Term 2 Evaluation
Explain planning, production and post-production techniques and processes you used to create an effective media product that will present and promote your idea to targeted audience?
The end result of this project would end up being a 2D side scroller game, made in game maker. Using a whole new engine would be a great new experience and gives a whole new understanding. This entire project started off with getting put into groups, then picking a name and time era out of a hat. My group got Marie Curie and WW1, this was convenient considering Marie Curie was alive during WW1 although some other groups got more complicated things like Oscar Wilde in the Jurassic era.
After getting our historical character and time zone we then started to discuss ideas for how we could make these two things work for a game. We came up with the idea of starting off in a broken ambulance, you would then try and proceed to deliver x-ray equipment to the frontline and collect radioactive material on the way – the more material you collect, the bigger your final score would be. After a certain amount of materials were collected a quote would appear on screen. Our next task would be designing the antagonist and protagonist, Marie Curie would obviously be our Protagonist so we had to think of an antagonist. I decided to go with a German WW1 solider as it was simple and effective.
Before starting to design our characters we needed to do some research on WW1 and Marie Curie. We created Mood boards and Mind Map’s including our Historical figure and era.
We made these mood boards
and mind maps as a visual reference for our project, so it makes it easier when researching in the future. When picking the style of game we wanted this helped a lot. Since I’m doing WW1 the colours I wanted to focus on were Black, Grey and red considering what happened during the war making it all dark and gloomy as it was a miserable time. Deciding on objects and locations for my game made it easier after making these mood boards.
Other Pre-Production tasks we done was making a prototype game using Game maker to get an idea of the mechanics we could have in our final game and gave us a better understanding of the game engine overall.
This was our next task, to sketch on graph paper then put it into Photoshop. We done three different versions of our antagonist and protagonist to get rough idea of what we wanted our character to look like in game. Our previous research was really important when designing since we didn’t want to include anything that didn’t go with the time zone.
The production phase was just using Game Maker a huge amount of the time and creating assets for our game. Production phase was the hardest considering it was bringing all of our work to life in Game Maker.
I started off by making a 256 by 256 canvas in Photoshop to use in Game Maker. This would also serve as my main
room for my Game. I picked a specific set of colours to try and get them to work well with the characters and other assets I would later put into my game. Once I had this background made I needed to start working on my sprites.
This is the end result of my sprite, who was made to represent Marie Curie in my game. Once I created a sprite I then needed to attach it to an object and put it into my room. Once my sprite was made I then needed to work on other key things that would be needed in my game, such as platforms and antagonists.
The mechanics for Marie Curie are a simple move left, right and jump with the ability to shoot a projectile as well. The green glow around the hand was there since Marie Curie discovered radium which has a green colour so I feel this gave my character some personality
Considering my game was set in WW1 and looking at the mood boards I previously made, my villain would obviously be a German solider. I done some extra research into German soldiers during WW1 when creating this sprite as I didn’t want anything historically inaccurate wrong with my sprite.
The plan for this sprite was for it to shoot a projectile every two seconds, which would add more of a challenge to my game.
Once my Characters were made I wanted to create a command for them to shoot a projectile, so to start off I needed to create another sprite that would act as the projectile. I made two separate projectiles, one for my antagonist and one for my protagonist.
This first Projectile acted as a bullet but considering I had to work in a small resolution (8×4) so when I put it into my game it’s not too big compared to my sprite.
The projectile I used for Marie Curie. The green colour is there to act a radium lookalike since radium is a darkish green.
Sound was an extremely big part of production as it gave our game more life. To create my sounds, I used a free online program called Bfxr. I only used three sounds for my game as I didn’t want to overload it with constant sounds, so I have a jump sound and a projectile sound’s. I used royalty free music for the background to add more life to the game.
Something we made in pre-production but used in post-production was a top trump style card based of our protagonist.
We also conducted a Q&A testing session after our game was completed to get multiple perspectives on the positives and negatives of our game and how we could improve them in the future.
Describe your project?
Our target for this project was to create a 2D side scrolling platform game using an engine called Game Maker. Our class was separated in multiple groups then giving a random historical figure and time period out of a hat, using our figure and time zone we had to think of a story using both of these things. My group was giving Marie Curie and WW1.
What were your goals and expectations?
I really wanted to try and use the art style to my advantage, when thinking about WW1 the colours tend to be rather dull and grey, not to mention that Marie Curie was involved in the war and I wanted to try and show that using the assets in-game. I knew I was aiming high when I set these goals for myself but I think I was rather successful when looking at my end result.
What is challenging, different and interesting about my media product?
It was interesting that I got to portray a historical woman in my game as it proved quite a challenge since I don’t think there are any games that have a historical woman as the main player but it was a whole new experience to work with.
Who is your ideal target audience?
From the graphics of my game I would say 10+ as it doesn’t contain any sort of blood or gore. Considering my game shows no real violence but is based during WW1 my audience would typically be adults. The solider and overall war theme for game would kind of aim it towards the male audience as most violent video games have a much larger male audience than women.
Why the audience should see, listen, use my media product?
I feel like my game is the type of game you could just pick up and learn right away as there are no complicated mechanics within the game making it simple and easy. With Marie Curie included in my game I feel like it could push some people towards playing my game as she is a historical figure.
What is the message of my media product?
Marie Curie is the central focus of my game which is great because it adds more of a perspective to women in the war and what they did. Marie Curie trained over 150 women in X-ray technology, including radiology assistants who would help her near the front lines during the war.
How your creative decisions help communicate message?
Most of my game is based around what Marie Curie done during the war to help the soldiers, so each one of my assets played a role in portraying what Marie Curie done such as the med kit and X-ray equipment. I also hope that this would just make more people aware of what women done during WW1.
Specific Skills Based Questions
What did you do to solve audio/visual/interactive problems you encountered?
For me, there wasn’t a lot of problems I encountered whilst making the game; the odd mistake I’d make whilst creating events for my sprite like having relative ticked at the wrong moment. Something that occurred multiple time was my sprite would teleport around my room sometimes, I couldn’t find any type of fix for this at all.
How effective was my finished project in solving audio/visual/interactive based problems at the end of my creative media project?
Using a med-kit as an asset in my game for Marie Curie to collect way to key because what a lot of women done during the war had a lot to do with medical practices, so that to me was very effective. Something else that was positive about my game was the colours I used, I really enjoyed creating platforms and other assets using a certain colour scheme.
How could you make it better?
Judging from the feedback I got from the people who tested my game it seemed that the main problem was the sudden teleporting that happened whilst playing. With my next game one of my focuses would be to try and stop this happening in all future game. I also think I spent way too much time on designing background when I should have been spending more time on my mechanics and sprites.
What audio/visual/interactive skills have you learned during this project and how can you develop them further for your FMP?
After finishing this project, I feel like I want my FMP to be based around using Game Maker as it was just so much fun to use and learn about as it’s such a simple but effective program with many possibilities. Bfxr is another program I am certain to use again as it’s another simple yet effective program I will certainly use if I choose to use Game Maker for my FMP.