Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Concept Development: New year, About me and the return of the jellyfish


So despite what a misinterpreted ancient civilizations calender and some crazy people say we all made it to 2013.

So since its a new year and i feel it might help answer some questions that have been lingering around my project for a while, I am going to do a wee about me post followed by a look at my jellyfish(project) and how its shaped then finish off with a brief idea of where i see my project outcome being.

So, I am David McGill born in 1990 and brough up in a reasonably small west coast town called Ayr. I was a reasonably shy and quiet child when growing up and for reasons that im not going into found it difficult to make friends so spent more and more of my time playing computer games.

My first console was a master system II, I played/loved sonic, alex kidd, dizzy and the lion king. I also played alot of mario on my gameboy.

However this was more of a hobby and i never really seen it as a career path and at that age was probably more interested pretending to be an aeroplane or something

My next console was pretty much stolen from my uncle who brought it up one christmas and always forgot to take it back, this is when i came across Abe, crash bandicoot, micro machines and GTA, and probably the true reasons for starting to want to be a game maker of some sort and starting to doodle stuff.

Also about this time was the emergence of PIXAR with Toy Story and my eye turned to animation to where it would stay for some time.

throughout secondary I was never really good at Maths or English but the one thing I enjoyed the most was my art classes, so much so it would bleed into my other subjects jotters, maths being the usual victim and probably the first of my interest towards pixel art as i would draw characters in the jotter using the boxes. I also stick figure animations in the corners heavly influenced by the stick fight animation by XiaoXiao

However my school was hopeless when it came to encouraging creativity and when it came to further education in games i was always told not to bother as they were all "programming" courses. However I did fine a couple of colleges that did some animation so went for that instead.

So, i came to dundee since it seemed to have a "its where you come for anything games related" where i studied HNC/HND 3D Computing Animation for 2 years and looking back it was probably one of the biggest 2 years of my life as I was doing what i enjoyed at the time and for the first time I was with people who have the same opinions and views as me.

In my final year at college I created a short 3D animated film with another student called ForkOfDoom! and would like to think it turned out pretty well.

So i decided to apply for further education and applied for places in Dundee uni and computer art at abertay.

Throughout uni however with the focus away from animation and onto areas I didnt like my ethusiasm for animation faded and i felt lost again at the end of 3rd year.

So when this year came around I decided to do Pixel Art, WHY?

for various reasons, nostalgia, the retro style, its overlooked but is making a comeback in the indie scene an area in the games industry i see myself in rather than working for rockstar north or EA, which intrigued me to explore it further as to why its making a big comeback but also as i see more to it, its more than just a way to create sprites for games and as an actual art form its weird how it has art in the title but it still isnt really considered as art.

so this brings me onto my jellyfish,

so what i thought would be good to do is to write down the questions i put down origionally and see if i can now answer them.

Why is Everyone focused on Realism? I havnt really looked into this question in great depth but I can say is that the money getting put into creating the technology to run realistic games could be considered the reason why more stylistic games can be created 

Can Pixel Art character give emotional performance? Yes, depending on how many pixels the pixel art has in it. aslong as there is enough pixels to define necessary features to guage emotions then it is possible.

What is Pixel Art? Pixel art is the individual manipulation and control of the pixel, if you spend your time focusing on the entire image and one pixel wont make a significant difference then it is not considered pixel art.

Low Rez Vs High Rez each have pros and cons high rez would have more detail but also take alot of time low rez would be the opposite and be efficient but also lack detail that could be necessary to carry out actions

How effective is Pixel Art animation? if done well can be just as effective as hand drawen traditional animations

Is it possible to make pixel art but keeping it seperate from games? yes and no really, pixel art was born from games and its what people right now feel comfortable with seeing it in. but there are people out there like paul and Yuriy who create great pixel art that have no references to games.

cool thats pretty much them all answered then, heres my aim as it stands now,

Does Pixel art add to the play experiance of games other than the perceived nostalgic value?

It is good but i feel it can be better I want to broaden it further to not just focus on the gamers side and more on the general public as a digital art movement.

Lastly, Pre Production ideas

so I should write out a script and concepts for these ideas but im really not sure which one i want to do:

influenced from the game Passage by jason rohrer and Carl from Up, i kind of want to do a boy who ages and through the aging process the pixel art ages too so what it is now to the 16x16 or smaller sprites used that started it all I think this would be a nice way of showing the life of pixel art and where its come from to where its at now. whilst hopefully being visually engaging to the audience.

my other idea is a bit too rough to explain so i need to think of a more understanable way to demonstrate what i want.

anyways thats me thanks for reading,

 David M

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