How did you use media technologies in the construction of research, planning and evaluation?

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How did you use media technologies in the construction of research, planning and evaluation? by Mind Map: How did you use media technologies in the construction of research, planning and evaluation?

1. MonoDevelop

1.1. MonoDevelop was the software I used in order to write out the code for all the scripts used in my game. For my game I wrote my code in C#. I had no choice but to look online for video tutorials of how to code as I had no knowledge of coding beforehand. However, most of the mechanics I wanted in my game I was able to find a video of how to do them. One of the benefits of using MonoDevelop is that it works extremely well with Unity. This is because whenever you double-click on a script in Unity, MonoDevelop will automatically launch and load up the code for the selected script for you to start editing it. Also if there is an error in one of your scripts somewhere, you can click on the error in Unity and it will open up the script the error is in within MonoDevelop and highlight the area(s) that hold the error(s). This is very helpful when trying to find out what the issue is with the game.

1.2. A drawback to using MonoDevelop would be that it takes a long time to initially start up. The problem with this is that it wastes time that I could be spending, further developing the game and ultimately causes more time to be invested in the development. This could have been remedied by using another program such as visual studio, which is a lot faster, however this service costs money to purchase and therefore was unavailable during the making of my final product.

2. Unity

2.1. Unity was the software I used to make my final product on. The product I made was a 2D platformer side-scroller. It was in this piece of software where the building of the level and assets within it were added. These include sprites, code, and sound files. The benefits of using this software was that firstly it is free to use. This was really helpful as it meant that I could download it on my own computer at home to further develop the game and make improvements. Another benefit of using Unity is that the community is massive. There are countless forums and YouTube videos that go through step-by-step of how to code, import sprites and change values.

2.2. There were drawbacks when using Unity however. One example would be that I was using a more updated version at home than what is currently installed on the school computers. Consequently, this meant that I was unable to edit my game on the school computers after already starting it at home as Unity version 5 projects cannot be loaded on Unity version 4. Therefore I couldn't work on the game as much as I would have liked as there was no way to load my game during school hours and so development was restricted to when I was at home. This did benefit me in some ways however as it meant that I could get on with other areas of my coursework at school such as the ancillary tasks, pre-production and research. Another drawback of using Unity is that you can't edit the source code of the engine without paying an excessive licensing cost. This means that you are limited to optimising the code you have added yourself rather than unity itself so you are limited to the amount of optimisation you can do.

3. Adobe Photoshop

3.1. Adobe Photoshop was the software that I used when designing and drawing my sprites that were used for my game. This software is very expensive to purchase, however, I benefited from the 30 day trial that they have available and was able to use this software free of charge because of this. There are many benefits to using Adobe Photoshop for drawing my sprites. One example would be the pen tool. The pen tool allows me to make smooth and neat curves when doing the fine line work of my final sprites. This way, the sprites look neat and professional. Another benefit of photoshop is the use of masking layers. What this allows me to do is paint a certain area of a sprite and then add a masking layer to the area that was painted. By doing this, it makes adding shading to the sprite a painless task as the painting is then restricted to the area that has already been painted previously, therefore, there is no way I can overlay any other part of the sprite, further increasing the professionalism of the artwork.

3.2. An example of a drawback of using Adobe Photoshop is that it can, at times, be quite a load on the computer's cpu/vram. This can cause laggy mouse input and long loading times when working on projects with alot of layers. This was the case with the majority of my sprite projects as some would have upwards of over 150 layers, which can cause the program to struggle when exporting as image or cropping the canvas size. Honestly, it was hard to think of drawbacks when using this software as it is one of the best out there for drawing/arkwork.

4. Jimdo

4.1. Jimdo is the name of the website I used as my blog for both my AS and A2 media coursework. As a result of using it last year, I had a good understanding of how the site works and what limitations can occur so that I can compensate for them in advance. Jimdo is free to use and is very user-friendly as well as extremely customisable. You can choose a template to start with, which is very useful as it saves time having to make that blog look attractive and not appear dull. Jimdo allows you to embed pretty much anything onto your blog as there is a widget/html option so you can add <iframe> content, which includes my Unity game I made as my final project this year.

4.2. An example of a drawback that comes with using Jimdo would be that it is very private. What I mean by this is that no one will see your blog unless you give them the url. The fact that it isn't publicly shared like sites such as Tumblr, means that you won't get as much feedback to make improvements off of. This limits the audience of my work and I found myself restricted to feedback from my peers in class rather than other members of the public.

5. Wacom Graphics Tablet

5.1. I used a wacom bamboo graphics tablet when designing the sprites for my game. This was a huge help for multiple reasons. One benefit of using a graphics tablet is that it feels more natrual and accurate than using a mouse. I can get more precision as it is like putting pen to paper, only it appears on the screen instead. Another benefit to a graphics tablet is that mine supports pressure sensitivity, this is extremely useful for artwork as I can create real fine lines by putting low pressure down with the pen and bigger lines with added pressure.

6. Google Drive

6.1. Google Drive was a vital part of being able to embed my game into my blog. This was because I was able to use Google Drive to host the game, and found a line of code online which I could use to embed the game on any webpage that supports embedding content, such as blogger and jimdo. The only drawback is that I had to do this by exporting the game as a Web_GL type. This means that if the computer doesn't support Web_GL, then the game will not load on the blog page.

7. Youtube

7.1. I have used Youtube in both my AS and A2 coursework pieces. In AS I used Youtube to upload my many different practise and main product narratives, as well as in A2 to upload videos of demos for my game. I also used Youtube to embed informative videos into my blog in my research sections of both AS and A2. The advantages of Youtube is that it is free to use and it is very public so you can get a lot of feedback from others around the world as well as find videos made from others that can be useful for the course. I used Youtube videos in order to make my video game in A2 through a tutorial series that would not have been accessible if not for Youtube.

7.2. The disadvantage from using Youtube would be that when you upload a video it pre renders it again, which means that some quality is lost when uploaded. This was more of an issue in AS because quality was one of the most important parts as they were filmed narratives. However, in A2, the quality of the video wasn't as much of an issue.