Final Digital Artefact

On the 30th of December, myself and two friends of mine, Jacob Sundgren, and Jared Woodham got together to finally complete the long awaited Podcast. This Podcast went for approximately 50 mins as we did get side tracked, therefore I uploaded a 12 minute Highlights Reel for a a more concise and digestible Digital Artefact. We talked about the three planned games being Alien: Isolation, Pokemon, and a change from Battlefield to Halo. For each game we talked about to strong points of the games music, and more specifically it’s importance and what benefits it provided the game.

Firstly we discussed Alien: Isolation, and its immersive, eerie soundtrack that keeps you on your toes the entirety of the game. We specifically discussed the different types of sounds present and how they created such an immense atmosphere. To illustrate, sounds sources heard include orchestration in minor key with suspensful timbre, Foley Sounds (Footsteps, falling furniture, screams, music various SFX etc.), and very importantly; silence. These sounds were used in the game, as mentioned in the podcast, very precisely. Specific scenes with very well timed build up and climaxes, to drop to nothing but silence when you know the alien is nearby. Thus, without these cues of music, silent moments, and intense foley sounds such as the alien “crackle” made out of a bag filled with rocks and garlic; the game wouldn’t be anywhere near as terrifying as it is.

For Pokemon, we mainly utilised the game to discuss battle adrenaline, as well as importantly the evolution of music in video games and the impact it brought upon us as gamers. Pokemon was released in 1998 with Pokemon Yellow, and featured nothing but a static, midi keyboard riff. As mentioned in the 50 minute podcast, during the scene that is playing whilst this Atari style music is present, Pickachu is seen riding a wave. To communicate the point a bit more clearer, the music was not a great portrayal of the emotion and atmosphere of the game. And with this example, we can now further see how the evolution of the music in video games has increased portrayal of specific emotion in video games. To illustrate with Pokemon, various instruments were added to the soundtracks such as lead guitar and drums. And therefore, the more intense, thought out technicalities of the music has made the game more hype, and enjoyable, such as the music during the battle against champion Cynthia; Pokemon Diamond/Pearl.

Finally, we shortly discussed Halo, and its battle/war themed orchestration, that helps the game achieve such a high level of a “grand/triumphant” nature. Everyone knows the classic halo menu theme song that is so catchy, as well as thrilling to the player as they become eager to play the game. This type of music is constantly portrayed during the whole game and a sense of heroism, and excitement to come out on top of the war that you fight in. This is portrayed in so many other war/first person shooter games such as medal of honour, battlefield and call of duty, as it is such an effective technique for the style of gameplay. Other points about Halo were made in comparison with the other two games and their points. For instance the foley Practice of the space like guns, as well as the grand space sounds created to portray the amazing atmosphere that we in reality can’t comprehend.

Round 2 of Comments

This week I reviewed 3 different Pitch’s for my class mates Digital Artefact Beta’s. These pitches were; Sophie Leathers, and her analysis of the surfing game YouRiding and whether it teaches surfing skills, Caliem Kostiuk, and his research on why Skyrim portrays what a great RPG is, and Paris Katrivesis, and her idea of gaming addiction with research on fortnite and Minecraft. This will be my critical reflection on what I commented on for each post, and most importantly how I can improve for future commentary. 
I attempted to be as constructive as possible whilst trying to give both positive and negative comments, in addition with helpful articles. For Sophie, I noticed she really took her public feedback to good use, really sculpting her work around opinions, and realisations from her original pitch. I did however want to ensure she knew where she could improve and for me that was her feedback being talked about more. I think I could have improved my comment by maybe making the intro/praise on her beta more concise with less ranting. 
For Cailem, again I attempted to give him the positive features of his beta to begin. I wanted to acknowledge his lack of procrastination, and his great analytic framework topics. The only thing I found I could offer to him was actually having public feedback as he had no external opinions on the topic, and nothing to edit his final DA with. I feel like I could have given more detailed articles and academic resources to Claim, I struggled to think of anything.  
Last but not least, I found Paris’s Beta extremely thorough, therefore stating positive feedback about her lack of procrastination with her videos already started and planned. She really hit all the right points in the beta which lead me to struggle finding any supportive feedback; therefore being something I could’ve improved on in my comment.

DA Project Beta

In continuation of my previous idea For a Digital Artefact (DA), my project has furthered in progress to completion, being completely set up for the podcasts. With the things discussed and added below, I will be recording the podcasts in the next week or two on my Soundcloud.

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ricky-joseski

To skim over topics covered in the 4 minute video pitch attached below, additions to my DA include Battlefield 1 being assessed, the featuring of Jacob Sundgren and Jared Woodham on the podcast, as well as the main clips I will be discussing (Linked under video).

Main points I want to discuss for the process of this pitch is the public interaction, and further research. Firstly, due to not having any podcasts recorded, even a demo, I took to social media (Facebook) to ask people of any games that come to mind based off the soundtrack experience. With 33 comments and 8 private messages, I had an overwhelming response to how much of a role game music had for players based on the “suspense, nostalgia, excitement” of the games they were so in love with. As a result, this as it is to me shows a clear and undeniable proof that game soundtracks have immense importance in video games. The question, comments and private messages can all be seen in the pitch video above.

Finally, some further potential areas of research have been discovered by myself. An economic view on the impact of game music is one, based on reviews of game music relating to sales. Also a political view, in terms of ratings placed on games where the music syncs with overly violent scenes in games that can lead to banning. Links below are potential sources, a continuation to my other research on the first pitch.

https://au.ign.com/articles/2019/09/19/the-legend-of-zelda-links-awakening-review

http://theconversation.com/why-do-we-keep-having-debates-about-video-game-violence-121539

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-02/keogh-banned-games-a-scary-statistic-with-a-banal-explanation/6589668

https://www.gamecrate.com/10-scariest-sounds-video-games/14821

Round 1 of Comments

This week I reviewed 3 different Pitch’s for my class mates Digital Artefacts. These pitches were; Stephanie Jory’s, and her idea of game addiction with a focus on Fortnite, Callum Harvey’s, and his idea of economic and political analyse of game freak, and Caitlin Olsen-Ludlow’s, and her idea of gaming and its effect on mental health. This will be my critical reflection on what I commented on for each post, and most importantly how I can improve for future commentary.
I attempted to be as constructive as possible whilst trying to give both positive and negative comments. I wanted to give them a sense that they were on the right path but also could always work on their approach. For Stephanie, I felt her pitch was structured well and gave a detailed response. I did however want to ensure she knew where she could improve and for me that was having to pause the video to understand the points she was delivering. I think I could have improved by stating when exactly I had to pause as she may have been quite time constraint and had to search for herself to fix this issue.
For Callum, again I attempted to give him the positive features of his pitch to begin. I wanted to acknowledge his bravery with entering a political view as I feel this would be challenging for myself and maybe even difficult to talk about. Although, I was quite surprised on his knowledge on the subject and felt this was worth telling. The only thing I found I could offer to him was he was trying to cram in too much information that could be spread over 3 topics. Also, I found the topic of Diablo Immortal was a great aid in research that he seemed to appreciate my help with. Again, I feel I could have given more detail into my response as to make it clearer for him to improve. Specifically, when I state that the information can be dense, I could give example’s of when his information was hard to grasp, such as a specific stat, or paragraph etc.
Last but not least, I found Caitlin’s Pitch extremely thorough, therefore stating positive feedback about her dialogue and her video presentation. The one thing I picked up on was the lack of structure I believe wasn’t present. She had a lot of great potential research though no way for me to know how she was going to present it and in what timely manner in her videos. I feel I could’ve improved my comment by maybe providing my own structure she could’ve worked off, or summarising some of her potential research for her.

I provided one link to a single website after each comment, with the hopes that each person could maybe gain more knowledge they may have missed, or didn’t think to delve into. Here are the links given in each comment.

Steph: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-27/fortnite-addiction-prompts-parents-to-turn-to-video-game-rehab

Callum: https://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/9tns96/watching_the_qa_for_the_mobile_diablo_these_might/

Caitlin: https://www.livescience.com/22281-teens-video-games-health-risks.html

Ever watched a horror movie without sound? (BCM215 Pitch, Blog)

The importance of both sound and music in films, but also video games is regularly overlooked. It’s so proffesional that you don’t even know it’s producing such a magical experience behind the action. “The background music has been proved to be an indispensable part in every successful video game. At the same time, all the video game designers and players hope video games could be as immersive as possible.” (Zhang/Fu, 2015).

With this idea of immersion from video game music in mind, I aim to have this Digital artefact teach people the wonders it creates, the emotions it evokes, and how it has evolved in such successful video games. The recent games I have been enjoying include the many Pokemon games available for experience. Therefore, I believe the franchise’s vast majority of sound tracks would be a great topic to prove the impact of music in video games. I do want to compare the music/sound design from Pokemon to another game in the horror genre; being Alien Isolation. This game is a survival based thriller where every sound, musical or not, keeps you on edge. I think this nail bitting thriller would be another great example to compare the emotion evoked, and most importantly music’s practical contribution in video games.

Some ideas I have for my Digital artefact include investigation into Foley artists, which produce 100% of all sounds you hear whilst experiencing a video game. These professionals use/create such amazing sounds from things you’d never think would be practical, and make a soundscape that creates belief that the world you are immersed in; is in-fact real. Furthermore, I want to delve into the instruments used and what ones have been introduced over time, as well as their effect through their timbre, and dynamics. I aim to have many more ideas and topics to speculate on in my podcast, below are some sources I have already delved into to begin and structure my teaching techniques, as-well as broaden my own knowledge.

References –

Zhang, Juliun and Fu, Xiaoqing, 2015, “The Influence of Background Music of Video Games on Immersion”, Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Last viewed 8/08/19.

Click to access the-influence-of-background-music-of-video-games-on-immersion-2161-0487-1000191.pdf

Further links for research –

The Impact of Music in Video Games

https://culturevultures.com/effects-importance-music-horror-based-games/

Deconstructing: The Battle Music of Pokemon Red and Blue

https://au.ign.com/articles/2014/05/27/how-pokemon-music-evolved-over-time

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.