Week Two

With the highly anticipated results day now out of the way I was able to start work on my FMP without distraction. Thankfully, my project now has a new name which means I won’t have to refer to it as “FMP” any more. This new name is Denizen and it’s one which I arrived at shortly after our workshop on branding. Denizen has been used for the title of a game in the past, however, because my project is not commercial and made by a student, I don’t think I will have to worry about copyright infringement too much. I think the new name reflects the themes of my game well and also sounds good.

When I reflect back on semester one, I’m disappointed that I didn’t create a cohesive look for SleepClear. I think my prototypes worked well visually, but overall I feel like the project was lacking an identity. I think my problem was that I was focussing too much on designing a logo which meant that the overall aesthetic suffered slightly. This week, I have attempted to think about Denizen’s design in a more cohesive manner by working on multiple aspects of the design simultaneously, including the name, logo, UI and fonts.

Approaching the design in this way has resulted in an emerging style which features consistent elements that will hopefully develop even further. Despite struggling in the brand workshop, I feel like I’ve managed to take onboard some of the lessons and advice given to me. I still have a lot of work to do in regards to the art style for the game itself, however, I already have some ideas in mind which I plan to explore in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday we had our Reflective Journal lecture in which Adam gave us a presentation on indie games and the history of what the term means. I found the lecture to be a really enjoyable trip down memory lane which offered some great inspiration. One of my earliest memories is of messing around with a ZX Spectrum that my dad had bought for me and my brother for Christmas. Despite already having a NES and a Megadrive, we were being treated to 10 minute load times and ear-piercing sound effects. Needless to say I was more interested in the NES… I still remember the burgeoning shelves full of Spectrum tapes which adorned my dad’s bedroom, the good old days.

Besides a massive nostalgia-fest, the purpose of these Reflective Journal lectures are to help us find interesting topics that we can write about for our Reflective Journal module. The outcome of this module is a 2500 word essay related to our studio practise and another 1500 word journalistic essay about something which we find interesting in games culture. Currently, I have no idea what I’m going to write about. Essay writing is not something I’m particularly fond of, or very capable at, although I have managed to do okay in the past. Considering that I don’t currently have a concrete idea in mind for either essay, I’m planning to figure out at least one subject by the end of next week. My preference is to get essays done as quickly as possible so that I’m not worrying about it down the line when the plumber meets the toad. Speaking of plumbers, on Wednesday night the stopcock in my flat began leaking which meant that I had to stay in on Thursday for the plumbers. Sadly, this meant that I missed a trip to The Design Museum in London.

However, the upside of this was that I had the whole of Thursday to work on Denizen. Even though I’ve been focussing on the aesthetic aspects of Denizen so far, I have also been working in Unity on several manager scripts which are helping me organise my code in a more efficient way. Hopefully, this early design work will help the development go smoother later on. Having developed multiple Unity projects of varying quality, I’m beginning to understand more about what aspects of coding I struggle with and I’m getting better at planning ahead.

Overall, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made this week and I’m looking forward to designing more of Denizen’s art style. The only cause for concern so far is the lack of progress I’ve made on my Reflective Journal essays. My plan is to find at least one subject to write about next week, but hopefully I’ll be able to come up with both. I still have plenty of time, but I’m already feeling eager to get started, just incase.

Week Three