The interview I have chosen is in relation to a typographer called Marcelo Schultz.

http://www.photoshoptutorials.ws/creative-inspirations/graphic-design/interview-marcelo-schultz-drawing-video-game-characters-led-projects-nike/

 

As Marcelo puts it, he first began drawing video game characters just for fun, getting interested in a forum that did competitions for typography until someone found his art and commissioned him. One thing this incredible typographer does is base most if not all of his designs on paper first, appreciating the art of hand drawn old school way of doing things before putting it onto the digital format. He notes that the best client he had was Nike for they gave him full creative freedom with his work, choosing one of three designs and letting Marcelo colour it however he wished, knowing he most likely knew better than anyone what to do.

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A significant question I noticed was this:

For Graphic Designers just beginning, what advice would you give them? How did that advice help you?

“I always say, as designer, every minute you’re not living design, means a minute that you missed to learn. Never back to home after the work and just stay sit on the couch. The better work is a work you do for pleasure. Take that time to work on something, to learn something and improve your skills. That’s what I’ve been doing last years”

Just as Gareth has told us, every drawing not done is a future drawing the dies due to lack of experience and skill, even deep into his career, Marcelo still admits he is improving every year on pretty much every field in his work and from researching I am going to watch how he produces his work and expertise in photoshop on his Vimeo account here: http://vimeo.com/user11394732

It is interesting to see how someone who started off drawing characters for fun and making type for competitions has ended up working for some massive companies, I am certainly going to take his advice to heart.

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What is the difference between Signifiers and Signified?

To begin with, Signifiers are the actual physical object that holds the idea and meaning which is what the sign is. We see these signifiers everywhere, from billboards to internet advertisements. With relevance to gaming, it is important to create a world which is believable and reminds us of what is around us in real life to relate and capture in order for us to be immersed in the gaming world. Small things along a general market street for instance, there are hundreds of signifiers we would be exposed to, fruit stalls being on sale, large mobile ads, fancy typography and hand scrawled offers or events on sheets of coloured paper. 

From the things we have learned to do with Semiotics and how around us there are well made and crudely designed signs, they are all usually made in order for the meaning to be brought across. For example something as small as the colour of a sign can totally change the way we think about what is being presented to us, whether it is a specific colour or something much more elaborate. Another easy to understand sign that might be aimed towards students going to an event, would not be a black and white picture of an adult working. Clever signs will know their target audience, practically everything about the image with have a meaning behind it, why it was placed the way it was. A sign on a bus for instance will travel around entire cities and will usually be one word such as a movie title with a graphic to compliment it, straight to the point of trying to sell the movie.

However there are signs such as graffiti that are meant to symbolize or express rather than advertise. I will use the example of Banksy’s work for this which usually has an underlining statement about our society or government being displayed on a common run down building, away from much attention until it is found. Other graffiti may simply be art from the person or the other more common phrases and names people will spray in areas where they will not get caught.

One of Banksy’s most famous piece, Slave Labour:

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On the side of a Poundland store, it is believed to be a protest against sweatshops being made to produce memorabilia following on from the London riots in 2011. What really strikes me about most of Banksy art is the chosen location, like I said it isn’t exactly somewhere exciting or well known. It is street art with a significant meaning, the addition of some actual British flags being produced by the boy using the sewing machine delivered it’s message to the point the section of the wall has been protected. It is not meant to advertise, but to make us reflect on what is really happening in the world.

 

The majority of marketing campaigns usually involve something for you to remember the company  as a thoughtful reaction, what the company does rather than just a name.

I have picked several various companies, two from television and 3 from the gaming universe. The first being Microsoft, a well known business that only 2 years ago changed it’s logo design to the colourful 4 squared design over it’s older typography.

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The current revamped version (Top) was brought about with the rebirth of the windows operating system, having a more welcome yet nostalgic presence over it’s predecessor “Pacman” design which last from 1987 all the way up until 2012. Despite the small change it has been embraced with the new Windows 8 operating system which has aimed to bridge the gap between work and play when it comes to a personal computer. Having a flashy new design to compliment it’s app based use, bringing the classic windows flag like logo to the up front Microsoft type further reflects where the company is intending to go. With the blocks of colour symbolizes the different processes the computers can do. Red for instance meaning business, green is for gaming, which is where Xbox has adopted their colouring from. All in all the simplified fresh design is recognizable by either the simple logo or type and reminds you of the current GUI of Windows.

My next chosen company is Valve/Steam, firstly is the obvious machinery looking logo of Steam. It could be interpreted as a number of different things but I look at it as part of a locomotive train in the wheels much like the old Steam engines. While the other noticeable one would be the two Valve logos which have changed and occur in the opening titles of most of Valve’s games, this being the two “Valve-men” that also had the companies motto of “Open your mind, Open your eyes”

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The top two being the motto I mentioned with the two actors having a Valve in either the mind or eye to visually show the meaning. All the while the lower steam logo has become a well known image among computer gamers and has kept to it’s simple and iconic design. The second ‘Valve’ in head has become a short video during the opening of a game for Valve made games, where the model gradually turns around with a sound clip before flashing to black. This was most likely filmed and edited and despite it being somewhat creepy and mysterious, it certainly makes you open up your mind as to what it could mean.

One of the other renowned idents is that of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, or the MGM lion at the beginning of their respected films. The familiar roaring lion didn’t always roar but as soon as audio came to the movies in 1928 the MGM Leo the Lion would be the first thing you see at the start of any MGM production.

A video showing the first showing of the lion from 1921 all the way to the 2008 version can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmvYks2kvFo

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Though the roars have changed over time, the MGM lion is something most people would know, much like any large movie production such as Universal or Columbia Tristar. The MGM logo is a short video recording of the lion roaring in the frame of the still logo, the wording around the lion means Art for Art’s Sake which for the movie industry, revolves around art in general.

Comedy Central has a number of animated adverts which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqJS4nGhyms

Using the logo in a variety of different real life situations and locations, it is mostly about the logo taking up or destroying part of a city, as well as dropping in on a well known site in London. One thing I noticed in particular is that the logo by the end appears to be weathered, showing signs of dirt and scratches over it’s travels. Another scene shows it lighting up in a neon fashion much like a comedy show does. Turning a simple logo into more of a trickster personality to show what will be on the channel itself.

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More will be added

Casual vs Hardcore

Part of a light introduction back to the week was discussing the controversial topic of the idea of Casual Gamers versus the more Hardcore kind. Some may base this more on the kind of game, for instance most First Person Shooters would be considered to be of the hardcore variety given it’s nature.

However with further discussion and my own beliefs with casual and hardcore, I think it is a combination of time and the individual. Keeping in mind gamers play for very different amount of times and this is one of the things that we can use to define who is a hardcore gamer. However this is where the individual comes in, who is playing and what are they playing?

For example if someone player a first person shooter game for an hour a week, would they still be a hardcore gamer just because they are playing a specific kind of game? No, a person who plays every other hour of the day to play a mobile app game, is it still a casual game, or gamer? Again no, though does defining people into these groups even mean anything?

What is the difference between two casual gamers and two competitive hardcore players too? Since it’s easy enough to group a number of people together as a statistic and label them as ‘the same’. For instance a fairly high competitive game called Starcraft 2 has a massive community full of tournaments and high skilled competitive play, but I have only ever layed the campaign and have no interest in becomming part of that ‘hardcore’ community.

As much as I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that, I feel like we were given this topic to get us thinking about who to appeal to when it comes to making games. How have games already done this? I would use the ever in/famous Call of Duty franchise which on the one side has a large major league gaming community, while on the other it has developed a more social zombie mode for the casual players to enjoy.

Another example would be mostly any ‘casual’ made game and put a friends leaderboards into it. Since I wouldn’t call myself a user of casual games played on iPhones and Pads, I do know friends who have dedicated a decent amount of time just to appear at the top of a list of people, even when the game involves simply pressing the screen to make a bird fly slightly to pass an infinite amount of barriers.

In conclusion, I think games which are being developed are looking to bridge the gap between casual and hardcore users. A way that has been to identify casual and hardcore gamers has been through the Bartle Test, which has a number of questions to determine the way you play. The results I got was an Achiever, which from what I would say, is a fairly balanced combination of Casual and Hardcore which did not surprise me. I have for instance played games to completion just to see a little notification on my gaming profile that I have accomplished everything. Though for Achiever’s like me, and any kind of gamer for that matter, it can and has been exploited in order for consumers to be lured into purchasing any type of game.

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Dota 2 A-Z Challenge

But not quite, instead I’m going to set myself a drawing project and draw every hero from Dota 2 in alphabetical order. I will be scanning the images in starting Friday where I will post the first three.

Combining getting my butt to draw some stuff as well as my favourite game!

Here is a view of all the characters which can be set into alphabetical order.

http://www.merlinidota.com/catalog/heroes/

Abaddon, Alchemist and Ancient Apparition will be up on Friday.

While I intend to finish the house I started, I have found something that I want to incorporate to my concept art design and generally giving me a better understanding of this 3D software.

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This should roughly be the end result of what I will be creating, the tutorial I have found goes over creating objects, fitting them together and eventually creating something as detailed as this. I am doing this so I will be able to create my own designs.

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Using Sketch up for my preferred 3D software until I become better in 3DS Max, I created a side shop, using a texture and Photoshop I have started to make a still 2D graphic of what the end product should look like when I create it in 3DS Max.