• Thursday, 17 March 2011

      GDCP 1

      So this page would be about my progress with the Game Design course how I'm getting on with it, stuff I'm learning, what I find difficult and also easy. When something comes up...I'll just update this page.

      Train2Game course consist of 3 Sections, while having part a to c under each sections. So far I'm near completion of Section 1 and I just have to revise all the stuff I've learnt previously and take a full fledged exam.

      So what have I learnt so far?
      *Well I've learnt about different genres in the games industry. And man it did educate me quite a bit. Truthfully I knew a lot about the genres though as for other genres I needed to brush up on them and I was unaware what they were. For an example there are MANY sub genres for the Rhythm genre or Music genre, there are many sub genres for it and many different types of games available that you haven't heard off. And once again Japanese did invent most of these sub genres.

      Adventure genre as I got confused with this and I'm not quite sure if I still understand this though Adventure games have completely changed and people interpret Adventure game wrongly. No your Adventure game is not something like Jack n Daxter or Rachet and Clank. Adventure games are games such as King's Quest or Myst. Truly Adventure games are dead and now incorporated to Action games and that is the reason why we have Action Adventure.

      Though now talking about the genre is not too important because nowadays the Genres caterogry are so mixed up and messed up. Many games combines many genres in to one and some games can be confused with another genre. For an example Fighting Games consist of 2 people fighting head to head until one falls down. Beat Em Up consists of 1 or more beating up multiple bad guys with fist and additional weapons. Now thing of the game Power Stones for Dreamcast developed by Capcom, is it a Fighting Game or Beat Em Up? Power Stone consist of 2 to 4 players fighting each other however they can run around stage and pick up items and use against the other. This is why it is not important to specific know a genre but as long as you know the term of a genre then you should be fine. It is not wrong to call games like Heavy Rain an Adventure title, it consists of Adventure element but Adventure games alone belongs to games such as Kings Quest, Secret of the Monkey Island etc.

      So far the Genre discussion is not hard, seriously if you have played a lot of games; you shouldn't have a problem grasping the Genre section. Although if you play more MMO games and less FPS, you'll find it hard to understand FPS principles. For an example I play nearly all genres and least genre I've touched I really don't know much about. For an example Strategy games, I need to brush up my skills on that because I don't recall playing any Turn based or Real time Strategy games. It is good to brush on your genres you are unaware about because who knows you might just be tasked to build a game based on Strategy though that may not happen. (then again you might not tell).

      Truly so far learning about this course as been a piece of cake, when I study the Tutor Assesement Markings which is like an exam for the section you've read I usually get like 80%  out of 100. The reason why I fail some question is due to me being confident and reading them too fast. For an example there was a question asking me what does P2P stand for? Instantly I thought of Player vs Player, mind you the question was based on MMO. And the correct answer was actually Pay2Play:/

      Then again it isn't my fault for failing some questions because the course book does find a way to manipulate questions and trick you!
      For an example the course book asks about what is the final step of game production? a. Alpha testing b. Q/A c. prototype c. Master Candidate d. none of the above. I chose Master Candidate because it is the process of polishing the game, the answer was wrong as I was corrected that it was Gold Master. I didn't know that Gold Master was part of the development process.

      Ok you think that was obvious? ok here is the confusing part!
      What comes before Beta stage? hardware submission? prototype stage? An intense marketing campaign? None of the above?
      I chose none of the above because I believed that Alpha comes before Beta...again I was wrong as Prototype comes before Beta. LOL!
      Seriously man! When you think about it, the question is not asking WHAT is the previous process of development before Beta however the question is testing your knowledge if you know the game development process in order so obvioulsy Prototype is before Beta, and hardware submission is before Beta.

      On prior to me knowing so much about a subject from the course, it made it easier for me to learn and grasp new things. For an example this website I use www.n4g.com is a valid source for gaming news. It's like a hub site whereas you get to see ALL the latest and breaking news in the gaming industry. You will see so many sections covered from sales NPD to release date, going there every day would increase your knowledge of the gaming industry! I don't know it all but I do know that N4G has increase my knowledge and opened my eyes to the gaming industry.
      What else did I learn? about 3D to 2D? I made a topic at the Train2Game forum about games being defined or regarded as 2D or 3D. Games such as Street Fighter 4, Trine, or Mortal Kombat 9. Are they considered 3D or 2D? I call them 3.5D which doesn't exist and 3.5D is basically an internet buzz word even though it means nothing though it is to distinguish that these particular games are regarded as 3.5D.

      Now in the Train2Game Designer course talks about 2D and 3D games. Basically 2d games are flat sprite images while 3D uses polygon and free camera movements. Now what I want to say is anything 3D consist of polygon graphics and it's in 3D shape of a box! If it's 2D, you cannot see the full shapes of a box, as you can only see 1 side of the box!  Now is DOOM 3D considered a 3D game? everyone regards DOOM as a 3D game and it was the first to bring 3D to gaming. Many regards DOOM as 2D because the enemies are not in 3D but in 2D sprites. Though what makes DOOM 3d is the fact that you are in a 3D space with free camera movement some polygons to some stages and steps though enemies are in 2D.

      Now mind you that 2D can only be a side scroller or from birds eye view (top view), and then we have Isometric 3D. It is a 2D design but makes it look as if it's in 3D. Isometric style is what Trine game uses.

      Right now I am even confused on what to write but I'll link you the topic debate:

      I do think to call games like Duke Nukem Manhattan Project, Trine, Street Fighter 4 should be 2D 3D because they uses 2D plain view but designed in 3D graphics. If you say 3.5D, you'll look stupid because there's no such thing. I'll only recommend you use that term to people who are aware of the buzz word.

      So far about this course which is a HND qualification, I must say the process or details of the subjects I've learnt so far from the course is not worth my money! The tag line used is "for the industry, by the industry" and I've pretty much explained what this means. Basically for the industry meaning all the stuff you need to learn that the developments require from you, you would learn and by the industry, which is all the techniques and tools the developers use you would learn of them.

      Sounds touch right? it makes it sound like you will learn stuff from makers of Gears of War like Cliff Blesenzik. However I am finding lots of written works and resources from wikipedia! Seriously man...if I would be paying £5k for this course and be finding withheld and exclusive information, why should I be seeing information from the internet I could find for free? For an example the course talks about "Mile Stones" in section one though did not explain ANYTHING and told the readers to do more research on it. While having the same details from Wikipedia page of Mile Stones and having the same USED IMAGE FIGURE!

      That goodness that Mile Stone is not a complicated process, it is basically drawing down a list of development levels that the team must achieve in deadline. Like Month 1 everyone should work on character designs, enemies designs, their actions, A.I etc. After that is done in prior to deadline for a month, the next step would be the same and next teams working on voices, sounds, interactivities. Mile Stone is basically there so a team would not fall behind in prior to deadlines.

      So far for my progress...I'm at the end of Section 1 part c and all I have to do is revise thoroughly from section 1 a to c and take the exam. I would need a week to study revise and then take the exam, the revision would begin after publishing this blog.

      So far I'm really not impressed by what Train2Game has to offer in terms of game design ways. Many of the topics covered about 40% can all be found at Wikipedia or....many of the details are taken/got from Wikipedia (well so far I found more details from Wikipedia in the Section 1 Genre topic). I just hope I do break into the industry and this course is finished therefore choosing Train2Game wouldn't have been a waste. Because if I can be learning words I pay for and I could get nearly the same exact words from Wikipedia, it just makes me wonder what students are learning at University under game course and computer science course:/


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