Final Blog Post: The Families Divided

My final Twine story is about a new family that moves into the neighborhood that isn’t too familiar to them. Similar to real life, we may have different feelings about our neighbors. This Twine story is meant to take you into the perspectives of the family as they tell their children different opinions and thoughts that could be viewed as prejudice.

https://anthonybland.neocities.org/The%20Families%20Divided.html

 

 

Blog Post 10: Pry

The Pry Story by Tender Claws was very interesting to me in several different ways. The level of interaction this game offers is amazing to me and the fact the you must interact for the story to progress just makes you want to continue to play it. From being able to pinch your fingers to enter your subconscious and then spread them to open your eyes to moving your finger along as if you’re reading braille, it was continuously interactive. A key moment I found in this story were when Luke finds out James has gone blind and you have to interpret what reading braille is like to progress the story. Another key moment is where the Barracks are bombed and Jesse is ultimately killed.

“Mostly gone. That’s it? Really?”

To me this scene was a realization for James that he really has gone blind and he can’t just keep ignoring it. Luke already assumes that James is losing his vision but wants him to come clean and tell him about that. Luke hints at throwing away his moms old books written in braille but James can’t so he says he’ll throw them away later. He’s gets into an argument with Luke about if he can continue to perform at work or is he a liability. Luke ultimately makes the decision he’s only going to do one more job for him. This part was the turning point of the characters life in this story and because this happened you had a different way of interacting with it. You then had to run your finger along the words in braille on screen to progress the story and hear what was being said.

“She wasn’t at the game because of me.”

When Jesse is killed it is the biggest conflict in the story. Luke loses a lover and James feel guilty for getting her killed. Both men suffer from PTSD in different ways after this occurs. Jesse and Luke had been fraternizing in the closet that the three of them hangout and smoke. The sergeant finds out from James about it and she is being transferred because of this. While a game of poker was going on Jesse couldn’t be there because she had a hearing with the sergeant about her transfer. It was ultimately bombed causing Jesse to be killed. James is now constantly haunted by the ghost of Jesse.

Blog Post 9: Story and Games

Howling Dogs

This game was a tad bit confusing for me at first and that’s actually a big reason why the puzzles within it kept me entertained. I kept wanted to solve what was going on. Through that I found somewhat of a meaning for this game. For example, at the beginning it talks about a boy who’s sobs are heard so loud that the group of dogs outside had been heard howling because of it. The nurse wakes him up and he finds himself in a hospital believing he is still dreaming. You then get to explore the game further in depth as it allows you to view photographs, the sanitary room, the lavatory, the activity room, etc. As you go along you get to choose where you want to go, some places just lead you back to the room you wake up in and other places advance the story giving you information along the way. I don’t think there are clear goals in this game, I definitely believe it’s a game that explores more narrative ideas. I didn’t really see a clear cut message. It engaged my imagination by constantly getting me to question the reasoning behind the game. I kept figuring there could be all sorts of possibilities.

NBA 2k20

The 2K series are some of my favorite games to play especially NBA 2K. In the game you are able to explore the road an NBA player takes to get to the NBA. Along the way you deal with typical up and downs of an athlete. You get to build relationships with players along the way. There’s tons of goals like becoming an MVP and winning a championship that motivate you to play and become a great player. In the game there’s a challenge of making your player better, 99 overall being the highest. The more you play the more upgrades you unlock for your player. This forces you to actually invest a lot of time into the game. There are very clear goals in this game and the fact that you can create any player, black, white, tall, short, a good shooter, a good dunker, etc. allows you to really expand your imagination.

Hypermedia Story

My Hypermedia Story was made in Twine where I used basic ideas and concepts about getting ready to go to work. While you play through my story you shortly learn there are repercussions to how you prepare for your day. This game is a relatable everyday life sort of story.

https://dtc-wsuv.org/dtc101-luers/anthony-bland-twine.html

 

 

Blog Post 8: Symbol, Index and Icon

Inanimate Alice

This Digital Story had many different signs but the one you first notice is the sticky note labeled “My House.” This signs is considered a symbol because it doesn’t necessarily represent what it stands for. If I were to use an actual picture of the house then it could’ve been an Icon that might’ve presented a better visual. They are only words meant to represent what a home may look like. This helps the story in ways that another sign may not. For example, you could place an Index or Icon in its place and somebody who’s never seen a house might not know what to expect. When you use a symbol like this one then the audience can visualize what that house might look like because of the words meant to represent it.

Another sign that you see is an Icon used to resemble a cell phone. Alice talks about how she goes to school and also play games. Specifically, Alice plays a game called “ba-xi.” Now if you don’t know what that game is then the cell phone Icon that’s used would tell you that it’s a game played on the cell phone. This game in the story could’ve been portrayed differently and maybe even mislead the audience if it were a Symbol. For example, if you were to label another sticky “ba-xi”, like they did for “my house”, then you may assume it is a board game, computer game, outdoor game, etc. Now if I were to use a sign to portray a video game in my own story I may also go the route of using an Symbol or Icon because the audience may not know exactly what “ba-xi” is. This way I could have an actually sign that resembles the game “ba-xi” itself, instead of something that’s being read and interpreted the wrong way.

There are also a few smaller signs that aren’t as in depth about the story itself but that actual help you play the game the right way. For example, there are plenty of arrows being used in the game that resemble moving forward or going to the next screen. Now this is more of a Symbol because it resembles moving forward in the game, without it actually saying the words itself.

Blog Post 7: Hypertext and Hypermedia

How to Rob a Bank

I found this game to have a very compelling story to it. The story line that goes on throughout this game is one about love, crime, morals, and even a little comedy to it. A young girl falls for a bank robber due to his daredevil ways that attract her. She then decides to become his accomplice and they go on the run together all while robbing banks along the way. The first part of the story you play the character of Ted and you get to see things from his perspective while he does things like text with Elizabeth. The texts show character emotions like Ted being mad that Elizabeth couldn’t get the alarm under control or Elizabeth telling Ted how much she loves him. These small interactions within the bigger storyline are what keeps the audience engaged. With each robbery they do, there is always some sort of new reaction that occurs amongst the robbers. As the story goes along it has all the key concepts of a Western Narrative, exposition, rising actions, climax, falling action, etc. The couple run away together and eventually have to go into hiding due to them having a child together, Alexandria. You would think the two lovers stop there but they don’t. Instead, they even go as far as to bring their child to a robbery itself. The linear sequencing in this game is very clear as you move along. In the beginning Ted is robbing banks along and by the end it becomes a story of two lovers on the run for their crimes. The sign of various crime throughout this game reassures you that the meaning of this game is about how far you are willing to go for love.

With Those Who We Love Alive

This game as well has a complex story line to it. You actually get to choose how you are born in this game though opposed to being limited to the characters that are premade with built in conflicts. With Those Who We Love Alive is a game that allows you to make decisions that move the storyline forward or alter the storyline. These many different paths you can choose from is what keeps you engaged. For me, I wanted to really find out how each ending could’ve been different from another. When you start out you pick a month you are born as that allows you to have 12 different types of characters to start out as, an orphan, a flower eater, a dire maiden, etc. After that you choose your element and your eye color, then it generates a name for you. Now I’ve tested the various different routes and depending what you choose it alters your life path. The linear sequencing in this game was very vague. It wasn’t much a premade storyline but yet a storyline that the player creates. The sign I got from this game was the freedom to create. It really reassures you that there is no right or wrong answer and that the game is based on only experiences.

Blog Post 6: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

There were several differences between the short story and the short film, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” One of the first big differences I noticed was the appearance of Peyton Farquhar himself. In the book he’s said to have

“a straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, wore a mustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers;”

It also states in the short story Peyton is also said to have been apart of a well known southern Alabama family who were slave owners. We don’t get this background info in the short film but we do get a glimpse of Peyton arguing with his parents about him serving his country, whereas his parents thought they would be “sending their first born off to die.”

In the short film we never get to really see this intimidating appearance or any of his family ties. I believe this may have been altered for the short film because they may have wanted the audience to sympathize with the main character more. This may no have happened if Peyton were to look this way. In both the short film and the short story though, Peyton’s character is still built up to be a hero who just wants to return home to his family.

Another difference we see between the two is that in the short film there is much less dialogue between Peyton, his wife and the visiting soldier who sends him on this mission. In the short story it says

“One evening while Farquhar and his wife were sitting on a rustic bench near the entrance to his grounds, a gray-clad soldier rode up to the gate and asked for a drink of water. Mrs. Farquhar was only too happy to serve him with her own white hands.”

This scene never actually occurs in the short film. Instead we do get some dialogue between the soldiers were Peyton is receiving Intel on his mission. I thought this scene was different from the book but special in it’s own way because it portrayed all of the emotion and risk that Peyton was facing by placing his wife behind him in the scene. Her head is down and you can tell she also doesn’t want him to take this job because she would also like to see him safe. Peyton still accepts the job and gets a very quick farewell in the short film compared to the long departure in the evening he gets in the short story.

Some other difference between the two I seen were that there were spectators that watched the hanging in the short story compared to there being no spectators in the film. I think this was simply cut out because it wasn’t of much importance to the directed because he still gets his point across without the spectators. Another was the ending, where as you read about Peyton being hung first.

“As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge he lost consciousness and was as one already dead. From this state he was awakened—ages later, it seemed to him—by the pain of a sharp pressure upon his throat, followed by a sense of suffocation.”

Peyton then has a sudden realization of wanting to get back home while he’s being hung. In the film, Peyton has the realization and at the end it’s a plot twist that shows him crawling through the driveway of his house to his wife but he doesn’t make it because in reality he is dead. I think this could’ve been altered in the film to build more suspense.

Blog Post 5: Visual Narrative II

Dude, Where’s My Tea?

You wake up from a long power

nap and your Lipton ice tea has

been stolen! What shall you do?

 

“I’ve got it! I’ll go to the store.”

You put your shoes on and head

out.

 

As soon as you buckle up and

begin to step on the gas you

have an sudden vision…

 

You all of a sudden remember

everything you purchased

yesterday and you realize…

 

You’ve got high quality H20

instead!

 

The story above originally was a story of going to the store and grocery shopping. Later on I after taking my pictures I decided to actually change it up a little bit and see how I could alter my story line by rearranging my photos in a different way. I think by doing this it added more of a structure than it would have served. This first photo is the exposition that starts out with a conflict. Second photo is like the “hero’s journey” where I decide to go on a quest to get more tea. The third photo serves as the turning point where I rethink going to the store. While the fourth photo serves as the climax/cliffhanger. Lastly, the fifth photo is the resolution of deciding to drink water instead.

The transitions used in this digital story are scene-to-scene and action-to-action. Scene-to-scene is used in photos 1-5 where I go from the kitchen, to the door, to the car, then the store and finally back to the house. Action-to-action is also used in photos 1-5 where the main action is getting more tea. In the first photo I deal with running out of tea. The second and third is the path to get more tea while the fourth and fifth are coming to the realization that I can drink water.

Blog Post 4: Visual Narrative 1

Going into the next Visual Narrative assignment I want to attack it by understanding that one setting can make for multiple scenes. When McCloud mentions time frames and how they are broken apart piece by piece like a rope, I can relate that towards how making a video is. By this I mean that I’ll be looking at breaking one scene into several different interactions that can take place within that scene. In a comic book perspective it’s noted that each action or scene is broken up by the general indicator of having a border to show time and space are being broken. For my Visual Narrative this will be done by using cuts and transitions.

“The strange relationship between time as depicted in comics, and time as perceived by the reader.” (McCloud: Pg. 99)

McCloud states that in comics we’ve learned to perceive time spatially and since there’s not conversion chart, we’re left with a vague sense of believing that when we read along it means as time moves so does space within the realm. For my Visual Narrative I want to establish depict what action is being done within space and how time is being shaped. I think that this will be important to establish so the audience can know when I jump to a different scene what time is being perceived.

“Comic readers are also conditioned by other media and the ‘real time’ of everyday life to expect a very linear progression. Just a straight line from point A to point B. But is that necessary?” (McCloud: Pg. 106)

For my Visual Narrative I think it would be very interesting to test this theory. This passage by McCloud specifically inspires me to want to attack these unwritten rules on having to maintain a linear story. I think that plenty of great movies have broken these barriers in linear storytelling while also maintaining the story that they wanted to tell.

Blog Post 3: Typographic Storytelling

“The header serves a navigational purpose as well, helping a reader find a way through the
body of the book.” -Johanna Drucker (Pg. 7)

The idea of creating a Typographic piece with a good header seems like the best way to start out. In addition to the first statement of the piece, the header also serves as a leading lines purpose towards the audience. When I create my piece I know I must deliver a message that can be conveyed through leading the audiences eyes and mind with impact full words along the page. Since I know most people read from left to right and top to bottom, my piece will have to start in those to designated spots.

“All positions are relative.” -Johanna Drucker (Pg. 12)

This being said, it assures me that when I create my Typographic piece that I must utilize every space I have in placing my Typography. Even not utilizing space is a way to put attention toward what text may be besides it. When using empty space the idea is to be able to also lead the audiences eyes and attention. Drucker inspires me to use the inside/outside method by placing my most impact full message inside of a surrounding ring of not so impact full words. This could as easy placing the word “You” inside a ring of words that say “matter”, this therefore gives emphasis on the message that you are the one that matters.

These two methods about utilizing a good header and utilizing space when creating a Typographic piece is key to creating a good piece. You create Structure by giving your Typographic piece a header because that is where you start out and everything else that is written will follow. If I were to start my piece by putting the header at the top then I’d know to place the following Typography below that. Emphasis can come from many things, but in this case I’ll be utilizing space to create more drama and put more of a suspense on the main Typographic message of my piece. You can create Rhythm in type by aligning each word to fit the next word that is being read. For example, this could happen if I were making a Typographic piece on steps to making a good sandwich.