Friday, 15 May 2009

E3 2009... The Final Countdown...

Here's some of the wonderful things we have to look forward to at this year's action packed E3...

BioWare lays out their E3 plans for Mass Effect 2 in this E3 prelude video, giving us an early look at the expansive changes coming to the next chapter in their sci-fi epic.

I'd simply say that the game seems to be shaping up quite nicely, but I'm afraid I don't possess that level of restraint. This quick glimpse at the next installment of Mass Effect left me with happy chills. They seem to address all of the tiny issues I had with the original game, and the new character models look simply amazing.

Heres a preview Trailer :

Ubisoft has big plans for their E3 2009 press conference, with new game announcements, thrilling special guests, and plenty of game demos.

Ubisoft's invitation-only presser at the Los Angeles Theatre kicks off at 1am U.K. time on Monday, June 2nd. There the company will be detailing their 2009 holiday lineup, complete with exclusive reveals of Red Steel 2, Assassin's Creed 2, and a demonstration of Rabbids Go Home, the raving ones' solo debut. There's also mention of other unannounced titles and some recent rumors pointing towards the reemergence of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell: Conviction, so we can probably look forward to a couple new games dropping as well. For those of us who wont be able to attend this Ubisoft will be broadcasting the entire event the following morning at

Capcom has revealed their game lineup for E3 2009, or perhaps it's better to say mostly revealed, with two mystery titles making their debut at the show.

For the most part, Capcom's E3 2009 lineup is made up of games you have either already heard about or even already played. They'll be showing off the PC versions of Bionic Commando and Street Fighter; upcoming sequels like Lost Planet 2, Dead Rising 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (not technically a sequel, I know), and Mega Man Star Force 3; and new titles such as Spyborgs and Fate Unlimited Codes.

Konami's Metal Gear Solid team has kicked off a storm of pre-E3 announcement hype online. Kojima Productions has launched the teaser web site for the developer's next project.

The only other real information is provided via the site's keywords, which include Hideo Kojima, MGS, METAL GEAR, NEXT, game, konami, kojima game, KJP, Kojima Production. The site refers to the product as only Kojima Production NEXT.

Whatever the Metal Gear team's next project is, already pledged to be announced at E3, it's almost guaranteed to have clouds. Here's a link to the site :

Kojima Production "NEXT"

I shall be back with more build up information soon, until then here is a link to all of the titles announded thus far that will be shown at this years E3 courtesy of :


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

End of Year Review...

Well it's amazing that its arrived so fast but tentatively our first year is over and what a time its been. For me personally this has been one of my favorite years as a student in any of the courses I've attended and I'm not saying that just to butter people up the right way. The previous experiences I've had with great teachers who try there best to teach you in the way they are essential told to do by higher powers have worked to a degree but to be around 3 teachers (and Jack) who know what they teach to such a high degree has been so informative and inspiring. It's the first time in years I've been pushed to this degree and it has helped create such positive results in such a short time e.g. my understanding of tone, perspective, placement and angles as well as the line making skills which has completely unlocked a door I've been trying to get through for longer than I can remember. It seems a shame (without naming names) that some people just don't seem to appreciate the vast amount of knowledge and expertise they have available to them and somehow even thinking they know better than the tutors. (note: when you have someone who has 10+ years experience making actual game content telling you to do something a certain way don't sit there and think you know better, you don't so grow up). The films we've been allowed to watch annually on Wednesday have been a great learning experience too, as I've seen a lot of what we have seen already I was able to sit there and watch them with my student head on and reconstruct them in the way we are supposed to to obviously get the point of why we are watching them in the first place. My understanding and interest of art direction has been greatly increased and have a much better idea as to just how important the process is and its something that I'm going to continue to study in my own time so thank you mike for opening that door. In all I've really enjoyed my first year and I've really got my passion back for drawing and where I want to get in my life which is ultimately down to the great teachers we have and what they have thought us, the one thing that frustrates me is that some people don't seem to share this passion and considering doing a 3 year university course is a big commitment it boggles what other peoples motivations if any are or what they want to do but it doesn't really matter, I enjoy what I do and I look forward to the journey ahead. Thank you Heather, Mike, Chris and Jack, see you in the summer.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Nintendo's GDC Keynote Highlights

Here's a round up of all the stories that sprung forth from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata's keynote speech today, which brought us a Wii storage solution and an all new Legend of Zelda DS title.

Having run out of game consoles, Nintendo today launched Virtual Console Arcade, with a variety of classic arcade titles already available for purchase from the Wii Shop Channel.

Gaplus, Star Force, The Tower of Druaga, Mappy and Space Harrier are all available to download and play on your Wii, priced at 500 Wii points a piece with the exception of Gaplus, where the plus apparently translates to 100 more Wii points. Space Harrier and Solvalou named as two additional titles coming soon. Sega, Namco and Taito have all signed on to provide their arcade hits to Wii owners.

Final Fantasy fans will have plenty to download on their Nintendo Wii consoles this year, with two WiiWare titles and the appearance of the original games on the Virtual Console.

Formally announced at Nintendo's keynote, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Dark Lord is the follow up to last year's My Life as a King, so one would reason it's the same thing, only different. It's joined on WiiWare by Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, a port of the official FFIV sequel released last year for Japanese cell phones.

This year also sees the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo Final Fantasy titles making an appearance on the Wii Virtual Console, beginning with the original and following the natural order of things after that.

Nintendo's keynote ended up bearing Zelda fruit after all, with the announcement of the tentatively titled The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the Nintendo DS.

The new game, which looks to play a bit like The Phantom Hourglass, features dungeon maps on the top screen, gameplay on the bottom screen, and a bit of a fascination with trains. In the trailer Link is seen acting as the engineer for a train with a cannon mounted on the locomotive.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Old Republic Introduces Bounty Hunters

The Old Republic's Web site has put up a bio for the upcoming game's bounty hunter class, giving us all a look at a proto-Fett who activates his jetpack with a wrist-worn laptop or something.

Of course, what would be a Star Wars universe without bounty hunters, whose presence have been felt in all of the movies going back to the original. Pick this class and you'll likely get assignments to take out Jedi. The write-up sheds a little light on the Sith Empire's policy of death markers and the quilted quicker-picker-uppers who collect on them.

Of course, if you want to be the Boba with a heart of gold, SW:TOR should accommodate you. In describing bounty hunter capabilities, they mention their overall efficacy against "force-users," which probably goes for Sith and other baddies.

The site gives you an overview and writeups of "field recon," "outfitting" and "combat tactics" applicable to this class.

Bounty Hunter at Star Wars: The Old Republic - Classes

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Being a Video Game Art Director

I found this article on entitled "An Artist Grown: Reflections on Being a Video Game Art Director By Robert Chang". It's a very interesting read and gives some good insight on the art direction process from a game makers perspective.

Here is the link :

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Top 10 Cancalled games...

Games get cancelled. Some are good, some are bad. Some are great, some are so great that the mere fact that they were cancelled leaves you crying yourself to sleep every night whimpering their name, This is the Top 10 biggest Cancelled Games.

10. Donkey Kong Racing

That’s right, not Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong. The big bad ape himself had his own racing game, and man did it look a treat. Not only were the power-ups and characters great, you got to ride animals. No longer would you be confined to a kart when you could race on Rambi or Zinger. Unfortunately when Rareware left they took their games with them, so there’s little or no chance of anyone ever playing this.

9. Dead Phoenix

Dead Phoenix was originally announced as one of the “Capcom 5″; a set of five Capcom-developed games originally planned as GameCube exclusives. However it failed to appear at E3 2003 and was suddenly removed from Capcoms Website, gone without a trace. Very little is actually known about the game, as it was cancelled in early stages, but you appear to be a winged-man, flying through what appear to be open ended levels and fighting monsters.

8. Glover 2

In 1998 N64 players were introduced to one of the coolest (by that i mean oddest) videogame characters of all time, Glover. Glover was a four fingered magical glove, who is thrown out of a tower due to an explosion, releasing several crystals that protect the kingdom into the world. Now Glover, being the quick witted glove he is, decided to turn these crystals into into rubber balls so they bounce away. You traverse realms returning the crystals, and the world slowly becomes good again. Glover was received with mixed reviews, and no-one really knew what to think of it. There had been plans to release 'Glover 2' but the idea was scrapped, and there has been no further information on it since then.

7. Shenmue III

Since the release of Shenmue II back in 2001 there has been rumors of a third installment. It’s not like players around the world don’t want one, fans have been clamouring for Shenmue III for years. The game has been announced for development and cancelled at least two times, to much disappointment. Despite all this, a sequel may still be possible because of continued massive fan demand, Suzuki’s insistence that “the story will be finished through games”, and SEGA’s current trend of reviving old franchises, we may get lucky and see Shenmue III in the future.

6. Kirby’s New Adventure

Kirby and the Crystal Shards for the N64 was amazing, seeing Kirby in his own 3D adventure was worthy of any fans dreams and expectations for a true Kirby experience. It played just like a 2D Kirby game, but on a single plane;(2.5D if you want to get technical). The game was announced and screenshots ensued. Everyone expected it to be officially announced for the Gamecube and fan's would get a shiny release date. No such luck. The game was thrown into limbo and is currently rumored to be on its way to the Wii, Kirby fans wait nervously...

5: Winter

Mature games for the Wii are rare, but recently they’ve been emerging quietly, hoping to make a small success. Well the developers at n-space made Winter, and it was one hell of a game. Due to some seriously crap publishers it got canned, they were turning their noses up at the game and thanks to this it never saw the light of day. Originally announced in 2007, it was created in hopes of both reinventing the survival-horror genre and introducing a darker, more mature game to the “family friendly” Wii. One of the game’s biggest focuses early on would be to survive the harsh environments brought on by the mysterious blizzard. Players would have to find buildings in which to take shelter in and warm the main character before succumbing to frostbite or hypothermia. Winter sounds like a fantastic game, and according to n-space they’d love to carry on where they left off.

4. Metroid Dread

Metroid always kept its roots in 2D, even with the release of the Prime series, people would still go back and play the classics. The side scrolling adventure couldn’t be beaten and 2D Metroid reigns supreme. With Super Metroid being the best out of them all. But with such success in 2D why doesn’t Samus backtrack to sidescrolling land? Because it got cancelled that’s why. Metroid Dread, a 2D Metroid adventure for the Nintendo DS. There were cryptic denials that the game never existed, but questions were never fully answered and the general opinion is that it existed, and got canned. Hope emerged in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption where there is a message in the Metroid breeding zone of the Space Pirate Homeworld on a computer panel that if scanned says “Experiment status report update: Metroid project ‘Dread’ is nearing the final stages of completion.” For all we know it could be a joke to the fans but I hope not.

3. Chrono Break

Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross are two of the best RPG’s ever made, and on December 5th 2001, Square-Enix registered the name Chrono Break. Amongst talks of continuing the series Chrono break was considered a serious possibility, it was being talked about, and it could still happen. Fan's hold their breath, the project had not been given the go-ahead yet, so there was a chance it wouldn’t happen. And guess what, it didn’t. Square-Enix dropped the trademark in the U.S and nothing was said. With Chrono Trigger being ported to the DS, its clear Square haven’t given up on the series. But whether we’ll see a brand new game, who knows. The demand is there, and demand = sales, but so far we’ve been given nothing.

2. Starfox 2

Everyone who played the original Starfox on the SNES fell in love with it. The sequel, Star Fox 2, was set to be just as great. The Japanese version of the game was fully completed and pretty much ready to ship. However there was a little problem. Star Fox 2 was binned because the release of the N64 was right around the corner, and Nintendo’s desire to use the most advanced system available for a new Star Fox game was irrefutable. The saddest thing is that somewhere out there that game still exists but we'll never get to play it.

1. Super Mario 128


Super Mario 128 falls into two categories; the first being one of the most wanted games of all time, the second being one of the biggest screw overs in the entire history of gaming. When I think of Mario 128 I hate Nintendo. I want my Mario 64 sequel, I didnt want Mario Sunshine, we all want Mario 128. Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto referred to Mario 128 in 1997 as a possible name for a Mario 64 sequel, it was mentioned again at Spaceworld in 2000, along with a video. The game seemed certain. In 2002, Miyamoto confirmed the development of 128. In 2003 fans were told it wouldn’t appear on the Gamecube at all, okay not the end of the world, we’re still getting it though, right? It was once again confirmed at E3 2004. Where the hell was it? Reggie Fils-Aime, stated that Super Mario 128 would be shown at E3 2005. This was the point where most people thought that the game would finally surface. But oh no, it failed to appear. Later that year it was revealed Mario 128 would finally surface on the Wii. However it was in 2006 that Nintendo pulled the biggest switcheroo you’ll ever see, Miyamoto finally confirmed that the project was no more, and that bits and pieces of the concept had evolved into the Wii title Super Mario Galaxy.

After 9 years of being led on, they screwed the fans over. So much for Nintendo being “friendly”. Mario 128 is one of the most hyped cancelled games ever, you can’t hype a game that much then say you scrapped it. That’s just not right... at least Mario Galaxy turned out to be a return to form...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Escape from City 17 : Part 1

This is a fan made short movie based on on the events toward the end of Half Life 2, the art direction is spot on, it fells and looks like the actual game and this was made on a budget of just $500, its incredible. I just these few minutes they have achieved a better Video game film that any big budget Hollywood studio have produced. please watch and comment.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Black Mesa Source... My God, It's Amazing!

This is a 'FAN-MADE' rebuild of the very first Half Life that was so good that they even managed to get the real voice actors to reprise the respective roles for the game, the final product looks fantastic and has been built using the Half Life 2 : Episode 2 Engine and if that wasn't good enough comes with the Half Life 2 game rebuilt using the newer engine, ones things for sure, these guys are getting jobs. Heres the trailer:

GDC… what am I missing… AGAIN!!!

Well it’s that time of year again where my lack of money comes back to bite me in the ass as I miss the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Ever since E3 hit the toilet (although they promised a return to the old E3 this year) it has been the best source of major game news and lectures for the upcoming release quarters or the year as well as a chance to meet face to face game creators, recruiters, studio heads and developers which is a big plus if you want an inside chance to get comments on your work by industry professionals and get to make some inside contacts. But enough of my moaning here’s my picks of the best things happening at this year’s awesome show.

• The legend himself Hideo Kojima is giving a lecture entitled “Solid Game Design: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible”. First off as a fan of his games its worth every minute of my time and anyone else for that matter, it’s a great chance to hear what the creator of one of the greatest franchises has to say about game design, I can't think of any greater opportunity to hear how “it” should be done.

Level Design Process of ‘Mass Effect 2’ lecture by Corey Andruko (Project manager) and Dusty Everman (Lead Technical Designer) from BioWare. The session looks at the new level creation process of BioWare’s current project Mass Effect 2 and the improvements they have made from the first game and how they have identified and fixed mistakes that have made in the previous title. As there has only been a short teaser trailer for this game so far and no story links at all this will be the world first in-depth look at this games story and environments so this will be of huge press and fan interest so get there early if you’re going. It must be noted that next to square BioWare have the reputation of making the best story based games in the world and the level design and world construction is second to no one so the wealth of inform you can get from this if you are thinking of going into level or character design it will be worth it so don’t miss it if you have the chance.

10 Perspectives on Staying Passionate about Games, The title says it all and it will give people a much better understanding of the structure f the games industry and how things work and helps you identify what truly matters to you about the gaming business and if you are focusing on the right areas to get where you want to go. It will be a good one.

And finally:

Art Directing Horror and Immersion in DEAD SPACE, this is by far the scariest game of the year and it worked so well because you actually feel isolated and alone in space and everything from lighting, level design to sound made a utterly convincing at terrifying experience and I can’t think anyone better at the event who will tell you more about player emersion and emotion. It’s defiantly worth your time so go along and get scared.

What's the Point?

What do I want to do, where do I want to go when these 3 years are over? I want to be a part of a creative team for a games company that will let me express my ideas and create concepts that will go into production in a video game. I know it’s not going to be the easiest road in the world and it’s going to be tough going especially in the current climate but nothing in art is easy and it’s just another step, another obstacle to get to what is ultimately the dream. I love what I do, I love the industry as a whole and I love the fact that something you could create can be scene and enjoyed potential by millions of people around the world. I’ve always looked at the process of making a video games much like creating a piece of art, lots of ideas, influences, materials and time to create a final piece that is presented for view evaluate and enjoy, that’s probably why I’m a big advocator of videos being art. That’s why I want to absorb all I can out of this course so I can improve my own work and gain a greater understanding and respect for what I’m doing and the outcome I’m trying to achieve, that’s why things like art direction are big factors in gaining a better understanding of what I’m doing and why I appreciate the films we get to watch on Wednesdays because it plays such a big part over the overall viewing experience and I’m only just learning how much so but look forward to expanding my understanding of this process. Overall I think it’s just important to use the time I have to absorb all I can from the people who have the practical knowledge and are able to correctly advise what to avoid and what’s really important that way I can become much more creative which will be of use if I want a decent job and this will lead me to become a lot more focused on what needs and should be done which will make me a better artist.

Life Changing or Career Building?

I have found that being taught in a ‘liberal arts’ style has been a lot more useful and productive than any other form art education I have previously received. I never noticed before coming here that a lot of education in general is telling you what people think you should know or has been taught out of habit because “that’s the way it’s always been done”. In recent lectures and talks I really have come to understand that being taught and understanding the reason and purpose for being taught something that is actually useful a lot more productive and inspiring. In drawing for instance I’ve always been told to loosen up my work/drawing style to let it flow onto the page but was never told why or the benefits for doing so, that was until Chris demonstrated why and then got us to practise the process by going outside and drawing a quick environment scene, and to me it was like a light being turned on, I finally got it, I finally understood the process I was taught and it all fell into place. Over the years I’ve been taught so many different ways of doing thing or how things should be done but hardly ever why, what is the purpose of doing it that way? Most of the time I would get the answer “because its easier” but why is it? I think it’s much better in the long run to know not only how to draw something correctly but why it should be drawn in that way in the first place, this way you can convey a lot more in what you are producing and it will be of more benefit for the person your producing it for because they will be able to understand to a greater degree what your trying to convey. I think this is why what trained artists from a fine art back ground because they have a higher understanding of creating imagery which tell a story correctly because that’s essentially what video games are, are series of scenes telling a story and this only works if what is proposed is believable in the first place. I think it’s by far the best way to be taught and I think if anyone what’s a better chance to get into the industry it’s something they should pursue. Is it life changing or careerbuilding?, i think its both, i know from what i've learn over the past few months has already given me a better understanding of my own work and i know that the influences on future work will always now be there. Thanks Chris.

Game Technology - Sound for Games

Sound in video games is more than just the bleeps and bloops of old, it is now as integral to a game as the characters, story and environments. It has sets the tone of the scene and influences the emotion of the player and the impact of what is taking part in front of them and to me personally I think it can make a game more than it could have been without it. Some game music has such an impact it can make you happy, it can make you cry and even in some case proud. I remember the first time I went to Video Games Live how it certified to me them emotional attachment I have with games and how big a part the music plays in that, the first time I heard the metal gear theme performed I felt so proud to be a gamer because it produced something so impactful and poignant. The same happened later in the evening when they played a medley from the original tomb raider games and actually started crying because it was just beautiful and it those games played such a big part of my life when they came out. The use of big named composer to produce movie like soundtracks is become a larger going trend in video games these days, people such as Harry Gregson-Williams has composed and conducted the music for Metal Gear Solid 2, 3 and 4 as well as the “Twin Snakes” remake of the first game for the Nintendo GameCube which was originally produced by Konami’s in-house audio team.

The impact of the amazing soundtrack that these games had is the major driving force for other games to adopt a similar path with their titles. The best example most recent is the truly terrifying ‘Bioshock’, composed by Garry Schyman, which when played with the soundtrack creates such a intense and scary environment that even the hardened gamer finds themselves jumping in fright.

The biggest composers working in the games industry at present (aside from the two previously mentioned) are Jack Wall (Myst III:Exile , Mass Effect), Jason Hayes (World of Warcraft , StarCraft), Jeremy Soule (Elderscrolls IV : OBLIBION, StarWars: Knights of the Old Republic), Koji Kondo (Mario and Zelda) and Nobuo Uernatsu (Final Fantasy , Lost Odyssey).

All of these men have produced pieces of music for games that have not only become attached to the game but defined them and some of the music has become as well known as the games they were created for, an example of this is if you ask any final fantasy to name a tune from the games almost all of them will say ‘One winged Angel’ from Final Fantasy VII.

Game Technology - Game Engines

Video game engines are built up of a variety of components that work in synchronisation to present the complete gaming experience to the player. The engines tackle a variety of tasks that produce the final outcome and these main tasks are usually the Audio, Graphics, Real-World lighting and the physics that govern what happens in the game worlds such as object gravity, jumping physics and weather effects such as rain, snow and wind. Over the past decade the cornerstone of all game engines has been the infamous ‘Unreal’ game engine that has been used to build some of the best games of the last decade and continues to be the backbone to some upcoming Triple-A titles such as Final Fantasy XIII and Mass Effect 2. The reason so many games use unreal rather than making their own is mostly down to time and cost, if all companies developed a new engine for every game they made then release of new titles would slow down greatly and gamers would be waiting even longer for new titles which make it non-cost effective which is never good in the games industry. By using a 3rd party engine to build their games on they can get on with the main task at hand of making the actual games and while this is happening ‘Unreal’ can develop a new and improved engine which will be ready will become available when the companies final they can do all they can with the current technology they have. There are indeed other game engines out there but most of them are used in-house by the makers themselves and are mostly exclusive to the company that developed them. A good example of this is the Virtual Theatre game engine developed and used by Revolution software during the 1990’s for their point and click games ‘Lure of the Temptress’, ‘Beneath A Steel Sky’ and ‘Broken Sword 1 & 2’. I was designed specifically to give all their games a familiar play style to give a framework that fans who had played previous titles would be able to adapt to quickly when playing one of their new titles and thus get down to what made their games important, the story. I must say from my own personal experience that the system is so intuitive I’m able to ply the game without being aware of the controls in using so may concentration is solely on the game and made it much more enjoyable to play, it was so popular in fact that after the games were finally unable to play on modern systems that it was developed into what is now a free downloadable engine called ScummVM that allows players to load and play the games on modern PC’s as long as you owned a disc copy of the game, it was then taken a step further and has now been developed to play games that never used the engine in the first place such as all the original LucusArt games such as ‘Monkey Island’ and the amazingly underrated game ‘The Dig’.

Gaming Cultures

Gaming has developed so much in the last 20+ ears and with that has also seen the development of video game fans from simple players to an entire culture that eats at every waking moment of a gamer’s life and has even divided itself into separate entities such as the FPS clans and the RPG/JRPG factions. It has become part of the world culture as Films and TV did in the past, it’s no longer an escape for the few it’s now a voice for the many and is a global phenomenon that influences the everyday lives of over a billion people. If I was to fall into any sort of group I would be half in the RPG and half in the Action adventure group’s I love games with great story but also like suspense and action (games such as Tomb Raider, Broken Sword, Half Life 2 and the Metal Gear franchise being my favorites). Unfortunately I’ve found that I can become quiet hesitant to join in social activities when I get into playing certain games (Not just W.O.W.) and also find that when I go on holiday I can become very easily frustrated with realising it because I’m away from my consoles… I may have an addiction which needs to be checked. Anyway aside from my problems it is such a big part of my life, I check gaming news sites such as every day without fail to see what’s new in the gaming world and flicking to sites such as to get more in-depth previews of specific games and if that’s not enough its over to to find a trailer of the game I’m looking forward to. The sites seemed to al be dedicated to games but not the games but in 2006 a site called changed that where they created original content every day for gamers to watch and it’s a great example of how the culture has influenced to gaming community and the introduced the first online news cast the is dedicated solely to gaming news and telling fans what the need to know with any backlash or constraints from companies as they are separate entity that can tell the facts with bias and general act as the online voice or gamers around the world. The culture has not just be contained to video games, web comics that have direct ties to the news and satire of the video games business have become increasing popular in the gaming community with the biggest being who’s popularity has even spawn a real world convention called PAX has become one of the biggest events in the gaming convention calendar alongside the likes of E3 and GDC. The culture will only increase as time goes on with features such as XBOXLIVE allowing players to not only play together but talk to one another to and from this develop friendships, form clans and exchange news, ideas and comments from one side of the world to the other. I myself have formed some friendships with people I only know through my console and talk to via Windows messenger and to be honest I think anything that can allows people from every walk of life to join together and have fun and talk can never be a bad thing… unless it’s the guys who just go on Xbox live to swear and shout at kids for not being as good as they are… those guy and girls are just sad.

An introduction to the Game Industry

The games industry at present is a bit of a turbulent place with the global recession finally beginning to show its weary head to even the highest earning companies. In the last few weeks we have see the amount of redundancies grow from the hundreds to the thousands and now even those who 12 months ago though they were easily secured in their jobs are now in the firing line. A few independent developers and publishers have sadly closed their doors and some have had the good fortune to have been saved by outside backers or been bought and absorbed into the portfolios of some of the bigger companies such as EA and Activision. Thankfully given the time this is happening it could have been a lot worse as most games companies save their biggest releases for the winter with the prospect of Christmas sales accounting for at least half of their annually sales totals but I have a feeling when we get into the slow period of releases which is usually from late January to early June the future of peoples jobs and companies future will grow more into doubt. Sadly cost cutting measures are having to be taken to ensure company’s survival until this recession blows over and with the new consoles power increasing the production costs and development time up even further the casualties will begin to grow and we may see before 2009 is out some of the bigger names in the games industry closing their doors for the last time. My view is that those who do have security in their jobs for the time being still enjoy what they do and the freedom they have in expressing ideas must be a refreshing feeling. The game industry has always and will always be about the creation and devilment of new ideas that can become franchises that makes the company money and I’ve always wanted to be a part of something where my ideas can help make something great or useful and that one day someone will same that something I came up with was worthwhile in moving a game forward. I may be over romanticizing the business a nit but to be honest I don’t care, I’ve been a fan of the business my whole life, it shaped my childhood and drove my ambitions as a result and even if the best thing I can achieve is just one small credit on a game then it will be all worth it, I think there’s more to games than just the business side, passion will go a long way into shaping the future of the business, Just ask Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto.


Creativity is the beautiful process of creating and developing new concepts and ideas into constructive and useful mediums, such as a picture, a script a machine or even a movie. It’s creativity that has lead mankind to change the face of the earth into the vibrant but problem filled metropolis is today but as a result every solution creates a new problem so the creative process of finding new and better ways to achieve a set goal whether it be creative or industrial never ends. For my personal stand point my creative process goes into creating images and graphics that try to convey a set scene or idea for a video game property, I have to think about lighting, image placement, environment and many other factors to create a piece the tells the story of the idea I have. All these factors must work together creatively to make my finished piece have depth and meaning and it’s the development of this creative thought process that drives me forward and leads to new and better concepts down the road and it’s the same process that every designer or creative person takes to move their visions forward and the rapid evolution of our culture over the last 15 years shows just how influential this process is to everyday life around the world. Films have become a good example of this evolution in creative thinking, in the last few years the art direction in motion pictures has become as important as the script and story that make the film what it is. The use of colour filters, lenses angles, camera distortions and effect are now taking a greater stance in helping tell the story to the viewer rather than just relying on dialog and sets to convey a set mood or tone to a scene that registers to the viewer as what they should be feeling at this given time. This theme has also seen a great rise to performance in video games over the last few years where now with the power that consoles have at their disposal larger more story heavy games are beginning to center stage once again. Games such as Metal Gear Solid have continued to up the production values and visual presentation in its games over the last few years with ‘MGS4’ being as close to a Hollywood movie in terms of style and presentation we have seen thus far but thankfully this trend is taking hold in and this has caused the overall quality of games to improve and helped develop new graphic technologies that can be implemented to greater effect in future titles which will again lead to quality and presentation to improve further. Games such as ‘Half life’ or more notably ‘Half Life 2’ have pushed the bounders even further with the world itself becoming its own character with every building and landscape conveying a story or the people who remain there and what has happened in the past and with the link of a strong story too it has become one of the centerpieces of video games. The creative process that has gone into creating every little detail from the characters to the landscapes and vehicles is astounding and if any of you have read the aptly named “Raising the Bar” you will know just how deep the development of ideas for this game went and with games such as ‘Heavy Rain’ will show upon its release the boundaries of visual design are becoming less and less constrained by technology and now anything that can be dreamt can indeed finally be created in all the glory that the designer envisioned.

Oh dear...

I can't believe its been this long since I made a post, I've writing in my note book for ages but I just hate typing on keyboards, I'm slow at it and its just so monotonous. I guess its a double edged sword because now I have to type everything up in one go, Not fun but I guess I should get started.