April 11: Final Projects – World-building

To Do This Week:

Blog: Describe your final project. What form will it take? What is the story or central idea? How will the work be structured and presented? Which class modules will you incorporate? 


World-building Exercise 

Describe your story world either from the outside or from inside one of your characters. If it is fantasy, in the future or realistic to our time, what are the qualities of the world that stand out and helps express your story? Try to pull out concrete details!

  • ecosystem/geography, maps?
  • economic conditions
  • history and culture 
  • power and energy 
  • people – jobs, dress, economics, leisure, language, names

If you are working with images in your story, do a google search for images that represents your story world. Try using an AI image generator. 

If you are using only words. List the essential words that best describe your world.

With your images and/or words, create a Moodboard based on your description and any other details. What is your story’s color scheme and  typography style? 

Storytelling Basics

“Put interesting characters in difficult situations and write to find out what happens.” – Stephen King

Character = action (or non-action)
Plots – unity of time and place, cause and effect
Complex plots- Reversal of the Situation or Recognition or both, the element of surprise

Narration – objective/subjective or user interaction
Character – select details, motivation/goals, actions
Setting – select details, set mood, genre, worldbuildling
Events – character actions/user interaction
Plot -sequence of events which affect other events, work backwards from ending, escalate logic of events
Theme – repeated patterns in parts 

How does the most basic story engage our participation?  Try to answer this by looking critically at your own story for the final project. How can you improve your storytelling by 1) removing information, 2) generating questions and anticipation in the users, 3) making more compelling characters/situations? 

Final Project:  30%

The final project is to be a digital story that incorporates at least two of the modules covered in this class: diagrammatic, visual, cinematic, hyperlinked/interactive, game-like storytelling. The work may be a significant reworking of a previous project or a new idea and direction.

The final project will have required stages and deadlines and each of these will be graded separately for a certain percentage of the final grade. It is important that you do not leave everything to the last minute. There should be progress each week until it is due. Our class time will be focused on building these stories so that you can help from me and your classmates. You are not to use this time for other class projects.

Project Description 2% -DUE Today!:  After our in-class brainstorming sessions and a required Zoom meeting with me to work out your story idea and approach, you are to write a summary in a blog post. What is the story in 3-5 sentences? What form will it take – Twine, HTML, video, comic slides? What are your inspirations – what are the works in this class or elsewhere that are models for what you want to do? 

Project Critique 8% – Tuesday DUE April 25: On Tuesday we will have an in-class critique of your digital stories. The grading will be based on how much of the work you have completed. I will also be giving you my feedback.

Final Project 90% – Tuesday DUE May 2: Based on the critiques, you are to address the issues raised and complete the final version of your work for grading. Make a post with a link to the work and give a brief summary or artist statement about what you set out to do and describe the process of how you made it.

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