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New Worlds: Gaming and Animation

Gaming, a $2.75 billion industry, relies on the skills of people like gaming design expert Craig Wolfe to create alternate worlds. People young and old engross themselves in the imagined realities of games like Halo and Call of Duty. Gamers can take on new personae, employ superhuman strength, and perform fantastical feats all thanks to the innovation and skill of game designers. What started with games like Tetris, blocks falling from the sky, has evolved into an outlet of escape where anything is possible.

Wolfe’s YouTube video, Steve’s Bad Day, animates the life of one unlucky robot, providing an interesting comparison to popular computer games. While the animation and graphic design is the same technique used to develop sports and action games, the idea behind the presentation differs. Games are developed so people can step into impossible worlds and situations. This video created an impossible world and put our world into it. Producing a storyline laced with slapstick humor, Wolfe anthropomorphizes his characters. The roles taking on by the robots are typical of modern comedy: the hot receptionist (who is introduced while filing her nails) and the big, dumb security guards (named Ed and Ted). Viewers can identify with the title character Steve as well, from his clumsiness to his frustration with the achingly slow dial-up computers.

The storyline proves familiar, but the delivery intrigues because we are watching non-humans behave in very human ways. This extends not to the dialogue or personalities of each player, but in the design. Wolfe’s attention to detail also boasts his skills as designer and computer animator. One aspect of this attributed to the animation and design is the fluidity with which the characters move. This takes skill as a computer programmer. Ensuring that movements are realistic and believable, much like the way game designers must take into consideration every aspect of the avatar’s bodies in games like the Sims. The fascination with video and computer games is rooted, in part, to the believability of design.

This short video is a testament to the capabilities of game designers. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s visually appealing. The same graphic quality and precision that goes into the millions of video and computer games enjoyed by people all over the globe was used to create Steve’s Bad Day. Videos like these are a necessary component to the portfolios of beginning gamers. They demonstrate the skills required of a game designer, animator, or creator that are necessary in the lucrative game industry. Steve’s Bad Day employs the creativity and story detail displayed in the interactive games found in homes of gamers worldwide.

Wolfe will be featured in the forthcoming book, TechCareers: Gaming. Watch Steve’s Bad Day in link below!



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