For this side quest, I constructed the picture around the image of an iceberg. A great portion of an iceberg is usually buried beneath the ocean surface, similar to the inner meanings that games convey. I centered the outline based on the name of the course, “Play, Make, Write, Think.” Therefore, playing the game represents only a tip of the iceberg. Through this class we were led thinking deeper beyond the ocean surface, making games and podcast episodes, writing analyses, and building reflections upon games we played.
For this project, I decided to recreate a scene from the Graduate when the protagonist interacts with Mrs. Robinson.
In the Twine game project, the four of us split the roles fairly evenly while we worked together on the scripts on a shared Google document. We set up a time to meet for several consecutive days to brainstorm ideas for the game. Very instantly we have decided that we want to create a story that would have been as intriguing as a movie or tv drama. Thus, we each have our suggestions and eventually agreed upon Wendy’s suggestion, a story from an episode of a Japanese TV show “Unnatural Deaths”. At first, the rest of us were doubtful of the plot since we have not watched the show. Therefore, we took the time to understand its plot in order to add our own twist to it. We developed a connection of the episode to a social issue that we have discussed in this class, which is peer bullying, a prevalent issue in education systems all around the world.
My main job was revising the script plot transcribed by other group members, turning to into a more game-like format, adding fun choices to the game that would increase playability, yet forcing the players to come back to the main plot eventually. This was very difficult to achieve since the only way to show the play-through logic on Google Doc is through text. As a result, we created various reference points so the players and jump back and forth through the story. I am very pleased and proud of our end result. I think we have come up with an adaptation of the story that is more closely related to our lives as American students while shaping the game into an interactive, playable story. I think this will definitely benefit me in my future writing experiences, since writing come in many different forms and one of them could be writing an intriguing story for a specific, targeted audience so they can understand an issue that I am trying to convey.
Throughout the times writing this essay, I went back to the two games, Gone Home, and Gris, in order to gain a refreshed memory of how these games felt like to me. Repeated play-throughs of these two games were definitely not as enjoyable as the first time, but it did help me gain a better understanding since I have acquired more knowledge above games after obtaining more class experience. The paper included roughly three parts: one introducing Gone Home, the other introducing Gris, and the last merging their similarities together. I actually quite enjoyed this new style of putting a thesis at the end of a comparison paper. While writing to conventional essay I would take a long time to plan out my thesis and construct the structure of the paper before I even begin, this new style felt more intuitive to me. I have always felt like the thesis would be a rephrased conclusion, while in this essay, putting the thesis in the end paragraph, I did not have to rephrase the same idea twice. One flaw of this writing style could be that the paper will flow more intuitive, which could be beneficial. However, in the case of very long pieces this writing style may lead to repetition of the same ideas or logical inconsistencies.
To view the game comparison paper, visit link below:
The Binding Of Isaac Podcast Reflection
In the episode of The Binding of Isaac, I took on the role of the main producer. With the past two episodes, our group had always split the role fairly evenly disregarding of our roles, and it was no difference this time. As the main producer, I proposed the idea of the Binding of Isaac, which was a game I have played a lot in my childhood, and again during the pandemic. With the previous experiences, our groupwork has became much more organized and efficient. This only concern was that the game may be a little inappropriate in terms of its mentions and likely negative descriptions of religion.
After meeting with Professor Morgen, we have decided that we will put the concentration on the game’s visual and audio design, its playability, and touch on the social meanings behind it, such as domestic education and abuse. For me, I have always been impressed by this game’s rogue-like design where I can play through it for multiple times without feeling repetitive. The visuals and soundtrack also gave me the creepy, eerie vibe that matches the game aesthetic perfectly. I have always wondered about the backstory behind this game, and due to this project, I had more chance to research and discuss with my groupmates. After some research, we still incorporated the backstory of the Binding of Isaac while relating it to social issues and our lives during the pandemic.
In the three podcast series our group has done, we progressed every time on our collaborative skills and efficiency in fulfilling our individual roles. All of us have became more comfortable working with each other and cooperate better with effective communication.
As the line editor, I would still like to reflect and discuss on the process of making this episode. In our group, we usually evenly split up the work, which mean that no matter the role, we put similar amount of input and ideas into the podcast. The reason why I was assigned line editor was because I am a producer who’s more efficient in editing audio clips. For this episode, we worked on a game that I have played throughout my childhood. The Plague Inc. went viral immediately when it came out a few years ago. At the time, I did not expect an actual global pandemic to ever happen in my life. However, when we brainstorm as a group and played the game together, I realized that all the things that are mentioned in the group had happened and is happening to our world. During the podcast, I tried to contribute my personal experiences and feelings toward this game. I think everybody had a chance to discuss about specific parts of the game that they liked and relate the game to our current circumstances.
For this assignment, I made a visual note on a Korean 101 class I was studying for. The main intent of the visual note was to help me understand and memorize the pronunciations and distinctions between the vocabularies regarding physical relationships and comparisons, which I had some struggles with. The drawing came to me pretty naturally, since this unit of vocabularies was about relationships between objects. One aspect I would work on in the future when taking notes would be incorporating the visuals into the whole page, instead of only one corner of the notepaper. Another potential approach would be to use my digital tools (iPad or PC) to take notes. It would have been easier for coloring and more pleasing visual elements. However, I prefer drawing on paper because of the unique texture it gives, and writing on paper helps with memorization.
As a passionate basketball player, I always played around with my friends back in middle school classrooms, throwing bottles and paper, dribbling them under our legs and behind our backs and trying to score imaginary baskets with them. Whenever we make a confident shot from afar, we always yell, “Kobe!”, to dedicate the shot to our favorite basketball player. The year 2020 was very difficult in that our idol has passed away, and the pandemic is limiting our chances to play basketball. On top of the video, I put the audio of a basketball game when Kobe Bryant had beat the buzzer to win the game for his team.
My first impression of the game Gris was how beautiful the visual elements were. The visuals were displayed in a watercolor manner that illustrates strong emotions within. At first, I did not understand its control mechanism. Out of my previous experience with gaming and platform games, I instantly went to the arrow keys and the “WASD” keys to move the character. I realized that the only thing I could control was “A” and “D” to move the character left and right.
Soon, I’ve figure out how to jump with the space bar. The game aesthetic continues to develop and unfold into a clearer blueprint. The main character seems to not be able to find colors in the world she lives in, and she is on a quest to bring back the colors to her world. On her journey, she is joined by those tiny “stars” that follows her and gives her abilities.
I seem to have finished the first level and brought back the color red. As this game progresses the visual becomes more impressive with its simplistic yet full-of-detailed hand drawn background. Through the whole level I had barely seen any verbal cues or directions. It was simply the colors and images that conveyed the emotions on me. The character seems to be in grief, and the game “Gris” (as I remembered to be the color grey in Spanish), is trying to bring back colors back to her inner world, filled with greyness, storms, and abandoned buildings. I think the game, until this point, was very powerful in conveying its emotional messages to me. I was fully involved while playing this game and cannot wait to explore more.
With my very limited art skills I drew a brachiosaurus (a specie of dinosaurs with the long necks 🦕) using my apply headphone converter as the neck. At first, I wanted to use the converter as the neck of the alien horses in the movie, Avatar, or the neck of a giraffe. Eventually I chose to draw the brachiosaurus because I realized that the thin wire of the converter would more closely depict the ridiculous proportion of this animal. The name, “Lightning Brachiosaurus”, was named after the lightning cable converter designed by Apple. At the same time, the name serves an effect as an oxymoron because brachiosaurus are probably extremely slow, the opposite of lightning.