Collaborative Virtual Environments- Ark: Survival Evolved

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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.

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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


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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.

 

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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 – 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

UWS Project – Game inital idea pitch-

(AA) – Alrite Amigos

After the last few weeks basically consisting on hours upon hours or endless dribble slebbering from chin to chin, or arse tae arse ( Scots lesson 101) its now time to see and ask the question . Are we getting anywhere ? . well its up to our lecturer to deicide that.

If you have been following up on the Bloggs then you’ll know the game which we are making a design document for is a Grand Strategy game which incorporates alot of ideas from , Europa universails , Crusader kings and Rome total war 2.

That is a very brief summery for more information please refer to an older blog !.

So as you can imagine and wee all have been in this boat where you’ve got an idea , you came up with it you’ve created it to you it exists and is a thing and when someone shares a different view ( Everyone has an opinion .. and an asshole..) it can be hard to take .

Were big boys but we can handle criticism , especially the guys i work with .. there bound to be used to it through there life’s . As for me al get over it … check ma face am not bothered anyway !

In al seriousness though were more at the point of . If he doesn’t like it what do we change , adapt or even drop and to be frank ( hey how are you ? am Frank ! ) I wouldn’t know where to start as for me I had a strong commitment behind my ideas for this game.

We sat down and drew up our plan a very simple plan of our ideas on … game play , mechanics , character , story, background and U I’s and decided that we were fine and to go pitch it ,

Well the pitch might have been a little rocky round the edges and even though our real pitch is 6 weeks away  in front of a crowd of potentially over 100+ this 5 minute talk was a little uneasy  – But he loved it !.

He loved al aspects on it especially the part having in real historical battles story’s  into our game to educate the players. The only negative thing was to cut the number of country’s down but its better to have to much and be ambitious than to have to little !

We have yet to come up with a name for the game . This is my task for this week as well as coming up with a concept of a map for our game . if any you guys have any ideas you would like to discus or have an opinion about please comment or mail , What is a good name for a game like this ?

Thanks for reading ! Kind Regards from El Ricky Romance

email =    dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com

 

DNA Games Studio UK – UWS Project – Team idea

(AA) – alrite amigos

The team has now came up with our idea . Finnnnnallly !!!

The idea is to design a Grand Strategy game.  After the endless hours of gibber gabber and unrelenting drool we did come up with some great , wacky and outlandish ideas but the overall opinions were swayed with a Strategy game.

This suits me and i am very happy to be able to work on our project when it comes to this genre. I love Strategy games like ….. Europa Universalis + Crusader kings series , Command and conquer series (not the 4th .. hell noo !) , ages of empires , Total war and the tycoon games . You get the picture i love these games and have burnt a very big hole in my eye ball playing them for countless days . ” just another hour “”just one more turn” … ( ayee right ! ( Scottish linguistics lesson 0.001) )

So our idea is to incorporate and merge ideas from 3 existing games which wee love in this genre and combine them into the master game. For this we have picked Europa Universalis 4 , Rome total war 2 , Crusader kings 2 and borrowed a feature from Mount and blade .

– Europa Universalis 4 – http://www.europauniversalis4.com/

This game inspired us in many ways . Firstly its an “Wowsome” game  but its game interfaces and its user interfaces are exceptional   So i plan to have similar features of there interfaces for my design. The map in which the campaigns take place is another great feature with being able to play any countries that is in existence at date of which you choose to start with.  The countries are made up of provinces i.e. Scotland have 5 .

-Crusader kings 2- www.crusaderkings.com

The game is very much like Europa universalis as its a paradox creation and is seen as a prequel. The feature that wee love in this game is that in a provinces there are 3 locations in which you have to take control of before fully taking the Provence in this case its usually a city , church/parish  and a fort/castle.

-Total war-http://www.totalwar.com/en_gb/

The battles in this game are epic at times . You set up your army the way you wish i.e. cavalry on the flanks , spearmen at the front etc.  And you pick what units to move and also there stance and special ability if they have one. The army is represented on the map as a single general and we like both of these ideas . As the general fights more battles the more traits they receive and skill they get at such things as fighting.

-Blade Storm- http://www.bladestorm.co.uk/

In this game you play as a mercenary and during game play you can battle with any unit taking control of it . i.e. walk up to archers and fight as an archers then a spearmen group etc. And basically control that group of  units whatever they maybe. So a feature we will incorporate will be the ability to choose which unit to fight with and become the commander of that unit .

well that’s alot to take in but to me it sound great . also website under construction ….. happy happy!!

thanks for reading like and share and if questions needed please comment or mail either way is fine !

al catch you guys next time as wee divulge more into DNA Games project.

email =    dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com

UWS Project – My role

Alrite Guys

The role I have undertook for the game design document is more on the arty side look and feel side … “but don’t touch”.

I have made a few mood boards up for the guys in which they will check to get the look and feel for our game. I will also have to set some time aside to learn how to use illustrators and paint software’s.

I already have a good few ideas of how i want the game to look. But that aside I am more of an idea guy . I feel strongly towards my ideas as iam not a selfish or arrogant person and generally see my views as unbiased so I will be bouncing off my ideas and opinions with others in the coming weeks  . Even though I know my tasks ahead I will also see to it as my duty to help the other team mates with things like mechanics as any team should do for one an other.

I have also outsourced two friends I know to see if they can help with the design of a logo and mock up game cover but that will be revealed in the few weeks ahead.

Thanks for reading.

DNA GAME STUDIO UK – hello world

Alrite Amegios (AA) .

Ricky steven here  – A.k.a – Romance
Gamer tag for xbox live -SLICKTO1

Its about time I descended into the wonderful world of Blogger.

Hopefully if the time of universe will allow me to write and then if you guys can read my blogs about the various things that I like and love or more so of the “punch you in the face” type of ramblings then please leave your response in a comment  or join in on the rants . (“Its a free www !”)

The main features of my blog though will be my team DNA Games Studio UK . Which is my university development team which consists of a team of 3 which I will go into more depth in my next blog.

Hopefully I wil also get some games reviews up and see what you guys think or feel .. “If your one of those types of people”.

I will leave you guys with a very fitting quote for a personal blog.
Hope to see you guys later !

Read and enjoy .

Opinions are like arseholes. We all have one and think that everyone elses stinks”
-Aimed at the world-

email =    dna.gamesstudio.uk@gmail.com