Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pitch Day

Pitch day was very exciting for me. I knew that it would either be a hit or miss for me, so I tried to push the fear out of my mind. After trying to forget that I was speaking to adults and began treating everyone as just people, it bexams much easier. Although I treated everyone with respect, it comforted me to remember that besides an age difference and power difference and the respect that came with it, in the end we are all still human. All I had to do was talk to everyone as if I was trying to talk to one of my friends in a formal way.

I enjoyed the process of researching then presenting my work, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and comfort knowing that people would enjoy my work and that my progress would not go to waste. I also enjoyed interviewing people who I thought I would never be able to contact due to their fame and popularity. I think that I made too much of a big deal of Pitch Day, because all it was was presenting my work to others, and not a test of my public speaking skills. I learned that Fear is an abstract concept and I am capable of more than I thought I would be. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gathering Information

In order to achieve my goal, I will have to contact professionals in the careers related to my goal. I think that this will be the most difficult part of the project for me, because I struggle with speaking with people I do not know or powerful people. Public speaking has also been one of my fears, and I will have to overcome this obstacle in order to succeed in this project.The most important things I need to find out from my interview are how to keep the audience's attention and how to create a game.
I would like to contact Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird. The reason for this is because he is a well known independent game developer who has created two successful games on the App Store already-Flappy Bird and Swing Copters. Also, if I was to contact a well known company and ask some questions regarding game development, I would have to talk to multiple people because successful multibillion dollar companies have divisions where groups of people focus on specific parts of video game creation. Individual game developers usually teach themselves how to code or went to school learning how to code and know how to create a game with only one or two people, as opposed to a whole company. Here is the rough draft for my script;
Hello, my name is Steven and I'm a student at Central York High School. I would like to know a little about creating video games and the process which you go through in order to make a successful game. Is that okay? Thank you. First, which code is the best to create games? I have heard a little bit about C++, C#, and Java, but I am not sure what each of them do. Can you also explain to me what the difference is between the three types of code? Thank you. How long does it take to create a game? It would be nice if you can give me an estimate on how long it took to create Flappy Bird, one of your most successful applications, so that I can take a guess on how long it will take me to create my game. Last, I would like know your thoughts behind how Flappy Bird became a success. Did you anticipate the game to be a success? Why did you create the game Flappy Bird? What was your inspiration? Thank you for answering these questions and having a chat with me.
EDIT: Instead of contacting Mr Nguyen, I decided to contact Mr. Kan Gao instead. He is the creator of a novel/game called To The Moon, which is an amazing and heartbreaking experience. I thought it would be more helpful to contact someone who also has knowledge with writing stories and being able to create masterpieces with a small team.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Answering the Vital Questions

In my last post, I incorporated five questions that i would find the answer to in order to be successful in what I am trying to accomplish. Creating a video game, even a basic one, would take not only a long time to do, but would also involve learning to code and learning how to use a game engine such as Unity in order to create a game. The foundation of a good game is not only good software, but a world where the player can immerse themselves inside of without getting bored or uninterested.

After doing some research on game development, I have found that the most commonly used coding languages are Java, C++, and C#. However, I have not found any answers as to which language is the best for beginners at game development or which language works with the most game creation software. Many people say that it's the best to learn all three languages as if they are connected. For example, English contains both Greek and Latin roots, so learning Greek and Latin will improve your mastery and literacy in English. 

My other few questions deal with the emotional aspect of games and how to make a game interesting or engaging with the public. Since my game will be simple and not a complete, full blown console game, I think my game will try to appeal to the casual gaming audience. This is a category of people who play games occasionally for entertainment and not as a passion or hobby. After researching the types of games which casual gamers enjoy playing, I have found that this particular audience enjoys games which are not suspenseful or make your heart race. Instead, they are more interested with games that are either noncompetitive or mildly competitive, such as Candy Crush Saga or Mario Kart. These games can also be role playing games, like the Legend of Zelda series, or Pokemon. 

Another topic I researched besides appeal to an audience is, "What makes up the basic foundation of a video game?" in other words, what makes a video game enjoyable and compelling to play? I have found out that what most people look for in a game are a good storyline, unique or innovative controls, likeable characters, an enjoyable universe, and a good use of music. Working morals or lessons into my game should not be hard either, because they can be subtly inserted into the story as the characters develop.

I have decided that my last question, which is regarding what types of games teenagers like, is irrelevant because a game should be enjoyed by everyone, not just teenagers, and I have answered my own question; Instead of trying to appeal to teenagers, I will try to make this game appealing to casual gamers.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finding My Way to Video Game Development

Video games have always been one of my favorite pastimes. Sometimes, I want to step in someone else's shoes or just escape reality for a while, and video games have let me done that. It is also a fantastic tool to relieve stress and forget about worries that are at hand. However, children are spending more and more time on video games and parents use these games as a tool to keep children occupied for periods of time. This means that children are not learning the life lessons they should be learning from everyday life such as sharing or being kind. These lessons can only be learned from experience and interaction with peers, but instead these children stay inside and spend their time on games that are violent and most of the time pointless. My goal is to try to incorporate morals and lessons into a game while making it entertaining so that children and teenagers alike can recognize morals that they do not keep in their life and try to do so. My academic goals this year include peer collaboration, public speaking, and writing on a more professional level. I do not know who to contact yet that shares the same passion as me and would be knowledgeable about creating video games, but also be an avid gamer themselves. I would ask the person how to incorporate lessons into video games subtly so that it does not feel like I am forcing concepts onto the person who plays the game. Some other questions I might ask are:
What language of coding is the best for a game?
What type of casual video game do people enjoy more, first or third person?
If the audience is teenagers, what should be incorporated into the game to keep their attention?
What makes up the basic foundation of a good video game?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Passionate About Video Games

My passion is video games. I like how they are an escape from reality and build important life skills while having fun. As much as my parents disagree, it is scientifically proven that not only do video games improve your hand-eye coordination, some games also help improve critical thinking skills, build teamwork, and help work your brain doing puzzles. I do agree, that sometimes I play too much and end up procrastinating, but I think if used wisely video games can be a great tool in many ways. Not only do video games help teach life lessons and make them more memorable, they can also help your community a number of ways. For starters, online video games such as MOBAs can help build friendship and tighten bonds in communities with your friends, and some charities let you stream video games and pay you for them. For example, a charity called Extra-Life lets you participate by streaming a game live for twenty four hours, and any donations made by others go towards a charity which helps saves lives. Going back to the lessons, if life lessons were incorporated into video games, such as thinking of others, or the importance of school, i am sure many who play that game will keep those lessons in mind. I want my goal to be to either participate in one of the charities which have you donate for playing video games, or create a small game myself that can teach valuable lessons one needs in life.