Planning and idea creation
At the begin my project, I sat down with the two other members of my team. We discussed possible Ideas for the media product, bouncing back between 3 ideas, which I wrote down on a mood board.
I decided to pick the reviews that would be to be used as advertisements to be my project. I then devised how I wanted my idea to work like creating a brief description on how we would create the reviews which is shown below.
Review/ show Idea two – Heros of the storm review/overview/Advertisement
Gameplay shown throughout the review, mixed with a voice over of the review. The equipment needed would be a camera, boom and mic. The show would show brief clips of people before fading into the game play that is relevant to what they are saying.
Audio would detail game’s facts and people’s opinion on the game features and game play elements. I won’t be shown on camera instead opting for a voice over with more game play being shown.
There would be multiple perspectives of game play shown and mixed into the trailer. Each perceptive would show one of the 4 classes. Each one will explain in depth on how to play the said class.
Small graphics would appear on to the screen, showing the rating, numbers (Cost of game, release date). Effects would initially be designed on with mood boards
Graphics would be added in post using Adobe after effects
Style, look and theme
For my project I decided to research similar reviews and gaming news sources on the market currently. I searched some of the major gaming news sites like IGN to see how they executed their review as well to see how they presented their graphics in there videos. The Video I found for IGN was presented in a more minimal style
I highlighted the graphic from the IGN Review. I quite liked the ideas of small graphic appearing on the screen showing information about the game like key dates, prices and the interviewee’s name. Instead of being a classic box shape would have designed my more rounded with curved edges. I would also reposition the graphics so that they do not block any of the Ui like in the IGN review.
Additionally, I looked at the review and critique Angry Joe who is a Youtuber who reviews games that he chooses to rather than every game that comes out. His reviews tend to be longer and are a blend of visual and game play that has been voiced over. My original Idea was inspired by this Youtuber himself however there are some things I would change about the visuals. In the Angry Joe video graphics appear in over the gameplay as bold text. While this allows more information to be conveyed to the audience I do feel like it is too distracting for the game play by covering it nearly completely. The other style I liked from the video was the person who was reviewing in front of the green screen with game play in the background playing behind him as shown below.
The gender of my primary target audience would vary per game, with certain games like e.g puzzle games being more tailored to women due to woman typically being more casual gamers so a FPS for example would not appeal to them as much. Depending on the age group I would need to tailor the advertisement for certain people, this would be one of my main constraints. I would need to make sure to follow the PEGI rating system given to the game, making sure to not show inappropriate content to the younger audiences that the game is given for example games that were given a PEGI 7 should not have anything such as blood, gore, sexual content and other offensive material.
This is the script my group created for our video.
Aimee: It’s been one year since the launch of Heroes of the Storm the widely popular MOBA developed by Blizzard Entertainment for PC. The game currently has an ever growing fan base that has grown over the past year. With a whole year to improve the game what has been added?
Dan: “Hereoes of the Storm gameplay is highly similar to that of other MOBA/s such as League of Legends but with a few differences. It revo,ves around online 5v5 matches with the option of three different game modes including Versus Ai, Quick Match and Ranked. There are currently 10 maps released for HOTS these are: Towers of Doom, Infernal Shrines, Battlefield for Eternity, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Sky Temple, Garden of Terror, Blackheart’s Bay, Dragon Shire and Cursed Hollow. Towers of Doom, Infernal Shrines, and Battlefield of Eternity being added in the Eternal Conflict Update. Towers of Doom is the newest map to be added since launch offering a unique style to that map alone. On Towers of Doom, players can’t attack the core and instead must capture alters to fire shots at the core. Each core has 40 health and each tower equalling to a shot.
Players are given the option of 6-10 free to play heroes (dependant on their level) which rotate on a weekly basis or may “purchase” the heroes either with in-game currency or through micro transactions. As of June 2016, there are 53 heroes currently within the Nexus which can be defined by 4 roles such as Warrior, Assassin, Support and Specialist.”
HERO TYPE BREAKDOWNS
Warriors in Heroes of the Storm are the front line soldiers focusing on either disrupting or pure interference, heroes like Johanna and Sonya, focus on getting neck deep in the fight cutting swathes through their enemies with abilities that are based around being able to hit multiple enemies and keeping as close as possible using slows and jumps. Whilst heroes like Chen and Dehaka focus on getting in the fight to draw attention and being able to somewhat sustain themselves against enemy attacks using self-heals and stasis moves.
There is one unique hero however that works effectively at both being a warrior and an assassin, Cho’Gall is a 2 player hero where one half, Cho, is controlled by one player focusing on the warrior abilities and movement whilst the other half, Gall, focuses on the main damage from his assassin build. This helps when the players are organised as it takes 2 or 3 people alone to take the hero down whilst it also means that the team has less heroes in less places.
Assassins are the hit and run heroes with a mix of both melee and ranged heroes either relying on diving from the shadows to slit their opponent’s throats or snipe them from a range. Heroes like Valla focus heavily on peppering her foes full of arrows with basic attacks and area of effect abilities. Li Ming, focusing on skill shot abilities and being able to get cooldowns instantly on killing a hero whilst other assassins such as Thrall and Butcher, focus on getting in the fight and somewhat sustaining themselves, butcher being a very tanky melee assassin with some personal heals.
The most unique assassin however, is Greymane, a hybrid of range and melee being able to shift between human and werewolf form gaining different ability sets whilst changing between them being a much more reserved careful fighter in ranged form and being a much more aggressive close contact fighter in melee form.
Support heroes are in general, the backline fighters focusing on keeping their allies in the fight rather than joining it themselves, some that stick to this trend are Lt. Morales and Li Li, focusing on abilities that sustain their team and keep threats away from themselves. Hereoes that veer from this path, however, ports such as Kharazim and Rehgar focusing on keeping themselves and allies up but being able to dive in and deal a large amount of damage to the other team.
Specialists are the heroes that ver from the path of basic damagae dealers, supports or tanks, typically having something about them that is special or having abilities that focus on changing the battlefield. One type of specialist are the siege specialists, those primarily being Azmodan and Sgt Hammer, who sit out of range of the towers and keep dealing large amounts of damage to structures and minions whilst specialists such as Abathur and the Lost Vikings are all about Micro Management and to a certain extent being able to play the game like a small RTS instead of a MOBA.
- From Heroes of the Storm year one, which is your favourite hero?
- Would you say this is your favourite class?
- What class/hero would you recommend for beginners?
- Which is your favourite map and why?
Over a course of the year Blizzard made several improvements to the UI and menus. The UI received a minor improvement compared to all the graphic features with damage numbers made bolder and an increased colour border. The improvement to this made it clearer to players how much they were damaging or taking damage in fights. Additionally, when players die, the game displays who killed the said player. The screen is added to the death rather than the score screen, showing the portrait of the hero that the player was using, what ability they used and the amount of damage which killed you.
Several of the heroes that were before the release and were part of the base game received an over haul in the graphics of their abilities to match their character’s theme, Heroes past the launch had already included their own custom graphics such as Illidan and ETC.
The biggest change from launch is the complete over hauk of the games main menu. The menu screen has changed to be more streamlined for new players with added features such as a clock to tell you the time. Small menus such as the mount and skin tabs have become larger with all mounts at the same angle rather than all different directions.
Legal and ethical constraints
When making the review of the game Heroes of the storm the main is issue present would be copyright. When taking this into consideration, I researched the legal FAQ (frequently asked questions) and their Policy on video. From my research I was able to find that I was able to create the video as long as I comply to the fact that “Blizzard Entertainment requires that the use of Blizzard Content must be limited to non-commercial purposes.” (us.blizzard.com, n.d.). This basically means (as described on their website) I have full rights to make a video with their content as long as it does not cost to watch it, this is only liable to the video itself, as long as the website of hosting has a free version for people to watch I am able to charge for a paid version (Without ads e.g). Further the video must be rated for T (Teen) PEGI rating.
Additionally, I found out that I would need to credit blizzard legal notices appropriately for the content used in the video. I found these on the website and the one I would be using is the copyright and trade mark notice for heroes of the storm as can be seen just below.
©2014 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Heroes of the Storm is a trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (us.blizzard.com, n.d.).
The other concern with my legal issues would be wary of saying any possible slander to Blizzard entertainment due to incorrect facts, to prevent this we are only saying opinions on the game, will not use any form of insults or and would add a disclaimer to YouTube description.
When considering Ethics such as race, gender, religion and decency I found that my content would not affect any of them. Due to my content being video footage of heroes of the storm game play, there is no content that is discriminate due to the game rating. Additionally, in our live action footage we would not include any negative or discriminant opinions.
Equipment & software
When considering the choice of camera that was most suitable for filming. The camera I chose to use was the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera, with a shot gun mic attachment. The reason I chose to use the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera over the other camera choice that were offered to me was for a few reasons. The first reason was due to the Panasonic’s was able to record at 1920 x 1080 resolution at 1080 lines. Additionally, the camera was able to film at 6,13,17 and 21 bit rate. For my video I used the PH bit rate (21 mbit/sec). Finally, we recorded the video at 1080/60i format. Though the Panasonic AG-HMC40 still only records it at 30 fps (which is what we wanted to match up with the frame rate of our gameplay) as well as it then being encoded as progressive rather than interface which means a better quality image. All this meant that the video could be the best quality when uploaded for YouTube with the initial video before it would be lowered when loading on different screens by YouTube conversation.
Another reason for using the Panasonic AG-HMC40 was the equipment attachment. The reason this is beneficial to my video is that it allows for a clear sound to be recorded though there is still some problem with audio as the boom is not right next to the interviews and interviewees mouth. The boom was a feature that all the other camera didn’t have. I also used a tri pod to stop the camera from shaking in my hand. The was another benefit for using this camera over the other camera available (such a Go Pro) was the fact I was able to use a tripod to keep the camera steady to ensure a more professional quality with my shots.
I used adobe premiere and Photoshop to edit my video. For the graphics I used during the video at certain points. (Such as when speaking about warriors the graphics saying warriors would fade in). I used Photoshop over another program such as paint as it is compatible with adobe premiere and the fact that these graphics were able to have a translucence background meaning the video could be played behind it.
To actually edit these graphic in as well as the live action video and gameplay I used adobe premiere. I used adobe premiere due to the advanced effects I could do on the video such as editing the audio in and out gradually. Additionally, I chose adobe premiere due to the pre-sets when rendering this mean I could tailor my video to be suitable for a YouTube pre-set.
Process and time management.
When working on this project to ensure that the deadline would be completed by in time we created a set goal for each week. For example, on the second week we completed the storyboard for our project and set the next goal for week 3 to be for capturing footage. This schedule helped us manage time, making sure that we could spread the work over the weeks. The process can have been seen on my WordPress account (https://dmcgonigleblog.wordpress.com/). To ensure the quality of my video I did two tests. The first way to ensure the quality of the video was to make sure the game play was recorded in 30 fps so that there was no a major difference between the video and the gameplay and an obvious drop in frame rate.
The second way I ensured quality of my video was to have a test audience of my mother and father. They commented the while the rest of the video was fine that the “The speech is too fast to understand, there is not enough pauses”. While the way the audio was edited could be said to be fast, I would argue due to the generation of children that have grown up with the internet, they would be more use to the fast pace of the video as typically video is faster on the internet.
I further made sure that I was organised by sorting my files into various folders to keep them organised. When considering file size, to transfer the files between the members of my group I used OneDrive as this meant we could transfer large video files in this case some of the gameplay being over 2GB, over the internet. This meant we always had the assets on the cloud so that they were always there and the large file sizes did not fill a hard drive of flash disk. In the end the actual final video was 1.09 GB. This was due to the high quality of the video however for a video of 9 minutes plus run time the file was fairly small.
I also filmed some behind the scenes footage of how we filmed ensured the quality of our shots. This talked about how me and one of the other members of my group were doing test shot before the second attempt at filming the interviews. We were not happy with the first interviews; the shot was angled to the left before panning to the right for a close up of the interviewee. This made a distracting and unprofessional due to the close up.
With our second attempt we opted for a wide angle shot, so that both members of the interview were present. This helped the interviews seem more natural with the conversation rather than the focus just being upon the interviewee. We also got rid of the angel positioning of the camera placing in front of the centre of the desk so that the focus was centred around the interview rather than the background.
We also filmed on a cloudier day unlike the first filming session. This meant that there was less light coming through the blinds onto the scene. When filming our first test interview the week we found out that it would not be possible to film against the white board due to the glossy finish reflecting the light and creating too much exposure.
Additional Video assets
To film the gameplay used in our review, we used the program OBS (Open broadcast software) to record our gameplay. OBS is a program used for stream capable of capturing different instances (this case gameplay) however it is able to save a file to the PC in this case I changed the settings so the video was saved as a MP4. I had to change the buffer size to 0 so that OBS automatically set the bit rate to that of the games.
The video resolution was set to that of my monitor that being at HD resolutions meaning that when it would be uploaded to YouTube It could be shown in 1080p. When taking into consideration my interview footage was in 30 FPS, I had to change the FPS of the video (my pc could have reached 60 with ease) so that there was not an fps drop during the video itself.
Exporting the video
When I was finished with my editing I had to export my Video. I decided to format my video in H.264 encoder, making the present to be the YouTube 1080p format. The reason for this was that the typical encoding format used for digital video online Is H.264, additionally the reason I chose the YouTube present was that when it came time to upload the video the file would have been wrapped in a way which would mean that YouTube would not need to convert it when it was uploaded. It was encoded in the progressive encoding. As can be seen in the screenshot I took of my video was an of the aspect ratio of 16:9, with the resolution being 1920 – 1080, at 60 fps, had a data transfer rate of 12 mbps and the audio was 48 KHZ Stereo.
Gallery of screenshots of creation
There are no sources in the current document.
FAQ Copyright notices
us.blizzard.com. (n.d.). Blizzard FAQ – Copyright notices. [online] Available at: http://http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/copyrightnotices.html [Accessed 23 Jun. 2016].
us.blizzard.com. (n.d.). Blizzard video Policy. [online] Available at: http://http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/videopolicy.html [Accessed 23 Jun. 2016].