Saturday, 26 February 2011

Dress-up Game Dolls

Here are some sketches of some of the dresses to be featured in the Dress-up Game I have been working on for my Final Major Project.





As well as this, I feel that I am getting closer and closer to designing a suitable layout for the game, which will be fun and easy to use. This was my rough mock-up today of how I think I may lay everything out :s


I had originally planned to have two characters, 18th and 19th Century, who would have wardrobes featuring upper class and lower class clothing. Since the start of the project however, feedback has encouraged me to have even more variety than this, to make the game something really original, and a sort of 'mix and match' idea.

Now, the game will feature one character/doll with one huge wardrobe featuring different periods, classes, and even non-fiction fashion.

I've been trying to get my head around how to program this so that it will be easy to use, and so far various tutorials have been helping me out, so hopefully this trend will continue.


Friday, 25 February 2011

Digging for Gold - Old work

Rooting around some old projects for Uni, I stumbled across a project in the first year that I enjoyed very much. Though I can clearly see that my skills have improved since then (phew), to this day I am still very proud with the work I put into this.

The project was to create a digital interface, about anything we wanted, so I decided to make an interface about Gaming and its effects on communication. All of the graphics were found 'sprites' other than the DS cover, I drew that myself (wasn't I clever?).

Click on the Image below to reach the actual Digital Interface :)


This has also given me some confidence for making my Flash Dress-up game. It proves that I did once have basic skills in Flash, deep down inside, and that with my new skills I can only make my next digital interface even better!

Can't wait to start getting my fingernails into the programming for my Dress-up game, but patience is a virtue, I need to make the graphics first!


Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Geffrye Museum - London

The Geffrye Museum in London, features 'Middle class' English rooms throughout history. It's not just pretty to look at, it describes how these rooms were used and ties many other interesting aspects of history into it, such as insights into the transformation of fashion, trend and culture.

I had a great time here and it was also very useful to get some photos for reference, that will hopefully help me to draw everything in the right perspective for my dress-up game.




I apologise for the fuzzy photographs.
A good craftsman should never blame his tools. However, I am not a man, and I am also not good, so therefore I can blame my camera completely. :)

Costume boundaries in Culture
To make my dress-up game something original, my tutors are especially keen on me getting my fingernails into the culture of period costume, and perhaps showing different classes and trades in my game. I have some really good books to help me with this, which describe alot about how certain trends changed from decade to decade.

One of these books is called The British Isles: Cultures and Costumes: Symbols of their Period, by Charlotte Greige which features chapters about the difference upper class and lower class costume.

Apparently, much like the way we wear uniform today, during the Medieval times it was obligatory to wear certain clothes in certain ways, depending of the trade you worked in. You couldn't just walk about in whatever you wanted, unless you were very wealthy. This rule continued for quite a while because the wealthy wanted to keep the class system in place.

From left, an 18th Century Milkmaid, a Fireman, a Newspaper vendor, and a night Watchman.

Very interesting!


Female Role Models - The Princess and the Frog

I watched 'The Princess and the Frog' for the first time the other day and was delighted to find it a refreshing and uplifting film. Going back to traditional 2D animation brought back these amazing nostalgic feelings I last had as a child, watching the Disney 'classics'.

Based in 1920's New Orleans, The Princess and the Frog features an array of colourful Jazz songs, written by the walking ball of talent that is Randy Newman.


The main character is a young African-American woman called Tiana, the first and long overdue Black Disney Princess. Tiana is an extremely determined and hard-working young woman - an amazing role model for just about every living person. The film is based around her accomplishing her dream - and what a big dream - to open her own restaurant!

In order to save the money for this dream she works two full-time jobs and double shifts. Her complete focus and determination pays off for she finally saves enough money to buy her restaurant. At the last minute, however, she is cut short by somebody outbidding her - yet another set-back for her to overcome.

After this point the story really takes off as she meets a penniless Prince, disguised as a Frog and she accidentally turns into a Frog herself. Tiana and the Prince are sent on a wild adventure looking for a way to turn themselves human again.


On reading reviews for The Princess and the Frog, I was disappointed by the bad feedback this film has been bombarded with. It has been highly criticised for sensitive and incorrect stereotyping, which confuses me because these critics have clearly missed the point of the film, and indeed the message I feel Disney was trying to deliver.

Disney have portrayed Tiana as a strong young woman, who has set a goal for herself and stops at nothing to achieve it, sacrificing many things along the way, (without losing sight of the important things of course). What a great message to give to young children; that dreams do come true if you focus and work hard.

Watch this clip it's incredible!!

Its also refreshing that the love story isn't the main theme of the film, and that she doesn't wait for a 'Prince' to come along before starting her life, as other Disney Princesses have.

I liked The Princess and the Frog and highly respect Disney for pulling this out of the bag, for trying something a little different, and for sending positive and sensible messages to young girls.

Damn you critics!!


Monday, 14 February 2011

Vector art - Pisces CHOW

I spent the best part of the long weekend working on this entry for this week's Character of the Week on

It was an excellent opportunity to experiment with vectors, to see what kinds of things I could create on what kind of a timescale. Now I have a better idea for what to work with when I create the dolls and dresses for my Dress-up game.


The most important thing I learnt was that the graphics for my Dress-up game could never be as detailed as this, or in the least, I'd have to create it allot faster than this. They'd also need to be much more dynamic, but at least I'm learning this now and not when I'm halfway through the project.


More about this piece:
This week's CHOW was to create a Zodiac Warrior. It's like the best theme they've ever done, and it was right up everyone's street. I chose Pisces because it is my star sign. Pisces are generally supposed to be sweet, compassionate and a little dreamy, so I wanted to portray her as fairly sweet and demure. A Pisces would not be on the front lines and would probably be magical so wouldn't be heavily armoured.

I also found out that the two fish are going towards Aquarius (who cares about well-being) and Aries (who seeks control). It's quite interesting, therefore, that Pisces is torn between two other signs, so I wanted to symbolise this with the two opposite forms of weaponry - a sword and a shield.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Final Major Project - Beginnings

I have begun working on my super exciting FMP.

My FMP proposal is now more focused than before. I had originally planned to make an activity pack (i.e. dress-up, dot to dot, spot the difference). However, whilst writing my dissertation I learnt that it is better to focus in one a few things, rather than on a lot of things, as you will be able to make the few things really amazing.

According to Games4Girls Dress-up-games are aimed at 12-15 year old girls. There's a real 'dressing a princess' element to dress-up-games which I believe makes them so enjoyable and appealing. I feel that no-one before now has taken advantage of the princess element of period costume, insofar as that 18th Century fashion for example was so lavish and luxurious and amazingly beautiful, it astonishes me that no-one has really channelled these colourful aesthetics and used it to make a really original yet educational Dress-up-Game.

So, for my FMP I am making a super pretty dress-up game featuring 3 period characters. If any of you can remember my Pirate Dress-up game, it was a simple interface featuring a blank page with a doll and different clothes all around her.


The Dress-up game I will be making for my FMP will be far more advanced. Not only will it have three different characters, it will also have a title page, inventories, the buttons will make noises, the dolls will blink and there will be funky music playing in the background. It will also all be historically accurate. I have been learning snippets of new codes such as how to make a preloader screen and also how to make clothes 'snap' to a doll.

I will be challenging the conventional Dress-up-game format by adding narrative to the game, and giving the characters more substance than just being a doll. For example, it will begin with a title page whereby you can select a character of your choosing. Each character will have a profile and a historically accurate and beautiful bedroom and wardrobe.

What this project will do for me:

  • It will challenge my Illustration skills and show people that I am good at drawing.
  • It will show people that I can create characters with substance.
  • It will show people that I am passionate and am capable of bringing my ideas to life in an interactive and entertaining way.

I am having so much fun with this already, and the research in order to make this game will be extensive (not just dresses, rooms, beds, furniture, make-up, hairstyles...). I have begun researching for a character from the 18th Century.


Therefore it will be the best dress-up-game ever (confidence is a virtue :p)


P.S. here are a few examples of some really cool Dress-up-games