Crash Bandicoot and Mario Kart

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1)How has the introduction of 32 and 64-bit gaming affected the aesthetics of games?

This has allowed more of a freedom to express artistic freedom; adding an allowance of more colors and add the addition of 3D texturing (saving precious memory). The addition of more memory meant less sparse worlds with more assets, players, animations and much more! Game assets and overall look have a true 3D sense to them, increasing immersion as opposed to only Pseudo 3D of 4th generation games/consoles.

2) Which of the two games do you feel is visually more advanced in terms of 32 and 64- bit technology and why?

I feel that Crash Bandicoot is actually more advanced than Mario-Kart. This is because the levels are more populated and immersive, presenting the player with a much more focused and enjoyable gaming experience. Although Crash bandicoots face on gameplay means the player is basically rolling down a populated corridor. Whereas Mario-kart is a bit bare but has more dynamism with the 3rd person camera in levels. Crash bandicoot is preserving it’s on screen space for it’s aesthetically pleasing, stylised, scrolling gameplay. Mario Kart is rather nice, considering there are around twelve players on screen at a time that can collide and animate in unison actually make it a very visually interesting game. Especially how much memory they had to work with back then.

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3) How does the camera angle effect gameplay?Can you identify any bugs?

As shown in the picture below, the constant movement of the player & forced forward facing perspective means that the player is making mistakes due to the restricted angles of the camera. Whether it’s the timed game areas or not seeing your full environment, the player is at a disadvantage. Also bugs include; falling through the terrain; getting caught in terrain; dying/losing randomly and glitching animations. Not only does this break immersion, it halts gameplay and causes much anger with the player.

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4) How does the 3D graphic (first generation polygons) compare to games now?

They’re a lot more basic, they have far less polygons and are more blocky because of this. This was mainly because of the fact that the computers/console software could not hold enough memory to hold all the animation, polys and other aesthetic changes to make game better. The games actually had an overall aesthetic of stylised cartoon style. Modern games allow for so much polys and memory that the art can replicate modded items that are similar to those in real life; meaning that the player doesn’t have to be in a stylised game because it’s all their console can do (immersing the players).

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Critical Studies Game Art – Sonic the Hedgehog and Street Fighter

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1. How has the introduction of 16bit gaming affect the aesthetics of the games?

It allowed the screen to fill with more pixels of detail and saturated colour. As well as that the games had more power – the memory alone allowed for more animations, sound effects and smarter programming. Both rely on simplistic gameplay with far more detailed environments, bringing the aesthetics of games to be a factor for playing/buying.

2. Which of the two games do you feel is visually more advanced in terms of 16bit technology and why?

I feel sonic just wins, being more advanced than street fighter. Street fighter has more fidelity with animation. The background sprites move and jerk with slightly differing frames from other sprites, building a breathing atmosphere that immerses the player in the world. As well as this, the characters have many animations that are reactive to gameplay; allowing twitch control for faster, more focused gameplay. Sonic is far more colourful and saturated, it’s stylistic elements that bring out the cute scheme it has going. The scrolling screen seems to reveal more of the world at a fast rate, showing off the technological prowess of 16bit technology.

3. Which out of the two games you have tested did you prefer the most and why?

Although Sonic is more pretty and technologically superior, the gameplay of street fighter and it’s more light colours are satisfying to me. The two-player co-op of street fighter means that the goal is to beat your opponent and your own skill, constantly playing until you win/get bored. The fighting mechanics also mean you can always repost and block moves, meaning there are tonnes of replayability on how to approach an opponent.

4. How does Pseudo 3d affect the game’s aesthetics?

Pseudo-3D (two and a half dimensional) is a term used to describe either 2D-projections and similar techniques used to cause images or scenes to simulate the appearance of being 3D. This breaks from the recent tradition of the 2D only games that have been on the market. The levels are flat planes that use shadows, camera movement and colours to bring characters forward to focus. It gives the illusion of a fully fleshed out world that bring player interest, bringing outstanding depth to a piece that would otherwise be flatter.

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Critical Studies Game Art – Zelda and Metal Gear test Play

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1. What are the similarities between both
games (colour, view and gameplay)?

Both games use a limited colour pallet that makes this a simpler style and allows the player to focus on gameplay. Both games have a strong narrative that is expressed through text, that the player has to read to understand the narrative (no voice acting available in the era yet). The games are a fixed, top-down view that is looking at character and rooms/cells. Each game has a specific audience and genre to it but each shares adventure/action elements with gameplay.

2. Which of the two games do you feel is
more advanced in terms of the game art

Metal Gear definitely holds more detail and overall is symbiotic to gameplay. The textures are very advanced, holding details that can correlate to real-world items. The game was also aimed more at teenagers and young adults that wanted a more nervy/dark experience, over family games like Zelda. The games stealth-military themes mean you have to look at the assets and characters to gauge how to approach every level. The colours and music also infer feelings of the sombre mood. Grey-blues are cast against the warmer browns/white of character, bringing out important pieces on the screen. All enemies have different classes and sound effects to go with it. The game is very advanced considering when it was made.

3. Which out of the two games you have
tested did you prefer the most and why?

Personally, I prefer Zelda. Although it’s less advanced than metal gear; the game is far more colourful and engaging. The feel is more chipper and the characters are stylised with light pastel tones. I feel playing metal gear is a more gritty game & Zelda is cuter and allows the player to fill in the gaps.

4. How do these games keep you engaged?

Metal Gear is an overhead shooter with elements of stealth and action-adventure. The game itself focuses on making the player focus on the stealth mechanics, searching every room for new ways to engage enemies quietly – or not at all. The Legend of Zelda (Zelda) is a high-fantasy video game that is narratively driven but puts the player into action from the get-go. Zelda starts initially with a focus on narrative and scrolling text that immerses you into the world, but after it allows you to go off the linear path and explore the world.

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Critical Studies Game Art – Space Invader and Donkey Kong

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1. To what extent are Space Invaders and
Donkey Kong different in gaming

Space invaders seem much simpler than Donkey Kong – it has a side-scrolling (x-axis only) style with remnants to the original pong and breakout. Donkey Kong characters can go up and down, a narrative (beyond the title), visually differing levels and also contains sprites that change with the layout. Space invaders have the original point scoring logic of an arcade game, whereas donkey kongs “timed” mechanic focuses on removing points from timer until games end. However, the games are similar to some extent as they both use music to stimulate the player; the games use point scoring systems and sprites go downward (toward the player).

2. Which of the two games do you feel is
more advanced in terms of Game Art

Donkey Kong has more assets, artistic prowess and colours & overall more visually stimulating. The game requires more attention from the player and has more controls/skills than Space Invaders.

3. Which out of the two games you have
tested, did you prefer the most and why?

I personally prefer space invaders. The game kept me on my toes and playing much longer than Donkey Kong. Space invaders also have the points system that made me more competitive and keep playing – mainly to beat other people.

4. How do these games keep you engaged?

The changing sounds, intense music, score, time pressure and both challenge the player to keep going.

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Critical Studies 20th OCTOBER 2017 Self-Study – Breakout and Frogger game test and discussion


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1. To what extent are Break out and Frogger similar in gaming experience?

Both create tension and urgency in the player(s), creating a competitive atmosphere. Both require a lot of attention & favour a frustration and force player to keep going (refining their skills). The arcade institution is reminiscent in the point scoring systems that follow in 1st & 2nd gen consoles, however, the designs are very innovative for their times.

2. What age group do you think these games are aimed at and why? (discuss colour, style, end goal, and gameplay)

The games are simplistic in gameplay and design, meaning almost anyone can play. The colours are bright and pleasing to look at, mainly with primary colours. Though frogger is more complicated (with sprites, etc.), breakout still had a minimalistic design that was attractive for focus. Frogger can have an interpretation narrative, Breakout can’t. The gameplay of Frogger is one of trial and error, looking to move forward, avoiding obstacles on a X+Y axis. Breakouts gameplay is dull in comparison. The Consoles were aimed at the whole family, an investment engaging the family together. Perhaps frogger is more of a family-friendly game, with an end goal of getting the frog from the bottom of the screen to the top, whereas breakout is more competitive, invested/skilled gamers.

3. Which out of the two games you have tested did you prefer the most and why?

Although I feel that frogger is the superior game, I much prefer breakout to a larger extent. This game lacks the vibrancy, skill, and technical prowess of Frogger but I found Breakout was more satisfying as a single player game (ergo me). The ball falling back and forth forced me to keep my eyes off the screen and contemplate my next move at all times. The game is addictive and it is all your fault if you lose. In a group, Frogger is more interesting and engaging but I think I would get bored with the same setting and style. Minimalist lacks style or features so I can focus on games.

4. What do the games seem to be lacking in terms of game playing experience?

Although more fast-paced; Breakout is a scrolling paddle across the bottom of the screen on one plane – depending on physics to move the ball to break blocks. It’s considered a knock-off of the original pong, even sharing similar stylistic layouts to it. Colouring for Breakout is poor and isn’t visually pleasing to younger viewers in particular. There is no emotional connection with Breakout, paddle and ball are just arbitrary objects. Frogger has some variety but is a similar setting over and over – little replayability.


Critical Studies Game1002 13 OCTOBER 2017 Self-Study

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1. To what extent does Pong conform to a traditional tennis game?

Pong can be seen as a simplified form of a tennis game, perhaps what could be thought of as an abstract representation of tennis. The basic principles of tennis are there (deflecting a ball back and forth, points gained from unreturned shots, a line representing the net) but the more advanced details are absent (service lines and other court features, the more complex scoring system, 3D implementation which would enable a shot to actually fail to pass over the ‘net’ etc). In the context of the time with Pong being one of the first video games ever made, it could certainly be thought of as a game inspired by tennis.

2. How and why does the game seek to elicit an emotional response? (How does this game get you to engage with it and how does it make you feel)?

As the game is so primitive, lacking a story of any kind, the only emotion it really could be said to intentionally elicit is one of competitiveness between the two players. Although arcade originally, Pong was primarily a home-system game, and would have been a great way to enact rivalries between friends and family. Due to the speed of the game, this competitiveness was intense, with the minimal sound effects adding atmosphere. As a classic first gen game today it generates a strong sense of nostalgia, although that is a natural by-product of time and not so much an intentional design choice.

3. To what extent is the game visually stimulating?

The game isn’t very inspired when viewed today. Its visuals are as simple as it gets with only two colours on screen and flat shapes moving back and forth on a plane – but the game in the seventies would’ve been an exciting interactive medium that no-one would have seen before. It is fast, the speed and smoothness of both the paddles and ‘ball’ being highly engaging.

4. What does the game seem to be lacking in terms of game playing experience?

Pong is one of the first computer games ever created so it is very much bare bones. It lacks almost everything expected from modern games, requiring no more interaction than moving up and down & selecting the game/serving (version depending), making the gaming experience seem shallow to modern eyes. This is understandable considering the restrictions of the time. ‘Breakout’ could be seen as an evolution of Pong, especially from a single-player perspective, with much added functionality (power-ups etc).


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Module handbook for Game1002 Self-Study

1. What date is your Formative assessment?

–  A formative assessment is our first hand in where we; go over the work, get a predicted grade and feedback.

2. What date is your Summative assessment

A summative assessment is; the main hand in date. This will be marked and graded.

3. What week is the “Writing Conference”?

– Week 17, 26th of January 2018

4. Where do you obtain an “Extension of
Coursework Submission form”?

– An Extension of Coursework Submission form must be obtained by you from FOTAC and approved by a module leader.

5. What referencing system should you use?

– Harvard

6. What is “CLaSS” an acronym for?

– Center for Learning and Study Support

7. The university has a “use of computers
policy”, what section number is
“Acceptable use of University IT

– 4

8. What is the completion date of “Critical
Studies 1002 – Reassessment Brief”?

-The reassessment hand in deadline will be Noon on Friday, August 17th, 2018


Done!   🙂


More Information available here in the Module Handbook: