Friday, February 25, 2011

Reactive Music, and Some Questions

I've been experimenting with rjdj's Reactive Music app for iPhone. I used it for the sound for the machinima I made to document a virtual art installation, "IceOpal" and also to augment the thrilling experience of waiting for the T in the subway station. I particularly like how you can hear the bell of the train at the end of that recording/piece. That bell is on the old trains, and I don't think it's changed since I was a kid growing up in Boston.

So here are my questions: What is the visual equivalent of reactive music/sound? The Ascend scene I used for both pieces here doesn't only overlay your recorded sound, but uses it to generate music based on a composition by composer Dizzy Banjo.

And what is the narrative, or storytelling, equivalent????? Can we think about augmented storytelling? What would that be?

You need to have Flash installed to listen directly on the site. Install Flash or you can download the recording instead

"Waiting Feb 24, 2011 5:00 PM in Hynes T station" by L1

Ascend Recorded from Ascend. Check out more recordings from Ascend...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kino Eye, Cultural Interfaces,Agency, Storytelling: Synthesis

Today we review Manovich's most pertinent concepts, discuss game design & digital filmmaking/ macinima-making, and think about how it all applies to storytelling.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cultural Interfaces & Machinima

Today we'll connect the reading you've been doing in Manovich's book with the Unity 3D workshop we did last week and the machinima workshop we'll do this week. As we learn new software programs and become more aware of how cultural forms like games or movies are constructed, we learn new aspects of their interfaces, and I'll keep drawing your attention to that, asking you to reflect upon your experiences as both a maker and a player/spectator/reader of digital narrative. So we need to think a little about subjectivity, and how narrative, and particularly digital narrative can construct it.

Also, if you are so inclined, feel free to watch the machinima movie I recently completed: on YouTube or Vimeo. It is entitled, "Open End: A Digital Silent Film Screwball Comedy about Irresolution," and is just the sort of thing someone who thinks a lot (too much?) about narrative might make.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Forking Paths

Many credit Jorge Luis Borges, and his story "The Garden of Forking Paths" (El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan) published in 1941, with creating hypertext. What could we possibly mean by that? Let's look to the story to see, and also to the useful and clever "Story Shapes for Digital Media" by Katherine Phelps. What does it mean for narrative, for a story, to bifurcate? What does Borges describe and dramatize, that later writers and media makers attempt to create?

And then we'll connect this to our first foray into Lev Manovich's book, The Language of New Media, and prepare ourselves for the Unity 3D workshop we'll have in our next class session. It is not too early to mull over whether you are more interested in making a game, or a cut scene, or something else for your course project, although you won't know for sure until you try a little of each. Forking paths, indeed!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Game Design Workshop Notes

Today, we cram our snowed-out 2-hour discussion of the first 4 chapters of Game Design Workshop into a 50-minute class, and try not to think of the snow piling up outside.

Game structure
Salen & Zimmerman's definition of play: "free movement within a more rigid structure"

Anaylzing & thinking through formal elements

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow

CHARACTER (and avatar --character spectrum)
DRAMATIC ARC (imagine me yelling "conflict" in your ear!)

Jesse Schell's 2 myths of interactive storytelling:

Myth #1: Interactive storytelling has little to do with traditional storytelling
Myth #2: Interactive storytelling has little to do with traditional game design

FOR THURSDAY: exercises 4.9, 4.10, 4.11