Week 11 — Play Testing

We’re approaching the end of the trimester, so this means we are also approaching the end of our project! This week, we did not need to do much things as much as the previous, since most of the work is on Unity or simply for advertising or touch-ups.

Our project is now slowly coming together, so we decided to have a test play through. For our menu screen, only some of the buttons are functional while the rest are place holders we can add near the end. The game itself looked great according to our instructors and some beta testers— the ambience was very creepy and messy which was our goal. We still need to add the normal and shadow maps, which is now being done.

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(7links Studio, 2017)

As for the artificial intelligence (AI) mechanic of the antagonist, the doctor, it is still being worked on, so the only thing that he does in the current build of the game is walk or roam around the maps, and run towards the player when they are detected— without the game ending. The mechanic is being finished and tested on a separate laptop, so hopefully it will be up and running soon. The collection mechanic has already been implemented into the game’s current build, which means players can now go near the patient files and press a certain key so that the counter on the top left will change.

There are still many things to be worked on, but hopefully we will get it all finished before the showcase, and better if we have time to spare for testing and bug fixing!


Reference

7links Studio,. Play Testing. 2017. Print.

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Selfless

We are all different kinds of people.

Born and raised in different environments, experienced different things, like different people, the list goes on. But there is usually at least one thing that ties us all together; as an example, you and your friend might be polar opposites but share the common interest of films or music. Where there is difference, there will always be similarity.

For our art community, it is most likely that we are all different as well— our common bond being the love for art. Some people might prefer to use lighter colors while some prefer darker; some people prefer characters, some prefer environment, and that’s okay. But because we are different, it makes creating content all the more challenging and interesting.

Because we all grew up in different environments and cultures, the way we create art is different. Some of us are inspired by comics, some are inspired by realism, and some are inspired by our own experiences. It is usually the latter that influences our content the most.

But our own experiences are not enough to create stories. We inevitably find ourselves creating content about ourselves and other people— maybe even for someone we don’t know, just because we found their experience interesting and worth creating artwork from. This may be a fun idea, but it is not an easy task. Understanding oneself is already quite difficult, and so is understanding other people. We did not experience what they did, so chances are, we don’t exactly know how they felt or saw what they saw.

Let’s talk about representation. Representation can be defined as the act of one person or object that may speak for a group of people or things as a whole (Merriam-Webster, 2016). Now, this can either go two ways— good and bad. Sometimes media represents a certain niche as a bad thing— usually because they only display stereotypes.

What are stereotypes? These are usually traits or beliefs that ‘define’ a group of people (Cambridge Dictionary, 2016). Of course, since we are different individuals, this is most likely a bad thing. For example— and this is a very common one— not all Asians get A+ on their grades. Everyone learns at their own pace, so not everyone can ace their tests and home works. This is just one simple example of a stereotype, yet it is still the cause of bullying, ridicule, and even jokes. Especially since it is promoted on television, it causes a real impact on people.

This goes for every representation that is shown on media. The stories, characters, and developments actually influence the people who are watching— this is why representation is important. As people, we often find ourselves relating deeply to characters in television shows, books, comics, films, and other forms of media. Because of this, we realize that they are not just fictional characters in a fictional world— they are part of our own growths as human beings.

(Smore, 2015)

This is why it is a big deal that minorities are cast as lead actors in big movies, or become part of the political party— because they represent the people who have been here for so long yet gain no attention or credit. Because they represent the people who simply want to be seen as equals with the rest of the world.

These days, we are slowly improving— more and more content creators have started considering minority groups when thinking of ideas for projects. Just recently, Disney released the film, Moana (2016) which features a Polynesian girl as the main character (Bitch Flicks, 2016). Though this is not the first time Disney had Polynesian leads— the previous being Lilo & Stitch (2002)— it is still important that in this age and day, we are being shown more diverse stories, especially those that we can show to children.

The world we live in is diverse— that is a fact that will not change. It is filled with different kinds of people everywhere who have their own experiences to tell in many different ways, be it in the form of writings, or artworks, or music. Don’t be afraid to tell the whole world your story as well, because every story is worth telling.


Reference

Bitch Flicks. (2016, November 4). “Lilo & stitch,” “Moana,” and Disney’s representation of indigenous peoples. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.btchflcks.com/2016/11/lilo-and-stitch-moana-and-disneys-representation-of-indigenous-peoples.html#.WEHx0uZ95PY
Cambridge Dictionary. (2016, November 30). Stereotype meaning in the Cambridge English dictionary. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/stereotype
Merriam-Webster. (2016). Definition of REPRESENTATION. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representation
Smore. (2015). Cultural diversity. Diversity in schools. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.smore.com/8jfaw-diversity-in-schools

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

Bitch Flicks. (2016, November 4). “Lilo & stitch,” “Moana,” and Disney’s representation of indigenous peoples. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.btchflcks.com/2016/11/lilo-and-stitch-moana-and-disneys-representation-of-indigenous-peoples.html#.WEHx0uZ95PY
(Bitch Flicks, 2016)
Cambridge Dictionary. (2016, November 30). Stereotype meaning in the Cambridge English dictionary. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/stereotype
(Cambridge Dictionary, 2016)
Merriam-Webster. (2016). Definition of REPRESENTATION. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representation
(Merriam-Webster, 2016)
Smore. (2015). Cultural diversity. Diversity in schools. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.smore.com/8jfaw-diversity-in-schools
(Smore, 2015)

Shameless

An artist is nothing without their supporters.

They can be incredibly skilled in multiple types of medium, but without an audience to see their work, it is redundant. One of the main reasons most artists draw is because they want other people to see their works— the pieces that they worked hard on. This is why we are eager to show our families and our friends the artworks that we made, no matter how small or big they are.

This is where social media comes in. The first thing that we usually think of when someone says ‘social media’ is usually websites like Facebook or Twitter— and that’s correct. Social media, as we know it, are websites where people from various points of the world can come together and share content (“Definition of social media in English,” n.d.). These ‘people’ can vary from your close friends and family to complete strangers on the internet who simply support the work that you showcase.

(“Official twitter logo,” 2016)

Fans, or followers are not only the people who view your artworks— these people are usually the motivation of an artist. Comments and likes on their posts are always welcome especially with content creators like us. But most of the time these are hard to get.

A fanbase doesn’t automatically come to you, you have to give them a reason to view your projects and to stay. Of course, not everyone who comes across your artworks will like it— there are those who wouldn’t mind them, there are those who love them enough to follow you and leave a comment or two, then those who lie just in between.

Posting artwork is one of the first steps into building your own fanbase. For there to be supporters there must be something that they would support. Most artists usually create fan art for different television series, games, celebrities, etc. so that they have a higher chance of gaining an audience quickly. Tags are also deliberately used so that their art would be easier to track and might draw in people who have similar tastes to those of which you post.

Most websites— if not all— already use these features. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other ‘big’ social media sites use these in order to filter the content being shared by their users. There are also websites that cater to a specific niche of people; for artists there’s DeviantArt, Behance, Dribbble, and many more (Talnts Team, 2015).

New Logo and Identity for DeviantArt by Moving Brands

(“New deviantart logo,” 2014)

But simply posting your works online won’t get you the exposure you deserve; you have to connect with others as well. Be it in the form of asking for advice, or simply commenting on other people’s works is already a great form of networking. For a long time, social media has been used to connect people around the globe, and also helps people online meet each other and create new bonds— this is something that we, content creators, can use to our advantage. Networking with other artists does not only mean gaining more audience, this also means forming new friendships.

Though it is, indeed, a quite difficult time to show your art to the world, the journey towards it is fun and educational. The thing about being in an online community is that you will never really stop improving and developing— there will always be things that you can work on to become a better artist— a better person. You will meet tons of new people and you will come across many lessons, and the truth is that the journey only ends if you choose to.


Reference

Definition of social media in English. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/social_media
New deviantart logo. (2014). Brand new: New logo and identity for DeviantArt by moving brands. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_and_identity_for_deviantart_by_moving_brands.php#.WECiVeZ95PY
Official twitter logo. (2016). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.mediaweek.com.au/it-begins-with-140-characters-the-place-of-twitter-in-broadcast-media/
Talnts Team. (2015, October 15). Most popular social networks for artists – Talnts.Com Blog. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from Blog, http://www.talnts.com/blog/most-popular-social-networks-for-artists/

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

Definition of social media in English. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/social_media
(“Definition of social media in English,” n.d.)
New deviantart logo. (2014). Brand new: New logo and identity for DeviantArt by moving brands. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_and_identity_for_deviantart_by_moving_brands.php#.WECiVeZ95PY
(“New deviantart logo,” 2014)
Official twitter logo. (2016). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.mediaweek.com.au/it-begins-with-140-characters-the-place-of-twitter-in-broadcast-media/
(“Official twitter logo,” 2016)
Talnts Team. (2015, October 15). Most popular social networks for artists – Talnts.Com Blog. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from Blog, http://www.talnts.com/blog/most-popular-social-networks-for-artists/
(Talnts Team, 2015)

Priceless

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is usually the question for most— if not all— children while they are in school. They hear these words countless times from their parents, teachers, and other people around them that are curious to know the child’s interests.

Of course, as a child, we would then answer either ‘astronaut’ or ‘princess’ or ‘singer,’ the list goes on. Back then, it all seemed like good ideas; we would be able to look and be like the people we looked up to the most— be it fictional characters or people that we know, personally or not.

But as we grow up, we learn more and we find out that things are not as easy as they seem. Not everyone can be astronauts, princesses, or singers. Our interests also change and evolve over time; a child who wanted to be a teacher may grow up to find that they wanted to be an artist instead. This was the case for me.

It took me a few years to realize that I wanted to create a career out of my drawings; as I exposed myself to the online art community, I had been gaining more knowledge about it than I ever had in school. This, of course, means that I know it’s not that easy at all. Art takes a lot of skill and passion, especially if you would want to do it for a living.

These days, everything that we need for our daily lives can be bought with money. It is usually not an option to be unemployed anymore, with people settling for jobs that they don’t want just because they need the income for their survival. This goes for everyone— artists included.

There are many ways to go about having an art career. The majority of artists would usually look for employments in art or animation studios as animators, art directors, etc. These people work on projects with other animators in the company such as games, television series, and whatnot. In 2008, an estimated number of 79,000 artists were employed as multimedia artists or animators, and a rise of around 90,200 is expected in 2018 (Bradford, 2011).

Some artists, however, prefer to create their own projects or decide they don’t want to work under a company. This is called freelancing— selling their own artworks and products independently (Merriam-Webster, 2016a). This is especially common for artists and illustrators, since they are the ones who get to decide how much money they will be making per piece.

As a freelance artist myself, I can say that it isn’t as easy as anyone thinks. Setting up commission prices and products is already hard enough, and gaining an audience is even more difficult. There are also websites such as Patreon, which uses a monthly subscription basis for your fans in exchange for the artist giving exclusive artworks and the such. A fan can choose to pay any amount that the artist had set monthly, and the rewards for those tiers will be displayed on the site as well. It may take a while for this method to work, and surely it isn’t for everyone, but in the end it pays off just like any other job.

(“Patreon logo,” 2016)

But just because you have a decent audience and proper art doesn’t mean there are no problems. A common issue that most artists have are those people who demand art from them without getting anything in return. Some artists do allow requests, usually for a limited period of time or for selected people only, but other artists do not. This is not because they don’t appreciate their supporters, it’s because they do not have the time or energy to create pieces for free, when they could do it for a cost (that will help them pay off rents and other necessities).

Artists can also use crowdfunding in order to bring an idea for a project into reality. Crowdfunding is defined as gathering a sum of money from various people in order to achieve a target goal (Merriam-Webster, 2016b). This is commonly used in order to create comics, art books, and even games. A popular crowdfunding platform is Kickstarter, which has then earned the same meaning as crowdfunding (Taylor, 2013).

(“Kickstarter logo,” 2015)

As I had said before, there are many ways to go about creating a career out of your art. Whether it be working under a company or working independently, you create your own image. Being an artist is a tough job, but at the end of the day, the feeling of doing what you love as a living is quite priceless.


Reference

Bradford, H. (2011, July 9). 10 artistic jobs with bright futures. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/09/ten-art-jobs-with-the-brightest-futures_n_893326.html
Kickstarter logo. (2015). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.techdaring.com/is-kickstarter-dead/
Merriam-Webster. (2016a). Definition of FREELANCE. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freelance
Merriam-Webster. (2016b). Definition of CROWDFUNDING. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crowdfunding
Patreon logo. (2016). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.tubefilter.com/2016/01/19/patreon-30-million-series-b-funding-round/
Taylor, K. (2013, August 6). 6 top Crowdfunding Websites: Which One is right for your project? Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/2013/08/06/6-top-crowdfunding-websites-which-one-is-right-for-your-project/#7d72e33f65f8

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

Bradford, H. (2011, July 9). 10 artistic jobs with bright futures. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/09/ten-art-jobs-with-the-brightest-futures_n_893326.html
(Bradford, 2011)
Kickstarter logo. (2015). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.techdaring.com/is-kickstarter-dead/
(“Kickstarter logo,” 2015)
Merriam-Webster. (2016a). Definition of FREELANCE. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freelance
(Merriam-Webster, 2016a)
Merriam-Webster. (2016b). Definition of CROWDFUNDING. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crowdfunding
(Merriam-Webster, 2016b)
Patreon logo. (2016). Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://www.tubefilter.com/2016/01/19/patreon-30-million-series-b-funding-round/
(“Patreon logo,” 2016)
Taylor, K. (2013, August 6). 6 top Crowdfunding Websites: Which One is right for your project? Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/2013/08/06/6-top-crowdfunding-websites-which-one-is-right-for-your-project/#7d72e33f65f8
(Taylor, 2013)