SPP3 – Assignment One

So, for the first assignment for SPP3 I have to find four full-time multimedia jobs, four full-time post-graduate courses, and “mock” apply (as in write out the paper work but not actually send it) to one of each.

Task A: Multimedia Jobs

This was tricky, seeing as most jobs usually ask for a couple years of experience; if you’re good at searching though, you can find ones that don’t have it listed as a firm requirement. I narrowed the results down to four via a combination of realism (no “Senior” positions for a first-time job – I learnt that when I attempted to apply for a job at Linneys Design near where I live about 4 years ago. Obviously, I am older and wiser now).

After careful consideration – and realising that the fact I don’t have a passport would be, to put it lightly, problematic (yes, I know we aren’t actually applying for these, but it’s still something to factor in considering how many jobs are overseas), I “applied” for the role of Game Artist at Playfish. Since I obviously don’t have the previous experience it lists as being a plus, I did my best to make my covering letter as interesting as possible (you’ll be glad to know that it’s a marked improvement from the last one I did – this time I actually have some idea of what I’m doing).

Task B: Post-graduate Courses

This one is somewhat unfair considering I’m an overly curious academic at heart, meaning there are a lot of courses I would be interested in studying. But I did eventually narrow it down to four.

Of the courses, I decided I would mock-apply for the Escape Studios Animation course. Not only would it make it even more likely I would get a job, the subject matter it would teach would be invaluable; I already know a lot about 3D modelling and texture, so I would really like to focus solely on the animation instead of having to construct my characters and rig them first. The downside, of course, is that it costs £8,750, and whilst the reaction of my parents would be amusing, that’s not something I’m about to tell them.

Another thing that’s come out of this:- my CV has improved ten-fold. I found the old one I had uploaded at Monster.co.uk the other day, and lets just say that it did seemrather amateurish (mind you, it did get me an interview for a position in the local paper’s main office, so it can’t have been that bad).

Games Mind Map and Critique

Quick thing from Tuesday’s games seminar before I go into my SPP critique. We did a group brain storming session (note to the PC brigade – if you can think of a more apt term term than that for the the process then I by all means I’ll use that. But ‘mind mapping’ sounds plain daft) for a board game which I copied down. In the event of being unable to read my own writing I typed it up in a free app called FreeMind – a brilliant little program and incredibly intuitive – so I had a copy that I stood a chance of being able to decipher. I’ve uploaded a jpeg of it; feel free to save a copy if you either didn’t note it down or weren’t there.

boardgamemindmap

On to the SPP task, where we have to critique a piece of work. So I took a look at my watch list on deviantART and picked out a painting called Bound Destruction by Mythori (not sure what her real name is). I am a rather big fan of her work, so a bit of bias might creep in. Also the questions from the seminar are about as useful for critiquing paintings as a bar of soap is for sketching. Consider them disregarded.

This is first and foremost a tribute to the artist Todd Lockwood (who’s a brilliant artist himself). But obviously it’s at fantasy fans and fans of dragons in particular. There’s a looseness to the artist’s style, most noticeable with the background, that, along with its desaturated browns and greys, manages to convey the sense of desolation and decay of the ‘graveyard’ far more effectively that minute detail by just hinting at objects and debris in amongst the haze. The highest point of contrast is by the dragon’s head, drawing the viewer’s eye to it. There’s a slight issue with the Rule of Thirds though, as although the head is situated on on of the vertical third lines it’s below the high point of contrast meaning my eyes are actually fixating slightly above it instead of on it. However, in a nice bit of compositional placement the pipe or whatever it is (it’s not clear) leads the eye downwards, allowing the viewer to notice the small figure at the bottom and immediately telling us the sheer size of the beast.

Creative Opportunity and GameCity

Last week Jools asked use to give an example of when knowing someone opened up a creative opportunity for us. This may be a sign of me not getting out much (considering who my peers are in my village, I think I can be forgiven for that), but it proved a lot more difficult then I thought.

I did think of one thought. Back when I started college I was showing my new friend Emily (she’s in the year above here at Uni) some of my art on a site called Media Miner (which to be frank is not the world’s greatest art site). She said I should join DeviantART and showed me her gallery there, after which she persuaded me to sign up. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back – it opened my eyes to a whole new world of artwork and spurred me on to seriously pursue art as a career.

I’m going to be attending a Games Design workshop with my sister at GameCity tomorrow from 2pm til 4pm, but we’re getting dropped off at one so we can have a look round before we go (they have Rock Band in the Square! Shame that the Zombie gathering is on while we’re at our SPP seminar). Shame we can’t really get down on Saturday, I would love to attend the BAFTA talk and see the LEGO build-a-thon. Today we managed to catch the end of a Mario Kart tournament, and see some guys being rather rowdy playing some kind of RTS (we can only assume it required voice commands). There was also a guy in an orange dog costume – which looked familiar but I can’t place it.

Networking – dead or alive?

Sorry – having a cold tends to scramble my brain and I completely forgot about this.

Our lecturer for SPP, Jools, said this at the end of the seminar, and asked us to say whether we disagreed with
him or not:

“The essential point of networking is human contact. Business has killed networking by making it something for the career orientated.”

I shall proceed to cut down this argument with two words:

The Internet.

If a network is just people you have contact with, then practically every internet user is connected to someone else, and the majority aren’t busines-orientated. Over the past 4 years I’ve talked to people from all over the world that I’d have never met otherwise through forums, deviantART and Livejournal – some I’ve become good friends with (which gets awkward when there’s several timezones between you), and others are more of a passing acquaintance.

On a related note, there was a bit of a disagreement over what a discussion is. Someone said that a discussion was about talking to people to reach a goal, and it ended up with some confusion over what the difference is between a discussion and a debate. Well, since my brother’s an expert on ‘talking’, I asked him to define the two:

A debate is where you take a particular view on a subject and then spend the next… how ever long you want to convincing everyone else that it’s the correct view. It’s pretty much an art form in politics.

A discussion is where people exchange ideas and opinions and potentially form new ones – here’s usually no goal in mind when a discussion is started because discussion is no different to regular conversation. And since I’m the only one in my house who can keep up with my brother when he starts talking about something, I pretty much have the discussion down to a fine art (well, I’ve got getting a word in edgeways down to a fine art anyway).

PS: Saw the newest version of Mousetrap this afternoon since our first project is design a board game.

That thing is NOT Mousetrap – where’s the bathtub and the diver and the wooden stairs? It didn’t even work when we tried it!