Reflective Journal – Tilesets, James’ Workshops

I really enjoyed working on the Tile Sets and was quite pleased when I was given them to work on. Initially I found it quite hard to visualise how I would make them tileable whilst giving some variety to the tiles so it didn’t look like a massive lattice. However due to the nature of our game it wasn’t necessarily that bad if they did?

I had fun experimenting with the different colours and I got a lot of positive feedback on the process. If I had to do this again however I would probably lay out a variety of different patterns as well as the colour variations for each pattern but that’s something I can work on for the future if I come to do Tile Sets again.

By this point we also had some sort of idea for the colours we would use as we had met earlier and decided on a foreground colour palette but this was open to improvement or variation. I also started to work on the fills for the tiles which gave me a lot of scope to design which I was quite happy about. It was really fun to experiment with the different shapes and look at how I could best tessellate them. However after working on it for a bit I also found it quite difficult to break up the shape so maybe next time I’ll do more research on how old retro games made their tile-able textures?

James’ Workshops as of late have been really informative and useful. The first of which involved going into the Hack Lab and just playing some Games. This actually had a purpose despite sounding not very profitable. We were asked to identify the elements from these games that would have most likely appeared in the Vertical Slice for each game.

It was really interesting to see for example that in Sports Friends that; they use Humour to introduce emotional links between the Player and the Game, and also to introduce core mechanics. This was easy to see in the game and pick out as it made me and many of my course-mates laugh. The game was also simple and visually appealing and the art style was very minimalist which seems to follow current popular trends. The workshop was pretty valuable as it helped us to decide which elements, if we needed to, that could be cut from our game if we fell behind on our Vertical Slice.

The Second workshop was on Interaction Design. James began by giving us a question regarding Red Light timings on a Traffic Light in GTA. Everyone was a little bit confused but none the less we completed the problem using the Binomial distribution he’d taught us earlier in the day. However once he’d gone on to explain the relevance of this exercise it blew my mind. Something as simple as increasing the frequency that a Red Light would change could cause massive Traffic hold ups and clog the city up completely. Which in a game like GTA where running away from the Police and stealing cars is pretty much the core gameplay, having gridlocked traffic doesn’t really aid the player in anyway. However if the Red Lights occur less frequently then you don’t provide the player with enough opportunities to steal cars. It was really eye opening to see how small details like these could influence a game and It was interesting to learn about how we could expand mechanics like the simple Red Light into a focal point for a game.

It was just a great example of the application of Binomial Theorum instead of just talking about how it could be used and I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to more of these types of Workshops! These provide a really useful basis for the future as it helps us to expand our knowledge of mechanics and methods for designing games. Its a unique look at how deeply rooted theories in several areas are applicable to our most popular games.


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