Posts Tagged 3d game design
It’s a video-game console that isn’t made by Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft. So who would take on the task (and risk) of building a game machine that would compete with those big three?
Julie Uhrman is a former executive with Gamefly. As a veteran of the video-game industry, she saw an opportunity to launch a new game console with the Android operating system as its backbone. Julie started an OUYA Kickstarter page to raise the money. The results? After raising more than $8 million, the OUYA will be available in June. (Preorder the OUYA.)
OUYA – The Game Console That Can
When game developers got their OUYA dev kits, OUYA launched a competition (or what they called a “a 10-day game-jam”) with Kill Screen called CREATE to challenge dev teams to produce games for the $99 console. In addition to $45,000 in prizes, developers were incentivized by the possibility of creating an OUYA launch game. There are 166 OUYA entries now waiting to see who gets picked.
For gamers, OUYA marks a great opportunity to get content that isn’t routed through a sometimes cumbersome and demanding approval system. At the same time, don’t look for the first batch of Ouya games to be on the same level as Skyrim. Instead, based on the 166 entries in the CREATE challenge, the games will be more along the lines of Angry Birds or Minecraft. Considering trends in the games business of gameplay over graphics, that’s not a bad thing.
OUYA’s developer pool also includes companies like Capcom and Square Enix, who are expected to bring franchises like Street Fighter and Final Fantasy to the platform. OUYA also marks an opportunity for game developers to really push the envelope with a massive selection of games. (OUYA’s distribution model is said to look more like the App Store.)
Developing for Android
OUYA promises a variety of games, including dungeon crawlers, action RPGs, brawlers, 4-player shooters, TCGs, platformers, word games, puzzlers and “some other cool stuff we just can’t put in a category.”
At DMA, we’re pretty excited to get our hands on the system and have already preordered ours. Be sure to check back in June when we start putting the system through its paces.
If you’re wanting to learn how to develop Android games, you’ve picked the right game platform; Android powers millions of smartphones–and now a game console–and continues growing in popularity.
Spending a week this summer with Digital Media Academy can put you on the fast track to becoming a game developer. DMA offers more than a dozen game design camps including Android game development. OUYA looks like it could take a serious run at Nintendo and Microsoft. So hopping on Android development now could help bring you to the front of the pack.
“Digital Media Academy fulfilled my passion for creating video games.”
What do you want to be?
“Ever since I was seven years old, I’ve wanted to be a video game designer. When I grow up, I want to work for Blizzard Entertainment. It’s my favorite game-development company and I have wanted to work for them since I was very young.”
What did you learn at DMA?
“At DMA, I learned how to do 3D modeling using Autodesk® Maya®, and used that skill to make a model of a StarCraft II® Void Seeker. My model was very detailed and intricate, and took a lot of work to make it look good. One of the cool things I learned (and which was vital to completing my project) was that I could model only half of the spaceship and then use the mirror feature to finish the other half, which I could do because my model was symmetrical.”
How did DMA inspire you?
“DMA inspired me to become a game developer by giving me an environment in which I could learn the skills required and get a head-start.”
What was your most memorable camp moment?
“I really enjoyed working in class and then getting to compare my work with my classmates. That allowed me to see what other designers did and share with them what I did, and maybe help them a little on part of their work or get an idea for something cool that I could use in mine.”
For gamers who want to go behind the scenes and learn how to design their very own video game, Digital Media Academy’s video game design camps can turn players into creators.
DMA offers a variety of cool locations on North America’s greatest college campuses and professional instruction from instructors who have actually worked in the video game industry. The world’s best tech camp by Worth.com in 2011, DMA delivers a world-class experience.
What can you expect from a Digital Media Academy Instructor?
What are the summer camps like?
As a regular instructor for several companies around the San Francisco Bay Area, I believe it is important to ensure that every class I teach is different from the last. Even if I teach 5 consecutive classes on CSS, each class has a completely different set of students, each with different skill levels and interests. In many training centers, often classes really do end up exactly the same. Many instructors I have worked with simply plod along, following the curriculum word by word, line by line. No deviations, and no excitement. Of course, as a student you can ask questions and take advantage of their expertise in the field. But that experience doesn’t make for an interesting class. You may learn the topic, but it’s not fun. Read more
Game Design by Vince Matthews
Video games have significantly grown in scope over the past ten years. Games that once consisted of blocky squares are now massive CGI undertakings. The size of game-development teams has increased, too. Once dev teams consisted of a programmer and artist (that is, if the programmer didn’t do all the work himself). Now it’s not unheard of that dev teams require a few hundred people.
Where previous games once required a single player and a single screen, modern games immerse players in sprawling worlds filled with multiple interactions and many areas of contact.
Massive Games & Teams
The sheer size of game worlds has dramatically increased the need for artists to create them. Games like Bioshock Infinite require not only a team of coders, but a team of artists, including both character and environment artists. Then there’s the sound designer and actors required to voice the characters.
Modern game titles are built around the idea of living, breathing worlds. Take a game like Grand Theft Auto V. Its massive and elaborate urban environment is modeled after Los Angeles, with city blocks that stretch for miles. It could literally take a player years to explore every inch of the game. Fallout 3 creates a huge, post-apocalyptic world. Meanwhile, a game like Red Dead Redemption gives players the chance to experience the Wild West. In every case, the user is able to experience a world completely apart from everyday reality.
Building Rome in a Day
Huge game worlds are being built, and artists are needed to create them. But these virtual worlds will almost certainly expand to fields outside of gaming. Building worlds for industrial simulations, business telepresence, medical imaging, even virtual tourism, are all possibilities. In each case, the technology will rely heavily on what has been pioneered in the gaming sector. And there will be a huge need to create all the art content for such elaborate worlds.
Digital Media Academy’s 3D Game Creation: Level Design with the Unreal Engine™ tech camp is an amazing introduction to building game worlds.
In the course students use 3D art creation tools like Maya and the Unreal Development Kit to create their own custom level that they can play in-game. This mirrors the professional development pipeline in the video-game industry. Student campers come away with the skills to build anything they want inside a game engine.
If you are a serious gamer and interested in a career in game art and design, don’t miss the opportunity to jump start your career in game design. Get immersed in a two-week academy for game design, build state-of-the-art 3D environments and one or more characters, all while using industry-standard tools.
By Oliver Barraza: 3D Game Design & Programming Instructor
Remember all those math classes you’ve taken, remember how fun they were? Yeah, neither do I. But imagine a class where you learn math while playing a video game. Did I get your attention now?
Videogame Abacci is Stanford Mathematician Keith Devlin’s theory of how math should be taught. Devlin says textbooks are quite possibly the worst way to teach math at a grade school level. People learn the best when they experience something in a real world situation as apposed to just reading it in a book. Devlin’s goal is to create a game like World of Warcraft, but as you play online with your friends your actually learning how to do basic algebra and geometry at the same time.
I’m sure by now you’ve said to yourself, “This guy can’t be serious, games about learning are for babies.” So lets use our mind’s eye to imagine one of these math based games. The kids are required to build a flying machine to help them get around in the world—lets pretend in this world there is no land, only floating cities. Now in order to build one of these flying machines the students must select the individual parts: Engine; Wings, Landing Gear; Propeller Prop(s), Machine Body; etc.
Now the game will allow you to use any parts you want without restriction, and when your done it gives you the stats of your flying machine: Weight, Max Thrust; Wing Span, Cargo Space Dimensions; etc. Now the kids can login to the game and try their airship, but without a knowledge of physics their sweet new airship will just fall apart or run itself into the ground.
This will encourage the students to go to their teachers, parents and older siblings with a desire to learn more about physics. Once they master the basics they will be building cooler and cooler flying machines to show off and battle.
As you can see this game model not only sounds fun but the reward for creating your own machine is even better when you do it yourself.
At the Digital Media Academy we take a similar approach. The pre-teen courses, 3D Game Programming and 3D Role Playing Games & Strategy, introduce the boys and girls to computer game programming in a way that doesn’t involve heavy textbooks. Using the Alice Object Oriented Programming system we teach kids and teens how to program by showing them how to create their own games and stories! In the process of creating their own game they are also learning the basics of videogame and computer programming.
Check this video out for a little more information on Alice.
All DMA instructors have real world experience to bring into the classroom. We teach the youth, teens and adults what we do every day in our industries. We give real world examples and talk about your favorite games.
Are your kids or you interested in video games or computers? Learn more about our Summer Camp, or Sign Up and join me at this year’s summer camp at Stanford University in sunny Palo Alto or any of our ten other locations.
And be sure to keep up with out blog, there is always new and exciting things being posted here!
By Chris Platz, Lead 3d Game Art and Design Instructor, DMA @ Stanford University
After last week’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, I realized that we are indeed in a new Renaissance, and most of us don’t even know it. The current convergence of social networks, virtual worlds, and games is connecting people world wide faster, and in new ways that are mind boggling.
The research going on in the two departments I work in at Stanford has opened my eyes to many of these new paradigm shifts on the Web. The current group I am spending the most time with is the Stanford Humanities Lab shl.stanford.edu
This is where society meets art, meets technology. Our new open source 3D virtual world platform Sirikata is being developed so that anyone can build a networked virtual environment, and use it for what ever they like.
The other research going on the the Computer Science Department, Graphics group, is also truly amazing. Tools that allow for anyone to build a great avatar will soon be available. A few Ph.D. students have a rendering system that rendered over 12 BILLION polygons realtime, and with 6 simultaneous users in that networked environment! Incredible advances.
What does all of this mean for me as an instructor? By next year we’ll have a virtual classroom environment in 3D, with people logged in from all over the world. Inside people will be able to upload their 3D models and textures directly from their favorite 3D package, and we’ll build worlds, games, whatever, together and be able to talk with Voip. All of this will happen with dynamic lighting.
This should all trickle down to K-12 education, and allow children to start building virtual environments to express themselves, learn, and communicate in such a manner that they will far surpass us old folks by the time I see them in my DMA students in college classrooms. They already know more than I do in many ways, and I love the collaborative learning that goes on when generations come together around new technologies.
On the surface, the Game Design class may look somewhat straightforward. But it’s much more than simply creating fun games with our students. In our classes, we also teach important programming concepts, which can be the foundation for a future programming career.
Game Building can be frustrating for somebody who has never done it before. As games become more and more complex, the instructors are there to help them understand how to build their games well. Programmers call it “extensibility.” Here’s an example of how students encounter this in DMA’s Adventures Game Design class:
A few days into the week, we usually start working on an RPG game. The player controls a character who interacts with bystanders in the game to get information or collect items. The students quickly discover how frustrating it is to program actions for every single bystander in the game individually. The same goes for other objects in the game, such as allies, enemies, keys, coins, and projectiles. It’s much easier to group them together, and make a rule saying, “Whenever the character talks to any bystander, run this action.”
Extensibility is not the only programming concept that we teach to the kids. They learn the importance of game planning, bug testing, and proper pacing to effectively meet deadlines. They also develop an understanding of variables, and an introductory understanding of object-oriented programming. Instead of lecturing to the students, we let them discover and understand the concepts by themselves, with guidance.
Most importantly, we teach the kids programming concepts without them even realizing it! If they pursue a career in computer science or game design, they will already understand the importance of extensibility, testing, planning, and pacing. Though it may seem like just another fun summer course, every student gets much more out of it – skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
See you in the Summer!
News from HQ by Philip Harding