really helpful as it helped me realize how intensive this course is really gunna be, im super excited for tomorrows lineup!

We got set a challenge abit before lunch in a group of 4 we had to draw an apple 16 times in 16 different ways. This at first i thought was a bit odd, but as we progressed through the challenge i quickly realized that it was a simple way of addressing a common issue in the games industry (that being the over saturation of games in every genre). To me it basically said here is what people have done before you with the genre now what can you do different with the same thing? Its a really difficult challange and had us scratching our heads quite a few times. When all the teams gathered together at the end and put up their 16 images there was alot of the same refrences/pictures, but what stuck in my head is the creative and original ones that stuck out like the Crab Apple and Granny Smith. These two images where just a play on words of type of Apples you can get but the humor and creativity stuck with me more than say the images of Apple trees and Apple Mac logos. So out of the 80 images from all 5 groups only 2 stuck in my head and that is what we aim for as game designers that magic 2.5%. Well this is what i took away anyhow.

The second part of the day we had to Evaluate two games out of eight in our new groups, we had Space Inversion 2 and Retro Dust. SI2 and RD where made by the same developers and that shows mainly through their home screen. Our sheet looked like this:
-      Unit Types Behaviors
-      AI
-      Difficulty
-      Controls
-      Style
-      Mood
-      Enviroment
User Interaction
-      User Interface
-      Controls
-      Ease of use
-      Layout/Placement
-     Style
-     Atmosphere
-     Setting
-     Quality

I found this really helpful as it breaks any game down in to clear and concise sections, hopefully i will use this layout to look deeper into other games throughout this year.

The final part of the day was spent discussing our new project! yes we have to make a game in ten days! as this is my first attempt at a game out of my comfort area (the art style is Pixel Art) i am strangely really excited at the challenge. So before i get ahead of myself, our project is to create a Space Invaders style game within 10 days, this clearly ties in with the Apple exercise we did earlier in the day as SI is very much the Apple of games history, done to death re-imagine hundreds of times in many ways but i want to have a game that is that 2.5%. Our tutors have given us a sheet of what we need to have in the game and what is optional, we was given about 45 mins to quickly come up with themes and decide on one so we could present it infront of the other groups. My group settled on a Halloween theme scrolling game with R.C cars as the ships as its close to that time of year but thats as much as we have right now. I did get a bit overexcited though and start drawing some cool Halloween themed pixel R.C cars on the train home today.
Some feedback that we got from Oliver was that we needed to come up with a key mechanic as a selling point which is very true as we dont want to be just a re-skinned SI iv been trying to think of some good ones but im going to have a chat with my group tomorrow about the possibilities as we didnt get chance to think about that today, ill keep you updated!

I was going to post a study i did but my tablet just died and i cant finish it off but i will upload it asap!