14 11 2012
Watch out for these young game developers!
The ITGM Class, Fall 2012 at SCAD Hong Kong. The Mini Game Developers Conference.
Thank you to our industry guests: Adam & Aime, Michael, Slimane, Martin & Alex, ATung, Roy, Po Chi, Martin, and Ingo.
06 11 2012
These recommendations aim at assisting parents concerned with Internet apps and games by providing answer to frequently asked questions, general concerns and provide some references. We are happy to share an opinion And welcome your feedback. Ultimately, you, the parents, are the authority on what is good for your children.
Internet applications evolve very fast. It is important to stay current. Understand the intention of each application. Read the application documentation and the use cases, which might be different than the intention. We would do the same about food that our children are consuming in the context of food technology.
Social media: understand the intention of Facebook (gossip), side benefits and shortcomings. It is for 13 year-olds and older. You might know that kids have multiple accounts (can you guess why?), so friending them (to spy) on them doesn’t work. They might feel the same way about your participation in their online community as you might have felt about your parents following you when you went out to visit your friends as a child. By the way, it is incredibly easy to have a message read outside of the circle of friends, so be careful in what you post in your children’s walls (normally you worry about what they post, but I recommend that you worry about what you post as well). Being embarrassed socially online or offline can position a child as a target for bullying. Your children’s generation is online. They are developing a different and generally helpful set of skills to face the world that we have borrowed from them.
Games: Think of film genres and ratings… Games also have genres and ratings. “Watch” the game (you might be impressed and entertained) as if you were watching TV. Research games that your children play and understand the genre of particular games of interest. You can quickly become an expert in almost any subject with a web browser. Genres include: adventure, simulation (management simulation games are very useful, such as Lemonade Tycoon), role playing, sports, puzzles, racing (careful with many as they tend to be for adults -Mario Kart is generally ok for many reasons), combat, first-person shooters (violent), educational (mainly boring, so choose appropriately), platformers (such as Mario), social (mainly on Facebook -gameplay is poor as they are aimed at social interaction, not gameplay). Almost anything designed by Nintendo is well positioned to address your concerns. Games designed by Nintendo are not the same as games designed by others and published by Nintendo. Consoles are much more secured and will address many of your concerns than an open Internet enabled PC. Generally, the Microsoft XBox and Sony PlayStation consoles are for an older audience than the Nintendo consoles. A quick search online will help you choose the appropriate platform. Here are some games than some of the parents asked about:
PC: Minecraft, Civilization, Roller-coaster Tycoon, Lemonade Tycoon, Starcraft
Violence: Just like with film and TV, and other products, some games are reflective of historic war situations (Call of Duty), gangster wars (Sleeping Dogs set in Hong Kong), street crime (Grand Theft Auto). Read reviews and ratings. Just like we would not let a 3 year-old, for example, watch Saving Private Ryan or Die Hard, avoid exposing your children to violent games as you would do in the case of film and TV and event violent printed media. Games are media.
It is better to embrace than to resist technology. The backlash that you feel about games in general, should be directed at a genre of games, namely, violent games. By the way, the movie The Avengers by Marvel Comics is (very) violent, and yet I haven’t heard from a parent who objects to this movie. A generation ago, many parents felt the same way some of you might feel about games today but about comics and certain magazines, let’s not forget MAD. The interactivity of a game is generally more useful and satisfying than the passivity of TV. We just need to encourage the right games and a positive attitude towards games technology because of its usefulness in a competitive world.
30 10 2012
26 10 2012
SCAD Game Development students discuss with designers Martin and Alex from Phone Joy Solutions Limited (http://www.phonejoy.us), a start-up company specializing in console quality gameplay experience for mobile phones through innovative controller design and software. Martin and Alex showcased early concepts of some of their products and also demonstrated compelling gameplay on the iPad and Galaxy devices with their controller for commercial games such as GTA III, Shadowgun, Samurai II, Riptide, Sonic CD and Zenonia 4. It is great to see innovation in this aspect of the industry. Most studios are focusing on software and accepting somehow that it is ok to hinder the gameplay experience by our thumbs on the screen of mobile devices. Martin and Alex don’t think we should compromise gameplay experience just because mobile phones are smaller than their console cousins. I believe that their work opens interesting possibilities for designers and lowers the barriers for great gameplay designs on mobile phone to rival the console experience.
26 10 2012
How does one design a transcendental game? Here is an example of a hugely successful game. More successful than any Facebook, iPhone, Xbox, PlayStation game combined. Only time will tell which games will survive for generations.
“References to a game called xiangqi date back to the Warring States Period; according to the first century BC text, Shuo yuan (說宛), it was one of Lord Mengchang of Qi‘s interests. Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou once wrote a bookXiang Jing in AD 569. It is believed to have described the rules of an astronomically themed game called xiangqi or Xiangxi (象戲). The word Xiàngqí 象棋 is usually translated as “elephant game” or “figure game”, because the Chinese character 象 means “elephant” and “figure”; it originated as a stylized drawing of an elephant, and was used also to write a word meaning “figure”, likely because the two words were pronounced the same. But the name can also be treated as meaning “constellation game”, and sometimes the xiàngqí board’s “river” is called the “heavenly river”, which may mean the Milky Way. For these reasons, Harold James Ruthven Murray, author of A History of Chess, theorized that “in China it [Chess] took over the board and name of a game called 象棋 in the sense of “Constellation Game” (rendered by Murray as “Astronomical Game”), which represented the apparent movements of naked-eye-visible astronomical objects in the night sky, and that the earliest Chinese references to 象棋 meant the Astronomical Game and not Chinese chess”. previous games called xiàngqí may have been based on the movements of sky objects. However, the connection between 象 and astronomy is marginal, and arose from constellations being called merely “figures” in astronomical contexts where other meanings of “figure” were less likely; this usage may have led some ancient Chinese authors to theorize that the game 象棋 started as a simulation of astronomy.” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi)
Thank you for our hosts at Menfond. SCAD ITGM students experienced a textured screen and a physical 3D screen as part of the demonstration.
03 10 2012
Third year class:
Second year class:
Ai Fang’s: http://blog.scad.edu/aiflim20/
23 09 2012
23 09 2012
In the first week of a third year class, students saw programming for the first time and working with their instructors they completed their first assignment, a challenging one: a demonstration of an Atari game vintage 1980s!!! Here are screen shots of their work. The students demonstrated how design thinking and some technical knowledge can recreate work that took months a few years ago. Thank you to graduate student Melissa for the thoughtful and expert advice to the students. See if you recognize the screen shots. Students also discussed game design with designer Ingo Lau and discuss his latest augmented reality and card games.
17 09 2012
Sleeping Dogs review
by Ingo Lau
Sleeping Dogs is an open world undercover cop video game inspired by a famous Hong Kong movie – Internal Affairs (this is confirmed by the developers), it is a GTA like game but the player plays as a undercover cop instead of gangster or mafia.
The gameplay of Sleeping Dogs is more or less a mixture of many different games, you can feel different types of game systems merged into an open world game.
Here are some references examples:
Basic gameplay: GTA
Counter attack: Batman Arkham Aslam
Free run: Assassin’s Creed
Third person cover shooting: Gears of War
Gun fight in the car: Saint Rows
Car melee battle: Wheelman
Escaping from cops: Need for Speed
Differences between GTA and Sleeping Dogs:
In short, Sleeping Dogs is a game that focuses on multiple combat systems, you can perform moves that do more damage, counter enemies at the right timing, find cover and shoot, you can even melee with your car.
However, you will not find many upgrades or variation of equipment in this game and the map is too small for exploration, although they have plenty of mini games and collectables, the replayability is lower compare to GTA, but you will feel more action packed in Sleeping Dogs.
In general, the gameplay is not super innovative or stunning, you see many things that existed in older games long time ago, but they did merge the systems quite properly, you will not find the control very weird or hard to manage, it does not have gameplay that surprise you, but it is very firm and solid.
The story is not creative, not surprising and pretty old school.
The protagonist, Wei Shen, is an undercover cop. He was sent to the gang “Sun On Yee”.
It is pretty funny there is only one time the gangster question whether Wei is a cop. Other than that, 90% of the story talks about how well Wei fight for his “brothers”(The bad guys).
It is never explained why the opposite gang “18K” always attacks Sun On Yee.
The story ends without any surprise, the senior officer who sent Wei suddenly betrays Wei, becomes a murderer and gets caught.
It brings out a clear message to the players, the new generation of gangster has changed. They no longer follow the rule of gangster. 18K killed the member of Sun On Yee during a wedding ceremony, they even started a massacre in a hospital because they just want to kill one guy, so don’t join them, it’s very bad. (Ok, that was a joke.)
The theme is very well presented, the game is pretty much a remake, or you can even call it a sequel of an old open world cop game “True Crime”, I played True Crime 1 and it was awesome, but the True Crime 3 project was on hold and renamed to Sleeping Dogs.
The environment is full of Hong Kong style, the Hong Kong culture is presented quite well in the game, especially the foul language part. As a local citizen from Hong Kong, I can see the developers did a LOT of research. The gang name is actually based on real gang in HK, I wonder if this is going to make them angry. (The only thing is actual Hong Kong cops and gangsters won’t mix English and Cantonese when they swear.)
No doubt the Hong Kong audiences love the game, but I was surprised how well it did overseas, Hong Kong is a tiny place with its own unique culture and there is no guarantee the western audiences will like it, so if anything goes wrong, it is likely to miss a large amount of worldwide audiences, but Sleeping Dogs overcomes this risk with proper promotions and marketing.
The theme becomes the most successfully factor of Sleeping Dogs, True Crime 1 was great but it’s too old, True Crime 2 sucked, True Crime 3 never made it and GTA dominated during the period, people are bored of the gangster type of open world game and missed the cops theme.
People want olds stuff/classic games once a while, it’s a natural cycle of games. They brought the undercover cops back and it worked.
Although the story and gameplay are not surprising, Sleeping Dogs came out at the right timing with the right theme and this ensure its success.
02 08 2012
This talk is about creative careers and businesses as alternatives for education and business.
See either link for more information:
30 05 2012
Julian, Kevin, Henry, and Melissa made their games industry debut by introducing their iPad/iPhone games to a group of professionals.
Thank you to our industry guests Diana, Georgy, Raine, Kennis, Azure, Shuxian, Marco, John, Michael, Philip, Thomas, Leo, Ingo for all their feedback and support and for playing the students’ games!
30 05 2012
A Mind-Blowing UI That Could Finally Make Group Work Intuitive
by John Pavlus, May 29, 2012
“THIS EXPERIMENTAL APP FROM THE MIT MEDIA LAB COMBINES GESTURAL INTERFACES, AUGMENTED REALITY, COLLABORATIVE WORKSPACES, AND GENERAL SCI-FI AMAZINGNESS.”
29 05 2012
Makey Makey, A Kit for Connecting Everyday Objects to a Computer
By EDW Lynch on May 28, 2012
“Makey Makey is an easy to use kit for converting everyday objects into computer input devices (video). Bananas, Play Doh, people, and other conductive objects can be connected to the Makey Makey board via alligator clips. Once connected, the objects become touch sensitive and can be used to do anything a keyboard or mouse can do. Makey Makey was developed by MIT Media Lab students Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum. They are now raising funds on Kickstarter in order to mass produce Makey Makey.”
Twitter Games To Make Tweeting Fun
10 Real-Time Twitter Games You Can Enjoy With Just a Tweet
28 04 2012
This is a remarkable story about Caine Monroy, a 9-year-old game designer. Notice three key game design principles: Simplicity, consistency, fairness. Best intentions combined with a believable world that suspends disbelief in which the player understands why things are happening.
See the story by Mark Frauenfelder in boinggoing.net, April 9, 2012, and the short film by Nirvan Mullick, who discovered Caine:
SCAD Style begins today
SCAD Atlanta, Lacoste, Hong Kong, Savannah and online
Join design leaders in architecture, fashion, sustainability and more as SCAD celebrates style. Visit scadstyle.com for a complete schedule as well as select live streamed events.
Industry executive John Tsien visits SCAD students to talk about game design principles. Thank you, John!
Legendary martial arts actor and creativity coach, Roy Horan, visits game development students at SCAD HK. When Roy wasn’t in the set with Bruce Lee and others, he was thinking about creativity. His shares his life work on this subject through his research, workshops, and electronic tools, http://www.innov-ea.com/
With Roy (centre) and Ron Wilcox (right)
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05 04 2012
“The legendary game designer Sid Meier once defined a game as, simply, ‘a series of interesting choices.’ Maybe that’s the secret genius of stupid games: they force us to make a series of interesting choices about what matters, moment to moment, in our lives.”
29 03 2012
SCAD HK students held an exchange session with games industry executives Michael and Gerry. Visiting from Austin TX, Michael is responsible for the platform for more than two thirds of iPhone games and Gerry had global responsibility for Call of Duty at Activision, among other career experiences. The exchange of ideas about game design was memorable. Henry, Julian, Kevin, and Melissa participated in the exchange and added Michael and Gerry to their network of contacts.
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See the moving photo on Viddy.com
15 03 2012
I recently met Prof. Sugata Mitra at the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong, http://21clhk.org/. He was on leave at MIT from Newcastle University when he visited us. As introduction to his philosophy and his work, here is his talk at TED Global in Oxford in 2010, http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
Prof. Mitra highlights Inquiry Based Learning (EBL) as a powerful tactic for Outcome Based Education (OBL), which is the focus of many educational institutions. For me, the technique works particularly well for learning computer art tools since tools change too often, are not user friendly, and are too complex in general. Students seem to intuitively know how to learn any tool based on case studies presented to them as outlined by Prof. Mitra.
In Hong Kong, Prof. Mitra also outlined in two minutes the history of education and highlighted the transition from inquiry based learning, which was focused on finding answers to questions for which we didn’t know the answer, into learning based on teacher delivery. He attributed this change to Plato and the equalization principles of education to the Victorians. The issue at hand is that, clearly, today’s students don’t want to be identical to each other and the learning tools at their disposal are tremendously powerful. Prof. Mitra challenges educators with his argument that some key skills become obsolete through the ages and identifies that we are in such an age.
As a side note, he is also the inspiration for the movie Slumdog Milionaire:
13 03 2012
Eddy Wong, a pioneer of computer art in Hong Kong hosted SCAD HK students. Eddy founded his studio in 1990 and has since built a renowned creative, technical and production powerhouse that employs many talented artists and designers in Hong Kong in the creation of high quality 3D movies and visual effects for the global market. Students watched the studio reel and listened attentively to a presentation of the comprehensive film and television production services, including concept, copy-writing, story-boarding, art direction, casting, location and studio filming, editing, visual effects, animation, programming, online internet design and digital cinema mastering. We thank Eddy for being such as lively and wonderful host.
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12 03 2012
SCAD HK MINI GDC – MARCH 2012
To coincide with GDC 2012, we hosted our own session at SCAD HK. It was a great exchange between SCAD students and games professionals. Game development students, Kevin, Julian, and Henry, presented their papers on the future of gameplay design and a graduate student, Melissa, introduce her new AR based game for the iPad. Thank you to all participants! We appreciate your participation, and in particular, we thank those of you who came from out of town for our MINI GDC. Participats included game designers and studio executives from studios in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Sweden, and Holland.
Participants: Martin, Ayesha, Podge, Maggie, Kennis, Azure, Ingo, Adam, Shuxian, Kevin, Julian, Henry, Melissa.
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