Crunchy Bytes: The Final Cut…?

BCM215 Final DA V1 [THUMBNAIL]_Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 6.12.14 pm

You can find the final video here.

And so I’ve come to the end of this subject’s digital artifact iteration cycle. Having been through the ringer on this in a couple of other university subjects, I had a vague idea of what to expect. However this time was slightly different as, of course, I discussed video games which are among my most favourite things in the entire world. So, if you’ve read the previous posts about this DA pitch and prototype, you’ll know that Crunchy Bytes was a video idea that planned to discuss the nature of video game design grappling with the restrictions of its computer or console hardware. However, the specifics of how I was going to analyse this topic in addition to its relation to the subject came rather late into the project’s development which I believe was, to an extent, at its detriment. In all fairness though, the idea and the video essay medium for that idea never really changed and helped keep a consistent vision of what Crunchy Bytes was.

In terms of what I improved over the pitch and prototype videos, a good example would be the explicit use of an analytical framework. The lack of a clear framework I was drawing my analysis from was one of the key criticisms of the previous two videos and so it became something I wanted to rectify. As a result, the opening of the video shows the framework onscreen as well as in the voice-over. Then I refer back to it regularly and implicitly throughout the duration of the video to help keep the overarching concept of the project intact. In keeping with maintaining a sense of clarity with my content, I also whittled down the sources I actually ended up using (a list of which you can find below and in the description of the video). That way, those who take an interest in any of the sources I talk about can find them quickly and easily. However, a minor failure of the final work was the exclusion of explaining complicated terms for the layman. It being one of the main aspects of the video’s utility, this was a pretty blatant misstep. While I did explain a term once in the final video, reflecting back on it, I definitely should have done more.

If I were to judge the success of the project as a whole, I’d say it’s largely been successful and I’m interested in making further refined content like it in the future. I think its major successes reside in the production quality of the video which, as anything, can still be tweaked. For positives, the use of blur on a meta-textual level is not only a means for visual clarity in the foreground but, if you’re really stretching your imagination, you could view it as a sort of haziness of memories from times long past playing games on your, at the time, brand-new PlayStation One. The music also mirrors this with the opening and ending segments using a song called ‘Resonance’, evoking a strong feeling of nostalgia and of the past. However, I think the main weakness of the project is how I failed to get into the real nitty-gritty of a single game, and pull it apart in finer detail. Given the ten minute limitation on video length for the assignment, it meant I needed to squeeze absolutely everything I could out of those minutes – something which was not helped by having two games pushed into the time frame, limiting the scope of analysis. Had I started earlier or had more days to develop it, I would probably focus on just one game instead of two. Stepping back and taking a look at the overall trajectory of the project however, I’d say I’m mostly satisfied with how it turned out, even if it does leave me with lots of room for improvement. Then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

References:

Bailey, D 2019, ‘Reality is now content to parody itself, so Konami announces a Silent Hill slot machine’, PCGamesN, viewed 29th October 2019, .

Habel, C & Kooyman, B 2013, ‘Agency mechanics: gameplay design in survival horror video games’, Digital Creativity, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 1-14.

Hester, B 2017, ‘Crash Bandicoot: An oral history’, Polygon, viewed 29th October 2019, .

Perron, B 2012, Silent Hill: The Terror Engine, UOM Press, MI.

Reed, K 2014, ‘Silent Hill Retrospective’, Eurogamer, viewed 29th October 2019, .

Vanderhoef, J 2019, ‘Nostalgia’, in MT Payne & NB Huntemann (eds), How To Play Video Games, NYU Press, New York, pp. 317-324.

 

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