Final Project – “Kamusta Ka, Anak?”

“Kamusta ka, Anak?” is a phrase in Tagalog translated to “How are you?”. Anak means child in Tagalog and often this term is used by many parents as an endearment towards their children.

For my final project, I wanted to utilize visual and audio to convey the story I wanted to tell. The story I tried to tell is about the main character moving to another country as a nurse while she leaves majority of her family back in the Philippines, hence the use of Tagalog. Because of the distance, the strong connection between mother and daughter begins to weaken. It’s only after a specific event that allows the main character to reconnect with relatives despite the establish connection being cut. Most of the inspiration came from watching how the loss of my grandmother affected my mom. My parents support system are in the Philippines and coming to America rendered them having no one to lean on in a physical sense. I made this video to help understand my parents struggles and how technology has been helping them remember that they still have pillar to lean on.

Translation Note: The words on screen are the translation during speaking portions while the text message portion are mixed Tagalog and English. I tried to make sure all the phrases are translated but there are words that are hard to translate directly.

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Final Project Idea

For my final project, I plan to utilize hypermedia and visual narrative for my story. The central idea of my story would revolve around the regrets that a person has that weighs them down, but will show the process of how one comes to terms to that past. However, I am not set on that story as I also want to expand more on the twine story I made for the Hypermedia project. I want to utilize twine or skrollr for this project. I have used the skrollr for DTC 355 and I do like how the scroller dictates the viewer experience. Majority of the story would utilize illustrations and small animations I make with text attached. I will add short audio to help with the immersion of the story.

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Story and Games

Majority of games I like to play are driven by narratives and a personal favorite of mine is Bravely Default. It’s an rpg turn based game that was inspired by a game from the Final Fantasy series (same company, different series). So far it has one direct sequel and another addition to the series.

Gameplay is about as simple of a turn-based rpg gets, but it can be heavily exploited. The main characters fight bosses that have the game built upon story arcs and backgrounds in order to gain jobs that will help out later in fights. There is the function of stopping times. Stopping time in fights allows characters to break the damage limit from 9,999 to 999,999 and even send that damage to other players through the street/spot pass system the 3DS has. Sending and receiving different versions of the main characters would later be important in the story, but in the early game it’s seen as a handy tool to have when needing extra help on a boss.

Bravely Default takes place in a fictional world of Luxendarc where there are 5 main areas with 4 of them housing a crystal of either water, fire, earth, and wind. The main characters are made up of Agnes, Tiz, Edea, and Ringabel. Their main goal is to awaken the 4 crystals in order to prevent world destruction. At least that is what Agnes is told by a fairy named Airy. I personally started gaining emotional attachment to these characters as they face personal struggles as well as enjoy comedic turn of events. The game values character relationships and character thoughts through the use of party chat in which you can watch a short conversation between the main party about either a boss you had just defeated or events that had occurred throughout the game. It gives a sense of what the world is like through the character’s eyes and provides background on the area without needing to leaf through a glossary. It builds up into the final few hours of the game when it starts to get repetitive and the feeling of “if what you are doing is correct” starts to settle in. Beginning of the game, you have a journal that have strange passages and drawings in them with no correlation to the main casts. The game will start giving you more information about Airy’s true nature, how to break the crystal and that the notes in the journal were confirmations of the information holding true. At this point the player is left to either act upon this information or to follow through with whatever Airy says. Hence why there are two endings, a true ending and the idealized ending. 

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

When comparing the movie to the short story, a chunk about how the man, Peyton Farquhar, encountered a Federal scout that alludes to the reason why he is being hanged is completely removed and left at the audience discretion on how he ended up in his position. I think this decision to remove this part of the story in the film helps the following scenes to be more real and trick the audience into thinking Peyton did manage to escape. It is unnecessary information to take the time to tell it all when the audience can connect to the character and project their thoughts to the character. 

During the part when Peyton fell into the water and the Federal army began to shoot at him, everything slowed down to the audio and movements. I believe this helps translate the feeling of someone who just escaped death and now has to come up with a decision on what to do. It reminds me of quick time events in games where the character may be falling or doing something in slow motion and the player has to hit a button. It drives a feeling of urgency for the next move that can potentially save your life. The close ups and the composition of the man always at the center of the frame makes me feel motivated that he will actually make it to his family. While watching this movie, I was constantly on the edge that something may come and hinder the man and kill him after his journey thus far. Shots are framed and choreographed in a way that made me anticipate a federal guard will come and stab him. The constant flipping angles between the man and the wife really did drive home the hopeful feeling I had that he did manage to escape. Unfortunately, it was taken away when the final sequence showed that it was all the man’s wishful thinking and he died as he was intended to.

Overall, it’s a great short film that goes through a lot of emotions and raises hope only to crush them at the end.

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Visual Narrative I

When generating ideas for the visual narrative assignment, I want to stress on the whole “gutters” concept McCloud introduces as having the audience be able to try and formulate what I as the creator want them to think. As McCloud puts it, “Participation is a powerful force in ANY medium.” (McCloud 69). I utilized skrollr for a project and I found how stories can be effective in utilizing scroll navigation as well as combining these transitions to fit a scroll format. I do also want to keep in mind how McCloud talks about how even simple illustrations can be used to add contrast between either from a visual standpoint or when to convey certain emotions. I want to try and draw out my illustrations for this project and I think simple illustrations will help out, time management wise and I could add detail when required to get that audience participation.

In terms of comics and visual narratives, I gravitate towards ones where it is more anthologized according to how McCloud phrases this interpretation of comics. I don’t rely much on action in terms of my own narrative ideas and I am more attracted to the whole aspect-to-aspect and scene-to-scene format McCloud discusses in terms of transitions. While action-to-action helps to provide a sense of movement and flow within the story, I do notice how fast you can get through those portions. If I want my reader to become more immersed into the story and characters, there is at most a domination of three formats to ensure that it continues to persuade the audience to keep going.

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5 story summaries

Classical Aristotelian:

A group of friends of four had grown distant as soon as they hit their adult years making little effort to contact each other. One of them worked as a salesman who went door to door to sell off his latest stock of vacuums to willing customers. Another was a housewife stuck in a loveless marriage. The third is a police officer who craved more exciting cases than catching late parking fees. The last one was taking whatever job could be thrown at him. They all went their own lives until one of them reaches out in an effort to prove another’s innocence in a crime they did not commit. 


A dog’s perspective from being “the only child” to obtaining a “human sibling”. The dog was the center of their pet parent’s life until he is forced to share the attention of a human child that wants nothing more than to take his toys away from the dog. The dog has to become an older sibling which makes the dog become more upset with the presence of the human child. The child and dog go back and forth sharing certain things until they collapse in a heap on the floor cuddled up with each other after an exhausting fight for the affection and attention of their now-shared parents.


It’s about 8 pm on a bus trip heading to its last stop as it picks up passengers headed to their final destination. A man named Louise does not know why he is on this bus in general and converses to the passengers that come and leave the vehicle ranging from various ages with his one companion on this ride, a chest on his lap with no key. Every passenger holds their own chest of varying sizes and strikes up a conversation on what is inside and when they figure it out, the bus driver would stop and open the chest to take the item inside as the bus fare. The chest contains an item that tethers them to the mortal world and must be handed to the bus driver as payment for their ride on the bus as a way of letting go. 


Crux and Polaris meet every day on a bridge central to their sea town. Crux would talk and Polaris listens until the sun has disappeared under the waves. They would join hands, close their eyes, and jump until they were among the people of the stars where they would be in jubilee from spinning with the stars and playing with the constellations. They also greet the planet elders and are given some star candies as treats. When the sun came by to scold them for their antics, they bid farewell to the sea of star people as they landed back on the same bridge and parted ways for home.

Personal Anecdote: 

A personal story is from when I was waiting for class while messaging my sister who is out of town to attend college. She called me after messaging each other for a bit to scream about a moth that had managed to find its way inside the dorm she was in. Her roommate was out and she was watching the moth while asking me what to do. I couldn’t physically be there but I could hear her muttering and begging for help when I realized there is 5 minutes till class. It is a mad scramble of how to get a moth out of one’s dorm in 5 minutes or less. 

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Diagrammatic Storytelling – The Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses

The Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses revolves around the observations and interactions between Alison and the members of her family. There is already a sense of conflict between Lincoln and their father who does not understand Lincoln’s fascination with the pauses between certain rock songs. There is no concrete resolution, only a glimpse of it through Alison’s observation and the conversations she has during the night walk with her father. The only observational resolution we get is that Lincoln and their father come together to listen to something. The diagrammatic format helps to visualize the complicated dynamics between each member of the family in relation to Lincoln or Alison. It also gives a sense of how certain thoughts and actions relate to each other in order to move the story on.

In terms of inspiration to my own diagrammatic story, this type of story utilizes heavily on visuals of the text and uses very basic shapes that can be interpreted into different objects that the text draws attention from. The shapes help to illustrate out how the story flows and the inner turmoil certain characters have in the situation they are in. I noticed how in one of the instances within the story Great Rock n’ Roll, there was a scale with the father’s questions and Lincoln’s answers. The father’s questions and remarks later on are in red while Lincoln is green, the complementary color of red. This pattern of using complementary colors between Lincoln and the father caught my eye as interpreting their relationship as strained in some way. While these colors may seem random, there is a sense of purpose as to why they were chosen either to illustrate the scene or the relationships between characters.


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Narrative Traditions II – 160 Characters

The story itself is told through first perspective during the narrative parts to provide context to the series of text messages. The incident that moves the plot along is when the man starts to distance himself from the girl Victoria until the next point of conflict comes up which is the pregnancy. The man keeps up a pattern and is usually the one that the conflict seems to start, from him ghosting Victoria countless times and trying to give attention to her when it fitted his benefit such as when he found out Victoria was pregnant. We never get to see the father or even the man’s name just to show how much of the man is even part of their life. He existed and was never really introduced back to Victoria and Jim’s life. The name dropping of both main character and Jim is a constant reminder of the consistent presence in this story and the man didn’t exist. 

The way the story is told is effective in getting myself to be immersed in this retelling of the character’s past. We can imagine what must be going on around the main character’s thoughts during the interactions with J and the state of relationship they have. Most of the dialogue is through text typed up on screen. I think it also fits into the perspective of how this part of her life had a great effect on her. It is not happening in the present, but it her past helped to mold the present she is in as of right now in context of the film. There is no vocalized dialogue as the only record of this time was through digital formats and old papers from that time. We don’t know anything about other characters other than the main character and the text messages she reads. The parts are labeled in months and with the years to ground a sense of time, almost like going through an archive of some sort rather.

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Fargo and Tragedy of actions

“Again Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possesses certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves” is a quote from the Poetics by Aristotle on how a character is reflected in their actions. The actions of Jerry reveal to us as an ambitious man but are extremely anxious when he goes into sudden bouts of aggression. He is willing to go to extremes if it means he can get to his goal, which is the money he needs to make a real estate deal. Carl starts off as prideful of himself and tries to play himself off as a well put together criminal but after a slew of clumsy efforts and lack of acknowledgement from his partner, he progressively gets more agitated and that leads to him agitating his partner Gaear to kill him. Gaear is mostly standoffish but will always resort to murder to get away quickly. It leads him to getting arrested. Marge is shown as a kind and will go out of the way for people. She has more interaction with various people out of the main four as she tries to strike up conversations to get ideas on her case. When looking at these characters closely, most of their actions can be classified as a reaction to their environment that has been altered by another with their actions.

Just as said in Poetics, “For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists of action, and its end is a mode of action not a quality.” The plot is moved by these actions. Jerry’s fears of getting caught in this elaborate scheme is heightened by the actions of Marge investigation. Carl starts to lose himself because of Jerry’s continuous delays and his own actions and with how Carl chooses to act resulted in tipping off Gaerad who resorted to murdering him along with people that acted in a way that Gaerad perceived as wrong. Majority of these characters are described 

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