Thursday, 21 October 2010

Trash Happy

Hey people!

So i guess you know by now from my recent blogs i've been having a living nightmare on 3Ds max... stretched Daleks, locking the program in so many ways and countless crashes really did make me want to go incredible hulk on the damn thing (and who's with me?). So why am I writing today? I've had a little ebb of progress that's really made me happy! I made the bin :D!

That's long hours in the lab (with awesome help from 2nd and 3rd years,cheers) and i have something that actually looks like a bin...textured and everything, with added Saff realism it just shows my graft paid off.

I'm not going to lie, i've been quite terrified of the program, with it's tempremental ways - but now i feel really confident and ready to create my next project (a pool table for the G&G's)...hopefully i'll get a bit faster!

well that's all....just thought i'd share my excitement over something that's been worrying me for i'm off to take pictures of pool tables.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Evolution of Awesome

So after hearing me ramble the first time you’ve really decided to click on that link and hear me again eh? I like this. Anyways; I’ll keep it short and sweet this time as I know we’re all busy being tortured by a lovely little program... so this blog is my take on the history of video gaming...the evolution of AWESOME!
Way back when COD and Fallout 3 (or the better) Mario and Sonic were just a pixilation of a dream lies the origins of the video game. This was back in the 1940’s “The origin of video games lies in early cathode ray tube-based missile defense systems in the late 1940s” (Wikipedia - accessed 19/10/2010) Such programmes were later adapted into other simple games during the 1950’s although it wasn’t until 1971 that the first commercially viable video game Computer space was released. In the 1940’s the Cathode Ray /tube Amusement Device was filed on Jan 25 1947 and because computer graphics could not be drawn electronically at the time, overlays were placed on the screen to give simple scenes. So here we are at the conception of the video game (ewww) and as it took its first steps during the 1950’s it progressed visually initially via a number of games run on university computers in the USA, usually developed by individuals as a hobby. A collection of graphical programs assisted this, and the list of games below were created on the TX-0 machine at MIT:
·         Mouse in the maze
·         HAX
·         Tic Tac Toe
·         Spacewar!
Ralph Baer who refined his initial ideas into a four page document for an interactive video game machine developed the first video game console in 1966. Working with colleague Bill Harrison, the simple Chase was the first to run on a standard television set. In 1968 a final prototype was created and by 1969, they were showing the world’s first video game system to manufacturers.
Moving onto the seventies, there was disco, there were jumpsuits and oh yeah there were games! This is known as the golden age of videogames: with the rise of arcade machines, home computers, consoles and even handheld games.
In 1971 the Galaxy Game (based on Spacewar!) was installed at a student union at Stanford Univ. becoming the first coin operated video game system. An arcade version was also created and manufactured on a grand scale. This is a landmark in video gaming history as it was the first mass-produced video game offered for commercial sale.
During the 1970’s a video game as addictive as most class As was also conceived...
“Undoubtedly one of the most influential video games of all time is Pong” – (Railton 2005)
In vented by Nolan Bushell, Pong was simply a concept to test out one of Atari’s first ever employees (Allan Alcorn). He was duped into thinking Atari had received a brief to create a game based on table tennis. At first, no one recognised the appeal of Pong with its hit the the ball technique; but suddenly a mundane (slightly tweaked) idea had become an addictive masterpiece that required actual skill to master.
Finally recognising its appeal, Bushnell installed a Pong machine in a rundown bar and straight away the game proved popular. “From that point Atari’s future was secure and Pong machines sprung up all over the place” – (Railton 2005). Between 1974 and 1983 there were over 300 versions of Pong or Pong imitations (rip offs!) created for over 200 machines.
Even today, Pong can still be an addictive gaming experience and defined as a work of genius.
So after all that research I just have one question left...
So why were video games created? Who and why made it so I have no life?*
*PN: I am a gamer...I have many lives
Well looking through all the research I have to give it to Ralph Baer -
“In 1966, while sitting bored at a bus stop, Ralph Baer rekindled his idea for an interactive video ‘game’ machine.” (Wikipedia - accessed 19/10/2010)
BORED??? Tell me guys what do most of us do when we’re bored? Poke people? Search for belly button treasure? Mess with that Ouija board? I personally (failing making a sandwich) crack on the Xbox and kick some ass! So the next time you’re bored playing on that Xbox or Ps3...Just think...that’s where it all began...the Evolution of AWESOME!
PS: for those of you who want to see what i used to write this shizz - see below...i really recommend the Railton book it's awesome as well as the videos by the Angry Video Game Nerd as they are really entertaining but also give quite the insight into some amazing retro games (god knows i love 'em) :)
Railton, J (2005) the A to Z of Cool Computer Games, London, Allison & Busby Ltd.
PONG [no date] Pong Video Game History - Invention of the Pong Video Game [WWW] Availiable from
Rolfe, J (2010) Pong Consoles (video) [WWW] Availiable from
Wikipedia (2010) The History Of Video Games

Monday, 11 October 2010

So...."I'm a lover and a fighter, a villain and wrong righter"

The title ^^ is from a rap I wrote a while back entitled "Who am I?"  Well now you’re asking! I’m Amy Gilbert or Amy G if I’m round the Working mens club circuit... I’m 20, though according to Facebook my mental age is 6…  If you see me around campus I’m the loud lass in the trilby.

As you can see from the blog title I’m from a friendly little place called Saffron Lane Estate...otherwise known as ‘The Saff’, in Leicester. So... this makes me the Game Artist from the Saff (see what I did there?). I thought it would be cool to name my blog this as if I can go from my background and where I live to working in the industry I think that’s pretty amazing. The background of the blog is graffiti from my previous place of work (Goldhill Adventure Playground) which is just over the road from my house. Oh yeah, and I can also point out that I am half American (dad’s a yank) which I blame for all my stupidity and daring, luckily I have the British in me to balance it out...

So why Game Art Design? Well, I came from a performing arts background, put all the work in, did the national dip and then realised....whoa there is NOTHING you can do with a performing arts course. So yeah, I realised I was also quite the artist so did a First Dip in Art and Design and then an Access Course in media which brought me to university level. I’ve always loved technology, and I am really passionate about art – the Game Art Design course brought these (and the massive amount of hours I’d blasted away on all my games) together perfectly! Also, I wanted a challenge - and after this first week boy can I say I got one! On my last courses I’d pump out work way ahead of deadlines and it was all too easy...I am loving the fact that we are in ‘’boot camp’’. I want to be challenged, I want to be stretched, I want to learn...and that’s why I chose this course.

After the first week, I can say my ambitions for the year are basically to get my head around 3dsmax. It’s one hell of a program, and at the beginning of this week I’ll be honest I did really panic. It reminds me of my course last year where I’d never touched  the adobe suite...though by the end of the year I was flying through Photoshop or In design  so hopefully 3ds max will follow suit as the Dalek project about killed me!
My ambitions for the course are to get through it; though really well. I usually set very high expectations of myself which gets me epic results. I am a very ambitious person, so hopefully this and my drive will help me complete Game Art Design to a high level,
I’ve always loved the Beat ‘em up genre so ideally in the future I want to be designing the characters for the next Tekken or Soul Calibur...though to be honest as long as I’m in industry at the end of the course I’ll be happy. I’d really love to work outside of the UK also, and travel a bit. On my last course one for of my FMP’s I created an Xbox game cover – ‘Duel the way of the sword.’ we joked that after designing it all I needed to do was create the game...who knows? Maybe I will.

Other than games my interests are mainly musical – I’m a singer and to fund myself I sing around the club circuit under the name ‘Amy G’ using my own full PA system etc. I also sing with rapper ‘Lacky C’ and we write/record our own material – soon to be performing at the Loughborough Christmas lights 2010 woop! Other than that I love to socialise and I have already joined a number of clubs and societies at Uni – from the demon gamers to rowing (which was brutal but I’m hoping to shed some pounds haha) I’m a very outgoing person and I like to have lots of activities and things to do I get bored.

So what are my ambitions after the course? I checked out some GAD jobs online just to see what they were expecting…   -  looking at this site (Blitz games studios) I found 2 jobs entitled “3d Modeller and texture artist” and “Concept Artist” these are the two fields I would really like to get into (if 3ds max doesn’t kill me first).  Quoting the website the roles and responsibilities are for the 3D Modeller/texture artist: “The 3D artist's working day consists of creating objects, characters and scenery in three dimensions. Most of this work will usually be achieved in one of the major 3D software packages, such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, Softimage XSI or Light wave among others.”  This sounds pretty daunting to me as I am just getting my head round one of the programs let alone that long list! This means over the 3 years on my course I’ll have to work really hard mastering the software and put lots of time and graft in, which I will. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel as Blitz also state that: “Though this all sounds rather daunting, the ability to model and texture well will get you through the door - after that the rest will come as you learn on the job.” Yay! At the moment 3D is my toughest challenge, although I am sure via practising tutorials and backing that up with visual design work I will develop better skills. It’s kind of like learning a new language – and I already speak fluent Photoshop so it’s all good…

Ultimately to get my dream job I’ll have to do pretty much the same thing I’ve done on my other courses, though much more intensely (which I relish). I am ready to put the time and energy into all of my work and just like all you guys I’ll progress I think the Dalek is a great example of this. At the beginning of the week I was terrified, but after 3 attempts, doing the research and putting the time in I got it done to a pretty good piece and I’m proud!

 So come on Game Art Design, bring it!


 PS: to anyone that wants to read the title rap among others go to -