Self-Initiated Project: Environment Production Research.

Although I have recently been working on our year long group project, in which I have learnt quite a lot about asset and building construction within  3D design software; I would like to take this process a step further for the Hashima Island project by learning how to create a broader selection of models to give a more in-depth and realistic experience to the viewer/user.

One of my favorite adventure games is the Uncharted series, since the first episode of the game was released back in 2007 one of the main features of the game that really stood out was the levels of detail within the surrounding environments. I looked up some of the designers of the Uncharted games and found a good article on the Naughty Dog website that gives an insight to the design and production process that takes place when designing a realistic 3D environment.


Aspects of Play: Console games

Super Mario World


To me Super Mario World is the standard that all platform games are measured against, it offers all of the elements that make a classic platform game which include a vast and varied design and layout of levels, different antagonist’s with varying defence and offence characteristics and the ability to add and change the players attacking powers.

Super Mario World fits into several of Rodger Caillois’ categories of games, mimicry is evident in this game, as you play the part of Mario or Luigi working their way through many challenging and sometimes disorientating levels in order to rescue Princess Toadstool.

Aspects of Play: Mobile Games.

Can You Escape 2.


Screenshot_2014-01-04-21-17-58Can you Escape 2 is a puzzle game for mobile devices which falls in to the Agon and Mimicry categories of games.

Mimicry is the first obvious category here because you start each level trapped within a room and have to search the room for items in order to solve clues which in turn help you escape the room.

Screenshot_2014-01-04-21-19-13As you search the room for clues Agon (competitive) becomes more obvious as puzzles need to be solved in order to receive items to store in you inventory.

Screenshot_2014-01-04-21-19-53Although this game is not particularly difficult it does require you to use your brain in various ways; i.e. maths and memory.

A certain amount of Alea (chance) is also present here too, as some of the puzzles and items are and need to be literary stumbled upon.

You can fall in to a state of flow quite easily in this game (you want to escape) but with only ten levels it is too short at the moment.


Aspects Of Play: Mobile Games Exploration and Evaluation.



Badland is a beautiful looking side scrolling game made by Frogmind  that I have been playing for a couple of days on my mobile phone.  The  aim of this game is to guide a small creature through the forest which is littered with dangerous obstacles such as saw blades and falling rocks in order to reach a  transportation tube that takes you to the next level. Along the way your creature gathers ‘power ups’ which aid and hamper your progression through the level. The controls are as basic as they possibly could be, it is self scrolling and simply touching anywhere on the screen ascends the creature and to descend just stop touching the screen. With the controls being so simple you can just concentrate upon navigating through the forest and thus allows a decent amount of time to pass by without realizing it. The obstacles that obstruct you provide a competitive element to the game, whilst the various collected power ups disorientate the game play in several ways. The free version gives 40 levels to conquer, I like it.

Design For The User (Rabbit Heart GUI/HUD)

Below are some screenshots from my final design for the Rabbit Heart GUI and HUD project.



The title screen has three buttons that display Continue, New Game and Option buttons, these become visible when the cursor is hovered over images of Ululu, these emit a red aura to give a visual key to the player. I wanted to include some of the development art work created by Gareth and Paul in my designs for this project.



Ululu’s in-game HUD showing health bar, compass, equipped weapon, exo suit and inventory bag.



This is the inventory screen showing five slots within the bag, three of which are occupied.



The item selection screen gives information about the selected item and options for the player. Again some of the original art work is included in the background.




The Map screen shows Ululu’s current location and shows points of interest.




This is the view from the Ninja Bunny exo suit, in the middle is the HUD screen displaying compass and enemy location. The bar to the left displays the energy status of the Ninja Bunny, with ammo being displayed in the right hand corner. At the top right of the screen is an ejection pull handle that enables Ululu to exit the exo suit when its energy is depleted.

RPG Game research and insperation

Since my idea for a RPG game is based upon the side scrolling beat ’em up genre, I decided to look at some of the games of this type that I had played many years ago, both in arcades and on home consoles. I also started re-playing the classic Final Fight, originally released in arcade form in 1989. To me it seems almost crazy that I can now play Final Fight on my phone, since I originally played the arcade version in 1990, which was cutting edge at the time!

I am going to try to make a playable section of my game using Flash and hopefully make it look similar to Final Fight and Streets of Rage.


Final Fight Arcade (1989).

Games Design: Designing for the User

Driving Game GUI’s

Burnout Paradise


Burnout Paradise has a game GUI menu to show the main world map that shows challenge locations and options to change some settings but also has a good in game GUI built into the in-game HUD. This is a very good feature as the player doesn’t have to pause or exit the game to enter an online game, as a player you carry on driving in the same position in the online mode just as in the offline mode seamlessly. The in game GUI is positioned to the left hand side of the screen to avoid obscuring your view of the road ahead, and it is well laid out with an easily distinguishable colour scheme.

Gran Turismo 5


By stark contrast Gran Turismo 5 has a very complicated GUI lay out, there are lots of options and game modes for the player to explore. For me the layout is too complex and slow, loading screens seem to pop up every time you want to change something or enter a different game mode.


Casual v’s hardcore video games

Casual or hardcore?


Casual games are generally considered to be relatively easy to play, with little or no time needed to learn the rules or how to control the characters, the term casual gamer is also relevant here as the casual gamer also has a limited interest in games. The term ‘casual game’ was first used in reference to a video game in 1980 when Pac Man was released, as this demonstrated the fact that it was indeed easy to play and there were no complicated set of rules that the player had to follow. Nowadays casual games are mostly played on portable devices such as mobile phones and can be played for short bursts of time practically anywhere.

Hardcore games are at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to time spent playing, the complexity of the controls and the amount of rules that are to be followed. In general hardcore games require the player to dedicate many hours of playing in order to become familiar with the complex controls and rules of the game. A typical hardcore game may require many hours of playing in order to level up or to gain rewards; a game such as the Call of Duty series demonstrates these traits as many hours of playing are required to unlock weapons, perks and other un-lockable items.

In my own opinion there is no such thing as a casual or hardcore game, but there is such a thing as a casual or hardcore gamer.

One minute advertisment

In Craft and Media Technologies (Sound) we were given a brief to produce a one minute audio trailer or advertisement. After lots of brain storming our group decided to do an advert based upon a video game, and since most of the group play the Call of Duty games this was what we based our advert upon.

Since most of the recent Call of Duty games have been based within the present of near future, we decided to go old school and base our game within the stone age. Call of Duty: Prehistoric Warfare was our idea, say goodbye to the AK-47’s,  pump action shot guns and Claymore’s and say hello to a satchel of rocks and a blow pipe with a poison dart. Send in your saber toothed Lion on a nine kill streak! and avoid stampeding Mammoths.

Our group tried to record all of our own sound effects, but this was a little difficult within the time that was available. So some sounds were downloaded. The sound files were uploaded in to and mixed in Audacity.