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Hi there! As you can see, my name is Chris, I'm at university and I'm currently 21 years old, but there's more to know than my name and age. So what am I doing then? Well I'm studying Game Art at DMU. I am aiming to be one of the top proffesional vehicle artists in the industry. In the meantime, check out this Blog of mine and when your finished, take a look at my website!

A brief look at Game Design

The core purpose or result from game design is the creation of the games specific rules and content. For example, this would include the art style of which the game will consist of and will influence all future concepts, ideas, models etc. Although that is a very simple description, game design is the most crucial part in a games development as it can either make or break a game from the get go.

Despite this, game design is a very broad and complex process and although there are specific people employed in studios for this task, it does include many if not all the members of a particular studio on some form or another. the specific peoples involved in the design of the game primarily consist of a select few categories; World design, level design, user interface, content, system and the games writing. Each process is critical to the games final outcome and all must conform and work with each other and to the desired result from the game.

Gameplay is perhaps the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of game design, and this is because gameplay consists of so many elements. For example, the fundamentals of the game are down to gameplay, for example is the game an FPS, or a platformer? This would of been a decision at the very start of the process of the development of the game and without this simple yet crucial piece of information, the game could not be created. Gameplay however, primarily consists of how, when and where the player interacts with the game world, such as action sequences and the basic control layout etc.

Personally for me, I want my games to have solid interactivity with the game world, and to have a consistent level of quality throughout the game. Perhaps the most major thing I look for in a game is immersion because to me, immersion is what keeps the player playing the game and the easiest way to break this immersion is from a simple glitch or bug in the game. Despite the fact that its impossible to create a game without any faults, its the consistency throughout the game world that will keep the player interested and wanting to continue. Although I regularly come back to the uncharted games, these to me, are the best example of solid consistency and not giving the player a chance to put the control down. There are no loading screens and nothing in a sense that breaks the immersion for the player.

My game history

The first gaming experience I experienced was playing the Amiga 500 when I was perhaps 4 years old " one of the earliest memory's I have for some reason", although I cant actually remember any of the specific games. The next console was the Sega Mega Drive, which I remember mostly consisted of playing  Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 with my older brother. although I found both sonic games to be near impossible to reach the next stage, they were absolutely brilliant in there replay value, especially with the addition of 2 player.

however, I would say the most significant event in my gaming life would be when we got hold of our first PlayStation. Id say I played more time on this console than id like to admit although it introduced me to some of my favourite game franchises which have lasted with me ever since. These games included Crash Bandicoot, Command And Conquer "played the hell out of Red Alert" Gran Turismo, Medal of Honour along with Tekken 2.

My PlayStation one era consisted mainly playing these select games although when my brother bought the Nintendo 64 I was completely sold Zelda The Ocarina Of Time. This is perhaps my favourite game of all time. the sheer size and scope of the game was amazing along with the difficulty of the puzzles and the true sense of adventure. I think what really drew me into this game was the sense of immersion and the fact that I could loose myself and escape into the games world, there was nothing that broke the immersion.

I also felt this true sense of immersion particularly with Metal Gear Solid 3 but not so much with mgs4 which I put mainly down to the loading screens and the painfully long installations.

Onto the current generation, I have particularly fell in love with the Uncharted series. The reason for this is the incredible levels of visual detail which draws me into its world and immerses me into the game. Ever since I played Zelda on the N64, my favourite games seem to be those which have a very high level of consistency throughout and are able to draw me into there worlds.

For example, Uncharted does not require any loading screens, just one when you begin the story. This in a sense stops the player from putting the control down or creating an interval between areas of the game world. Personally, I believe that high end visuals are not a necessity although they are a welcomed feature in today's modern games. Instead, I think that consistency throughout the games world is more important no matter the art direction or technical limits. Heavy Rain is a rather recent game that I played which at first, appeared to be a very immersive game however, the fact that you were constantly swapping characters broke this sense of immersion and made you step out of the game world only to have to be redrawn back into it.

I personally think that the future of games will be ever increasingly more about immersion and creating an engaging game world for the player to loose them self in. I believe this because games have become ever more increasingly complex not in the sense of technicality but the actual core game play itself. Sure modern games can be simplified to there basic ancestral forms, but the basic games structure has been layered more and more to create the games we have today.

Personally id like to see more originality in games these days and to have an almost industry move away from the standard top selling fps games which seem to dominate the yearly sales of recent times. I understand that its great for the industry as a hole to have great selling franchises but the fact that certain games have such huge success, it damages the sales of other games, threatening studios and originality. I also believe that games consoles themselves will always need an actual control pad instead of the rather gimmicky motion control peripherals from recent years. The move onto 3D is an interesting area which has huge potential, but I think it will be a long time before we see mainstream 3dtvs on the market and in homes to allow any widespread implementation in the industry.

In my opinion, id say the industry and the state of games are at the point were they are finally becoming accepted in the mainstream public image due to the rise in social games and platforms "Wii and Ds". I think that the next generation of consoles may very well decide the future of the industry in which direction it takes next for the future; such as whether to games will be digitally downloaded to consoles or if ever increasing processing power is really what gamers want and what the industry wants and can cope with in terms of costs and development time.

21st Century Gaming

As the world entered a new millennia, new consoles were being released, pushing game consoles into the next generation. The first arrival of the next generation consoles was the Playstation 2. The Playstation 2 arrived with DVD playback and full backwards compatibility with the Playstation 1. This in itself, helped to driver the sales of the consoles as it had the huge back lot of previous generation games available. In total, the Playstation 2 became the best selling games console of all time surpassing 150 million units as of 2011 with over 10,800 games in its collection.

Soon after the arrival of the PS2, the Xbox and GameCube arrived in 2001. These two consoles were the individual companies attempt at toppling Sony's success they saw with the Playstation 1 and there arrival of the new Playstation 2. Despite never achieving the sales of the PS2, they did however, bring new revolutionary features to gaming. The Xbox for example arrived with a dedicated online service "Xbox Live" which defined the way console games were to be played and developed. The GameCube however, was more ill fortuned thaN the other two consoles. The reason for this was the lack of third party support, a rather lacking online service and Nintendo's focus on the family genre of games and because of this, came last in that generation of consoles. despite this, Nintendo released the GameBoy Advance which saw incredible success and went on to sell over 80 million units including the GameBoy SP which was released in 2004. Subsequently because of this, Sony introduced its handheld to the market in the form of the PSP. with its LCD widescreen, a collection of top games and full media capabilities, the PSP seemed a guaranteed success, however, the portable has never matched the unrivalled success of the Nintendo handhelds.

In 2005 the seventh generation of games consoles arrived with the Xbox 360 and its fully overhauled Xbox Live service. 2006 saw the PS3 arrive along with Nintendo's new and rather different console in the form of the Nintendo Wii. This console alone has transformed the way the games industry has been functioning with a turn to social gaming. despite this, and the highest sales of this generation, the Wii console is severely outdated and is slowing significantly in sales in recent months. The PS3 arrived with a disastrous launch which crippled Sony and lost them billions. This was because of the lack of quality first party games and its high cost "£425" at the UK march 23rd Launch. despite this, Sony has been able to transform the image of the ps3 by introducing the ps3 slim in 2009 along with some of the highest quality first party games available.

The seventh generation of games consoles has seen a major change for the games industry as a hole. the advent of social games has in a way, changed the face of the games industry's public image to the masses which of course is a very positive event. However, social gaming success has led to new unconventional platforms such as apples iPod Touch/iPhones and iPad which now has a huge collection of games and users. This along with the hugely popular Nintendo Wii, created enormous strain on the games industry's usual approach of developing games for a rather similar audience. this led to a rather dangerous period of high profile studios creating cheap, quickly made games for the Wii in order to earn a quick a profit. this damaged the quality of games and led to an uncertain period for the Xbox 360 and PS3. In order for Sony and Microsoft to cash in on the social gaming success, both company's developed there own products to match the Wii. This led to the Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move. Both have seen great success with the Kinect selling over 8 million units.

Although the seventh generation of consoles has seen great change and a huge rise in development costs, there is already news and info about the 8th generation of consoles on the horizon such as tech demos of proposed next generation graphics and job listings for the development of Microsoft consoles.