3D Realisation – Topology

So we was introduced into the world of topology last week, after a week of research and struggling to understand what this term means, a fellow student “Jason Pook” linked me to a site that explained it better than all the rest.

Topology – Definition

 

The word topology refers to the geometric surface characteristics of a 3D object.

 

Modelers strive for “clean” topology, typically illustrated by a 3D mesh with efficient polygon distribution, proper placement of polygonal edge-loops, few or no triangular faces (as opposed to 4-sided “quads”), and clean precise creases that minimize stretching and distortion.

http://3d.about.com/od/Glossary-T/g/Topology.htm

So as a part of our session we was set a task to find 3 pictures and draw our own topology over them. We was asked to do so using only Straight lines, Not curved ones and only using the “Quad Polygons” mentioned above.

The 3 pictures we was asked to look for were: A pre 1980’s Family Saloon Car, An old Leather Couch and A Bust of Somebody Famous.

For the pre 1980’s Family Saloon Car I chose a Ford Granada and drew my topology over that. Unfortunately I made a mistake in that I didn’t save the Photoshop .psd file and I saved the picture with the image in the background, (We was asked to not have the image in the background of the Topology) but here is my original with my finished product.

Ford GranadaFord Granada WireFrame

My next task to attempt was an Old worn Leather Sofa, Again I made a few mistakes and got lazy when it came to the back rest of the chair but I attempted to make up for that in the next 1

Old Worn Leather Couch (2)Old Worn Leather Couch

 

Finally we have the bust of somebody famous, I attempted this one last because I knew it would be the hardest of the lot to finish, but I really enjoyed doing it. The person I chose was Jason Momoa, I chose an image of him in the TV Series “Game Of Thrones”. I know that the topology isn’t perfect, but in the future I will strive for perfection.

Jason Momoa (2)Jason Momoa

 

I really enjoyed this exercise and I know that knowing how Topology works, not only will i become a better 3D Modeller, but also better at drawing.

Side Project – “Bus Stop”

So today we have had a discussion about making manageable side projects that we can do to hone our skills and craft. Today we have been given a mini brief titled “Bus Stop”, this kind of project can be used to support our portfolio.

For the purpose of this project the words “Bus Stop” can be interpreted as “Any place in which people might gather to board transport of some kind”.

After being given this we have been left to look at our own stuff and try to draw from this project what we can. The purpose of giving us a brief is to give us some focus instead of spending a week thinking of what to do, it has been set for us and we just have to work on our creative sides and make something interesting.

From this blog i want to work on my drawing, but mainly my perspective drawing.

For my project i decided to look at all kinds of transportation like

Tube Tube (2) Gondola (2) Row Boat Air Boat Ferry (2) Safari (4) Camel Ice Air Boat (3) Snow Mobile Bus (3)

So after looking through a few different forms of transport i decided that i would make my bus stop an arctic research facility and have a group of about 8 people at shift change after being on site for a week or so all huddled together with their bags and boxes waiting for a snow mobile to bring in their replacements.

So to Begin with i have found some pictures of Arctic research facilities and setups.

Arctic Outpost (5) Arctic Outpost (6) Arctic Outpost (7) Arctic Outpost Arctic Outpost (2) Arctic Outpost (3)

These are just my primary ideas and i will be making some thumbnail sketches of the facility and the entrance and some sketches of some equipment and make it look cluttered and and in a state of disorganisation and give it a sense of realism as these people moving will be tired, cold and frustrated and not be packing things very neatly, just getting it together to get home as soon as possible.

These are just my initial thought and i will be working on this over the next few weeks.

Casual Games/Gamers Vs Hardcore Games/Gamers

We have been tasked with writing a 500 word blog post on the differences between casual gamers and hardcore gamers, i have done some research into this prior to our session and have concluded that i am a hardcore gamer with casual gamer tendencies, which may seem strange but let me elaborate.

As a Hardcore gamer i want to play games and beat them, not only beat them but destroy them. I want to complete it to my fullest ability and get the best items and explore all corners of the game, and even once this is complete there is no point in stopping there why not continue and enjoy what you have earned for a while. this is where i tend to have casual gamer tendencies, i will pick up a game i have finished and go in it and just mess around for 10 – 15 minutes doing some mini games or something silly then come off it. These are both traits of a casual gamer and a hardcore gamer so i decided to look on the internet and see what people thought about this subject.

This is a Wikipedia entry on the Subject of Gamers.

So we started off with a discussion, well more of a debate really, about the differences between casual games and hardcore games. In this discussion there was a lot of back and forth in saying “casual games can be played by hardcore players, and hardcore games can be played by casual players” and so on.

We discussed how a lot of games that can be defined as “Casual Games” have been given these micro transactions and made it so that if people want to invest time into the game they can reach the higher level stuff, but with these transactions for real money they can have access this higher level stuff without putting in the time to unlock it. Now this can have an appeal to many people if they don’t have the time to sit down and play games like the hardcore community, they can just pay the micro transactions. However if the game developers aim these games at children and these children ask their parents for £10 to put on this game, the developers will be making millions of pounds with just a target of children.

Next we discussed Richard Bartle who developed the Bartle Test for discerning what kind of gamer you are through a series of 30 questions in the form of a quiz. You can take the quiz Here. I have taken the quiz and i have been put in the banding of Explorer which does seem like its my thing in that i do like to explore a new world or a new area and discover everything i possibly can it said are then move on, but i am also an achiever in that i like to get the best stuff and be the best.

Bartle Test

This test is very fun to do i highly recommend doing it and paying attention to the GamerDNA Bot and what he says, some of them are very funny, but don’t let that influence your answers.

I really think that there is no right or wrong answer here, there will always be hardcore players playing a hardcore game in a hardcore setting with casual players alongside just playing for fun not really paying attention, but it is the same with the flip side of the coin, there will always be casual games for casual players in a casual setting that someone will take to seriously and try to attain the highest score possible and beat everyone else.

Story For Adaptation

A Viking village or small town a few miles away from the base of the mountain, lead by an earl who has been given this title due to it being passed down in his family name.

This earl is a Tyrant and is driving the village or town into poverty with tax, people are dying due to starvation and exposure, the earl could help ease these peoples suffering by demanding less and stop forcing people to worshiping him simply because of this ceremonial item which he believes hold divine power.

His family name earned this title by his great great grandfather embarking on a dangerous journey through the mountain valley to visit the temple of the gods and recover the artefact of the gods. On this quest the adventurer must face their worst fears and follow the path to enlightenment. Legend has it that this man held the power from the gods and it corrupted him.

Once at the end of the journey the adventurer must place his hand upon the alter contained within the temple and utter the phrase written on the wall.  Once the phrase has been spoken the room will light up and the player will be transported to speak to the gods and if the gods deem them worthy they will be presented with an item that is ceremonial and will symbolise that the gods have spoken and this person has been deemed worthy to lead. This item will only work for the person who made the journey and completed the quest.

When and adventurer returns from his quest he has the most amazing stories to tell about the gods being mighty warriors and that the item that was bestowed on him gives him the power to defend his village and rule the land. This item is actually a test from the gods to see if it will corrupt the wielder or if he will help better his people and bring them all closer to enlightenment.

(This is just the making of my story, it is not yet finished)

Adaptation Project – Ideas Revisit

So i realised that for my Adaptation i had missed an important step in my design process. i often find myself looking at a blank page and thinking lets do a part of the Environments section of the Project. This i have found pointless because every time i revisit the section i have found that the drawings and designs have lacked character and feeling. So that is the intention of this blog post, to get some ideas down and some story development, to give myself some focus and hopefully push in the right direction.

So to start with i will revisit my Pitch that i made at the start of the project, which in reflection is unfinished and could have been done a lot better in my opinion.

Game Pitch Ideas

My first idea revolved around the Legend of Robin Hood and the story would involve how he became the outlaw and started stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

My second idea was based on the tv series Stargate but would not follow the actions of earth or sg-1 but rather an alien planet that had humans inhabiting it, but at a much less technologically advanced stage than we are, possibly as early as 400 ad in comparison to human evolution.

I feel that my second idea was much better suited to me so i would be focusing my efforts on this, but my other idea is always there just in case.

So my first mistake in taking on this project is thinking that i can just start drawing everything, without making any story or setting, kinda hoping the game would just make itself out of the drawings i have done, this would never work and i realise this now, so i am going to now get down some ideas and make a story for my adaptation to follow.

Story Ideas

I will just start by making a list actions and themes that could be involved in my game and then picking elements and creating a short couple of paragraphs detailing a section of a story for my adaptation to revolve around, this will give me a focus for my drawings and work.

  • A Viking age village/town
  • Small a few miles away from the base of the mountain
  • Lead by an earl who has been given this title due to it being passed down in his family name
  • His family earned this title by embarking on a dangerous journey through the mountain valley to visit the temple of the gods (Sticking with the typical stargate theme)
  • Activate an altar (Left there by an alien race to monitor evolutionary progress of humans inhabiting planet)
  • Retrieve a ceremonial item to symbolise divine right to lead the village (Weapon can only be activated by a person with a specific genetic marker)
  • Ceremonial item is a beacon for the aliens to transport the person to their research facility and check their evolution, then send them back with the beacon to locate their village.
  • If they have the specific genetic marker the beacon will act as a personal shield for the adventurer to protect themselves from the harsh conditions of the world
  • It will prevent the holder from becoming hungry and keep them strong to claim the throne and lead that village
  • Once the item has been brought back to the village, the earl must fight the returned adventurer to see who can claim the seat of the earl.
  • Any person that undertakes this adventure can claim the seat of the earl, be it man woman or teen and they command the whole villages respect due to the amount of courage it takes to embark on this quest and how few actually return.

This is the basic structure of my story and could use some fleshing out and details in places, but i think i will focus my adaptation on the beginning of a characters quest to visit the temple of the gods and the recovering of the Item (Which needs defining)

Creative Futures – Monday / Wednesday session (Presentation)

Welcome to my presentation on our Creative Futures sessions, both Monday Afternoon and Wednesday Morning. To start off this blog I’ll talk about my blog.

All of the relevant posts in this presentation can be found under this link:

Creative Futures (I have a parent category for all of the subjects within this module)

In our of our very first, if not our first Monday Afternoon session we set about updating all of our login details for the college computers and we discussed the significance of online presence in our future line of work. We discussed one option of creating and maintaining a blog, which as you can see I am making full use of to keep and update and work from. I have found this to be one of the most valuable tools at our disposal throughout college, and potentially beyond even that.

We next further discussed more online presence and about other sites that we can use, for free to create and maintain, and I fully intend to create and maintain more of an online presence but as of now this is my current Online Presence.

First introduction to Photoshop

First session on Creativity

First session of SketchUp

Introduction to Graphics Project

Project – Character & Branding – My Final piece isn’t yet finished and once it is I will be uploading it to my Blog (1)

Moving on from our Monday Afternoon Creative Futures session, to our Wednesday Morning session. I have a lot of this on my blog already and I have put links to each individual post relevant to our Wednesday morning session. I will put the links into a chronological order to make it easier for myself and other to navigate.

Drawing 101 – Basics

Drawing 101 – Perspective

Drawing 101 – Observational

Project – Introduction – The following week we was asked to produce game pitch idea to focus our work on, My Idea

Project – Environments

Project – Architecture 101

Project – Props, Objects & Vehicles – I have since updated my blog with 1 of the pictures of a prop I have drawn – Updated Blog (Props – 2)

Project – Characters (3), Storyboards (4)and Concept Art – My blog posts for these sections are still a work in progress and will be updated soon.

Thank You For Listening.

Games Design: Introduction – Monday Morning Session (Presentation)

In our Monday morning session of Games Design: An Introduction we have 4 learning outcomes:

  • Review interpret and apply games design principles and conventions.
  • Identify and develop appropriate games concepts.
  • Employ and develop reflective practice.
  • apply suitable 2D interactive production skills for game prototyping and/or production.

In our first week we was introduced to these learning outcomes and the first part of our brief, which is to make (In Flash) an interactive timeline on the history of games.

B – The History of Gaming

“Our lives aren’t even about doing real things most of the time. We think and talk about people we’ve never met, pretend to visit places we’ve never actually been to, discuss things that are just names as though they were as real as rocks or animals or something.”

– Tad Williams, Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass

You are to produce (in Flash) an interactive presentation/prototype of your research into the history of, and current market breakdown of the broad subject area of computer games* that will allow for a visual understanding of the heritage of games aesthetics, genres and historical development by a viewer from outside the discipline. You should research as widely as possible and not simply limit yourself to areas within this subject you feel you already know, you should also not only consider Triple A titles and casual games but alternative broader remit “non-games” (e.g. FourSquare), that encompass the definition “gamification”.

*Though you should consider computer games have a heritage that predates the computer chip.

Your individual timeline projects will be given further focus by a buzzword such as “technology”, “artists” or “developers” drawn from a hat.

All of this research will be a vital resource for the following projects within this module and beyond, and your research should allow you to begin the production of a Games Design glossary. Most professional careers develop their own lexicon of vocational language, Games Design is no different; it will be of real value for you to begin applying it as soon as possible.

You will publish your presentation to your personal reflection and project development blog AND hand-in a CD/DVD/data-stick (at reception) with all your development work, you will be required to show your work in a final presentation to your peers.

– Taken from the New Media Website.

To start this off we watched a video (On YouTube) called Thumb Candy, which details the history of games

The following session we was given a focus for our research (Pulled out of a Hat) my research focus was Revenue and Sales, Immediately I thought of a sales chart for my interactive timeline,

Progress-Sales-Progress-Sales-Chart

After this I thought I could do it in a more 3D style like a bar chart,

bar chart

in both instances I liked the idea of seeing a rising and falling chart mapping the history of sales in games, I initially thought it might be a bad idea to do this as it has just been increasing, but after some research I found that there was 2 crashes in the market of video games one in 1977 and the other in 1983, due to people flooding the market with the same games and nothing new being produced.

The following week we had time to produce some research and pull our notes together so we can start work on producing our timeline, I have my notes in a separate blog post, still in progress, because the website I have used has put it into Dollars and I want to make my timeline have a choice to see the value in either Dollars or Pounds and I need to convert the money values.

The next week we was introduced to the next part of our Assignment Brief

C – Casual Gaming and Gamers

“126 million Americans, or 87 percent of U.S. gamers ages 10 to 65, play games on social networks or casual game websites.”

– John Gaudiosi on stats by Newzoo, via Hollywood Reporter Online, 2012

You will discuss and research the area of gaming culture often defined as Casual Gaming and establish (through class lectures/workshops/seminars) that there are certain criteria/features that are essential or common across games of this type and can be used to help define a casual game, as well as particular markets and audiences.

You are to log all your findings on your reflective journal/project development blog. This should include discussion of Casual Game Markets, Revenue Streams, Genres, Comparison with other Games markets, platforms etc.

Based on this understanding you are to develop initial “thumbnail concepts” for a casual game with each of the following markets in mind:

10yrs -14yrs (can include IP tie-ins); 14yrs + (female market), 35 + (Genre market).

Audience/peer and tutor feedback from your initial presentations will help you select which game concept seems the most valid when considering “real world markets”.

Using this knowledge combined with your own research and desire to make simple, intuitive interactive experiences, you are to develop one of these concepts further, from your initial designs, right the way through to the production of a Product Design Proposal (PDP) or High Concept Document (HCD) as it is sometimes known.

Your PDP/HCD will include rules, rewards, screen/gameplay mock-ups.

This document should be prepared for delivery as both a printed document as well as a digital presentation (You may use Flash/Powerpoint, Video, your Blog or any other appropriate delivery system you prefer).

This presentation and document should act as a rolling demo or “Proof of Concept” to aid the explanation of the games core mechanics.

You should (if possible) attempt to make a segment of your game playable if you feel confident enough using Flash or other software.

In addition to your PDP or HCD and your design development work you will submit an additional evaluation that reflects on how well you have implemented your game concept in light of your initial proposal and research. This documentation is to be submitted as part of your ongoing reflective journal/project development blog.

Finally you will present your game prototype to your peers and take any questions they may have.

– Taken from the New Media Website.

In this part of our brief we will have to design and produce a casual game, aimed at a target audience of casual gamers. My initial idea in this was to make a 2D Hangman style game with all the questions relating to games design. I felt this was not really meeting the brief, so I decided to revisit the brief and think of a new game that matches the brief. This is still a work in progress on a separate blog post.

As a part of this whole subject we have done some starting work in understanding flash, This we did in a basic form of animation and coding a button to make the animation replay. Intro to Flash.

Moving on we was set a 1 day project which again I have a separate blog post about that day. Alaskan Secret.

We have also done work on producing a HUD with the user in mind, making it convenient and for ease of use. we was given a sheet and had to roll a dice to pick our subject area and design a game using these key words and the HUD that would make it easier for the player to use.

Here is the paragraph that I had to use to design a game and a HUD:

I’ll be designing a 3D Side Scroller for a 2D Sprite Based Art game. It will be set in a Man Made/Vehicle within a Armoury, It’ll be styled around a High Fantasy genre and will include Giant Robots.

I started off doing some keywords to give me a direction to start my design process, after this I started off with some thumbnails and making some rough designs and seeing if any of them worked really well.

These are my thumbnails

HUD Thumbnails

I then took the 2 I think worked the most and made them bigger

HUD Designs

This is still a work in progress and I will be making a full Blog post when it is finished.

CATS – Critical Perspectives Task (1000 Word Essay) (29/11/13)

For my Critical Perspectives Task, as a part of our Creative And Theoretical Studies, I have chosen to Psychoanalyse the Video Game: Alan Wake.

Alan_Wake_LCE_22x28_rgb

I chose this image for Alan Wake because I feel like it does an excellent job in not only telling us what it is, but also setting a scene for the game and allowing the player to really come to terms with the type of game this is (Survival Horror). Psychoanalysts are not interested in who produced the image or artifact, they are more interested in how the spectator or the audience will interpret the images and how this will affect them.

Alan Wake was released in Europe in 2010. The story is about a world famous author who is struggling with writers block, his wife takes him on holiday to relax but is in fact a rues to break his writers block. His wife goes missing and the plot is centred around Alan trying to find her. The gameplay is centred around the events of a book, that Alan has written but cannot remember writing. A dark presence haunts the where a man named Thomas Zane used to live, in a cabin on an island in the middle of the lake: Lake Cauldron, Thomas died a few years prior to Alan’s arrival due to an earthquake and the island sunk into the Lake. It is this lake where his wife went missing and later in the game he finds out that this presence has the ability to make fiction into reality, this presence had sufficiently grown in power enough to allow take control of Alan and write a means of escape through a manuscript. The presence took control of Alan to write this book because it knew that Alan has the knowledge to help it escape.

The theory behind psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud a psychiatrist who revolutionised psychology. What psychoanalysis does is attempt to explore the unconscious mind through a series of methods, the idea is that these methods would be as close as possible to “True spoken and realised thoughts, free of self-censorship”. I feel like this game is basically using psychology to tell a story, Alan wake was unconscious the entire time he was writing this story and doesn’t remember it. It was the entity who had control of Alan’s physical body, with the influence of the late Thomas Zane who managed to make it possible for Alan to be able to beat this presence, and restore reality.

This game builds a world for the player to immerse themselves into, this draws the player in and makes him or her feel as though they are in this town experiencing the same things as Alan is. Games have the same effect on people as movies do, if not even more powerful due to interactivity, the games designer is given a range of tools to provoke all kinds of emotions and feelings in games. People can create a personal bond and form their own unique attachments to characters and feel very real fear if the character is in danger, even though the player is in no real danger. The game does this by the clever use of the plot and sounds, the plot is focused around darkness and shadows by placing the player in the middle of a forest with a dying flash light, fear of shadows attacking the player creates the feeling of anxiety and paranoia and with a little ambient sound or even something as simple as a breaking of a twig in game can cause the player to be stuck to the ceiling.

The beginning of the game makes you follow Alan Wake and his wife on their journey to the town of Bright Falls, in this scene you are allowed to witness Alan and his wife in a relaxed state and you are allowed to witness the bond of love between these 2 characters, this allows the player to get a feeling for both parties, but the focus is on the wife for the most part, I believe this is to allow the player to get attached to this character and once you begin to feel this bond of love between the two, she is ripped away and not seen again till the end of the game, I believe that this is to give the player a feeling of urgency and motivation to push past the fear, when you hear someone you love scream you run to check on them. I believe that motivation and urgency are two key things in producing fear in a game. One scene you can hear your wives voice calling to you telling you to hurry she needs your help, your natural reaction is to run and try to help, but with someone you have grown attached to that feeling is amplified, while you have this amplified feeling of what could be described as adrenalin the game makes something happen and instils fear once again.

This whole game is focused around manipulating your mind and placing you inside a fictional realm made into reality, “The Presence has the ability to make fiction a reality”. Making fiction a reality has sometimes been the dreams and desires of some people to escape the monotony of their own lives and live a more fulfilling life in the fictional world, in Alan Wake you are controlling a character who is successful and is an accomplished author, going through a hard time, this for most people is easy to find in their lives and to experience that in a game, it allows the player to feel this sense of adventure and giving their lives meaning. Players love to be able to feel like they mean something to someone and putting them in the lives of an accomplished author, with a wife who loves them, allows the player to feel this same connection and make them want to keep that feeling alive by saving her.

To conclude my essay on the psychoanalysis of Alan Wake I believe that not only is Alan a mentally strong individual but it makes the viewer or player even more mentally strong, giving them the feeling of Fear, Motivation and Urgency all the while giving them the sense of accomplishment and feeling of Euphoria for completing this game.

CATS – Semiotics Task – (18/10/13)

A follow up of our CATS session we was given a task to complete which would test our understanding of semiotics and get us to do our own reading of an image. This is the Worksheet we was set:

  1. Definitions – Note down the definitions of key terms from today’s session in your log book. For example: Semiotics, signifier, signified, denote, connote Etc…
  2. Key Thinkers – Note down a short biography and key ideas associated with Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Sanders Peirce, Roland Barthes.
  3. Find one example of an “Icon”, a “Symbol” and an “Index.”
  4. Find an example of Contemporary Advertising and undertake a semiotic reading of your image.

So first off we have the Definitions of Key Terms we learned in todays semiotics session:

  • Semiology – The study of signs, signals, symbols, gestures and messages.
  • Semiotics – The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.
  • Signifier – A sign’s physical form (such as the image, mark, sound, written word Etc…)
  • Signified – This is the mental concept we have for what the Signifier stands for, it could be a concept, object or emotion. This is to what the Signifier refers to.
  • Denote – Basically a Simile.
  • Connote – Basically a Metaphor.
  • Arbitrary – Based on random choice or personal whim, rather that any reason or system.
  • Polysemy – The coexistence of many possible meanings of a word or phrase.

Semiotics gives you the ability to decode an image and identify a hidden meaning within a particular section of that image.

Ferdinand de Saussure – In 1907, Saussure began teaching the Course of General Linguistics at the University of Geneva. His teachings where so monumental, following his death in 1913, his students published a document on them using their lecture notes. Saussure was interested in the state of language, moreover, an understanding of of the conditions for existence of any language and the nature of the linguistic sign.

So why is Saussure so important, Saussure argued that the linguistic sign or unit was a two-sided entity, he called this Dyad. On one side you have the Signifier (See definition above) and on the other side you have the Signified (See definition above). For example if I am talking about my “CAT” (Which you have all never seen) The Signifier is the word “CAT” and the Signified is what image is provoked in your mind, not “My CAT” but a mental concept of “Catness” (Feline, Meows, Wiskers, Fish, Milk, Mice, Fur Etc…)

Dyad, Ferdinad de Saussure
Dyad, Ferdinad de Saussure

So this brings me onto my next Key Thinker: Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce developed many of Saussure’s ideas however he argued that rather than being a Dyad, the linguistic sign consists of a triple relation between the sign, object and interpretant (The sign in the Mind).

Peirce proposed that we can identify 3 categories concerned with the relationship between signs and objects:

  • An Icon – “Where the sign relates to its object in some resemblance with it, i.e. a Photograph”. It physically resembles what it stands for.
  • A Symbol – “Where the sign relates to its object by means of convention alone, i.e. Word, a flag”. Relates to via social convention.
  • An Index – “Where the sign relates to its object in terms of causation, e.g. sundial, paw print, medical symptom”. It correlates with or points to.

Peirce indicates that signs can thus be Iconic – resemble the referent. Indexical – give evidence of the referent (Sweat = Effort or Smoke = Fire). Symbolic – Arbitrary representations to the referent (Logos).

So this brings me to our final Key Thinker: Roland Barthes. Barthes was interested in connotations (Connote, see above for definition) of meaning, in 1957 he published a key text titled “Mythologies”, based on a series of articles called “Mythology of the Month” published in a French Journal. He explored the “Denotations” (Denote, see above for definition) in the signs of French popular culture, he argued that certain signs betrayed their convention as they are myths – their connotations are generated by the larger sign system in which they exist. Connotations can thus be constructed.

An example of an icon would have to be people that inspired others and changed a generation. A scientific icon would be Albert Einstein, a theoretical physicist who developed a general theory of relativity, alongside quantum mechanics.

An example of a symbol to me would have to be Santa Claus, whenever you think of Santa Claus you think of Christmas time, Big Red Suit, Reindeer, Elves Etc…

Finally an example of an index is where the sign relates to its object in terms of causation, a medical symptom, it correlates or points to a diagnosis or ailment.

Advert we was given in lesson
Advert we was given in lesson

Here is the advert I will be undertaking my semiotic reading on. First of all we have a smoking advert, the company will be wanting to promote their product and bring people in “Come to where the flavour is” – This quote is clearly aimed at a target audience of people who already smoke and know the taste of smoking. “Come to the Marlboro Country” – is indicating that there is a community of people that smoke and that you are welcome if you use this product. The text all reinforces that this product is good or the best in the market, however the gentleman in the picture tells us a different story. You can see he is an older gentleman and that is creating a subtle age to target the product at you can see that his body language is relaxed, calm, cool, makes you feel like “Yes i wanna be in the marlboro country with him.” The big red barn like structure behind him, Red indicating danger, warning meaning our product can be bad for you health. The Badge on the packet of cigarettes gives you a feeling of royalty, this coupled with the gold band makes you feel like this product is truly premium. Without the use of semiotics on this advert a lot of people would have just dismissed the meaning implied, It’s saying that Marlboro is good but its also dangerous for your health. With all this in mind I think that semiotics will help me in designing games and planting images with meaning behind them to give my games more depth and a sense of realism, but to also portray a message if needs be.

CATS – Log Book – Entry #7 (22/11/13)

So today in our CATS session we have been introduced to Critical Perspectives. The aims and objectives of this session are:

  • To consider the relationship of the gamer/user to video games and the web
  • To introduce the concept of Critical Perspectives
  • To identify key theories and theorists associated with Critical Perspectives
  • To analyse a range of cultural products using Critical Perspectives

The first thing to address was the Gamer/User and how the use or interact with the game both Physically and Mentally and how we can use this to our advantage in Games Design. The thing to consider is the Subject:

“A person or thing that is being discussed, described, or dealt with”

Or

“A thinking or feeling entity; the conscious mind; the ego, especially as opposed to anything external to the mind.”

– Directly from our presentation.

We went on to speak about Sherry Turkle and what she tells us about our relationship to technology. Sherry Turkle is offering us a Critical Perspective on social media and technology. You can watch a video on this Here.

Next we was introduced to 2 key theoretical perspectives, Psychoanalysis and Feminism and have been told that over the next few years we will be developing our critical thinking. From this point on we need to start looking at things from a critical point of view. With this in mind we moved straight into our first task of this session which was to psychoanalyse a short video clip of Silent Hill

Here are the notes I got from the group discussion we had:

  • Adding a personal avatar into the game places you in the midst of the horror and terror.
  • The clothing appeared to be juvenile in nature, we believed this to be intentional to place you in an adolescent mindset, due to the adolescent mind being easy to manipulate.
  • All this leads to being able to bring your biggest fears to life.

After this we moved straight on to the next key theme, Feminism, and what better way to show feminism than with a perfect example in Lara Croft AKA Tomb Raider. We watched a short video clip and used talked about Feminism:

Here are my notes I got from our discussion:

  • Attractive woman
  • Clearly designed by men, Big boobs, Short shorts Etc…
  • Adapted in the past few years to make her more independent and strong and less Feminist.
  • She is clearly, from this video clip, being made to be a role model.

So what is Psychoanalysis?

“Psychonanalysis is a theory of the human mind, a therapy for mental distress, an instrument of research and a profession. A complex intellectual, medical and sociological phenomenon.”

 

– Ivan Ward and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Psychoanalysis, 2000.

Psychoanalysis has shown the relationship between sexuality and human motivation and hidden meanings of psychological events, this study is fascinating and has been used in many video games like Silent Hill and Alan Wake to name but 2.

This brings me on to the next key theme of our session, Feminism. So what is Feminism?

“The Advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

 

– OED

Feminism shows a movement and progressed to equal rights for both men and women. But in our social construct have we really moved on from feminism with icons such as Tomb raider who was created as a sex symbol but has shown a slight progression into making her more of a role model, and with things like Mario and Princesses Peach, a damsel in distress with a male figure trying to save her. Have we really moved on from feminism.

Phillip Maclennan Games Design Blog. "Nothing Is Generic"