Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


Creative Futures- Graphics (11/11/13)

In Mondays session of creative futures we learnt about the use of graphics in games and in real life to promote a message, this resulted in a large scale of things being expressed on the matter. We was asked to look at a picture which our tutor had removed all forms of signage and graphics to test if we could spot every form of sign that would appear on a street of a busy location.


This is not the exact same image that was used but it represents the same principles of the image we was given to analyse. This is image is of time square with all the ads blocked out with boxes. Instead we had all signs photoshopped out of the image so we had to actually spot what was missing. The list we all compiled covered all of the missing graphics or signs, the list contained:

  • Road Signs
  • Logos
  • Billboards
  • Text
  • Companies
  • Vehicles (Logos, banners, numbers)
  • Advert prints
  • Digital screens (Especially time square)
  • Clothing (Brand/marketing/logo/peoples attire)
  • Objects (Can of Dr. Pepper, Top Shop Bag, Bag of Walkers Crisps)
  • Images
  • Language/ specific country signs

This covered all the things we could have said on that particular street. This was all to emphasis how much signage is used in daily life its everywhere around us promoting different things and giving us guidance. This is a game is of massive importance “realism=graphics” for example if you have a police car in your made up city of Zeeron you need to make sure that all the police cars and station is using the same graphics/logo throughout the game to keep the realism but also to recognise it as a police car you would need to research the stereotypical liveries and graphics on a police car like the badge the text etc. One slight alteration in the realism of a game could throw your audience off as they no longer believe their surroundings which makes them lost interest. Even if its not a AAA game you cannot afford to neglect the importance of graphics. In a game you have to imagine and make your customers imagine that in that world there are people who are graphics designers both old/young and good/bad so the realism is there as not all graphics are perfect, for example in a medieval game you can walk down a street and see a tavern with graphic design of a big piece of wood with tavern carved into it with a dagger roughly (bad graphic design), then continue down the street to a blacksmiths shop who has chipped his sign out of stone in beautiful style of text with swords on it (good graphic design); so the contrast there is evident but it all adds to the realism of the surroundings.

We was then tasked after this to go away and collect some examples using a camera of good and bad graphics of any sort. To have an eye for good graphics or an attention to the creative. We would then have to talk about these self collected images on our blog to approve or disapprove of them. This will give me time to appreciate graphics in my surrounding whereas normally you would just disregard them as they may not be significant to what I am currently doing, so its all the eye to attention and the creative.


Social Event- PS4 Lockdown- 25/10/13

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4

I and a fellow games design student attended a lockdown at GAME in St. Stephens for one of the most anticipated consoles coming this year, a next generation of gaming console the PlayStation 4. As I had already had the console pre ordered for some time I was very excited to finally get my hands on the console to really see if it lived up to all my expectations from reading multiple psn magazines and latest console rumours. I must say even for the short amount of time I had (roughly 30minutes) due to GAME wanting rotation on the console due to 50people between 12 places on the PS4’s the console was magnificent. The smoothness and clarity of the console and controller was so much of an improvement on any previous console. The controller (which has undergone some radical new changes to become the dual shock 4 from the dual shock 3) was very comfortable in hand and after 5minutes I had got used to it, the new very grippy analogue sticks stopped the previous problem of your thumbs slipping off (usually at a vital moment e.g. hanging off a building on Assassins Creed), the touch pad on the controller something that is completely new to the controller was so smooth to use we tested it on a program which comes with the console called the Playroom.

Here is a brilliant quote on the Dual Shock 4:

“Its a big step forward from what we have [on ps3]. It feels incredibly accurate and with really high quality materials it feels solid in your hands. There are tweaks to the indentation on the sticks, where you have your thumbs on them- we’ve slightly raised them so there’s more precision. These slight changes make a huge difference. It feels like your in control” – Hermen Hulst- Co founder Guerilla.

The playroom used the new camera to help you maximise the controllers capabilities, a futuristic version of air hockey was very entertaining using motion sensors on the control when you tipped it to bend the platform of the air hockey as well as sliding your finger up and down the touch to move your puck and pushing the screen down to add power to your return. I dominated this winning 7-1 but we really enjoyed using the new features on the control, this was only to start with so I could tell this was going to be a leap in games consoles purely on that. I was also pleased to be told that the playroom will be installed onto every ps4 for free.

Another thing we tried out was the latest edition to the FIFA series: FIFA 14 on ps4. although it was a demo much debate has come up on whether will it be any different to FIFA 14 PS3. Well just from the demo I could see a difference certainly in graphical terms, the clarity of the stadium and its crowd was a much improved on the ps3 version. Whilst much features I didn’t see any difference in (maybe due to it being a demo) I definitely felt once again the controller improved the gameplay for reasons similar to when we played in the Playroom. The new Ignite Engine for EA on next gen will definitely play a huge part in the differences between the ps3 and ps4, most companies had to build new engines to support the ps4’s immense capabilities.

The final demo we played was KNACK a new IP for PS4, this was a very impressive game which ran throughout with effortless flow of battle and growth or transform of your character. KNACK has a feel of Ratchet and Clank to it which we both said straight away, especially with smashing the boxes to reveal bolts which magnetized to you. Although with KNACK the blots added to you symbolising health in stature of your character.  Another feel of ratchet and clank was when KNACK turned into a small laser proof robot so you can get into small areas and through security this character resembled clank a lot. Despite that the combat was very good and used combinations just like most fighters do with added superpowers when enough crystals had been collected. Overall KNACK was the most enjoyable game that I had tried at the PS4 social event and will definitely be a game I will purchase in the future.

“What we’re seeing here is a game that fully utilizes the processing power of the PlayStation 4 system, bringing massive amounts of graphic pieces together to tell a story that’s not just impressive graphically, but in its ability to blur the lines between storyline and gameplay as well.” -Slashgear, Chris Burns.

The PlayStation 4 is set for release in the UK on 29th November, I have my pre order sorted have you? if not you definitely should. With just those 3 experiences on PS4 I wanted one even more, and that’s without the like of Killzone: Shadow Fall, Destiny, Battlefield 4, Elder Scrolls Online and many more exciting games and indie games to come.


CATS- Analysis Essay- Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is the latest in The Grand Theft Auto series which has spanned over 16years featuring 15games on multiple platforms the most recent being Grand Theft Auto V, it is a game which you can do everything you shouldn’t do in real life such as heavy violence, murder, gang war, drugs, robberies and much more violent related content, it is set in San Andreas Los Santos a city filled with much crime and corruption you have an option of 3 characters to explore this game all which interweave with each other in gang related crime on small and large scales.


This game is visually pleasing with almost £170million to build the game making it the most expensive game to make ever this was expected, the particularly beautiful feature to experience this is the cinematic camera setting when you are in a vehicle which used multiple angles of camera shots in sort of a montage of your driving or piloting. The artists of the game have clearly tried to keep the game similar style to the previous 16years of Grand Theft Auto with new features and a larger scale of gameplay, with the intention of keeping people buying the latest instalments of the series. This game could be in some peoples opinion a GTA: San Andreas 2 with massively improved graphical and gameplay capabilities.

#gta v

For all GTA V’s successes the game still seems to be intent on shocking its audience, a certain mission in the game has come across much criticism, where you torture someone in a interrogation by electrocuting them, simulate drowning, break bones and assault the man. Despite of this the game has sold 15million units with 3million sold in the UK smashing 7 world records on sales and revenue.

This game has re-ignited the debate of: Are video games related to violence?  is the parents fault for buying their children these game when the game is rated 18 with one of my fellow students being 4 when he first played Grand Theft Auto. This instance of violence is not doing the game any favours a man was stabbed for collecting his pre order and had it stolen. This topic of nature versus nurture is one that will continue for many years in social context.

Another feature the designers have incorporated is GTA Online a massive multiplayer social meeting of the single player game, in this multiplayer mode you can set up gang crews with your friends and then tackle heists and compete with other gangs in gang warfare amongst many other features, this makes people once again question the level of violence in the game as you are setting up and planning your own murders, robberies and heists, one particular feature you shout into your headset a number of profanities and violence to make the shopkeeper give you the till money quicker.

GTA is a prime example of the vastly growing capabilities of games design with realism everywhere from scenery to the characters faces. The way to see the progress of the gaming industry is to just look at the first Grand Theft Auto to the now GTA V 16years later, its still the same genre of gaming just modified over years of technological advancements.#gta-then-and-now

Overall this game is a game designed to challenge the boundaries of gaming and what you can do in the game, although this causes much debate it clearly is a wanted game that no other game challenges in this genre causing such high sales of a world record breaking standard.

Images I used: