Dave McKean

This guy, I completely adore and admire as an artist. His style is so different and unique. 
The thing that got me hooked to him was a film called Mirrormask based on a story by Neil Gaiman along side Dave McKean make an amazing team. 

In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a 15-year old girl named Helena who works at the family circus with her father and mother, who wishes--quite ironically--that she could run away from the circus and join 'real life'. But such is not to be the case, as she finds herself on a strange journey into the Dark Lands, a fantastic landscape filled with giants, Monkeybirds and dangerous sphinxes. She must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get back home.

Through out the film you can see his work in every pixel, the colours the ideas the dark and eeriness of the characters. His style is so child like but it's as if it has a dark side to it. Something that you would find hiding under the bed at night. 
I like the way how bold the line work is and also the scratchy technique. But then he layers up alot of his work with images and colour and helps to blend and creates more from a simple image to an entire world.


Game journalism...

Game journalism hasn't exactly been something I have ever take a thought to think about, not really something that floats about my brain of clouds, zombies, gore and unicorns. From what I have read game journalism seems to be a stupidly hard and fast job to even begin with. Having to review games after games after games and not actually having the right amount of time to actually give a full and well thought out review.
Game journalists have been seen as 'corrupt, lazy and fundamentally stupid' well to be entirely honest do you blame them at all? they aren't really that lazy just they seemed to be crammed with constant amount of work. Although this does give a bad impression, it seems that a journalist needs to be able to relate to the game as a gamer so that the audience can get the good and the bad aspect or otherwise it would become biased and unfair depending on what side they have taken.
Without game journalism we wouldn't get the wide variety of knowledge of games that are on release or even games that have been out for a while and they are re-reviewing it, this can help the game get back into popularity or to show people that there are other styles and types of games out there. This is another point about how game journalism helps, it gives the audience a quick over view of something that they might want to try out but are unsure and that extra push or kick. I know for a fact that I have been influenced by game reviews to by games such as assassins creed. It wasn't really something that interested me until I read about it in a games magazine, not just by reading a review helps but also the rating like 10 out of 10 or 4 out of 5 stars. This can give the audience an idea of how amazing the game is but can't this be misleading? Just because a certain game has 9 out of 10 doesn't necessarily mean that its going to 9 out of 10 for the audience, everyone has their own opinion on something and no one is going to have the exact same thought.
Thinking about objective and subjective, can there actually be a subjective and objective view on games? To be honest not really, like I said not every game is going to make every gamer love them, for example not everyone love Call of Duty or even Skyrim, but i'm sure if you said this out loud that Skyrim sucks then you might get a bottle thrown at your head, (I know that is something that could possibly happen in class) but its true not everyone is going to like everything, its not possible.

New Game Journalism...urm what is that?
I have actually only just found out about this as been told to write this blog. New game journalism or NGJ is what I think better, its being told you as the audience what the game is like for the gamer and how it feels to play it, instead of it being statistically being reviewed. It seems so much easier to understand a review when it has been written this way, it reaches out to the audiences better; well in my opinion and for me it is.

Hmmm what sort of person am I? I can say I'm more of a subjective person, I like to speak my mind and just say what I think and not effectively have the influence of others. I've been told to write this blog but its my blog and my own personal space, so I can right it in the way I want to, even if the grammar is slightly bad and doesn't quiet make sense.

Personal gaming history

One of the most earliest and memorable game that come to my mind straight away would be Gods created by The Bitmap Brothers, and playing it on my Grandpa's Amiga. Gods was a simple jump and run platform game, but it seemed so much more than that. The player is the character Hercules and they fight their way through 4 levels. At the end of each level there was a boss that you had to defeat, the fun behind trying to defeat the bosses was that they started to learn what abilities you had such as bouncing axes to fireballs, which you had earlier attained during the game.
Using a Joystick to maneuver Hercules was quite difficult, you had to jump at the right time and shoot at oncoming enemies. The music for this makes me instantly remember, spending all the time I was at my Grandparents playing this or another memorable game. The other game most memorable to me was Discworld, from the Terry Pratchett series;

A point and click adventure game as the not so magical Rincewind the wizard (voiced by Eric Idle). The game itself is so brightly colourful and well created in my mind. The characters are amazing and you can instantly tell they are from the eyes of Terry Pratchett; from the stupidity of Rincewind to the vulgar language from Death (who is my favourite character). Even though I was about 8 or 9 years old, my Grandpa still insisted I played along with the characters and followed the story and helped to discover the problems amongst the Unseen University and why there was a huge red dragon sitting on top of the Palace, which no one seemed to notice.

There are so many games! Age of Empires released in 1997 is a strategy based game. Choosing from a variety of civilisations and building up through the Stone age to the Iron age. There were two more expansions  to this game which made the game more varied, by adding new and different civilisations and being able to play online. The Age of Empires series has always been something that has been on my desktop. Age of Empires 2 is my favourite out of the series of the three main games. Even though the graphics are not amazing, its something that I am used to. Even now I set up multi-player games across 4 computers in my house with my brothers, its so much fun; Building and creating your empire and then creating an army and taking out the opponent.

Diablo and Diablo 2 created by Blizzard was something I spent hours just sitting and watching my dad play, it fascinated me with the idea of being a hero and killing different types and styles of monsters and having to keep your life and mana up. I finally plucked up the courage and asked my dad if I could play, even though it was rated a 15 I think I started playing it when I was about 9 or 10. Just thinking now... How long is it taking until Blizzard release Diable 3? Its taking for ever.

Moving onto a different console, Playstaion is one of my favourite consoles to date. I just find it amazing, the first games I got with my bundle that I can remember are; Spyro, Crashbandicoot, Gex and Tecken. I still have all of my Playstation kit and games, refusing to sell any of it...maybe because I still play most of the games. After the Playstation I upgraded and bought a Playstaion 2 and with that the games consisted of Spyro (i have a passion and love for spyro the dragon, even thought the PS2 games were very bad) Crash, Kingdom Hearts (my love for disney), Final Fantasy, Sonic and Rayman.

Online gaming is something I have done, and yes its World Of Warcraft. I don't actually know how long I have been playing 'wow', I have acquired four level 85 characters, and a fair few other lower characters which contain a level 75 druid and a 70 death knight. I actually love the game but for the questing, exploring and the ideas. But recently I have started to lack interest because of the amount of changes and add-ons Blizzard have done to it. They have made the game much easier than the original 'vanilla wow' (first game it started with).

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne coverWoW Box Art1.jpg

The reason behind why I became interested in playing World of Warcraft was before this there was a game called Warcraft. Just like the idea of Age of Empires this contained different races such as night elves and orcs. Looking back at it now, the expansion packs that the original game had are the story line in which the online game has acquired.

I also play Xbox 360 games such as; Call of Duty, Gears of War, Skyrim, Fable and Final Fantasy. I think the Xbox 360 is amazing, the general quality of graphics is amazing as I've just looked back on what I used to play. I'm the sort of person that would try any game out before judging it, even if it has bad reviews or other people have said its not worth the time.
In the future of gaming I hope that there will always be different styles of graphics (finding it hard to explain) and that not everything will look the same. I think there is going to be something amazing, like actually being able to be within the game and becoming your own character. Games have just become more and more amazing, and I don't think there is anything in the way stopping them to keep on being unpredictable and new and fresh.

a bit of the 90's to the 2000's...

This is when the giants appeared; Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. But before I get into them, I shall talk about the machines that is what made them the giants.

Playstation! My first console, opening this on Christmas day was magical, I just had to set it up and play on it straight away. I instantly fell in love with a little purple dragon called Spyro. There were three Spyro games for the playstation; Spyro the Dragon, Spryro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro year of the dragon. These are amongst the playstation games I still have today, and yes I do play them still, they bring back childhood memory's and to be honest they are just brilliant. Amongst the other games; Crash Bandicoot, Gex the geko, Teken and many others.
After the playstion, the Psone came out, this was the exact same console but of a smaller size, more slender and in my opinion prettier in a way. 
The playstation 2 was released 2000 (15months after the dreamcast). This is the most successful console in the world, selling over 150million world wide since its release. 

The xbox, this console is a much bulkier and heavier product compared to the playstation. The xbox allowed you to save game content on the system and download content. This was a slight advantage compared to the playstion as you had to use memory cards. The xbox was released in Europe in 2002 and then discontinued in  late 2006. The second console released by Microsoft was the Xbox 360 in 2005. I own an xbox 360 and i find them amazing, they are just different and easy to use. On this console I love the games CoD and Gears of war, playing online is just fun :) the graphics are amazing and I have noticed that they get slightly better with each game that is released. I also enjoy fable and the assassins creed series. I have just started to play Bioshock 2, the eeriness and dark colours and designs for this game are what have distracted me to this game. 
The Nintendo Wii is an interesting console within its self, using the wireless remote as a handheld pointing device and detects movement in three dimensions. In my opinion I find the Wii to be more related to the younger audience as it seems more friendly and easy to interact with. Alot of the games are family friendly and what to get people involved, for example; Mario Kart and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games. 

Brief History of games in the 1980's onwards...

The first actual computer game is generally thought to be Spacewar! Developed in 1962 at MIT by Steve Russell. A two player game, which each player has a ship which they can move as they attempt to shoot each other. The goal of the game is to destroy the other player before being hit yourself.
The arcade game Pong was created by Nolan Bushnell, together Nolan and Ted Dabney started Atari computers that same year in 1975, the company released Pong as a home video game.
The success of the Apple 2 and Commodore PET in the late 70's brought the rise and awareness of much cheaper rivals in the 1980's. Due to the upbringing of the rivals, this helped the knowledge and awareness of computers and gaming.
The great crash in 1983, it was called this because many of the North American gaming companies went into bankruptcy from the late 1983 to early 1984. This crash caused the loss of production of the known E.T and pac-man for Atari 2600 console.
In 1985 the North American video game market was revived after the release of the 8-bit console, the femicon, from NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). It was released with the introduction of The Mario Brothers :) this made it an instant success.
As Nintendo take off with the success with the Mario Brothers, SEGA introduces the master system in 1986. In 1989 Nintendo release the Nintendo Gameboy, the first successful handheld :)

The few weeks so far...

During the first week I learnt how to draw 1 point perspective, we went down to the canal and sketched what we could see, using our knowledge so far to understand the horizon line and vanishing points. It seemed easy to draw along the canal as it was quite obvious where the vanishing points were.
Within Game Production we were asked to create a Dalek on 3ds max. I have never used this program before and i did find it difficult. But sitting at the computer for 3days i managed to complete it and figure most things out for myself, im so proud :)
The second and third weeks are starting to fly by, carrying on with 1 point perspective we change our locations and drew something slightly different; An old archway. I thought that the scene was very pretty for what it was, cobbled street with a battered arch. there wasn't really a visible vanishing point, so we had to figure it out. My final drawing took me a while, but I did have to use photographic reference during the end as i was running out of time and i wanted to add more detail.
Photo looks bad and its slanted :/
Game production is starting to panic me just a little, texturing im starting to understand but it still make me freak, i dont like learning a new software, I wish i just had the knowledge already.

Hey, well i'm...

My name is Evelyn Birch but I find it easier if people call me Evie. I have just started a BA in Game Art at DMU.
Games have always been apart of my life, from a very young age I was always glued to a computer. I have grown up not just around computer games but also role playing games, I think it was my dads fault for this.
Art has also been there, my mother is a art teacher. Being dragged round every possible gallery when I was young has in a way paid off. To be honest I wish I actually paid attention and listened and looked at what I was being shown instead of moaning. Its great that I have the opportunity to combine the two interest I have and love.
Before where I am now I studied a two year National Diploma in Art and Design. I really enjoyed this course as I was able to experiment and explore with different techniques and skills. A year into this course I realised that it was to broad and open, I needed to specify and think about what I really wanted to do in the future.
After a visit to an open day, a UCAS fair and an interview, I'm exactly where I want to be. My passion for games is about to be stretched and explored, I cant wait to be able to understand what hard work, annoyance and amazement of what is that creates a game.