Final Project

For this assignment I wanted to improve my visual narrative because I thought that it wasn’t able to tell the story how I intended it. To improve it I added more images and some text to go with each image. I started by making a rough draft of the story I wanted to tell. Then based off of that I created pictures. Once I had all of the pictures I edited the story and shorted the text so that there was a small part of the story that fit with each image. I think that this version of my visual narrative turned out a lot better and it made the story more clear.

Here is the link to my final project

Final Project

For my final project, I will be combining what we learned in the visual narrative modules and the hypertext and hypermedia module. The story will be presented through HTML and told through images that are accompanied by some text. Adding text will help make sure that the story is accurately understood. 

For my story, I will be using the classical Aristotelian three-part structure. The story is about a sheep herding dog who one day finds that his sheep have mysteriously disappeared. The dog, being the sheep’s protector, takes it upon himself to figure out what happened to his sheep. He begins to investigate by interviewing all of the other animals on the farm and begins to try and piece together the story in order to find his sheep and bring them home. 

To create this story I will start by using Adobe Illustrator to draw all of the images. I am going to be drawing my own images on Illustrator in order to ensure that every aspect of the images down to the smallest details, like the facial expressions of the animals, are exactly how I want them to be in order to get the story across correctly. Once I finish drawing I will be using HTML to put all the images in order and add text under them. I might also add some sound effects of background noise on the farm, like farm animal sounds, in order to help immerse the reader into the story.

Story & Games

I don’t play video games so I don’t personally have a favorite video game that involves storytelling. However, my brother plays video games so I have seen him play a few games that seem to involve storytelling. The first game that comes to mind is Grand Theft Auto or GTA. I don’t know much about this game, but from the little bits that I have seen this game allows the player to freely roam the world. However, this is not the only thing that the player can do. There are also heist missions that must be completed in order to proceed through the storyline. I think that this mix between the structured missions and the ability to roam the world freely allows the player to become fully immersed in the world of the story. Additionally, with both the missions and the free roaming of the world there are consequences for the player’s actions. If the player commits a crime law enforcement will come looking for them. With that being said I think that the story world and the conflicts within the game are essential to the game. The whole game revolves around the story of the players committing heists and the conflicts before, after, and during the heists are crucial to the story. Additionally, I think that the immersion into the story world engages the player’s imagination and emotions. When the player is able to freely move around and do whatever they want in the world they could feel like they are connected to the player and maybe even that they are in the game.

Symbol, Index & Icon

Symbols, indexes, and icons are used all the time and help a lot with the visualization of a story. In City Fish by J.R. Carpenter there are a lot of icons used that go along with the text. These icons immerse the reader into the story world by helping them visualize the setting. This is done a lot throughout this story, like when they were in Chinatown. The written description of what they are seeing while walking down the streets of Chinatown does a good job on its own of telling the reader what they are seeing. However, with the added icons of the heaps of leafy greens and the spiky fruit that surround the text, it helps the reader better visualize what these things look like. Another great use of icons is the maps that are placed throughout the story. These maps help show where that part of the story is taking place or if there is a change in setting. In my project, I want to try to use some of these same ideas. I would do this by putting icons of important aspects of the setting. This will not only help immerse the reader into my story, but it will ensure that what I am describing to the reader is accurately represented. I will also consider using a map in order to help set the scene. I think that this helps pulls the reader into the scene of the story.

Hypertext and Hypermedia

I thought that all three of these hypertext stories were very different and interesting in their own ways, but I think that they all would be considered stories. For the first story, “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War” I had a hard time following along. There were so many different choices to click on that I felt overwhelmed and had a hard time putting the story together and following it throughout the sequence. 

However, with the second story, “How to Rob a Bank” I had a completely different experience. I thought that the structure of this story was very linear, which made it easy to identify the story and all of its different parts as well as follow along without getting lost. I also enjoyed the perspective that the story was told from. It helped us get inside the character’s head and it also helped us get to know the other characters in the story and their relationships as well. While this piece doesn’t give you choices I think that being able to pick the pace at which the story develops is a good way to make it interactive while still being linear.  

I think that the final story, “With Those We Love Alive” is a great hypertext story. The navigation structure of this story really helped bring you into the story world and let you walk around to explore your surroundings. There were many different choice options on each page, involving you in the story without feeling like you’ve lost your place in the story.

Cinema Language


After watching the film adaptation of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and then reading the short story by Ambrose Bierce I noticed a few differences between the two works. The biggest and most noticeable difference between these two is in the beginning, specifically with the background. In the film, there isn’t really any background information. All we see is a sign on a tree that says anyone who messes with the railroads or bridges will be hanged and then the film goes straight to the bridge where we see the soldiers setting up for the hanging. But, in the short story, there is a large section of the story devoted to Peyton’s background telling us what happened leading up to the hanging so we understand why he is being hanged. However, we did not necessarily need all of the background information in the film because we are able to tell a lot about him and his situation based on everything that we are able to see, specifically the way that he dresses.

There were a lot of techniques used in the film that helped to successfully translate the effects in the short story. At the beginning of the film, they do a great job of setting the scene. Everything is moving slowly making us feel anxious about what is about to happen. Additionally, the way that the clips were filmed made us feel like we were seeing what Peyton is seeing, which also added to the anticipation and anxiety.

Visual Narrative II


This is a story of a boy and his best friend. The series of pictures takes you into their relationship and takes you through their day. Starting with the dog waiting at the door for the boy to come home. Once the boy gets home you can see the dog is excited because he missed him and they begin to play. After getting tired from playing they lay on the couch together. For this story I focused on one of McCloud’s six panel-to-panel transitions. The transition that I used was action-to-action. This transition allows for you to see a larger part of their day in only a few pictures.  

Visual Narrative I

Before reading “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud I had no clue how much thought went into every aspect of a comic book. I thought that the layout of all comic books were just the same, especially the spaces between the panels. But McCloud explained these spaces as gutters. In these gutters, the reader is able to make the two pictures or moments and connect them together. They also allow for the reader to fill in the gaps in the story, using context clues and previous knowledge, to infer what happens next. He describes different panel-to-panel transitions where this can be done. I want to try some of these out in my story because I think they make the story a lot more interesting and unique. 


Another aspect of the reading that I found very interesting and that I would like to use in my own digital storytelling is the different ways that time can be represented. There are a few different things that can be used to show that time is passing. The first way that is described is the size or amount of panels. Multiple of the same panel can be displayed to show a pause or the length of the panel can be stretched to be larger than the panels around it signifying a larger amount of time. The second way is to use text. This could either be from a conversation or representing sounds. When this text is put in order it will represent different actions and their reactions, therefore, indicating that time is passing during this. I want to use this aspect in my story because representing time is important, especially in a shorter story. I can use this to show that time is passing without needing to explain a lot.