17 November 2014

Digital Games: Week 8

Reading week (which consisted of more writing than reading) is finished, the theory assignment has been handed in and I've taken the first three days of this week to shut myself in my room with takeaway and play The Witcher 2. However what was meant to be relaxation soon turned into a semiotic analysis of "Polishness". Theory classes are officially following me everywhere and I love it!

I've recently gotten into the habit of explaining each weeks theory to non-game design friends which has really helped solidify the concepts as well as see its applications beyond the scope of games. This week's field was rhetorics where we practiced in class by analysing a series of game covers. Outside of the class, a friend made me analyse a cover for a TV series I had not seen. Using rhetorics and semiotics I was able to guess the characters and their relationships. It was good practice and proved how important the image is along with the messages it conveys.

This weekend was filled with games in London. The first was an unexpected turn through a wander in Shoreditch where we stumbled into #conkerking, where you held wallnuts on strings and tried to destroy each other. Neither myself nor my partner knew this game but were later told it's a traditional game in the UK. Found in a corner off the side of Brick Lane it was a pleasant surprise that had a flow of people lighting up at the chance of playing games together. Sadly, I lost horribly at this game but nevertheless, it had both of us laughing.

Near Bethnal Green, comedians McNeil and Pamphilon performed their sketches with 8-bit retro games. With the audience, we'd play a series of games such as Mario, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, ClayFighter and Aaaah For the Awesome. We even got to see Videogame Guy play Mario with his hands and Sonic 2 with his feet at the same time and beat both in under 1 minute. Impressive!

In design classes we practiced a bit of MMF2.5. It has been something I have been neglecting these past weeks due to essay work so this class was a good reminder this is something I need to keep practicing. We explored alterable values by creating a system that would recognize if the player is wearing a hat or not and then upgrade the hat.

There was some trial and error in the logic used to make the character wear the hat. I started out with: upon player collision with the hat, the hat would destroy itself and the character animation would change to one with him wearing a hat. After some deliberation, I discovered a more practical way which was: upon player collision with the hat, change the alterable value to 1. When the alterable value is equal to 1, the hat position is equal to 0,5 relative to the position of the player. This worked much better and meant that the player could take off the hat and upgrade it into two spiffy new designs.

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