Pre-production of a video game is the early stage of video game development where the themes, ideas and concepts of the game are laid out in order to have a set plan on what is being made so that everyone in the project is working towards the same goal. It is beneficial for pre-production to be done so as to get everyone in the team to work in one direction and so that there isn’t any wasted time during development, which if there is could cause delays which could also mean the loss of money and if there is an active audience waiting for the game to come out on a set day, and there is delay then that is potentially some lost revenue and some bad publicity.
There are a few different stages of pre-production, these are:
· High concept which is a brief description of the game which leads into;
· Pitch, which is where a game is shown to publishers or investors who are potentially going to green light the game to continue it if they are suitable impressed, or if it’s poorly done then the game won’t even get past this stage.
· Concept document which is a more detailed version of the pitch where more aspects of the game are put into place, this is also where the concept art comes in, which will help get a theme for the game set in place and some engine work which can also be used to show investors how it’s going to work, as at this early stage the project can still be cancelled.
· Game design document is the stage of preproduction where the themes and major gameplay elements are talked about in more detail which will place everyone in the development on the path they need to in order to make the game to the brief that they have.
· Prototype where a very basic version of the game is put together using placeholder models and this is to help the programmers to experiment with what they have available and to see what they can possibly do. These are mostly used as proof of concept which can also been shown to investors and build some confidence that the money that they are giving to the project is going to be well spent.
The pre-production of our game could have gone better due to the fact that we did not have the full brief on what we needed to accomplish within the task at the start, however we did what we could in the beginning by gathering measurements of the building and the rooms in order to get an accurate level. We also took pictures of the rooms, corridors and part of the outside of the building in which to have a reference to work on. We also drew out concept art as well as make some basic models with which to test the limitations that we had and to figure out how to transfer things from Maya into Unreal.
We got straight into the work in the first few days in order to give ourselves plenty of time to create the game to the deadline. I am very happy with how the team work in both pre-production and full production and would happily work alongside them again.
PEGI- Pan European Game Information, the European game content rating system which replaced existing systems to make them what is used all over Europe, Israel and Quebec in Canada. These are displayed on the game as age ratings as well as content descriptions about what is present in the game such as: Drug use, Violence, Sex, Fear/Horror, Discrimination, Gambling, Online and Bad language. They also have age ratings of 3, 7, 12, 16, and 18.
ESRB- Entertainment Software Rating Board is an organisation that assigns age ratings in the United States, Mexico and Canada (except Quebec) and enforces industry adopted guidelines. These guideline’s include:
· Rating pending, which is mostly used for advertising and marketing materials.
· Early childhood, suitable for 3 and older.
· Everyone, these are suitable for general audiences.
· Everyone 10+, which means it’s suitable for an audience over 10 years old due to content.
· Teen, for 13+ again due to an increasing scale to the content.
· Mature, for 17+ due to more violence, blood and other aspects.
· Adults only, are unsuitable for anyone under 18, mostly due to sexual themes, drug use and excessive violence.
TIGA- The Independent Game Developers’ Association is a trade association that represents business and commercial interests of a few game developers in the UK and Europe.
ELSPA now UKIE is the trade body of the UK games development and other entertainment industries. This is used to get practical support, advice and guidance, in a similar way into which a trade union works, except actually helpful.
World Of Warcraft:
The story for World of Warcraft begins on a different planet altogether called Draenor where the native populace of orcs live alongside the Draenei race, which have fled their home planet in order to escape the hellish Burning Legion who had corrupted two thirds of the Draenei population. However the leaders of the Draenei who accepted the Legion wanted to destroy the ones who didn’t and proceeded to hunt them across the stars. Eventually they would come across them and decide to use stealth, in the form of using the native orcs and corrupting them from Shamanistic origins to the fel magic of the legion or into raging berserkers. They would slaughter the Draenei and create a portal to another world and peoples who had caused the Legion a humiliating defeat 10,000 years before.
The orcs would go through the portal and lose this fight and be trapped on this new world of Azeroth, where many would shake off the blood curse inflicted upon them by the burning legion. Years would pass and the world would recover, however evil forces would align against the peoples of the world and two factions would arise: The Alliance would consist of Humans, Dwarfs, Gnomes and Night Elves, later followed by Draenei and Worgen.
The Horde which had Orcs, Trolls, Tauren and undead, later including Blood Elves and Goblins. The factions would fight each other and the forces from the Burning Legion, Old Gods and the Undead led by the Lich King. The next expansion is dealing with a full on invasion by the forces of the burning legion.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
The game takes place more than 3600 years before the events of the films and 300 years after the Knights of the Old Republic games. The games starts either on the side of the Republic or The Empire, who are currently in the middle of a 30 year galactic cold war after the Sith Empire emerged from the unknown regions of space to try to destroy the republic. They had many successes, gaining many planets and regions, but eventually the republic responded and the war effort ground to a stop. Both sides exhausted a peace deal was sought, however the while the talks were taking place a prominent Sith lord by the name of Darth Malgus led a huge Imperial armada to the Republic capital of Coruscant, occupying it and destroying the Jedi temple, this meant that the Sith Empire could sue for a much better deal and come out on top.
The game starts from a choice of 8 different perspectives leading from the cold war into a full blown Galactic war, in which both sides are evenly matched, have wins and losses, created new heroes and see the deaths of old ones.
While these games are MMORPG’s and the focus is on the multiplayer aspect, there are stories within them that can be completed in solo play, this is to ensure that the people who don’t like going into groups and working with others can still play the game.
Though out of the two, the one that has a bigger focus on solo play is The Old republic, which is because it is a more story driven focus where you follow the progress of your character and their adventure throughout the unravelling galactic war. Most of these stories have a rival or enemy who is consistent throughout the chapters, where someone will be introduced in the first chapter and nothing will be thought about them potentially being an enemy, but it will turn out that they have a motive for betrayal and will set up an epic conclusion to that thread of the tale at the end of chapter 3.
While World of Warcraft it tries to make you out to be this all conquering hero who defeated all the big bad guys within the game and then other NPC characters taking credit for the kills within the lore. While this makes sense within the game world it takes the feeling of power and belittles the kills made within previous expansions. However the narratives for these games are enhanced by exploring and finding stories throughout the world either as collectables or as quest chains.
The controls for both World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The old republic are very similar due to the fact that they play pretty much the same way with the mouse button to select, arrow keys or WASD to move and the number keys are used for abilities. While the F keys all have their own functions and people can assign keys to do specific tasks in game or certain abilities.
Objectives and challenges
The Objectives of both of these games are also very similar, in that the main objective is to level up and try to get to max level in order to do the end game content of raiding. Where these differ are that the main challenge of World of Warcraft is within the end game raids which now have 4 difficulty levels being: Raid finder (which is essentially a tourist mode), Normal (base level raiding), Heroic and finally mythic which is for the more advanced players and usually only within guilds, though levelling to get to this content has been made easier, which isn’t really a bad thing.
While The Old Republic has challenges of mini bosses and end of chapter bosses within the story in which the player is tested with their skills and these are made easier or more difficult based on the some of the choices that the player has made.
Difficulties and Rewards
As stated earlier, within World of Warcraft there are 4 Raid difficulties, with the higher difficulties handing out loot with better stats which allow the player to do more damage, healer or surviving in order to progress through the raid instance and up to higher difficulties. While Swtor’s rewards work the same way but there are only 3 difficulties for the raids being story mode, hard and nightmare mode.
Player Actions, Abilities, Game Mechanics
With both games these change a lot depending on which class is chosen to be played by the player, with some having more movement abilities than other which can lead to benefits in the mechanics that bosses employ during raids and dungeons. It can also affect whether bosses abilities even go off by players having their own interrupts to help avoid heavy damaging attacks. Though Swtor has something WOW does not, and that is the choice during the story which can affect the outcomes and what happens in later fights potentially. The perspective of the player character is a 3rd person perspective with a scroll wheel.
The game rules for MMORPG’s are very similar in being that there is no account sharing as well as in game rules of not using exploits in order to get ahead of other players, treating other players with respect, no scamming others and no breaking of the game.
Balance within these types of games are very difficult due to the fact that there are multiple classes, whose power must be kept within acceptable reaches of one another, so that there are a variety of different classes that people can enjoy without having to worry about whether they can get into the raid, this is similar for both games.
Both games are heavily reliant upon the heads up display due to being MMO’s, with health and Mana/ammo/force being displayed prominently alongside abilities, a mini map and active quests. Though both games can be adjusted, WOW has more options that can be downloaded to make the display look even nicer or give hints and tips on the best route to take to level up, or when rare bosses spawn.
The visual styles of both games are within the cartoon variety, though this was done in WOW’s case due to the style of the Warcraft RTS games and the limits of when the game came out. Whereas Swtor was more of choice of style, which they tried to compete with WOW.
Setting, world and characters
Wow - Fantasy setting with some guns and inventions added in. The worlds of Azeroth and Draenor.
SWTOR - A long time ago, in a galaxy far away.
Both are games where you can get emotionally involved because they are games where you create the character, customise them, level them and spend much time on.
Then there are the NPC’s in game which there are many thousands of to interact with in both, some are permanent lore essential characters such as Thrall, Vol’jin and Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft, then Darth Marr, Satele Shan and Emperor Vitae in SWTOR. Then there are the ones that lead small questlines or the one off characters.
|I'm not really an artist but i do random little drawings when I'm bored. So yeah thats about it really, don't want to say too much.|