Monday, 29 December 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy belated Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have a good 2009 everyone!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Student Rep

As no one in the full time community wants to step up to the plate and take on the responsibility of being our collective voice, I propose myself and if elected:

"I will solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of Student Representative of the students on the BA(Hons) Entertainment Media Design (full time) at St Helens College, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend their interests."

Barack Obama will only promise much the same and I am going to do it for nothing!

Visio (yet more file formats)

The pre-production module caused me no end of problems, with different file formats not communicating with each other. As is sods law the true extent of the problem I had only revealed itself at the last moment, as a result I struggled to complete all components of the module.

You should all be aware of the college’s inability to open docx files, in the fullness of time this will be resolved but perhaps not in our time. However the file format that I didn’t see coming was .vsd files, these are created by ‘Microsoft’ Visio. This program was mentioned during one of are get togethers, it is a great program for Gantt charts and brainstorming. My advice if you use it; be aware that it will only open on computers with Visio or a Visio reader, a way around this is to save it as a. jpg, as I have done in posting my Gantt chart and mind map to the blog. The .jpg file is universal and is available in Visio ‘file’, ‘save as’, ‘save as type’.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Drafting an Academic Paper part 2: initial draft

Hi all,

Part two of my academic writing example. Here's the latest draft. It is about 1200 words of actual writing with quotes held in reserve for when I continue with it.

You can now see that I have written the abstract section that contexualises the intent of the paper, and an introduction. The main section has been fleshed out with content. This section is still very rough but is beginning to say what I need to say. It lacks cohesion and clarity that future re-drafts will take care of. The draft ends abruptly due to the time allotted to writing. This is not a flaw nor is it final, just a place from where I shall pick up and continue.

From the comments I've added you can read my thoughts, rationale and future direction. Using the initial structure from my last post I can quickly begin writing again although I know that this will not be until after Christmas (after more reading).

You can see I'm adding my references into the bibliography as I write. This is because I am citing these in the text using the format (SURNAME, YEAR, PAGE(s)) next to a quote or reference. This communicates to the reader that the statement I make, or quote I cite, can be referenced back to source. This is so that the ideas can be traced backwards through the existing scholarly literature. Note how the references are listed. This is using the Harvard referencing system. For a fantastic and easy reference guide visit University of Leeds Library webpage. This will explain things in simple detail for you.

I've mailed this draft to my 3 PhD supervisors for a crit. I have a tutorial meeting with them next Tuesday in Edinburgh and I will post their feedback soon afterwards. I believe it is important to share this with you all so you can appreciate how to structure and write your own research. Please keep sight of the fact that you are at undergraduate level, not postgraduate, and only developing your academic writing. Therefore my writing style will be, by necessity, at a higher level than your own. Use your own 'voice' and Kate can then advise on strategies to help you keep it clear and concise.

Feel free to ask, comment, crit or ignore.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Format Help

Hey guys, im currently making my Pitch Bible using publisher and i need to change the format into a .pdf for submission so if anyone knows how to convert the files can you let us know on here cause it'd be a big help.

Wednesday Presentation

Note to full-timers

Just to remind you that the tone of your presentation is to convince not to explain us. The time to explain what you have done in the pre-production stage was during the group crits. Now is the time to pitch your production idea to the audience, show us what you will do and be positive and confident in your idea. Above all enjoy it!

20 minute presentation + questions.


9:00 - 10:00 Set-up in C431
10:00 - Miles Turner
10:30 - Jenny Swann
11:00 - Break
11:30 - Karen Costello
12:00 - Kurzon Morris
12:30 - Dave Roberts

Please ensure you're all in the room by 9:50 including the audience.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Vote Now!

Hi all, your vote is needed.

Matt Frodsham, a talented graphic design student who worked on the Traceur Tag video, has been shortlisted in a Panasonic design competition. Show your solidarity and help him win. Go to and vote. He has reached the final six entries and deserves the recognition of his abilities with a win.


Drafting an Academic Paper

Well done everyone today, Kate really enjoyed hearing all your dissertation ideas. To help you focus on how to begin writing your dissertation I'll put my money where my academic mouth is and share with you how I develop a researched academic paper.

I have a paper to write for a January deadline as part of my PhD. I gave a presentation of the idea last Tuesday at a conference held in Edinburgh and from that I now need to write a draft. The whole paper is 3000 words and I need to write a 1500 word draft for Fri.

Have a look at the draft and either be inspired/ignore how I've done it. I am using working titles and I have pasted in relevant quotes from the research I've done so far. These quotes are helping me to structure each section. When I come to write the draft I will select a shorter quote from each paragraph to illustrate what I am writing about, or I will summarize the quoted text and synthesise the information with other text.

I will post the drafts as I do them so that you can see how I develop the thesis up to the final submission.

Feel free to post comments/questions and I will try and answer them.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

More Unreal tests

Hi all. Uploaded some more test vids here

Dissertation Group Crit - don't forget, and be on time!!!

Hi all, DON'T forget that Wed afternoon this week is a group crit/presentation to Kate. 10 minutes on where you currently are with your dissertation.

It is formative assessment so be there or we cannot gauge where you are work wise. I'll be there as 2nd line assessor AND if all goes to plan I will be able to introduce you all to our new staff member Dean Betton.

Dean has worked in the games industry at a senior art level for 20+ years in the UK and the USA. He has worked on AAA titles. He will only be meeting and greeting but I hope he can sit in on the crit as an interested observer as he hasn't been officially given a proper start date. He is eager to get started so he is visiting in his own time. That's dedication. :-)

Crit will begin at 2:00pm in C431. Please be punctual so we can all begin on time.

File Formats

Hi all,

Just to confirm the file formats that will be acceptable for assessment purposes.

The files that we are able to open and therefore assess are

Word = .doc or .rtf
Excel = .xls
PowerPoint = .pps or .ppt
Acrobat = .pdf

Please, please, please no WPS, DOCX, XLSX, PPTX or PUB files.

The new Microsoft Office files with X after the file name means older versions of Office cannot open them. Save any files down to a non-X format. (Don't get me started on Microsoft and their consistent non-global, proprietary, domineering approach to sharing of information. Corporate parasitic bastards! (OK rant over)).

Sunday, 7 December 2008

File Formats

Hi Dave,

A couple of questions for you.

For my final submissions (Pre-Production Module), I will be submitting a Microsoft Word document and a PowerPoint presentation. I use Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007,

Microsoft Word 2007 generates a .docx file, this type of file does not open on previous versions of word. To view this type of file on an earlier version of Microsoft Word you need first to convert it to a .doc file. With PowerPoint 2007 I can convert the file so it can be viewed with earlier versions of PowerPoint. The problem with converting these files is that you lose some of the formatting and to my mind lessen the visual impact.

Can you open .docx files? Can you open PowerPoint 2007 files.


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Unreal test vids

Heres a link to the unreal test videos that wouldnt work before.

Will post some more when I've finished recording them