Friday, 31 December 2010

My Top 5 Games of 2010

So, 2010 is drawing to a close, and what an awesome year it has been! Not only have there been loads of awesome games, but I also got to go to TGS (Tokyo Game Show) this year, so all round I'd say 2010 has been pretty good. Now the official Game of the Year was announced at the VGAs, and that was Red Dead Redemption, but I thought I'd take the time to talk a bit about my personal top 5 games of 2010 (in no particular order).


Castlevania Lord of Shadows
This game is absolutely outstanding, and if I had to choose my game of the year, it'd probably be this. Firstly, the storytelling throughout the game was brilliant, and the voice cast only enhanced this further; and the ending was really unexpected. Secondly the combat in this game felt really weighted, which is something that I think some Hack and Slashes lack, and the combos/moves you could unlock were just awesome. Finally, need I say anything else really? Awesome storytelling, great gameplay, it's a winner.

Fable III
I think the fact that I played through Fable III twice in the space of about 3 days is a pretty clear indication that I enjoyed this game. I especially enjoyed playing co-op with TwoSixNine, and seeing how differently our characters developed throughout the story (I went down the path of evil); I also liked the way that those developments were saved as statues along the "Road to Rule". Admittedly the game wasn't perfect, and we had to restart the entire game once when we glitched inside Reavers Mansion, but surprisingly these glitches didn't bother me in the slightest and didn't detract from the enjoyment of the game at all.

Halo Reach
The campaign in this game may have been a bit short, but there was so much going on, and so much variation from mission to mission that you really don't notice it. Again the addition of co-op makes the campaign that much more enjoyable (my team: TwoSixNine, Fumetsu Natsu and Saigon). The new armour abilities are a nice addition, and they really mix things up when playing multiplayer.

Heavy Rain
I decided to overlook the massive plot hole in this game, and commend it for what it really is. It was almost nostalgic playing this game, because it reminded me of the days when I used to play Broken Sword. Admittedly Heavy Rain isn't exactly a point and click game, but the detective aspects and the involvement in the narrative really brought back memories. I liked the way that you played as different characters throughout the story, because it provided some really interesting ideas when trying to work out how the story was going to play out, and I also liked the way that the game could have multiple endings.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
I was originally going to put this in the additional mentions, and not as one of my "Top Games of 2010" but then I realised quite how much it surprised me, and how much enjoyment I got out of it. After playing GT5 till I couldn't handle boredom any longer, it was really refreshing to play an arcadey racing game that didn't take itself seriously. Multiplayer is definitely where this game shines though; when you play with a full party of 8 people (4 cops and 4 racers) and you are driving at top speed trying to avoid oncoming cars, treacherous spike strips and inconvenient road blocks whilst being chased by the cops, the adrenaline really kicks in.

Additional Mentions
As I said at the start of this post, there have been loads of amazing games this year, and naturally not all of them can fit into a "Top 5", but I just thought I would list a few other games that I really enjoyed this year.


Assassins Creed Brotherhood
Admittedly I would much rather have had AC3 with another new character from Desmond's ancestry, however this game was still really enjoyable. It started off a bit slowly, and the repetitive missions made a slight return, however when you get about 4 chapters into the game, it really starts to pick up. The addition of the brotherhood was a nice feature, especially when you have a full team of assassins that all jump in to help you out. Multiplayer was also a nice addition that actually works really well, when you can actually get into a game; I would probably have played it a bit longer had the matchmaking been a bit better.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
I played Monster Hunter Tri this year, but out of the two, I felt Portable 3rd was the one to mention. Given that Tri took out a fair few weapons, it was nice to see them return in Portable 3rd. I think this game is definitely a lot easier than Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, given that I haven't had any real trouble fighting any of the monsters yet, which is a shame in some respects given that I liked the challenge, but perhaps it will get harder nearer the end, especially when I come to fight Black Tigrex.

Crackdown 2
This game may not be for everyone, but I had endless amounts of fun playing this. I think it makes all the difference when you have an awesome group of people to play co-op with (TwoSixNine, Dr McMystery and Agent T) and when you combine that with a game that is so crazy in its own respect, you have the formula for a hilarious co-op experience. The game is most enjoyable when your armour skills are maxed out, and you're all running around throwing cars and trucks at each other while jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
This is definitely one of the best games on the PSP to date, and the inclusion of a Monster Hunter cameo was a nice bonus. My only gripe with this game was how it was so broken up. I completely understand that the game was designed as a hand-held game, so the way that missions were broken up was to lend itself to portable play, but I did find that it detached you from the story a bit. Despite that I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and the art style cut-scenes were awesome.

3D Dot Game Heroes
I haven't actually got round to completing this game yet, but I felt it deserved a mention not just because it's an awesome game so far, but because it was also a big influence in one of the group projects I did last term (we made an RTS with a 3D Dot Game Heroes visual style).

So that's it, that's my top 5 games for 2010, and a few additional mentions. Tune in tomorrow when I talk about my most anticipated games for 2011.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Self Promotion 03

This is going to be my last "self promotion" related post, so I figure I may as well summarise everything I haven't mentioned up to this point.

As I stated a while back, I have been holding off on actually sending any applications given that up until recently, I didn't have a portfolio to show any potential employers, and as a result, I have just been compiling a long list of company's that offer jobs that may well be relevant to someone in my situation. Now I know that might not be the best way to go about things, given that some people may think "what if you add a job to your list, and then when you get round to applying, it isn't available any more?", and this is very true, but at least I am building up a 'map' of relevant places that I can apply to; either way, it's how I'm doing things, and that's that.


One of the most recent jobs I added to the list was that of a graduate programmer at Black Rock Studios. Their requirements are someone with "strong C++ skills", "a 2:1 or above in a Computer Science related subject" and of course, "enthusiasm in the games industry". Well I can definitely tick off the last one, that's for sure! As for the other two, well the second one I will obviously have to wait until I graduate, but that suits me fine. As for the first requirement, well that's a maybe; the thing I hate about looking at job applications that say "strong C++ skills" is that I don't have anything to go by when 'rating' my skills. What exactly does "strong C++ skills" really mean? I mean I have a good grasp of the language, and can program to what I believe to be a competent level, but is that enough? I guess the only way to find out is to try, which is what I will do, when the time is right. I guess it doesn't help that my natural instinct is to always assume I don't know "enough". But I will remain determined and I will believe in myself and my abilities!

Aside from that, the other thing I have recently completed was some research for one of my tutors who works in the games industry. He emailed the class over the Christmas holiday with the opportunity to do a "days work" for him in the form of market research. So naturally I jumped at the opportunity, and it seems only a couple of other people did as well, so god knows what the rest of the class was doing! But that is irrelevant, because I chose to do it, and as a result that is something else I can now put on my CV!

Finally the other thing I did to ensure I am up to date on any jobs that might be relevant to me, is sign up to the job-related news letter on, so I receive updates that detail job opportunities that get posted on their site. And seeing as I receive emails on my phone, I can get job updates no matter where I am!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

My Website is Live!

This post is a little late, given that I completed my site back at the beginning of December, but I only recently got round to actually posting about it, so apologies on my part. However that aside, my website is now officially up, and can be found at (or for the coursework version of my site).

You may notice, if you read my website development post, that the final site looks slightly different to that of the template I chose; that is because once I had completed the whole site, I showed it to a few people and they all seemed to agree that the 'paint splat' that appeared behind the main window looked a bit "tacky" or "unprofessional", so I opted for a much cleaner, sleeker looking option that still featured the colour changing background for different sections, but instead it was done using blocks of colour to create a 'barcode' effect of sorts.

Now that my site is up, I will continue to update it as and when I complete more projects so as to build up my portfolio. In the meantime, at least I can contact companies from now on confident that when they ask to see my portfolio, I will at least have something to show them that I am proud of.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Mock Interview


As part of the Professional Practice module, I was required to partake in a mock interview to help gear me up for the real thing. The original interview was supposed to take place last week in front of three different tutors, and the whole thing was supposed to be filmed so that we could look back on it in the hope that it would give us some insight into how to improve.

Anyway, that was the plan, however I woke up on the day of the mock interview only to find about 18 inches of snow outside my house! And in typical British fashion, the train stations (yes plural!) near me closed, and there was definitely no way I was getting a bus to London, so I emailed my tutors to give them the "low down", and they told me to rearrange it for this week. Admittedly having to rearrange it meant I would only be able to have my interview with one of the three tutors, and it wasn't going to be filmed, but it would still prove to be beneficial.

So before the actual interview, we were asked to chose from one of three fictional job opportunities; the job opportunities themselves were taken from genuine company websites, so at least the mock interview would seem that much more real. Out of the three opportunities I chose to 'apply' for a programming role at Rebelion, so I did my research into the company and its history so I would be ready for any questions thrown my way.

During the interview, my tutor made notes relating to my responses to said questions, so that I could use it to learn how to improve when I actually come to have a real interview.

To summarise, my main weakness was that I didn't explain things in depth. For example when asked to talk about projects I do outside university, I mentioned a good example, but I didn't go too in depth; I explained the overall project, and my role within said project, but apparently it would have been better if I'd gone a bit more in depth, and given the potential employer a real understanding of exactly what I did. I guess I was just worried of talking for too long, so I tried to keep my explanations short, but at least I know now.

That aside, everything else seemed fine; I was told that I had good knowledge of future developments, and the direction in which the industry is going, I also seemed to display a good knowledge of the company, and any time I was asked to give examples relating to the questions asked, apparently the examples I gave were good, and varied. So all in all I felt the experience was extremely useful, it helped me to see my strengths and weaknesses, and in turn will enable me to ensure I don't make the same mistakes when I come face to face with a real interview opportunity.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Website Development

As part of my self promotion attempts, I have begun developing my own website. The website will serve as an online portfolio that I can then show to potential employers.

I began by designing a couple of different templates in varying different colours. The first of which ended up being a bit too small to function as a practical website; I think I got a bit too carried away with the whole graphic design side of things. But I did like a few things about it, so decided to transfer them to my second design.



In my second design I decided to expand on the way that my logo cut out the side of the page, but this time I opted to use the full logo as opposed to just the 'A', this way it would allow me to maintain the essence of the first design, but have a much larger page to display any information that would be present on my site. And again, I made a few different colour variations. I also added different colour buttons for the different sections of the website. I also decided to colour coordinate the background colour of the website to represent each main section; one for home, profile, portfolio and contact pages.





With the designs complete, the next step was to develop the actual website using Flash. So check back soon for an update on when the site goes live!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ubisoft Toronto Aims for "Five Triple-As"

I read this article back in August, but seeing as one of my marking criteria is to discuss industry related articles I thought I'd talk about it because I found this article particularly interesting. This could also prove to be a potential employment possibility; that is of course if I am willing to leave everything behind and go to work in another country, but it's food for thought.


In an interview with Develop, Jade Raymond (Ubisoft Toronto's Studio's Managing Director) discusses her ambitions to build five triple-A projects at the new Toronto based Ubisoft studio.

She goes on to say "We want to grow to 800 staff in ten years, we're on two major projects now, and eventually we'll be working on five". Raymond previously revealed that the studio's focus is on building triple-A projects, and nothing else. She explained that this strategy would naturally tempt developers to join the studio.

Raymond also says "If developers have ambitions to make triple-A projects, and want to have their place in what is a thriving start-up, then Ubisoft Toronto is the place for them.", which makes the studio seem that much more accessible than some of the others out there. That doesn't mean to say that because they are starting up they will just take on anyone, however given their stance and the way in which they want to help developers kick-start their careers, then perhaps there would be an opening for someone in my position. I remember another Ubisoft Toronto related article, which I can't seem to find right now, that I read around the same time that mentioned how a lot of the Montreal team has relocated to Toronto, and the plan was to use their expertise to help train up new recruits, in the hope that those new recruits would then train the next 'generation', and so on, to help the studio grow to its full potential over the next ten years.

Now obviously I'd be incredibly lucky if I could land my first job in the games industry in such a mammoth company, and I am completely aware that from a realistic point of view, it is much more likely that I'd start working for a small company, and then work my way up gradually, but after reading this article, I figured it's still worth thinking about.

Full Article:

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blade & Soul G-Star 2010 Trailer + Playable Demo

I have been trauling the internet/YouTube for the past few days to try and find any videos of the playable demo of Blade and Soul, seeing as G-Star expo was on Sunday, and finally I found some:

First up is a nice new Trailer which unveils a new 'Assassin' class, and shows some awesome footage of characters gliding through the air among other awesome things:

Next up is a long video that shows off the 'Blade Master' and the 'Kung-Fu Master' in solo play:

And finally is a short video that shows group play in a dungeon, and it includes a boss fight at the end:

*Edit: Just added the official G-Star 2010 Blade and Soul Trailer, and another gameplay video that features group play. Thanks to Blade & Soul Dojo for these!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Self Promotion 02

Ok, so I thought it was about time I do another University related post, and talk about what I am doing to promote myself.

So first of all, about two weeks ago I finalised my CV and my Covering letter, so now I have something suitable to start sending out to different companies. Admittedly I am still slightly hesitant to start sending them out until I have my portfolio up and running, but I guess getting my name out there wont do any harm.


So following up from the finalisation of my CV and Covering letter, I decided to get in contact with the guys from Splash Damage that I met at Eurogamer Expo. Given that I had met them in person, and talked to them throughout the day, I decided to send a more informal, friendly email expressing my interest in any positions they might have available. Although the email I sent was slightly more informal, I also attached my CV and Covering letter so that they could either read it themselves, or perhaps pass it on to someone that would read it. I expressed my interest in programming and level design, but also said that I'd be happy to do anything if the opportunity arose, even if it was just work shadowing or testing. Alas, that was a couple of weeks back, and I haven't heard anything yet, but I imagine they are extremely busy, so I wont let that get me down, I'll just re-apply to them again in the new year.


In the mean time, the most recent thing I have been doing is setting up my profile on Linkedin. Linkedin is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. So I thought this would be a perfect way to try and get some additional contacts. I found it a bit annoying to try and upload my CV to given that it wont just let me upload a document for people to view/download; instead, the site tries to extract the information and put it into its respective fields, which somewhat messes up my layout, but after a little bit of messing around, I managed to get my profile sorted. So I have added a few contacts from my Gmail account, and have sent out a few other invitations to various other industry people, so hopefully, I can build up my social-network.

Other than that, the only other thing I have been doing lately is something I have been doing for a long time, which is regularly checking job listings on websites such as, Gamasutra and Develop, to see if there is anything remotely applicable to my current position. Right now I am just making a note of some of the potential job listings from different companies, given that a lot of them have very strict requirements as to what they are looking for, and applying to those without a portfolio wouldn't get me far. So the next step is to build my online portfolio; and given that I have now finished making the website for the Oxford University Christ Church Ball, I can now focus my web-design elsewhere.

That's it from me for now, but I think my next 'Self Promotion' post will probably detail the production of my website/online-portfolio, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Fable III

Ok, so I finished playing Fable III the other day for the second time so I thought I'd give my thoughts on the game; I wanted to be evil, so I did an evil play-through with TwoSixNine on my game, then did a good play-through on his game.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the game despite the immense amounts of glitches. I mean I'm not trying to slate Lionhead, but did anyone actually test the game? Because some of the glitches seemed so obvious and occurred in almost all my friends' games. But that aside, surprisingly enough, the glitches didn't seem to detract from the enjoyment of the game one bit. I mean given that I played through the game twice, and didn't get bored once, surely that has to stand for something.


One minor complaint I did have, was that when playing co-op, if you aren't the host, you don't feel very important in the other persons game. I understand that you are playing in the hosts game, so it's not like you are going to become king as well, but just simple things like including the second player in cut-scenes would be nice, because you'd feel more involved.


Perhaps what would have been cool, would have been to make the second player a bodyguard of sorts for the king; to think you played through the whole game side by side, helping each other out, and even appearing in their 'Road to Rule', but then the host becomes king, and you are just forgotten. But perhaps they will think of that in Fable IV?


Either way, the game itself was still really good, and I don't think it deserves some of the harsh reviews it has been given. At the core, the game is sound; it has a lot of awesome features, and a lot of great concepts that, for the most part, have been delivered. The overall execution could do with a little refining, but as an overall experience, the game is great.


The pictures above are from my play-through with TwoSixNine; I really like how the evil character looks at the end of the game. And I also really like how your tattoos glow through your clothes when you charge up moves!

Anyway, that's me done for now, so I'll post again soon. I think my next post will have to be directly university related, so it doesn't look like I'm going too far off the beaten track.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Blade & Soul: G-Star 2010 Teaser Trailer


G-Star isn't too far away now (November 18th), but NCsoft released a short teaser trailer to get us all excited for the Blade & Soul playable demo. The video doesn't show much admittedly, but it is just a teaser...

Monday, 25 October 2010

Guild Wars 2: Amazing New Concept Art

A few days ago, at the New York Comic Con, ArenaNet released a slideshow that showcased some of the latest concept art for Guild Wars 2. Among these amazing images were a few that stood out, my particular favourite is the image below. The guys at ArenaNet said that each dungeon in the game will have its own unique armour set, so I can only assume that the image below is one of those dungeon sets, but don't hold me to that, I am merely speculating. But one thing I do know for sure, is if this makes it into the final game, I definitely want this set!


And here is another awesome piece of art; think I might make this one my phone wallpaper >:]


This is the full slideshow that was shown at Comic Con:

Oh also, given that this is a Guild Wars post it is still relevant, I got my 10th point on the Guild Wars Hall of Monument calculator, which means I get the Fiery Dragon Sword I was after! Managed to do so by getting 20 miniatures in my HoM, and adding M.O.X. to my statues to give me 3 much needed points.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Blizzcon 2010: Diablo III Round-up

Yo people, sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I have been really busy this past week with university work and the like. Anyway, that isn't important, what is important is the latest Diablo III footage that was shown recently at Blizzcon 2010. I know I'm a bit late to the scene, seeing as this has been floating around the internet for the past few days, but I thought I'd just do a quick round-up regardless.


I put a few videos below that show off the new Demon Hunter class; the first is the cinematic trailer for the Demon Hunter class, and the two videos below that are gameplay of said Demon Hunter. Enjoy!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Christ Church Commemoration Ball 2011

If you are reading this post, then chances are you have found your way here via the Christ Church Commemoration Ball 2011 website that I created. I had initially planned to have my own website/portfolio up by now, and for the Christ Church site to link to that, but you know what they say about "the best laid plans of mice and men".

That aside, I should probably briefly introduce myself to those of you still baffled as to why you are here and who I am. My name is Alex Noon, and I am a Game Design student at the University of Westminster; I also do Web Design on the side. This blog is part of an assignment for one of my University modules, but at the same time, it's an insight into who I am, so I figured it's the next best place to link people to given that my website is not yet up. As for why a student from the University of Westminster, is making a website for Oxford, well you can thank my brother (Christopher Noon) for that; people in high places and whatnot.

With a bit of luck, my website will be up and running soon, so the Christ Church site will no longer have to redirect you here. But until then, this will have to do.


Monday, 18 October 2010

Self Promotion 01

Ok, so I have been getting a bit caught up in this whole blogging thing, and before I run the risk of veering too far off course, I had better do a university related post, just to show that this is still work related, and not just an excuse for me to talk about what I love.

Anyway, given that the first few weeks are all about preparation, and getting myself ready to send stuff off to the industry, there isn't much I can post about other than exactly that, my preparation. But I am actually going to gear this post more specifically towards my name, logo and business cards.

Although I did these designs in the summer holiday, they are still very much related to what I am doing right now, so just because I was ahead of the game, doesn't mean I shouldn't get credit for my work, right?

Anyway, I decided to create my logo based around my Gamertag/PSN ID, which is 'Arekkz'. In fact, I use Arekkz on/in everything; I have it on my shoes (only on my custom Nike ID shoes), in any game I play that enables you to name your character, on forums, or websites such as Twitter,, etc. Basically, anywhere you see Arekkz, you can be sure it's related to me. So I set about creating a logo based around my name.


As you can see from some of the ideas above, I went through a few variations (there were many more than the ones you see above, but I decided to just show the final few) before I actually came to something I liked; and more importantly, something I'd be happy to show others.


So with the logo designed, I set about constructing my business card. I knew that I wanted to keep it simple and clean (hah, 'Simple and Clean', that's an Utada Hikaru song! XD), and I knew the colours I wanted to use. So with all that in my head, it wasn't too hard to put the pieces together and create something that not only looked professional, but stood out at the same time.


So with the card designed, I sent them to Vista Print, and had 250 cards made on their best quality card. They were even nice enough to send me a free card holder! So now that I have enough business cards to last me quite a while, I have no excuse not to network. I always carry 10 cards in my wallet, after all you never know where you will meet people. In fact, I already gave out 5 cards when I went to Eurogamer Expo a few weeks back, so that's something that can go towards my 'self promotion' on this module.

Anyway, that's about it for this post, but if I have time tomorrow, I might do that post on Castlevania, Final Fantasy XIV and Naruto that I said I would. But that's only if I get all my work done first, because tomorrow looks to be a busy day.

But until then, take it easy~

Sunday, 17 October 2010

G-Star 2010

It's just a quick post from me today, because I had work today, and as a result I have Uni. work that I need to do this evening.

But I just thought I'd bring up G-Star 2010 (November 18th), or more specifically NCsoft and what they have to show at G-Star this year. There are two MMO's that I am currently anticipating, both of which I have been waiting for for a very long time, the first being Guild Wars 2, but I'm sure you gathered that from my last post, and the other being Blade and Soul.



Blade and Soul looks amazing from what they have shown so far, but they have yet to show any solid chunks of gameplay, only glimpses here and there, however this year, at G-Star, they are bringing with them a playable demo of Blade and Soul!! Which means quite soon we will be able to get a real look at just what this game is made of; here's hoping it doesn't disappoint (but it's NCsoft, and they are awesome, so I'm sure it will be amazing). Here is the video they showed at last years G-Star 2009:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Productivity at its best...

Here I am, back again, and I have to say, this whole blogging thing is growing on me.

So University has officially started now; it started two weeks back, but I am officially in work mode now, and coursework has begun, meaning I can officially say goodbye to any vast amounts of free time I may have had. This term I have three main things to focus on: my final year project, my group project and my project for the module which required me to write this blog. For my final year project, I am going to be developing a 3D platformer using the Nintendo Wiimote as the controller, and that is all going to be done in C++ and I'm going to be using the Ogre 3D engine. The group project I am working on is a 2D RTS game developed in Microsoft's XNA Game Studio, meaning that one is going to be done using C#. And finally, the project for the module that had me write this blog is in two parts: part one is this blog, so that is already under way, and part two is my online portfolio/website, and that I will start probably next week. So it's all go, but that's what I'm here for, so I've just gotta knuckle down now.

This morning has been quite productive actually, I decided to set time frames in which to do things, which seemed to help motivate me more, and I actually got it all done (I procrastinate a lot you see, so it seems from now on I'm going to have to put time frames on everything!). I woke up early this morning so I could watch Smallville before I started my work, then once that had finished I got onto programming for the group project. I managed to create an RTS-style selection box that allows the player to select units that are on screen, then I put in some custom sprites because circles to represent units are just boring; so now the player can drag a box over the two units on screen, and click where they want them to move, and they will move. Considering we aren't having our first team meeting till Monday, I think that is enough to get us started; at least until I do all the other things on my 'to do list'. Then once that was finished I spent the next hour working on my draft project proposal for my final year project. So I thought I'd take a break until after lunch, update my blog, then this afternoon I need to get to grips with the Ogre 3D engine.

Hopefully, if I finish my work in good time today, I might actually get time to play some games; I've been really busy the past two days and I haven't had a chance to play anything! My copy of Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm arrived on Thursday, and I have yet to get into the story mode, I still have Castlevania Lords of Shadow on the go, and I am currently playing Final Fantasy XIV (although
TwoSixNine and I have been discussing FFXIV and we both agreed that given how busy we are at Uni. right now, we might have to quit it for now), not to mention I have Fable III coming in 2 weeks!



Also, on another note, the Guild Wars 2 Hall of Monuments calculator went up last week, so I was able to officially see what my efforts in Guild Wars 1 had earned me in Guild Wars 2. I currently have 7/50 points; not that impressive I know, but I took a long break from Guild Wars and only recently came back to it two months ago, so I had a lot of catching up to do! However having said that, those 7 points do still entitle me to a complete set of armour when I start the game.


I'm not aiming to get the full 50 points, nor am I even aiming to get 40, 30 or even 20 points, given that I don't have the time to work on it right now, but I am going to try and push up to 10 points. Having 10/50 will give me the 'Guild Warrior' title, and will also earn me the 'Fiery Dragon Sword' which is pretty cool.

But in order to do that, I still need to complete my Asuran armour set for my Assassin, and get a couple of tokens so I can upgrade my Heroes' armour, but that is something I can do here and there, so fitting that into my busy schedule shouldn't be a problem.

For those of you that haven't yet seen anything of Guild Wars 2 (what have you been doing?!?) then here is their manifesto trailer:

Anyway I think that is enough for now; if I finish my work in good time and get a chance to play Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm later, then I might do another post on my thoughts on the game. In fact, I think I'll do a combined post on the three games I said I am currently playing: Castlevania, Naruto and FFXIV.

But until then, take it easy~

Monday, 11 October 2010

Eurogamer Expo

Right, I have put this off long enough, so here we go, my post detailing what I got up to at Eurogamer Expo.

Eurogamer Expo, for those of you that don't know, is the UK's biggest dedicated video games event. It is a means for the public to play some of the most anticipated games, hear from some of the world's most talented developers and get involved with the industry via the Career Fair. So I went along on Friday 1st October as a member of the public, but returned on the 3rd October as a volunteer, and it is that which I am going to be talking about.

See shortly after volunteering to help out at the expo, I received an email from the organiser asking whether anyone was interested in working alongside Bethesda and the Splash Damage guys to help them demonstrate their game 'Brink', and seeing as this is a game that I have been looking forward to ever since seeing the live stage demo at least years Eurogamer Expo, I jumped at the opportunity. So there we have it, not only was I going to be spending Sunday helping demonstrate a game I actually like, but I'd also be doing so alongside the developers of the game, meaning this was the perfect opportunity to start networking!


My job throughout the day was simple, I was tasked with helping people out if they looked confused or stuck while playing the game, telling people what they should be doing in order to complete the specified objectives, resetting the game back to the character customisation menu after a person had finished playing the demo and finally monitoring the queue to ensure no sneaky pirates try and jump the line. Each demo run lasted about 20-30 minutes, meaning once people had been shown to their seats, and they knew what they were doing, I had plenty of time to talk to the Splash Damage guys (the developers of the game).


Throughout the course of the day, my friend (who is also on my course, and thus in the same boat as me) and I spoke to most of the staff, and asked them various different questions ranging from employment possibilities, life in the industry and what they'd be looking for from potential employees, and they were more than happy to answer our questions; they were a great bunch of people actually, really friendly and 'down to earth'. So at the end of the day, I gave out my business cards to a few of the guys, and got theirs in return, so this way, I have a means of getting in contact with them regarding potential employment. In fact, my friend and I are currently in the process of updating our CVs, sorting out our covering letters and whatnot so that we can both apply to them quite soon.


So, that is the end of my report on Eurogamer Expo, meaning I am done for this week; next weeks post will probably relate to my sending off of my application, and perhaps other companies that I have looked at. I shall see what the week holds.

Just before I go, I thought I'd share Brink's cinematic trailer from GDC 2010 because it's just awesome! (Despite the fact that my tutors are probably the only people reading this, so I'm not exactly sharing the video with the world, but I'll do it anyway!)

If you don't know about the game already, then check out the official site for more information!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Beginning...

Ok, right, let's see, where to start...

Basically, I'm a Game Design student in my final year of university, and it's time to get serious. This year, whilst juggling my final year project, coursework from different modules and general life, I also need to start getting my act together, because I'm going to have to start applying to for jobs; after all, I wont get into the games industry otherwise!

So one of my modules is designed to help get me ready for, and into, the 'real world', starting with getting my CV up to scratch, and then my portfolio. As part of this module, I have been asked to write a weekly blog which will detail what I am doing to get in contact with different companies, and how my application to said companies is going. So on a weekly basis, I will update this blog, detailing what attempts I have made to apply to different companies, or what I have done to improve my portfolio, etc. I guess this is my tutors' way of keeping me in check, but at the same time, it will be beneficial to me as a means to reflect on what I've done, or something like that.

Anyway, I still need to write this weeks entry, but I shall do that later (later doesn't necessarily mean today!), but it will detail my volunteering at Eurogamer Expo!