Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Somewhat redundant research

As mentioned in my previous blog (though I should really have made this one first...), here I'm going to gather the research I found on my previous topic before I changed it, juuuust in case it comes in handy at some point in the future.

After talking to Josh about my idea and getting some inspiration, I looked at various games which use lighting and silhouettes in a 3D scene to make them appear 2D. That's a bit of a mouthful, so let me explain...

The two screenshots above (from top to bottom) are from the games 'Ori and the Blind Forest' and 'Limbo'. Both are games which appear to be 2D, though use a 3D enviroment and lighting to give different effects. 

You'll notice that while Ori has some colour to it, Limbo does not. What I wanted to explore was whether or not these games would have the same impact on a player if their colour schemes were different. Say for example Limbo - would it be as creepy if the game was made up of bright colours without the black silhouettes? Or would Ori feel as magical if it had the colour scheme that Limbo uses?

Here are some more games which use the 3D -> 2D effect:

- Rayman Origins
- Contrejour
- Paper Moon
- Twelve
- Badland
- Sword & Sworcery
- Lost Winds

Character Design

Character design is another thing that I wanted to apply this theory to. If a player was faced with an NPC running towards them, would they react the same way to a NPC with warm and welcoming colours as they would one with dark and gloomy colours, despite the NPC acting exactly the same way both times?

Something that would play a big part in both of these instances is lighting. Josh suggested something really cool - making real time lighting in Unity to see how the change in lighting effects the mood of a scene. Had I continued with my original project idea I would definitely have done this as I think it would be great to see how a sudden change in lighting could affect the way a person plays - would they play more cautiously if their surroundings got darker and less colourful? Or would they take more risks? Maybe they would play exactly the same way, who knows.

Colour similarities:

While looking at these games with Josh we noticed that a lot of them have something in common - the use of the same shade of blue to guide players in some way. Here are some screenshots:  

If I were to pursue this idea further it would have been interesting to look into why exactly this colour is such a popular choice and used so often. 


Along with this blog, the other thing we were given the task of doing for this week was to create a presentation to introduce ourselves and any ideas we have to the course. Here are the slides for mine:

 I'm sorry that they're all under each other, I can't get blogger to let me put them next to each other neatly so this will have to do until I figure it out. ;-;

Everyone else's presentations were great and I felt more inspired listening to them than I did thinking about my own idea, so I took that as a sign that something needed to change. I'd like to thank my coursemates for that - you guys helped me a tonne without even realising it so thanks! 

With this out of the way and a new found idea and inspiration in the works, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into research and creating. I'll be updating this blog more as I go along of course, so feel free to come back and have a look sometime. :)

Take care and have a nice day!

The birth (and death) of an idea

Since my last blog entry I've somewhat gathered an idea, thought about it for a few days, listened to other people's ideas and realised my heart just wasn't in my own, and then scrapped said idea. 

So! I'll begin by talking about what I had and then move on what I'm hoping to have. 

The original idea:

My original idea was to look at the use of colour in characters and environments, and see how players react differently depending on the colours used. 

For example, if a player was given a scene with an NPC running towards them, would they react the same way to a colourful NPC as they would to one with a darker colour scheme? Or would Mario look as friendly and like as much of a good guy if his colour scheme was more like Waluigi's?

I thought it would be interesting to compare these things and work with different colours in the same scenes, though honestly my heart just wasn't in it. I liked the idea and found the research that I had done already interesting*, it just wasn't filling me with the same passion that my previous projects have - which isn't a good sign! 

*I'll write about the small amount of research I've found in a blog following this one, just for reference in case it'll come in handy later.

The NEW idea:

After talking to my good friend Matt, eating a flapjack, and drinking an overpriced coffee... I think I have my new idea.

We talked about my Futures project from last year - Virtual Realitea - and how much fun I had with that and the potential it has to be an actual product. I was super sad to hand that project in, so I would really love to be able to expand on it further in new ways. 

Also with the announcement of Pokemon GO, the VR meets real world market is one that will start to grow more and more as we go along, so this project could be more relevant than ever if pursued.

Rather than doing the same Tea and Monsters work from last year, I'd like to explore more real world objects - maybe things that people see faces in? (that just came to me and that sounds kinda cool so I thought I'd add it in there???)

The game 'Ingress' focuses on real world landmarks and large scale places for the player to scan and 'capture' with their phone, but what about that one tree stump in your local park that looks like an old man?  Or that little corner of the games studio that looks like it could home a family of friendly moths with a passion for home cooking?

I still have a lot to think about for this idea, but I'm a lot happier with this one than I was originally. This idea is sitting much better and communicating more with my Inspiration Station, so that's a good sign. :)

For now I'm going to look into different VR apps, not necessarily game ones, and see what kind of inspiration they bring. Niantic, if you're reading this - it'd be super useful if you could release Pokemon GO early, just saying. ;)


Wednesday, 23 September 2015


So... this is new! Welcome to my fancy new MA blog. :) 

This is where I will be documenting my journey as I progress along my MA in Games Design. There'll be posts with ideas, research, probably a bit of panic thrown in here and there, and whatever else I feel would be good to post. 

With this being the first blog entry I won't be able to fill it with research and amazing things (I'm slacking, I know), but hopefully in the near future I will have some more interesting content for you to read. 

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully I'll 'see' you again soon as I start to move forward in my journey. Have a nice day!