Thursday, 27 September 2012

XB3001 GAMES PROPOSAL #2 - Initial Ideas

As promised, here are some initial ideas I have for what theme I am going to use for XB3001. Ordinarily I would have combined this post with the intro to the module, but since we had to post two different blog updates this week, it made more sense to do them both separately...

So, the candidates are:-

- The Morality of Man

- Our need for Gods/ Religion (explored via Chariots of the Gods)

- Fear of Death

- Dimensions

- Autistic Spectrum Disorder

- Humanity's Primal Instincts

- What makes us Individuals? (explored via Cloning)

- What is it to be Alive? (explored via Artificial Intelligence)

So, yeah, quite a list there. These are just some initial ideas. The next XB3001 post should include the final Project Plan.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

XB3001 GAME PROPOSAL #1 - Intro to Module and Thoughts

As with the previous two posts, I'm going to start with a quick introduction of what XB3001 entails.

For the Games Proposal module, I will be attempting to identify and display my abilities across four key areas of Games Design in order. These four key areas are as follows:-

- Professional Game Conception

- Professional Character Conception and 3D Modelling

- Professional Level Design

- Professional Environment Design and 3D Modelling

Additionally, my work in these areas must revolve around a central contextual theme. This theme can be anything, including politics, science, religion or even other media. The only condition is that it cannot be related to video-games.
Another significant detail is that while the four assignments must share the same theme, they do not need to be related in any way beyond that. And that is Games Proposal in a nutshell.

Wireframe Screenshot from Unreal Engine 4 tech demo

I don't really hide the fact that I was rather disappointed with the preceding module from my second year, Games Origination. In my opinion, it was poorly taught (we had a different tutor back then), it required an exhausting amount of unnecessary time and effort and by the end I couldn't help but feel that I hadn't learnt or achieved anything of value. I know that it's probably quite unprofessional to be saying this here, but frankly the overall quality of that particular module was pathetic, to put it lightly...
 However, I am personally quite optimistic about this year's module. Judging from the module handbook, it seems well structured, varied and, more importantly, relevant to actual games design. Plus, Ben, our tutor, definitely seems to know what he's doing. Time will tell whether or not this is actually the case, but for now I have high hopes for what this year will bring.

In my next XB3001 post, I'll go over some of the ideas I have for my chosen theme.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #1 - Intro to Futures

Ok, first things first, let me just go over what Design Futures entails for anyone who isn't aware.

The Design Futures module involves exploring the meaning of 'future' in the context of Games Design. It actually comprises of two modules, with the first being completed this semester and the second after Christmas. For the former, DD3000, we have to produce a research report about an important future event or anniversary, complete with a speculative future scenario.
Of course, the event we choose as the subject of our research cannot be related to video-games in any way (i.e. no Wii U or Xbox 720) and has to occur either in 2013 or 2014. For my own project, I've already gathered a shortlist of potential choices for this event. They include:-

- 10th Anniversary of Dolly the Sheep's death (2013)

- 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination (2013)

- 550th Anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth (2013)

- Google Glass (2014)

- Various space flight events, including China's first unmanned Moon landing, NASA's mission to Venus and Virgin Galactic (2013/2014)

And that's about it. Again, as with the Honours Projects, I need to check these through with Joe before I choose one (y'know... to make sure that they're appropriate and everything). I'll post the complete project plan later this week.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #1: First Post

Just to quickly sum up, the Honours Project is a year-long module in which I will undertake a project of my own choosing. This project will be focused around a particular profession in Games Design (e.g. 2D Artist, 3D Artist, Designer etc.) and will determine whether or not I actually achieve the 'Honours' part of my Degree.

For my own Honours Project, I am currently thinking of concentrating on my 2D art, using an idea that I have been holding on to for some time. My current plan is to create a portfolio of concept art for various characters, environments and assets that all follow a central theme. The theme I am planning to use is a futuristic rendition of Arthurian Legend (King Arthur, for anyone who isn't a scholar). I'm also hoping to be able to create some 3D models based on my designs.

Here is a rough outline of what this portfolio will include:-
A. Character concepts
- Protagonist
- Antagonist
- Non-Player Characters
- Enemies, including at least one Boss Character
B. Environment concepts
C. Asset/ Object concepts
- Vehicles
- Weapons
- Items
- Minor Assets
D. 3D Models
- At least one Character
- At least one of each Asset type

Of course, at present, I still need to check with Ken and the other tutors to see whether or not my chosen project is both suitable and feasible, but if truth be told I'm somewhat hopeful that it will be. In any case, I'll find out tomorrow, so I'll probably post an update then.

Introduction to Modules

May as well introduce myself while I'm here...
As you've no doubt guessed by the blog's name, I'm Sean Gannon and I am currently studying the Games Design Honours Degree at Futureworks, a media school in Manchester that is partnered with UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire). I have also just entered my final year at Uni, hence the creation of this blog.

This blog has been created as a record of work, assignments and research that I will create and accumulate as part of my third year at University.

Future posts will be categorised into one of three modules that comprise this year, which will be either:-

A. DD3992 Honours Project
A module involving a year-long project based on a speciality of my own choosing. My tutor for this module will be Ken Lau

B. DD3000 Design Futures
Full name Contextual Studies: Design Futures. This module will initially involve writing a report based on a future event or anniversary. It will be taught by Joe Shorrocks

C. XB3001 Games Proposal
A module involving the design of different components of a video game. My tutor for this module will be Ben Hill

So... yeah, that's the intro. Enjoy the rest of the blog.