Attention Dragons and Dragonettes- we’ve received notice of incoming storms next week. Windows are scheduled to be boarded over in attempt to prevent the front door from shattering and putting out an eye. You guessed it, it’s Tornado season. A Local meteorologist managed to weasel a paper airplane past the guard dogs and onto the front desk. After we ensured his remains were fed to the hounds, the note informed us we’re due to expect unusual debris across the school. In an effort to recover from the tornado damage, students are requested to participate in clearing the school of the artifacts left by the tempest. Keep an eye out for paper dragons guarding their treasured tickets, and for the love of the approaching singularity find and protect our future robot masters. Other such efforts that contribute to ensuring the integrity of our facility may include recording your participation in assigned tasks, or doing the bidding of your professor(s) for rewards. If you’re the competitive type then be sure to keep an eye on the front lobby television for daily details. What’s that, you want to collect points with a friend? How about three? Make some matching uniform and name to identify yourselves and bonus participatory happiness points will be awarded- but any more than four to a team and the stamp of frown-sadness will descend upon your final score. Take pictures and we’ll keep track of your deeds- who knows, perhaps those who live through the apex of the storm here on Saturday 14th will earn some eternal glory in the halls of Cogswell. Rations? Check. Dueling ART? Check. Fighting to the last breath with boffer swords? All bets are off boys and girls- it’s Tornado Season.
Posts Tagged ‘students’
I recently got the giant privilege in being invited to the preview of the Genre Electronica class here at Cogswell. The class is all about creating a studio level album by collaborating with your classmates while also doing some solo tracks. It’s a small group of artists working on the album right now but every one of them is extremely talented and it wasn’t hard to hear while sitting in the preview that every one of them will be famous someday.
A name for the album hasn’t been released yet but as soon as it is, I will be sure to let you know. Hopefully we will get a couple additional tracks to listen to before they release the full album, but for now, I leave you with their teaser track. Enjoy!!!
If you were curious about the reason it’s been so quiet it around here, I am here to tell you, it is because our students have been on Spring Break and return today to finish out the ladder half of the semester. I hope that all of you had a great week of relaxation and fun. It was the calm before the storm students. Welcome back and I wish you happy studying and much luck during finals…… that is, when they show their nasty little faces.
I am super excited to be back here in office today! I had a crazy time last week and loved every second of it. The third and final day at GDC was so fun! It was a shorter day than the others but so much happened. The first thing was that the students decided to go out and prove how much they loved games by trying to win every contest at the expo booths, they did pretty well and their spoils proved it. They also went out and tried talking to as many indy game designers as possible. Many of them had amazing conversations with the designers and who knows what will come of that, but I foresee epic things on the horizon. So all in all, this years GDC experience was an amazing one and the students can’t wait to go next year!
We have a couple pictures of the team getting together at the booth at the end of the day and expressing their satisfaction. Here they are below:
Be sure to keep reading everyone, we will be having some pretty cool things coming up on the blog! I will talk to you soon!
Yesterday was an exciting day on the expo floor. Everyone started to get pretty lively toward the end of the day. One of the coolest parts of the day was one of our own students entered the sketching contest and the NVIDIA booth and made it all the way to the finals! She came in second but only by a tie-breaker judge, it was very very close! So congratulations to Amelia!!! (pics below during the contest)
Anther great bit of news was our students were showing excellent networking skills with the indy game developers as well as big companies. It seemed that every hour a student would come back and tell us of a potential deal or partnership or connection they made personally and with the school in mind. Cogswell students are always looking to expand our programs and their presence here at GDC really showed it!
Today the Expo floor gets opened up to all students, including high schoolers, so we expect it to be pretty busy! I will let you know whats going on a bit later! Talk you all soon and as always, if you are at GDC, come by and check us out at booth 638!
Hey Blog Readers!
I was here bright and early to watch everyone start rolling into the Expo floor. Last night around the city there were serveral parties hosted by various game companies and the like, so needless to say, this morning everyone is a little tired. But the energy is picking up and there are smiles on every face. Our student volunteers are doing a great job as well, so a big thank you so far goes out to Matt, Dashiell, Jennifer, Nick, Andrew S, Shane and Andrew M! You guys are rockin’ it!
I will be checking back in a little later today to update everyone. Talk to you soon!
Hey everyone, time to get back to our talk about psychology in video games.
Let’s dive right back into our previous discussion about conditioned and unconditioned responses. Just a quick reminder so we don’t need to back track: conditioned responses are like tutorials, reoccurring quick time events, things you find out on your own through trial and error, etc. Now we get to delve into unconditioned responses, which deal with a players natural response to stimuli… and hopefully we can get to fight or flight before the third part of this incredibly long blog post!
Unconditioned responses: not touching a hot stove after having found out that hot=pain, knowing that a headache is not good, being parched after a good workout. We train ourselves unknowingly to follow these responses day in and day out to make our lives easier and safer. Games use this natural human trait and expand on it within their world by giving you experiences that you the player may like or dislike but give you one crucial fact to these experiences: they won’t let you progress. Well, that’s not entirely true since secret bosses can be ignored throughout a whole game. Okay, let’s just say that games use unconditioned responses as a tool to make a game more vast and explorative in more than just ways that hinder ones progress… but for now we will stick to progress hindering. To present the way it works, take an imaginary game where you are the main character and you have to save the world from bad guys. These bad guys have attacks that will hurt you and you can attack them back. As an added bonus, the game gives you areas that you can hide while they attack, so you can wait for the perfect time to strike. At this point you have a few choices but two main choices. Do you charge in, guns a blazing? Or do you take the safe route and wait patiently for your time to strike? Both can get you further in the game, but what if one of those choices almost always ended you up in failure? Say the charging tactic would get you killed instantly because your enemies can kill you the closer you are to them. You’d try and try to kill these enemies over and over and always come up short. Sure, you might get lucky sometime but that’s probably not going to happen with how this area is designed. Frustrated, you stop and think about what you can do to avoid failing over and over again. You remember that there were areas where the enemies couldn’t attack you and take advantage of them next time. Suddenly, the enemies forget you are there and nod off for a bit which gives you the opportunity to attack them for a short time and finally win, leaving you happy and satisfied. The game developers gave you two ways to handle a task where both could get the job done, but one made it easier than the other. One way made you furious, and the other made you happy. Although my reasoning is a bit broad here, the unconditioned response was your feelings towards each different style of playing. When you got killed doing something one way, you got furious which is how any human reacts when they can’t progress, but when you did progress, you were satisfied and glad. It is the natural way we would react to something when stimuli is presented to us such as being hungry when we smell food, or being thirsty when it’s too hot. I’m really banking on the universal thought that people like to progress in life and only touching on the mechanic of progression inside video games today so don’t think that this is the only way that game developers use unconditioned responses in video games today. Anyways I think I’ve given a good idea on both conditioned and unconditioned responses. Time to move onto the fight or flight reflex in gaming!
Let’s keep this part short and sweet. Fight or flight is the reaction that we get when presented with a situation that requires an almost immediate response. You can’t have some in-between answer for this problem; it can be only one or the other and has to be made right then and there. Early video games really banked on fight or flight since it always kept the player engaged and gave opportunity for replay value. A perfect example of this reflex in the past is the game Rally X where you are in control of a car that is speeding within a confined space with three or more racers trying to crash into your car. Your goal is to capture flags so you can advance to the next level while avoiding the enemy cars with a burnout mechanic equipped on the car that can disable any car caught in it’s smokescreen. That burnout mechanic is what really made that games fight or flight input shine since the paths you could take were designed to have the enemy cars corner you and destroy your car, but was expansive enough so you could use that burnout or your own skill to get yourself out of sticky situations. The real defining factor that made it fight or flight was the games ability to give you choices that ended you up in either one place or another: I’m running into a tight space…do I avoid them using my own skill/the burnout button, or do I just accept my fate and try again? The choice in which one is better is irrelevant, because at this point you have two choices: die or survive. Many old school games use these choices to make a much more exciting experience and let the player progress the way they would like. These days fight or flight is used, but sometimes in more confined experiences. Quick time events are perfect examples of this since some are optional, and some are required in order for you to progress. Not to say that mandatory fight or flight choices are bad, but a little variety never hurt anyone, right?
I’m really glad I got through all that in under 1,000 words… oh darn I’m already over. Well, at least this touched on one complete topic. All we have got left is subliminal messaging and relatable video games. Check you guys next time!
Hi! My name is Josh Hodges and I am an Ambassador at Cogswell College. I am a Senior in Digital Art & Animation Program – majoring in Entertainment Design.
How are your classes coming now that we’re getting to the end of the semester? What’s the hardest (most challenging, takes the most work, however you want to work it) class? What’s the easiest class?
My classes are getting a little bunched up, finals are piling up but I always push though. My most challenging class is still Project X, it is constantly pushing my limits and making me learn new things. I never thought I would be doing texture and shader work on a movie but now I am, and I love it. I usually go to movies and look at the design work and art direction but I recently went to see How To Train Your Dragon and found myself checking out all the texture work on it. I loved that movie. My easiest class this semester is probably Ethics, even though I have a 10 page paper due soon. It is a fun and interesting class where we discuss different schools of ethical thought. On top of that, it is taught by Richard Schimpf, this is one of the coolest teachers on campus.
What has been your most favorite class while at Cogswell? Were there any classes that you took that you thought you might not like at first but then ended up loving? (more…)
Hi! I’m Julia Campbell and I’m a senior in the Digital Art and Animation program, with an Entertainment Design concentration. I’m also one of the Cogswell ambassadors.
As an ambassador, I get to talk to prospective students and their families and give tours as well as help out at school events. Occasionally the ambassadors get to go along with Admissions staff to talk at schools. We also do a lot of data entry and packet making – all necessary to keep the school and interested prospies (prospectives) up to date.
I applied for the position because I love the school and feel there’s a lot of potential here. My goal is to try to help find students who will strengthen Cogswell as well as benefit from it. I enjoy meeting new people and talking about the college experience with them, and feel I have a different perspective since I already have a degree from a liberal arts college.
My favorite part is probably meeting the new prospies and getting to hear what they’re interested in – and seeing the portfolios they bring in! – then being able to tell them that their goals are viable and within reach with a college like Cogswell.
I found Cogswell when I was looking through the education section of the forums on ConceptArt.org. I’d been looking for a digital art school for a couple of months but hadn’t seen Cogswell’s name come up before. I found the school website and when I saw that it was just a 15 minute drive south of me I went down the very next day to take a look. Once I had the tour and saw some of the work on the walls I knew it was where I wanted to be.
Finals week is always apparent at Cogswell – you find students sleeping on couches, walking around looking like zombies or comparing with others which day and time they will be completely done with their finals. By the end of today, most students should be finished with their final and start their 4 week long holiday break!
When asked what they thought about finals, the students answered the following: (more…)