All the work under this section, is research based work.
Importance of Research
Primary and secondary
Primary research is something you go out and research for yourself, as an example pictures could be something you go out and look for, Pictures of architecture like castles. These can also be surveys or anything to do with the community which you have gotten yourself.
Secondary research is when you use other peoples primary or secondary research for your own work. You would have to reference them to show where you’ve gotten the information from. These can also be pictures and surveys as an example.
Tools and methods for research
- Camera: Taking pictures and videos of locations which you want to emulate or base around of.
- Survey: Asking people certain things with questions which can either be quality research or qualitative research.
- Pen and paper: Allows you to freely sketch and draw concept art for the project you are working on.
What skills are needed
- Camera: Being able to compensate for lighting and different events and also being able to use the camera itself.
- Survey: Being able to construct a good survey for you to get the information you require.
- Pen and paper: Drawing skills would be needed as it would need to be accurate to what you’re trying to draw.
People do this to understand the audience within their section of work/media. This allows developers understand who they are making their work for, this includes ages and genders as an example. This just lets the developers to get to know you and the people whom you may associate with you to entice you to buy their game as an example.
Qualitative Research and Quantity Research
Qualitative research is the focus of a more detailed answer which can pin point certain things which you may want to know. This allows and more personal and lengthy response.
Quantity research is more of a number type of research, this could be simple answers such as agree and strongly disagree which can give a close minded opinion of people. This is a lot quicker and more people will be willing to do these as it is effortless.
This research lets you see what people are into and what is selling well. Publishers will use this to time their product well enough so it’s not put on sale on the wrong time as well as to plan what they may be making because of the market. As an example currently people are wanting World War games and publishers may want to make them to please the huge amounts of people.
This goes into more detail, this research allows the developer to see what other people have done for this type of game as an example. They may use this to differentiate themselves from the rest of the games and have a unique selling point.
Why does the game industry use research
It allows them to get a precise and accurate understanding of a certain thing which you may be researching. It can be from location to even a certain old model of car. Research is needed in anything you may want to do in the games industry. As an example a development team is working on a map located in New York, but the team is based in England. They could send over a staff of people to take photographs, sketches, videos and audio of New York to use as reference and research.
How do game developers research for a game
They can do many things such as look online for places they want to do or even go there them selves. Larger companies would be more able to get many more first hand research as they could afford it such as flying a entire crew to a location.
Larger companies may have more contacts which can lead them in the correct direction if they need something specific which could be absolutely anything, as an example if the development team needed a sound of a tank firing they may call up someone who could sort them out with a active tank.
Hansel and Gretel research Plan 1.1
I will be making a research plan about the kinds of research tools and methods i could use for my Hansel and Gretel project. I will be talking about primary, secondary, tools and methods.
What research tools are there?
There are many tools that could be used for this project, I’ll list some and explain why they could/will be important for the work.
Camera/Photography (Primary) can be used to capture certain pictures to help give a visual representation to the person who is working on the project.
Video Camera/Videography (Primary) can be used to capture things in motion, giving a sense of time and movement to the person who is working on the project.
Internet (Secondary) can be used to research objects or text from other people or sources.
Experience (Primary) is something you do to get a feeling of how it’s like, It’s a personal feeling towards the certain area/object.
What research methods are there?
Sketches (Primary) can be used to get familiar and develop and understanding with the object/area you are researching.
YouTube (Secondary) can be used to watch other peoples expressions on the thing you are working on or could even look at guides to help aid you in the project.
Google Maps (Secondary) can be used to get a understanding of an area which may be out of your range and allows you to pan around and look at the surrounding location (360° Imagine)
Why/Where/When are they used?
Why? They’re used to develop a understanding and knowledge in what you’re making to keep it authentic and reasonable. These will help you create and imagine new things and come up with your own similar creations.
Where? They’re used during creation or even writing phases of the project. You could make an experimental version of your work to give an idea of what the final project could be. Sometimes you can’t reach an area and you would use the internet to access it, but if you can then go and document it. It’s always best to get primary research.
When? They’re used in the pre-production phase which is also known as planning, in this time you would compile all the research you’ve collected or made.
What is the benefit of each tool?
Camera/Photography is one of the best ways to capture a image from the real world into digital form and have it saved for you to always go back and look at it. You can use these to reference the things you’re working on, in my case I could take pictures of different trees to make my own 3D model based of the pictures with accuracy. You can use pictures to be accurate and not get any details wrong (This is important on some models like guns as an example)
Video Camera/Videography is the best way to capture things in motion, this could be body movements or even how the trees sway in the wind. Videos can be looked at frame by frame, so you could use this to your advantage if you’re trying to do a 360° video of an object for a 3D model which you could look back at the footage and look at the individual frames in detail.
Internet is one of the quickest and most accessible way to get secondary resources. You can quickly look at videos, images or even paragraphs which may help you. You can also share your research online to help others if you wanted to do that. I could use the Internet for making 3D models of Gingerbread men.
Experience can be many things, from reading the Hansel and Gretel book to playing a game which is based in a Forrest. Emotions and feelings created by these things can influence you to create these things. You could even go to a forest/woods yourself and experience the feeling and the sounds of the area, which will help you create a unique feeling. This can make you feel perspective and scale of the area, and put things more into reality than imagination.
Which is the best for the project and why?
I would say for this project the Internet would be the best for the project, as all of the content is there and I can create experiences by reading the information or even the actual book online. More things are accessible online then any other way. But, the internet won’t be all that I would need. Experience is another one which can give you a sense of scale and feeling towards the project, you will get a first hand knowledge of this and it is primary research.
Specific Primary and Secondary sources?
I will now mention a couple of primary and secondary sources which are important to the project in my opinion and I would be using these the most.
- Experience, I could go out to a local woods to feel and immerse myself. I would get a feel of the scale of the woods and overall get a better idea of the woods.
- Pictures, I could take pictures of the local trees around my area or plant life within the woods.
- YouTube, I could look at videos of other peoples experiences in woods.
- Google maps, I could look at multiple and further woods and even forests from the comfort of my own home.
Secondary Research Foliage 2.1
I will be identifying different foliage from different games which were made in different times to show how foliage has dramatically improved since the start of games.
Age of Empires 2 (2D Foliage) 1999
Age of Empires 2 has to be my favorite RTS (Real time Strategy) game because of how simple it looks but at the same time how complex the game mechanics can be. Although we aren’t speaking about the actual game but instead the foliage inside of the game.
I would say that at that time they were good. The trees has complex detailing for such a low resolution game, you could even tell apart different trees from each other like Oak trees and Spruce tress. The wheat looks plain though, there isn’t much detail to it, The only way you could of told it was wheat is when you place the wheat down in game. All the foliage is static and has no movement to it, they’re all sprites. The trees in this game are needed to be used to build structures, they can also be used to trade with other players or a merchant. They can be chopped down and be left as stumps.
The games foliage for the time is amazing and very detailed for a game its resolution, there is a remastered version which got scaled up and now can be played in High Definition. They did spend a lot of time on their foliage and it’s very obvious that they did.
Terraria (2D Foliage) 2011
I chosen a modern 2D pixel foliage game for my next comparison to show the differences between the older and newer games and how foliage has adapted and developed, or has it? And also as I chosen a RTS for my last game I wanted to change it up slightly and switch to a platform sandbox game which is one of my favorites as well.
Compared to Age of Empires 2 the foliage detail has dramatically decreased, but it seems like this game was following more of a cartoon art style which is completely fine. The trees has a certain look to them and can be easily identified as a tree. The vines also fit the art style they’re going for, it’s really simple and clean. There are random grass foliage in random places, mainly in saves in shade. All foliage in this game can be interacted with, for example trees and vine can be chops to get materials from them.
The graphics since Age of empires haven’t improved, but it has took on a art style which is a friendly and simple style. The trees look very bland and don’t have much too them in the sense of detail. Although everything looks like it’s suppose to has a sense of purpose within the area and game.
Far Cry (3D Foliage) 2004
Moving onto 3D games and my first choice was the original Far Cry. This game was stunning in the amount of foliage in the game and how great it looked like for its time.
The graphics for a 2004 game were absolutely stunning, the amount of detail and colour into every tree and plant was amazing, they also blew with the wind and weren’t static. They had motion and made the game feel alive and real. Although you can’t interact with the foliage in this game, they were there for only a visual effect and didn’t serve like a game mechanic like in the 2D games that I mentioned before. Now we are also introducing dynamic lighting which cast shadows on the floor and sides facing away from the sun. So the game must adapt its engine for it to be able to do that.
For it’s time the foliage in this looks to be very well done, the fact that they aren’t just sprite and that are static but in fact 3D models that react to lighting and have movement to it. The textures do seem slightly outdated and the lighting isn’t that good and could be updated
ArmA 3 Apex (3D Foliage) 2016
ArmA 3 has mainly desert maps which have some foliage but it’s nothing great. Although the ArmA 3 Apex DLC offers a Jungle map which is filled with stunning shrubby and trees with great detail.
The game is tries to mimic the real world as much as it can, it tries to be realistic with lighting, time, sound and physics. Everything works like it would do in real life. The foliage is interactive in a way where you can run over bushes to flatten them and roll over grass to also flatten them. Tanks or big trucks can knock down small or even large trees. They all have movement in it and none are static; they try to simulate the movement of the wind. Weather can also affect the foliage in many ways, leafs can fall from trees and when its raining it can prevent people under it getting wet. The lighting has improved vastly from Far Cry as it casts shadows onto anything that’s under it or facing away, the textures are more updated and visually impressive.
The game is Realistic and impressive. The visuals on the foliage are amazing and the fact they can be interacted with is stunning. Your player has a impact on the environment and can be used to your advantage. It’s a huge improvement from Far Cry and with this you can tell how much the game industry grew and how powerful the engines became.
arma3.com (2016) Available at: https://arma3.com/apex (downloaded: 10/11/2016)
WeFailAtGames (2012) Let’s Play Far Cry 1 – Part 1 Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l_V1mlOn34 (downloaded: 10/11/2016)
kinguin.net (2012) Let’s Play Far Cry 1 – Part 1 Available at: https://www.kinguin.net/category/21953/age-of-empires-ii-hd-the-forgotten-expansion-the-african-kingdoms-expansion-steam-gift/ (downloaded: 10/11/2016)
WeFailAtGames (2012) Let’s Play Far Cry 1 – Part 1 Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l_V1mlOn34 (downloaded: 10/11/2016)