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Once Again Upon a Time December 17, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: Jiyoung Kim, Sam Quinan, and Rahul Roy)

Once Again Upon a Time is a 2D side-scrolling platformer with 3D elements in which gameplay, narrative, and aesthetics coalesce to create a uniquely conflated fictive world that taps into the player’s knowledge of children’s fairy tales, but is informed and haunted unceasingly by reality. This Game Design Document describes the game concept and offers visual mockups. The game features a dual-narrative structure in which an interior “game-narrative” situates the player as Little Red Riding Hood as she embarks on a journey to Grandma’s house and back, traversing a rich, forested fantasy realm articulated as a seemingly linear platformer and populated by characters pulled from both the well-known tale of Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tales (e.g. The Three Little Pigs); while an overarching “meta-narrative” framework situates the player as a jaded, single father character struggling to keep his broken family intact during difficult times through the simple ritual of tucking his daughter into bed with a bedtime story of his design starring the daughter’s favorite character, Red.

For more, see: Once Again Upon a Time Game Design Document

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Collide December 17, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: Katie Gibbons, Patrick Ip, and Robert Ward)

Collide is a Machinima film that tells a story across the two divergent computer game worlds of Braid and Minecraft. In Minecraft, the 3D world provides the player with numerous choices and world-building options. Storytelling in Minecraft, insofar as players experience narratives in this space, is emergent, user-generated, and collective. In Braid, however, the player assembles the pieces of a single, preexisting storyline. Though the story itself is open to various interpretations, the game primarily employs elements of 2D platformer gameplay that enable discovery of a story that has already been laid out by the game designers. Collide explores the differences between these game styles, through a character who travels between worlds.

Watch the film here:

I Am Alone and Miserable December 16, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: Nash Burrola, Lyndsey Moulds, and Houston Small)

I am Alone and Miserable is an electronic narrative that explores common representations of isolation and community on the internet. Obsessive world building, devotion to online forums, and fleeting encounters on sites like Chatroulette are often cited to warn against the Internet as an atomizing and isolating medium.  The ability of the internet to promote a meaningful sense of community is especially questioned if the community is small, misunderstood, or in any way deviant. Though we grant that the internet can function as an atomizing medium, we intend to humanize those who are cast as spectacles of isolation and obsession and to explore their quest for community. I am Alone and Miserable consists of a browser based narrative with a series of hyperlinks directing the user to short Flash or HTML segments that investigate these issues. While the narrative tracks one person’s movement from infatuation with constructing digital worlds to finding online connection, the individual segments examine a variety of different obsessions through a ‘DIY’ and ‘glitch art’ aesthetic. Though glitch art is often used to investigate the relationship between hardware and software, this piece casts it as a metaphor for the inevitable distortion involved in perceiving and judging others, especially in online encounters that can only give us brief and removed glances into the lives of others.  The title of the piece, I Am Alone and Miserable, captures the casual spectator’s initial assumptions and conclusions regarding the nature of unusual subcultures on the internet. The title comes from a passage of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in which the creature speaks the phrase “I am alone and miserable” in his plea for a companion as “deformed and horrible as [himself].” Ultimately, this project seeks to remove itself from perceiving these communities solely as spectacles and instead acknowledge them as legitimate extensions of human social activity. Can anyone ultimately judge who is alone or miserable? And in this situation of human spectacles and their spectators, who is truly “alone and miserable”?

Pizza My Heart December 16, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: Jessica Adepoju, Nicky Dover, and Emily Figot)

Pizza My Heart is an interactive Machinima film that explores the limits and flaws of morality within contemporary videogames. Using comedy and satire, this project raises questions about classic systems of morality within gaming, and seeks to provoke alternatives to these dubious designs. As you navigate the dialogue between an arguing couple and attempt to acquire a pizza, each decision that you make demonstrates how popular games often exaggerate and perhaps trivialize moral choices. Players are encouraged to follow their own moral compass when deciding how things turn out for the couple and seeking to win. But keep in mind that your in-game intentions might often be entirely ignored within Pizza My Heart! This interactive experience demonstrates that not all life-altering decisions are made just before a child zombie sinks her teeth into your neck.  A few of these choices are made in entirely mundane situations, while waiting for your laundry to dry… or in a pizza shop.

Interact with the film here:

pizzamyheartgame.webs.com

Revelations December 15, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: James Brooks, Maia Brown-Jackson, and Nicholas Cassleman)

Revelations is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that follows the enigmatic trail created by a single man: Talib Saad. The game took place in Hyde Park, on the University of Chicago campus, in December 2011. On this journey, players could individually or collectively progress through a series of puzzles in order to uncover the truth behind a number of unsettling and “coincidental” events of 1969. This ARG was developed to take place over a few days without intervention from the puzzle master. Revelations makes use of a wide variety of media, both digital and physical, to construct puzzles and convey narrative. The game included an online survey, a recorded phone message made with an internet phone service, a flyer, a blog, marker graffiti, a live video feed, a poster, a small craft project comprised of pencils, strips of paper with writing on them, a cardboard box, two websites, an existing art installation, a defaced used book, and an email.

For more, see: Revelations Game Design Document

Grunt December 15, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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 (designed and produced by: Adrienne Ali, Calvin Chao, and Allison Hegel)

Grunt is a computer game in which the player interacts with the world not as the hero, but as a minor enemy “grunt” character. In place of active tasks, the player must now stay out of the hero’s way. Unlike many popular videogames, this one resists epic narratives and state-of-the-art graphics. Players are asked to find meaning in an ordinary life, in the life of a low-level grunt who is often completely overlooked. Grunt evokes a number of popular videogames, leading players through them in reverse historical order. The grunt seeks to live a mundane experience, only to be disturbed time and time again by the “real” hero. Moreover, the grunt offers a unique position from which to evaluate the negative side of videogame economies, and reflect on the unsustainable nature of a life in which one is constantly seeking to maximize one’s currency and maximize one’s kill counts. Between levels, the cut scenes offers quotes from President Eisenhower’s “Farewell Address” (1961) to emphasize the way that a drive for accumulation (of money, weapons, victory, etc.) produces violence not only in videogames but also the real world. The title, Grunt, builds on military and commercial connotations of the concept, which serves as military slang for a faceless infantryman and as corporate language for a worker-cog in a productive machine (including the thousands of people required to work on numerous aspects of modern best-selling videogames). The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warns against in the speech has today become an ordinary, easily overlooked fact of life, but it should nevertheless be questioned. If we continue to operate real life as a game, without regard for the “grunts” living their everyday lives in a world where violence is not fun, instead pursuing epic objectives such as world domination, then we will continue to spiral towards death, both in games and in reality.

Watch the trailer:

Download the Game

http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/games/190455/download

Express December 15, 2011

Posted by footagefinder in Digital Storytelling-Fall 2011, Student Projects.
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(designed and produced by: Brigit Baker, Jennifer Dou, and David Healey)

Express is an interactive visual novel that explores different perspectives on the 2011 Occupy protests. The core concept, “express,” refers to 1.) the brevity and pacing of the narrative (concision for the sake of replayability and impact), 2.) the communication of thoughts and sensibilities (expression as the story’s core), and 3.) expressionism (an artistic style that emphasizes distortion of images for emotive purposes). In Express, the reader makes decisions as a young, passionate protester or an older, world-weary cop assigned to patrol the protest grounds. Along the way, users can get into confrontations, make arrests, or get arrested! After playing from one perspective, users are encouraged to take the view of the other character and see how their decisions appear from the a different perspective.

Download the Visual Novel:

http://www.mediafire.com/?t7slj33jdcsd7ii