Thursday, 26 February 2009

well after just typing "demand for game art courses" into google all that seems to come up is a mass of websites claiming that their coarse is highly successful rate among students which at first suggests that there is a demand for game art courses and that studios do want graduates.

However just before joining this coarse when i was still deciding whether to stay at Stephenson's or come here i read in the paper that Eidos were complaining about game art students, claiming that they we rent experienced enough when they got to industry, and they also claimed that most game art courses were a joke. naturally this scared me a bit and i was even more unsure about where to go. After coming to an opening day and to my interview, where i was able to view the work of the students here and speak to them, my mind was set at ease.

This was before the recession of course and now i am getting worried again, this might not seem like its got noting to do with "demand for game art courses" but it does. I suppose if your not on "the right course" or a coarse that's got connections to industry, then you may not prosper after the recession ends and its time to get a job.

I can see the high and low points to wanting highly trained graduate artists or programmers and creative individuals with a good Liberal Arts background.
With a trained background employers are more likely to get people who know what they are doing with the programmes, like 3ds max. But with the creative arts background employers are more likely to get more creativity in their employees, and with better skills in the drawing department.
I would say that better drawing skills are probably better to have than the programme skills, as most people can learn the programmes in a few weeks. I suppose its a good thing that this coarse teaches drawing and modelling.
Hopefully this entry will be better than the last one.

Sound, I find is one of the most useful tools in the entire game in creating atmosphere and tension etc. It is also useful to set the mood of the game for example the music for the Sims *shudder* will be completely different to Manhunt.

I’ve also found that some games use sound to tell u something as well. Again in manhunt when your "spotted" the music changes to tell the player. Again in Devil May Cry 3 the game doesn’t have music until the fighting starts.

Other games like Soul Reaver have music all the way through like background music. This works well only if it’s not off putting to the player. this also applies to the other games above if the game is tense like manhunt then permanent background music is not a good idea, unless it blends in, (which is why I think that soul Reaver is such a good game, as it manages to be quite dark and not have off-putting background music). But if is light-hearted like the Sims or other games like animal crossing then it is better and adds to that games charm or appeal.

Unfortunately I’ve never played on Halo so I haven’t heard the music that Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards created so I can’t comment on it personally. However this extract taken from seems to suggest that those pieces of music were quite important: Today, Rodgers finds himself at the helm of the next craze: the rapidly growing video game soundtrack industry. Recognizing that music is becoming "as integral to the game experiences as soundtracks are to movies," Rodgers is the go-to guy responsible for recent hits such as Microsoft Xbox’s Outlaw Volleyball, and Halo, along with the next pop phenomenon, Halo 2, being released in April, 2004.

This extract also suggests the same thing:
Nile is also the first African-American to own his own music distribution company – Sumthing Distribution. Sumthing recently formed a joint venture with Bungie and Microsoft and released the soundtrack to “Halo Combat Evolves”. Sumthing is now a leader in the distribution of video game soundtracks.
So basically now, probably because of that soundtrack his music distribution company is a leader in that field so the halo soundtrack must have been good.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

This is a definition of a game engine taken from Wikipedia:

"A game engine is a software system designed for the creation and development of video games. There are many game engines that are designed to work on video game consoles and desktop operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine (“renderer”) for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection (and collision response), sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, and a scene graph. The process of game development is frequently economized by in large part reusing the same game engine to create different games."

This basically translates into what you run your models through to make them playable, or to make the characters playable etc.

I have limited knowledge of game engines, actually id didn’t even know they existed before this course

This explains (almost) basically what a game engine is:
The game engine is generally the library of core functions used in the game, usually related to graphics, input, networking and other systems.

Another explanation of the game engine is taken from this website:

This extract explains that the game engine is basically the component that brings the game to life i.e. the animating objects/characters, loading screens and displays and "collision detection between objects".
Also according to some of the second/third years and heather the game engine is also where your mistakes when modelling are found, when for example two faces and overlapping etc.