Submission requirements

  • Project DVD as a final fully working DVD
  • Project as a Flash site in a folder with SWF file and other associated files
  • All project and media files, ie Encore, Premiere and Audition…for all 4 projects.  Need to see evidence of you working from storyboard to final edit

Plus closed book assessment

  • 10 short answer questions
  • 1 essay type answer

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Gamemaker – Bridging the gap between your game design document and the code blocks

Before starting to write any code in Gamemaker  it is good practice to consider all of your game’s objects, actions and events  from a purely functional point of view and describe them first using natural language.

By doing this you are breaking what can be a complex process into two simpler sets of activities.  You can also then test how well your code blocks match your list.  In this way you are carrying out basic software testing for your project, where problems are identified and resolved using a structured approach.

For example, say your game design involves a space ship flying through an asteroid field and the aim of this level is to navigate safely through the field, the ship can move in any direction and blast asteroids with its laser canon.

Space ship functionality list

  • Create using spaceship sprite
  • Speed
  • Random starting position at bottom of screen
  • Direction controlled by user keyboard arrows
  • Makes space ship flying sound
  • Change sprite according to arrow key
  • Collision with asteroid
  • Spaceship collision explosion
  • Fire laser
  • Destroy asteroid
  • Play asteroid explosion
  • Increase score for every asteroid hit
  • 3 lives
  • Count lives lost
  • Achieve level sound
  • Fail level sound

Having thought out all the actions and events associated with your spaceship object you can now create them in Gamemaker using the appropriate code blocks and variables.  Test your code, note any problems and revise the logic of your list or change the code block.


1 You have just shot some scenes on a DV compliant video camera and now want to edit them in a software package on a computer.

Using appropriate technical terms describe the process you will go through to do this.

Identify and describe the basic principles involved at each stage of the processs; including the main hardware and software components.

2 You have just made some audio recordings with couple of Sure SM58 mics’ in a basic studio set up using a PC to record the tracks.

Describe a basic system for doing this with the given mics and using appropriate technical terms describe the process of turning the analog signal into audio data.

Include all hardware and software requirements and the basic variables involved in digitising analog audio.

3 Calculate the files sizes in mBs for the following audio recordings:-

a

  • Sample rate – 44,100 hz
  • Bit depth  – 16 bits
  • Length of recording – 3 minutes
  • Channels – 2

b

  • Sample rate – 8 Khz
  • Bit depth  – 4 bits
  • Length of recording – 94 seconds
  • Channels – 1

c

  • Sample rate – 48,000 hz
  • Bit depth  – 24 bits
  • Length of recording – 4 minutes
  • Channels – 4

4 A client has asked you to create a short audio loop based on a simple midi file composition.  Describe how you would go about this process.

5 Calculate the files sizes in Gigabytes for the following video stream data:-

a

  • Resolution – 800 x 600
  • Bit Depth – 16
  • FPS – 25
  • Length – 9 minutes

b

  • Resolution – 720 x 576
  • Bit Depth – 24
  • FPS – 30
  • Length – 20 minutes

Essay Questions

1 Using three common audio codecs and associated file endings discuss the relationship between file size and audio quality.

2 Discuss the different video compression standards that can be used for the simultaneous distribution of a video project over common platforms such as DVD, web and mobile device.   Include aspects such as file size, data transfer rates, quality and resolution.

..//..


Review of some basic concepts related to digital audio processes.

The Digital Process

May 11, 2010


Schematic view of working with digital Audio Visual material.  Think of it in terms of hardware, software and techniques


Sprites

Store images of the visual elements of a game.

Objects

Parts of the game that control how visual elements react to each other.

Events

Are important things that happen in the game i.e collisions or explosions.

Actions

Happen in response to events i.e. change direction; set score; play sound.

..//..

Game Design Document

March 15, 2010


Before creating your game it is a good idea to write a games design document. These can be quite large documents covering all aspects of the game, however, since you are developing a simplifed prototype a shortened version will do for this stage.

Your design document should include the following headings

Description

Game objects

Sounds

Controls

Game flow

Levels

Here is an example from a Game Maker tutorial

1945 design document

Description

In this game you control a plane flying over a sea. You encounter an increasing number of enemy planes that try to destroy you. You should avoid these or shoot them. The goal is to stay alive as long as you can and to destroy as many enemy planes as you can.

Game objects

The background is formed by a scrolling sea with some islands. The player’s plane flies over this sea. You can shoot bullets that destroy enemy planes. There are four types of enemy planes: a plane that you encounter and should be destroyed, a plane that fires bullets downwards, a plane that fires bullets towards the player’s plane, and a fast enemy plane that comes from behind rather than from the front.

Sounds

There are some explosion sounds and there is some background music. Controls The player controls the game with the arrow keys. With the space key you fire a bullet. Only one bullet can be fired every five steps.

Game flow

The player immediately jumps into the game. The player has three lives. When all lives are gone a high-score table is shown. Pressing the (help) key will give a brief explanation. Pressing the key will end the game.

Levels

There is just one level, but more and more enemy planes will arrive: first only the easy type but later the more difficult types.

Microphone Basics

March 14, 2010


Some topics related to understanding how microphones work and typical applications

Shure Guides

How to buy a microphone – simple guide relating technical characteristics to suited applications. Covers:-

  • Dynamic – Condenser comparison
  • Frequency response
  • Pick up patterns

Flash demo of different mics, different polar patterns, different distances. Needs decent headphones.

Distance factor in context of placement for different polar patterns relative to a sound source.

Microphone reach – discusses the  effect of ambient sound and polar patterns on microphone reach.

Difference between dynamic and condenser microphones – Dynamic and condenser describe the operating principal used in a microphone.

The proximity effect – Why do the bass frequencies increase as the microphone gets closer to the sound source?

Also

The Microphone – Data site has a useful library covering aspects such as

  • Microphone choice
  • Wind and vibration noise
  • Pre- amps and impedence
  • Cables

Choosing the right mic is a good place to start for a basic understanding of various mic applications.

Mics, pre-amps and impedence – why different combinations sound different.

Soundfield

High end mic systems used in OBs,  Film and TV production

Example of football OB application

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Game Sprites

March 4, 2010


Defined by Wikipedia:-

Sprites were originally invented as a method of quickly compositing several images together in two-dimensional video games using special hardware. As computer performance improved, this optimization became unnecessary and the term evolved to refer specifically to the two dimensional images themselves that were integrated into a scene. That is, figures generated by either custom hardware or by software alone were all referred to as sprites. As three-dimensional graphics became more prevalent, the term was used to describe a technique whereby flat images are seamlessly integrated into complicated three-dimensional scenes.

A graphic image that can move within a larger graphic. Animation software that supports sprites enables the designer to develop independent animated images that can then be combined in a larger animation. Typically, each sprite has a set of rules that define how it moves and how it behaves if it bumps into another sprite or a static object.

Sprite Art

Useful tutorials from the Game Sprites wiki.  They use Graphics Gale  an excellent, free sprite editor. You can download the free version of Graphics Gale here.
Downloads and tutorials from the Sprite Database

Sprite Sheets or Tile Sets

See related article

Game Maker

March 4, 2010


Interesting application for making different styles of games without having to work at code level.

Do you want to develop computer games without spending countless hours learning how to become a programmer? Then you’ve come to the right place. Game Maker allows you to make exciting computer games, without the need to write a single line of code. Making games with Game Maker is a lot of fun.

Using easy to learn drag-and-drop actions, you can create professional looking games within very little time. You can make games with backgrounds, animated graphics, music and sound effects, and even 3D games! And when you’ve become more experienced, there is a built-in programming language, which gives you the full flexibility of creating games with Game Maker. What is best, is the fact that Game Maker can be used free of charge.

You can do anything you want with the games you produce, you can even sell them! Also, if you register your copy of Game Maker, you can unlock extra functions, which extend the capabilities of the program. Game Maker comes preloaded with a collection of freeware images and sounds to get you started.

YoYoGames

Hover_tank_3d

Hover Tank 3D
Added: 25 April 2007
By: FredFredrickson