Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

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Speed Drawing session

In this lesson lead by our tutor Paul we all played a game he had made himself with involves a randomly generated task of drawing the described item on the screen in the allotted time followed by another, each had a specific time limit so therefore the longer you had the more difficult the drawing was. Examples would be draw a sphere and a cone in 5seconds, or harder would be draw a weapons crate in 30seconds. As i said these were randomly generated and we had to draw as quick as we could as accurately as possible to test our skills. The purpose of the task was to get us to not think so much about the detail final product of a drawing and to just get the quick basics or rough versions down as quickly as possible from memory, being something i did struggle with i thought this would be a very effective task on improving my personal skills in memory drawing im good when its in front of me but memory is not as good. As well as drawing from memory we had to draw in pen so there was no temptation to erase any work, as we are told erasing work is erasing progress as there is no right or wrong drawing its all progress.

Here is my results:

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To start with we had 15seconds to draw basic primitive shapes such as a Taurus, cube, sphere etc. As we moved along it got harder like a bike or a shed in perspective with the same time slot really pushing the basic forms of shapes to portray the image. It moved up to 30seconds giving us drawings like messy bunk beds, weapons crate or a camera taking a picture of another object the extended time slot gave us more time to detail but the focus was to get the prime object across then to add detail roughly not a hard line finished copy just a sketch. Finally 45seconds was given for examples on page 3 like a skip full of doors, a dinosaur drinking tea or a open fridge full of food.

This was the first time around and i really found it useful everyone really enjoyed drawing. So will Paul fine tuning the app and uploading the beta to his website i decided to have another 2 goes using the settings supplied to at 30minutes a piece.

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This was try 2 with was on random times with random difficulties.

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Then third time around which was set to all 30seconds hard difficulty to really test how much better i might have got. Some drawings i did i was really surprised at what i came out with, especially the flying car which looked like a inspector gadget classic mini. Overall this process was extremely useful to my personal skills as i improved my basic primitives, to get it down first then add detail, drawing in bed made me realise mistakes are good as they show progress, and then overall drawing from memory was better towards the end.

If you would like to take this task to test your drawing skills go to the app on my tutors website here.


Creative Futures- Adaptation, Early Character Design.

In our Adaptation task (blog 1,blog 2) I have previously focused on Environment design for some of the arenas in game Gladiator styled game. Although I haven’t been tasked with character design I thought I might sketch up what the Ultimate Gladiator might look like on the game in my own opinion. To do this I had to gather some background research for gladiators and what their actual apparel was, this brought up many different interpretations of the style of a gladiator as they ranged vastly in armour on battles.

spartangladiator-by-soul71-on-deviantart_76e9f#2glad#1glad(images: image 1, image 2, image 3)

As you can see the image of a gladiator varied, this could be due to region, status, rank, battle choice, weapons, helmets, chainmail and so much more. For me to design my gladiator I would have to find a balance of what is right and realistic to wear. It worth noting that this is my top level gladiator style design I will be doing not the bottom or average to begin with as im sure bottom and middle levelled gladiators may have rags or little amount of armour.


This is what I have in mind so far for character design. A well armoured fortress looking gladiator which would represent fear into other opponents and also status due to the design or the armour. I decided on armour plating because as you can see in all 3 of the referenced pictures I have they involve some sort of plating, I used straight lines and contour lines to separate the pieces of plating or make them 3D which adds realism. The choice of the bolts (dots around edges of plates) was a personal preference of my own as I think it makes the armour look well made and reinforced to the viewer. The spikes I added as a little extra thing to possibly boost the players statistics for attack as I suppose they are big enough and sharp enough to impale another opponent if needed, but not too many spikes as otherwise we would end up with some sort of gothic metal rocker instead of a gladiator. Another reference used from one of the pictures above was the inclusion of chainmail, chainmail is a light meshed armour which was expensive back in the roman era and only just introduced in there own style when adopted from the Gaul’s in northern Italy after battle. So chainmail certainly represented high status and top gladiator as it wasn’t easily made or cheap. The Gloves I decided to also armour plate as this particular Gladiator would be very strong and hold a large sword so protection of the hands would be needed, whereas most other gladiators would have either leather gloves of some sort of just bare hands for the less ranked or the dagger wielding. Then the Helmet, now the helmet is always going to be a tough one to choose as there are so many different designs on a helmet, roman legions wore the helmets with the open front like this:


But also in my previous pictures they cover the face, the idea of covering the face was so that your opponent could not see your expressions or even eyes to give no indication of your moves or feelings. I liked that, so as a top gladiator I thought a covered face was appropriate to strike even more fear into the opponent. The iconic Tigris of Gaul from the Gladiator film had the clever design of a pull down mask of a expressionless human face which was being surrounded by a Animals mouth.

###trigirs of gaul

With progress I can certainly improve this but as it hasn’t been actually tasked to me to do character design yet I will put this to one side momentarily, but there was no harm in doing a quick sketch of my ideas to give me a slight edge when it comes to actual character design as I already have an idea of what I want. was a really interesting website as it explained to me something I didn’t realise, that Gladiators had ranks and different types, this was very useful as now I could use these names and styles in my game to model different levelled characters. I am yet to focus on props for my character as you can see there are no weapons or even a shield on my drawing as prop design is another design process I would have to go down to piece it all together, but the choice of the spear, long sword, dagger, short sword, mace or axe would be another thing to choose. And then the choice or shield or no shield, shield type, big, small, rectangle, square, circle, coat of arms or not, colours (semiotics) and so on. This would be a process which needed much looking into and much work focused on but its good to get started so I can show my progress in the design process.


Drawing 101- Lesson 1- 3/10/13

As our first lesson in Drawing 101 we was all took back to the very basics of drawing from doing simple 3d shapes to then shading those shapes by entering a light source on the page. We started by watching a video from a famous designer called Saul Bass who was giving advice to design students.

“Learn to draw, if you don’t you will live your life getting around that.” – Saul Bass

This was the key quotation I took from this video which really hit me as drawing is something I do but never did avidly it wasn’t a primary thing for me it was just a thing on the side I enjoyed from time to time.

My tutor then introduced me to the idea of pareidolia, this is the idea that you see faces and things in other items or unusual ways for example: you may see a cloud that looks like a car, or a patterned wallpaper you can see a face in etc. This I found particularly interesting as it made me think that art and design is all around us, we just need to have the vision to see something and think yes this would be artist or a good game.

Then came the actual drawing, we was asked to draw basic 3D objects on our sketch pads so a Cube, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone and a Taurus. once we had done this we had to apply shading to the objects using a light source we place on the page.

basic shapes with shading

basic shapes with shading

Another thing on this page was the idea of we need to see the page not as a 2d flat page, we need to see it as a 3d plain so we can draw better in 3d. Apparently this will be hard to get used to but the progress in drawing 101 lessons will be apparent. Also we had a go at cutting segments out of shapes so I cut a segment out of a sphere to make it look more 3d.

Then for homework we was asked to do the same using different drawing utensils maybe some we are not used to drawing in just to take us out of our comfort zone. So doing this was going to be a test of where I currently was in drawing skills.

Homework Shapes

This is my finished product I used a central light source to test my skills at shadow angles and darkness’s, I also used pencil, pen and fine liner to draw the objects which all gave different effects to the shading of the shapes. As we was told not to use the rubber as mistakes are things to be learnt from I noticed that I am better at cones with shading than I am with the rest. But overall I was pleased with my basic 3d shapes and shading but I will keep practising them as the basics of drawing are the fundamentals to build on.

So the main thing I learn from that video and the lesson was I need to practice my drawings even just a little time a day and I will improve, drawing is a fantastic way of showing your ideas to clients that may be interested in your work and that is why I must learn to improve my drawing skills.

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Social Event Participation 02/10/13 MCFC 1894

A social art event 02/10/13

A social art event 02/10/13

This is a social art event i took part in on 02/10/2013, i am the blue just below the middle line of the F. This was at the Manchester City vs Bayern Munich Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium. The stand spells out MCFC (top tier) 1894 (lower tier). This picture was taken by a manchester city photographer and uploaded on to their twitter so this is how i got the photograph.

I have chose this to enter into my blog as it is a social event the idea of many people partaking in one activity to do something, in this case every individual had a small piece of plastic coloured either white or blue to hold up when the commentator announced. This created art. The purpose behind the visual spectacular was to celebrate the club of Manchester City and its history since 1894.

the momento of the occasion

The momento of the occasion

This is the momento of the occasion. it reads “City invites you to take part in a visual spectacular in the lead up to today’s match. Every seat in the family stand will have one of these sheets. Moments before the teams enter the pitch, the stadium announcer wil ask you to raise this above your heart with the plain side facing upwards and towards the pitch. Together we will spell out “MCFC 1894″ in our club colours, creating a banner to celebrate our pride and history.
Thank you for your continued support and for participating in this segment which will be seen by millions of spectators across the globe and help make night’s like tonight so special.”

This will also be uploaded on my facebook page PHASEgaming.