Improving Productivity Using IT Assignment
The creative industry includes various subject in which many people enjoy working in whilst public spectators love to indulge in. However in some aspects such as gaming, animation, film and music it can be difficult to generate a good amount of productivity without the use of technology, meaning it’s more time consuming and stressful which is the main factor companies and studios try effortlessly to avoid.
High-tech soft wares are commonly used in these industries who share similar reasons as to using those programs. For example Adobe Photoshop is used to create realistic digitalised images using different style brushes, effects, tools for maybe initial designs for characters, storyboards, backdrops in gaming and animation. It can also be used for photography where people can photo manipulate images, render them, spot deflect and mix images together once again in Photoshop. For the fashion industry people (like the game developers and artists) use this amazing program to draw their ideas of clothes in a realistic fashion so they get a wider perspective on how their clothes will look in real life, this then makes it easier for machinists when they come to produce the clothes.
Having something like Adobe Photoshop, it saves people on continuously using paper to supply their ideas (economically brilliant), allows people to save the work done so it doesn’t get lost, can get sent to where it needs to go via email (quicker than the post, saving money) If one was to accidentally ruin their work unwillingly the damage can be reverted with Ctrl+ Alt +Z allowing people to reproduce the image to the best they possibly can. Even though this program is expensive it’s cheaper in the long run and less time-consuming, because having to supply each worker with correct art supplies is a fortune in itself and people are bound to make mistakes on drawing their ideas, thus adding more pressure, stress and time on making the product perfect.
“If you have never seen Photoshop, you’ve missed one of those glorious rare moments when software approaches perfection. Adobe is humble about Photoshop, calling it a ‘photo design and production tool,’ but no one who’s used Photoshop is so reserved.”
– Quoted from Kevin Conner, Byte Magazine
Maya and 3D Max is well known for their 3D modelling features for game and animation industries. It means that realistic models can be made on these soft wares making it easier for those who work in this part of the industry. Imagine making a model out of clay or cardboard and somehow it gets ruined by fellow worker, in the post or even by you. Like Photoshop your work can be saved and transported around the internet freely and even free of charge.
“From : Maya software is a powerful integrated 3D modeling, animation, effects, and rendering solution. Maya also adds to the quality and realism of 2D graphics. That's why film and video artists, game developers, visualization professionals, Web and print designers turn to Maya to realize their creative vision”
Now in the filming industry they need software that permits those to edit clips, render them with special effects like ‘lightning flare/lens’ , transitions, credits/titles/subtitles and the use of bring in music without it being abrupt to the viewers during the film- Sony Vegas Pro is a great example of this.
“Sony Creative Software’s Vegas Pro 9 is an innovative, Windows-only non-linear edit system (NLE) that has really exploded in recent years on the market. Fully featured, the system also includes excellent built-in tools for audio editing, graphics and titling, DVD and Blu-ray authoring, and more. Along with ease-of-use and an affordable price, Vegas Pro 9 moves up to earn the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award on our list of video production software reviews.”
- Quoted from Unknown Author on Top 10 Reviews (Sony Vegas Pro 9)
However secretaries and assistant managers, producers ect will need a program like Excel and Word to keep track of the company’s finances, schedules, deadlines and meetings. Word and Excel offer again save and redo modes same as every other program, yet it offers a feature called: Spell Check which corrects grammatical errors in people’s offering them a digital dictionary/ thesaurus with the right-click of a mouse.
The real boon though is the appearance of the smart analysis tool, which pops up when you select a range of data on the active sheet. This presents relevant formatting options for the selected data in a floating panel.
Dragging your mouse across the various options, which include heat maps, data bars and sparklines, lets you preview in an instant how the results can be presented in a graphical manner, without committing to any one of them. If you need to go further and render them as a full-blown chart, clicking to the Charts tab gives live previews of each chart style in a floating bubble. The value of this tool alone in making data analysis more approachable and less complex can't be overstated"
- Quoted from Nik Rawlinson on CNET
Pre-production is where people design/ create and think about all the aspects of what to do, which will lead to the development of the final product for companies. In the gaming world and other subjects initial concepts (characters), storyboards, story drafts, financial work, the style of art used, script writers and much more; all of this is then sent to the developers (in games) who put everything into place with a given brief.
“Every game begins with a story. Often story ideas come from game designers themselves or are pitched by outsiders, but increasingly they are based on other forms of entertainment like popular movies. Other common sources are sequels or spin offs of existing games and simulations of real-world events.
Once the basic game concept is decided upon, writers and artists work together on a storyboard. A storyboard consists of rough sketches and technical instructions sequentially organized to depict each scene of the game. It is a visual representation of the story and a reference for the writers, artists and designers just as it would be for a film. But while a film has a single storyline, a video game can have thousands of outcomes. Therefore various levels, or "worlds," of the game must be sketched out.”
- Quoted from The Video Game Revolution
Mentioned above it tells us about how games start off as a story eventually developing into something more with the concept of using pre-production methods. It proves that everything is always planned first before any action is taken into producing a product for a certain target audience- this also does touch upon morals and ethics when designing a game.
In the first section of ‘Task 1’ I noted a few of the programs game production teams use, during the course of game development from start to finish. I mentioned:
Ø Adobe Photoshop- used a lot for initial concepts, 2D graphics and maybe some 2D animation. SAI Paint Tool, Paint. Net and Art Range are also good examples of this and share similar traits to Photoshop. Another good animation program which might be used is Adobe Flash- this concentrates purely and simply on animation giving the creators every chance to make their motion picture move fluently during the course of 25 frames per second.
Ø Maya – creates 3D polygonal objects that can be animated or rendered to suit a realistic gaming and art style. Other examples of similar programs are 3D Max, City Engine and Electric Image Animation System.
Ø Sony Vegas- this may not be used in the production of games but in other places it might be used to piece together animations, adding music, transitions and effects just like Windows Movie Maker.
To make sure that the production of a game is at its best, workers must be skilled in a number of things to help their company succeed in publishing the merchandise. These skills could be:
ü Good imagination
ü Sociable and team players
ü Able to meet deadlines
ü Work quickly
ü Happy to do extra hours
ü Artistic skills
ü Take criticism
Imagine that you’ve spent hours, weeks, months and even years crafting a piece of artwork like a model using clay , cardboard or wire when out of the blue one of your colleagues accidently ruins your model by knocking it over- then what? At least if you were to model on software like Maya there would be no problem in continuously saving your work, meaning if any harm came to your project either by yourself, someone else or computer, the original file can easily be brought back up and saved on the web, email, memory stick or black CDs.
Having the option of saving work on various places as back up creates a security for people, so that they know their work is safe from harm, being lost or stolen (if copyright is set up) rather than using traditional methods like pen and paper to jot down the ideas needed during pre-production. Another good thing about using IT is allowing people’s imaginations to come to life in the gaming industry because technology has advanced in recent year’s software such as Photoshop and Maya, again, permit workers to engage in this theory creating an accurate perspective of what their dream game or world looks like to the open public- gaining furthermore credit, glory and riches to suit the company’s benefit.
Before any action is taken a brief must be made about what the game is going to be about and include. This could cover character’s descriptions and roles as well, meaning that legal and regulatory issues should be taken into consideration before any designing or production starts.
Different rating groups protect different game companies. Some are known as PEGI and others are ESRB. The main purpose of these companies is to ensure the games are correctly rated so that the public know what they’re going to witness during game play and what to buy for children or even adults by looking at the rating. In ESRB their rating system is:
- EC (Early Childhood)
- E (Everyone) 6 years+
- E 10+ (Everyone 10 years+)
- T (Teenagers) 13 years+
- M (Mature) 17 years+
- AO (Adults Only) 18 years +
- RP (Rating Pending)
- K-A (Kids To Adults) 6 years+
Having systems similar to these help the public and also guide game makers on what should be included in their game. For example, if the target audience for a certain game was to be kept at an ‘E’ rating, there shouldn’t be any drug use, gambling or sexual content whereas that would appear in ratings such as :M, AO and maybe RP.
PEGI also uses ratings identical to these but they also show images about why the rating is what it is. There are:
- Fear (7,12,16,18 years)
- Violence(7,12,16,18 years)
- Bad Language (12,16,18 years)
- Sex (12,16,18 years)
- Drugs(16 and 18 years)
- Gambling(12,16,18 years)
- Discrimination(18 years)
- Online (3,7,12,16,18 years)
Without thinking about these properly and wrongly classifying the age restrictions it could lead to suing not only a company like PEGI but the actual game company as well, sending them bankrupt and maybe banning them from ever making games again.
Ethics and Morales
Ethics and morals also play a big part when thinking about games because being careless about this situation could cause harm towards certain ethnic groups, causing danger for the gaming company in general leading to various lawsuits that can easily be avoided. However some games have been known to be ethically ‘dodgy’ in how they are creating/displaying the game.
For example in Resident Evil 5 the first trailer shown game footage of an American protagonist killing off African zombies which doesn’t seem that bad until you realise there’s no white African zombies at all, raising racist allegations from people across the globe who point out it’s not right that it’s just this colour that’s diseased by the virus and getting killed by a big muscle white American.
"There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery”
-Quoted N’Gai Coral from Newsweek Editor
Eventually Capcom released another trailer showing a less racist side and also the protagonist’s assistant, Sheva. However this did not put the controversy to rest as more people found the game hadn’t been altered much still showing the hero killing just black zombies. Capcom argued back that the gaming team is diverse and that they can’t make everyone happy and they’re in the entertainment business - not to promote something political to the public. A lot of people agreed with statement saying it’s not racist and is in fact a good game.
Yet in a cut scene it’s shown a white woman being dragged by a black man who’s infected into his house, Eurogamer criticized it wasn’t ethically right because of black men being stereo typed as ‘rapists who come after girls’ during the time when America was going through Civil Rights. Japan isn’t educated much in this topic as they see nothing wrong with game nor thought about any ‘racist issues’ during the development which is, from their point of view understandable because they had nothing to do with the Civil Rights yet it doesn’t give them a clean slate either because they should researched any problems before development began so this controversy didn’t arise.
In my personal opinion after having watched two trailers and various game play that’s been recorded on Youtube I feel as though there is not an issue. Roles reversed if Chris Redfield was a different ‘coloured guy’ and he shot white zombies, only, there may be wouldn’t be as much as a big issue. On the other hand I’m not disputing that people who feel it is racist is wrong because it’s all personal opinions at the end of the day, those who see it’s not racist may not look or feel as though it is compared to those who feel it is.
Another ethically dodgy game is the newest Tomb Raider that will be released next year. It focuses on Lara Croft’s past events and how she’s developed to the person she is now. Having watched the trailer it shows Lara to be dependent on someone else coming to rescue her because clips show her nearly getting raped and having a slight mental breakdown, which antagonizes with her initial concept of being an independable and indestructible (in a way) female heroine, that many female gamers empathize with and in some ways wish to be. Having seen these clips it makes some people feel as though Lara needs to depend on a man which is what the director said he wanted to do, so it can entice more male gamers to in a way to ‘protect’ Lara from danger yet annoying female gamers because to them it feels as though people are trying to say women couldn’t last or survive on their own, without something bad happening to them in past like rape or without a husband/ male protector. Therefore other females who think this way will no doubt not buy the game meaning that the Tomb Raider’s sale of the new game will not surpass older Tomb Raiders, thus turning the female target audience against future franchise.
“There's been a lot of negative reaction - people have been saying that she doesn't need be the survivor of an attempted rape, that using a male threat to make a female character There's been a lot of negative reaction - people have been saying that she doesn't need be the survivor of an attempted rape, that using a male threat to make a female character seem 'vulnerable' is highly sexist and that it's an exploitative tactic and what not.”
Quoted from ‘Macabre Magpie’s’ forum on Deadlock Truth
In conclusion I agree with what many other girl gamers believe and see from Tomb Raider: Reboot trailer and feel it is sexist and that it depicts women as a weaker species compared to the male rival. I think Square Einx, like Capcom, should alter the trailer and take out the possible rape scene during the capture of Lara Croft. If they do this I would feel happier about buying the game and playing instead of having a grudge against the producers for they think is acceptable.
Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism
Finally when designing the game it’s important to understand that the initial thoughts on when creating the brief for the designers is that it’s original and not a copy of someone else’s work, this stands for everything from brief to the producing of the game. Copyright protects people’s work from others who dares to commit plagiarism, meaning that there are people who try to steal the original work of someone else because they haven’t given credit to the original owner, or proclaim the work is theirs when it isn’t.
A recent example of this is the plot behind Assassin’s Creed III which is supposed to be released in North America on 30th October 2012 under the PS3 and Xbox 360, later being released on 18th of November as a Wii-U platform and the same for Europe but on the 30th of November. John L.Beiswenger, who’s a research engineer and sci-fi author, claims his book ‘Link’ shares various similarities as the game- insisting Ubisoft are ‘allegedly ripping off his novel’ .
The book ‘Link’ explores an idea of memories recorded by an ancestor that eventually get brought to life only by using a special device known as: ‘Bio-synchronizer’. Another reason for the claim, made by plaintiff, is the book talks about assassins and assassinations which at one point in the novel, someone is trying to fit the pieces of the past together. Finally spiritual and biblical tones with references of Jesus, God, the Garden of Eden, forbidden fruit and a reliance on historical moments portrayed through ancestor’s memories all lead identical occurrences in Assassin’s Creed series.
"Ubisoft have directly copied, and directly and contributorily infringed on the whole of Plaintiff's copyrighted work" with the release of games, guides, comic book series and trailers”
Quoted from John L. Beiswenger
In addition to this Beiswenger is currently suing Ubisoft for nothing less than $1.05 million with an increasing sum to $5.25 million depending on the judge’s decision. Also he hopes to prevent the release of Assassin’s Creed III and all related franchise. If this works in his favour it will not only disappoint millions of fans across the world, but it will leave Ubisoft possibly bankrupt if one of their best-selling games were to crumble right before their eyes due to copyright infringement issues.
An additional case would be EA’s copy right infringement lawsuit against Zynga not so long ago. ‘The Ville’ created by Zynga allegedly shares identical reactions with EA’s ‘Sim Social’ game. Normally copyright issues are exceptionally rare because it could cost a gaming company everything they’ve worked for, sending them bankrupt and making the opposition richer and seem more ‘innocent’ to the public eye.
‘The [games] industry has developed a dysfunctional culture of copycattery’
Quoted by Prof. James Grimmelmann
Prof. James is correct in a way because the technology and the stories have developed that much in such a short space of time, people are running out of original ideas and are turning to features they’ve experienced in a game and enjoyed or just simply taking a lot of things from an older version of the game and tweaking a few bits. An example of this would be Pokemon (not Ranger, Link, Dash, Pokepark or Mystery Dungeon versions). From personal experience I’ve noticed each game starts the same, contains the same plot with the same goals and it became ominous as I grew up. The only things that change in that game is the character names and designs, regions and the extra 150 new Pokemon that appear every 2-3 years, leading me to go off the new versions and play ‘old-school’
However going back to the original topic this is way some people and wander unknowingly down the path of copyright. Under copyright law everyone if free to possibly copy a basic game concept as long as some details are altered during the development stage which is what Zynga did during the development of ‘The Ville’. However the EA complains that Zynga didn’t do enough to change some of the detail, and evidence has been shown of this, even though it’s minor identical details which don’t create a very strong complaint for EA.
However their plan is to create aggressive arguments about copyright law to fit legal beliefs to its facts. In the end it will either seek protection for its game concept-losing proposition under copyright law or if EA does make progress on that, the new legal precedent would undermine the current industry-standard practices about imitation. EA is no doubt going to argue that Zynga needed to change its execution further if they wanted to avoid infringement issues, on the other hand it will also mean EA have to work in more development when they want to imitate someone else’s game meaning the cost of development for them and Zynga will rise.
It is known however Zynga has built its business on imitating other people’s games meaning if EA did win this lawsuit; it will harm Zynga’s business significantly as well as eroding EA’s profits because they’re threatening to destabilize the current industry’s rules on imitation. In my eyes and other people’s it’s a battle Zynga can’t afford to lose and EA can’t afford to win.
In the end it’s believed that neither company will win with the case being settled on the outcome of Zynga making some low-cost changes and keeping their basic implementation, giving EA a certain victory, even though some believe when looking at the bigger picture about legitimacy and the boundaries of game imitation are not going to be resolved during this case.
Coloured comic pages mainly Marvel so serious and based around supernatural heroes in America.
-TMNT comic of the original turtles based in black and white, similar to marvel where 4 super heroes fight in NY for survival and pizza.
-Garfield and others like Wallace and Gromit are found in newspapers and involve comedy pieces, so they’re not serious, more colourful and less shading than Marvel comics.
-Manga features black and white colouring, with big speech bubbles and different ways to show effects and lighting. The characters themselves also adopt a style as well being drawn in a similar way. Manga can be portrayed in two ways, normal and chibi. This features a page from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) who rightly belongs to Yana Toboso
-A chibi styled manga (slightly chibi)
Improving Productivity Using IT Bibliography
Discalimer: I do not own any of the below and I agree that I’ve credited the pieces used in my assignment, giving the website address and the date/time of accessing this information.
(Accessed: 29/09/12 at 17:20 for Adobe quote)
(Accessed: 29/09/12 at 18:14 for Maya quote)
(Accessed: 29/02/12 at 18:26 for Sony Vegas quote)
(Accessed: 29/09/12 at 19:46 for Office Excel quote)
(Accessed: 29/09/12 at 21:07 for pre-production quote)
(Accessed 29/09/12 at 21:50 for gaming soft wares)
(Accessed 30/09/12) at 22:10pm for ESRB rating system)
(Accessed 30/09/12 at 22:51pm for PEGI guidelines)
(Accessed 03/10/12 at 20:17 for racist quote on Resident Evil 5)
(Accessed 03/10/12 at 20:34 for information on the controversy of Resident Evil 5)
(Accessed 03/10/12 at 21:29 for sexist quote on Tomb Raider: Reboot)
(Accessed on 04/10/12 at 10:33 for Assassin’s Creed release date)
(Accessed on 04/10/12 at 10:54 for Assassin’s Creed copyright infringement issues)
(Accessed on 04/10/12 at 11:36 for EA copyright claim on Zynga and Prof. John quote)
(Accessed 04/10/12 at 12:04 for comic page)
(Accessed 04/10/12 at 12:05 for TMNT comic page)
(Accessed 04/10/12 at 12:06 for Garfield comic page)
(Accessed at 04/10/12 at 12:07 for Wallace and Gromit comic page)
(Accessed at 04/10/12 at 12:07 for Kuroshitsuji manga page)
(Accessed at 04/10/12 at 12:08 for chibi manga page)