Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Personality Traitor

As promised I am to detail my personal perceptions of the personality and work habits of each of the story team - Jared, Cody, Cliff. Plus Jesse our Project Manager.

These are of whom I am working most closely with at the current time. I will continue this throughout the assignment for each person that I feel the need to understand as a person, so essentially this must be treated as a work in progress.

I am hoping this will help me better my relationship with these people, as it has been evident that such complex demeanours as communicative dissonance and psychological withdrawal need to be addressed by myself, if not anyone else.

If YOU are reading this, you may have a natural instinct to react to and challenge any observations I have made that could be seen as a negative judgement. Please read this with an open mind. These are but my opinions and passive interpretations. I will approach any criticisms with caution and empathy.

Maybe this exercise will give these people some insight into themselves which they may not have been conscious of before.

I will also reflect on my own strengths and weaknesses. A self-analysis if you will.
I will be brutally harsh on myself, so people are aware of my flaws. This will motivate me to iron out these imperfections [my suspicions are that many will need more like a full dryclean].

So here we go:

First up -


Jared is an interesting character. He is generally reserved and quiet in social situations. Which has meant I have had to dig deeper and see what is really in there.
Jared is strong minded and will hold onto his opinions and ideas with a passion, this gives him a definite edge and a lingering intensity to his persona. He is considerate, especially when it comes to morals and beliefs.

If there is a disagreement, you will know about it. Suddenly, all communication is cut off and Jared's gaze wanders elsewhere... his lips become tight and sure enough a few moments later, he will more than likely state it how it is. "I don't like it." or "No." Often followed by a sour look with a hint of relief in it.
Jared is elusive - I found it had been difficult to ascertain his intellectual capabilities for quite some time. Jared's promotion to Story Lead has forced him to present his ideas and to showcase his skills as an intense and assertive social creature.


Just being in the same room as Cody has a profound affect on ones serotonin levels. Most would probably initially perceive Cody as an extrovert - likely activated from his theatre and directing background.
He is a powerful leader because of his ability to address an audience and keep them on track - focused on the task at hand. People tend to look up to him for the same reason as "when someone makes us laugh, we temporarily give ourselves over to that person".
Cody is disciplined and motivated. He is also strong minded and is not easily deterred by others. If he has a belief, he stays by this. Even if others do not. I have found that he is easy to negotiate with however - Cody will meet you half way.

I speculate that Cody is more logical and rational than many others amongst the team. He is a realist. This is an asset.

I find Cody is easy and fun to converse with, as he has a wealth of experience behind him and his vast knowledge of film references from which to draw comparisons from always fascinates me.

I find it has been difficult to become close to Cody, his

Cody is easily bemused by any suggestions / ideas that are incongruent or quite unusual. An idea or criticism questioning that isn't justified will be scathingly criticized and likely discarded soon after due to his powerful social influence.

Ok that's all I'm gonna do for now. I'll update this when I have the inspiration / time... sorry to those who are looking forward to reading about themselves!!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Head to Head with the Story Team -- Teeming and Steaming

I shall nickname these meetings The Episoda's. Welcome. They shall haunt you for many tears to come.

Oh don't be scared. Just make sure you brought a spair pear of underwhere.

Air Piss Odour I:

This was a terrible incident. It involved "The Entire Story Team" attempting to decipher the psychology between four different personality traits. In my next blog I shall post a terrific breakdown of each person. It shall be rather quite splendid.
We all met at my house on a Sunday Morning. We presented our ideas. Which of course were in the early stages. This meant a lot of arguing, a lot of pissed off people, a lot of crying, a lot of depression and a lot of name calling. Luckily I managed to sneak in a nap which allowed me to keep things real.

Really and truly I felt at this stage as if I should hand myself over to the authorities. I was sick of it - the trauma - the fantastic ideas that were left in the open only to be shut down in an instant before allowing the idea to evolve or before letting the person explain themselves.

This was the end of the knuckle for me. I feel like shooting myself, and the others. In fact. I might just do it. You just wait.
You just wait.

Ok so here's the answer. I found it. It is genius. True genius.
Hmm... Shall I disclose it to the world? What a huge decision. I may just keep it to myself. But then again, who is to benefit from me hiding it inside my bony hollow?
No one? - - - - Exactly.
No 1. .No. 1

No. 2
Two is a crowd. A crowd of peaceful peacemakers.

Willing to negotiate.
Willing to listen.
Willing to submit ideas.
Willing to submit to ideas.

No. 3
Three is a crowd. A crowd of protestors.

Willing to argue
Willing to listen - unless someone else isn't.
Willing to yell.
Willing to kill.
erm... kill ideas that is.

No. 4
Four is a crowd. A riot.

Willing to Kill.
Willing to Destroy.
Willing to Humiliate.
Willing to Defecate.

References to obscenities are purely metaphorical. Unless otherwise stated.
If you are ever involved in any of the aforementioned scenarios then please take what I have said with a grain of assault.

The point is... Well you get the picture. The more people there are, the more egos are on the line, the more specialists there are and the harder it is to communicate. Perhaps this is only the case with brainstorming and idea generating.

Epic Soda II:

I went cliff hanging with Cliff. The puzzle man.
We went to the library. Managed to sneak a slot in the meeting room - a nice closed off area of the library dedicated to those that need some place to talk. We booked out. I mean - booked in. But booked away from the bribery. Look lair.

I spent most of the time clarifying the story and characters with him.
We discussed who was doing which puzzle. We also learnt a lot about each other as people - how we work and think etc.

Bare Persona III:

Meet and Greet and the wonderful Information Commons at The University of Auckland. Wish I knew about this facility sooner.
This was the entire foursome of us.

Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk. All fairly puzzling.

I had another disagreement with Cody. AAAAH the drawbacks of communication...
Resolved after the meeting.

Ear Purrs, Sew Dirt VI:

This was a complete waste of time.
I feared for my life.
It was like something had been ripped out of my life.
A whole day. Wasted. Lost. Castrated.

It was meant to be a day when we would present the story to the Art Team and the rest of the class. Of course this happened and Cody and Myself did the honours [for the ears of those who turned up] but the Art Lead was asleep anyway, on the floor. Quite funny really. So much for "Art Lead". More like "Art Dead".

Watch your thoughts, they become your words;
Watch your words, they become your actions;
Watch your actions, for they become your deeds;
Watch your deeds, they become your character;
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny!

Thankyou for reading The Episoda's.

Week 6 - Perplexingly Puzzling Story Strings

Hmmf. Hmmf. Hmmf.
I can't actually remember what happened this week. So I'll refer to someone elses blog to refresh my memory...

Aaah that's right!

We were shown the game engine today (AGS)... There are a lot of parallels to Photoshop and similar programs. In the way that you build up layers and have masks - also how there is not really a limit on the complexity and rendering of the project. Things can also be pixelated. It's basically a compiler. All the visual work will be done outside of AGS.

I remember there was a bit of a discrepancy between Cody and the rest of the story team, myself included, about the background rendering. The argument was this:

Cody for:
Painting all the backgrounds in photoshop or similar.

+ Transfer from 3d to 2d not required.

- Means that there may be stylistic differences between scenes, depending on who drew it

Us for:
Using 3d assets with texturing - completely modelling out the environment.

+ Flexibility of camera angles.
+ Assets can be reused and altered
+ Can be made to look photorealistic or simplified.

- Argument is: why create something in 3d, when it is just going to be flattened into a 2d image anyway? (on import into AGS)

I understand this logic. However this is just logic. After all, a film is just a series of still images.
Myst was all prerendered in 3d. Even though the environment doesn't physically move, the camera angles do. Which gives the illusion of moving around an animated environment.

We named the game today. Which was such a bad name that I'm not even going to mention it. It made me feel sick. It was the equivalent of giving birth to a beautiful baby and calling it 'biped' because it has 2 legs. Or calling a romance novel '2 bits of meat slapping together'. There was no consideration taken into the mechanics of the story, the psychology, the emotion, the characters, the switch to the parallel universe, the machine, the references to secret societies - in fact, the only thing it considered was the most superficial thing - the environment.
Even now that the name has been changed to Steam Shift, this seems to only have reference to a singular change in environment - rather than the deeper elements to the story. Even if it was pluralised to "Steam Shifts" would be an improvement as this suggests other changes in the game. Of which there are many.

I guess the only reason I'm complaining is because I didn't get a chance to contribute as I was caught up in meetings. One of my biggest strengths is branding/slogans and abstract thinking like logo design. Well it doesn't matter. Steam Shift will suffice.

Actually no it isn't the only reason I'm complaining. The name is what people remember. It is the first thing people see when they want to buy/download a game. When you are younger subtleties in names don't matter. However I believe as we mature, we are conditioned into seeking these things to get a clue into what sort of game it is.
Perhaps that is just me. No it can't be. I am not alone. I hope.

However I'm pleased with the name of our studio.

Iridescent Studios

Definition of 'Iridescent':

1. Displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.

That is quite beautiful. A stunning name in fact. Makes me think of all the cultures in our class. All the influences, all the personalities. It speaks of playing.
I'm not sure if the person who proposed the name was aware of these wonderful relationships. It does not matter. Spontaneous things are usually the most fluent.

It's strange. We have such a deep name for our studio. Which is watered down [um or should I say evaporated] by such a shallow name for our debut project ->> product.

Ok I've vented. For now. The funny thing is. I enjoy discussing these things more than I actually truly care about them. Or do I? Sometimes I wonder.