This Blog Post is a representation of the work I have done through the course of UNIT 2.
I am to give an intro to which research tools, methods and skills are available as well as to include primary and secondary research types.
Why is research Important?
Research is important to gain a foundation behind your work and a guide to in some ways follow but not to the point, it improves your work’s overall quality in terms of accuracy, say if you where drawing a environment and you freely drew that from your imagination you may think it looks fantastic however if you where to compare that to someone who used a reference to create their work would look more realistic in comparison.
What tools do we use for primary sources?
Generally primary research means to gather the information yourself, various methods include creating a questionnaire, other methods include experiencing for your self, say you needed reference for a forest environment for your game, a good form of research is to go to a local forest and experience it, as well as taking pictures which is also a Primary research method.
Using the internet, blogs, books and other sort of things that have been created by others are classed as Secondary research.
What kinds of research are there in media?
When researching for your media production you need to know whether it will perform well upon release, the 1st thing to do is perform Audience research, find out what people desire or don’t need at all. You would generally do this by asking around and performing survey’s/questionnaire’s asking a varied amount of different type of questions.
Their are two type of questions that developers should think about when performing research, Quantitative and qualitative questions, Put simply Quantitative means the questions that could easily be turned into graphs and similar things because the answers provided by these questions are short, usually consisting of numbers. Qualitative are much more detailed questions, such as How was your day, an answer would sometime’s list out events that happened during that day.
Why is it important in the games industry to conduct effective research?
In the games industry developers conduct effective research in order to improve the quality of their work’s outcome, you want your game to be successful however it won’t be if you didn’t put the time and effort to go out, research and create your own assets rather than finding already made materials.
how do game developers research for their games?
Various departments take research in different ways the asset creators making models and textures could go out and gather images of real life counterparts to their work. Sound departments will possibly listen to sounds other people have previously recorded, they could also go to locations where the required sounds might be heard and record some samples.
I am to be assigned to a group. we will then proceed to pick a name of a game out of a hat and identify the various research tools, methods and skills that may have been used by the development studio to conduct their research. I am then to present our groups findings and write it up on this very blog, I am also to compare against my groups findings from other referenced sources.
The game that we ended up picking out of the hat was the Elder scrolls V: Skyrim, I instantly knew a lot about this game and the same goes for other members of the group, We thought that maybe some of the developers could of traveled to area’s similar to the games world in this case Skyrim has close comparisons to Scandinavian areas such as Norway. They also would of used the internet and various books to research the myths and legends of the Scandinavian people to use that to heavily influence the Nord’s of Skyrim’s lore and culture as well as the story of the game, Through out the game you hear story’s and have experiences with the Storm Cloak rebellion against the imperial legion and the Thalmor embassy of the Aldmeri Dominion, This correlates with the war of the gods in Norse myth at the event known as Ragnarok, In the game it is also known that the Alduin the world eater will return once “brothers and sisters” shed each others blood, referencing the war between the factions, Alduin’s return in some ways fits in with Fenrir, the wolf deity of Norse myth who devours the world during the events of Ragnarok.
Devise a Research Plan
What research tools, methods and skills could you use for you project?
I am mostly going to use the internet as well as real life experience to research for my project.
How can I use these tools, methods and skills to help develop your ideas for your project?
Using these methods of research will allow me to further improve the quality of my models by having a more realistic look to them.
Where/when/why would these tools, methods and skills be used?
When it comes to first hand experience that will come into play when I need to create and texture the various 3D models that I will create for my environment, I will also be using secondary research in this case the internet to get a secondary input on my research.
Compare the usefulness of primary/secondary resources:
How could each type of research benefit me?
Primary research is more accurate as a source because it is I who have gathered the information in the 1st place however secondary resources could give a second opinion despite being less accurate and their for further improve my work. Primary research is much more easier to obtain where as secondary resources may have a pay wall blocking you from getting the resources you need, this also applies to primary research in terms of paying for travel costs and equipment however this is much more optional.
Which do you think is best for this type of project and why?
A good mix of research would be good for this Hansel and Gretel project, when searching for reference for my environment I generally would look to real life reference however when it come’s to my models I can either look at real life reference or search the internet for images to closely examine so a good a mix of research types is a good idea in order to improve the quality of my work.
Identify a minimum of two specific primary and two specific secondary resources
Different primary resources I could use for my work is going out and experiencing things myself such as travelling in person to a forest to get a feel for what a forest should be like, another is to read the original story of Hansel and Gretel.
For secondary I could search for images such as the gingerbread house and other confectionery’s. Another form of secondary research is to find out what is popular, Horror games tend to be popular so that’s a good direction to go in.
How would I ensure the foliage 3D models created for my 3D environment are as realistic as possible?
When creating the foliage and other 3D models for my environment I will ensure their realistic quality by using a heavy amount of research and reference images to create close resemblance, The textures I will use will be as photo realistic as possible.
Secondary Research Foliage
I will identify how I could research the use and development of foliage in video games. I will explore how foliage has been used in different game types and compare the differences or similarities between them and also compare against how foliage looks in real life.
Image from “Game” “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” available at http://www.game.co.uk/en/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze-231308 [accessed 10/11/2016
In the game donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Foliage plays an important role in both visuals and game play elements. Donkey Kong being an Ape typically lives within a jungle, this in turn is accompanied by foliage, and the game is full of it, as you can tell from the image above everywhere you look their is some foliage somewhere, on the broken down plane in the background their is moss over running the husk, their are large trees covering the background, and branches wrapping around structures.
Their are also Functional foliage in the game, you may notice Donkey Kong is hanging onto a Vine, these Vines are usually used to get across gaps and get to higher places, their is also a yellow plant with Red dots, this is likely an enemy hidden withing the scenery of the game in order to surprise the player.
The plants on the actual level has movement to them, the vines will sway with any wind and force that would force them to move and the plant possibly acts aggressively when approached.
So the Foliage in Donkey Kong Country is both aesthetic and functional.
Image from “The Bald Gourmet” “Malu Jungle Vines” available at http://thebaldgourmet.com/food-adventures-in-malaysia-day-14-gunung-mulu-canopy-walk/ [accessed 10/11/2016
Comparing Donkey Kong Country Freeze to a real life Jungle it is obvious that they would also look at real life Jungles as well whether they traveled to one or looked at pictures would be unknown, I can see they took key features of a jungle and recreated them into the donkey Kong’s art style and considered how this foliage can be used to improve the game.
Image From “Titan Souls 2015’s hardest game?” “Titan souls Area” avaliable at http://www.braxtonhaugen.com/titan-souls-2015s-hardest-game/ [accessed 10/11/2016]
Titan souls is heavily inspired by Dark Souls in terms of difficulty, the game is mostly set in ancient structures this is shown by the amount of overgrown grass, moss and climbing plants.
Sourced from Video Source [accessed 10/11/2016]
Time Stamps: 22:58 -26:00
The Mushroom Hill zone in sonic 3 and knuckles to me is iconic in the sonic series, you start of in a summer time forest full of bouncing mushrooms, creeping vines and other assorted foliage, however when you go to act two it turns to autumn and all the foliage changes color from greens and reds to browns.
Comparing the mushrooms in the game to a real life counter part it is clear what type of mushroom the developers would have looks at as reference:
Image from “Wiki” “Mushroom” Sourced from “https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushroom” [accessed 10/11/2016]
Image From “Rock, Paper, Shotgun” “Shadow Hunter 2” avaliable at https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/shadow-warrior-2/ [accessed 10/11/2016]
Shadow Warrior 2 is a game that heralds a lot of blood and gore, however it also harbors some of the most vibrant and lovely areas in video game history, as you can see from above the game is sci-fi orientated, so colours tend to be very neon esc, and as you can see the majority of that image is made up of shades of blue however the developers added some contrast to the scene by adding in a vibrant pink Japanese cherry blossom tree in the area adding more to the visuals of the game and breaking up the scene creating a focal point for the player to gaze upon also very fitting to that “samurai and Japanese” culture
The Cherry blossom tree will sway with the wind.
Image from “Pinterest” “Cherry Blossom Tree” avaliable at https://www.pinterest.com/looseyjoosey/cherry-blossoms/ [accessed 10/11/2016]
Comparing the Cherry blossom tree from the game shadow warrior 2 they have very accurately represented, the developers likely looked at references to get a good idea on what to do for the tree.
Image from “gry-online.pl” “Battlefront” accessed from gry-online.pl [link blocked] [accessed 10/11/2016]
Star wars Battlefront has a pretty iconic multiplayer map based in a famous forest from the original films, obviously the developers Dice would have watched through the films in order to get reference and inspiration for the game as well as the original games and real life counter parts, they may of looks at real life forests/jungles that look similar to the jungle portrayed in the game.
The foliage in this map is mostly used for aesthetic purposes but can also be functional by providing cover from enemy attacks. It also provides nostalgia for star wars fans.
When the scenery is perhaps damaged by weapons debris will scatter bark from the tree’s and such similar effects to that.
3.1 – Extension
Environment Layout (Blueprint) – Sound mapping
I am to create a layout of my environment from a bird’s eye view as shown below, I am then to draw the concept of the Gingerbread house that the children would see it as in both 1 point and 2 point perspective view’s. I am to use traditional materials to do this and then expand to the map concept art in more detail using digital media.
Environment Layout Maps:
Digital Map Plan:
I am to reflect on my findings from my the primary research that I had conducted.
For the entirety of my research I mostly looked around to see what I could absorb into my environment, these mostly included different types of foliage that I could have in my environment, This helped me expand on the quality of the foliage of my environment, however this is all what I really researched with primary research methods so the quality of my environment wasn’t as great as it could of potentially been if I had researched more aspects of my environment, This has allowed me to have more insight for future projects.
I am Evaluate my own experience of working in a team with others.
I found the experience very standard, It was a bit unsettling at first but as I got used to the others I integrated myself well, I gave some opinions and gave feedback on others.
How would I improve My research methods and preparation in the future?
In the future when it comes to researching for my projects in the future and preparing for this I would take much more time to plan how i’m going to research as well as cover a larger range of research methods when doing so.