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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

P2- Stimulus, Idea Generation and Legal and Ethical Considerations

Unit 78: Digital Graphics for Computer Games
P2: Be able to Generate Concept Art Ideas for Computer Game Graphics

What is a brief? - The basic guidelines for the game that you are creating, such as genre, artistic style etc.
Client Brief – Where the client lays out the basis of what they want
Own Brief – Either when you’re working on your own and give yourself your own set of rules for the game, or when you take a client’s brief and get creative within the guidelines that they have given you, going into more detail etc.
Market research – Looking at different variations of media in order to get ideas for the game. For example, if you are creating a game around Zombies, you’d probably watch The Walking Dead, or play a game including zombies such as Left 4 Dead to inspire you. Other forms of media can include movies, books, comics etc.
Ideas Generation
Brainstorming – Brainstorming is where you put all of your ideas down into one place, usually with different areas and sections so you can split up the ideas to make it easier to read. It allows you to see all the ideas you have in one place, and then pick through them in order to find the best ones to use.
Mood Boards – Used to create a mood for your game. For example, Dark Souls has a gothic style and mood, so the mood board would include things such as pictures of dark castles, gargoyles and general things of a gothic style.
Thumbnail Sketching - Thumbnail sketching is creating small frames for particular things. They are also considered to be small, quick shorthand notes for artists and planning tools. They potentially develop into concept art. 
Concept Drawings - Concept art is a way of displaying visual ideas for games, films, animation, comic books etc. Concept art can include ideas for characters, weapons, backgrounds, vehicles and much more. The concept art in which is created for a project is used as a guideline for the entire projects itself, it gives the look and feel to the project. Others consider concept art as visual development for concept design. Usually, when it comes to designs of characters and weapons, they show different designs for the same character/weapon. For the characters, the concept art would contain different styles of clothes the character might be able to change into in the game, the specific stances it will do and the different facial expressions.

Legal and Ethical Considerations
Copyright - Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their intellectual effort. Copyright law originated in the United Kingdom from a concept of common law; the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work. International conventions give protection in most countries, subject to national laws.
Libel - Libel is a method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, signs, effigies, or any communication embodied in physical form that is injurious to a person's reputation, exposes a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or injures a person in his/her business or profession. Libel and slander are types of defamatory statements. Libel is a written defamatory statement, and slander is a spoken or oral defamatory statement.
Female representation in Games
The portrayal of women in video games has been the subject of academic study and controversy since the early 1980s. Recurring themes in articles and discussions on the topic include the sexual objectification and sexualisation of characters as well as the degree to which female characters are independent from their male counterparts within the same game. Exposure to sexualized media representations of women in television and magazines was alleged to reduce male compassion toward women and reduce females' perceptions of their desire and suitability for various vocations.
Many recent games have increased the sexualized portrayal of women so as to appeal to a male audience. In 2012, for instance, Dead or Alive director Yohei Shimbori admitted the developers received complaints from fans who had played the Dead or Alive 5 demo packaged with Ninja Gaiden 3. According to Shimbori, "We actually got a lot of feedback from people who were playing it, saying, 'We want bigger breasts. Make the characters more like that.' That was kind of surprising.
Female video game characters have been criticized as having a tendency to be subjects of the "male gaze". A print ad for the fighting game Soulcalibur V received some controversy for simply being a close up of a female character's breasts with a tagline. In two sequels of fighting games Soulcalibur and Tekken that take place several years after the original issue, recurring male characters were all aged but all female characters were kept the same age or were replaced by their daughters.
Since her introduction in 1996, the character of Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series in particular has been criticized for her "unrealistic" breast size; Lara was claimed to personify "an ongoing culture clash over gender, sexuality, empowerment, and objectification." However, the game's creators maintain that she was not designed with marketing in mind, and have claimed to be rather surprised at her pinup-style adoration.  In Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara underwent a radical redesign, ostensibly to make her less sexualized.
In their 2005 study, Dill and Thill distinguish three major stereotypical depictions of women in gaming: (1) sexualized, (2) scantily clad, and (3) a vision of beauty. The study revealed that over 80% of women in video games represented one of these depictions. More than one quarter of female characters embodied all of the three stereotypical categories at once. Dill and Thill also note that another prevalent theme with which women were depicted was a combination of aggression and sex, referred to as "eroticized aggression". According to sociology professor and researcher Tracy Dietz, women are often depicted in stereotypical roles that typically pertain to sexuality in which the woman focuses upon beauty/physical attractiveness.
A recurrent representation of women in fantasy settings, originating in the 1960s, is the woman warrior dressed in scanty armour.  They feature armour designs which have been described by such terms as "chainmail bikinis"(bikini armour), largely consisting of small decorative plaques that reveal large portions of the body to the weather and that expose vital organs, thus being noneffective as protection. The prevalence of this portrayal is presented as an instance of the common sexualisation of women in the geek culture including video games, comic and movies. In reaction to this, the art blog "Women Fighters in Reasonable Armour" compiles depictions of women fighters wearing "realistic" armour.  In Bioware's Dragon Age franchise, while the optional female character dresses as the player wills, many female warrior/assassin class characters, such as Isabela, were remade in later instalments to wear less clothing. In the case of Isabela, she appeared in Dragon Age: Origins in full armour but appeared in Dragon Age II wearing thigh high boots and a short, slitted dress. After Dragon Age II IGN went from not mentioning her at all to describing her as "everyone's favourite busty rogue".
According to Anita Sarkeesian, many early female video game characters (such as Ms. Pac-Man) are identical to an existing male character, except for a visual marker of their femininity, such as pink bows, lipstick and long eyelashes.
In a study done in Southwestern Oklahoma State University comparing the appearances of male and female characters on video game covers, a few things were discovered. On covers, male characters were five times more likely to be represented as the main character in the game, and women were merely portrayed as sidekicks or accessories. Both male and female character's physiques were over-exaggerated on video game covers, but females were more "physically altered" (especially in the bust) than their male counterparts, and even more so if the female was the main character of the game.

Intellectual property - refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.  

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