Monday, 20 February 2012

Similarities between Alice: Madness Returns and Pacman

(I know that this comparison was meant to be between Pacman and F.E.A.R but I have never played F.E.A.R and probably never will, as I get scared very easily. Alice: Madness Returns is the scariest game that I own.)

Ok so firstly I am going to point out the obvious similarities between the two:
The aim of both games is to make your way around a set path, avoiding/defeating enemies and collecting certain things that have different affects on your character. Your character has a certain amount of lives and when all lives are lost, you are prompted to start the level again, resulting in a loss of what you have previously collected.

As we all know Pacman is a very simple 2D game that can now be widely played on all forms of media for free, so this is the only major difference between it and Alice: Madness Returns. The whole concept of both games is pretty much identical.
Obviously the overall style of Alice: Madness Returns is very unique, even compared to most (if not all) games currently on the market, because it has a very disturbingly dark but weirdly beautiful artistic style. The gameplay however, is quite repetitive and a lot of the time is wasted by running around, trying to find the correct way to go, whilst being ambushed by groups of hostile creatures.
So in conclusion, Pacman is a classic game and I wouldn't be surprised if Alice: Madness Returns would also end up being a classic in later years, because of it's beautiful unique style and its tie to Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland storyline. Although both games are very repetitive, I feel that they are both great and although they seem completely different at a glance, they are very similar.
Pacman is on a rampage!!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Codemasters' Inspirational Talk

Lately I have been feeling quite unenthusiastic to do anything productive, I think it is because of coming back here after the Christmas break and suddenly being faced with lots of challenges.
I went to a talk yesterday which was presented by Mitch and Stephane - concept artists from Codemasters, and although I don't really want to be a concept artist, I left feeling quite inspired. Seeing some of their work and being shown how quickly a full colour, digitally painted character design can be created from a blank Photoshop page, at first made me feel slightly unworthy of being on this course; but then I realised that is the standard I have to be or be better than at the end of the course. Mitch said at the end of creating this amazing picture that he wasn't really happy with it and closed the file without even saving it. I felt quite shocked at this, but it made me realise that we can't be over protective of our work, we can always improve it, and other people's criticism should be seen as a good thing – a suggestion to improve the work further, not a reason to feel useless.

Yes Christmas is over, you're alone, there is no big clean house to come home to, no home cooked meals waiting for you, the pile of washing keeps growing and your housemate has a new boyfriend and has suddenly become very inconsiderate. But we just have to accept that, we are trying to get into a very competitive industry and improvement should be our main priority. We are not Liu Bolin, we shouldn't just fit in, we should try our best to stand out and shine above the others.
We have been assured that we are not in competition with each other, but I feel we are - after all we will be competing for the same jobs. This does not, however have to be a bad thing, if we all strive to be better than each other then surely our standard of work should improve more than ever. I think my biggest fear with my work is that I don't want people to steal my ideas, yet I don't mind using their ideas, I now realise this is quite silly as they may find a way of improving my ideas which may actually end up benefiting my work.
Mitch used the same sort of technique I used for my final Reef character design, the first thing I thought was “For god's sake, now everyone will end up with the same sort of thing that I have!” On further thought I now realise that the technique I used as a fluke is a technique that someone actually in the Games Industry uses, so maybe this means that I'm on the right page!
 [I used photographs that I took at the Sea Life Centre for texture on my character design.]