Search

hannahbalesblog

Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design

Category

Games Design (Y1, S2)

Year 1, Semester 2 of An Introduction to Games Design.

Games Design – Game Jam

During a Games Design Lesson one day we all got split into groups. Our group consisted of Ryan Chaytor, Joe Mathers, Josh Edwards and me. We decided to create a game based on the ragdoll effect and give it a haunted mansion theme. The first part of the day me and Ryan thought about the design process of the game and got a basic game concept; we then started generating ideas using images. Ryan designed props and objects, Joe created the H.U.D and I put the two together to create a final design. Josh did the research, however, he had to leave our group due unfortunate circumstances. Below I have categorised all of the work we put together by name.

Ryan Chaytor – https://ryanchaytorgamesdesign.wordpress.com/

Research – Research Document for game concept.

Scan 7

Great visual designs of haunted objects. Spooky broken mirror, large coffin-like throne chair, unique candelabra, creepy moving portrait above a warm fireplace and finally an old yet antique grandfather clock. Very well done creating basic template model sketches for the game.

Scan 8

Ghost and slime creature concepts. First print model idea for main character.

Joe Mathers – https://jbattlehound.wordpress.com/

IMG_0068

H.U.D design by Joe. Three basic ideas including H.U.D made from bones, antique/medieval H.U.D and a ghost/slime H.U.D design. We all decided as a group to go with the middles design (antique/medieval) because it works well with the environment and is easier to read.

IMG_0069

Weapons list for use in game.

  • Hand
  • Fly Swatter
  • Broom
  • flame-thrower
  • Box
  • Vaccum
  • Leaf Blower
  • Wand (Lightning, Fire, Water)
  • Ghostbuster Laser
  • Golf Club
  • Shoe
  • Bottle
  • Axe (Held/Thrown)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Flail

IMG_0070

A character list.

  • Bat
  • Cat
  • Ghost
  • Severed Hand
  • Gelatinous Cube/Slime
  • Pumpkin/Jack-o-Lantern
  • Voodoo Doll
  • Face Hugger
  • Spider
  • Demon Baby

Josh Edwards

Research for Haunted House Game – Research for the Ragdoll Effect.

Hannah Bales – https://hannahbalesblog.wordpress.com/

Mouse Cursors

Cursor sketch ideas quickly produced in PhotoShop. Our game is mainly a concept for ipads or phones, however, if we was to consider making the game compatible for computer we would need a cursor.

Sketch 002

Quick sketch of a Bat and a Zombie. Possible main character or enemy.

Sketch 001

A ghost, a spooky face, a spider, a voodoo doll and a pumpkin/Jack-o-Lantern.

Sketch 003

A spider (possibly going to be considered as the main basic playable character.

Environment 001

The objects Ryan made put into an environment using perspective. Could be improved by use of better perspective. Paul taught me to prduce the work in 3D first so I have a basic idea of what the final product will look like.

The final animation (quite short) shows the fire flickers and the painting changing.

Day Trip to North and West yorkshire

Saturday 7th May 2016

So on this beautiful and sunny morning, my step-dad Andy told me and my mum to get ready as we are going somewhere. Where that somewhere is we didn’t know. He surprised us by taking us on a day trip to the Yorkshire Dales to go view some amazing wildlife and a beautiful waterfall. Then we traveled to Glennfinnan Viaduct; the bridge that was seen in the Harry Potter films. I had so many great photography opportunities and I give credit to my step-dad for taking me. Some images here I took for research into my Game Design for ‘The Wind in the Willows’.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Games Design – Genre Research

All games have a genre/theme. This genre usually depicts everything the game consists of such as characters, vehicles, objects and environments. Below are some genre’s and themes used within games.

Horror

Horror games usually stick to a sub-genre of being a jump-scare game, gory game, thriller, adventure, slasher etc. Below are some examples featuring a horror genre and how they show that theme.

Alien Isolation

Horror 001

Well-known for its jump-scares this game not only has human enemies but also features alien enemies. Horror games usually feature creatures to spook the player as it is something new to us and is very different to the human body. Anything that looks different to us can be seen as creepy, also the creature is dark and slimy. As well as the character being quite spooky we also have to consider environments. The environment plays a dramatic part in the game as the lights flicker, shadows move past and even the sound used within the environment works really well. Sometimes you can even run into protagonists and think that they are an antagonist. The game really messes with your mind.

Bioshock

gaming game bioshock infinite bioshock bioshock 2

The first Bioshock Game was quite scary in my opinion. So many jump-scares lead to a great game. With the game being set underwater it isn’t exactly as bright and happy as ‘The Little Mermaid’; they take into consideration the depth of the underwater city and understand that it will be a dark place. Bioshock is scary for many reasons, my favourite reason being the way in which you play the game. Some gamers go in stealthily whereas others just full on attack, you will still run into the jump-scares but stealth has that element of “will the enemy catch me?” and “Oh no he is getting closer towards me, I should hide somewhere else” etc.

Sound improves this game dramatically, sound effects that indicate a character is nearby such as footsteps (on hard floor or through water), electric cables sparking suggesting you can maybe set up a trap to electrocute an enemy and the most important sounds of them all has to be the characters. Frank Fontaine uses the phrase ‘Would you kindly’ as a trigger word to make Jack (your playable character) follow the command he gives you.

I like the way in which the characters are portrayed as at the beginning I thought Big Daddy was a bad guy as he is quite big and scary, however it turns out he is just being very protective and won’t actually hurt you unless you harm one of the little sisters. Some of the splicers (enemies) look scary, sound scary and are quite fast so instantly that is one fear of mine in a game. I was also not a fan of the little sisters are they are a common style of character used in games and films to spook people, I suppose they just look too sweet and innocent that we suspect something scary to happen.

The environments are spooky during most of the game, however, I like the fact that there is a Bioshock DLC in which you can explore Rapture (the underwater city) in its normal state when it wasn’t so spooky and it explains some of the character designs and basically what went wrong.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Evil Within

I would say that the evil within is scary by using every horror category. I especially think that the character design was great in this game as the characters are quite spooky and each one has a different look; there are some characters that you see more than once in the game as they have a certain way to be defeated. Below are some of the characters featured in the game.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saw

The main feature in this game is death. Obviously if you die in the game you’re not going to die in real life, however a lot of people mainly fear dying in a game due to how the enemy will kill you, when he will kill you, not wanting to start from your last checkpoint and even just not being able to get past a certain enemy or not wanting to fail. This game requires a lot of thinking, quick actions and no fear but we all lack in at least one of these and that is nothing to be ashamed of as it makes the game more interesting. Solving puzzles and trying to survive is the main aim of the game. Rather than enemies coming after you you have protagonists panicking thinking that you can help them but really they are strapped to a device that if it gets to close to yours will blow up.

Even though you have to survive many traps you have to create some to avoid these characters that can put your life in danger. I don’t really like that feature as I find that quite a difficult task as I am more interested in the thinking part of the game and the interesting story. The Saw movies are known to be very clever as some films are set at the same time and some characters are not who they seem also some of the traps can be tricky. Bringing this into a game was a great idea. Another feature which I think is a good idea but find difficult to actually cope with in the game is the light. You have the choice of a lighter, torch or camera for the use of light when you need it. The camera is very bright (using the flash photography setting) but you have to keep clicking the camera to use the light also the flash and shutter sounds get annoying after a while and there is more chance of you coming across a jump scare whereas the torch and lighter stay lit but you can run out batteries for the torch and your lighter can die.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Action

Wet

Wet 001

The name ‘Wet’ comes from the term ‘Wet-Work’ as in killing or assassinating someone via a contract. I find the gameplay to this very interesting as it the controls are the typical action game controls (B=Crouch/Slide, A=Jump, RT=Shoot) but with every action you have a slow motion chance to aim your gun manually so when you jump, flip or slide really fast the time slows down and you have a chance of getting a better shot and a better aim.

This game is a great action game which is also quite violent, funny, however it is quite repetitive. I didn’t actually finish this game as I got bored due to the repetitive missions. Each mission consists of fighting lots of enemies and usually a boss level or points scoring level, then you get a final score. Here is some of the gameplay below to demonstrate the fighting style.

Grand Theft Auto 5

GTA 001

This game was incredibly popular when it was released in 2013 and it is still popular now. The GTA (Grand Theft Auto) game series has been popular since the very first game release in 1997, however, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a breakthrough for Rockstar games as it became incredibly popular. GTA 4 was released in 2008 so when GTA 5 was announced everyone was really looking forward to it as since the previous game graphics and quality had been improved over the years.

This game was great for action as some of the missions are completly random and some missions can even take over 30 mins to complete. When Rockstar released the Heist missions for online mode everyone waited desperately as there was a few delays however they are really fun as you get to communicate with people from around the world to tactically rob a bank and get away with it. I find GTA 5 Online to be very useful when playing online because you can make lots of friends but you have to be careful as you might also make lots of enemies.

I like the way in which through the main game you can switch between the choice of three players (as some tasks/missions require a certain character). Also you get to have a pet dog named Chop when playing as Franklin and you can even teach it tricks or get it to attack people.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 

Division 001.jpg

Released in 2016 this game was highly anticipated to be a great success, although it was successful only certain people bought it as it had a style that is suitable for players that enjoy games such as Call of Duty and Splintercell. Known as an Open World, Online, RPG game Tom Clancy’s The Division is immersive and realistic according to their website at http://tomclancy-thedivision.ubi.com/game/en-gb/game_info/index.aspx#page1.

In this game you have a base that you can improve throughout, online players that you can either play against or team up with and progression is key. Throughout the whole game you level up and the more progress you make the better an agent you become. The game features lots of weapons, characters and skill sets; the game also takes a while to complete as people want to become such a high level.

 

 

 Music

Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero 001

Music games are never as popular as action, adventure or horror as they can either be quite expensive due to the fact you need to by the right equipment for your console, you might not like the song choices and the games are very rarely released. The Guitar Hero franchise was one of the most popular types of music games but then rumor spread that they had stopped making these games all together, however, that was not true as they released Guitar Hero Live in 2015 and it was quite a success. This game has different yet more realistic controls on the guitar and supposedly better music. Below is a list of some of the music you can play:

  • The Anthem by Good Charlotte
  • Bangarang by Skrillex ft. Sirah
  • Counting Stars by One Republic
  • Demons by Imagine Dragons
  • Everybody Talks by Neon Trees
  • I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
  • Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones
  • Waking Up in Vegas by Katy Perry

Racing Games

Forza 

Forza 001.jpg

When Forza was released in 2015 the Xbox One was already out (2013) so Xbox created an Xbox One Console for the game release:

Forza 003

The game is well known for its outstanding graphics and the variety of cars. The realism is great as you can drive manually or automatic (using gears or not). You can race against friends and beat their times as well as having achievements like any other Xbox One game. According to http://www.forzamotorsport.net/en-us/news/FM6_Start_Your_Engines Forza 6 includes 460 cars, 26 world-famous locals, and 24 car multiplayer. Some players are even given the chance to be rewarded better cars by the playing the game as much as possible.

 

Overall I believe that most gamers stick to their own genre. They may experiment with other genres but I know that everyone has their own opinions. My favourite genres include action, adventure and horror; games such as Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Batman (The Arkham Series) and more.

 

Games Design – RPG Research

Role Playing Games are incredibly popular, most games feature Role-Playing. RPG’s are my favourite so I believe that it is a great way to be immersed within a game. An RPG (Role Playing Game) is when the player gets to play as a character in a game that goes on epic adventures, meets new people, fights enemies, explores new places and more; and to add to the list of opportunities you can also play online with other players or interact with an amazing storyline. Most games usually are better in one sector than the other for example ‘The Last of Us’ has been known for it’s amazing story but the gameplay hasn’t had the best of reviews whereas Skyrim has great gameplay but not a very long or good storyline.

Games with a Good Story

The Last of Us

The Last of Us 005

Known for its great storyline, The Last of Us has had so many good reviews. Released in 2013 by the Developers Naughty Dog the game was a smash hit. Below are just two of the great reviews:

Review 001Review 002

Also watch the Game Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W01L70IGBgE

I have played some of the game and I must say it has such a good storyline mainly due to the way in which the characters interact. There are two main protagonists (Joel and Ellie).

********************SPOILERS*************************

The story starts with getting to know Joel. We find out that he has a daughter, but all of a sudden an apocalypse begins with people starting to go crazy (almost zombie-like). Unfortunatley Joel loses his daughter and the story moves on. We next see Joel with a new friend and to gain access to weapons they have a task to complete for a team called The Fireflies; this task is to take Ellie to the designated location and this is where the adventure begins. Throughout the game we see things happen to Ellie and Joel that scare us, make us happy, make us sad and make us angry, however, most of the game is a stealth game so I would also say that is a mechanic that adds to the storyline being more interesting. Also the game is well-known for its environment design. The first apocolyptic game to feature so many plants and wildlife. An example of this would be the finding of giraffes at a university.

Bioshock Infinite 

Bioshock Infinite 001.jpg

Another game released in 2013 which has such a crazy but good storyline. If you like games that make you think well this game will blow you mind. Although a lot people didn’t give it a chance considering Bioshock 1 & Bioshock 2 were quite repetitive the developers improved there game and made the story more interesting throughout. Even though there is a set storyline no one really knows some of the other little details that could either hint towards another game or reveal more of the story. Bioshock Infinite is clever in the way that it gives the player a chance to invent their own theory to the end of the game and as a community many people who liked this game came together to discuss how they feel the game makes sense.

From what I understand I believe that the game starts with you being in a rowing boat with two twins explaining to you your task. You stop near a lighthouse and in this lighthouse is a secret way of transportation into the city of Columbia (a floating city in the sky. See more here in my previous blog post: https://hannahbalesblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/games-design-character-design-2k-games-gavin-goulden/) Once in this city you explore and continue your task which is to find a girl of the name Elizabeth and bring her back. At the end of the game you find out that elizabeth is really your daughter from an alternate universe kind of. I say kind of because within this game there are so many universes. Within one part of the game elizabeth explains it as there are constants and variables (constants which are events that happen in every world and variables which are events that can have multiple outcomes). As an example throughout the game series the environment consists of a unique environment such as underwater and Columbia in the sky also you have the antagonist that is really a protagonist in this case a Big Daddy or Songbird and then you have Booker and Jack, multiple Elizabeth’s and the main antagonist. Same events but different outcomes. Elizabeth “You. Me. Songbird. Columbia. Sometimes things are different, yet the same.”

Watch this video for a more in depth description and be careful it contains a lot of spoilers.

 

Bioshock Infinite 003Bioshock Infinite 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bioshock Infinite 005

Bioshock Infinite 004

 

 

 

 

 
Bioshock Infinite 007Bioshock Infinite 006

Games with Good Gameplay (controls – character or vehicle)

Far Cry 3

Far Cry 001.jpg

The story for Far Cry 3 is quite repetitive, however, it is known for it’s bad guy as many people really liked Vaas. I really like the gameplay as the character is easy to control and so are all of the vehicles. Having a wide range of vehicles is great and later on in the game you get a flying suit which is a huge life saver. My favourite method of transportation is the hang glider as it is easy to control and you can travel quite far quite quickly, although it takes a while to get the hang of landing the vehicle I finally managed.

The controls are  basic and by basic I mean they are controls you would already assume; for example (If playing via Xbox) most games consider ‘B’ as Crouch, ‘A’ as Jump and ‘X’ as Reload, these are the controls Far Cry 3 uses. I also like the way in which the Far Cry game series keeps the controls consistent throughout.

Tony Hawk Games (Pro Skater 2)

Tony Hawk 001.jpg

All of the Tony Hawk games are great and you either learn all of the tricks or button bash; either way the game is still fun. Anyone new to the game can learn how to play within 5 mins of gameplay as it is that easy. that is why the game is called pro skater (the more you play the better you get). Tony Hawk has got 15 skateboarding games (not including remakes) and the more popular they got the better as he even got to feature celebrity friends such as Bam Margera, the game series has lasted between 1999 and 2015. I love the game as you could free roam, do missions and complete challenges. The customization was great but overall the controls are so simplistic and I love that.

Games with Good User Interface

Please find below the link to one of my posts from my blog. This post is about game with a good user interface.

https://hannahbalesblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/games-design-user-interface-and-user-experience/

Games Design – Wind in the Willows Spider Diagram

Today in Class we focused on Task ‘E’ and ‘F’. This module is about RPG’s (Role Playing Games) and we are to start a design process that is based around a storybook in which we picked randomly out of a box. My Storybook is ‘The Wind in the Willows’; I’m quite happy to have this book as I am quite familiar about the storyline and the characters, also as soon as I knew what book it was that I got lots of ideas popped to mind. The brief wants us to look at all aspects that would be in a game and use them in our design process of creating the game towards our random book. I’m looking forward to putting a twist on The Wind in the Willows as I have a few ideas on the environment possibilities as well as how the characters can fit into those environments, on the other hand I intend to keep some of the storyline the same and also the character personalities.

First of all I have created a spider-diagram from my current knowledge of the book and also some information from online websites and reviews. As I need to read the book again to gain more knowledge I will create a post soon that shows my research from the original book by Kenneth Grahame.Spider-Diagram.jpg

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In this spider-diagram my research shows 3 categories. Characters and their Traits, Environments and finally Existing Works/Adaptations. Below shows a list of what will be staying the same and what will be changing.

 

Staying the Same

The Characters Personalities

The Type of Animal

Altered Slightly

The Story

Changed

The Environment

The Characters Looks

Vehicles and Objects

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑