Archive for May 2011

Storyboarding Recap Part 1   Leave a comment

My Storyboarding and Storytelling class consisted of two separate, concurrent projects. The Individual Project (IP) and the Discussion Board (DB). In this post, I will focus only on the DB project in order to make this project easier to follow.

As an online class, the discussion boards seem to be an attempt at replacing or mimicking peer-to-peer interaction. In previous online classes I’ve taken it was also used for writing assignments that seemed to exist mostly to legitimize the course as an academic endeavor. Those previous classes would have a 1-2 page paper on a topic related to the IP and require research with footnotes and sources. In this case, it replaced the classroom participation but skipped the academic writing element in favor of more practical practice.

The assignment for Unit 1 was to write a short story for a simple flash game. Every DB assignment afterward was based on this initial story. I think I switched between descriptive prose and simple statements a bit too much but I think it gets the main idea across. The short version is that a lower-class miner, named Ungrok, achieves his dream to become a leader when humans attack the mining camp and he’s asked to lead the evacuation. That’s the general intro leading into the rafting-themed navigation game. The ‘full’ version of the story is here.

In Unit 2, we were supposed to create a character design based on the main character from our Unit 1 story. I drew a couple pages of sketches to get the main idea down. Please disregard the creepy guy on the far right of the first sketch, he’s an early version of my character for the IP project that I’ll go over in part two. The original pose was meant to illustrate his leadership role by the way he’s pointing. It was a bit unnatural so I dropped his arm to the side in the final version. I think the way he stands on the rock and remains forward-focused helps to portray at least some small glimmer of leadership in a more relaxed and natural way.

Unit 2 - Discussion Board - Sketches 1 - 6 May 2011

Unit 2 - Discussion Board - Sketches 2 - 6 May 2011

Unit 2 - Discussion Board - Character: Ungrok - 8 May 2011

Starting in Unit 3, the DB project deviated from ‘Storyboarding and Storytelling’ and became part of a series of courses working toward the same project for students following the Online-only curriculum. The DB for this class is intended to be the foundation or head-start for the IP in Interface Design, even though the on-campus courses are taken in exactly the opposite order. In any case, the assignment in Unit 3 was to draw the environment for our flash game. Having already taken Interface Design, I had a good idea of what needed to be drawn. However, I used this assignment as an opportunity to create an extended level design and explore ways to really push some variety into the game play.

Unit 3 - Discussion Board - OrcRaft Environment - 11 May 2011


In Unit 4, we had to draw a Prop Sheet to conceptualize the in-game assets required to build the game ‘in future classes’. This time around, I simply drew many of the assets I had already built in Interface Design. I couldn’t think of a way to push the designs much further. I think I drew a much better fish this time around, though.

Unit 4 - Discussion Board - OrcRaft Prop Sheet - 18 May 2011


Finally, in Unit 5, we were supposed to design the interface for our casual game idea. I found my first design to be pretty simple and streamlined, though a bit plain. So, I redesigned it for this assignment. I wanted to add an actual fraction to make it easier to see exactly how many Orcs are left on the raft without needing to count. I like the addition of the progress bar in the upper right corner. It’s not an actual map of the level, just an indication of how much distance is left in the current level.

Unit 5 - Discussion Board - Interface Design - 25 May 2011


That’s all there was to the Discussion Board half of my Storyboarding class. I was thankful that it felt less like busywork and jumping through hoops, even though I was forced to revisit something that was already ‘finished’. There is always room for improvement and that certainly held true in this case. I think these assignments helped me to refine my vision for the game.