What was done this week? (Unit 8 1.1)
This week I began work on my pre production for my project. Having brainstormed and finalised my idea, I wrote up an outline of what the project will be and how what it will be based upon.
There basis for my project will be the creation of a games journalism portfolio. This will consist of 2 double page spread layouts each for a different UK gaming publication, with a third spread for an extension. The proposed publications I intend to use are GamesTM, PC Gamer and EDGE as the extension.
Gaming journalism usually consists of 3 main categories of articles: Game developers interviews, reviews of games and discussion article feature pieces (gamesTM, 2016)(PC Gamer 2016). The feature piece will be for Gamestm as it is an industry standard and has a very clean professional layout, I also have some experience of this kind of layout due to my first project, some assets of which I can use.
The game review will be for Fallout 4 for PC Gamer as I own the game on PC and can compare it to previous games in the franchise and this suits the publication well. The magazine has a clear outline they use for all reviews and to be able to follow this format will prove that I can create a layout to an industry standard and fit my article in to a particular publication and shows versatility by doing more than just feature pieces.
Dependant on timing I will make 1-3 front covers for the publications ideally one for each. This is wholly dependent on time and is more of an extension than a goal, as is the third spread for EDGE.
I will first make the layouts to get a rough idea of how long the articles should be before writing. Once completed I will be able to generate a rough word count and write the articles for each layout accordingly.
I planned on how I would complete the project in a timely manner while adhering to set number of weekly deadlines for myself in order to insure work is completed. I have also set myself extension tasks in my project provided I finish my project early (as has been the case in the past).
(Unit 8 1.1, Unit 8 3.1)
|Weeks||Plans for week||Equipment/resources required||Skills required|
|Week 1: 11th– 17thApril||Planning stage – finalise project idea and create brief sheet;begin research using secondary research into the style, layout and writing style; begin doing primary research into game Fallout 4 making note of any mechanics or elements to comment on and discuss as well as comparing to previous iterations Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas||Brief sheet, computer with internet access, gamesTM and PC Gamer magazines,gaming PC capable of running Fallout 4 to a good standard||Research skills using both primary and secondary sources, secondary being the magazines themselves and taking note of layout and style as well as taking note of measurements. Primary research being contacting industry contacts I have in the gaming scene to gain access to professional opinions on the Greenlight system, I can also refer to previous interviews done in my free time and use information given to me in previous interviews in previous months.|
|Week 2: 18th– 24thApril||Finalise research for writing style, layouts and style sheets; continue research into subject matter using both primary and secondary research.||gamesTM and PC Gamer magazines, gaming PC, computer program Skype to conduct interviews with developers, Steam to check out the greenlight system.||Primary and secondary research skills as before, using good interview etiquette for any e-mail interviews, analysis relating to primary research on fallout and secondary on publications|
|Week 3: 25th– 1stMay||Finalise notes for pitching my idea; Finalise all research so can begin working on layout; begin work on first layout; ideally finish first layout||gamesTM and PC Gamer magazines, gaming PC, computer program Skype to conduct interviews with developers, Steam tocheck out the greenlight system, InDesign,||Self analysis when preparing final pitch on whether it will be effective, primary and secondary research skills, InDesign layout skills, maths skills related to emulating format through measurements|
|Week 4: 2nd– 9thMay||Finish previous layout if not already; begin work on second layout; acquire screenshots for Fallout 4 from continuing primary research.||InDesign, gaming PC,||InDesign layout skills, maths skills related to emulating format through measurements, imagry skills in finding which areas/scenes to screenshot,|
|Work experience: 9th– 15thMay||NA||NA||NA|
|Week 5:16th– 22stMay||Finish second layout; begin work on feature article; continue to make notes on Fallout 4 for games review;||InDesign, gaming PC||InDesignlayout skills, maths skills related to emulating format through measurements, writing skills, applying research in terms of writing tone and structure, primary research skills|
|Week 6:23rd– 29thMay||Finalise feature article taking into account research. Begin writing up draft of review||Computer with word||Proof reading, writing skills, applying research in terms of writing tone and structure.|
|Week 7:30thMay – 5thJune||Receive feedback on article; apply feedback to feature article; finish draft of review;begin work on front cover||Computer with word, Photoshop||Proof reading, writing skills, applying research in terms of writing tone and structure,photoshopskills, applying research to emulate front cover,|
|Week 8:6thJune – 12thJune||Insert article into feature layout;receive feedback for review and make changes taking into account feedback; finish front cover.||Computer with word, InDesign, Photoshop,||InDesign layout skills,photoshopskills, self analysis, applying peer analysis,|
|Week 9:13th– 17thJune||Make any final adjustments and begin final evaluation.Finalise final evaluation and submit all work.||InDesign, Photoshop and computer with word.||Self analysis, applying peer analysis,|
(Unit 8 2.1) (Unit 8 2.2)
I have begun researching into my chosen publication companies which I will be basing two double page spreads and a front cover on. The main purpose behind this is to better inform myself of writing style and how to appropriately create a layout which suits the style of the publication.
I began by researching PC Gamer’s gaming review layouts (Kelly 2016), while doing this I discovered that each review conformed to a specific layout, including very particularly sections that are found throughout all reviews in the magazine to give it conformity. The layouts are very clean and split with text on one page and screenshots of the game laid out tidily on the second page. This will help to inform me of how to layout my game review of Fallout 4. This also gives me a good template to work with.
Next week I intend to analyse these images to give a further idea of the layout.
I also did some primary research relating to the game Fallout 4 (Fallout 4, 2015), I put about 5 hours of time in dedicated to trying out different mechanics. The majority of this was spent testing the follow mechanic and how well that worked in terms of dialogue and made some notes on this as well as the voice acting within the game.
I kept track of any changes made to my project based on feedback also and will be uploading the updated form each week.
I also got in touch with a previous contact who is currently using the greenlight system for their game and asked to arrange an interview over e-mail, to which he responded positively.
Was everything completed on time – if not why? (Unit 8 3.1, Unit 8 4.1)
As for completing everything this week I had no issues, this week was purely dedicated to finalising and solidifying my idea and working out whether it was practical. I was able to begin research as planned and will be formally filling out a brief sheet during Monday to fully make a detailed outline of my project.
Next weeks itinerary (Unit 8 3.1)
- Complete brief sheet
- Complete background research on the 2 publications I will be writing my articles for (layout, style, writing tone, audience)
- Complete e-mail interview regarding the Steam Greenlight with Larry Martin Jr, and possibly with other indie developers and read through previous unused interviews done in my spare time that touch on the subject. This will likely involve getting in touch with some previous game dev contacts I’ve acquired over the last year or so.
- Complete my asset file including all pre production information
- Create and begin filling out research document writing up all findings so far
Skills used this week (Unit 8 1.1, Unit 8 2.1, Unit 8 4.1)
The skills used this week were predominantly relating to planning. This was mainly relating to time management through the creation of my timetable for which I will be using to keep on tract and hit my deadline.
The other skills I have been using are relating to analysis and research. Both of these skills are linked mainly to the research stage of my project. While doing my research into the publications I was critically analysing everything in order to gain the most useful information. For example while looking at layouts I tried to work out why it was laid out that way and how I could emulate it for my articles. This was also relating to secondary research in terms of the audience I would be writing for and how to appropriately adopt the tone and style of writing used in these publications.
I also used primary research skills again combined with analysis. This was used for my research into Fallout 4, this was an interesting skill to exercise. I found it a much different experience playing a game for analysis and research than purely for enjoyment (although naturally my level of enjoyment of the game was also relevant for analysis). It meant I had to take aspects of the game I’d been using for hours prior and put them under the microscope in order to accurately work out whether they worked and added or subtracted from the games experience.
Kelly, A. (2016) ‘Night Clubbing: The fun but familiar Far Cry Primal gets Mesolithic on our asses’, PC Gamer (April), pp. 84–85.
Fallout 4 (2015) Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks
Contents Page. (2016). gamesTM, (#167), pp.6,7.
Content page. (2016). PC Gamer, (#291), pp.6,7..