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hannahbalesblog

Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design

Month

December 2015

3D Realisation – UV Mapping

The two letters ‘U’ and ‘V’ are from the coordinates of the vertex texture. A flat 2D shape made to cover a 3D object. Just like a when creating objects out of paper; we create a net first and then put the object together. When creating a cube we have 6 squares out flat and then these 6 squares put together create a cube. The process of UV Mapping involves using a 3D program (in our case 3DS Max) and creating an object; when finished with this object you unwrap each part of the object and stitch/connect/wield the sides of the UV Map together. Finally you bring this map into Photoshop and paint over it or transfer an image on top of it, then take that texture back into 3DS Max to create your final piece.

Here is my UV Map:

UV Map Test2

Here is my Final Piece as a 3D model:

Crate001Crate002

I also have a tutorial which I will either post as a blog or send via email if you prefer.

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Games Design – H.U.D

H.U.D (also known as Heads-Up Display) is used in nearly every game possible. This display is vital to the player as it holds information that we might need to succeed/continue in the game. A basic H.U.D will usually consist of a health reading, an XP system and a map, however some games like to go overboard and include way too much information therefore making the game more difficult for the player. A H.U.D needs to have a balance between simplicity and complication to achieve an easy to read display that is also decorative as well as informative.

Games as old as ‘Pong’ even had a H.U.D which was the score system; without that you would have no idea who would be winning. Pong was released in 1972 by Atari and this Heads-Up Display is nice and simple for us to read as you need to remember about the players line of vision.

Pong

Each player will always be looking at what is most important and to read a H.U.D the information cannot be scattered about as it will take more time for the player to read and understand that information. This is usually why a lot of H.U.D designs tend to have the same sort of placement.

For example racing games stick to using the corners. A speedometer seems to always be in the bottom right corner and the map is on the left; also lap times and the number of laps each have another corner.

Top Left Corner – Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift (PlayStation 2)

Top Right Corner – Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360)

Bottom – Forza (Xbox One)

Combat games differ from racing games as when playing two player racing you are either split screen or online whereas a fighting game consists of the two players being on the same screen. With this in mind the health bars are normally at either the top or bottom of the screen so that the characters and environment are visible. The special moves/power bar is either with the health bar or at the opposite side of the screen. The player icon and name appear near the health bars as they are an indication to which side your player will start the game on.

Fighting game H.U.D Designs have varied over the years as many people try to improve them, however, as gamers we don’t like change in these cases as our intentions are to look in the ‘usual place’ for each part of information. One improvement that has recently been added is the curved/bent health bar. This health bar makes the health easier to read using our peripheral vision using the indentation to be a sign of the health bar being half way as well as the colour transitions (Green means healthy, Orange/Yellow means half way and Red is either Dead or close to being dead). And don’t forget each combat game has a timer in the middle for both players to read.

My Favourites

Bioshock

Bioshock

Each corner has a bit of simple information in it that makes my life easier as well as pressing certain buttons that pause the game as well as bringing up the option to switch plasmids or weapons. If I was to improve it I would experiment with a variety of layouts as it may be easy to read yet it may be time consuming because of the amount of time it takes to view each individual piece of information.

Skyrim

Skyrim.jpg

I really like the Skyrim H.U.D because it has all the information you need to know in your peripheral vision. Also the colour of each bar makes it a lot easier to know what you need to acknowledge. Whether it be magic (blue), health (red) or stamina (green). Also one of my favourite features has to be the enemy health bar; I find it very useful to know how much damage the enemy is taking from each hit of magic or from the use of a weapon.

I would improve the map though, mainly because it is great for navigation but the map does not tell you about the landscape. You could all of a sudden be going the right way and then end up having to climb a mountain whereas if you go on the map on the main menu it shows you where each path is and which ground is high or low.

H.U.D that need improving

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts 001

I enjoy the game kingdom hearts, however, I have found a few glitches within using it as well as finding it quite had to use whilst in a battle. The magic and health gauges are easy to read but the little command box in the corner is quite difficult to use whilst fighting as you control this using the D-pad. I am used to holding an xbox controller so when it comes to playing Kingdom Hearts on the PlayStation 3 I find using the D-pad quite difficult.

On the other hand I am glad that Kingdom Hearts to used a shortcut button so that you can press one button on the controller to access a more simple way of using your magic and potions. The glitch that I found was the potions not working on the shortcut so I have to use the long way of accessing a health item therefore taking up more of my time and allowing the enemy to have an advantage.

Online Games

World of Warcraft and League of Legends

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft looks like such a complex H.U.D Design. I have never played the game but just looking at the H.U.D makes me not want to play it as it is too complex for me. These types of games like to take over your life as some people get highly addicted to them mainly because there is so much information that it would be impossible to complete this game. The H.U.D may be colourful but it still doesn’t look great and the amount of numbers that are unexplained until you hover over them with the mouse is crazy.

League of Legends

The League of Legends H.U.D looks a bit more simple but it still has a lot of images and icons that confuse players. Many people out there play games like this and already have an easy understanding of the game; whereas if I played this game I would probably not use most of the buttons.

Games like this are very difficult and I don’t quite like them, but I do give the players of these games credit as they must be very good at memorising and playing these games.

Overall

Heads-Up Displays are forever improving and right at this moment inventors have came up with a temporary H.U.D for a car dashboard. This project has not been released yet as they intend to further improve the item. But I believe that it will reduce car crashes as it is at a better angle to view it at and it also may feature the aspects that a phone can provide therefore causing less people to view their phones whilst driving.

Walter Mitty Bibliography and References

Bibliography

http://www.businessinsider.com/real-people-vs-avatars-2011-12?IR=T#-14

http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/17/women-video-games-iab

 

References

Angelova, Kamelia. ‘Amazing Pictures Of Real People And Their Avatars’. Business Insider. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

McLeod, Saul. ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs’. Simply Psychology. N.p., 2007. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

Stuart, Keith. ‘UK Gamers: More Women Play Games Than Men, Report Finds’. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

Peter Zackariasson, Marshall McLuhan, ‘Video Games and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. 2015

Marshall McLuhan, Videogames and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Hannah Bales

BA (Hons) Games Design

Hull School of Art and Design

Year 1

Open University

November – December 2015

Media and technology is advancing more and more each day; video games being an example of a form of new media that most of us use. * We revive old media and name it as retro as well as creating new artifacts; however, the real question is ‘why do video games entertain us so much?’ Mulligan, Patrovsky and Bartle all believe that we are becoming so immersed in video games that we see it as a viable reality, we have the state of mind of an extended reality and we get so attached to the gaming environment that gaming novices state us as a ‘Tourist’ for exploring in games. Norwood believes that gaming is slightly similar to religion; I agree with this theory as you have many different groups of gamers that get so immersed into gaming that it becomes a part of their lifestyle; “A spiritual level should be considered. Despite the apparent religious connotation, the idea of a higher level of need is an interesting one.” In relation to Norwoods theory a spiritual level should be considered for Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Marshall McLuhan refers to the story of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’; a story that explores Walter Mitty’s everyday life but also shows the life he coverts and the person he aspires to be. Every gamer strives to appear an iconic character that they can sometimes create within a game and this is how gamer immersion links to ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Walter Mitty dreams about being someone other than him mainly because his life just consists of working, eating and sleeping; too much repetition therefore no progress towards a success of achievement; this is where I believe the gamers start to dream. So many games is different and unique therefore offering us unlimited exploration of many virtual environments.

*The gamer audience reportedly stands at 33.5 million Britons – 69% of the population.

Creative Futures – Failure or Non-Success is Part of the Process

In my opinion I feel like in some cases I have been scared to advance in my work due to being worried about failure. Failure can get to us all and we need to understand that failure is a good thing. When we fail we study where we went wrong and further improve it, you can’t create something perfect instantly. Acknowledging feedback from others and taking their advice as a way of improving rather than feeling their advice is an insult can make a big difference throughout our work. Also you can criticise other peoples work and maybe help others to realise the potential of their final product.

Milton Glaser (Graphic Designer) gives a lot of advice to students to help with the stress of student life as well as the aspect of failure. Milton Glaser gave the advice of “Simply do not get stuck in your own belief system.” He claims that you have to be engaged with your work, you have to be willing to want to be successful. “You must embrace failure” says Glaser; my favourite way that he understands this process is through the way we see ourselves, if we don’t believe in ourselves we won’t be able to achieve what we want to achieve.

Also as well as using Milton Glasers advice I like to look at what my idols have to say. I have an interest in Walt Disney and they way he succeeded. Here are some of my favourite quotes.

This video below is a video that I find really inspiring, it is about being optimistic and no matter how much failure you face everyday one day it will all pay off.

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