Side Quest 10: Assemblies

For this side quest, I focused on the materials and assignments that have covered in the course. The side quests, games, narratives, and podcast episodes, all went under the four components, play, make, write, think. Making these four components to correspond with the ingredients of a milk tea, I was trying to make it more understandable and interesting.

Twine Game Reflection

The plot of our Twine game is inspired by a Japanese tv series called Unnatural Death. We adapted from one of the episodes. The main character of our story is a forensic doctor and a bunch of high school students. In the story, the main character DMD undergoes tremendous school violence and begins to seek a solution to change his life. Due to the extreme mental trauma he received, he decides to commit suicide and try to impute his death to the one of the students that has been bullying him. The truth is discovered eventually, which means the main character failed to do so. By the end, we want people to pay attention to school violence, to actually understand what bullying is, which is not a simple physical attack between students. 

The creation process was smooth, four of us decided to split the work. Therefore, we didn’t assign roles. Since I was the only one in our group that had watched the tv series, I wrote the original plot of the game first, and my group mates revised the plot to be more game-like. I think we did a great job choosing the topic, and setting up the framework.

Side Quest 7: Throw a piece of paper into a bin

At first, I really had trouble finding the spectacular way to throw the paper into a bin. When I started to record, I realized those attempts that I failed to throw in made my final throw spectacular. It was actually a hard task to complete, not as easy as I thought. The background music is from the movie La La land, Another Day of Sun.

Visual Note Taking

It is really easy for me to get distracted. On my class notes, it will be often to find sketches or things that are hundred percent not related to the course. This is my notes from accounting class. We were learning the market value of a company, and multiple formulas. I just started to use my iPad to take notes, using digital drawing tool to take notes actually made the process of note taking to be interesting.

Sunday Sketches

Taken by me

The shape of the leaf reminds me of the fancy dress all the time. For this assignment I recreated the image with the leaf that I picked up on my way home today. The creation process didn’t take too long for me. Right now, the city is covered with all these kinds of leaves. Autumn is a wonderful season. I used to be a teaching assistant at an art studio. This assignment reminds me of the time that I had spent with the students at the art studio. Art really has the power to inspire and motivate me.

Game Comparison Reflection

Before deciding what my these statement of my game comparison essay was going to be, I first spent times replaying the games, such as the Depression Quest, Gris, Gone Home, and Life is Strange. Then I made a decision to analyze Gris and Gone Home. With the experiences of Podcast episodes, compare and contrast did not take much of the time. After replaying these games, I found more interesting details to write about that I was not able to notice on the first time playing them. On the first section, I argued that both Gone Home and Gris illustrated the relationship with others after the main character undergo the trauma. On the section section, I included Cathy Caruth’s quote, saying that the traumatic event remains outside the range of the consciousness to portray the event as a narrative.

Gris Liveblog

The opening scene of this game was a little girl woke up in front of a statue. The background music was really nice. I felt like I was watching a film. As the game started, the main character Gris simply broke and lost her voice. I recalled the similar scenes in the Little Mermaid. Watching her falling down was awful, I thought I could fast forward the falling scene like other games, but I couldn’t. I began moving along with her. 

I guess I stepped into the second stage, since the color changed from balck and white to colored red. I assumed we needed to go somewhere to get her voice back. This stage was overwhelmed by sandstorms. I had to hide inside the buildings from time to time. There was nothing else I could do except moving forward. I felt this game is more like a journey of healing, bringing back Gris’s voice, at the same time, adding more color to this world. 

Now I gained the ability to jump. There was a scene, as I was sliding down a large hill, the sun behind Gris rising up little by little, such an amazing and beautiful scene. The art style of this game became more complex over time, it was like a hand-painted watercolors.

The following stage was in the theme of green, strong sense of nature. I love the bird tweeting and chirping sounds. She started to gain more ability in this stage of game, and had more interaction with others. Then, the color theme changed to blue. I had a feeling of entering an underwater palace. Little by little, the color blue diminished, everything around started to color in black. I got chased by a dark object. I had no where to go except to follow a yellow light. This was such a long journey.

There were more and more colors. All of sudden, black and white was back. Gris began falling and falling. Floating around, I found the broken statue, the giant hand at the beginning of the game. Those pieces started to reconstruct. Gris found her voice, as she started to sing, the world was awash with vivid colors again.

After I finished this game, I remained silent for short period of time. This is a powerful and beautiful game. This game is about the journey of grief, or in many ways, it could also be a journey of healing and recovery. The ending was so strong, as the statue rising in pieces from the darkness and reforming piece by piece, Gris voice gets louder. The music quality and art style really add strengths to the game, makes it not like a 2D game.

Screenshot by me

Player Narrative Reflection

Link to the Player Narrative

The overall message that I wanted to address through my narrative is that, there is a gap in different generation’s opinion toward playing video games. As I mentioned in my paper, “In my parents’ stances, they believed games are designed for problematic teenagers.” Followed by that, I discussed my own video games experiences with the two games that have influenced me, Minecraft, and the Chinese MOBA game. Minecraft has been a constantly evolving outlet for me to be creative, and the Chinese MOBA game not only taught me lessons of teamwork, but also became a connection tool for me and my friends in China. As I grew up, games started to influence more to my life. “Games have always been a place to find joy and serenity.” From playing game, I learned to be patience, be creative, and to be a team player.

Plague Inc Podcast Reflection

For this week’s episode, I was the producer. With the experiences of creating the podcast from last time, we made a quick decision on the game that we planned to make the episode on and scheduled the meeting afterward. The game Plague Inc is a real-time strategy simulation video game that enables the player to create and evolve a pathogen to infect the human population with a deadly plague. Unlike Roy and Ryan, I had no experience with the game, so I think it will be better next time if I can play the game more to really get a player’s familiarity. All of us think the game Plague is interesting and is relatable to this pandemic. It is a game that provides deep thinking about the public health and reflections of the current society, it allows players to actually learn how to stay safe in a pandemic. After deciding the game, like last time, we split the script, and spent about 2 hours writing the script together. Since it is the second time for us to produce a podcast, we all have a more decent understanding of the whole process of the production of a podcast.