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Reformatted

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Reformatted



Welcome to my reformatted journal!

Reformatted? It looks like my other entries. That may be true from a cosmetic point of view, however I have changed the way I view my journal- thats the reformat.

From now on I'm not going to update the journal every now and then based on Nanostem developments but also from what I have personally learnt about the whole development process from experience with Nanostem but also from other sources.
Yes, you may well be saying there are lots of journals on here that do just that and there are loads of developer blogs but from my point of view this is for me to look back on. Partly to see progress and also to review and re-establish knowledge.

The one achievement I have taken great pleasure in retelling is the fact I changed my girlfriends view of games and their development as something that is void of creativity and results in something of a pointless nature. From that point of view (which, might I add, was almost unmoving) to a view that yes, games are an artform in themselves, in their own right. That was a proud turning point and hopefuly I will bring that, along with my fellow GDNet'ers, to a far wider demographic. I have no doubt that many if not all of us are wanting to see games respected; not from the units sold to the unwashed masses but as something as critically viewed as movies, novels and paintings.

Along the same vein, I regularly discuss the latest things I have learnt and appreciate in games design and implementation with my mother on dog walks (what better place?).
Recently I played HL2:E1. Then I replayed the entire thing with commentry nodes on. I really like this idea since in a small way its provocing peoples ideas of games as an artform. I learnt ALOT from the commentary nodes in Episode 1 (if you haven't replayed it with commentry nodes- Do. It.).
One commentary node stays in my mind- when you come out of the subway thingy (with the missing handle to open the door) and you emmerge to a scene of apocalypse with the citadel dead centre. The node explains how nothing in that one player view wasn't postioned willy nilly. It was 'painted' to make sure the players eye gazed over the destruction, a strider jerkily negotiating the rubble it created at its feet. with the once forbiding icon of fear and endless power, the citadel, now a decaying shadow of its former self dead centre with Dr kleiners voice echoing out with messages of hope. It was instrumented so the player would see all this and appreciate what it was trying to say. That is a work of art.
The thing I learnt from just that one scene is two-fold:

  • I knew design was intense, for want of a better word, but that really brought me to a new level of what it involves. Ok, it didn't cover every avenue of design but it opened a door for me and understand a little more which can be brought onto other aspects. Many of you may be looking at that and thinking 'well yea, thats stating the obvious. Of course thats the level that design involves'. Well lets not forget- I'm using this to look back on and lets me place the ideas and theories I have learnt for later review.


  • The other thing I learnt is if people understood how much goes into one little thing like this they will begin to appreciate games beyond the button mashing. Thats why I like the commentary nodes that Valve do.



The thing I brought up with my mother on the dog walk was the fact, ok this may be a leap, that epic game sagas are a culmination of so many, if not all, forms of art. She did agree, by the way.

As far as Nanostem platform is going- well I have full collision detection, a basic form of troop movement and the foundations of a relatively sophisticated C-like scripting languages (parser within the engine- I know, not the most speedy way of reading scripts). My next plan is to get a decent level of control over the CellScript language and get the rest of the team to start with content building- thats long over due [smile]

Anyway, just 2 weeks worth of thoughts and about 2 months of development spat out into one Journal.

Hopefully see you soon back here

/Charlie
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I love the commentary nodes Valve uses and wish they had more. I liked that same part about the citadel being framed for viewing like that and it worked. I have not seen a collection of screenshots from the game (including the ones I took to show off the day I first played it) that did not include that scene coming out of the tunnel. If you haven't seen the new gameplay videos from Episode 2, I think you'd enjoy them, and it makes me want it even more!

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