Matthew Birdzell

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About Matthew Birdzell

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    Design
    Production
    QA

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    @MatthewBirdzell
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  1. Production in the AAA scene

    Hmm methodologies, a typical day, yeah...that kind of thing. I know quite a few of the individual specializations. Perhaps how they collaborate. I know a little about that, just not enough. Sorry for the lack of specificity. I'll edit my post.
  2. Production in the AAA scene

    Not sure if this goes into business or here, and if mods need to move it by all means please do. Is there a standard practice to how AAA production works? I'm wanting to work my way to AAA someday to see how it actually plays out, or stick to other career paths as an aspiring writer. I feel I know...hmm...a little? of how this works, but not really enough. Or maybe I already know details and processes and I've not thought about them to write this post. That means you can jog my memory and understanding haha. To clear up confusion, I'm asking about day to day, or week to week practices, how collaboration goes, methodologies. How bigger studios handle schedules, perhaps, compared to smaller ones. Not tiny indie teams, but "bigger" ones from a few dozen to a few hundred.
  3. Execution: Backstory revelation

    So the confusion by the player could work in your favor by being intentional for a time? Hmm...sounds like it might work. At least establish a character to start playing as that makes the player think they're the protagonist.
  4. Execution: Backstory revelation

    I like both approaches. However, with the first one, by having the player see through said secondary character , then switching back to the actual player character, can be jarring and confusing. If you start with the main character, you establish who the game is mostly played by. Later on you can switch characters to show stuff. I'm thinking of that exact idea in my game story. Jotted it down to consider later. Now your second idea seems as the more conventional route, which isn't necessarily bad. If you show a past tense cinematic, you establish the two characters and perhaps the beginnings of their differences. It makes the player understand that you have these two characters at odds early on. What I see problematic is that outside that conflict there isn't much else about these two. You can explore that later on through the first idea. What is your idea, or ideas, for the background lore? Will the player watch cinematics explaining it, or will they find in game stuff related to it? Also, do you want your villain established right off the bat, or do you want the player to learn about said villain as the story progresses and characters are introduced? You might do some foreshadowing first, showing a relationship between the characters, then gradually the other character turns bad? Or maybe that's nothing close to your plan. It might be better to focus on your protagonist first, show the player why we need to care about them and enjoy playing as them, before you bring up a bad guy. Of course not all game stories need to show certain characters this way. This help any?
  5. Writing for a game: Case file 4:20

    I really like this idea. Well done. You can flesh this out and create a deep story with that. Id make sure your characterization isn't generic/cliche. Try to subvert player expectations with your plot progression if possible. Throw some plot twists, but don't overdo it. If you're making it choice based/non linear, make sure either path makes sense. Also I'd make it longer than your average 6-8 hour game. Add depth, intrigue, and make the world and characters feel real.
  6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    I liked TLJ. Saw it twice, including premiere night. I know its a flawed film that has many other variants of the story could have been done differently. Regardless I like it. Daisy is amazing and I like how Rey's character has grown. I can explain my thoughts if you'd like. As for Mark's recent opinions, I care less. Admittedly a little of it is understandable. His acting was top notch and I think the way Luke went out was great.
  7. What level creator works best for my system?

    I'm more of a 3D person.
  8. What level creator works best for my system?

    No lol I just wasn't a fan of GameMaker back then. Perhaps I can try it again? Ehh...just don't yet like that idea. I had problems figuring out how to use it. And Maya 3D 2017 won't run; it would max my RAM. Thats not good. Thanks for the correction on CPU speed. I wasn't sure about that. I also don't have any game environment for what I'm working on. I'm working out plot and story ideas for my game. What I'd like to do it make objects related to my ideas on that, random stuff from tutorials, or something else for learning the basics. On the other hand, In Halo 5, 343 Industries made an incredible Forge Mode that blows the older versions away. I've considered building stuff out of a fantasy short story I've revised twice this year just for fun. The problem is is that I'm really bad at Forge and its really complicated.
  9. Merry post Christmas and Happy early New Year :D. So I had a conversation yesterday at work about building a secondary skill outside of what I'm studying in university (so used to saying college, but I go to a university). I'm a prose fiction writer; my skills in level design or gameplay are nearly nonexistent. Which could be a bad thing if I were to expand my skillset. What sort of design program might I learn on my own? I have tried GameMaker in the past, and just about hated it. If I had a more powerful laptop, or a custom built desktop, I could do more with a better program. I also looked up Maya 3D just before typing this. The 2016 version I can run. My system specs are: Windows 10 Home i7 quadcore 2.6 GHz 4720HQ. Goes to 3.5 while running some other programs (auto overclocking?) 8 gigs RAM Intel HD Graphics 4600 NVIDIA GTX 960m 2 gig
  10. Make what you want to make. Make what you love. Make what you see has the most potential for a given project. That's what I think.
  11. what is the appeal of fps games?

    I like FPSs because of several things: dramatic storytelling...or humorous storytelling, competition, socializing and being creative with a sandbox, attaining a rank for personal accomplishment, winning close/intense matches for the feeling of glory, and the simplistic gameplay that can become really entertaining, and cause you to come back. Not all FPSs do this, and not all are successful. While I enjoy them, I am extremely picky of which ones I play. Halo is a huge majority of the FPS experience I have. I dip into Battlefield as well, and try out new FPSs on the occasion. The issue is that so many are fast paced, ultra competitive, and catering to specific people, or wanting to stay historically accurate (cough Battlefield 1 COUGH) at the cost of quality and a good life cycle. For the record, I've enjoyed BF 1 for a year, but I haven't played it in several weeks. Maybe over a month. Got bored of it. Halo rarely gets boring for me, on the contrary.
  12. When you feel your game story might be generic.

    Yep thats right. I'm working away at it, and one day I hope it will become a AAA title.
  13. My first game story is one I'm taking a long time to flesh out and build, but one I'm extremely excited to craft. I've been writing actual scenes since the end of September, but gathering ideas since last summer, when I completely revised those ideas from an idea in 2015. Every now and then I get the thought my story, or events, or anything is too generic or conventional. One of my goals is to always find a way to break conventions. My bar is high :D. What do you do in these circumstances? The obvious thing is to just write...and read...and play games . Any experiences with breaking this line of pessimistic thinking?
  14. Favorite game genres

    FPSs: Halo <3 <3 <3 , Battlefield RPGs: Elder Scrolls Skyrim action RPGS; Horizon Zero Dawn <3 <3 , Assassins Creed third person action games: modern Tomb Raider (and upcoming Shadow of the Tomb Raider ), Uncharted 4, The Last of Us (and upcoming Part II ) First person action: Mirrors Edge, Mirrors Edge: Catalyst interactive stories: The Walking Dead Season II, Life is Strange experimental AAAs/indies: (play very few of these) Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. To sum it up, I'm an absolute sucker for AAA cinematic action games. I do like my laid back puzzle or party games sometimes...just not that often.
  15. New to the forum, Hello everyone!

    Hey!