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Recently finished work on Speaking Simulator, which is getting a pretty warm reception at various conferences around the world... I made this video breaking down the soundtrack production process. Video is pitched at programmers & designers (not just audio folk) to foster an understanding of why audio middleware exists. Enjoy! =) Andrew

'Typical School Days' is a action adventure PC game with a focus on school yard bullying, which was one of the many third year University projects I was apart of.
Within the project I was tasked with the challenge of creating an engaging user interface that would be highly visual and immersive while connecting to the theme of a child's perspective of school. As a group we voted that colourising all UI elements associated with the tormentors, should be purple to highlight their selfish and toxic natures, while showing that they are of a collective. In a similar fashion, all UI elements associated with the player character are displayed as torn pieces of note paper taped together with doodles and notes.

UI assets displayed, from top to bottom;

Combat Bar: Player's combat display broken down into individual elements; Poses to achieve(small), Successful Poses(large), Fail Arrows, Success Arrows, Neutral Arrows & Combat Bar base.

Interest Bar: Indicator for a bully or tormentor's interest in the player character.

Annoying Kid's Combat Speech: The kid who always takes your things.
Bully's Combat Speech: The kid who always picks on you.
Scary Crush's Combat Speech: The kid who is always confessing to you, not taking no for an answer.
Snobby Rich Kid's Combat Speech: The kid who is always sneering and looking down on you.

Confidence Bar: Displays the emotional state of the character through changing facial expressions, and takes inspiration from the 'Gold Star Sticker' reward system.

Notice/Attention Sprite: Quick notifier for the player that they have been spotted by a tormentor.

Please note that all characters(excluding silhouetted poses) and environments shown are credited to others involved within this project and were not created by myself, Maeskye.

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For a university, third year group project called 'Vanity', we needed to visualise how both our main character's dialogue and selection of inventory would display within the two-dimensional space.

Here you can see that we were contemplating either a bland 'stock-standard' approach, or a tailor to the character approach for our character's dialogue. While using a monochrome interface for the scroll and fade inventory system, with the intention for it to 'pop out' to the player.

The credit for the environmental background goes to Lysander Sky Wilkins, who was lead in environment design for our project, 'Vanity'.

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It has been a while since I have developed a game due to personal reasons. I am pleased to say that I am right back into it!

Over the next few weeks I'll be working on a brand new game called CatStack which I hope to be cute and fun

It will be my first attempt at a Facebook game. I am also hoping to port it on all major mobile platforms

Stay tuned :)

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After a month on hiatus, due to exams, I've created a new episode of Designer's Playbook. In this episode I focus on Halo: CE Anniversary.

The key topics I look at in this episode are:
- Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey.
- Its application to the story structure of Halo: CE Anniversary.

I hope you enjoy the show and feedback is always appreciated. YouTube link:

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In this episode of Designer's Playbook I focus on the XBLA game ilomilo.

The key topics I look at in this episode are:
- Disproportionate feedback and its use in puzzle games.
- Building brands with games and the impact of it.
- The use of repetition to create catchy melodies.

New episodes on the 1st of each month.

I hope you enjoy the show and feedback is always appreciated. YouTube link:

Submitted by kgp (not verified) on Mon, 17/10/11 - 3:55 PM Permalink

Hello Dominic, just wanted to say that your reviews are very interesting. I am particularly interested in the psychological aspects of game design. Could you please recommend some starting points to look further in this matter? For instance, some articles read by leading game designers, or books to read?

Submitted by Dominic-1GR on Fri, 02/12/11 - 10:23 PM Permalink

Hi, thanks for the feedback and taking the time to check out the show.

Here are a few of the most helpful sources of information I've found so far.
- Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
- Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield
- A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster (he created Ultima Online)
- YouTube: this is a game design lecture by Will Wright with a strong emphasis on the human mind.

Hope that helps as a starting point!

PS: Sorry for the slow reply.

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