Wednesday, 17 March 2010

An End of an Era

As the end of the year rapidly approaches I can’t help but feel sad that our group project must come to end.

Even though I no doubt have grey hairs now and have more than likely shortened my life span by a good decade due to stress induced rants I’m kinda going to miss working with my team.

At first the thought of working with unfamiliar peers scared me, I thought it would be hard to forge new friendships so late on in the year and I really did think our work would suffer because of it. But I can happily say that I have forged new relationships with brilliant, talented people that I am glad I had the chance to work with.

Had I written this blog merely a week ago, im pretty sure I wouldn’t have been so laid back. I took my responsibilities of team co-ordinator too seriously and saw the possible failure of anyone on the team as my own. But I feel I have reached enlightenment. I have peered into the inner depths of my understanding and now realise that self-motivation of others is not something I should worry about. It also helps that our level is coming on in leaps and bounds and everything is fitting together so perfectly I should be scared we’ve done something wrong.

Well one thing that does concern me is the size of our level. Other groups have chosen vast areas to play around with but I feel that the work we have done is well within our capabilities as I wanted the team to feel comfortable and to see work that puts into practice everything we have learnt so far.
The majority of the team have really impressed me and I really hope they are proud of what they have achieved. Even though communication between our group members has been lacking I’m really moved by how exicted they all get when they see our nearly complete level.

I can honestly say that most of us have slaved away at this project, literally putting our blood, sweat and tears into it (so much so that unfortunately my VD is lacking) and now I just pray that everyone gets the marks we deserve for our awesome collaborated effort.

Prince of Disney

Nestling down into my seat and stretching my legs as far as they could go, I trained my eyes onto the silver screen, taking in car advert after car advert after car advert, awaiting the feature film.
And then an all too familiar concept flashed up on the screen, dazzling my senses and appealing to my inner geek.
Prince of Persia: the film.
I was quite intrigued until a friend of mine leaned over my assorted packets of sweets and whispered in my ear,
“They’re making this film into a game”


WHAT!?! No seriously, what?

Have I been living in an alternate universe or am I mistaken? I’m pretty darn sure that Prince of Persia : Sands of Time is already a game.
I’m actually a little confused, are they going to revamp a classic, which doesn’t really need doing or are they doing something much, much worse.

Have Disney sunk they’re money grabbing claws into a film they are completely going to ruin, so much so that actually the new game isn’t anything like the old one?
(in which case, the game is surely infringing on some copyright laws.)

The pure fact that Jake Gynlenhaal is meant to be the prince. A prince of PERSIA I would like to point out is troubling me enough. But then it is directed by Gore Verbinski, who didn’t do too bad a job of Pirates of the Caribbean, which in all fairness was based on a ride.

But I’m still bothered about the whole 'making a game into a film into a game' thing. It’s just a shame to see that the games industry has resorted to such tactics and seem to have completely abandoned making anything original. Most games now seem to be remakes or movie based games which just makes me sad. Here we are in graphical standards that were merely seen as dreams a few years ago and we are wasting our talent and capabilities on replicating a film. A film that uses real people, real textures and real world lighting. So needless to say but however good we make the game it will never look as good as real-life, which happens to be the film.

Gah! Not sure if this is making much sense as I’m going around in circles but that’s my entire point! A game into a film into a game is a never ending cycle that boggles the mind.

Cheers to you Prince of Disney for giving me one big headache.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A New Perspective

Being a Team Coordinator was a task thrust upon me by my fellow teammates. At first I was rather flattered that everyone had deemed me approachable and hardworking or it may have been that only minutes before the vote I was seen screaming down the phone at a lazy peer.

Either way I wasn’t going to let them down.

Naturally I thought that everyone else in the team would eat, sleep and work on the same hours I do.

How wrong I was.

Usually I would plow on with my work, jump head first and finish it in a matter of days or weeks but as I sat in labs nice and early, furiously texting still-asleep teammates, I realised how long and infuriatingly slow this project would be.

On the plus side we learn from our mistakes and I flat out refused to let the team start modelling before we had our detailed concepts. A stage in game-production I will never overlook again.

Having clear-cut concepts and a well prepared schedule has proved invaluable when it comes to production. As a result fewer mistakes have reared their ugly heads and what stressful problems we do encounter are mainly down to self-motivation.

One thing that has surprised me is some people’s complete disregard for deadlines. I understand that sometimes life just doesn’t go your own way but that seriously can’t happen every day for 3 weeks. If this was the real world and a real game-pipeline, I’m pretty sure your boss wouldn’t care that you’re hung-over or having a lazy day. Face it you wouldn’t have a job anymore.

Having voiced my concerns and letting off steam, I have now become more level headed. I now understand that not everyone works and behaves the same and most of my stress stemmed from a sort of motherly instinct to see everyone in the team do well and be proud of what they have achieved.

I have now tried to relax more, I clearly inform everyone of jobs and deadlines through various forms of communication and now it’s down to them and how far they want to go.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Inspiration from the skylines of Leicester

As I trekked home clutching my bag of various Sainsbury’s basics, I couldn’t help but notice the storm ravaged sky. Great pillars of torn clouds danced in the rays of the setting sun, casting a golden hue against a purple sky.

I couldn’t help but think of Constable and Turner and how the stormy sky resembled their work so much.

The textures of the clouds were so fluid and oil-paint like that it was uncanny to Constables technique. His ability to capture the British weather has always been a fascination of mine ever since my Mum and I worked on a 4,000 piece jigsaw of the Haywain. ( yes jigsaws are a guilty pleasure of mine)

However the gold and purple of that evenings sunset much resembled the colour palette of Turner.
Now Tuner is a tricky one for me and I can honestly say I am not a fan.

I have seen well over 50 of his paintings in the flesh (or canvas ;p), standing only millimetres away from his brushstrokes and I still can’t see the fascination of him.
To me his paintings look like they were left in the rain and whatever masterpiece lay underneath has washed away, there’s no depth or detail that keeps me intrigued.

I must say that I am rather patriotic and passionate about our country but I fail to acknowledge Turner as one of our most celebrated artists.

Maybe I need to know more about the context of his work, which in all fairness I am off to do right now, but if my attitude towards him changes, then you shall no doubt hear from me again.