UAT Student Blog

Coming Soon: Batman Arkham Knight

Posted on Apr 13, 2015 5:07:35 PM by Admin in Arkham Knight, in Batman, in Blogs, in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff, in Game Design

I will do my best not to spoil anything from the previous two games but this is another game that I'm really excited for this year.  Batman Arkham Knight promises to be one of the best games this year and frankly it's hard to imagine they'll miss the mark.  With each iteration of the Batman Arkham series the games have successfully grown larger, with more varied gameplay than the the time before it.  Really one of the critical gameplay decisions they've made though with each game is ensuring that even though the map is growing, you are suitably equipped to cover the distance. In Arkham City they've added the batwing and they really expand on gliding through the city.  It was something that I personally never got tired of from start to finish.  But there's really a lot more to it than that.  Gliding above the city like that it could be easy to pass by possible opportunities for the player to engage with the game.  So they add essentially a radio to tune in on crime as you fly around the city so you can engage or remain disengaged as you like.  In the newest game, they're actually adding in the Batmobile in order to add yet another way to move about the now massive city.  I highly recommend you start checking out some of the trailers and gameplay footage.

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Coming Soon: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Posted on Apr 10, 2015 5:06:08 PM by Admin in Announcements, in Blogs, in Deus Ex, in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff, in Game Design

Ever since I was little I was always way more excited about games than almost anything else.  Movies were kind of cool but I could take them or leave them.  No matter how good the movie is, it always feels like you're on the outside looking in.  Books can probably match the level of excitement I feel for games, though the time in between books can become exhausting.  Regardless though, it's hard to match the feeling of falling into a really good book.  Unlike with movies, it feels as though you can actually walk around the world and experience everything.  However, games have always held a special place in my heart and it's certainly a large part of the reason why I wanted to go into game design.  With games, you are actually exploring the world on your own and can change the flow of certain events.  When Deus Ex: Human Revolution came out I thought the game looked interesting though nothing particularly amazing.  I really liked the concept in general, about human augmentation and the resistance that would inevitably follow such a drastic change in humanity.  However, I wasn't really going to play the game because I probably wasn't going to buy it.  I don't pirate games, I have a lot of reasons for that of which I won't get into here other than perhaps to say there's no valid excuse to pirate games.

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Glitches Galore

Posted on Apr 8, 2015 2:18:00 PM by Admin in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff, in glitches

It's not uncommon for games to have bugs or glitches.  Actually it's just a fact of life that your game will have bugs or glitches unless it's extraordinarily small in scope and even then there's usually a way.  Finding and fixing these issues can be one of the most frustrating parts of making any game.  However, it should be mentioned that not all bugs are absolutely awful things.  Some of them are outright hysterical or even can add something interesting and unique to the game.  The phrase "There are no bugs, only extra features" comes to mind and in some cases this really is the case.  Grand Theft Auto in fact was born out of glitch that caused the cops in the game to be much more aggressive than they should be.  What once could have just been a forgotten game has become one of the biggest selling franchises in gaming history; particularly with it's most recent iteration shattering world records upon release.  All of this spawning out of glitch.  Enjoy some of these other glitches that for better or worse marked the games they inhabited.

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Mods and Putting Yourself Out There

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 4:39:42 PM by Admin in Blogs, in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff

So you want to develop games but you aren't really sure where to start.  The good news is that game development tools are getting cheaper and more accessible all the time.  Unity 5 and Unreal 4 for instance, both are brand new engines that are completely free for people to play around in and even develop for to a certain extent.  The only issue: not much content to work with.  It's not a huge problem, sometimes it's a really good thing to see what you can accomplish with limited tools.  First of all, it should force you to learn to seek out information which is an invaluable skill by itself.  Second, this is how gaming started: people who worked with the limited technology of the time to create games that frankly we still love to this day.  Limited technology or resources really shouldn't stop you from learning to do something that you really want to learn how to do.

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New Eyes

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 4:13:59 PM by Admin in Blogs, in game design degree, in Game Design

One of the more interesting aspects of game design is actually looking at a level after you've already played around with the tools used to develop it.  When you first start game design, you should start to see some of the concepts that are used throughout game industry as a whole.  Certain practices in level design, directing the player, set design, difficulty management, etc.  But after you've actually created your own levels using the game engines of your favorite games, you should to see everything in a new light.  Professional developers will usually be able to get those engines to do things that you simply haven't done yet and analyzing what processes they used to get those effects is important.  It's important because no one can take the time to teach you every last detail of every single engine.  These days you can find video tutorials or documentation for just about anything but even those don't cover every last detail.  So while those tutorials or documents can be extremely powerful tools, they also tend to be limited by the fact that they won't take the time to hold your hand to do every little specific thing.  They require you to take the initiate to use the skills you learned from those tools to then create whatever else you might want.

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Rare Women in Rare Fields

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 3:14:29 PM by Admin in Academics, in all degrees, in Blogs, in Digital Filmmaking Degree, in Digital Media, in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff, in issues, in STEM, in STEM Fields, in Student, in Student Life, in technology college, in women, in Computer Animation Degree, in computer science degree, in Cyber Security Degree, in Digital Maker Fabrication Degree, in Human-Computer Interaction Degree, in Robotics Degree, in technology, in UAT, in women in technology

Hey All! I think we have reached an end to the world of digital Painting Programs series! If you have any suggestions on a program I should try or a review you'd like to see just comment below on it!

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The Best Gamer Holiday

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 2:20:14 PM by Admin in April Fools, in Blogs, in game design degree, in Game Design, in Gaming Industry

There are a few sacred Gamer holidays; E3, GDC, the last friday of Oct. and first two of Nov. (really needs a name... but it tends to be when the biggest titles of the year come out.  Or are delayed from), things like that.  However, there's one that will always hold a very special place my heart: April Fools.  Because of the way the game industry operates, though it can be a really rough industry it also tends to be one of the most light hearted and of course fun loving.  So every year, companies unleash their April fools pranks upon the world.  Some are content patches for short periods of time like Ultra Rapid Fire (URF) in League of Legends or Zombie punting in Dying Light.  Some have crazy announcements like Corsairs Mechanical Gaming Mouse or last year Destiny announced a collectors edition would include a trip to Mars.  Then there are the obligatory Half Life 3 rumors and stories though to be fair that's a year round thing.  People just tend to bring them up more on April fools.  In all it's just a wonderful day to be a gamer.  It's a day that reminds us that at their heart these companies really do make games because they want to add a little fun to the world.  To anyone who wants to bring up the fact ; yes, I realize that these types of stunts increase awareness, and foster good will amongst gamers as well as some other good stuff for the bottom line so that is most likely the real reason why they do it.  To those people I say; shut up, I'm having enough fun and I'm going to choose to not see the business aspect of today for once.   Fundamentally games are about having fun, and April Fools serves as a reminder for the developers to have a little fun.

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Witcher 3: 200+ Hours

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 3:03:01 PM by Admin in Blogs, in game art and animation, in game design degree, in Game Design, in The Witcher

If you haven't heard of The Witcher yet then I highly recommend you go check out the series immediately.  The world has been lovingly crafted over the years, the gameplay is exception, and the story is easily one of the best.  While games like Skyrim is a bit more customization, The Witcher has always felt more personal to me.  Every choice you make actually feels like it has a huge impact on the game, and they aren't simple moral choices.  The entirety of the Witcher's world is made up of a moral grey area most of the time where either answer could be right for different reasons.  In fact, in the Witcher 2 there comes a point at which you make a decision that separates the game into two almost completely different stories.  I'm currently playing through the game again to make sure I attend to the secondary path in it's entirety and it's hard to put the game down.  There's a reason why I didn't play the game a second time through immediately because I really couldn't afford to spend all that time again right in a row.  Plus by now all the DLC for the game has come out.  Have I mentioned it was all free?  Yeah, CD Projekt RED is kind of awesome like that.  Every piece of DLC is always free, they made additional tweaks to the game just to make it play better, and games have consistently been phenomenal to start with.

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Every Choice Is Important

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 5:03:42 PM by Admin in Blogs, in game design degree, in Game Design

One of the things that people seem to kind of take for granted are all of the little choices throughout a movie or a game.  I recently had the pleasure of watching a movie called Sunset Boulevard for one of my classes.  Admittedly it wasn't a movie I probably would have ever watched on my own but it turned out to be an exceptional movie.  While the plot wasn't necessarily anything special, the characters really carried the entire film.  However, throughout the movie it was blatantly clear that every little choice that they made was done with purpose.  They even acknowledge that perhaps the plot isn't necessarily outstanding in the movie in a very off handed way.  But I want to talk about one thing in particular in the movie that struck me as an amazing choice that most people even today don't really consider; none of the doors in Norma Desmond's mansion had doorknobs or locks.  Now this is explained away in the film in that Norma can become suicidal at moments so it was recommended by doctors so that her butler Max could get to her in just such an event.

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League of Legends

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 4:53:06 PM by Admin in Blogs, in game design degree, in Geeky Stuff, in League of Legends, in classes, in Game Design

It's something that gets brought up fairly often so I might as well elaborate on it.  Yes, there is a League Of Legends club here at the school and they are very active.  It's not uncommon to find people in the commons until the early hours of the morning just playing and having a good time.  Really though one of the best things about the school is that there are all kinds of games being played here and it brings people together.  You hear all of this stuff about gamers being anti-social and just sitting in dark rooms all day but really that isn't entirely true.  It does happen, but more often than not it's actually just something that brings people together.  Friends made here tend to be the same people that you are working with during projects and on various other forms of homework.  So having something fun you can do together is just a great way to unwind afterwards.  Each year we actually all get together in the theater to watch the League of Legends Championships on the large projector screen and it's a blast!  Pizza, drinks, yelling, and laughing; just flat out fun times had by all.

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