Crunchy Bytes: A Digital Artefact Pitch

Crunchy Bytes Trailer Thumbnail.png

You can find the trailer for this pitch here which goes over a basic overview of what the video essay (series?) is going to be about, the subject matter (game developers dealing with hardware limitations, design etc.), who it’s for (people interested in game development/game design in general) and so on.

However, this blog post will not try not to retread those points and will instead discuss specifics of research, the analytical lens I will be using, as well as the content schedule and feedback loop.

In terms of research that will be used, it will be a combination of academic, scholarly work and other resources like websites and videos. However, my guess would be that the majority of the research presented will be the non-academic sources. A few examples that I might use would be the website Gamasutra, a website which self-professes that it tackles the “Art and Business of Making Games”, with different categories highlighting multiple aspects of game development like programming, design, and marketing, oftentimes with articles and blog posts written by well-known developers like Terry Cavanagh, Tom Francis and Dominique Grieshofer, and other important industry figures. Another helpful resource would be the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) video archives on YouTube where developers can discuss specific aspects of games they’ve been working on recently and the tech and design behind them, or they might be talking about older games and their design (typically referred to as ‘Postmortems’). A full list of potential “starting” resources can be found at the end of this blog post.

The analytical framework (to be more specific, compared to the video) will be a largely Structuralist approach, pulling apart aspects of design and function, focusing particularly on how hardware affects design. The video (series?) might also address a Post-Structuralist or subjective approach – specifically how different people weigh up these different design choices and what they value more in different kinds of games. This may include what I value more in particular genres, but the focus will absolutely be on structuralism, limitations and how the ‘formal elements’ of games (control, design, art style, aesthetic etc.) tessellate with each other in regards to those limitations.

When it comes to content structure and scheduling, Crunchy Bytes will either be a single video looking at two or three eras of gaming (e.g. early vs modern games) or a series of videos split up into those separate eras, following one after the other, chronologically through those time periods. However, to prevent over-ambitiousness, each era will only examine a couple of games in-depth. For feedback, I will post the video (or videos) on Twitter and on other websites like Reddit if possible, and try to obtain criticism through those avenues of media. I will also post, on a semi-regular basis, screenshots of progress I’m making with the series.

And that’s my pitch, in a nutshell. Thank you for taking the time to read through this blog post!

Potential References/Resources (from A-Z):

NOTE: Links may be broken in the future thanks to link rot. If so, I’ve done my best to include the details and titles of these pages for posterity’s sake.

NOTE #2: This is only a preliminary set of resources i.e. it’s a jumping off point for future research. As a result, some of these may not be included as references in the final video or series.

Ars Technicahttps://arstechnica.com

Dominique Grieshoferhttps://store.steampowered.com/publisher/DomGho

Eurogamerhttps://www.eurogamer.net

Gamasutrahttps://www.gamasutra.com

Game Developer’s Conferencehttps://www.gdconf.com

GDC YouTube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JB7TSe49lg56u6qH8y_MQ

Introduction to Game Analysis by Clara Fernández-Vara – (Not available online through University website)

A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys: Agency, Interactivity and Freedom in Video Gaming by Rowan Tullochhttps://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=159a363c-11f9-40ea-9548-c785062f6eb1%40sessionmgr102

Spatial Design and Placemaking: Learning From Video Games by Ricardo Álavarez & Fábio Duartehttps://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1177/1206331217736746

Structuralismhttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structuralism

Subverting utilitarian subject-object relations in video games: A philosophical analysis of Thatgamecompany’s Journey by Corné Du Plessishttps://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1080/02580136.2018.1532189

Terry Cavanaghhttps://store.steampowered.com/developer/terrycavanagh

Tom Francishttps://store.steampowered.com/developer/suspicious

One comment

  1. Hey Tim, firstly I just wanna say this is the probably one of the best produced pitch videos that i have seen in terms of production quality. The video is well structured and you very clearly state the point of your DA and what you plan on doing. I also really liked the intro you did with the valve style opening.

    As someone who has played a few source games such as Garry’s Mod and Counter Strike, although I have never played half life 2 I think it is a good example that you used to link with your topic. Using valve games that use the source engine opens up a bunch of examples for you to explore and I think it is a good choice for examples.

    Another thing done well is that you explained most of your research and extra information in the blog post instead of just repeating what was said in the pitch video. You also do a good job.explaining what half life was for people who might not know what it is and people who don’t know much about gaming in general.

    I was trying to find some academic sources, however I couldn’t really find any. The only real suggestion I got for you to remember to try keep things simple, I feel like game development and all the stuff that comes with making a come can be a bit ‘technical’ and hard to explain to someone who doesn’t really have much knowledge on it. Pretty much what i’m saying is just make sure the information you will be presenting won’t be so hard to digest.

    Pretty much everything with project is really solid and i’m looking forward to videos, good luck!

    Like

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