Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Second Year Review

Last official post of second year! :D 
My main goal is to be a part of a good team in a successful games company, I didn't initially know what I wanted to be when I first joined this course, but through a process of elimination, I have come up with the idea that I would like to go into making 3D environments and props for games.

When I was in college I decided I wanted to do the 3D side of games, which spurred me on to do a foundation course and then join university.

It's always been my dream to have my work out there, in the past few years it got refined into: I wanted my work to be in a successful game and when people play it I can say, “Yea, I made that chair!” or “I made those trees over there in the distance!” and have my name in the credits of a game … It's kind of a sad dream I have always had since I was younger, like a claim to fame sort of thing, I never wanted to be a singer or an actress or anything else small children dream of becoming, I always had the idea that I would make something that would be famous. 
That is my dream and my life goal and what I hope coming to university will help me achieve.

I am honestly terrified of my own future, I keep thinking that I am not ready to be successful because I feel that I rank quite averagely in my year. I remember that my first year of university didn't go very quickly at all, but second year has flown by! I feel that I'm not ready to be in third year, I was quite scared at the start of this year because I thought that the first years would come to me for help and I wouldn't be able to answer them. But it seems the first years that I've seen are at the same level as me anyway, as they've been taught UDK quite early on.. a little bit of an unfair advantage, but I guess they are paying more. Anyway, although second year has flown out of the window, I don't think I realised how much I learnt in this year. I absolutely loved the group project, I was with a bunch of guys that were completely different to me, but we all got on really well. I think that we were the only group that didn't actually have any major problems, so I think that counts for something! I learnt quite a lot of new things in UDK and I was so proud of our level. :)

I'm really hoping that after I have done the projects I have set myself over summer, and once I get back to uni for third year, I will feel like I am on track. Currently I feel like I'm behind although I've done all the work, I'm scared and I'm not ready. But I'm going to work really hard to get where I need to be.

Changing Lives or Building Careers

Universities are constantly trying to improve their courses based on how the industry changes, but as the industry changes so rapidly, how can the universities keep up? The answer is, they can't, but they can offer students the basic knowledge needed to get into the industry, the rest is up to the students. 
I think that university students on a game related course would have a better idea of what the industry is looking for because they are given a time frame for each project, like in the industry. People trying to teach themselves the skills needed would only concentrate on one aspect, like 3D characters for example, so they wouldn’t have a knowledge of any of the other aspects that the game companies would be looking for in a potential employee. There are some things that you may not have thought of by yourself that you could learn from an education.

Technical skills are a must for Game Art teachers, they need to keep up to date with what's happening in the games industry. Students rely on the tutors to give them guidance and get them correctly prepared for graduation, interviews and first jobs. It is up to the student to pick the right course which, in their mind, offers the same sort of standards as the industry, but it is up to themselves to create that level of standard in their work. It isn't really possible to teach someone to develop their skills and be creative, but in a way being made to feel like you're one of the smallest creatures on earth and constantly in competition with every single person on your course is a good way to force people to improve, which is kind of how I feel our course is.

Games companies should have views on what skills an artist should have, traditional skills are important for all of the jobs that we will be applying for in the industry. We need to have a basic knowledge of perspective, shape, form, colour theory and anatomy, because they will play a part in everything. Even anatomy would be useful for 3D vehicle and environment design for example because otherwise they wont fit in with the characters, like the seat is too big in the car or the doorway isn't tall enough for the player to get through.

I think that games companies will be looking for someone with all the necessary technical skills and some traditional knowledge, what they cannot be convinced about is creativity, the possible employee may have a creative portfolio but they may not work in a creative way, so their best bet would be to look for skills over everything else. Ideally they would be looking for someone that works fast, is very creative, has a good knowledge of traditional skills and with a large technical understanding.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Talent and Creativity

So this is my last push to get everything finished for Second Year! I handed in all of my Visual Design work yesterday which I was reasonably happy with, and now I have to address this blog that I have sorely neglected! I might upload some of my Visual Design and Game Production work that I am most pleased with on here once the tasks are finished..

Right so here goes.. Talent and Creativity.

Talent is a term to describe someone's skill in something, for example, some people may be described as having a “natural talent” in drawing or playing an instrument. But they weren't actually born with that ability, they didn't come out of the womb wielding a pencil or a guitar, they put the time in to learn that skill.
I believe that everyone can do anything, providing they put the time in to learn how to do it. It's like on the Sims, if they haven't read up on cooking, your Sim will burn the toast and set fire to the whole house, but if you did the research first then there are no fires and they can create many new dishes!

Creativity is a broad term explaining someone's ability to have unique ideas, sometimes a random idea that makes hardly any sense or a well thought out idea that will be of use. I think I good example of creativity is shown on something like Dragon's Den for example, you have a panel of rich business people judging the public's business and product ideas.. Some are so stupidly ridiculous that they get sent away with no funding, others seem quite boring but will be useful so might get funding, and others seem so comically absurd and amazing that they also get funding because they're funny and might actually work.
Again, creativity isn't something that you're born with, it is influenced by your personal experiences, environments that you have grown up and your interests. Some people seem to have more of a knack for coming up with interesting ideas, but I think anyone can be creative in their own way.
So creative! XD

I think that both creativity and skill play a big part in the games industry, most of the roles in the team creating the game should have both. Initially the Concept Artists will need the creativity to come up with the ideas of how things should look and the skill to present their ideas to the Game Artists and Level Designers, who will then have the creativity and skill to develop the initial ideas into a working game. I don't think there would be a lot of creativity needed for the coding side of games, but definitely the skill would play a massive part in it.
I used to be able to write in HTML and very basic CSS, but game coding looks like it has a lot of maths in it, I'm not great at Maths (saying that, I lack the skill because my Secondary School teacher was pretty boring so I couldn't be as bothered as I was with Art and ICT) so I understand that there is a great amount of skill needed for coding, but I would imagine there isn't much flexibility with ideas.