Saturday, 13 March 2010

where I've been hiding

Ok so it's been a while since I updated my blog so this is going to be a hefty post! Basically just explaining what I've been doing that's kept me from updating this thing...

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UNI Wings of Fate project progress:

In my last post I spoke about our current uni project "Wings of Fate" or as it's now been affectionately named Wings of Fail haha!

So far the project (in my opinion) is going brilliantly! We have a lot of our assets moddled although a few of them require tweaking and some of the team have began to texture. We're having a maya workshop on Monday to iron out any problems with models which should be really good.

As far as level and environment design (the parts that I have been heavily involved in so far) have gone, I have managed to get most of the important assets moddled and into engine although they need the textures working out. Also on Friday we spent our production meeting breaking down the walkthrough I'd written and refining it, which proved very productive indeed. We now have a very interesting level / scenario and I'm looking forward to see how it plays out.

The programmers have been doing an awesome job, We have enemy AI, control mechanic, environment mechanics, HUD and camera mechanics well underway and some nearly complete.
Also we should be releasing a website to promote our game demo soon. When it's done I'll post a link on here for everyone to have a look at :)



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Dissertation:

We've also been working on dissertation ideas and questions. Along with the WOF project this has really made me think about what aspect of the games industry am I really interested in and would like to aim for as a career. I've always enjoyed creating game environments and levels and have always been an avid reader, particularly enjoy books that have extensive worlds and environments behind them. So one of my main focuses is environment art and level design. I'm Also particularly interested in MMO's and why they affect players so much, to the extent players get nostalgic about things that have happened in game. Also how MMO's are so complex and use this to give players a greater experience.

From this I'm trying to figure out a question for my dissertation. What I've come up with so far is:

"How communities with a particular MMO support and improve player experience"

"How is linear narrative portrayed in a non-linear world, focusing on MMO's"

The feedback from the seminar group so far has been: look for Social structure within online gaming documents on Digra. Also social contracts, what engages people within guilds, what rolls do people assume and what they benefit from being part of a community such as a guild.

Feedback welcome / needed! :D

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Disney Interactive Internship submission:

I posted a couple of blogs a while back about Disney interactive internship in Hammersmith, London. Well I finished my creative brief and application form and sent it all off with my CV and examples of my work! Hopefully I'll be hearing back from them sometime this month to know whether I will get the position or not, fingers crossed! Once I hear back I'll post my submission.

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Newport Pembrokeshire brochure:

Last year I designed (with the help of a few good friends) a brochure to promote my home town of Newport, Pembrokeshire for the local chamber of trade. So this year they've asked me to do it again and I'm more than happy to do it! Being a poor student I could always do with a bit of extra cash!

It's really different from any other work I've done as I have to deal with a lot of people who have paid for advertising space and largely have very little knowledge of computers or design. A lot of the adverts have to be built from the ground up which isn't so bad, the ones that are tricky are the adverts that get sent in weird formats. So I either have to re-create them in Photoshop and mimic the original or get in contact with the original advertiser and work something out.

I've got a tidy little spreadsheet with the info for each ad and the stage it's at so production is well underway! haha

But as a project goes it's quite rewarding as at the end I get to see my handy work printed on 10,000 brochures and distributed through south west Wales and along the M4 corridor, which is nice!

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Dorito's advert:

So recently my little brother linked me to the Dorito's king of adverts competition and it looks interesting. So I decided to involve my housemates and see if they were as interested as I was, they were indeed! who wouldn't be with a potential £200,000 up for grabs!

Then we discovered that some other friends of ours were also interested in doing it, so we now have a team of 8! 5 film and video students, an animator and 2 games designers. We all have skills to bring to the table and I'm really, really looking forward to getting stuck in to this little project!

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Beer Brewing:

... is fun!

Myself and a housemate recently went halves on a home brewing kit, we chose to go with lager as I'm not a fan of Cider or bitter.

6 days ago we mixed the lager mix provided with the kit and 1kg of sugar with 2 litres of boiling water and mixed it all up, then added just under 5 gallons of cold water and a sprinkle of yeast. It smelt awful, and we had our doubts...

Today the fermentation was done and it actually had started to smell like lager! we siphoned it all off and bottled it. 40 pints worth of lager! Now it has to be left in room temp for 2 days then left outside for 2 weeks.

It's a pretty fun little experiment and so far it seems to be going well. As long as the bottles don't blow up!

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