Department of Media and Communication James Rhys Davies


CHAPTER 3 Research Design and Strategies



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CHAPTER 3

Research Design and Strategies

Introduction


This chapter is going to explain my research methods and how I designed my research methods for my extended project. Its starts with the questions that I was going to answer by doing my research. It then goes onto show what my research methods were and how I carried them out. It then concludes with the results of my research, what I have discovered and it is going to help with my extended project.


Research Questions


Research Questions (2.1)

For this task I am going to planning my primary research and I will be looking at what I want to find out when doing my primary research, what my main goal is. I am going to be discussing key aims and objectives of my project and how I am going to use my primary research to help me achieve those goals and objectives.

My project is about the development of the technology in games, one of my goals to show the development of the technology in games overtime from the earliest consoles all the way up to the present day. I will looking at how the different console has changed overtime. One of the things I would like to find out is, is there a way to show the development of the internals of games consoles and how they have become more advanced and powerful overtime?

I plan on answering this question by getting a variety of different games consoles and weighing them by doing I can not only can I see first-hand how the designs of the consoles have changed overtime, but my weighing them I can see how the internals of the console have developed, become larger, more powerful and more advanced. I want to answer this question because it will help me visualise the development of the internals of consoles and how powerful they are now compared to the earliest consoles.

Another type of primary research I am going to be doing is analysing and deconstructing similar media products. I am doing this because I want to answer the questions what can I learn from similar media products? I am going to find some similar media products and deconstructing them I am going to look at the design, layout colour scheme, typography and the information they are presenting. I want to answer this question because I want to see what I can learn from similar products to help my product stand out and how I can learn from what other products didn’t do so well, and what they really excelled at.

In conclusion I have planned out the primary research I am going to carry out and what questions I want to answer from my primary research and why I want to answer these specific questions.


Research Design Evolution


Designing and interpreting research (2.2)

My project is about exploring how to the development of technology has influenced society and how it will impact society in the future. I plan to do this by writing an essay and also creating an online timeline showing the development of technology in video games.  I want to do explore this for my extended project because am interested in the idea of the development technology in video games impact on society over time and how it will continue to impact society into the future. I have always been intrigued by the idea of the evolution of technology. I have become even more interested since I have started this course as I have had the opportunity to learn about all the aspects of interactive media and all of the technology that comes with it.

At the moment I have a better understanding of my project since I have done my literature review looking at my different research sources and comparing and analysing them. At the moment I know the most about motion capture and face scanning and the technology used and the techniques and processes used to it. I also now know a lot about how sound has developed in video games and the different technology that has been used to develop the sound in video games going all the way back to arcade machines and this also includes voice acting in games as well. I also have a better understanding of how virtual reality works and how some the technology behind has developed and how it will continue to evolve in the future. I also have a good understanding of how the games consoles have developed from generation to generation and how the technology inside them have become more powerful and advanced with each new generation of games consoles.

Some of the areas that I need to develop my knowledge for to complete my project are web design (UI/UX design layouts, colour schemes typography), animation in games, some of the major events that impacted technology in video games (1980’s game crash for example). I also would like to gain more knowledge in the design of the video games consoles. These are some of the things that I need to work on and I find more information on for this project.

Some of the research methods that I have been thinking about are deconstructing and analysing similar media products for my exploratory primary research. I will be looking at other online timelines showing the development of the technology in video games (or the closest thing to it) I will be looking at the layout, the typography, the colour schemes, the images used, the type of language used, what information they have, what areas they focus on and what time frame is. I am also going to be looking different WebFlow websites, because that is what I am going to create my timeline on and what I want to see how other people have used WebFlow I am specifically going to be looking at the layout of the web page, the different effects/transitions they have been used and how effective they are, the colour scheme was used, the typography and what their target audience is based the on the content and design of the web page. I am also going looking at different games consoles and comparing them against each other I will be looking at the controllers of the consoles and comparing them to see how they have developed. I will be weighing the consoles and compare the weight to see how the design of the consoles have changed. This is the expletory primary research I am going to be doing.

Comparing Consoles (2.2)

For my primary research, I am going to be comparing different games consoles from different generations. I am going to be weighing the consoles to see the difference in weight between them. I will also be comparing the design of the consoles. I am doing this to see the differences between the consoles and how the designs have changed and advanced over time. I am going to be weighing the consoles in Kilogrammes.  I am also going to be comparing the design of the games controllers and how they have developed over time and how they use ergonomic design to improve them, controllers. The consoles I will be weighing are Sega Mega Drive, Sega Dream Cast, Prinzitronic Tournament IV, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PS1, PS2, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 slim. This work I have already included in Chapter 2.

For weighing the consoles I stepped onto the scale first and weighed myself I weighed 75.1kg I then stepped onto the scales holding the different consoles and I then subtracted the difference to get the weight of the consoles. The weight of the consoles were:

Sega Mega Drive: 1.0kg

Sega Dream Cast: 1.5kg

Sega Master System 2: 1.1kg

Prinzitronic Tournament IV: 1.1kg

Nintendo Entertainment System: 1.3kg

Super Nintendo Entertainment System: 1.1kg

PS1: 1.3kg

PS2: 2.1kg

PS3: 5.0kg

Nintendo Wii: 1.3kg

Xbox: 3.8kg

Xbox 360: 3.2kg

Xbox 360 Slim: 2.9kg

Looking at the results you can see that the heaviest console was the PS3 and the lightest console was the Sega Mega Drive. A pattern that I noticed after I had recorded all of my results were that there is a correlation between how old the console is and how heavy it is. The older the console the lighter it is but there are some anomalies.



Console

Release Date

Weight

Prinzitronic Tournament IV

1977

1.1kg

Nintendo Entertainment System

1983

1.3kg

Sega Master System 2

1985

1.1kg

Sega Mega Drive

1988

1.0kg

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

1990

1.1kg

PS1

1994

1.3kg

Sega Dream Cast

1998

1.5kg

PS2

2000

2.1kg

Xbox

2002

3.8kg

Xbox 360

2005

3.2kg

Nintendo Wii

2006

1.3kg

PS3

2006

5.0kg

Xbox 360 Slim

2010

2.9kg



CHAPTER 4

Writing and presenting my research findings


This chapter will show the results of my primary research and how it is going to help me in creating my final project. The theme of my project is to show how the development of technology in video games has effected society. My primary research was more focused on the development of the technology and finding out how different video games consoles have changed and evolved overtime.

Findings/Data analysis


What strategies did you use to analyse your data?

To analyse my findings I first put them into a table to organize my results.



Console

Release Date

Weight

Prinzitronic Tournament IV

1977

1.1kg

Nintendo Entertainment System

1983

1.3kg

Sega Master System 2

1985

1.1kg

Sega Mega Drive

1988

1.0kg

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

1990

1.1kg

PS1

1994

1.3kg

Sega Dream Cast

1998

1.5kg

PS2

2000

2.1kg

Xbox

2002

3.8kg

Xbox 360

2005

3.2kg

Nintendo Wii

2006

1.3kg

PS3

2006

5.0kg

Xbox 360 Slim

2010

2.9kg

I then used the website https://www.onlinecharttool.com/ to turn my table to a line graph to visualise my results.





What did you find out?

From the results there is a clear coloration between the release date of the consoles and the weight of the console but there are some exceptions to this because some of the newer consoles are just as light as the older ones but that comes down to what the companies were trying to do with that specific console. For example the Nintendo Wii, It was one of the lighter consoles to be released within the last 15 years. It is one of the lighter consoles because the Wii was the first console to have a controller that detects movement so that you control the by moving the controller, because Nintendo put so much focus on the movement controls the console itself didn’t have the best graphics at that time so the console was lighter because there were less processors and graphics card in the console itself. The reason that the Xbox 360 slim was lighter than the ps3 was the fact that it was a slimmed down version of the original Xbox 360 and it was lighter and quieter than the original.



The next thing that I looked at was the design of the consoles controllers and how they have changed over time. I lined up starting with the oldest all the way up to the newest all of the Nintendo controllers that were available to me and looked at how the design had changed over time and why it had changed.

From left to right there is the NES controller, the SNES controller, Nintendo 64 controller, GameCube controller and the Nintendo Wii controller. One of things that I realised when looking at all of the controllers in person that one of the reasons that the controller was very basic and only had 8 buttons is because at that time the technology was very limited on what it could do so the games didn’t have any complex controls so the controller wasn’t complex either it buttons for all of the controls you would need for any game on the NES.

When I was looking at the SNES controller I noticed it looked a lot more accessible to children because it has bright colours for the buttons and it has a similar layout to the NES controller. But the SNES has bumper buttons on the back of the controller. The Nintendo added the bumpers to the SNES controller was not only because the games were getting more advanced and the technology was getting a bit more advanced but to add a more ergonomic design to the controllers and making them more comfortable for the players to use.

Then with the Nintendo 64 controller it was starting to look like a more traditional controller that you would see these days, but this controller had three prongs instead the more traditional two which is what Nintendo did on for the GameCube controller. The N64 controller added new buttons to the controller including camera buttons which allowed the player to move the camera around up down left and right. It also added an analog stick which allowed you to move the character with a lot more control than you could with just the d pad. The reason that they added these extra buttons/controls was because this was the time that 3d games were being introduced and 3d games allowed for a lot more movement and control of the characters.

Then with the GameCube controller it was looking like a modern console controller with two prongs instead of three and it has two analog sticks and it also has bumpers and triggers. Nintendo converted from using digital buttons for the camera movement to using an analog stick which allows for more control over the camera angles. They also added analog triggers which allowed for more control. For example if you were playing a racing game and the accelerator controlled with a digital button you would go full speed all of time with no control over how fast you want to go. But with an analog trigger you can slowly apply pressure to the trigger and the car would slowly get faster depending on how much pressure you have on the trigger.

The last Nintendo controller I got to look at was the Wii controller.  The Wii controller is unique because it is not a traditional games controller because the controller is designed for motion control so it does not have a lot of buttons. It does have a d pad, and A button and it also has a small trigger on the back of it.



I also lined up all of the other controllers to compare them against the evolution of Nintendo’s controllers and you can clearly see the influences that Nintendo had on the other company’s design of their controllers. You can see from the colour scheme to the button layouts and use of analog sticks.


Conclusion - How did the research help me with my project? (Interpret Research)


My research results shows the development of technology in video games just by weighing them. It not only shows how the designs of the console have evolved but it also shows how the internals of the consoles have become more powerful and become bigger and heavier as they have evolved. I have learnt a lot from this research, since I initially thought that the older consoles would weigh more and then current console because I thought they would be more bulky and large and heavier because the internals would heavier since large back then a gigabyte hard drive was huge and in 2017 when can get 128gb micro SD card which is smaller than the tip of my little finger.

What did you learn from your research and how it informed your project?

Present explain and contextualize findings

  • Background and context of the work (refer to work produced in Chapter 1)

  • What is it that makes me do my project?

  • My personal experiences that influence my choices (idea for the project, my role in the project, how it relates to my future possible career)

  • What is the basic premise of my project?

  • What do I seek to achieve and how it relates to my target audiences?



  • Use Findings to contextualize my Project (Present and Discuss Findings) (refer to work produced in Chapter 2)

  • What are similar media products and how my work relates to them (position yourself in relation to similar media products)

  • How do similar media products include my project?

  • How they shaped my project? (thought and action)

  • What did I learn from similar media products? (compare similar media products, how did they influence your perspective and ideas for the project – talk about both script and techniques)




  • Organise and express your idea (Pre-Production Portfolio) (three ideas from week 2)

  • Originate a range of ideas – list all ideas you had and explain how you chose the final idea

  • Analyse each idea for viability - use focus groups and lecturer to support

  • Map and analyse your Ideas (Mind mapping, SWOT analysis - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).



CHAPTER 5

My Project

Introduction


In this chapter you should present the level of self-direction, personal initiative and commitment necessary to progress ideas and find solutions, and the practical, theoretical and technical comprehension, appreciation, knowledge and proficiency necessary to achieve identified goals. The ability to plan and organise work within a given timeframe and the efficient production of outcomes both individually and collaboratively.

Pre-Production





  • Produce Pre-Production Portfolio, which will formally define your project (location survey; risk assessment; treatment; script; budget; schedule, character bibles, design documents etc depending on your project.)

  • Identify your role - directing (managing the team) crew, actors, games designer, concept artist, foley artist, sound design, model maker, camera, yourself etc depending on your project

  • Collaborating and working as a team – do not worry if you are working on your own!

  • Dealing with production problems (delays, equipment breakdowns, changes in schedule, etc)

  • Use of visual, audio and interactive media skills to complete your media project

  • Pitch your proposal to the production board (video recording of your production board presentation)

  • Analyse your target audience. Investigate the target demographic and record the type of media or entertainment they consume


Production


  • Management techniques, (notes of team meetings, or daily diary reflections if working on your own, production and post-production schedules; call sheets, etc.)

  • Team and individual performance monitoring (weekly check against schedule)

  • Development – Demonstrate development (photos from the shoot, screenshots from computers).

  • Keep daily production and post-production diary and reflect on your production process.

  • Feedback from Lecturers and Peers and Social Media




Post-production


  • Describe post-production of your project.

  • Assess your production and post-production process. Describe, and critically analyse any production problems and the solution you experienced.

  • Prepare material for edit and further manipulation

  • QA Testing

  • Critique of visual art

  • User Testing

  • Render

  • Presentation and Publication (walk-throughs, voice over, portfolio)

  • Use and clearing of copyright protected material (music and licensing)

  • Preparing credits if applicable

  • Editing (manipulating)

  • Fine tuning special effects, mixing, colour correction, rendering, compressing, etc


CHAPTER 6

MY EXTENDED PROJECT - FINAL PRODUCT


Here present your finished practical project

CHAPTER 7

Project Evaluation


Critically evaluating your final media project against the agreed requirements and parameters.

Answer the following questions:


  • Introduce the project in your own words

  • What was the purpose of the project?

    • What did you hope to learn?

  • How much reference material did you find?

    • Do you think you could have done more? If so, explain what you think you could have done

  • How did you develop your ideas?

  • List five strengths and five weaknesses in your final design

  • Was there a theme for the design ideas?

    • Can you describe it?

    • Can you reference any influences here? - art movements, designers, media companies/campaigns, etc.

  • What experiments and exploration did you do?

    • How did it affect your development?

  • Find a similar type of design publication - place it next to your own - what comparisons/difference can you identify?

  • What were the key areas of development in this project? - use your daily reflections to help you with this

  • Which technical skills, processes, methods and techniques did you use?

  • Review your proposal - what changed, what developments did you make, did you manage to complete everything you set out to achieve?

  • What did the client/lecturer think of your original concept/idea?

    • How did that make you feel?

  • What could you do to adapt the work produced to improve and develop it?

  • Is the final work appropriate for the needs of the project?

    • Does it sufficiently answer your brief? (Project Proposal)

  • Reflect on your pitch to the board; how did you feel about it before? #

    • Did the pitch go better or worse than you expected?

    • What was the feedback from the client/lecturer about your pitch?

    • What do you think you could improve next time when doing a pitch?

  • Did the project as a whole, go better or worse than you expected?

  • What was the feedback from the client/lecturer on the project as a whole?

  • What do you think you could improve about the project as a whole, if you did it again?


APPENDICES



Extended project in creative media production Learning Outcomes and Assessment



1. Understand the requirements of a creative media production project.


1.1 Analyse the requirements of a creative media production project.

2. Be able to use research methods to inform ideas for creative media production.


2.1 Review a range of research sources to support a creative media production project.

2.2 Interpret research to develop ideas and effectively communicate to an audience



3. Be able to use skills, knowledge and understanding in the completion of a creative media project.


3.1 Apply practical skills, knowledge and understanding to complete a creative media project within an agreed timeframe.

4. Be able to evaluate a creative media project.


4.1 Critically evaluate a creative media project against the agreed requirements and parameters.

REFERENCES


Make sure you use Harvard referencing. The bibliography should be continuously updated as the project progresses.






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