Collaborative Virtual Environments- Ark: Survival Evolved

p1_2011955_cfe3c716

Ark: Survival Evolved

 

 

What is a Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) ? by Ricky Steven

And why am I writing about it?.

I’ll start off by telling you that during my honours year, this is one of my classes. A CVE is a means of creating and sharing work together with one of your peers and doing so with good communication skills and setting out clear goals with the tasks at hand. A simpler form to explain it would be using Google Docs with your chum, where both can edit and have immediate access at any time. Another example would be using Skype as a form of meeting, or discussion on a project. These both provide a great service which is free and should serve as a vital tool for any modern day student/workplace… so long as there is an internet connection!.  

The subject covers the useful methods such as using cloud systems for word documents, saving and sharing data and even social media for communication. But there was also an aspect for using 3D or Game-like software’s. They portrayed the importance of communication, regardless of the environment and they demonstrated a clip of World of War Craft. The clip features around a dozen individuals , one of which tried to create a plan of attack but moments later the plan falls short as a few charge in recklessly to attack an Enemy NPC .

There is a wide range of methods of using a CVE. We will start off with a few examples  which are the obvious ones that are a must!.

Google – If you don’t have a Google/Gmail account then you must still walking around with your eyes shut walking into rakes like side show bob!. Google offers multi-purpose services within the touch of button. They offer the Drive where you can store and create just about anything, create documents,  drawing, spreadsheets, forms/surveys, Control your business analytical and search optimisations. All viewable on any device with an internet connection. And even features Google+ which ties in with Hangouts and Chat, which should really rival Facebook.

GitHUb – Is an Web-based repository hosting service. available online, mobile and desktop it offers several collaboration features such as: wikis for projects, drive space, task management and much more.

DropBox / Other cloud drive service- Easy to use and can be used across many platforms, simply send the link to who you are collaborating with. 

OfficeOnline – Microsoft’s version of Google Docs. Pros -The formatting within other word documents isn’t as proficient as Microsofts and most university’s have office 365 extension for their emails. Cons – People just don’t like using Microsoft products. I use a Mixture of this and Google docs, mainly use this to format my Google docs. 

Facebook – Social Media are a great way to connect and contact peers. Its also very simple for you to create a group and add members to it, this makes it easier to update, inform and its a familiar UI that is very familiar to almost evryone.

Skype – One of the best methods, and now becoming a more formal way of contacting peers or business partners. They offer good cam-2-cam and the more reliable text based or microphone based ways of communication. They are also developing a translation system so you can eventually speak to another person who speaks a foreign language 

Some Early Virtual Worlds (VW)

  • MUD = Multi-User Dungeon – Can be interactive texts based or Vector Graphics
  • MOO = MUD, Object Oriented – The Same as MUD but with the ability to create or program aspects of the world such as (LambdaMOO)
  • Educational/Corporate MUD- Some boast over 50 organisations and 100K users such as (TappedIN)
  • Active worlds – Been around since the 1995 , the same year Ebay started, DVD formats became available and many great movies such as: Ace Ventura, Golden Eye (The game was even better), Braveheart, Casper, and not least Jumanji. But the VW its a 3D active world that is still going on today like many of those classics.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A nice little reminiscing and a break form CVE, But lets get back to it!

Some Recent Virtual Worlds

These worlds offer a place to explore and be different, although most take these VW seriously and hang out with their friends there!

What can be learned in a CVE?

  • Team building & management
  • Corporations & guilds
  • Numeracy & Literacy
    • A lot of information is communicated in text, and quests/exp is a lot of number crunching!

Many Games offer the chance at collaboration and cooperative skills.

  • World of War Craft – Planing, Communicating, Crafting, Number crunching,optional cooperation (Highly suggested), 
  • Mine craft – Planing, Layouts, Crafting, Number crunching, Communicating, optional cooperation
  • Destiny – Planing, Communicating, Team work (Forced in Raids/Strikes), optional cooperation
  • Ark: Survival Evolved – Planing, Layouts, Crafting, Number crunching, Communicating, Optional cooperation (Highly suggested)
  •  Elder Scrolls Online – Planing, Communicating, Crafting, Number crunching, Optional cooperation, Team work (Forced in some parts)

There are numerous and I simply picked out some of the most popular, and the ones I have had experience with.These were just examples of ways of collaborating out side of the norm, by the means of having the option of doing something fun within a medium like a game.

But the the reason that I have written this, is to emphasis how important these skills are. In the near future companies will need to know who can collaborate efficiently and who can’t, seems trial to many but after years at UWS nothing surprises me. Theres innocence and ignorance, there easily mixed up, but there are still thousands of people out there who know how to use Microsoft word but still don’t know how to effectively use mediums such as Facebook or Google docs. For job applications I would fully expect within the next 5 years for them to ask what ways of CVE are you familiar with and provide examples, I would put it in your CV also!. It could spark a conversation and you would seem up-to-date with being proficient at communicating and being able to produce coursework/ real work anywhere any time. 


 

Our course work was split into two assessments. The First was a small literature chosen by our lecturer , during which we had to show signs of collaborating together using Goggle Docs and Facebook Chat/ Groups, our short literature of the first assessment can be seen here CVE1


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The second assessment which brings us to the title of the page, is about collaboration within a virtual environment.  The lecturer proposed such online worlds as SecondLife, River City Project and Quest Atlantis, however we felt they were abit dated and our first proposal was to use Mine craft and create a village and a learning environment. Then after one of our many discussions on games and tech, we both hit an amazing idea.  Lets create our own Jurassic park in ARK.

More updates to Follow on the play-through, and development of our project.

Don’t work hard, Work smart.

 

Advertisements

What’s for Christmas ?

 

It’s officially now ok to start mentioning the big C word or The big S word.  And yes obviously  I mean Christmas and Santa !.

… Although I know refer to Santa as Santander as he expects more money each and every year!.

 

But having said that I’ve put together a little lists of what’s out , and what’s coming out. But if I were you guys I would be ordering from Amazon as their deals are usually the best.

At this time of the year there is always a massive wave of games being released, and it’s hard to know what you want and most likely “like me” you’ll impulse and buy the wrong games that lay waste in either hdd or disk (old school).

I will be reviewing as much as possible , so make sure to check out my review site http://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com and subscribe to make sure you get the reviews.

 

So what’s already out and what’s good? .. its time for lists ..


Multiplayers

Destiny – It’s a game I love , yet I don’t know why.  This game has hot and cold reviews but is still Hugely popular and will pave a new way for online co-op gaming.  – REVIEW

Call of Duty : Advanced Warfare – Well there’s no explanation needed here , COD will always be insanely popular and this new franchise his nice editions to its play style. – web

Halo : Master Chief edition – Only on Xbox , but still worth a mention as you get every halo and its a very competitive multiplayer – web


Story Games

Alien : isolation – This one ain’t for the kids , unless you don’t like them then by all means let them play the game. Great themed game , very intense and jumpy affair!. – REVIEW

Far Cry 4 – Great shooter with a huge open world and never ending things to do , funny twits on killing people and loads of hunting .. advise against wimps. REVIEW

Dragon age: Inquisition – Review from me pending , Massive story RPG if you have days , weeks and even months of free time to kill this is a Must .. it is for me ! – web

Assassins Creed : Unity –  Would wait until after Xmas for this one , very bad glitches and inconsistent gameplay – barley made the list but kids love it,

 

Other notable ones coming out or will be out by the time I post will be The crew – Not realistic but this slightly arcade version of racing comes with loads of fun.

Thats kind of it for now , this is more of an Adult Kids list as these are the ones we have played!

Thats all for now until next time keep it tight 😉 like your wallets

 

https://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com/  (Reviews)

 

 

DNA Games – First few weeks

So after the first 2/3 weeks of being back at UWS life is good. The old chest nut (my head) has been polished and is ready for yet another year of learning.  So I learned that this year my modules are: Advanced Programing for Mobile Devices  or the choice of a placement, Advanced Flash production , Analyzing Computer games , Law and Legal and of course the Game Project (Zebedee) which is spread over the 2 semesters.

Well for a start I and a few more were miss lead about the placement, me more than others due to a problem with the University not updating the fact that I obtained a grade to get into UNI  never mind the fact I passed the year . So I got in ( without them checking) passed the year and when I should have been getting my information about this year there was a snag and basically had me down as a deferred and non-progression. I so after 3 weeks in University of The West of Scotland I am now a student and enrolled. Any way , back to what I was saying.

We were miss lead and by our course leader , mistakes ? sheer ignorance? who knows. But we were under the impression that there was limited spaces and our class has 30-40 students , also that if you picked Advanced Programing but fancied the placement you could switch in January and vice versa . Wrong wrong and never right. If you picked placement they find you one , also you spend this whole semester gearing up to it. I’m now at a dilemma tho , do I try the placement where I could not have much to offer yet ? even though I am more level headed than my class or do I do the Advanced Programing for mobile devices and learn something where there could be more jobs. Its still early enough to switch and I’ll have to have a think.

What I have learned so far in my Rights And Creative Industries class (RACI) for the likes of games , music, graphic design and so fourth. Is the world is full of “evil bastards !”.

Its all about copyrighting and trademarks and even though when I first seen the module I thought “Another scheduled nap..” Not that i condone such behavior.  But the lecturer has made it interesting , fun and breaks up the class well with video , sound and even searching the web for his examples. Much better way than the old ” read and write” LAZY TEACHING methods. So I have provided a few examples of what we learned in very short form which you can further explore.

  • Batman – The true creator was ripped off by his friend.
  • Star Wars – Tried to shut down their own fans who contribute to the star wars universe (sex toys not included).
  • The Verve – Their song “bitter sweet symphony” is what they are best known for. They don’t make a penny from it because they failed to check out the copyright on a piece of sound they used.
  • Superman – Yet another person ripped off from the original creator.
  • Austin Powers –  They never bothered checking up on copyrights or any other infringements and were sued and put a stop to.
  • Booble – They one their case when Google tried taking them down , as they see there clientele to be on the search engine for a very specific reason..
  • Disney – They chased a group through-out America . Costing them millions of dollars or decades because a small group used to draw their characters in a small comic book.

This is just a little snippet of what we have learned in a few weeks of (RACI) , later we discover the business side of things and how to keep yourself right and in check.

The Game Project – Zebedee

This is the group project which we plan to make a game using unreal engine 4. It’s going to be a very simple exploration game with puzzles in which you have to solve to get parts of your ship back to return home. Through-out this we will learn valuable techniques and have something to show for our portfolio. I shall have a separate blog for this and have others right their inputs on it . Any updates will be posted to DNA Games Facebook page.

thanks for reading and more to follow soon !

http://zebedeetheexplorer.wordpress.com

http://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com For Game Reviews

https://www.facebook.com/dnagamesuk like us on Facebook!

https://twitter.com/DNA_Games_UK Follow us on Twitter!

email dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com

 

 

 

DNA Games – Glad to be Back !

Alrite Guys!

It’s been a while since I lasted blogged but I am back now. With a new year at University of The west of Scotland (UWS) doing Games Development (year 3) I plan to get back into blogging about projects at UWS and at home.

I will also get back on to reviewing games and maybe even movies ( student budget) if I get the chance .

So from things I develop/make to watching and playing I plan to share with you guys and yous can have a ” wee gander” (look at) and hopefully a read .

Thats all for now  , content will be coming soon !

DNA Games – Ricky Steven

 http://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com/  For Game Reviews

email  dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/dnagamesuk     like us on Facebook!

https://twitter.com/DNA_Games_UK            Follow us on Twitter!

Nevrax & DNA Games

Alrite guys!Buginator3thick

There has been a new team project undergoing at the University of the west of Scotland (UWS) / (ofof).

It has been undergoing for the last few weeks but only recently has it being in proper development.

This time we will be making a game rather than just designing the document for a game.

The choices we came up with were simple and they had to be as we only have 10 weeks to do this in.

The choices from the brief were to either do a report or make a game. Its pretty obvious that a lecture / lab full of Game development / Game technology students were going to pick. Well if ye didn’t pick a game/software your really not in the right business.

Like I said we made the decision to make a game. The choices in which followed by that were to make a 2D game and something a little different and the best choice was to make a 2D Top-down view of a turret defence game.

I had been chosen to do the graphics and designs of the games assets like the sprites of the bugs,turrets and the games user interface (GUI) as well as the logo.

I then went about throwing together a quick game design document to get the ideas rolling… Game names , themes, enemy’s , mechanics and things of that nature. It looks ugly but its still good to get things started .

https://rickysteven1.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/td.pdf

 

Out of the ideas the team voted for Bugs/Insects to be the enemy and what turrets we would like in the game. The Name BUGINATOR seemed fitting and that’s what were rolling with!.

To begin with our initial idea is that there will be 3 enemeys and 4 turrets. And the enemy’s will attack in waves. This may tweak as things go on but its what our initial game will have.

The game will be made with ( Construct 2 ) by our programmers of Game Tech (Christian + Sean) , and the sounds by another Game Dev student (Jordan) under the banner of Nevrax.

We also plan to put  Buginator to Facebook !

The next blog I will show off what enemeys and turrets I have came up with.

Thanks for reading .

also check out http://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com/  An  honest opinion on “Elderscrolls online” is due this week. Plus “Tomb Raider” and “South Park the Stick of truth” !

email  dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com .

https://www.facebook.com/dnagamesuk          like us !

https://twitter.com/DNA_Games_UK               Follow!

UWS Project – Imperial Crusade – Graded Pitch time

Alrite Guys.

So that’s us on week 11 of university which is our second last week of the first semester. Its time for our graded pitch on Tuesday in front of an audience.

I managed to update the GGD with a few things like in-game units , how the trading will work and fighting will happen within a province or against an army. I also had to fix the GUI of the map which I did and I feel it gives any artists the general idea of what we want and along with my document for it then the programmer can also know what we want to happen to.

The main thing on our mind though is obviously the graded pitch. This means hours of reading and a power point to be created and notes to be written. Al to be forgotten and doubted at the last minute and during the pitch its self.  My chores for the pitch were to come up with the games flavour text and a few slides on the story and empires with things like cultures , religions and general goals.  But the major problem is our pitch is only to be 15 minutes long and therefore we run the serious risk of having to much to say and to little a time.  And we will have until next week to find out.

But here is a small reflection on what I have achieved and contributed towards our project.

To begin with it was my core ideas when coming up with a game concept. This was helped by my inspiration from paradox’s series of Crusader kings and Europa Universalis. Along with a game which was not long out at the time Rome Total War 2. Then into further depth and many long chats later I explained that a good unique aspect would be for the player to not only control the units as a squad but a single unit like mount and blade or blade storm and fight in an epic battle.  Being able to switch between setting up tactics and formations to doing the actual fighting I fought would be very interesting.

After that day within a few hours I came up for the base of my vision which is to be a part of an organisation which talks all things gaming and designs and makes games and apps. This is where the concept of DNA Game Design Studios UK came from and DNA Game Reviews.  The name changes every other day due to me finding similar ones. And I have a major shout out and thanks to Christopher Haughey who designed the DNA Games Logo (first draft displayed) and who is willing and able to contribute more in the future with our projects. And also the lovely Lauren Wilson who created our mock up game cover and inspired our name of our game to be imperial crusade.

I also created many maps from being a few concepts to picking one and then making more. I created GUI’s for our project too and also pitched in with the mechanic systems. I am happy with what i could achieve in short time due to work and other commitments.

The goal from now on out with projects from University are to continue to plan and design games , As well as keep others informed with information and my opinion on games within my reviews.

Thanks for reading through this university chapter and hope to hear from yous in the next

Thanks for reading

” why be shy , when you can embrace”

also check out http://dnagamereviews.wordpress.com/

UWS Project – Imperial Crusade empires map – GDD update

Alrite Amigos

 

Its starting to to get to the “nitty gritty”  end where were making sure our Game design Document (GGD) is packed with information and and put away very neat and tidy.

So I took it appon myself to get the head down and knock out some user and game inter faces (UI’s) (GUI’s). Along with some concepts and proposals for maps which cover our proposed level design.

I made a total of 4 maps which I will bundle together at the end. The first two are very similar , the first being a map which shows the old empires and the second the different regions and with their provinces split into different sections. The other two are a maps which shows the worlds religions and the world after the empires fracture apart and you can see the newly emerged factions/country’s. I also created an empire document which explains why the empires existed , how they began to fall and what religions and cultures are in each regions.

I also created a few UI’s And GUI’s . The ones I have created thus far are: Province view – for when you click on a province. And shows what key points are within the province which are:  city , monastery and the stronghold.  It will display how much income is coming within the province as well as its culture,religion and who owns what key-point and a few other details. Once you click on a key-point like the city then the other box will appear showing what buildings are within the city and there level. The level will determine how much manpower there is, how much income is generated and effects improvements to armour and weapons. This was the other interface I had chosen to create.

I have also started making a GUI for the map/campaign view with mock ups of icons , mini maps and other buttons and options.

I have also took it appon myself to create my own GGD and write as much on the gameplay aspects and mechanics as I can to help my team mates. I think its important to help give an idea and indication on a few things to help with the process of creating the overall GGD.  Another thing I create was a document on how the menu systems work and what are the follow up options when clicked which is yet again just to help out in case of any problems. I just wish these were real things I made so I could sell them for shiny things or Smirnoff Gold ….. !

Next Tasks are : Update my GGD with info on Units and other things. Finnish GUI for the map. Discuss with group our budget and musical influences.

Thanks for reading . Please like, comment and share and if any questions arise Don’t hesitate to make contact .  I ain’t no dalek !

 

UWS Project – Imperial Crusade-map concepts /ideas

Alrite Amigos
Q {-Which side of a chicken has the most feathers ?-}
A {-The outside-}.
What is the relevance to do with this blog ? None!
Now that’s over with The other weeks task was to come up with a map. This took longer as expected as there were other University actives to take care of like passing assessments ” wooohoo”
 So the process of coming up with a map was daunting as there was so much freedom my mind did what it does best under those circumstances and draws a blank while sticking out its tongue at me! “na na na na”
 I started off by looking at maps of the world and then as an Idea I though of cutting out country shapes and doing things like.
1) Sticking them upside down
2) Inverting them
3) intersecting them with each other
Placing them randomly almost creating it into an alternative earth.
You get the picture. So I then decided to search and see if there was any map creators out there and by luck there was a few.
This particular one I found was a bit rough around the edges. There was a vast amount of options and settings and by the elimination process your map came out in various and numerous sizes and shapes.
The program which I used you have to pay for so I quickly found a few suitable maps in my opinion for concepts before the trial ran out .
We as a group also had a few slight changes to the game document as it goes with certain mechanics, gameplay and exactly what countries there are and why there at war.
The original Idea was our Team were going to pick 2 countries each (6 total) and write a little about there culture and why there at war with the other.
But now we are thinking of changing  them so its like there emerging from 3 different empires which are breaking apart. This isn’t final yet as this design keeps having twists and turns each day.
I will keep you’s posted.
By the next blog I will have selected 1 map and Named it and show off the 3 Old empires and will also link them into a small story line so it kind of makes sense .. “I hope”
-There after that I take the maps further into detail showing provinces , Key Point Locations and areas of trade.
-Also a small description on units and explain there differences – I.E why is a guy with a Katana better than a guy with a bread knife .
These are the main goals for the next blog , maybe the next two blogs as the document is getting typed , shortened , expanded and re-typed every other day so its hard keeping up and quite fatiguing.
As always thanks for reading , like , share , comment , subscribe and don’t hesitate by dropping an email if any idea you like or don’t like or even have , all is welcome…
Thanks for reading Guys ! Kind Regards Ricky

UWS Project – More Design info – Everything relates to Skyrim in the end.

Alrite Amegios

Last weeks task at hand was the creation of a map which our game is set and takes place.  And also for all members to come up with two playable alternate countries and say why they are at war.

As simple as a task it sounds there was so much of an explosion in terms of ideas and also a loss of how I would develop the concept map.

At first I was going to just take the map of Europe divide it up and move bits here and bits there .. end up with Italy putting the boot into Finland – “my moneys on the Fins”

But its hard to be creative that way so I looked around and found a few programmes in which to do it and used 1 of them . If the worst where to happen I was genuinely going to use Sid Miers Civilisation 5 editor . Like I said its just for a concept map and there are no rules for showing off an idea.

And as for the playable Nations at war. So many ideas which can be spun off this. Religious war/ holy land , succession to the throne in a joint union (moan the Scotland) , claiming land / resources . Even just different cultures creating alot of border friction.

The idea I have  is to have 1 country which gives of an Imperial  Empire Status like the Romans or who am I kidding for Skyrim terms the actual “Imperial Empire” . And  in the Red corner have the rebellious nation who is joined by smaller weasels. And yes I did revert to smaller countries as weasels. The rebellious nation I will try and base this off will be almost like the Barbaric Viking type . Or Nords for the Skyrim geeks .

I am so tempted just to blog about Skyrim now … starts off as a semi related joke ends up with me creating a new character and setting chickens on fire all day….

If you guys managed to get this far reading then thanks very much . Yous are awsome !

always remember to leave feedback via twitter , email or comments bellow !

The map will be posted next week at some point but al be back .. unless I take an arrow to the knee …

email =    dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com