CHECK OUT MY ESSAY HERE: Embracing the Trauma
Life involves trauma; however, how people choose to let that trauma affect them matters and how healing occurs. Gris and Gone Home are about learning to heal from traumatic events and acceptance of oneself and others; the games are about finding love and acceptance in the darkest places, such as the underwater trench or the hidden pathways of a seemingly-abandoned home.
Writing this essay, I chose to write the thesis and final paragraph first. However, I included information that I did not want as my last paragraph, so I copied it out and applied it to my first two paragraphs. There are three main parts to see, the two compare and contrast paragraphs and the final thesis and conclusion section. In each part of the compare and contrast paragraphs, I chose to compare my two main ideas. Writing this essay, I recognized the true nature of Gone Home and Terry’s important role in the story. He is such an essential piece of the entire game, and it is somewhat disappointing that I and many others overlooked him during our playthrough.
CHECK OUT MY ESSAY HERE: Embracing the Trauma
As a member of the production crew for Groundhog Day, I played the main idea person in our twine game. The game generated incorporated a large portion of my ideas and thoughts. To make sense of the twine game assignment, my group used brainstorming to develop ideas that wanted to be heard with no negative feedback, then deciding on the favorite images to be brought into the game. The game was designed to the best of our abilities. I did not have to employ any technology or writing strategy for my role; I mainly just wrote down my ideas on our shared google doc, where we all discussed them. In preparing to present our game to the class, we made a presentation and split it according to our development. I feel like the final product could be a great insight into the high school atmosphere of a senior going through the pandemic. If I could do it repeatedly, I would not do a single thing differently about our twine game.
Working on the twine game, I learned to employ group brainstorming strategies that openly engage in the product. I developed new technological skills on twine because it was a brand new platform for me. Throughout the project, my group used an open environment procedure for game development. The development of Groundhog Day was much like my writing process, blurting out all of my ideas for the assignment, then working at what material works well. I am most proud of about Groundhog Day because it allowed everyone to voice whatever concerns or ideas they wanted for the game without judgment. It was a new process for me, and I hope to bring my development style of videogames to my writing in the future.
CHECK OUT THE EPISODE HERE!
My co-producer Sam Grant and I split up the work the same way we did on our previous podcast episode, understand the playthrough through playing the game or watching videos, grouping together to generate ideas, formulating the podcast, producing the podcast, then finally he edited the episode. At the same time, I did all the other manners that needed creating. Our episode adapted from our previous episode by focusing on our perspective of the game because it is about enjoying their own experience. Additionally, we gained inspiration from our peers’ more significant comparisons to the pandemic in our newest podcast episode about Journey.
The goal of the episode we produced was to spotlight a game that people can significantly relate to during the COVID-19 pandemic, going through an unknown world completely alone. Loneliness has been a more outstanding issue than ever before due to the conditions put forth due to precautionary measures. However, producing this episode was somewhat challenging to reflect and ponder the idea of loneliness. Furthermore, the current episode production was put on a relatively tight time constraint due to the dropped episode’s conditions prior. If I had more time to produce the episode, I would have had the opportunity to play through Journey numerous times because of the different scenes and options available, allowing me to have a greater connection to the game and thus the podcast production.
Sam and I mainly put a tremendous amount of work into this podcast production, trying numerous times to communicate with others to no avail. We produced an episode that analyzed an entire game, evaluating the game through our perspectives. However, when it came time to create the podcast, we collaborated thoroughly with minimal hindrances. I was better able to gather the outlying factors to the episode, and Grant was able to be better edit the episode into our image. The Journey through Quarantine podcast episode had its charms and quirks, but we are okay with that; it is unique.
CHECK OUT THE EPISODE HERE!
CHECK OUT THE PODCAST HERE!
The Portal podcast was split between the co-producers, Sam Grant and Brady Dolan (myself). Since Sam had already played Portal in the past, he watched Youtube videos to jog his memory while I played through the game. We both made sure to split the work relatively evenly. After he and I were aware of the playthrough, we brainstormed what we could take away from the game in an online call—both suggesting themes for the podcasts, resembling the podcast to other previous episodes, and how to make our episode stand out, which was the primary goal of the episode. Though we continuously argued back in forth between the podcast’s theme, we were able to produce an episode that shared both of our ideals.
We decided about the episode by reading articles and online videos about the lore behind the game and hidden meanings. After we decided upon a central idea for the podcast, we went through the vocabulary to search for terms that we noticed in Portal, writing what Portal aspects related to the word.
After constructing that aspect, we chose orders to put the terms in the podcast, allowing us to introduce the terms as we chronologically went through the game. In our Portal podcast episode, we focused on gameplay first, then the backstory, and finally the connections of our central theme to Portal, allowing an understanding of all of Portal’s details by the viewers. From our peers’ podcast episodes, we understood we had to restrain ourselves from only giving positive feedback about the game, including our fair share of criticism. Though our episode revolved around quarantine, we chose to invest in the pandemic’s emotional aspect of our relationships with others.
After we went over the podcast script, we attempted the podcast several times to fix the script’s issues not sounding natural. By the end of the podcast, we had established an idea of how to format the avatar, description, title, and background music. As Sam begin to edit the podcast, I worked on the remaining material. I favored this splitting of the work because I am not experienced with editing, and I already had an idea in mind of how I wanted the podcast’s avatar to look. Our collaboration throughout the podcast made the production a lot simpler despite it being on two members. We had to look at writing our podcast as a process that takes time to produce, not cramming all podcast production into a day. Sam and I created a podcast with minimal experience, but I believe we did a great job with the tools with had.
CHECK OUT THE PODCAST HERE!
Creating these visual notes to display energy in a more creative way allowed to gain an understanding of the course content better because not only did I review the information by just rewriting it, I only organized the most important parts of the content into visually appealing notes, that I can readily check for my biology class. I made these visual notes beneficial for my biology course and my chemistry course due to overlapping content. I got to view the content of energy from a different perspective from my usually dull and chronological text notes. I discovered that I enjoy creating these visual notes and will continue to make these notes for content that I find more strenuous or challenging to grasp. I found it enjoyable to turn dull information into something visually appealing because it makes me not grow tired of reviewing the content.
My version of throwing a piece of paper into a bin was to chip a paper ball into my laundry bin with a seven iron golf club. Hitting my shot took well over the time I was expecting because the ball kept morphing due to me hitting it so much. I have to respect my classmates’ clarinet skills and no-lookers, but I think I have them beat. I have been working on my golf swing for the entire summer, so I have been waiting to hit a little in Atlanta, even if it was not a golf ball.
Denial: Minutes 1-5
As I started to play through Gris, I had a minimal idea of the objective and meanings behind all the colors. Gris is a beautiful 2D side-scrolling platformer; the art style and soundtrack are pleasant stimulation as I play. I found out that I need to collect spheres of light that followed me (Gris) around as I explore the map. The beginning sequence showed Gris’s main character, having her world crumbling around her, and all the colors faded to white. I was left to walk onward slowly with the character’s head looking downward.
Anger: Minutes 5-45
Once Gris stumbled across the hand, she was standing on; she had an outburst with caused the color pallet of the game to swap from white and black to mainly red. The world became a desert with reoccurring sandstorms of Gris’s anger overwhelming me and throwing me back. The only option for me to move forward (to the right) was to hide from the storms of anger, or make myself heavy and slowly pushing my way through it. This stage was relatively easy and was my least favorite to play through. At this point, I had a tiny idea of what was going on, but I enjoyed the little puzzles. I noticed that when I needed to reach for the light, I had to crush a rock that had a creature inside. Upon destroying the rock, the animal ran away from me; Gris’s anger hurt someone else. When I found the hand again, the primary color changed to green.
Bargaining: Minutes 46-90
At this stage of the game, I began to fall in love with it. Walking left through the forest, I made a friend. Mini-Me liked apples; therefore, I fed him apples (obviously). This stage showcased mainly green with hints of red, demonstrating bargaining with leftover anger. The location was filled with climbing changing trees that either changed on their own or when I jumped. Upon completing the side stage and returning towards the core, I was met with an ability to glide. This allowed me to trek upward and have a run-in with the darkness I let escape when I fell into the white room. Making it to the stop, I had another run-in with the hand, which changed the primary color to blue, where Gris was depressed, an overwhelming feeling.
Depression: Minutes 91-145
Playing through this stage was probably the most enjoyable. It featured an overwhelming blue color and minimal displays of green and red. The puzzles and swimming features solidified my enjoyment of the game. I got to explore the underground cavern of Gris’s world. I had a rough time with the freezing mechanism and using it to my advantage; however, I figured it out and got to travel through the water. Again, I discovered the hand. Gris tried to sing, but she was unsuccessful. The color yellow was added to the pallet; however, yellow was not the primary color; this was only the start of her acceptance.
Acceptance: Minutes 146-220
This stage started rough. The darkness chased Gris through the deep where only small amounts of yellow light guided the way. At first, I thought I had escaped until I got chased again. I was saved by a red turtle, which means my anger guided me and saved me from the darkness. Back at the core, I explored upward. This stage showcased all the colors working together, but not harmoniously. When I finally got to singing ability, I ran around the map seeing all the plants I could uncover. I enjoyed turning the world feature, which allowed the expansion of the map and new ideas for solving the puzzles. Upon reaching the top, I was met with a stellar view where yellow was the most prominent colors: Gris was recovering.
Ending: Minutes 221-240
When I thought I was beating the game, I was met with darkness again. This darkness took all the color from the world and swallowed me with it. The screen was covered in black. When I reached the top, the world was white and black, like at the start of the game. However, this did not stop me from making my way back up to the hand to sing once again. The color was brought back to the world, and I made my way to the light pathway. That is where my gaming experience of Gris ended.
Gris was a game I was not expecting. It ended in such a beautiful not that I went straight to Youtube to watch a video about it. Knowing the competition was organized by the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief allowed me to focus on changing colors during my playthrough. I enjoyed noticing the hints of colors in new settings, such as the red in the bargaining stage. It demonstrated that there is no straightforward cycle of grief and that it is mixed together. Getting to learn more about the five stages of grief through Gris puts a perspective to what others are going through, especially the overwhelming feeling of depression that overtakes all other emotions. As I progressed, I noticed what affect the colors had on the layout. Red was dominant because it was the first color we experienced. Green allowed red to enter in the stage because anger does not just go away. Unlike the other colors, blue covered the entire screen when it was discovered. Finally, when yellow was introduced, it only took up the game’s background for a few moments. The way yellow was added demonstrated that acceptance does not just “click;” acceptance takes time and energy. I believe the developers chose to make a platform game to explain grief’s complicated feelings through 2D steps. Grief is not filled with simple, chronological stages. It is a mix of emotions that is not merely five stages. Gris is not a platformer like grief is not just stages, because you can expand on it and demonstrate let the other types of genres and stages influence and shape the experience.
Coming up with this idea for my Sunday sketch was absurdly random. I started with trying to find items in my room that would create a picture from a drawing and an object; however, after rummaging through my room for about thirty minutes, I gave up. Late into the night, not even focusing on the side quest, I thought about Sonic the Hedgehog and the new movie from a meme I saw on social media. I then looked up Eggman as an idea for the centerpiece of my sketch. It should be noted that I am terrible at drawing and thinking about creative pictures since I have never focused on doing so before. I started to draw Eggman’s head using the only writing utensil I had that was not just a pen or pencil, a dry erase marker. This drawing took me a large amount of time compared to other people I know, who would draw it better than myself in half the time; however, I was proud of my work. During the sketch, I was not even conceiving the idea of what physical object to combine with my drawing. I wanted to draw my sketch. After I drew, the concept of time came across my mind because I realized I had stayed up too far into the night already. I have two nearly identical watch faces, and with the drawing and my watches, I came up with the title “Time is Up Eggman,” to reference the end of the night for myself and Eggman’s continuous failure to outperform Sonic. Basically, I spent a lot of time into making the eyes of Eggman into watches to represent time and time running out.