Indie Games!

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I have heard of Indie movies but never Indie games!

This video defines Indie games.  Indie game developers give you the inside scoop on what makes indie games unique in interactivity and possibly more desirable for hardcore gamers. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-2zIemV2yc

What do you guys think? I definitely felt the passion these indie game developers have for game production.

Do you think the games produced by big companies lack the emotional connection that a gamer is more likely to receive from an indie game? I don’t expect you to answer this question but I do hope to inspire you to explore the differences between theses types of games!

I am definitely going to look into playing an indie game and do a comparison!

Thanks for reading!

 

Now lets talk about Handheld Consoles!

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This week I want to talk about a different type of mobile platform for games: handheld consoles! Please watch the video below. It is 11 minutes but it is really detailed on the successes and failures of these types of electronic devices!

The only handheld console I have had is the gameboy. I played Mario everyday for like 2 years and got tired of it lol.

Have you ever owned or played a handheld console? If so what game have you played?

Next week mobile and handheld console comparison! I will try my best to get information on the difference in production as well!

 

Mobile Games!

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A cool brief history of mobile games! *warning music is not censored*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0Mh1KLVjec

Mobile games have come a long way in graphics and in user interactivity! I remember playing snake with the left and right arrow keys on my Texas Instrumental Calculator in the early 1990s! With Snake gaining so much popularity, several companies started to work on a technology that enabled mobile phones to transfer data via remote server. This led the way to fast action and multi-player based mobile games! Read more on how mobile games bloomed with the introduction of Apple’s iphone here: http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/news/a313439/feature-the-history-of-mobile-gaming.html

Scroll down this article see pictures of how the graphics on our mobile have advanced.

http://www.modojo.com/features/mobile_game_graphics_a_remarkable_evolution

Amazing huh?

Did you know…

Acording to the Entertainment Software Association’s 2013 Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry (http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/esa_ef_2013.pdf) :

 36 %  of gamers play games on their smartphone

 25%   play on their wireless device.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that:

 46%  of U.S. teens play games on a cell phone or PDA

 71%  of teens ages 12-14 playing games on a portable       gaming device

Are you a mobile gamer? If so, what do you play on your phone? I play Sudoku, Phase 10, Spades and Candy Crush.

 

 

Film and Video Game Adaptations

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Film adaptation is where other forms of medium- novels, comics, plays, video games – are made into films.

Video game adaption is… you guessed it… where other forms are created  based on this medium!

I thought these crossovers were interesting so this week we are going to look at movies based off of video games and vice versa.

Games are believed to be outselling any other forms of media in the entertainment industry. In addition, super comic heroes dominate the box offices so why not make video game based movies and movie based video games?

Here is a short but great overview the video game based sub-genre of movies!

Funfact: Mortal Kombat was actually the first successful video game based movie after two failures (Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter). This $18 million movie made $70 million domestically and $122 million worldwide!

To check out how some of how the other movies did in the box office and some possible reasons why they did or didn’t succeed read this article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/03/13/tomb-raider-mortal-kombat-and-the-top-grossing-video-game-movies/

What has been more successful is movie based video games!

Watch Top 5: Movie Inspired Games

It seems that just about any action movie and animation movie has been made into a video game.

Here is a long list of movie video games (this list includes arcade games) you can skim through if you want. My favorites have been Rugrats in Paris and Jurassic Park!

http://www.giantbomb.com/games-based-on-movies/3015-755/games/

Funfact: Did you know that there will be a movie based on the mobile game Angry Birds coming out in 2016? I didn’t. Will I be seeing it? Nope. I prefer not to ruin my gaming experience!

Here is a list of other video game based movies Hollywood plans on producing that you can skim through. If you are not a gamer you will most likely not know any of these games.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/movies-based-on-video-games/#!A2zXo

If you are curious to see how the majority of game adaptations have done in the box office click this link:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=videogameadaptation.htm

After doing this research, I really wanted to go play all of the games mentioned in the videos and then watch the movies. I wondered why the video game based movies were less successful than movie based video games?  (If you are a reader, you can relate to video gamers with book adaptations. For example, Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings franchise).

I came up with the conclusion that the success of these adaptations has to do with the differences in the production process of different mediums. What makes a game good is significantly different from what makes a movie good. Yes, both mediums need to be visually appealing and have a good story plot but games differ with user interactivity. The player has to be able to interact with the environment to the point where he/she can succeed in a game and the audience has to emotionally connect to the actors in movies.  When making video game based movies, I can definitely see how the focus on acting is inferior to the special effects. What do you think? Is there a video game based movie you enjoyed? For you non gamers, what about a book based movie?

The next few weeks will cover portable games  with a spotlight on mobile games and handheld console games.

 

PC vs. Consoles

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Hey guys, I wanted to show y’all the evolution of games for my next blog post I but I could not find an article or video that wasn’t lengthy and boring! BUT if you are curious to see how graphics have improved over the years watch this short video below…if not just skip to the next paragraph lol

This week I thought it would be cool to do PC vs Console Gaming! There is a never ending debate on which is better! There are LOADS of discussions on how pc gaming is better than consoles and vice versa. It definitely depends on you as a gamer and what  you get out of gaming. Is it pure entertainment? A way to connect with your friends? An escape from your real life? What controls fit you best?

Here is a short article on what to expect for pc gaming and console gaming.

http://www.geeks.com/techtips/2011/pc-gaming-vs-console-gaming.asp

Here is another article that I was a good read on this topic!

http://montanafragfest.com/platforms/5-biggest-differences-between-pc-and-console-gaming/

and another comparison with an actual game developer

The debate is endless! I myself, prefer the computer since I constantly played educational games on the pc from 4th to 8th grade! Don’t get me wrong tho, I absolutely LOVE My nintendo 64!

If you HAD to play a game on a pc or a console, which would you prefer?

 

 

Animation Styles: Stylization or Photorealism?

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So I lied to you all! Sorry! :/  This week I will not start on the production phase of game development. Instead I want to discuss the different animation styles in video games.

Lets take a look at three video game trailers that have their own unique animation style. You don’t have to watch this whole video, just enough to get a feel of the animation style.

When viewing these trailers think about the difference in the details of the characters’ skin, gameplay environment, colors, sound effects and the soundtrack.

Mario & Sonic Olympic Winter Trailer

Mirror’s Edge 2 Trailer

Borderlands Trailer

The graphics in the Mario & Sonic trailer are stylized with a “cartoonish” feel. The user is aware they aren’t real and does not expect anything from the game to be realistic in these fantasy worlds. In Mirror’s Edge, the graphics are obviously more realistic. The movement of the characters, the sound effects, and the gameplay environment are all meant to make the user feel as if they are participating in a real world event. Borderlands can be seen as a mixture of the two. While the “look” of the graphics is stylized, the movement of the characters are more realistic than what you would see in Mario or Sonic.

Stylization vs. Photorealism?

When choosing an animation style, the designer has to the know the benefits and limits of each. While realism may look cooler and is more likely to make the user feel as if they are really there,   users are more forgiving with games that have stylized graphics.  With stylization, artists can focus more on art than imitation. In this fantasy world, users do not expect characters to have a realistic walk or run. They are more infatuated with the fantasy world the game developers have created. When imitating real life, users expect the opposite. The  characters and the gameplay environment need to as realistic as the world we live in or the users become more focused on the imperfections than the actual story line. Let’s go deeper into this:

What do you think about where game graphics are heading?

The Last of the Production Phase: Game Design Document & Pre Visualization

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The game design document is the the piecing together of all the game design components.

–  the storyline (scripting)

– storyboards

– overall blue print for exactly how the game will be played

– the look of each menu or screen in the game

– the controls for the character or characters

– the game’s goal

– the rules for how you win/lose in the game

– the maps of the different worlds or levels within the game (what is exactly in each world?)

– what can and cannot be interacted with

-what scripted events occurs

– what happens on screen when specific buttons or keys or directions on an input device is pressed

-how the NPC (non-player controlled) characters react to what the player-controlled character does in the game

Enough detail needs to be in design documents for the programmers and artists to be able to know what needs to be coded and created

This makes a quality game!

Once you have all the necessary details in your game design document, the next step is pre-visualization. I like to think of it as adding life to your storyboards. Pre visualizations can add music, sound effects and dialogue to closely imitate the look of fully produced and edited sequences. 3D tools that are used for the production phase can also be used for pre visualization such as Autodesk Maya, Motion Builder, Blender and Autodesk 3Ds Max.

Here is part 1 of a video series of the Making of Resident Evil 5 uses of pre-visualization

Next week: Production Phase