Monday, 24 November 2008


Hi Dave im just wondering if you or anybody else for that matter could help me out with producing a Gant chart in Excel if that is the normal procedure? I havent got a clue about creating a Gant Chart so any tips or advice would be great?



My Life Drawing Class

Hello Peeps just thought i would share my Life Drawings with everyone ive been there 4 times now and its been along time since i done anything like this. The first week i found abit hard using pencil to loosen up my drawing skills, so i started using charcoal instead and i think it works alot better. I only get between 1 and a half to 2 hours each session, wish they lasted abit longer really. See what you think anyways?
Week 1 Week 2
Week 3 Week 4

Dissertation group crit/presentation

Hi all,

Kate would like you to come for a group crit/presentation of your idea so far on Wednesday 10th December at 2:00pm in C431.

There will be presentations with FD Games year 2 in the morning in C431 so that MAY over run. So aim to get to the room by 1:30 to set up but be prepared to wait if needed.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Work in Progress

Hi all especially the full-timers,

A quick but important note to the full-timers who only have 4 weeks left on the Pre-production module. Remember that the Pre-production module is all about planning and preparing your idea for production. It is a time (assessable time) when you need to plan for the eventualities of producing your (mainly) levels. Ask yourselves the following questions:

Have I a clear idea of the ACTUAL tasks I need to do to complete the level?
Have I clearly planned my TIME to complete them?
Have I ENOUGH research to ensure that my level isn't just a re-hash of what has gone before?
Have I ASKED enough questions of the RIGHT people to ensure that my idea is of a professional standard?
Have I REALLY a clear idea who my actual AUDIENCE are?
Have I got a clear idea what MARKET exists for my idea?
Have I enough understanding of INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS and COPYRIGHT?
Have I really done enough DEVELOPMENT of my idea?

Remember you need to supply for assessment the following:

A rationale, gantt chart and research folder (20% of final module grade)
A design document (or equivalent) that summarizes ALL the pre-production work you've done since September (50% of final module grade)
A presentation where you will PITCH your idea at the panel audience - the aim is not to discuss but CONVINCE us that your idea is well conceived, well planned and achievable. (30% of final module grade)

Imagine the audience of the presentation have money to invest in your idea. A green light from them means you would be paid to produce your project. That is how you should think about your module work. Can I convince others that my idea will work. Be confident, be passionate but ensure you've thought of and covered as many angles as you can.

The next group crit will be on Wednesday 2nd December at 9:30am in C431.

Full-timers will have 10 minutes to demonstrate what they have planned to date and to discuss how they propose to document it into a design document (or equivalent).
IT IS CRUCIAL YOU BRING WORK TO SHOW. This includes gantt charts, visuals, roughs, sketches, thumbnails etc. At this stage you should be in the later stages of finalising your idea and locking the tasks down into your gantt chart to set yourself deadlines.

Part-timers at this last group crit before Christmas you will begin to discuss (with examples) how you're developing the project's rationale.

The Pre-production presentation for full-timers will be on Wednesday 17th December.

If in doubt book a tutorial to talk things over with me (some of you are already doing so). I can see full-timers on Thursdays and Fridays.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Character Modding for UT3 Engine

Hi Everybody...

I've been looking for tutorials using Unreal Tournament 3 Engine... this link will help those who would like to get some information on how to use it as well as Character modding. It's a forum but it has some useful coments and other links to the relevant information you seek. ;o)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Hi everyone. Dave suggested I should post some of my maps on here and show you what I've done. The first one is the floorplan of the mansion the player starts in. The objective of this part is to escape from the building but the doors locked, so the player has to search for the key. Which is where the second picture comes in. This is a puzzle in the library where the player has to move some of the bookcases around in a certain order to uncover the hidden cupboard behind one of the cases containing the key.
Also if you want to try the test version of this puzzle I made in UT2004, you can find it here:
If you have a go let me know what you think

Are you looking to do a character model in your spare time?

I know most of you character moddelers have choosen what you want to do your character on but i thought i'd throw out an idea. I'd like to input into my game a character moddel. Its a fairly complicated one but if you feel like a challenge and want to do a character in your spare time i would love to have a high polly count predator. I have low polly cont predators, aliens and many other models but thought that someone may want a challenge. (may be interested in a human infantry man (based from the film aliens)

If it worked and was a semi good quality i'd use it in my final project, of course i'd give all credit to you. And i don't need any paperwork just the model.

Either way keep it in mind. and if your interested give me a shout either on here or via my email.


My Rationale

Well my first post. To be honest i'm always at a loss as to what to say here so i not really posted anything. But i thought i'd post my rationale as it was writen for the group crit. After speaking to Dave i'm going to change it a load but at least you can see what i done and either use it to help yours or at least help you realise what not to do hehe. Either way enjoy or coment on it.

The Rationale – Brief

• What I will be producing
Aliens vs Predator: Reunion, is a game based in the world of Aliens and Predators. I will be producing the first level of the Predator Campaign. In the pre-production section I will be producing a Level Design Document for the first level of the Predator Campaign. It will contain maps of the ground, a positional layout of all the characters, objects, structures and obstacles. The production section will hold the final product. I will be using the Crytek Engine to produce this level as it is appropriate for both forest scenes and cave like environments. The level will include as much scripting as a non-modified engine will allow. A number of revolutionary concepts are being planned and will go into the Pre-Production section of the work.

• Why
AVP: Reunion gives the player the opportunity to play three very distinct gaming styles as well as utilizing some of the best graphics currently employed in the games industry. To show that a previously established game and film series that revolutionalised the industry at the time of its release can do so again.

Above all I want to follow the intent of this module, I wish to show that I can produce a level design document using either an existing design document or an existing intellectual property. The reason for this is that in the industry I would not likely be producing something completely original initially and even when I get a job I will not be producing a design document I will be taking one that has been produced and I need to prove that I can work from something that has been produced.

• How
Using the Crytek Engine I will produce most of the first level. I will be using the Sandbox2 editor and will be using many of the integrated objects, including buildings and vehicles.

• When
I will have finished the pre-production part of the exercise for the December deadline and will then be able to start on the production of the level after that. The deadline is a date in May that is to be confirmed. I will be producing a schedule based on the pre-production information.

• Who
I will be producing the level based on the pre-production documentation. I will also be involving Alpha and Beta testers in different stages of the production. Alpha testers will be used to test different section of the level to confirm its viability for fun and the intent behind the section.

• Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property Rights is a concern because the level is based in an established universe. IPR is designed to protect the original authors of the work and to ensure that they continue to have a primary say in the work released. As long as I do not publicly release this I will not be breaking any IPR’s. All people who have access to this will have signed a non disclosure document.

• Audience
The audience of this game will include Horror, stalking and hunting fans. As it has 3 very different campains, it will appeal to many different FPS players. With only a few games that are horror based and even fewer that use graphics of such a high level it will appeal to many different types of gamers.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Level design

Hi all,

I came across this level design website for multiplayer maps which also has a PDF document that you can download to your pc.

I hope you guys find this useful.

Tutorial Times

Here are the tutorial times for everyone:

BRING ALL YOUR RESEARCH/WORK TO DATE so we can discuss your scheduling

Wednesday 12th Nov

12:30 Kurzon (done)

Thursday 13th Nov

9:30 Dave Roberts
10:30 Miles
11:30 Karen

Friday 14th Nov

11:30 Jenny (please confirm)

Wednesday 19th Nov

9:30 Dave Jones
10:00 Tony
10:30 Kevin

11:30 Steve
12:00 Scott

Post it to the blog

The links as promised from the last group crit;

random name generator, works brilliantly especially when you need lots of character names but not much time to do it

Warmachine, steampunk table top wargame, very heavy steampunk engineering

hope these help

Monday, 10 November 2008


Further to my previous post, ‘Help would be appreciated’ (8 November 2008). I have been advised that the Max/MSP/Jitter is the initial route to follow, ‘to better understand what I am trying to achieve’, I know that sounds like Zen philosophy but then as my old Da use to say ‘there is no easy way’..

My questions for our little community, does anybody have knowledge of said Max/MSP/Jitter? or know anybody who does? I think I am trying to translate audio input to images, for you lecturers who follow this blog, a contact in the film or audio departments will be followed up.

There is a ton of info on the web and more forums than you can shake a proverbial stick at but being an old fashioned sort, it would be good to have a one on one with someone who has the requisite knowledge, in a place where they always sell coffee. Hopefully they can put me on the right path or provide a route map to the right path (enough of this Zen).

Dave thanks for Stephen Malinowsk email, we have become e buddies. Once I have reached the seventh level of knowledge (I can’t help it), he has promised me unstinting assistance.


Student Forum Agenda

• Present
• Apologies for Absence
• Minutes of Previous Panel
• Matters Arising
• Student Items:-

* Enrolment/Induction (Foundation)
* Tutorials
* Workload/Timetables
* Transition Issues (Intermediate/Honours, if applicable)
* Resources
* Other

• Staff Items
• Any Other Business
• Date and Time of Next Meeting

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Apology + 1 rep down, 1 to go

Just a quick post to apologise to Tony. I said I'd get back to you last Thursday RE your idea. Unfortunately on Wednesday I succumbed after a really intense day to a really bad cold and was off work for the rest of the week. While off I was still going to read your document and feed back to you but unfortunately I couldn't access my work email to download it. Could you post it onto the blog today and I'll feedback as soon as you do. I think the problem is that my password has expired but the wonder of modern technology is that it doesn't tell me or let me update it unless I'm in work on a PC. 21st century, nowhere near.

FOOTNOTE: Cheers Ste, I think due to the apathy that we can take that as your nomination. Hello full-timers, no volunteers? It's your degree too! I don't want to start sounding like a broken record...

Ste, if you start soliciting some feedback from the part-timers for Wednesday. You know the score. Cheers

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Help would be appreciated

Visual Effect

Hi, I would appreciate any help offered, in achieving this visual effect.

Is it possible to do this in movie maker/any other software?

The notes would be imported into movie maker as individual images and at a given point light up. As you can see in the demo at any one time there can be 70 images/notes on the screen.

The images/notes will not be linked to sound but might be at a later date in the form of a split screen.

I know 'music animation machine' gives out free software to create this effect but this does not help me as I need to be able to manipulate the visual aspect of the notes as they travel across the screen.

If movie maker is a no go any suggestions of what software I could use.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Student Rep?

Hello peeps just wondering if anyone else has any suggestions on the Student Rep i think we need to keep the ball rolling on this one as i think Dave needs some kind of answer by monday. So as ive said before i dont mind representing the part - time students, if that is ok with all the part - time students. I spoke to Dave Jones today and he has no objection on that front, what about everyone alse who is part time?

Anyone going to nominate themselves for the full - timers then?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The cognitive style of PowerPoint.

As this module is about a presentation and their is a good chance this will be conducted via PowerPoint, 'The cognitive style of PowerPoint.' is an informative read. The author is Edward R Tufte. Google it, you will find plenty of threads, for those who want to read the booklet (20 pages) contact me. I would post but for copyright, though I could take a picture (pun) see my previous post 'An alternate view of Copyright'.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Group Crit next Wednesday morning

Hi all,

Good to see some movement on the rep front. This is a great moment in time that demonstrates the power of democracy and that extends to you guys. Let's see some consensus democracy at work in electing your reps (nice one Ste and Dave).

Anyway, back to the next group crit.

Room C431 Wednesday 12th November 9:30

10 minutes each person + questions

Full-timers you will present your rationale as to what and why you are doing your project (see below)

Part-timers you will present your idea so far from where your idea was 3 weeks ago based upon the feedback you received


The Rationale - what, why, how, when, who

Your rationale is essentially the brief you are setting yourself with you justifying WHY and HOW you will do the project as well as WHAT you will do, WHEN you will do it, and WHO needs to be involved.

The rationale needs to discuss issues of audience, intellectual property rights and market. Look to your module handbook for this module, to the evidence requirements of what you need to submit for assessment and the learning outcomes that need to be met. The rationale should be between 250-500 words only, and should set in a metaphorical stone, what you've been planning since September.

From this rationale you will in December set your work schedule, which will show how you will manage your time up until May.

Use the blog to post drafts of your rationale and to see how each other interprets this structure. Overall the rationale is in your voice, explaining your project and justifying it based upon audience and market.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Rep - you know you want to

C'mon, don't be shy let's have a volunteer.


Unless you are coming in for a tutorial this Wednesday you are working up your project wherever you wish to work.

For the next group crit Part-time students need to develop their idea further; full-time students need to have their rationale written (the brief). More of that later.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Group Rep and 1st Student Forum

Hi everyone,

Three important things to share:

Numero Uno - Group Rep(s) Needed NOW!

Do you remember my call on week 1 that you guys need to appoint a group rep to represent your year - you guessed it I need at least one plucky volunteer (2 would be great). Ideally 1 rep for full-timers and 1 rep for part-timers. You get your own uniform (I lie), you get access to the student rep VIP secret lounge (another lie) and most importantly you get to have a say on how the degree is run, contribute to acquiring resources and get the respect of your group (truth).

Use the blog to propose/nominate yourselves someone else. I'll need at least 1 rep for next Wednesday's Student Forum (see next point).

Numero Dos - Group Rep(s) need to attend Student Forum

Next Wednesday there will be a student forum held at 1:30 in C431. Held in conjunction with FdA Computer Game Design students it is your opportunity to discuss your needs, gripes, positives and influence the development of the degree. The forum is student-focused and led. Staff team discusses at a future meeting the points raised. This forum happens twice an academic year and is crucial to the degree. Student reps lead the forum but any student can attend. In fact we recommend that you all attend.

Numero Tres - Room change

From now on when we meet for crits or tutorials it will be now in C431. J313 has finally been benched and networked as a teaching room Yay! The next group crit is soon and I'll post that separately. If you think you need a 1-to-1 tutorial sooner i'm free this Thursday or later this Wednesday afternoon. Email me to arrange an appointment time.

That's all for now. Spread the word!

more links

Turbosquid's site was mentioned at the last group crit, ive been checking it for free models to use and its coughed alot of interesting models so far (how many I will be able to use is still undecided)

also on the forum theres job listing if anyone is interested (both paid and free)

alot of the better work costs a fair whack of money however

there's also a great looking free aliens character