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.

 

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 – 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

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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 .

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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 – 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.