I am to create an app or web based app for the android operation system. The application will be used by students attending the college and will give them access to their courses, classes, the different lessons within their course, their results and access to their portfolio. I will research the two platforms (standalone app or web based app) and decide which will be best to work with and I will also report on how I will approach the design.
The first design is more of a compilation of different movie pieces focusing more on cinemas. The background is meant to look like a projection on a cinema screen with peoples heads visible at the bottom. The film strip running across the picture which shows frames of the countdown leader. The font I used for the “welcome to the movies” text was chosen to fit in with the cinema theme. This design was more focusing on my passion for movies at the cinema.
The second design focuses on movie releases and premieres. The background is black to create a contrast with the red and white. The red section is the red carpet present at a premiere and it leads off into a beam of light coming from what would be a cinema. The white flashes represents camera flashes that would be going off constantly. This design focuses on the release of big blockbuster movies, where all the cast and crew get together and show their film for the first time.
The last design is another basic idea. It just consists of different genres of films. They have a font that goes with the genre and a suitable accompanying picture.
I decided to keep the first design simple using only black and white, to make it more striking. I came up with the phrase as I remember my mum and other family members saying things, when I was playing games, like “All that you do is go around shooting people” and “Guns this and guns that…” so in the design I used those phrases in a more humorous way using the phrase “It’s not all shooting people…. you get swords too”. It also plays humour on the arguments about video game violence, which I think is a completely ridiculous argument. To make the text more interesting, yet subtle with the design, I made the first part look as if were fired out of the gun and the second part looks as if it has been sliced by a sword.
The last design is focusing on the multiplayer aspect of gaming. The controllers represent players. They are connected to different locations all over the world. This is used to show that when you join a multiplayer game you are connecting to different people all over the world. I personally play lots of multiplayer games, more cooperative than competitive.
The last design I also made simple similar to the first design. It is black and white and consists of many objects. The phrases reads “people that play games, have no life… they choose to have many.” I came up with this phrase when thinking about what people believe gamers are like when it may not be true. The objects in the design gives different examples of gaming persona. The guns could be for a soldier, mercenary, agent etc. The bow, arrows and sword could be for a fantasy character or knight. The different sports equipment for different sports. And so on.
The first design shows an illustration of earth with a cable wrapped around it. This goes with the text reading “tied up in tech”. This was the idea because pretty much everything has some sort of technological variant or use nowadays. In some things the integration with tech can be useful and justified but in some things it is pointless eg wifi kettle (which is a real thing).
The second design is purely 1’s and 0’s that is because technology only consists of 1’s and 0’s (binary). This is made clear in the text reading “its all just” and the text is surrounded by the 1’s and 0’s. The font of the text is the colour and style of old computer monitors also keeping with the theme of tech.
The third design, similar to the previous design, contains 1’s and 0’s. They are all leading to the centre of the picture which is meant to show the working of a CPU, which pretty much all tech needs. The 1’s and 0’s are laid out like a circuit board, what is used to carry the signals to the CPU. The background is made to look like an actual circuit board.
Design exploration is about creating a unique visual solution that evokes the theme intended by the client. Theme ideas should be taken from the written information and expanded using the design process.
You must create all images used. Explore the use of point, line, shape, layout, colour, pattern, abstract etc as per unit requirements.
In the development of your design you must explore different colour schemes including achromatic (black and white).
All aspect of your designs must be evaluated with reasons given to any design decisions / changes. Final products evaluated, explaining why your chosen design meets the brief.
Client: International Architecture Competition
Products: Poster and drinks coaster
Size: Poster: A3 / Coaster: 100mm x 100mm
Text to be included
Title: Unbuilt Vision
Copy: Envisioning the habitat of the future
For my designs I thought simple lines and shape best suited the brief. I thought making it look more like a piece of art drew the focus away from what it was actually for and I also prefer to create more simplistic looking pieces. Most of the designs I believe have a similar feel, with the recurring presence of the eye and rectangles. The eye is an idea that I thought from the start and tried to incorporate it into all the designs. The rectangles were an idea I got from the architecture side of the brief. The rectangles in some simulate buildings and in others it is for the straight lines which is important in most architectural designs. The lines also came from an idea of buildings architectural drawings, plans, blueprints and interpretation. I also believe that the majority of the designs look best in the achromatic scheme. Which again suits the idea of buildings (concrete, stone etc) and pencil drawings of building plans. The typography was something I found quite difficult, I couldn’t think of a suitable look. I thought the text positioning was more important in this case rather than the style. Therefore I picked a simpler looking font, to suit the rest of the designs, and then tried different positions of the text itself.
In this set of mocks I used the rectangles to show buildings and at the same time form the surrounding of the eye. The text is placed at the ends of some of the rectangles where I found it was best as it keeps everything together and not out of place. Out of these I feel that either the achromatic or monochromatic scheme would make the final as the others don’t suit the schemes, due to the amount of colour filled objects making it look to colourful and bright.
Like the previous design the rectangles are used to show buildings and the lower surrounding of the eye, which in this design is broken up (playing with the idea of “unbuilt vision”). The text is placed in line with the buildings keeping the design in line due to the more vertical look of the design. Out of these I feel that the blue monochromatic design looks best closely followed by the achromatic.
In this design the purpose of the rectangles heads away from the building idea and towards the building plans and drawings. It is very simplistic. It is more relying on the colour scheme to draw your eye. The text has replaced part of the rectangles and is flowing with the surrounding rectangles. I think the achromatic looks the best, the analogous also looks good.
For this design I thought I’d make the text a bigger part of the design. I extended the lines of the text which forms the shapes that look more like architectural drawings than the previous. The eye is present again in this one this time it is split up by the rectangles, again playing on the unbuilt vision idea.
The reasons for choosing this as the final was, as I mentioned before, the achromatic colour scheme best suited the brief, I feel.
I also feel that the text in this gives it a better more creative look, than just having the text plainly written.
Using the gradient to get the different shades of grey gives it a smooth look rather than having solid greys, which would make it look flat.
The original idea of using basic shape, line and form is still present in this design, which I believe compliments the brief well.
Activity 1 – Impact of technology and technical developments
Game companies are on the cusp of unlocking the true potential of the Internet for video games. The way we play games will be completely different, again, just two or three years from now. You can play high-definition games through the Internet, there are very successful companies that let you play console-quality games through what is essentially a web browser, cloud-based gaming service. The gameplay experience of internet gaming is comparable — even a little better — than playing the game on a console or on a high-powered PC. You get the added bonus of being able to play those games on any Internet-enabled device.
Games are dirt cheap
Back when the Super Nintendo, Playstation and other home consoles dominated gaming, video games would cost anywhere from $40 to $60. Nowadays, you’re likely to get pretty angry if a game on the Apple App Store costs more than $1. Bite-sized game prices on the Apple App Store, and subsequently other online stores, have attracted a whole new breed of buyer that is willing to pay a few bucks for a game. And just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s a terrible game. A game on a smartphone has graphics rivaling recent consoles.
You play with your friends over the web
Nowadays, gamers don’t even play against each other at the same time. Playing a multiplayer game usually meant inviting friends over and beating up each other in a quick round of Smash Bros. Now you can play against your friends — and people you didn’t even know — at the same time through the Internet.
Many online games today are asynchronous — meaning gamers play whenever they get a chance, even if their opponent isn’t playing, and are still competing against other players.
Games work in both bite-sized chunks and hour-long sessions
Zynga’s players log into FarmVille and CityVille for only minutes at a time.
That’s a pretty drastic change from a few years ago, when even shorter play sessions would still be upwards of 20 minutes. Play sessions could be as long as 10 hours for bigger online games.
Those kinds of play sessions still exist, because traditional games persist and they demand longer attention spans. But companies like Zynga are able to attract millions of players (Zynga has 277 million alone) with bite-sized play sessions.
Touch- and gesture-based controls dominate the gaming space
Everyone thought the Nintendo DS was a wacky piece of hardware — it had two screens, and the bottom screen was a touch screen.
Fast forward a half-decade and every home console features some kind of touch or gesture-based control scheme. Nearly all modern smartphone games have touch-based controls.
You can play 3D games without glasses
The Nintendo DS changed mobile gaming by introducing touch-based controls and two screens. Nintendo did it again with the next version of its console, which has a 3D display that you don’t even have to use glasses to view.
The Nintendo 3DS screen uses what’s called a parallax barrier, which tricks your eyes into seeing specific pixels. Your right eye sees a specific image while your left eye sees a different one, and it gives off the illusion of a 3D image.
The technology is still in its infancy, but it shows a ton of promise and is the first major leap forward in displays in gaming since high-definition displays were finally affordable.
Most modern top titles are designed to be cinematic thrill rides
It’s rare these days that the most popular games do something incredibly innovative with graphics or controls or have a really unique gameplay mechanism.
Instead, the best-selling games are highly-polished cinematic thrill-rides that take you on an emotional rollercoaster and never let you take a breath. Franchises like Mass Effect, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed all set the standard with absolutely gorgeous graphics, incredible storytelling and superb voice acting.
The cartridge and disc are on their way out
Valve, the makers of first-person shooting games Counter Strike and Half-Life, shook things up once again in 2003 when it released digital distribution service Steam.
Steam ushered in a new era where game discs are increasingly less relevant and most players just download a game directly from the Internet. You can even download games on home consoles like the Xbox 360 instead of buying a hard copy of a game (though the hard copy is still the more popular option for consoles).
Digital distribution became even more popular when App Stores came out and made it even easier to get games. Electronic Arts launched its own high-profile game digital distribution service called Origin. Discs and hard copies of games are basically over.
You can make a game on a tiny budget
It’s easier than ever to create a game that will go on and make millions. Take Doodle Jump, for example. Igor Pusenjak and his brother Marko built the game and it took the Apple App Store by storm, becoming one of the most popular paid apps. Since then, gamers have downloaded Doodle Jump more than 8.5 million times.
The lower barriers to entry mean developers can experiment with more innovative and creative games. If it isn’t successful, they can quickly start developing a new game for a small cost and try again and again.
Then there’s indie sensation Minecraft, which has been downloaded more than 10 million times. Developer Markus Persson doesn’t have a publisher and relied on viral channels to promote the game, and it’s a runaway success. Mojang Studios, the game developer behind Minecraft, also launched an iPhone app for the game.
Activity 2 – Legal and statutory controls
A typical software license grants an end-user permission to use one or more copies of software in ways where such a use would otherwise potentially constitute copyright infringement of the software owner’s exclusive rights under copyright law.
In addition to granting rights and imposing restrictions on the use of software, software licenses typically contain provisions which allocate liability and responsibility between the parties entering into the license agreement. In enterprise and commercial software transactions these terms, such as limitations of liability, warranties and warranty disclaimers, and indemnity if the software infringes intellectual property rights of others.
Copyright laws and practice
Copyright protects artistic and literary expression. It covers a broad variety of creative expression from email, to websites, to video games.
Generally speaking in games, the underlying code is protected as a literary work, and the artwork and sound are protected as an audiovisual work. While you don’t need to have the work (ie your video game) registered to be covered by copyright law, there are advantages to registration.
Certain artwork in video games falls under the doctrine of scenes a faire. This references particular artwork and elements of a videogame that are necessary to execute a particular idea and are NOT copyrightable. That includes things like the scoring system, the lives, the coins, and the sky/ground. Scenes a faire also applies to certain genres of games. For example, if you have a golfing game, you would include certain design elements like holes, golf balls, golf clubs, golfers, grass, trees, and water. While you can’t copy these elements verbatim from another golfing game, you have the right to include such elements in your game because otherwise no one else could create a golfing game.
Intellectual Property rights (IP)
One of the biggest factors contributing to this is that many game developers do not develop comprehensive strategies for protecting the valuable intellectual property that they create. This is generally due to several reasons. One is that historically intellectual property just not been a big focus for many in the industry. The other is that many people are not aware of the range of options available for protecting IP in the game space and what aspects of games are protectable. This often is due to some common misunderstandings about intellectual property, particularly with respect to the patentability of game features.
While it is true that one can not protect the “idea” for a game, this does not end the inquiry. Many aspects of games are protectable by patents, copyright and trademarks. Of these, patents are probably the most overlooked and least understood. While this applies to all types of games, there are particularly compelling opportunities to patent many of the innovative aspects of social and online games. This is due in part to the many recent developments in the relevant technology and business models for these games. Prudent developers and publishers will seize these opportunities to develop a comprehensive IP protection strategy.
Overview of Forms of IP Protection
Games are basically software and content running on a platform. Other applications of software and technology platforms are patentable and are frequently patented. The patentability of software and technology platforms does not change just because the application is a game. Yet, many game developers overlook this and forego patent protection. Additionally, the content, source code and other creative aspects of a game can be protected by copyright. The name and other brand elements of a game can be protected by trademark.
Tax and national insurance
Chancellor George Osborne said he planned to introduce corporation tax relief from April 2013 for the video games, animation and high-end television industries. The industry has lobbied for such changes for several years. The chancellor said he wanted to make the UK the technology centre of Europe.
Mr Wilson predicted that tax relief for the video games sector should generate and safeguard 4,661 direct and indirect jobs, offer £188m in investment expenditure by studios, increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283m and generate £172m for the Treasury.
Activity 3 – Health and Safety
There are six main obligations on employers
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 set out six main obligations on employers of those who work with display screen equipment.
• analyse workstations and reduce health and safety risks
• ensure workstations meet minimum ergonomic requirements
• provide information about risks and measures
• plan daily work routine for users
• offer eye tests and special glasses if necessary
• provide health and safety training
The Regulations only apply where there are ‘users’ or ‘operators’. Although both these terms are common in the computer industry, the Health and Safety Executive has chosen to give them specific meanings under the Regulations. A ‘user’, in terms of the Regulations, is an employee who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of his normal work. Some of the employer’s responsibilities extend to users employed by others (eg Temp agency staff) who are working on the employer’s premises or equipment.
The Regulations also apply to the self-employed. An ‘operator’ in terms of the Regulations, is any self-employed person who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of his normal work. As a self employed person, some of the obligations are their own responsibility e.g. training. However, other responsibilities fall on the employer who has hired them for display screen work.
There are health problems associated with working with computers, which include repetitive strain injury, eye strain, back pain and stress.
The regulations require employers to carry out a risk assessment of users’ workstations, which should consider the entire workstation, including equipment and furniture, as well as the work environment, eg lighting, temperature and leg room. The tasks that are being performed at the workstation should be considered as should any special needs of individual staff.
Display screen equipment (DSE) risk assessments should also consider those factors that may contribute to repetitive strain injuries such as:
sitting in the same position for a long period
awkward positioning of the wrist and hand in relation to the keyboard
high workload for a prolonged period of time
excessive use of the mouse.
Checklist for workstations
The DSE Regulations detail the minimum standards for workstations, which are summarised below.
The display screen
display well-defined characters of adequate size and spacing
have a stable image
have easily adjustable brightness and contrast
tilt and swivel easily to suit the user
be free from glare and reflections
use a separate base for the screen, or an adjustable table.
be tiltable and separate from the screen to allow the user to adopt a comfortable working position
have a space in front to provide support for the hands or arms of the user
have a matt surface
have clearly legible symbols on the keys.
The work surface
The work surface should:
provide adequate space for the user
have a low reflective surface
be of adequate size to allow the screen, keyboard, etc to be flexibly arranged
have a stable, adjustment document holder, which should be at the same level as the screen and at the same viewing distance.
The work chair
This should have a seat that is adjustable in height, with a seat back adjustable in height and tilt. A footrest should be available.
The workstation must do the following:
provide sufficient space for the user or the operator to alter position comfortably
lighting must be adequate with suitable contrast between the screen and background
glare and reflections on the screen should be avoided
windows should be fitted with adjustable coverings to alter the daylight level.
When a workstation is shared by more than one person, it should be assessed in respect of each person.
Training in using computers
Employers are obliged to provide information and training on the health and safety aspects of working with computers. This should cover:
the importance of good posture, changing position and good keyboard technique
how to avoid glare or bright reflections in the screen
cleaning and adjusting the screen
the importance of frequent short breaks
using a mouse
who to report symptoms to or to contact for help
information about the right to eyesight tests.
Under the regulations, users have a right to eye sight tests upon starting computer work and at regular intervals thereafter, at the employer’s expense. Where tests show that the user requires special spectacles/lenses for computer work, the employer must pay for the cost of a basic pair.
The work of laptop users should be properly assessed. As some laptops can be heavy, the assessment ought to include the risk of manual handling (ie lifting and carrying).
Laptops should be used in proper workstations and not on one’s lap, especially if large amounts of data need to be inputted. As prolonged use is likely to cause ergonomic problems, it is even more important for users to take regular breaks, position themselves correctly, flex their arms, etc.
Activity 4 – Business & Financial Support
Grants and loans
Scottish Enterprise would be a great place to get a grant from as they already support one of the largest video game based companies in Scotland and that is Rockstar North “the internationally recognized video game development studio based in Edinburgh”, has been awarded an R&D Grant. The grant of just over £1 million is a 15 percent contribution towards an £8 million R&D project, and has, to date, created 25 new high value jobs in the Edinburgh and Scottish video game sector”. Since a massive, successful company like Rockstar is partly funded by this grant it is safe to presume that it would be a good place to receive some help when starting a business.
IDEAScotland is a business accelerator programme designed to help start-up digital economy entrepreneurs of any background or experience attract valuable investment to build a sustainable and profitable business. The programme is sponsored and run by DC Thomson, brightsolid, the University of Abertay Dundee and the University of Dundee.
Activity 5 – Unions, services, professional associations
The Scottish Games Network (SGN)
“ The Scottish Games Network now offers a single unified and strategic contact point for Scotland’s diverse games sector, as well as opening the sector up to the wider cultural and creative industries, both nationally and globally. The Scottish Games Network is open to every company and organisation involved in the video games and interactive industries. Not simply developers, but technology companies, animation specialists, audio companies, publishers, retailers, media, freelance staff, contractors, academic institutions and the government.”
“The organisation pro-actively identifies new projects and opportunities to enable the games sector to grow, evolve and prosper, moving beyond advocacy and representation to pull together the individuals, companies and organisations across the country, providing strategic insight, research, create new opportunities and organise events”. They are looking to find new projects and opportunities to showcase to others so that the gaming sector will grow. This is needed for the smaller companies/ people in Scotland who are doing amazing things but are not getting noticed, it will shine a light on their talents.
Job 1 – LINK
Company – Crytek
Job Title – Level Designer
Location – Crytek UK, Nottingham
Salary – Not Specified
Job Description – They are looking for industry leading Level Designers to join the team. Working on both single and multiplayer experiences the successful candidate will become a key member of a creative group looking to shape the next wave of exciting triple-A first-person shooters.
Take ownership of a level and develop it from concept through to final
Use provided systems to craft compelling gameplay experiences
Create level and gameplay logic through use of visual scripting language
Work closely with the narrative team to incorporate story beats and cutscene requirements
Produce and maintain supporting documentation
Collaborate with other disciplines to produce the final gameplay and story experience
Experience using industry standard level design tools such as CryENGINE Sandbox, UDK or Hammer
Expertise in combat and layout design
Deep understanding of game mechanics with ability to combine existing elements to create depth of gameplay
Previously shipped AAA titles and/or exceptional quality portfolio
Ability to design levels which are sympathetic to art composition
Previous experience of building levels in CryENGINE Sandbox
Prior knowledge of visual scripting using CryENGINE Flow Graph
Demo / video examples of a level or gameplay sequence created using CryENGINE
Crytek is a German video game company, founded in 1999 by brothers Cevat, Avni and Faruk Yerli. Crytek’s main headquarters are in Frankfurt, with eight other studios in Kiev, Budapest, Nottingham, Sofia, Seoul, Shanghai, Istanbul and Austin. Crytek has partnerships with Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, NVIDIA, Intel, AMD, FMOD,Scaleform, Xoreax Software, Sparkasse Coburg, and Rating Services. Crytek’s most notable series of AAA games is Crysis. The series consists of 5 games; Crysis, Crysis Warhead (standalone expansion), Crysis Wars (multiplayer), Crysis 2 and Crysis 3. They also developed the first game in the Farcry series. All these games were created using their advanced CryEngine.
Job 2 – LINK
Company – Ubisoft, Massive
Job Title – Level Designer
Location – Malmö, Sweden
Salary – Not Specified
Job Description – Massive is looking for an experienced Level Designer to join an international team working on Tom Clancy’s The Division. In this position you will design and build the best gameplay experiences within the growing team of a large and exciting project. As a Level Designer at Massive, you will work closely with Level Artists to ensure an entertaining and beautiful game, where your job is to create high quality gameplay. Additionally, you will be working in close collaboration with the Lead Designer and Game Designers to define core game mechanics.
Design and build best-in-class gameplay scenarios
Guide a pod of Level Designers and Artists to take your scenarios from concept to final polish
Create level design that supports and enhances core mechanics
Collaborate with Game Designers to tweak and define enemy behaviors
Work together with Level Artists to ensure a beautiful game where form follows function
A solid understanding of player psychology
3+ years of industry or other relevant experience
Worked as Level Designer on at least one released AAA title
Experience using game-specific editing packages such as UnrealEd, CryEngine, Hammer, etc.
Game scripting experience using Kismet, Lua or similar
Experience developing third-person action games
Extremely quality oriented
Strong communication skills
Experience working with iterative development and quick iterations
Experience working on an online multiplayer, co-operative or open-world game project
Experience using commercial 3D applications such as Maya or 3DS Max
Experience developing RPGs
Experience from other creative ventures (e.g. music, art, writing)
Massive Entertainment, a fully owned Ubisoft Entertainment studio, is a premier producer of games and interactive entertainment for the global market. The studio has more than 250 passionate game developers working on several major titles of different genres. They take pride in their games and so far they have had great success with best selling games like World in Conflict, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Far Cry 3. These titles have positioned the company as one of the most prominent development studios in the world.
Job 3 – LINK
Company – Kwalee
Job Title – Level Designer
Location – Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Salary – Depending on Experience
Job Description – Kwalee are seeking an experienced Games Level Designer to work on a 3 month contract. This position will be working within the development department and be responsible for designing levels for an action shooting game to be released on mobile devices.
A minimum of 2 years games level design / editing experience.
A proven track record of designing high quality and innovative games.
A creative mindset.
Be willing to work to tight deadlines within a small development team.
Experience of building levels in Unity, Unreal, Hammer or similar world editing software.
Specific experience with Unity 3D
A basic understanding of programming.
Kwalee Ltd is a developer and publisher of mobile games. It was founded in 2011 by David Darling who originally co-founded Codemasters in 1986. They seek to excite and entertain their customers with innovative new games that provide incredible experiences.