Wednesday, 28 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #13: Extra Research

Remember the last research post I did where I listed around 50-odd sources I would be using for my report? Well, since then I added a couple more to the list, so I figured I'd add a post for them now. Most of them were selected because I needed a quote or some context to back-up something I'd written, so they're a bit more specific than the other research articles I've collected.

Ian Wilmut: Human Cloner
A biography of the professional life of Dr Ian Wilmut, one of the men responsible for cloning Dolly. This article was chosen for the section detailing Wilmut's views on cloning humans, which he expresses as 'repugnant in general'.
Smith, W. J. (2007). Ian Wilmut: Human Cloner – CBS News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-215_162-674503.html

If a species doesn't have a big enough gene pool, can it still evolve?
A HowStuffWorks article about the importance of genetic diversity and the negative effects on gene pools that lack it. I sleected this article because I needed to back up a point about how widespread cloning could negatively impact the human gene pool.
Atteberry, J. (2010). If a species doesn’t have a big enough gene pool, can it still evolve? Retrieved from HowStuffWorks.com: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/evolution/big-gene-pool-evolve.htm


Ocean Watch - Starfish have amazing power of regeneration

A blog post by Marine biologist Susan Scott about Starfish and their natural regenerative abilities, including how these abilities could be used to clone each other. This was selected as an example of how cloning can occur naturally in some species in the natural world, as starfish are quite a famous example.
Scott, S. (2001). Ocean Watch: Starfish have amazing power of regeneration. Retrieved from SusanScott.net: http://www.susanscott.net/OceanWatch2001/may25-01.html


Are Telomeres the Key to Aging and Cancer
A report about telomeres, explaining what they are and how they relate to aging and cancer. This source proved useful when talking about the health problems related to cloning, as telomeres are believed to be related to this.
Siegal, L. J. (2012)Are Telomeres the Key to Aging and Cancer?. Learn.Genetics. Retrieved November 14, 2012, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/


Sheep Clone's Cells Aging Faster Than She Is

A news article speculating about Dolly's cells were older than she was becuase of here telomeres. As with the previous source, this proved useful when talking about the health risks of cloning.
Kolata, G. (1999). Sheep Clone’s Cells Aging Faster Than She Is. Retrieved from: http://www.wellesley.edu/Chemistry/chem227/nucleicfunction/cancer/sci-clone-aging.html

Overview of World Human Cloning Policies
A module overview about the different policies various nations of the world have in regards to cloning. I needed this source for it's statistics while talking about the political influence of cloning.
Matthews, K (2007). Overview of World Human Cloning Policies. Retrieved from: http://cnx.org/content/m14834/latest/

And that's about everything I've used for this module!

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #12: Philosophical Influence in Design

Ok, last Design Futures lecture before the final hand-in. Let's crack on with it. This week, the subject was the influence of philosophy on design.

What is Philosophy?
"Philosophy is the academic principle that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life, morality and human nature."

How is it useful for Games Design?

  • Stimuli for Narrative...
  • ...and for Gameplay Mechanics
  • Creates a deeper experience for the user
  • Always open to intepretation


An example of this:-
Deus Ex - The conversation with Morpheus
This scene explores several themes, including freedom vs worship,, how humanity strives for judgement and how we create our own gods.

Philosophy in Modern Games
Narrative is not the only area where philosophy can be explored. See what you can find out about how philosophy has inspired the gameplay mechanics of Journey and Flower.

Flower - Freedom/ simplicity, dreams/ hopes, happiness for all, breaking through man-made constraints, nature reclaiming what man has built, healing

Journey - Fulfillment, Discovery, Personal journey, basic interaction, deep connection, goal-less cooperation, encourages empathy, searching for something, Hero's Journey

Personal Research
Do you know of any other games which explore philosophical themes?

  • Shadow of the Colossus - Grief, clinging on to something that is already lost
  • Okami - The importance of Resolve
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Letting go of the past
  • Metal Gear Solid Saga - The explotation of soldiers, the ethics of killing, harsh reality of war
  • Missile Command - The futility and horror of nuclear war

That about covers this lecture. Next week I'll probably post the completed article that I've been writing up.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #11: Political Influence on Design and the Importance of Ethics in our Culture

Another day, another Design Futures lecture... Wait a second, have I already used that one? Ah well, doesn't really matter. Today's lecture was about the importance of Politics and Cultural Ethics within Design.

Joe began the lecture by showing us some images that were associated with certain political ideologies and figures. These included:-

  • Capitalism - Structured ideology based around the accumulation of wealth
  • Communism - Ideology where everything is shared and everyone is equal (in theory)
  • National Socialism/ Fascism - Dictatorial ideology that promotes national superiority and dominance
  • Nelson Mandela - Political activist against apartheid in South Africa
  • George W. Bush - Former US President and Neo-Conservative. Responsible for the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Had very strong religious views
  • Joseph Stalin - Communist dictator of the USSR during WWII and the beginning of the Cold War. Famous for killing more of his own people than Hitler killed worldwide
  • Margaret Thatcher - Former Conservative Prime Minister of Britain. First female Prime Minister and also known as the 'Iron Lady'
  • Tony Blair - Former Labour Prime Minister. Policies revolved around big spending, which inadvertendly led to the current financial crisis
  • J.F.Kennedy - Former US President during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Assassinated


After that, we were then set a task of researching various games with political backgrounds. These included:-
Balance of Power- Inspired by the Cold War. Take on the role of USA or Soviet Union, similar to Sid Myer's Civilisation series
McDonalds The Game- Management game focusing on business. Advertises company, but also highlights less ethical side.
Vigilance 1.0- Extreme 1984 'Big Brother' scenario. Players use surveilence to look for and punish crime.
Food Force- Education Game that teaches players about world hunger and how to avoid it
Bioshock- The setting and various elements of the game are based on Ayn Rand's beliefs about Objectivism. Actually a subversion as it depicts an Objectist world that has fallen apart
Half-Life 2- The villains, the Combine, represent the oppressive Soviet Union, while the resistance fighters represent freedom and capitalism
Hydrophobia- Conflict between 2 methods of sustainability: technology vs malthusianism (population limitation)

We then finished the lecture by watching part of an Adam Curtis documentary, named The Trap - Part 1: F**k you Buddy!
Be aware the video is about an hour long. It also might not work. I had some trouble uploading it.

And that's a wrap for this week

Monday, 19 November 2012

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #9: Mood Boards for Wyvern and Weapons

Right, now I've shown my work, it's time to show off the mood board. Ordinarily I'd include these with the designs I've done, but since there's three of them and they're all quite large, I decided it would be best to dedicate an entire post to all of them instead. Below are the mood boards for the Wyvern, Excalibur and the 4 Weapon Types.

Wyvern Mood Board

1. Kilgharrah, the Great Dragon from BBC’s Merlin. http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/File:Kilgharrah_smartshot.jpg
2. Javelin’s Wyvern, from deviantART. http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=wyvern#/d2zw3cy
3. Great Dragon from the 1998 Merlin TV film. Barron, S. (1998). Merlin. New York City, NY: Hallmark Entertainment (now known as Sonar Entertainment)
4. Dragon from Reign of Fire. http://www.milesteves.com/gallery/v/SCULPTURE/Drag-X5-72.jpg.html
5. Figurine of Alduin from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tend2it/6536408381/
6. Image of a Wyvern. http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-03/art/bof4-dragon-wyvern.jpg
7. Image of a Wyvern. http://the-crown-and-the-ring.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/new-variant-monster-piscivorous-or.html
8. Pelican from the Halo franchise. http://www.supercheats.com/xbox360/guides/halo3/vehicles.shtml
9. Render of the Egg Wyvern boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. http://info.sonicretro.org/File:Sonic_06_egg_wyvern_06.jpg
10. Render of Raging Raven from Metal Gear Solid 4. http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Raging_Raven
11. Render of the Peace Walker mech from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Peace_Walker_(Basilisk)
12. Image displaying aerodynamics of a fighter jet. http://auroralipper.hubpages.com/hub/ScienceFairExperiments_16_FunAirplanes
13. Concept Art of a Hunter Killer from Terminator Salvation. http://stanfiglog.blog69.fc2.com/blog-date-20090516.html
14. Artwork of Orbital Frame Anubis from Zone of the Enders. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/zone-of-the-enders-2
15. Model of the Chrysalis mech from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Chrysalis
16. Model of a Scorpion Gunship from the film Avatar. http://www.wildcataerospace.com/2001aspaceodyssey/avatar.html
17. Artwork of a futuristic Tank concept. http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=future+tank#/d2i13a9
18. Model of Metal Gear REX. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=metal+gear+rex+model&num=10&um=1&hl=en&biw=667&bih=639&tbm=isch&tbnid=lFsmrwwl9kdJlM:&imgrefurl=http://www.gamespot.com/metal-gear-solid/images/user/OoMJsklz7hqd7RjklQ/&docid=ho0GnI-ZASQPrM&imgurl=http://ui01.gamespot.com/516/metalgearrex_2.jpg&w=500&h=375&ei=M3amUP-OKcep0QXR2YDgDg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=90&vpy=156&dur=1042&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=138&ty=78&sig=109407711240239107895&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=158&start=0&ndsp=11&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:66
19. Concept Art of a futuristic Fighter Jet. http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/collections/185247901#/d2h54uw
20. Scanned image of How to Draw a Mecha Dragon from Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds. Hart, C. (2003). Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds. Broadway, New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications
21. Figure of a Mass-Production Evangelion Unit from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. http://sector6slumjunkshop.blogspot.co.uk/2007/06/eva-mass-production-wikipedia.html
22. Render of Metal Gear RAY. http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_RAY_(manned)


Excalibur Mood Board

1. Screenshot of Excalibur in the stone in BBC’s Merlin. http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17400000/Sword-in-the-Stone-merlin-on-bbc-17455851-498-284.jpg
2. Screenshot of Excalibur From the 1998 Merlin TV film. Barron, S. (1998). Merlin. New York City, NY: Hallmark Entertainment (now known as Sonar Entertainment)
3. Screenshot of Excalibur From the 1998 Merlin TV film. Barron, S. (1998). Merlin. New York City, NY: Hallmark Entertainment (now known as Sonar Entertainment)
4. A selection of Greatswords. http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html
5. Screenshot of the Star Saber from Transformers Prime. http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Star_Saber_(Prima)
6. Screenshot of Arthur holding Excalibur from the 1998 animated film Quest for Camelot. Du Chau, F. (1998). Quest for Camelot. California, US: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment. Retrieved from online video: http://www.putlocker.com/file/C3AD4BFD67CA2DA4#
7. Render of the Matrix Sword from Transformer’s Prime. http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/3rd-party-unlicensed-41/dr-wu-matrix-sword-175329/
8. Image of a Gladius. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius
9. Cosplay replica of Excalibur and its scabbard from fate/Stay Night. http://swordsplanet.com/en/top-ten-fantasy-swords/355-fate-stay-night-saber-excalibur-avalon-cosplay-sword.html
10. The Sword of Kings from Final Fantasy XII. http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Sword_of_Kings
11. The Treaty Blade from Final Fantasy XII. http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Treaty_Blade
12. Image of a Gladius. http://seriouswars.wikia.com/wiki/Gladius
13. Screenshot of the Knightmare Frame Lancelot wielding two MVS sword from Code Geass. http://www.animevice.com/knightmare-frames/22-901/
14. Concept art of the Blade of Olympus from God of War. http://gameswallpapers292.blogspot.co.uk/
15. Concept Art of the Knightmare Frame Galahad from Code Geass. http://www.mahq.net/mecha/codegeass/geass-r2/rza-1a.htm
16. Image of a modern-day satellite. http://cumbriansky.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/goce-a-seriously-sexy-satellite/
17. Screenshot of the Zeus Cannon satellite from Final Fantasy: Spirits Within. http://us.337.com/pages/575973/Zeus+Cannon
18. Image of the International Space station. http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/spacestation/
19. Image of the International Space station. http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2012/11/05/nasa-makes-it-easier-to-spot-space-station/
20. Screenshot of the weaponised SOL satellite from Akira. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpl3k/1992840133/
21. Soundwave from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Soundwave_(ROTF)
22. Screenshot of the Hammer of Dawn satellite weapon. http://gearsofwar.wikia.com/wiki/Hammer_of_Dawn
23. Screenshot of the Sky Fortress Bahamut from Final Fantasy XII. http://sachi13.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/balthier-truly-is-the-leading-man/
24. Screenshot of the Sky Fortress Damocles using its shield from Code Geass. http://codegeass.wikia.com/wiki/File:Damocles_-_Blaze_Luminous.png
25. Schematics of Cairo Station with the Mac Gun from Halo 2. http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/212_spring2007.web.dir/michael_ross/Orbital%20MAC%20Platform.html

Weapon Types Mood Board

1. Longsword with a scabbard. http://deadliestfiction.wikia.com/wiki/File:Longsword.jpg
2. Longsword. http://forum.blades-uk.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15038
3. Selection of longswords. http://heronarmoury.co.uk/2009/?page=swords/m
4. Broadsword. http://www.codesmiths.com/shed/things/knives/woodenswords.htm
5. Concept art of Deus Ex: Human Revolution Assault Rifle. http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Talk:Deus_Ex:_Human_Revolution
6. Render of a Garlean gunblade from Final Fantasy XIV. http://www.ffxiah.com/forum/topic/12414/xiv-information-thread-from-someone-not-in-the-be/7/
7. Artwork of a Gunblade weapon from Valkyria Chronicles. http://valkyria.wikia.com/wiki/Var
8. Screenshot of the Knightmare Frame Lancelot wielding two MVS swords from Code Geass. http://www.animevice.com/knightmare-frames/22-901/
9. Rapier. http://swordsplanet.com/en/medieval-swords/233-kings-rapier-sword.html
10. Rifle w/ a bayonet. http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/04/daisy-no-40-military-model.html
11. Replica prop of a Qualta Blade (sword-configuration) from Farscape. http://propgalaxy.com/products.php?product=GIANT-FARSCAPE-KA-DARGO-LUXAN-QUALTA-BLADE-PROP
12. Screenshot from Farscape of D’Argo wielding his Qualta Blade (rifle-configuration). http://photos.lomara.org/index.php/screencaps/farscape/xine_snapshot_80
13. Replica of Raiden’s high-frequency blade from Metal Gear Solid 4. http://marvelunlimited.forumotion.com/t1236-high-frequency-blade
14. Concept Art of Lightning’s Blazefire Saber from Final Fantasy XIII. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/blazefire-saber
15. Concept Art of Lightning’s gunblade from Final Fantasy XIII-2. http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Gunblade
16. Image of Squall’s gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII. http://fanon.wikia.com/wiki/File:Squall's_Gunblade_4.jpg
17. Image of a collection of assault rifles. http://www.rbgungraphics.com/assault.html
18. Concept Artwork of various sword rifles/ energy swords. http://dsngsfm.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/sci-fi-futuristic-concept-armor-and.html
19. Artwork of an Arm blade. http://www.mahq.net/mecha/zoe/dolores/dolores.htm
20. Line artwork of a Knightmare particle rifle from Code Geass. http://codegeass.wikia.com/wiki/VARIS_Rifle
21. Artwork of a Drill Lance from Gundam. http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/File:MA-SX628_Fodio_drill_lance.jpg
22. Drawing a Medieval Lance. http://makeadecal.com/decals.asp?id=Medieval_Lance-BW020092&desc=Medieval%20Lance%20BW020092%20&decals=Cool%20Stuff
23. Scanned image of a futuristic Manga knight riding a horse with a lance from Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds. Hart, C. (2003). Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds. Broadway, New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications
24. Artwork of a Bouncer Big Daddy drill from Bioshock. http://onlyhdwallpapers.com/high-definition-wallpaper/bioshock-drill-desktop-hd-wallpaper-334098/
25. Rocket-Propelled Grenade weapon, w/ ammo. http://world.guns.ru/grenade/rus/rpg-7-e.html
26. Drawings of various Medieval Spears. http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=92556
27. Drawings of various Medieval Lances. http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=92556
28. Rocket-Propelled Grenade weapon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rpg-7.jpg
29. Drawings of various Medieval Lances. http://www.classicalfencing.com/mcweaponslance.php
30. Largo wielding a Rocket Lance from Valkyria Chronicles. http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-09/vc-largo-potter.html
31. Scanned image from Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds detailing how to draw futuristic versions of medieval weapons. Hart, C. (2003). Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds. Broadway, New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications
32. Various Medieval Axes. http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3ds-max-set-medieval-axes-clubs/579895
33. Render of a Deldrimor Hammer from Guild Wars. http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Hammer
34. Page from a book describing various Medieval axes, hammers and maces. http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?topic=24499.60
35. Medieval Warhammer. http://weapons.shopneroswv.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_115&products_id=253
36. Toy version of Optimus Prime’s Axe from Transformers Animated. http://www.transformerland.com/show_parent_g12.php?action=full_size&toyid=29104&genid=40&figurename=Axe%20(Optimus%20Prime)&gen=Animated&genre=Voyager&name=The%20Battle%20Begins%20(Optimus%20Prime%20vs%20Megatron)&genreid=141
37. Renders of Mjolnir from Tomb Raider: Underworld. http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=87253
38. Various types of Mace. http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/NewCV/cvlib-arsenal4.htm
39. Various concepts of Mjolnir from Thor. http://charmcityshinobi.tumblr.com/post/5392044188/raifontherocks-mjolnir-concept-art-from
40. A double bladed axe. http://dragonimpact.com/biz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=83_237&products_id=2088
41. A Gravity Hammer from the Halo franchise. http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/File:1212677718_Gravity_hammer.jpg
42. Grune wielding a futuristic mace from Thundercats (2011). http://www.slashattack.com/2011/08/thundercats-2011-premiere-review/
43. Concept art of Mjolnir from the Ultimate Marvel imprint. http://www.comicvine.com/mjolnir/18-40971/all-images/108-220052/thor_178/105-1593864/
44. A foldable axe. http://www.comingfresh.com/category/design
45. Collection of various weapons from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. http://sarcasticgamer.com/wp/index.php/2010/01/experts-guide-to-modern-warfare-2.html
46. Screenshot from Metro 2033, showcasing the Spring Dart Gun. http://postapocalypticearth.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/weapons-in-apocalypse.html
47. Concept art of the revolver from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/05/11/deus-ex-human-revolution-diary-the-psychopath/
48. Concept art of various weapons from Mass Effect. Hudson, C. & Watts, D. & Hepler, C. (2012). The Art of the Mass Effect Universe. Milwaukie: Dark Horse Books
49. Artwork of Hawkeye’s bow and quiver from Marvel’s The Avengers. http://marvel-movies.wikia.com/wiki/File:Avengers_hawkeye-bow_Quiver.jpg
50. Diagram of a recurve bow. http://www.thanetarchery.co.uk/Beginners.htm
51. Concept art of various weapons from Mass Effect 2. Hudson, C. & Watts, D. & Hepler, C. (2012). The Art of the Mass Effect Universe. Milwaukie: Dark Horse Books
52. Concept art of the crossbow weapon from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. http://www.brickarmsforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=5544
53. Image of Corvo’s crossbow from Dishonored. http://dishonored.wikia.com/wiki/Corvo's_Crossbow
54. Replica prop of Van Helsing’s automatic crossbow from Van Helsing. http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/754195-van-helsing-automatic-crossbow/
55. Replica prop of Chewbacca’s crossbow from Star Wars. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2008/09/30/weapons-locker-chewies-bowcaster
56. A Crossbow. http://www.a2armory.com/crflpimewe.html
57. A Medieval crossbow. http://www.glogster.com/kewlblue/medieval-weapons/g-6mldimu72m5iagn70ecvsa0?old_view=True
That's about it for the time being. I have got to try an update this blog more often...

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #8: Weapons Progress

Now we're on to the second catch-up post. This time, I'll be showing the weapons that I am designing for my Honours Project. From here on out, I'm going to be diving into the real meat-and-bones of Arthurian legend to inform my designs... which may actually be a problem, as I've found that Arthurian canon has a tendency to be rather inconsistent; one source will claim one thing about a certain character or event, while the next will claim another. In any case, let's get on with the work so far...

Incidentally, I'm not including the mood boards for these in this post becuase they're absolutely bloody massive. I'll post those later on their own with the Wyvern mood board.

My first weapon is Arthur's legendary weapon, the sword Excalibur. Often mistakenly believed to be the sword the once and future king pulled from a stone to prove his worth as king (again, this varies from source to source, though the vast majority claim the two are different weapons entirely), Excalibur was actually given to Arthur by the Lady in the Lake after his original blade was lost or damaged beyond repair. It is well-known for being exceedingly sharp, and for the protection its scabbard endows upon the one who holds it (ironically, some myths tell of how Arthur lost the protective scabbard to his half-sister and archenemy Morgan le fay shortly after obtaining it).

From the start, I already had a vague idea of how I wanted to update the iconic blade. On the one hand I wanted it to be a devastating weapon of mass destruction, while at the same time I wanted Arthur to actually have some kind of weapon to wield in battle. In the end I compromised by having the legendary blade come in two parts; the first, Excalibur itself, a massive deathray-firing satellite weapon, and Caliburn (again, the name is either that of Arthur's first sword or an old name for Excalibur), an actual sword whose main function is to direct Excalibur's deadly power.
As usual, I began with some thumbnails. Unlike the vehicles, I did 2 sets, one for Excalibur and Caliburn each, and I also did fewer of them. This was done mainly for the sake of time.

From this I selected the third design from both sets of thumbnails. As the above image shows, I actually developed the main shape of the two components twice, once to fully determine what they looked like and again to tidy them up and fill in the details. I also incorporated traits from the first Excalibur thumbnail into my design of the third.

And here we have the various colour schemes, along with some sketches detailing how the two work together. This is about as far as I've got with Excalibur; I still need to finish the 3D model and the final design. I'll post those when they're done.


Meanwhile, I'll also been working on the other 4 weapons I've had to design. To speed things up, I've decided to work on them all at once. I had ultimately decided from the start that these weapons would generally be futuristic versions of typical medieval weapons. These included Swords, Heavy Weapons (I wasn't initially sure if this one was going to be a hammer, an axe or a mace) Lances and Bows/Crossbows.
These are the thumbnails for the four weapon types

Here are the thumbnails again, but this time I've circled the designs I want to develop further, as well as minor details I wanted to keep from the designs I didn't choose.

As with Excalibur, I only chose one or two designs from my thumbnails for the weapon types. The above image shows how I developed these designs. As for the two types that have more than one option, I chose the second sword and the first heavy weapon, the hammer.

Finally there are the development sketches, showing a general colour scheme for each weapon (except the Lance; haven't decided what colour that's going to be...) as well as all the functions the weapons have, e.g. how the sword morphs into a rifle, how the hammer can become more compact etc.
Sadly, as with Excalibur, this is as far as I've got with these as well. I modelled around half of them though, so I should have the final designs finished soon.

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #7: Vehicles Complete!

More catch-up blogging of my work so far! Yay... Anywho...

Since my last progress entry, I've managed to complete both of the vehicles I set myself for my Honours. First of all, let's look at the first one, the Destrier, or the Stallion.
Now, last time, I was up to this stage. Remember this?
Anyway, since then I've gone on to finish the design. I did this by doing the following:-
I began by tidying up and finalising the line art, as you can see above. from this, I had the general look of how the vehicle appeared.

I then tried out some different colour schemes, as the above image shows, as well as where the various banners would appear. After all, the Destrier is supposed to be ridden by knights, who generally have their own flags and symbols. However, as the vehicle is intended to be customisable, none of these colour schemes can be described as the 'final' colour palette; as with many cars and motorcycles today, the Destrier  will be have whatever colour scheme and symbols it's owner desires.

Finally, I made a quick sketch of a perspective view. Unlike later designs, I didn't create a 3D mock-up for the first vehicle, as it was not until after this one was completed that Ken suggested that approach. As such, there are some minor discrepancies. In any case, this led to...
...The final design. The Destrier is something of a cross between a horse and a hoverbike; a floating vehicle capable of traversing all terrains. While it's can't technically fly, it can be deployed in space is necessary and can otherwise travel anywhere. With a sleek design built for speed, it is typically ridden by knights, with the open seat allowing them to wield their weapons while riding. The 'head' contains a sensory unit which scans the area ahead of the vehicle, with the data collected being fed back to the rider through the view screen in front of the seat. All in all, it is essentially the Ferrari of this futuristic Arthurian universe.
I also created a quick image of a civilian model, the Garron. Unlike the Destrier, which is built for speed, the Garron is built for endurance. Its primary function is that of a workhorse, designed to pull heavy loads. With this in mind, I designed it with a bulkier shape and a yellow colour scheme reminiscent of a JCB digger.

So anyway, that's the first vehicle out of the way. The next vehicle is the Wyvern, a war machine that visually resembles a dragon. Normally I'd start with the mood board for this, but it's pretty big and I'm saving ti for another post. Anyway, as with the Destrier, I began with thumbnails, which you can see below:-
 As you can see, I tried a variety of different ideas with this one, ranging from flying tanks to fighter jets to gunship to battle mechs. After gathering some feedback from my peers, I then decided to use 2., 4. & 9., as these were unanimously regarded as the strongest designs.
 I then took to fleshing these designs out even more. However, I found myself leaning towards the 3rd design, as it felt its sleeker shape made it appear more advanced and fitted in with the Destrier.
 I then did a series of sketches exploring different aspects of the design, such as how the wings functioned and how they connected to the main body, as well as the pilot seat and eject system. Most of these can be seen above, and there is also a segment showing the different colour schemes is
 
This is the 3D model I created as a basis for the final design. To be honest, I found this one rather time consuming, though I believe this is due to the complexity of the design. I also have renders of a back view and a close up view of the mouth, but for the sake of being concise I haven't included them here. In any case, once this was finished, I set about painting over it.

Finally we have the final design of the Wyvern. It took a fair while, but overall I'm proud of how it turned out. The Wyvern itself is a walking battle mech capable of flight and armed with a powerful high-frequency plasma cannon. It's a formidable opponent, even when outnumbered, and is intended to be the stuff of nightmares when it appears on the battlefield.

So that's the vehicles done and dusted. Next post will include my work so far on the 5 weapons I have to design.

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #6: My Work Process

Yeah, seems that I've kinda neglected this here blog over the past few weeks, especially in regards to my Honours Project... It's about time I rectified that...

I figured I should devote at least one entry to my current workflow, since I AM getting marked on this thing. For the most part, I've been following a very specific pattern in my design work. It goes something like this:-
  • Research/ Mood Board
  • Thumbnails/ Silhouettes
  • Select 3 Thumbnails to Develop Further (Optional; sometimes I'll just choose one)
  • Development of Designs (finalising the 'look')
  • Select 1 Design to Go Forward with (Again, optional)
  • Sketches to display or determine shape/ functionality/ minor details
  • Colour Schemes
  • 3D Mock-Up (depends on subject)
  • Final Design
This has been my general method of working throughout the project thus far. Much of it is based on a couple of images from an artist named ManArtee on concept art.org, which show how he/she designed a walking tank from a thumbnail. As you can see, he began with the silhouette, before developing the lineart and then finally adding colour.
ManArtee (2009). ManArtee Sketch Dump, Post #23. Retrieved from conceptart.org: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?137982-Manartees-Sketch-Dump 

However, at Ken's suggestion, I've also added an additional step of building a quick 3D model of the subject to paint over for the final design. I've found this helps a great deal with getting the perspective and proportions right for the final image, though the modelling can take up more time than it should if the design is fairly large or complex. This process was based off of this developer diary from the game Planetside 2.

Original source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgV_4BBaFBg

That more or less sums up how I've been working on my Honours project so far. For my next few posts, I'll show how far I've progressed from the last time you saw this.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #10: Sustainability and its Effect on Design

Another day, another design futures lecture. This one's about sustainability.

What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the capability to endure through renewal, maintenance and sustenance or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capability to endure through unyielding resistance to change.

Why is Sustainability necessary?


video
Remember the Triple Bottom Line - The point when social, environmental and economic needs are met

The benefits of sustainable design are:-
  • Lower cost in the long run (i.e. relying on renewable resources instead of more costly finite resources)
  • Good Publicity
  • Better for the environment
  • Encourages Innovation


video
Notes from this video:
Sustainable design must be fit for purpose:-

  • Style
  • Performance
  • Ease of Use
  • Practicality
  • Acceptability


Sustainable Design: The design of flexible systems that can be sustained indefinitely
Sustainable Product Design: The design of products that aid or permit the sustainability of the system in which they operate

Problems working against Sustainable Product Design:-

  • Industrial 'product' design approach
  • Poor Design Briefs
  • Lack of knowledge on sustainability issues
  • Lack of systems thinking
  • Lack of business skills
Case Study: The Hybrid Car
  • A hybrid vehicle is one that combines two or more sources of power
  • Most hybrid cars are gasoline-electric hybrids
  • Hybrids are supposedly more fuel-efficient, meaning they require less fuel for more power
  • Hybrids came about due to the efforts of two people: Jacob Lohner, who foresaw the need for a new electric vehicle in contrast to the noisy gas-powered cars in Europe, and Ferdinand Porsche, who Lohner commissioned to build his new vehicle
  • Porsche's first design used two electric batteries, allowing it to travel 38 miles. To increase the range, Porsche added a gasoline engine that could recharge the electric battery. Thus, the first hybrid, the Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil, was born. It was, however considered something of a novelty at the time (the 1900s)
  • Hybrid cars have become part of the mass market because they are environmentally friendly, more fuel-efficient, offer good publicity and provide manufacturers with tax breaks.
  • They are sustainable because they are fuel-efficient, inspire innovation and are environmentally friendly (though, ironically, the materials required to build them are more environmentally unfriendly than gasoline cars)
How can sustainable design be achieved in video game design?
Ways that they are sustainable:-
  • Community
  • Charity Events
  • DLC (Downloadable content)
  • Digital/ Online Games
  • Trading-In Games
  • Micro-Transactions
  • Game Adverts
Existing Examples include:-
  • LittleBIGPlanet
  • EVE Online
  • Spore
  • FIFA 13

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #9: Research Materials from a Friend

When I began researching the topic of Dolly the Sheep, I enlisted the help of an old friend of mine, Drew-Deece Cone. She's currently studying genetics in Aberwystwyth, so she's covered the subject of cloning as part of her course. Anyway, I contacted her, explaining what my project was and asking if she could provide any useful research material for me, and she recently replied with a selection of lecture notes related to cloning, which I've listed below. Unfortunately, the notes came in  Powerpoint format, and since the only way to post them here requires the use of Skydrive (which is a terrible program that doesn't work), I can't actually show them here, so you'll have to make do with names, descriptions and APA references.


DNA Replication
Notes from a lecture about different types of DNA replication, as well as the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These notes are presented as a Powerpoint presentation and were provided by my friend, Drew-Deece Cone.
Ironside, J. (2011/2012). 16 DNA replication. Retrieved from Powerpoint lecture notes of Cone, D., D.

Recombination
Notes from a lecture about the science behind DNA recombination, chromosomes and gene mapping. These notes are presented as a Powerpoint presentation and were provided by my friend, Drew-Deece Cone.
Ironside, J. (2011/2012). 17 Recombination. Retrieved from Powerpoint lecture notes of Cone, D., D.

PCR Applications
Notes from a lecture about the Polymerase chain reaction and it’s uses as a tool for molecular genetic analysis, as well as its drawbacks. These notes are presented as a Powerpoint presentation and were provided by my friend, Drew-Deece Cone.
McEwan (2011/2012). Lecture 17 – PCR Applications. Retrieved from Powerpoint lecture notes of Cone, D., D.

Cloning and Recombinant DNA Technology
Notes from a lecture about cloning and recombinant DNA technology, as well as the relationship between the two. These notes are presented as a Powerpoint presentation and were provided by my friend, Drew-Deece Cone.
McEwan (2011/2012). Lecture 18 – Cloning and Recombinant DNA. Retrieved from Powerpoint lecture notes of Cone, D., D.

Drew, if you're reading this, I owe you one!

Friday, 2 November 2012

XB3001 GAMES PROPOSAL #6: Finished Concept Document

As promised, here is the finished concept document that I handed in for my first assignment for XB3001 Games Proposal. There's about 17 pages in all.



















Ok, now I've caught up with this module, expect more regular updates from now on.

XB3001 GAMES PROPOSAL #5: Research for Game Concept


Ok, I admit, it's been a while since I updated the the blog on this particular module. there's a good reason for that; I've been busy actually getting the work done on my game concept. It's taken awhile, so I've 
haven't had a chance to update much, but I'm finished now so i have some catching up to do.

My game concept was a battle royale type game set in a cyberspace world where players must hunt each other down in order to gather points and rewards with the option of doing things however they wanted to, even taking their enemies out in a non-lethal manner.I chose this concept as I thought it would be a good way of showing the struggle of doing what is right when it is more rewarding not to. The name I chose for this game was ViRTUE (short for Virtual Reality Tournament Universal Environment). I had several sources of inspiration for this, which include:-

1. Battle Royale
An brutal action novel and film about a group of Japanese schoolchildren who are forced to fight each other to the death for sport. I looked at this and the moral ambiguity behind it as inspiration for ViRTUE.
Takami, K. (1999). Battle Royale. Tokyo, Japan: Ohta Shuppan
Fukasaku, K. (2000). Battle Royale. Tokyo, Japan: Toei Company



2. The Running Man
A dystopian action film about a falsely accused man who is forced to participate in a game show where ‘runners’ are hunted by ‘stalkers’. I looked at the game show setting and rules as inspiration for ViRTUE.
Glaser, P. M., (1987). The Running Man. California, USA: Tristar Pictures Inc.

3. Escape from New York
An action film about a convict who is sent into a dytopian New York City to rescue the president of the United States of America. The city has essentially become an anarchical prison, where it is every man for himself. I looked at the setting and premise as inspiration for ViRTUE.
Carpenter, J., (1981). Escape from New York. US: AVCO Embassy Pictures

4. Gantz
An anime about people who are contracted to hunt down and kill targets in exchange for points, which can in turn be swapped for rewards. This ‘game’ and its rules were a major source of inspiration for ViRTUE.
Oku, H. (2000). Gantz. Japan: Shueisha

5. TRON: Legacy
A film about a man who ventures into a digital world to find his father, the world’s creator, only to find that one of his father’s creations is the world’s tyrannical ruler. In addition to the cyberspace setting, it also features a series of gladiatorial games. These were the aspects I looked as while designing ViRTUE
Kosinski, J. (2010). TRON: Legacy. Burbank, California, US: Walt Disney Pictures

6. No More Heroes
A sandbox action-adventure game about a man who joins a league of professional killers who fight each other to the death for fame and glory. The second game in particular points out how utterly pointless their struggles are. I looked at the game’s main premise (killers hunting each other) as inspiration for ViRTUE
Suda, G. (2007/2008). No More Heroes. Marvelous Entertainment, Ubisoft & Rising Star Games

7. Madworld
A game about a convict who is forced to fight a series of battles to the death as part of a dystopian game show. The death match-style game show was a source of major inspiration when I was designing ViRTUE
Platinum Games (2009). Madworld. Tokyo, Japan: SEGA

8. Dishonored
An open-world action-adventure game where you play as an magic-wielding assassin in a plague-ridden industrial town. The game’s major selling points are that it offers multiple ways of achieving goals and the fact that your actions affect the rest of the story. I looked at these aspects while designing ViRTUE.
Arkane Studios (2012). Dishonored. Maryland, US: Bethesda Softworks

I also have two pieces of  early concept art for the game. They are both ideas of how the player characters would appear



The first image was an early idea of how the characters should appear, but it was discarded for being overly complex. The bottom 3 images went on to become the final designs.
My next post should include the final concept document.