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Andrew Higgins

Final Project

For my final project, my goal was to make a video story incorporating visual and diagrammatic storytelling. To do this, I took screen recordings of my computer and acted like I was trying to get a job in Hollywood. My character looks online for acting lessons to show their interest, and even applies and auditions for a role. To show that the character is stressed, I had them search for bars to grab a drink at, and when they were disappointed, I showed that through text message and a google search for flights back home. Music also played a role in showing the moods of the character.

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Final Project Rough Script

Google search for acting jobs in L.A, searches through for a second and applies for one. Maybe upbeat music playing?  

The person searches for acting lessons online, hold for a second here and turn off music. Text comes through saying they got an audition. Text back super excited but rewrite it to make it more professional.  

Search for plane tickets to L.A, place to stay? 

Goes back to spotify (or youtube) to play happy music again.  

Goes to sleep, turns off computer and plays sleep music?  

Morning of the audition. Checking emails? Receives message from mom saying good luck. You reply, “Thanks mom, I’m leaving for it now.” 

After interview, person is nervous. Maybe searches places to get a drink.

Next morning, wakes up and looks at texts. Nothing yet. Mom texts asking, person responds saying no.

A few hours later, person receives text saying they didn’t get the part. The person texts mom, leaves her on read.  

Searches for flights back to hometown.  

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4/4 Blog Post

One of my favorite video games that I’ve played is Assassins Creed Black Flag. I don’t usually play narrative driven games, but the Assassin’s creed series is one that I’ve followed for a while, and Black Flag is one of the strongest stories that I’ve experienced. There are parts of the story I personally feel are irrelevant, like the Animus storyline which shows that you are a scientist visiting the past through the blood of historical or important figures associated with the “Brotherhood.” What I think is strongest about this story is when we follow and experience the life of Edward Kenway, a poor man turned privateer, and then turned pirate, during the1600s. The story starts with his backstory, about how he dreams of being rich and wants to sail at sea with privateers. The story uses this flashback over the course of the game because it shows his love interest, and to show someone who he would fight to get back to. Something we see over the course of the game is that he doesn’t want to go back. There are hundreds of side quests once you become an Assassin, and most of them add to the game in a narrative way, as well as an excuse for strategic gameplay. The overarching narrative for Edward’s part of the game is there is a machine that can see everything in the world, and the fight between men over who gets to use this machine is what this game is about. Even combat adds to the narrative. When you are in combat with important characters, there may be information that they say or show to you that adds to it. Something else that adds to the worldbuilding is the fact that you can interact with npcs, like at a shanty or bar. There might be people who want to pick fights with you, or you can sit down and play a game with someone.

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3/28 Blog Post

With the two web/hypertext pieces that you linked, the roles of symbols, index, and icons are very important. In the reading you gave us, it states that words are forms of symbols. This means that even the parts where there is only writing, symbols are being used to tell the story. Symbols are also used heavily, like in “Forever”, where we are experiencing this story through a phone screen paired with text bubbles, pictures of rooms, and videos of the characters. The symbols are very important to differentiate when the characters are texting each other or interacting in person or with other people. We see that they are texting when there are text bubble in the format of a mobile device and it is familiar because it’s modeled off of things that we are used to today, like the IOS interface. Icons are also used in this piece, for example, in the beginning you are shown how to navigate this literature by using your arrow keys to move through it. It could be argued that the arrows they show you during this time are icons, and not symbols because they are representative of what your computer already has, which are arrow keys.

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3/21/23 Blog Post

With two out of the three Hypertext stories that we were required to read, I saw a clear story line, with character development and a plot that was easy to follow. It was with the first hypertext, “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War,” that I couldn’t really find any of that, and it made it hard to follow. The way it was read was random and confusing, and at the end I was left with a bunch of blank boxes and no clear way to move forward. I still think that piece could be considered a story if read the right way, but it is a super abstract piece and has no linear way of reading it compared to “How to Rob a Bank” or “With Those We Love Alive.” I really enjoyed “How to Rob a Bank” because of how easy it was to read it and identify the plot and characters in the story, and it was cool to experience the story through what their phone is seeing. We see the two characters grow in their own way and the biggest change I saw was when their kid was born. We see through the notes app that the mother is in love with her child and is ready to settle down, which is a change from the ignorant woman that we saw at the beginning of the story who fell in love with this “bad-boy” bank robber. In “With Those We Love Alive”, the structure of the story is very non-linear, with each page of tet having multiple avenues that you can take to further the story. Many of these avenues loop back around, giving the reader a chance to understand the full story. I found this useful when exploring the different rooms of the palace/castle and getting a feel of what the world space of the story is like.

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5 Short Story Summaries

Aristotelian Structure:

Exposition: The story takes place in 1940 in Britain, during the time of the bombings of Britain by Germany. The main characters are introduced: George, Andrew, Winston, their father John Parker and their mother Abigail. George is 17 years old and wants to join the war, Andrew is 15, Winston is 14. The father works in a factory and the mother does not work. The family is coping with the death of Jacob, George’s youngest brother who drowned when George was supposed to watch him.

Rising Action: The story progresses and the family is dealing with the pressure of the war, the bombings, and the guilt and responsibility of Jacob’s death. The father is pushing George to enlist and the mother is dealing with her own emotions and fear of the war. George is struggling with his own feelings and decisions.

Climax: The climax of the story takes place when the family’s house is destroyed by a German bomb. This event is a significant turning point for George, as it makes the war and the danger more personal and immediate for him. He may feel a strong sense of responsibility to protect his family and country, as well as a sense of urgency to act.

Falling Action: George joins the war, leaving his family behind. The family is dealing with the aftermath of the event and the absence of George. They may experience a shift in their relationships and emotions.

Resolution: The resolution of the story is the tragic death of George, who died in the war a year later, shot in the back on accident by his own fellow soldier. The family is distraught, the father realizes he pushed George to enlist and feels guilty. The mother is in denial about her role in George’s death. The story could also explore how the family copes with their loss, the father’s guilt, and the mother’s denial. It could also explore the impact of George’s death on the rest of the family, particularly his brothers, as they grieve the loss of their brother and navigate their own feelings of guilt and responsibility. The story could also explore the themes of grief, loss, and the impact of war on families and individuals.


Kishōtenketsu Structure: 


The year is 1946, and Bob just got out of the second world war. His girlfriend, Nancy, has been waiting for him to come home ever since he joined in 1943. Bob, although a bit shaken from his time fighting, is happy to be home. He and Nancy get married that year, with both of their families traveling to Georgia where they just bought a new house. 

2 years later, Nancy is expecting a child, and is due in a few weeks. Bob is nervous, but very excited. They are going through their list of things they need to get done before the baby is there, like baby proofing the house and getting the baby’s room ready. The baby is a beautiful boy, and everyone is very happy. Bob also gets a good job around this time and buys a new car/more expensive things.

4 years later, a letter is sent to the house from a French woman addressed to Bob, but Nancy opens it before Bob finds it. The woman addresses Bob as if she knows him, and explains how he has a 7 year old son, and about how hard it was to find him. She asks if he would return to France and see his son. Nancy confronts Bob about it, and he tells the truth, about how he had slept with a woman in France and that this boy is probably his son. He tells her that he has to go, and he leaves. A week later, bob is back and apolagizies to Nancy, telling her that he wants to stay with her and their son, and that his other son would be well taken care of. 

Bob and Nancy live the rest of their lives together, and see their son grow up to be a smart young man. Bob, having still been of fighting age, did serve and live through the Korean war as well. He has many scars at the end of his life, but is content and passes away at the age of 89. Nancy lives on a few more years and gets to see her son have kids, and then watch her grandkids have kids as well before she passes.

Episodic Structure:

Episode 1: A group of five people wake up on an island, with no one remembering how they got there. They are freaked out and are trying to adjust to the new people in their lives. They start out in search of food and drinkable water, and to find a place to sleep. The next weeks are tough, and the characters are pushed to their limits.
They notice that the birds on this island are none they have ever seen, and the only other animals are small, unrecognizable rodents. Tensions are building between the group members. 

Episode 2: A similar structure to the first episode. 10 people wake up on an island with no memories about how they got there. There are crates of food next to them, an assortment of tools, and one gun with a few bullets. This group has a much better time getting on, and often have parties on the beach after they are comfortable on the island. They don’t notice weird birds or rodents, and think this is a normal island. At the end of this episode, we see the original group after they’ve eaten a dinner of rodents. They seem to be sweaty, and acting strangely. They don’t seem to be bothered by the weird twitching movements their arms are making. Eventually we see their eyes go glassy and they all pass out. 

Episode 3: Back at the first group, they are exploring more of the island. A single member finds a stream where they start washing themself. We hear crunching behind her as a few members of the second group lunge at her, and start biting and eating her. This prompts the first group, once they realize they are gone, to go search for the group member. Eventually the 4 remaining members come into contact with the members of group 2. They have a hard battle with very few weapons. Another group 1 member dies, but once the last member of group 2 is dead, fireworks shoot everywhere. It was a show, and they all won. A helicopter type vehicle comes and picks them up and they are paraded through a futuristic type city, although they feel terrible for their friends. They come to find out they volunteered for this contest, and had their minds wiped.

Surreal or Fantastic Mode:

Once upon a time, in a peaceful land long ago, a human girl named Lily lived in a small village that overlooked a beautiful valley. She loved her parents, and often spent time in their garden that bordered the edge of the village. The people of this village lived a quiet life, and everyone was committed to helping each-other. 

One day, Lily was playing near the edge of the garden, when suddenly she was face to face with a small, bright green goblin. They both seemed surprised at first, Lily having heard stories of the goblins in the mountains, but never seen one. They eventually calm down, with Lily asking the first question. They talk for a while, and eventually Lily somewhat trusts him.

What Lily did not know was that goblins age differently, and what looked like a goblin child was actually an adult spy, and he intended to gain her trust so she could aid in the invasion of the village. There is a main gate, and it would need to be opened from the inside. Lily is skeptical about what the goblin wants her to do, but still carries out the task. Goblins rush in, taking the village by surprise. Her father defends their home well with the men who were left, but they are going to be overtaken. Lily, who ran away crying, see’s that she can save the men by opening the irrigation door and flooding the goblins away. 

Lily learned an important lesson, but overall the village still loves her for saving them. Without the presence of goblins, the village had another long time of peace.

Personal Anecdote:

One weekend, my mom, brother, and I went to Diamond lake with my grandpa to go fishing. The weather was beautiful, and we had rented a nice, little cabin. After we had set up our stuff, my grandpa offered to take us on a walk if we wanted to go with him. I said yes, as I didn’t get to spend much time with him. My brother, who was about 7, was indecisive, but told us he didn’t want to come.

My grandpa and I set off on our walk, looking at the beautiful trees and the lake as we went. We talked about a lot of things, and he told me where we would be fishing the next day. We walked for quite a while, until the path wrapped around and pointed us back towards the cabin. The sun was starting to set, and we were both getting hungry, so we decided to head back.

Upon approaching the cabin, my mom saw us and was obviously upset. She told us she couldn’t find my brother, Luke, and that he had been gone for a good couple of minutes. We looked around the immediate area, and my mom even went up to other cabins in search for him. Eventually, my grandpa got on this bike and rode the trail we walked on. He found my brother and put him on the handlebars of his bike, riding all the way back to our cabin.

My mom was very relieved to have luke home, and was also pretty stern with him about how she felt about him walking off like that. Apparently he had changed his mind about wanting to come on a walk with us, and he decided to try and catch up with us. When asked if he had learned a lesson, Luke replied with, “Well, I learned a lot about squirrels.” We all laughed that one off, and proceeded to have a great weekend at Diamond lake.






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Week 4 Post 1/31

“Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses” was a really fun and emotional read, and almost feels like hypertext with the way that the structure of the story uses links and points you in certain directions. In this case, the reader doesn’t have the freedom to click and direct themselves, but it is similar. The conflict in this story is centered around the dad’s relationship with his son, and the strain that his job and personal history has on it. He doesn’t understand his son, and is trying to find ways to connect with him. We get the perspective of the daughter, who loves her dad very much, and is seeing these events happen through the biased lense of a child, but we also get a lot of truth from the observations she makes. We see that her dad is tired, working long hours, and feeling like he is doing something wrong with the way he interacts with his son. The resolution comes on the walk with his daughter, when she opens his eyes to how her brother thinks, and why it’s okay for him to be different. The way that this is presented at the end of the story is unique. We don’t actually get a narration of the events, but instead we get the finished graphs that Lincoln wanted on the rock n’ roll pauses, telling us that his dad helped him and changed his thinking about his son and music. I really like the structure of this story because it’s very satisfying to figure out how to read it, and then reread it in a different order. You spend more time thinking about the text and it slows you down so it feels like you’re getting more of the story.

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Week 3 Blog Post 1/24

For this week’s blog post, I watched 160 Characters and She and Her Cat. I really enjoyed the one about the cat because of the art and animation, but I also thought the plot and the dialogue were interesting. The narration starts before we meet the narrator, and we assume they are human but it actually is a cat who is speaking about how much he likes his owner. The cat’s love and relationship with its owner is pretty much what the whole short film is about, and there isn’t any meaningful conflict. There is a part where the owner receives a distressing call, but I think that it was just used to give the cat an opportunity to talk about the owner. The thing that gives us a  sense of time and direction is the seasons changing. I think it could be argued that the seasons changing is what drives this plot forward, and the narration of the cat’s thoughts are a result of him spending time with her over the seasons. The cat’s view of her never really changes, which I think shows a lot about the cat’s character. It shows he’s loving and loyal, and is a narrative pattern in this film. I also watched 160 characters, and I really enjoyed the way montage was used to show the daily life of the narrator. The plot is driven by the woman finding an old phone, and we see most of the plot and dialogue through texts she sent to an old boyfriend. The plot really isn’t about her, though, and is actually about the kid that they have together and the want from her to have the dad in the kid’s life.

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Week 1 Blog Post

Hello, my name is Andrew. I’m a junior here at WSUV and have lived here my whole life. I’m interested in all genres of storytelling, but science fiction and fantasy are two of my favorite genres. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved reading and watching stories of other worlds. My grandparents had the original Star Wars and I would watch them repeatedly, along with Indiana Jones and other movies. Avatar was a huge spectacle for me when it came out in 2009, and I watched it more times than I’d like to say. My love for these genres is not solely focused in film, but in reading and games, too. My parents didn’t let my have free reign over when and what I watched early in my life, so I found myself reading a lot. I read what a lot of other kids read, like the Percy Jackson series, but I also tried more complex stories like The Hobbit and LOTR and found that I really liked stories about things that I haven’t or can’t experience. I think it’s amazing what we can do now with storytelling and technology. The new avatar film, for example, is almost completely CGI, and without CGI, we wouldn’t be able to achieve most of the shots needed for a movie like this one. Gaming is also something that I love, although for the most part, I don’t play narrative games and am more interested in arena/pvp type games. There are a few, though, like Assassins Creed, that I have played and loved throughout the years.

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