Reparations

So this’ll be more of an update than a traditional run-down like usual. As I’ve begun to lose track of the individual days and what happens. Sadly the last few weeks have left me mostly questioning. As stated earlier the Modelling and Coding really isn’t a personal preference. For me it is the philosophical conceptualisation of art, the generation of ideas and the necessity for a group effort that draws appeal.  It began to become apparent that despite this course touching on that those aspects of the Games Industry can be entered through other means. Yet looking at other options there are no other choices which hold broad appeal. I could, potentially, study Classics, Philosophy, Ancient History, Politics, Drama and/or Musical Theatre. These are a few of many major passions. Speaking with the University Tutor though he was suggesting how, especially the first year, and even the later years are about discovering that. It is lucky, in essence, that I know where to go now. That would be a Design or Producer role. This was known earlier to however it is simply a question of whether this was the direction to continue to reach that goal. Sadly it’ll be tough but he did also say that it isn’t about getting the best mark or doing the best model. It’s about the experience, the qualification and the industry involvement through the access given to you. It is true that the industry access from this University is unparalleled, just sometimes when in the midst of a storm of assignments involving meticulous computing tasks this gets lost.

In any case sadly coding is still on the back-burner and 3D modelling is slowly coming but incredibly slowly. However according to the lecturers identifying these problems and faults is half the battle and thankfully at least we know I can write with some degree of competency. So let’s get to it.

Modelling Next Year

Two weeks and no Blog, yet strangely it feels like I wrote the last one yesterday.

Despite a lot happening sadly almost none of it is written down. It’s all gotten rather on top of me, thankfully in a positive way.

Therefore let’s run through the important bits:

Boxing has become a serious priority, lots of effort and training is now going into it and it is paying off already physically as well as mentally. This is extremely exciting though it sadly does not leave much time to anything aside from Boxing and the course.

Speaking of the course I took a moment away from it to settle into this new regimen however that does not mean it is dead. After the amazing Game Jam in which we made the game “Homefire” (https://homefire.itch.io/homefire) and my birthday I returned to find a skewed sleep pattern but all things considered a surprisingly good week. The Enterprise Lectures were all attended and they were excellent. The Boxing practices went solidly including Friday’s Sparring which saw a much cleaner fight from my end.

The Friday 3D modelling class also proved productive with a great chat involving my Tutor about next year’s tasks. They seemed to have little concern despite my current lack of productivity, which was a great positive. The Game Jam proved that this is definitely the course which I would like to pursue however it did continue to prove that coding and 3D modelling simply do not fascinate me the way so many things in this world do. Therefore we all concluded that a Producer is just where I am likely to be, this is no bad thing indeed. 3D modelling was highly amusing simply because everything I did there was always a better way to do it. It could have been frustrating but it was instead more interesting thankfully. Though it meant the final version of the outer walls is entirely different from the earlier version and will likely continue to be…

Define Games proved to be a pain though as it requires simply more reading on Genre definitions and it would be unwise to start arguing from your own perspective, experience or research. So it is back to A-level writing and referencing, oh the joys.

Coding remains in Limbo.

As for me… Well I seem to be faring quite well thank you very much for asking, let’s pray that next week a little more will be written.

Thank you all to those who have stuck with me on the journey this far it most certainly has been interesting.

 

Sparring with Life

Writing about the 30th of January on the 8th of February. Sadly this is just due to not too many chances to sit and prepare a blog. Admittedly when I did have the chance the feeling was just not there. These last two weeks have been fairly interesting as they’ve rollercoastered and brought both good and bad experiences into the mix.

So let’s go:

Having woken up in Bognor Regis after perhaps the best Indian I’ve ever had as a light Birthday Celebration with a great friend of mine (that restaurant being Cardamom Bay) it was time to return to Portsmouth. The drive back was wonderfully pleasant and started an incredibly relaxed and fulfilling day. Define Games was interesting enough but afterwards I met some new course people which was great. A quick Tesco shop after for the latest shopping also kept me feeling chirpy. Boxing also proved highly entertaining as I got to speak to some new people there to as well as enjoying the good session. Before bed then began my return to Mount & Blade: Warband in an attempt to redeem my skills in aide of the UK team for the Nations Cup.

Perhaps I forgot to mention that due to memory this will perhaps be a fair bit shorter than usual!

Sadly my sleep was not particularly good on the last day of January and I felt incredibly out-of-sync. So began a strange decline for the week though the rest of the day did not see this coming. My PC was distracting me from actual work getting done but I suppose the Nations Cup training was solid. At least the LAMDA lesson proved to be extremely productive and good. Nice to continue acting a little bit. After that I visited some wonderful friends of mine before going to my usual monthly meditation group which I love dearly. I’m such an old man really! Even so upon returning I was a little restless and hungry, not being able to eat due to the Kitchen being used for “Pre-drinks”. Eventually some food was had but again another bad sleep.

Next morning continued the downward mood trend which was only alleviated slightly by a rather endearing cold shower and my usual morning stretches. One breakfast instead of two came due to a house viewing. That, at least, was marvelous and I really cannot wait to move in! After lunch involved a bit of clothes shopping where I went to buy something from Primark for the first time… Admittedly the clothes were pretty comfortable. The coding workshop exclaimed that the rest is for programmers so the focus is now on the artefact and revision. At least an amazing boxing session came in to beat some sense into me! The head coach of the Boxing Union came to see who was ready for further training and picked myself and a great friend, and some others, with whom I’m now doing sparring practice. This both nailed some sense into me and also brought out a growing fear.

The most definite need to prioritise.

So the agonising began. What should have been celebratory took a long day of misery thinking to resolve. Yet at least a conclusion was established. Thursday involved the usual Image Creation lectures but I wasn’t really feeling it. At least the work got done and the lecture was attended. Afterwards though was saved by a fantastic talk with a lovely flatmate of mine who managed to inspire me by colluding on our “Lower Middle-Class dreams” as she likes to point out. In the end though it helped me resolve that what would have to be given up would be Acting and Singing. Two massive passions of mine however ones that can be pursued throughout ones life. Singing your voice, as a male, only just matures at 27 meanwhile as a Boxer at 27 you’re getting old. It made sense now to commit to fulfilling the dream of being an Athlete and Boxing has given me this chance. So without further ado the last two days began to regain momentum. Thursday ended with a Boxing social at the local pub “The Honest Politician” which also had the Computer Games Enterprise group doing a social themselves. This was highly entertaining and led onto Friday’s main event being…

Sleeping mostly because I was exhausted. Though really it was actually the Boxing session that good friend and I went to. It turned out we’d be sparring together. To find out more about that go here:

This was a phenomenal experience and a great moment that really kickstarted me into a focus on Boxing and training.

The weekend proved equally good as I headed home for a some work and a school reunion. Both provided a great time.

So there we have it, let’s hope that this next week keeps up the game!

From Memory

Once again the numpty Peter strikes back,

Not writing in this week’s doings has left me with only memory to suffice.

Let us begin!

To kick Monday off it was CASPR week which involves the Year 2’s collecting Motion Capture Data to fit into their created environment for the CASPR unit. This was great for me as it meant Monday and Wednesday were serious Motion Capture sessions. Just on Monday I performed footage for a Samurai character, a Jedi, multiple “badass” type individuals, a Boxer and all sorts of other whacky characters including Tarzan and a Lobster villian. Motion Capture, it seems, has become a new addiction of mine and I cannot wait to get back into the suit.

As usual Define Games was the lecture of the day but today we also had a meeting with our Tutor which I looked forward to since it had been a while since the last time. Sadly I don’t think I made the morning eportfolio lecture but the later Tutor meeting finalised the current plan for the next three years at University, which is great.

The rest of the evening was a positive relax period of which I sincerely cannot remember so…

Tuesday involves another 3D modelling lecture, this one about particle systems in 3D modelling programs and how they can be used and how they are made. It was a shorter and far more focused lecture which was enjoyed by pretty much everyone. After this was a planned day with my YouTube friend. We managed to marathon a game quickly and then play the new Resident Evil game (number 7) which turned out to be, for the first half, one of the best games we’d ever played.

Wednesday was even more brilliant but incomprehensibly packed. Getting up at 7 to be in the Motion Capture studio for 9am then working in there from 9-4:30. Admittedly the amount of time spent in there was never enough, I still had the energy for more. The whole thing was incredibly exciting. We motion capped Captain America, a Bipedal Lion character, an Archaeologist, a Stone Golem, a Shaolin Monk, an Angel and more. After this it was time to nip back to meet a friend quickly before running back for Choir for two hours. After choir dinner was to be cooked and eaten for fifteen minutes before off to boxing for another two hours. After that I was booked to meet the friend again with whom we attempted to finish Resident Evil. Sadly we both didn’t finish it and found the second half incredibly disappointing in comparison due to vast pacing issues and the story getting ridiculously convoluted. A late night also meant that the impending drowsiness of Thursday morning.

That drowsiness strangely never came, nor did it the next day or the next and for some reason the continued energy increase of the last two weeks maintains itself, even now. Today’s lesson was Image Creation so photoshop it was. These lectures are actually really fun for both the general chat and the actual workshop itself. Unfortunately however some people managed to convince me that I really wanted to buy Titanfall 2, which sounds both exciting and extremely expensive. Luckily for me I still have yet to purchase it. After this it was time to put down the house deposit but they didn’t have their card machine working, thankfully with the account number and the like a bank transfer could be done later that evening. Being the last one to sort it the house is officially ours. The later lecture for the Image Creation unit was about finding inspiration from anything when creating our trailer/short movie. It was entertaining but not something I personally needed though it seems other people found it helpful. A trip to the pub and then a group laboratory session ensued where a surprising amount of work actually got done. After this it was back to Resident Evil 7 and this time to complete it. So we did and then talked ourselves silly before going to bed.

Friday unfortunately contained a slight relapse due to sleep schedules but nothing too severe. My usual bacon, eggs and toast made up for it. Though because I didn’t quite make it to the lecture it involved a visit from a great friend and then a trundle up to Denmead to have a chinese with an old friend with whom I also watched “We’re the Millers” which proved to be a surprisingly good comedy for someone who isn’t that into comedies.

Saturday and Sunday were a return to Home and was a very pleasant weekend leading me onto next week’s blog!

Uni Highs and Uni Lows

Strangely Monday has slipped from Memory and it was my stupid fault for not writing it down. So besides from a Define Games lecture on 2D shooter and a couple of newfound game ideas sprung up because of this nothing has been noted!

Tuesday however I felt great, continuing a strange high that was felt over last weekend. This day was productive in terms of YouTube as I went to a friend of mine, under the username JokerAlex21 (google him if you wish) and recorded some videos for fun. These will be up on my channel and his as soon as possible, though for mine they’ll be released slower. Other than that it was my German lecture which was quite good fun as we simulated food shopping. Luckily Duolingo had me covered in most of the food vocabulary department. On the way back home I picked up my new Cornerstone Shaving Kit. So far it’s been great and worth the subscription. Perhaps a little on the expensive side yet mine costs me £30 every 18 weeks for new razors, cream and all the assorted goods necessary for a clean and easy shave. That night was intended to be a movie night going to see La La Land, that movie with rave reviews, but instead it turned into a Dominoes Pizza Night with 6 friends. This was worth it as the friend whom I was going to see La La Land with has agreed, in exchange, to buy the ticket when we do go and see it.

Unfortunately Wednesday proved a little different, at least later. Waking up at 6:20am I actually felt rather wonderful and after the usual morning routine I found it to be 7:30. Feeling rather meditative I put on my walking boots and walked from Portsmouth and Southsea train station down to the Kings Theatre, crossed along to Langstone and then turned towards a pond by the seaside then strolled back. Incredibly this only took me an hour and a half and I made it in time for a Computer Games Enterprise lecture which I decided to go to. Those lectures are actually startlingly brilliant as we learnt about the HR department in industries and how difficult dealing with people can be despite some companies deciding to avoid having an HR. Then a coding lecture (Pointers) which was surprisingly simple even though there was all this hype over how difficult this individual part is… Walking back proved pleasant as there was a good conversation with a fellow student… Yet it was upon sitting down to do some coding work on my own PC that a shroud of grump laid to rest around. Suddenly my mood went from a serious high to a rather shocking low. This continued for the rest of the day disallowing me to feel comfortable in Choir and stopping me from going Boxing. Thankfully a friend came to the rescue and helped make dinner which was topped off by a flatmates incredible recipe for Hot Chocolate.

Strangely enough though this bad mood wiggled its way into the Thursday morning as well. I wake up as a lecture begins and struggle my way through the morning. Feeling incredibly demotivated I toddle off to a Student Representative meeting. This did turn out to be quite amusing, and perhaps productive as I picked up a Student Representative Jumper so it was obviously official. Sadly though it meant I missed the next lecture which would prove interesting as it spoke of Photoshop and Image positions and angles to improve an image, something which does fascinate me. Luckily upon returning home and sitting down for a piece of toast and a sneaky cup of tea I made a breakthrough in the 3D modelling department and found the measurements for Portchester Castle. With this newfound knowledge I head to the labs to meet my Games Tech Demo group but instead I was invited to a friendly gathering discussing the opportunity to study abroad. This did still lead onto the group meeting which proved fairly productive in my attempt to make stand-out helmet models for our in-game characters. Despite our game idea being technically serious we understand that without expertise it will look buggy and perhaps a little foolish which is why we’ve adopted a slightly more comic approach to character design. The day then ended with a highly amusing evening spent with a good friend.

Friday continued on this high as we attended the Games Tech Demo lecture. Our poor teacher has been late to every single one and on the lesson he was to read out the “stop, start, continue” cards suggesting hints and tips from students to lectures on what to do he became late due to leaving them at home only to find them having gone in the bin. The irony was that all the critiques were “don’t be late”. So rather embarrassed he came to lecture late to say that he had nothing to say. Luckily for me however we had a good chat about a potential extra lecture at the end of the year summarising what he feels we should have learnt from our time working in groups as some people may not get the full experience. This is also because he has said that the point of the unit is entirely self-learning and it would defeat the object to give direct help during. This has got most students a little put-out as they wonder where and why their money is going so I just suggested that idea as a way of, after we’ve been graded, giving a little bit more money’s worth. After this came a 3D modelling lecture which proved highly entertaining as I laid out my portchester Caslte plans and spoke to our lecturer about the castle and its similarities with Pevensey Castle due to the Roman Gatehouse. The rest of the day consisted of another meeting with my good YouTube friend and then some recordings done for him.

So an interesting up and down week, let’s hope the up remains and the downs only stay short, if they come at all. Let’s also hope I finally make two sessions of boxing in one week…

Another Year, Another Beer

“But Peter! You don’t drink?”

They say aghast at the title. Aye, sadly I didn’t and luckily I still don’t really plan to. Yet the corruption begins with the family!

It was a heartwarming New Years Eve, we ordered my new computer and trundled back to my place when it was my Brother’s idea to go out clubbing. It was here that I managed to have a little bit too much to drink for the first time. Thankfully it wasn’t a horrendous amount and I was still at least sane with quite a bit left before it would end up that way… As I found out the Wednesday after.

Having never been clubbing or drinking it would turn out that I’d be sent on a rather surprising rollercoaster of a two week period. First it was my brother inviting me, then an old friend whom I had not seen in a while, then my brother again, before he disappears off for months, and then finally my flatmates force me out.

We can only pray that the next few months I will be less troublesome!

On that note, happy new year all ye readers. You may all have had a bad last year but at least mine was good, not quite sure how this one can top it but it may just seeing as my brother has also now invited me to Uganda and organised a trip to Malta with my Gran in Easter. Then there’s the house moving into, the switch to Computer Games Enterprise and all the rest…

In all honesty however, after an amazing trip to Belgium, I missed my flat dearly so within two days of being at home it was time to head back and stay alone in the Portsmouth flat for a week, recovering from New Years.

The Monday of the beginning of University eventually crept up on us and prepared all of us for our first portfolio hand-in for Art and a coding exam. Yay.

Speaking of which, I am still very behind on Coding and unfortunately I was on a roll until my computer required upgrading leaving me without resources for another 6 days, making the road to the exam rather tense and difficult, but that’s off point.

The first lecture was, as usual, define games. This was really good actually as we discussed what pathway we’d be taking next year between Graphics, Programming and Design, or two of those. Mine definitely being Graphics and Design. We then did a highly amusing activity as we had to design a dance game due to the dying market. Our team agreed on a “Typing of the Dead”-style dance modification to modern shooter games which seemed to surprise our lecturer as it occurred to him that it hadn’t been done.

Tuesday kicked off with a late bed and an early wake which didn’t lend itself too well. This day was… interesting. I woke up, did the usual routine and then went to be my coat hook to find my new expensive, lovely and comfortable coat had.. gone. The 3D modelling lecture was also interesting but could have been learnt off the powerpoint. They were speaking of how Procedural Generation works using Fractals. Thinking it was a teaching fair I went to pick up my NUS card and go to this fair… Only to find the shop was closed just for today and the fair was another day. Thankfully I’m someone who, after two consecutively frustrating things, begins to find the whole process highly amusing and so the rest of the day came in rather good humour. On a better note I replayed Guitar Hero to find I wasn’t too bad after three years of not playing. Also I learnt that Harry potter and the Chamber of Secrets is an amazing game on PC and needs to be played! The evening involved finishing Art for the hand-in on Wednesday. Sadly the final piece did not turn out as entirely planned, with no time to change it, but still looked rather good so with pride it was handed in on…

Wednesday had the coding exam. This started with finding out my uni account had strangely been deactivated so with much faff we got it back up but during that I had to do my exam on moodle using an admin account. Still searching to find my coat I wander the building handing in my art portfolio on the way. Tonight though was the next night out with my Brother which was great as we discussed our usual pro-anarchist views and he met a lot of the Pompey people whom he enjoyed the company of.

Thursday however began with exhaustion but no side-effects aside from a bad sleep. Even so I made it to the new Photoshop focused Image Creation session which was great fun as we learnt the fundamentals. Dad then met us and took us to the excellent ice cream store “Sprinkles”, well known in the city. The later lecture involved discussing the next assessment which was actually to create a movie trailer or a showreel. This allows me to kill two birds with one stone as I can create that showreel for acting that I’ve been needing, having been turned down for a few things due to a lack of one.

Friday I was even more exhausted than the night before for some reason and so had to stay in bed before trundling home to take a great friend out for her Birthday. This turned into a lovely day as after involved returning home for a pleasant couple of hours, which was rejoiced mostly by the dogs.

So there we are, the start of a new year on strange but fun footing. Let’s see where this road now takes us all!

The Final Straw

Another week has flown by and this time a rather great one aside from an initially appalling Wednesday.

The beginning of week 11, would you believe it, starts with a drop-in session of Define Games to check how our work progress is. Unfortunately I went two steps forward and five steps back when we were told that the games design document we create for coursework must both be an original ip and singleplayer. Booting both my current plans out of the door. At least there are a couple of ideas which do come to mind but nothing as thrilling and appealing as both of these.

At least five of us reserved a house that very same day. It was a wonderful experience as we got the house sorted in one fell swoop. We went through “Bernards” the Estate Agent. Despite warnings of using letting agents, and an estate agent thankfully not being exactly a letting agent, we decided to take the leap simply for convenience. So instead of arguments on location and issues in stress and panic we simply met up and sorted it in a four day chunk.

We also managed to get some art-work done with more of Sir Daniel Fortesque in his modern form being created, this should be up in my portfolio next year.

Another exciting part of the day was… I took a singing lesson. Sure it was for free but I had planned it and worked on it. Initial worry went as his voice, having never had an official lesson, genuinely improved and not only that but quite significantly. This experience kept me high for Tuesday and gave me the motivation to make two more singing lessons for this coming week. The day ended with a lot of brilliant chatting and conversation and a plan for this coming weeks “coding week” as I’ve called it… Oh the joys.

Tuesday got off to a strange start as it was mighty hard to get out of bed. At least the building works outside provided incentive as the drilling vibrated continuously through-out the morning. Lots was to be done today but at least it would all be good. First off there was the lecture on 3D modelling which involved lots of kittens on the powerpoint due to the intermediary high-intensity mathematics work. Luckily this was not all necessary for the later exam but worth recognising when going into the industry. The German lecture in the evening was good as well, the course had some nice feedback from us students which pleased the lecturer. What was most exciting about Tuesday was the LAMDA lesson. Which set me off with a dozen play-scripts to sift through and decide which ones should be learnt for the exams at the end. Who you know not and not what you know is what they say and it is most true! As a lovely friend from a previous show is a LAMDA instructor and put me straight through to Grade 8, who’d have thunk.

So having not collated notes for the rest of the week this will all be off the back of my head! I haven’t had to use that in a while…!?

Wednesday went off to an appalling start as referenced above. I woke early, after an incredibly late night, at least for me, being two o clock in the morning. This early rise was intended for an Enterprise lecture which I was anticipating all week. Yet from the moment of rising I found my clothes to still be wet despite being hung up and tumble-dried. This drove me absolutely nuts, a feeling I haven’t felt in a while. Frustration boiled to anger. After a few hurried and angry text conversations, which never help, I went to meet my Dad. That was positive and led to the buying of a new North Face coat. So that was good. What was more interesting however is the fact that he’d be off to Syria that evening and into Aleppo after only 24 hours notice of being invited. Always a strange experience to know this but I knew he’d be alright. My first proper sing with the University Choir was lovely but then when arriving at boxing all prepared, early and ready to eat my lunch I found I lacked my wallet… This made me run back to the flat and retrieve some cash for the lesson. On return there was neither time to be prepared or to eat the previously prepared food due to having missed all boxing sessions due to eating. So I furiously ate my sandwiches and headed on up to, thankfully, a good Boxing session. Afterwards it was necessary to chill out.

Thursday began with the usual Image Creation session, and again I forgot something and had to run back for some images which I had printed for the lecture. At least the lesson went well enough with some more drawing of Sir Dan. He needs to be finished soon but unfortunately I’m not finding enough time to put too much work into him. After the lecture it was time to drive to a good friend with whom I’d worked on the music video. We had a good lengthy chat and a cup of tea which was much needed. The day ended with a fireworks display at Goodwood after a year wrap-up party with the other Goodwood Actors. It was a rather pleasant and yet constant day.

Friday continued that endless trend as it began with a 9-12 lecture on being a Graduate in the Games Industry. It was extremely interesting and actually really fired me up for being involved as a Games Producer later down the line. The role suited me very well and so perhaps that’ll be the direction in which is taken?

After this lecture we did find out that our presentations, 10% of our Tech Demo mark, was due on Monday 12th at 13:30. A lot of gulps later a lot of work got done and so over the week myself and a team member cracked down on the presentation and are now feeling comfortable with it.

It then was time to fetch my new glasses from Petersfield which look much better, but it does come with a rather hefty price. A trip back to home in the meantime led to an evening meal of Pizza before trundling off to a friend’s party. For a Computer Games Technology student it was strange to not have turned on a computer in 2 and 1/2 days! The friend’s party was great fun and helped me find White Sambuca which is the drink I’d been looking out for after 2 years ago tasting it in Greece and not being able to get the name of it.

I don’t usually indulge in Saturday/Sunday but it is highly course related. Saturday involved a trip to Portchester Castle, as explained in a new section inside “BSc Computer Games Technology” on this website titled: “3D Modelling Artefact Research”. It’ll be about the artefact creation, which should be fun. After that I did 5 hours straight work on the presentation. This was an amazing feat for me and I am indeed mighty pleased with it.

Sunday involved more consistent work on the presentation with a Tech Demo partner who’ll also be reading through sections of it. So now we are all set for tomorrow.

Wish us luck and you’ll find out what’s happened next week!

Evapparating Memories

The University staff seem to be insisting it is half-way through the year. This is somewhat mind-boggling but I suppose the year does end a lot earlier than the typical school ones. Either way I am admittedly writing this from the Wednesday after. I’ll be honest. The blog went out of my head. It has been a funny week and a half. Extremely interesting and yet I feel as whipped up as an apparating wizard.

So Monday last week… Monday last week… Good lord… Hmmm! AHA alright:

This was a Define Games lecture which seemed to annoy a surprising amount of people as it was simply a group activity where we made a game idea and listened to other people’s. In all honesty it wasn’t that engaging but I didn’t have as much criticism for it as the others, it may lead to something and gets us interacting and discussing at least that little bit more. Adventure Games have been the focus of the last few basically involving Point and Click games and action adventure such as tomb raider. A genre that hasn’t really ever quite clicked with me (no pun intended) but one that is indeed worthy of recognition. Monday was a shorter day than usual due to a lie-in, would you believe it?

I’ve written in the notebook that I did boxing in the evening… well that’s a load of rubbish because it didn’t happen due to making food. This is a story for the week, how I tried to continually go to events and the like but was held back simply by the human need to eat. Of course this is a battle everyone must eventually face and it seems the time for evening sandwiches has begun! Instead of going boxing at least I re-met with a good friend from the course and we had a good evening of tea and relaxation. Monday was also the day that I remembered a game-idea for which the design document is now made and the potential for a development process begins. It’ll be slow due to learning the engines and also busy with the course but perhaps you’ll get to see something eventually.

Tuesday was fantastic. I cannot believe it was last week that all this happened, feels like months ago… Anyway it was the day we did Motion Capture and what a delight it was. Lots of pictures and videos, which mind you most they still haven’t sent me, much to my disappointment. Straight after this I attended my first Computer Games Enterprise Lecture, which will be the new course on which we embark next year, so we’ll have to do a website make-over to match! The Enterprise lecture was fantastic and engrossing meanwhile teaching so much. Either way I am glad that technology is what was done this year as it allowed us to engage in the Technical Game Demo unit which has us engaging in the process of making a game. The lesson discussed the many legal processes and problems like patents, confidential material, ip, trademark, copyright. Suggesting that it is almost compulsory to have a lawyer and an accountant to go over the final touches before proceeding. It also discussed finance systems and potentials in how to fund a game. We also saw some year 3 presentations which allowed me to gauge what a good game presentation needs to be even for a year 3 standpoint. It was certainly achievable!

Wednesday began with another Enterprise lecture in the early morning at 9:00. To which everyone was surprised at seeing someone with it as a non-compulsory course turn up… Another informative lecture depicting facial expression and how to read individuals in business scenarios. Coding workshop I went to but didn’t stay long as it just went over my head when I was so far behind anyway. 12-18th is my coding week now. Booked and everything. Today was also the day in which the German assessment was finally handed in, still not too pleased about that to be honest.

Something incredibly exciting happened this day though.

Jagex – developers of Runescape – visited. They did a fantastic talk on the industry and what they do. It was more of a hiring lecture about themselves as an employer but nonetheless fascinating. In the lecture were recognisable faces including Martin Severn who worked as Lead Artist for Crytek on Ryse (Which even he thought was a bad game overall) and most importantly Crysis 2, a massive favourite of mine. With him I had a rather wonderful conversation about the amazing game that was Crysis 2. Not only did they give the talk but they set up a VR room which was a great chance to enter the Rift once again and my lord had it improved. Virtual Reality is mind-blowing technology and it seems most high-end developers believe it to be the future that just hasn’t quite transitioned yet. It is like the movement from 2D to 3D, slow but important. Jagex itself was an interesting company explaining how they have 187 individual job roles within the company. They also gave incentive to artists to study technology as the role of ‘Tech Artist’ is much needed in the industry and anyone working into it is likely to be hired immediately as it involves simplifying and constructing the tools that artists use to create artwork in games therefore allowing work to be done quicker and more efficiently.

Thursday I missed the lecture simply because I didn’t feel too well but it did give me a chance to finish the incredible TV series “Stranger Things” which I would highly recommend. Not quite in the same directorial band as Black Mirror but in that category of engagement. It was also a day for fixing up my LinkedIn profile to a higher standard which is finally done now:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-ashdown

It was a strange day because despite the feel good week so far panic set in. Money worries is the only thing I could put it down to. Suddenly a job became a priority and it set in panic. I submitted a CV into Game and can only pray they may eventually get back to me on it but who knows. At least another LOTR Tales video was completed again, I missed reading them. The reception we get for them is wonderful.

Friday started with our lecturer having norovirus and therefore missing a lecture but instead the third years who were visiting decided to take control and present their presentations anyway which were good. They showed the problems and benefits of game design, planning and working in teams. It was also the day of the CV hand-in which required printing. This was amusing, but meanwhile frustrating, as it sent me on a wild-goose chase for a printer.

Friday also involved five of us agreeing to go jiving sometime soon together, finally, and also planning renting a house. Amazingly we banded together and one of us organised a house viewing and we were blessed with us falling in love with the first house we saw among a few and simply deciding it was worth it, knowing how similar other houses in Portsmouth looked. This means we have reserved the house already. No more house worries, just payments to do now. 3D modelling on this day was also interesting as it was the end of the handholding workshops but in all honesty I really enjoyed it and anticipate working on it more, especially going to Portchester castle and preparing for the unit hand-in.

Anyway I am feeling I have over-stayed my welcome. Also with the amount of “I”, “my” and “me” in this blog it seems fairly bloated. It bothers me quite a lot when most people write with so many self-references and yet here I am with a boatload. Laziness perhaps? Well, only time will tell!

Time that you can, with this blog, follow!

A Satisfying Return

So the absence is not inactivity but simply absence. Due to taking an organised week off of University there was nothing to write on University. To quickly sum up it involved preparing for the creation of a music video on that Saturday with a great friend who is a director. He did a fantastic job with our recording at Bognor Regis and the final product will eventually be uploaded and submitted to Peter Hollen’s Christmas competition. We had an amazing time. Because of this anticipation the rest of the week blazed by admittedly but there was a wonderful singing lesson and some local work which was good.

Now let’s get to the real meat of the week!

Monday I was still having my week off so I missed another lecture which was a shame but alright apparently. What I also did was sign up to another show… Thankfully this one is entirely relaxed with script in hand so it’s more a social event!

Tuesday was back to University with a bang! A busy day involving a missed 3D modelling lecture, which perhaps shouldn’t have been due to the complexity of Bevier curves and how to represent curves through Parametric representations. In short a lot of equations! Unfortunately having been unavailable I managed to hand in my first German assignment only by posting it under the door which was not accepted meaning that’s 60% marks immediately cut. A not-very-pleased-having-completed-my-assignment Peter continues to forget that I must return to re-hand it in with a cover page. I suppose that it simply must be done so next week that is task number 1. All that aside the Games Tech Demo meeting was absolutely astoundingly brilliant. The team is doing really well and it felt great to be back with them. Artur, our programmer, has been hard at work and can’t wait to show us his work. From now on we’ll also be fitting in some laboratory work to crunch those extra 3D models and assets into the demo. It’s all coming along swimmingly at this point but we are aware of the potential technical challenges. What was really great about Monday was the reunion with my wonderful friends who I have made, we all missed each other and it was nice to have a good ole pub dinner with them. Sadly I did have a German lecture that evening and had to hop off to that, which also went well. Overall an extremely satisfying return!

Wednesday however I woke up feeling strangely gruff, considering the great day prior. Either way it plodded on with a coding lecture that continued to non-plus me. But things can still be hopeful! Despite being massively behind on it there’s a chance for redemption. Today was a day for some baked beans on toast and a good cup of tea, which was most certainly had. With that lunch came some artwork which also went really well and I am pleased with the result. To round off the day I tried out the new Mount and Blade: Warband Matchmaking mod which basically pairs you with other teammates and opponents for a fight. It was good fun but slow and didn’t know how to balance the teams competently making my team a solid unit of professional EU cavalry on an open map. The other poor team couldn’t do anything. Meanwhile the next match pitched my team against a solid team of professional EU archers… stomping us and reversing the scores made from the last match…

Thursday we started our art session. Absolutely fascinating. We looked at colours and their complementing in the colour wheel which in turn could affect mood and design. This is something I’ve always found exciting and interesting, despite being colourblind which meant all those indigo’s and violet’s we were shown went straight over my head. Sadly yesterday there was a need for baked beans but perhaps having it again didn’t seem so appealing but that was all I had and so more baked beans ensued. Thankfully the next few days were a bit more exciting food wise. To all those who don’t know I also have a coding blog and a Games Tech Demo blog in the “BSc Computer Games Technology” section of this website, Thursday I updated them and intend to when I can, so do check it out! Thursday was a brilliant day more for the fact that we got a talk from Dan Pinchbeck  from “The Chinese Room”, creators of “Dear Esther”, “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs” and “Everybody’s gone to Rapture”. It was extremely insightful, interesting and also very much about the reality of it all. The shocked and scared faces of those behind me was a sign of this. Thankfully due to prior research it was all something I was aware of and admittedly didn’t quite have the heart to tell all those who still held such enthusiasm for it all!

Thursday it was also decided I’d be switching to Computer Games Enterprise, the more business focused side of the course, as that is far more fitting for me personally. This choice was supported by the other lecturers who knew me to which was nice. I’ll be doing this year as normal and even want to because there’s the Games Tech Demo unit which actually involves the process of developing and designing a game.

A fun evening was also had with that director friend of mine back in Bognor! We were going to try out the game “Until Dawn” when sadly the PS4 didn’t have enough room on HDD to take it in…

Friday contained a long drive back in a traffic jam on the A27 but with time left for the 10am lecture. Due to the teacher’s lateness half the class left which was detrimental to them as actually it turned into an interesting and productive lecture, beginning with apologising profusely. It prepared us for the presentation we’ll have to soon do as mid-term which gives us 10% of our final mark!

The rest of the day involved simply catching up with work and therefore feeling rather pleased and proud of myself. It also involved a good friend in the Enterprise course who has shared his timetable with me so that I can hop into some of their lectures to get that little extra bit of info on it.

So overall a very accomplished and pleasing week. No more bad sleeping, but quite a few late nights!

Thank you to all who have stayed thus far to read my blog, it’s been a pleasure writing for you all and here’s to the next few weeks.

 

The Teatox

With dog on lap I commence the tale of the week prior, the highs, the lows and the importance of the ‘teatox’.

So it was on that Sunday before when a strange revelation occurred. I remembered why it was that I gave up the dreamy taste of two sugars in tea. A couple of years back I was diagnosed with Benign Essential Tremor and to find a way to minimise the consistent shake no sugar was taken in tea. Miraculously it worked and with it my sleep improved. Due to the passing of the time this story was forgot. Only when noticing the dreadful sleep and wake ups that has plagued me the last few weeks did I notice the only correlation being the new tea drinking habits. Sadly… It appears said correlation was correct, for now having stopped drinking tea altogether sleep has become regular, easier and far far more satisfying. Not only that but getting up has become extraordinarily easier. Hard to describe the difference but I’m sure we all know it from  one variable to another.

Now with the teatox explained Monday begins with the search for a career in this job focused world. Heading to Purple Door, Portsmouth University’s job centre, I was immediately assigned with an interviewer who was wonderfully helpful and got me to a jobs page in seconds to find what would fit. Service here is fantastic, apparently recently improved. To all you Pompey Uni students or potentials reading this: Go to Purple Door. Either way there were some good part-time opportunities which I have now applied for. The service also offers entrepreneurial help and volunteering opportunities, not worth overlooking!

Also worth mentioning was a fantastic psychology experiment I had the chance to be involved in where we were selected for being actors. We were to test a psychology test which some researchers suggest is capable of discerning those who have certain conditions and those who do not. Was absolutely fascinating, fun and I got £10 from it which is brilliant.

Not only was that important mission completed but The Last of Us was to. A fantastic game with an unsatisfying end yet a fitting conclusion, as agreed upon by many. It somewhat breaks momentum meanwhile making sense within the story itself. Far from the perfect game many people call it I can safely say it is excellent and if you do have a PS3/4 definitely pick it up. Also to my excitement a flatmate of mine made me a salad. I can safely say it was the best salad I have ever had but unfortunately being away from the flat cannot inform all you good folks the secret recipe to such a great salad. Just remember to add beetroot.

To get to the actual degree we have more on the defining games section where we started with our lecturer’s own research into the definition of an RPG (Role-playing Game) because the spectrum of games is so broad and no-one really knows when a game is or isn’t an RPG anymore. We then had a look at different genres and how there’s no definitive ‘taxonomy’ (order or division) in gaming. Despite there being accepted norms and tropes they aren’t definitive due to the amount of variants.

Tuesday was the first day which my timetable had been updated, luckily everyone else’s was correct and they were on the ball meaning I could turn up undisturbed. What I hadn’t been on the ball of was the washing which, having just recently been washed, was still left in my basket and therefore not dried. Of course I knew of the effects of leaving washing not to dry but it unfortunately meant another wash for the same clothes. Costing me £3 which, in my books, is quite the waste. At least the 3D modelling lecture was interesting as it explained polygonal mesh and how actually triangles are the most used and perhaps efficient method of modelling rather than polygons. To make and describe polygons one needs the vertices listed and then the polygon list to piece together the vertices, which need to be counted anti-clockwise for the computer to know its placement and order correctly. In games, alternative models are made rendered in lower resolutions for different distances to lower memory usage. All of which is interesting and more technical which is great to see.

Wednesday was my first proper student representative meeting which went rather well. It was incredibly interesting when it got into it unfortunately though for the first quarter I struggled with being rather ready for a nap but once the conversation proved engaging I started readily supplying input. The turnout was more than expected and there were plenty of people in the room so thankfully my first impression went unnoticed. Prior to this however I had a wonderful tutor meeting to sort out this week off and it went brilliantly. My tutor was incredibly supportive and continued to supply solid advice to see what we could do to get the most out of the course. Wednesday was also the first night of “As You Like It”, the Shakespeare play, and it went marvelously.

Thursday was also good with the teatox really kicking in by now and me being up and ready for the art lecture. The lecturer was mighty pleased to see me which was really nice and the session itself went swimmingly with a successful charcoal drawing of our life model lying down. This was also the day I settled on which job was most important and that is the potential as a Youth Teacher at the King’s Theatre to teach drama. This fits my plans perfectly so the application was worked on and sent as soon as possible. To add to this, one of the backstage hands in “As You Like It” works at the Kings so was happy to drop me a line. Here’s hoping!

Finally to Friday where we had a games tech meeting which was extremely successful and has laid out the plans till December as to where we wish to take the game. More details in the Games Tech Demo Blog in the BSc Computer Games Technology section of this website. It also lead to the completion of our design document which means we have fully decided how the game will be in the finished product which is excellent. Friday was also a chance to attend another 3D modelling lecture which I noticed I had the energy for and therefore jumped on that bandwagon, or train as the lecture involved stretching and angling a train as it moved along a set path. It was not too difficult and was interesting, 3D modelling does tickle me so we’ll see if it takes off on this journey.

Anyway that’s all for today and also all for the dog who noticed her tummy was not being stroked enough and therefore jumped away to lie in her bed. Her name is Jessie and she is a Jack Russel Terrier. She’s wonderful!

Now the show is over and the week of rest commences onwards and upwards the road now trots.