Saturday, 31 January 2009

Game Technology

Looking at all the games systems that I've played on I'd say they're all pretty easy to get the hang of, although I didn't start gaming until the 90s and by this time the structure had been modified to make it more user friendly so you could enjoy the game without having to consciously think about which buttons you should press and so on.

There was a time around the mid 80s where games companies were experimenting with various external hardware ideas to regenerate an interest in the market again after the 1983 video game crash, creating additions to the consoles which were appealing because it presented gaming at a new angle. Yeah, it was a gamble with some of the new products they came out with and some of them weren't that successful but hey it's through trial and error that eventually they got it right.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it...

Nintendo has proved that the d-pad/AB button combination works wonderfully for so many games and the design is still popular with todays 7th generation consoles.

I think in terms of complexity the gameboy was probably the best way to introduce me into gaming, it is easier to get the hang of 2d games as the controls are a lot simpler... I mean I was only 10 when I first went on it but even my 3 year old cousin can play on my gameboy no problem o_O

It is amazing to think of how far gaming has come since it's early days, it has definitely progressed gameplay by providing the means for improved graphics and methods of controlling the game. The introduction of new innovative technology such as the wii and ds has extended the gaming audience dramatically as it presents the consoles as something that is accessible.

As new technology developed people suddenly became more aware of games. As with advancing computers, the design of consoles were pushed to fit the latest technology such as increased memory, better performance and graphics, whilst streamlining them to appear less bulky- making their exteriors more attractive in the home.

With the latest generation of consoles being so technologically advanced it's hard to say what the future of games will look like but I look really do look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

See ya ~Emi ^o^

Or so the story goes...

As a gamer it is almost always the story-line that pulls me into the game and makes me want to play it a million times over even after I've completed it. It's the same as a book where you know exactly what will happen but you still get a thrill from reliving the excitement of discovering the plot and learning more about the characters.

The majority of games I play are RPGs/action games, which are pretty
much meaningless if there isn't a decent story to follow. I personally find the storyline for Zelda: Link's Awakening particularly compelling. It is a GBC game so the graphics are okay for a handheld but I guess this is what a game needs when other aspects are lacking. Saying this, looking at the graphics of the ps3 or xbox360, as breathtaking as the visuals are i'd rather play a nintendo console anyday just because the storylines tend to be more involved and make me actually want to play the game.

Another example of the importance of storylines in gaming is to maintain the players interest. Obviously not all games have a story though, arcade games such as the original mario series didn't have much of a story to go by (defeat bowser, save princess peach...) yet this didn't detract from the gameplay which was basically just plain addictive. I think I prefer games with more depth to them as it makes the experience more realistic.

I think the reason some games at the moment aren't so great is because the stories have lost originality and impact, there are a lot of games out there (3rd party games in particular) that just have no passion whatsoever and they're just boring to play.

In the Harvest Moon series you create your own story for your character, it is the choices you make that determine certain aspects of the game, with there being many variables in the game in how you decide to spend your time each day such as how long to spend on livestock, planting vegetables etc.

My favourite story line is in the Sword of Mana, there are a lot of characters and I found it interesting how they all turned out to be linked. You can tell a lot of thought went into the story, with there being a choice of which perspective you can follow- at the start of the game you can choose to be either the male or female character, but depending on which you choose takes you on a different route in the game and it's really interesting to discover how these two seemingly separate stories are actually entwined which is what captivated me about this game.

See ya ~Emi ^o^

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Art Direction

The role of an art director is to co-ordinate the efforts of the various artists working on a project. Even if the game does not have a theme as such the designs still have to be consistent in order to fit into the game.

I suppose the managerial responsibility of the director limits their creative output as it is more of a overseeing and guiding of the other artists who produce the actual artwork. I would have thought the art direction in games would be similar to films with the evaluating of the same aspects for example characters or scenery.

An art director who I hugely admire is Hayao Miyazaki as his films are just breathtaking in terms of visuals and story line. I think all Studio Ghibli films are pretty damn good though my favourite has to be Spirited Away, where Miyazaki did such an awesome job as an art director expressing his feelings and life experiences within the movie. Also the way each scene has been hand-painted just gives so much more depth and truly shows the skills of the artists.

It seems that to become an art director you would start as an artist first and work your way up- as to help guide the artists in an effective way you would need to be able to relate and have the knowledge and experience to deal with the problems they encounter.

See ya ~Emi ^o^

Monday, 26 January 2009

Game Design

I've been reading Junichi Masuda's (director of gamefreak) blog for a while and it seems he always has a particularly interesting insight into the world of game design ==>
You should check out his posts even if you're not so much a pokemon fan, I like the way he breaks down the mechanics of gameplay and questions the underlying structure of games in order to make the games they are developing even better.

Sooo about gameplay... In magazine reviews when a game is being rated the gameplay will be one of the aspects beings assessed but this is always separate from graphics or sound etc. Gameplay could be described as the interaction between the user and the game, how it progresses, the way the controls work...

At the moment gameplay is being pushed further than ever to create a new experience for gamers, the nintendo wii for example using the remote to produce a whole new genre challenging the concept of gameplay. Speaking of different genres, it seems that what you can expect from a game in terms of gameplay depends on what category it falls into.
Board games are traditionally intended to be played as a turn taking based multiplayer game, with 2-4 players being the average. The majority of computer games are single player and gameplay varies drastically between each genre whereas most board games tend to be the whole 'first one to finish wins' concept.

BTW, a pacman board game??? :O it's cuuute!

Oh and I thought this was just hilarious, but does make me think how far should we take gaming in terms of realism?

See ya ~Emi ^o^

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New year!!

A new year, a new start... eek it's 2009 already when did that happen?! I am hoping to be a bit more organised this year, I got about 4 diaries/2009 year planners for christmas so I'm all set haha :D

Happy new year everyone!
See ya ~Emi ^o^