The Street: Church > Holy Trinity Church (Hull)

I decided to look at the Holy Trinity Church for inspiration for my church project. I thought taking photographs and doing some sketches would prove useful for my overall project as it would allow me to research into how church’s look rather than using secondary photographs and pure imagination. This blog post will be dedicated to purely research about the Holy Trinity Church. By researching this myself, It will allow me to look at finer details and for me to produce a better overall final product. To begin with I thought I would look into the history of the church itself in order to understand why particular elements of the church are designed in a set style etc.

During research of the churches website, I discovered that the windows a range of Victorian and 20th century glass making them rather modern, plus they use the best quality glass making them aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Some of the glass work was designed by Walter Crane (Born in Liverpool, b.1845, d. 1915) who was a part of the Arts and Crafts movement (1860-1910) alongside another artist I have mentioned about within my work named William Morris. The reason to why these windows are so modern, and that anything older is hard to find within the church is that it was destroyed during a zeppelin raid during WWI. Despite this, the church has some roundels available to be viewed which date back to 15th and 16th century (Similar to the Hornsea’s St Nicholas Church) which if to view need to be through appointment so I am unsure If I will be able to gain access to this, although I will try to get some photos for research of this rather than use secondary images.

Here are some examples from the churches website of the windows:

htc11 htc21

Trying to locate a date for the church itself, I discover this on the churches home website which was then backed up through Wikipedia.

This magnificent awe-inspiring building is over 700 years old and appears in the Guinness Book of Records as England’s largest parish church (by area).

This would mean the church was made roughly sometime around 1300, and it is said that the churches medieval brick work is some of the best in the country. Something else I found particularly interesting when investigating into the church was the unique carving by local craftsman George Peck and Robert Thompson so I thought I would add a few images from their work too. I will follow up this post with sketches and photographs taken by myself of the church to add to my research.

htcmouse11 htcoutside11 htcimp11

 

 

 

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RPG: Futher research > Tunnels & Trolls

T&T1

Tunnels and Trolls is an alternative to D&D, with a similar style and mechanics some could say it was highly influenced from D&D itself. What is unique about this particular alternative it allows for solo play as well as group play, and even play-by-mail. It was published in 1975 and managed to reach some markets before D&D, which was good for Flying Buffalo as they were able to make first impressions for many new RPG gamers before its rival D&D allowing the game to sell more copies than if they had been in the market at the same time. The maker of T&T (Tunnels and Trolls) said he had based his game around the highly famous Lord of the Rings novel, and due to the games success it was released in 1990 for PC. Another difference of this game in comparison to D&D is that T&T introduced a 6 sided dice and points-based magic system which was exclusive to T&T. Despite T&T not being as successful as D&D it is still widely known in the RPG world. Looking through a range of websites based on T&T, I found this interesting quote on T&T from Scott Haring from the 1999 Pyramid magazine.

In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Tunnels & Trolls as one of The Millennium’s Most Underrated Games. Editor Scott Haring said of the game “everybody knows this was the second ever fantasy roleplaying game … But to dismiss it as just an opportunistic ripoff would be grossly unfair. Flying Buffalo’s T&T had its own zany feel — it was much less serious than D&D — and a less-complicated game system.”

T&T is currently being financed through Kickstarter in order to produce a Deluxe edition better then the current 2012 french edition.

 

 

RPG’s research revisited 28/04/2014

In 1969 the book Chainmail was released by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren which was a medievil minature war game. The creator of this book (Gary Gygax) went on to help create what we know today as Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and dragons is a fantasy role playing game which was designed again by Gary Gygax but also by Dave Arneson.

Chainmail

The first version of DnD to be officially produced was in 1974 by TSR Inc. (Tactical Studies Rules). The company Tactical Studies Rules was created by Gary and Don Kaye as Gary and Jeff could not find anybody who would published their product so decided to go into self-publishing and within one year they manage to sell out.  The game is still being produced and changed to this day with continuing success and a growing fan base, the game has even several digital game versions which include online play and also movies and books based on the fantasy within Dungeons and Dragons. There has been some negativity towards the Dungeons and Dragons game with the ‘Steam Tunnel inncodent’  in which Patricia Pulling’s son sadly passed away due to suicide but she blamed Dungeons and Dragons as the main cause. Due to this, Patricia set up BADD (Bothered about Dungeons and Dragons) which dedicated itself to the regulation of Dungeons and Dragons. In protest, She even created a book called ‘The Devils Web: Whos stalking your children?’ and several smaller books protesting against Dungeons and Dragons.

BADD

From personal experience, I have played Dungeons and Dragons and it is by far one of the best games I have played with its ability to be replayed but still have such amazing storylines make it good value for money and I would advise anybody to play it as I have enjoyed partaking on a few D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) sessions with my class (as shown below). I will have a post in regards to one Dungeons & Dragons session in order to comment on its mechanics etc in detail to go towards my research.

DSCN0909DSCN0910

Computerised RPG Game: The idea

My game is going to be about a young character (Luna) who gets lost and ends up losing her parents in the middle of a busy village, due to this he gets kidnapped by a gang of strangers and ends up in the middle of a forest with the gang. Luna ends up in despair after noticing she has been kidnapped, in which triggers off her unknown magic ability in which she is able to free herself from the rope which once bound her and to find her parents!

Genre of game: The game is based on a ‘sword and sorcery’ theme as I think this was would be an interesting idea for me to develop because of the range of game materials I could use to research and explore this idea.

Aesthetic/look and feel: the game is a 2d spite top down game. The reason for my choice is because I find that I would be able to work with 2d more effectively and produce a better outcome.

Game idea (the introduction)

The story begins by Luna being woken up by the sun shining through her tiny bedroom window and her mother standing by her side. She informs Luna that today is market day and that they needed to travel to the nearest town. She tells you to hurry up and get dressed, and to meet her and her father outside. Luna collects her items from her trunk, then exits the house to meet her mother and father who are both waiting. Luna is traveling with her parents to the local village in order to purchase supplies at the market. Luna becomes distracted by a near toy stall in which a large group of children surround the stall itself, curious, Luna decides to see what is happening at the stall and alerts her parents that she will be over at the stall but what she doesn’t realize is that they do not hear her over the voices of the large crowd. She scurries over to find that the children are watching a magic show, in which the performer sees you observing and asks if you want to partake in a trick in which before you can answer, you get pushed through the gathering of people and join in the trick by the magician. Unknowingly to you, you are being observed by a group of strange men who notice the rattling of the money bag on your waist belt.

After the trick, you then wade through the crowd to try find your parents who you then see have disappeared along with the crowd. You panic, then suddenly you are approached by a group of men and then the screen blacks out. You awake, and discover that you have been unconscious for a few hours (judging on the darkness outside), you have lost all your possessions including your money bag and seem to be suffering from amnesia. You know you are meant to be somewhere but despite not knowing where you panic, it is when you are panicking that you notice that you are tied up to a wooden support within the building. You begin to shout, cry and plead but with no response in which you begin to become angered. Soon after your anger builds up and you notice a sharp pain run through your body in which you cast your first spell (fire) that sets the opposing side of the building a light. You are surprised at your ability, and are able to cast the fire spell on the rope to free yourself and quickly leave the building.

Once leaving the building, you are approached by your kidnappers who are frantically trying to put out the fire you have started although it becomes too wild. During this, the gang leader approaches you and starts fighting you, in which you manage to defeat him which scares off the remainder of the gang. The lead gang member had your items so you manage to retrieve everything and you discover a note which talks about you and where you were kidnapped, you think this will help you find your identity so you leave to find the village you were taken from.

This is a quick description to an opening cut scene from my game. I hope to recreate the moment you discover your fire power within an animation to give an example of what the game looks like.

Character Design: Why is this important?

Character design is extremely important part of games design, and using it effectively can create the most beautiful and surreal experiences for those playing. This means that creating a good character design is important, but how do we define good character design? One thing I would like to particularly discuss is the characters that are defined by the ‘Vin Diesel Approach’ (No, this is not a technical term, although it really does describe it perfectly so should be!) in which the male characters are created with similar aesthetics in order for the player to project themselves onto that character. It appears to be that this is done because it’s easier for the player to relate themselves to that design by creating such a bland character. In my opinion this can be both good and bad. Good because it allows the player to immerse themselves on a deeper level and get more involved with the story as they become projected onto the character. On the other hand, this could be bad because you don’t get empathy for the character so this could cause issues for the game (depending on the game of course). Naturally, this often happens for the female characters too although the females tend to get overly sexualised. Linking this to my last CATS session, we discussed the topic of sexualisation of woman and we agreed that sexualisation within female characters is becoming less frequent within games. I think sexualisation occurs in both male and female characters, but more debated in the female characters. Some woman think ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ in regards to sexualisation within female characters but others feel as if it is a poor representation of woman and is promoting the wrong points. I feel sometimes when sexualisation is used too heavily it can really take away from a character, as the focus shifts from the woman’s personality to her appearance. The game industry is constantly changing and maybe in the future we will begin to see a change in regards to character design as a response to the debate on the representation of females within gaming, although personally I don’t there to be an easy solution to this.

Relating back to my first question, how do we define good character design? Well, it’s simple really. In order to create good character design it takes a lot of planning and thinking your character through. Other than the basic characteristics of your character such as hair colour, eye colour etc, you need to take other details into account for example; If the character acts a particular way, then you must think of the standard ‘how? What? Why? Where?’ Why is the character acting this way? How does he put himself forward? Etc. Another example being if the character is a mute, what is the reason for this? When did this occur? Every detail of your character must have a back story to how they gained that detail of themselves.

The Street – My main influence

The main influence within my street piece will be St Nicholas church in Hornsea. Despite this being a lot bigger then required, I will use this as inspiration in order to make my church more realistic. Hornsea’s church was created in 14/15th century and was said to be completed by roughly 1420. Although I find this church personally a beautiful piece of architecture, there are many interesting features to the church which I think I could maybe highlight when creating my design.

For example, one interesting piece of history is that there is an alabaster tomb for Anthony St Quintin who was the last rector of the church before the church itself was given over to the Abbey of St Mary in York. The interesting thing in particular here to me was that Cormwell’s men carved the soles of their shoes onto the actual tomb itself. The present windows within the church date from 1904 as the previous windows were destroyed by ‘the great storm of 1732’, and also the door with its shouldered arch dates back to 1220. I think this information is useful to know so if im creating my church around the same era it will follow the same particular style.

My church design will date back to 1450’s which is roughly around the time the church in Hornsea was finished so that I can use similar defining features on the architecture. Within my design I have also noted that my church will be in repair, this is something that I want to use other influences in order for my design to look more realistic. Some things I would like to add to my design is that I want to add a chalk board located at the front of the church alongside some signage about an event the church is taking part in (promoting that event). When thinking about things such as burlger alarms, I thought that a church wouldn’t really have these as it is a house of god which is made open to everybody so after some research I discovered alternatives such as hedges and anti-climb paint (which would have a warning displayed next to it of course). For my problems to solve, I wish to create a believable church window which I have created from my own photographs with any alterations made within Photoshop. I also wish to create a monument of some kind outside of the church which is inspired by the local area to give the church a more solid foundation of its roots so personal investigation to other projects of classmates will be required here alongside careful consideration to what is realistic. I would also like to add a small graveyard to my piece as personally this is something I would enjoy creating and would really situate well after consideration.

 

RPG’s: An introduction into the world of role playing games

For this blog post I thought I would start investigating what RPG really means and its history, so lets begin.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term ‘RPG’, it stands for Role Playing Game. RPG’s allow people to take on the role of a fictional character in a wide range of scenarios. Over the years RPG’s have evolved with new characteristics and better features then ever before. The earliest known type of ‘RPG’ was the Commedia Dell’arte which roughly translates to ‘Comedy of Craft’ which dates as far back as the 16th century and originated from Rome. Commedia Dell’arte consisted of actors doing improv to numerous scenarios using exaggerated masks and used props to help define the scenario or character better.

But it is said to be H.G. Wells (Yes, the guy who wrote War of the worlds and famous for his contribution to the science fiction genre) who really opened up to RPG’s (some calling him the ‘great grandfather of RPG’s’) with developing a book of wargame rules called Little wars and it was he who made the first suggestion to create figurines in order to immerse people into the battle. Despite popularity, war games didn’t really take off until early 1950s. In 1953 Charles Roberts released a war game called ‘Tactics’ which created a standard in game mechanics with some still being applied today such as cardboard counters being used to signify military units.

“You only have to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be,” – H.G. Wells

 

What REALLY is a design process?

Recently I have been working on my own ident and I thought taking the time now to carefully evaluate my own design process would be great because being in the swing of workflow has allowed it to become more apparent to me. Earlier during the year, Gareth gave a talk on his design process and his work flow in order to give us a clear example of how a design process is set up. To simplify it, A design process is actually made of what I consider to be five crucial components. Firstly, the brief. This is the ‘low down’ of the project, the initial idea which the client has in mind. This the perfect opportunity for the client and the creative to discuss possible ideas from the brief that are able to be created by the creative judging on their ability and what is realistic when taking into account things such as cost and time. When I do my briefs, I have to mainly consider timescales at this point because I have to work on several projects at once; costs at this point personally are not an issue for my projects as I have the facilities and software available although in the future this would be important to consider.

The next component would be the development stage. This section is where things such as observational drawings take place, other things such as research, development drawings, schematics and testing appear here too. Although to some creatives all these may not take place, but the more that do the more thought out a project would be with less errors occurring later on meaning that a project failing is less likely to occur. I personally do my research to begin with, followed by development drawings and some observational drawings which then would flow onto testing possible ideas. I find doing this works best for me as I logically have always worked this way and have only ever improved on it rather then change the way I work. I have observed people who prefer to do sketches before the research but I find this way for me ends up with me being uneducated and making incorrect decisions making the drawings unrealistic and causing me to be unhappy with my final project, so for me this is a no go.

After this, It is then common for creatives to have several outcomes of an idea before settling on a final idea. For me this stage is important and I have to admit in the past I have skipped it and lived to face the consequences (being a poor final idea). If you limit yourself to one idea, not only are you not pushing your mind to be more creative when developing these ideas but you need to remember you are not trying to please your own desires, but your clients! So, by having several ideas on the page it gives your clients choice, and who doesn’t like choice? Typically when designing for personal projects I will create about 5-6 ideas, but I know in the future when providing for an actual client it would be wise to have a lot more with a range of alterations and leaving the ideas open for the clients to make changes. If for whatever reasons no real ideas have been generated from the development stages, it is not unheard of to go back to the brief and really dig your claws into it! Remember, this is foundation of the project and is everything your client wants so looking at this more than once is needed, especially to double check that your outcomes are met. If I personally find a brief hard to read, I re-write the brief for me to understand and talk to whoever I need too to make sure that I understand what needs to be accomplished. Although some may argue this to be time consuming, I find that it helps me understand the clients demands better so that my aims and objectives are met to a standard that I am happy with.

Next on the agenda would be to develop those ‘final’ ideas into a more solid form with the clients alterations giving the client choice yet again. This stage is different to the previous stage as alterations would have been made and would be more apparent, plus these ideas are more developed then just sketches so that the idea is more solid and formed giving the client a better idea of what the end result could be. Similar to the previous process, more then one idea will be taken ‘further’ so that the client can see more clearly on possible outcomes and give the creative more guidance if required. This is something I do currently on projects to see which outcome is better by creating a more polished draft then just a simple sketch; this could be taking a sketch and designing it within sketchup as this for me is a handy piece of software which allows me to design quickly but with good results.

Once I have passed this stage, I then create the final piece or pieces for them to be ready to show through a presentation. Before showing the client, I would double check that I have met all the aims of the brief and that I believe the project to be finished. Once I am comfortable and have everything completed, I would then show the pieces to my client.

My Ident: Part one of development

Revisiting the first section of this, I have decided after careful consideration that I would go with the Albino Pirate Studios. I really like the uniqueness of the name itself; but also I feel like I could really push the design as the name provides imagery and when designing the Ident this would appeal what my production company is about. For my storyboard, I thought I would focus more on the movement within the ident and how the ident would flow, and then when I have more time have a clean-up on the design and focus more on altering the typography to a more personalized design but following a similar style to the selected typography.

‘Albino Pirate Studios I really like as I feel the albino pirate studios would stand out as Albino creatures and people are unique and different visually. I thought by having this within my design would make the company stand out and promote our aims of wanting to think outside of the box of generic gaming.’

Expanding on this, I would also like to add that I want to use colour to really help denote my companies’ purpose and personality as the business itself is unique, individual, diverse, honest and youthful. The colours I would use within my ident are blue, white, yellow and green which will help signify that the company is fresh, growing, optimistic and confident.

ABC

I have decided to use an typeface that already exists for many reasons. Firstly; the ident I found fits the picture of what im looking for within my ident perfectly; so rather then alter it and not gain the same effect I thought I would use the typeface giving credit where appropriate. Secondly; I am inexperienced within designing typefaces and during my research I know I won’t create a good enough typeface to be satisfied with my ident so rather then give my ident something I consider poorer then other typefaces I would just prefer to use something which would be more effective. Finally; timescales, I feel if I used a pre made typeface it will save me more time for creating my ident itself as I want to develop my ident at a faster speed without struggling to design and develop a suitable ident. The style of type I have chosen to use within my ident is called ‘Ainslie’. The reason I have chosen this type in particular as I feel aesthetically it provides a youthful, calming visual which is what I want to create within my ident. Using this, alongside particular imagery, I hope to create an ident which really defines the companies’ identity. I wanted to use a bold font which stood out but yet was still relaxing and not too ‘in your face’ so that it can be noticed but still linger within the background; by using this font it would also allow the text to flow in the background as the main focus will be on the pop up pirate until the focal point changes onto the text. I want my type face to send out the right messages to my audience; one of professionalism and trust, with being able to lay back and trust our company. The typeface wants to compliment my ident but not overpower it as it will need to serve the ident appropriately.

Typography: Part 2

‘Typography is, quite simply, the art and technique of arranging type.’  http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/what-is-typography-123652

When looking into possible Typography for my ideas I will need to consider a type which will support the companies’ identity, enrich the visual appearance and is compatible with the overall design so that it blends in well. I thought I would research more into Typography as my previous post merely touched on a few key individuals, and I feel as if my idea of typography was bland as I am unknowledgeable in Typography. As soon as I hit the research I discovered that there are many terms for breaking down type; this scared me as I knew type was big but didn’t know how big.

When designing my typography I should consider:

  • Size – x height and set width is used to define the size of the type
  • Leading – this is the space between each line of type, this size would vary depending on the size of the type.
  • Tracking and kerning – kerning is to alter the points of two individual letters to create a more aesthetically pleasing result to the type while tracking does the same but using the entire word (or a large group of characters).

Tracking

  • Measure – this is considering the sizing of the text block itself so that it becomes easily readable
  • Hierarchy and scale – This is altering the values of the text to differentiate the importance of each particular part. For example headers, sub headers, small print etc.

Here is an example of some of the terminology of typography and some of which I hope I can influence within my development work when designing my type. Using this will allow me to reference to particular parts of the typeface with little confusion when trying to explain alterations etc.

Blowfish

Key to image: 1. Bowl; 2. Stem; 3. Counter; 4. Arm; 5. Ligature; 6. Terminal; 7. Spine; 8. Ascender; 9. Apex; 10. Serif; 11. Ear; 12. Descender; 13. Crossbar; 14. Finial; 15. Ascender height; 16. Cap height; 17. X-height; 18. Baseline; 19. Descender line

person

Here is a piece of typography that I find particularly interesting. I love how they have literally designed the type relevant to the exact wording for example the word ‘person’ is worded using vital bones and organs. For the ‘You Love’ they have used the central point as a heart using both blue and red text which could be because of blood entering and leaving the heart. When designing my type, I may use a literal text to boldly present my companies identity in a prominently visual way. Although, the only issue with this is both my companies are two to three words long and could prove difficult. Also, in regards to good design I have always been a believer that ‘less is more’ and with so much going on within each word it could become too distracting. If I was to use this idea, I feel as if I would only use it on one word in particular so that it is empathised and simplistic.

mskr

What I like most about this typography is how removing a segment (in this particular instance, the removal of the ‘arm’) of the letter can produce such an interesting effective and diversify the logo completely. When designing my Ident I should possibly consider a similar effect so that my logo isn’t just simply a text but allow it to become more of an art.

TeslaTaxi

Here are two more examples of typography, both being used to symbolize the texts purpose. For the image on the left, the text was displayed in a set format to allow the text to resemble a taxi as well as being coloured accordingly. The reason for why this text was displayed this way was because the text is actually a poem about transportation. The image on the far left (known as the Tesla type) is based around Nikola Tesla and his invention of the Tesla coil amongst other things. The creator of this font used wires to signify Tesla’s work within electronics and used each letter to be created using wire. When creating my piece, I hope I can use a similar idea so that my type can signify its intended purpose.