Tag Archives: ds106

Week 15: The Final Spookening – Final Project INBOUND.

It’s here.

To give you an idea of what my final project’s all about it, it’s this: Victor’s past is being revealed! Throughout this semester he’s been a real hard one to pin down and interview. What makes it even more difficult is that he doesn’t seem to talk much about his life and we’ve no records of any actual relatives. However, the truth is now being made clear for those of you who’re interested.

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We begin with a bit of context about who Victor is. Because without that, what’s the point of any of this, right? Well, to detail that, I’ve created a Google Doc sheet that gives a summary of what we already know and don’t know about good old Victor. Followed is a brief list of his likes and dislikes.

VICTOR: THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE HOSTING LEGEND.

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Category; Writing

Next, we have an interactive fiction piece created using Inkle Writer. Without giving away too many spoilers, this story deals with a young man named Jonathan on his quest to reunite with his beloved and long-lost brother Victor.

HERE’S THE LINK TO IT!

>>>> Circumstance <<<<

The story then continues in the “game” I created using Inform 7.

Medium: Web/(game) Design

After our adventure with Jonathan has come to a close, we meet a new protagonist trapped in one of Victor’s old homes. In it, he discovers an old servant of Victor’s that still maintains the home. Why is he trapped there? Will he ever escape? This won’t be easy, but patience shall reward those that persevere!

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Category: Visual

A reporter has uncovered a stack of old wanted posters that bear a striking resemblance to someone familiar. Can you guess who that may be?
wantedposter1

This image was one of the first ever captured of Victor, way back in the 1890’s. He was a huge fan of designer sunglasses, it seems.

wantedposter2

 

 

 

 

This image was take in 1946. While the name reads ‘Ellis Maynard,’ we can clearly tell that this is still Victor. He was in hiding once again while using this name. But he wouldn’t be for long…

wantedposter3

 

 

 

Having eluded capture once again, Victor returns to using his actual name while slightly changing his old last name. At this point, no one’s really suspicious of him anymore as most people who would’ve been are mysteriously dying left and right.

 

wantedposter4

 

 

This most recent wanted poster, created in 1987, was commissioned by a special task force that reported directly to the president. It’s unclear how Ronald Reagan became aware of Victor’s crimes, but this wanted poster wound up lost for a reason…

 

 

 

Week 13 Progress Report!

Hi guys, I’m really excited to make this post because I’m just overflowing with ideas right now. I’ve been keeping things a little low key this week and, as of right now, I won’t be showing what I’ve been working on. BUT! I will let everyone know a little about what they can/should reasonably expect!

So, we’ve got to tell a story using four mediums and I have a solid idea for three of them. The first two are based in and inspired by writing and web assignments and will utilize Inkle Writer and Inform 7. Now, for those who’re wondering what those are: Inkle Writer is a fairly easy way to create an interactive story that follows different paths that you create along the way. You can loop the story, create “game over” scenarios, include items as prizes, etc. With Inform, there’s much of the same. However, Inkle Writer is much more web-based, while Inform requires a bit of finesse with coding. It follows a technical language that’s a lot more lax than some others (http, Java, C++), but has a specific index of terms and instructions that it understands. Through that, you can create a world and a game, create plot, include items, achievements, goals, you name it. You’re only limited by your own understanding, basically.

The third idea is to take one of my older videos and brush it up a tad. Straightforward, right?

Anyways, so far, my progress has been limited to me starting on the Inform story and creating an outline for my Inkle Writer addition. If you want to see more, though, keep your eyes on my blog for the following week and I’ll surprise you with some cool treats!

 

Thanks, y’all. BYE!

Weekly Summary #8 — Radio Show = DONE!

(Apologies for the lateness. This darn post just didn’t want to be posted!)

This week was definitely work-filled. Like I said in my radio show progress post yesterday, that’s what I’ve been up to with my awesome group! We met twice and hammered out a lot of good material, with our final product found here! I look forward to hearing everyone’s shows and I hope you enjoy ours, too.

Other than that, I created some nice Daily Creates! I also did my best to leave some encouraging words on people blogs to let them know that they have support in their classmates! Honestly, with our prior audio weeks, I’ve come to understand just how time consuming all the work can be. However, I’ve also come to understand just how rewarding it is to put forth that much effort with groupmates that are equally enthusiastic. The feeling of pride when we completed our show was unsurmountable, to say the least.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a great week!

Weekly Summary #5

I had a lot of fun messing around with audio projects this week. To be completely honest, though, I was dreading the thought of it all. But, I’m happy to say that by powering through it, I had a great time and learned how to better use Audacity (and plenty of file converters…).

The toughest of this week’s assignments were the Stars. We had 10 to do and I decided to focus on these three: the original poem, the low speed car chase commentary, and the “Real Hosuewife” tagline. For these, I simply used my laptop’s audio recorder and gave myself a couple of takes to make sure that everything sounded okay before I wrapped it all up. I was originally going to submit one of the singing assignments, choosing not to out of respect for my audience’s ears.

Next was my sound effect story– something that was beautifully simple, yet effective. I found some sounds and knew what I wanted to put together before I was sure what my story would be. Once I’d combined them in Audacity and done some housekeeping, I took what I had a brainstormed a short story to accompany it in the post.

I had some substantial comments to make about the idea of audio in storytelling here. And shared some brainstorms here for consctructive additions.

My magnum opus of the week: my radio bumper. It’s almost as if I have a voice that was made for radio! This took me much longer than I expected, but the reward definitely met the effort. Check it out!

And while you’re at it, look at my daily creates for the week. My personal favorite was today’s Talk Like A Pirate one (soundcloud link here)Here’s Thursday’s and Tuesdays!

The Forrest Gump Project

When thinking of what to do for this assignment, my first thought was to place myself onto an image of MLK, Jr. Why? When I was little, I was often said to look a lot like him (I never saw the resemblance…). This isn’t my best work, but I think it turned out fairly decent. It’s decent enough to make me laugh, at least.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find two images that would work well together and, despite my inadequacy with most photo-editing programs, I managed.

Here’s the final product! And, yes, I did try to remove those weird splotches on the side of my face.  Enjoy:

mlk jr with my face

A meaningful response to Bryan Alexander and Shira Chess

Bryan Alexander makes a good point in his work about digital storytelling being a constantly changing thing. Following the nature of technology itself, it would be hard to expect anything to stay the same for too long, to which he adds that “social media  evolve at a very rapid speed” — a statement the more or less corroborates that thought. But what I thought was most interesting about his piece on it was that it dealt with the idea of permanence in regards to digital stories themselves. With everything going at a much faster pace, it’s hard to know how long anything will last online (servers shut down, links idle and are replaced by different ones). What that means to me, though, is that digital storytelling is something that should be savored. The more anything is shared, the more interactive it is, the better chances there may be that works will last. With digital caches, it’s possible to save records of these things for years to come but I feel that exposure is the best route.

In regards to Chess’ piece, she details the origin of The Slender Man, a creature that has gained most of its popularity in recent years even. This is actually a great example of how digital storytelling works best. There are countless people that can say they’ve at least heard about Slender Man once or twice in their lives because of the attention its gained and the subsequent video games and web series‘ its inspired.

I found both pieces to be fairly well-written and the material was inspired, both prompted me to think a bit more about what digital storytelling truly means. Sometimes I find myself forgetting that it involves multiple media– my definition is sometimes stuck to writing alone.

Looking for something to aid in your scheduling?

Then try Buffer! I recently found it and I’d like to say that it seems pretty nifty on both a first and second glance! While looking for cool new tools to use, I stumbled upon this one on a list at Inc.com labeled ’10 Essential Online Tools You Should Be Using.’ Starting off, it asks you for a social media account to connect and, optionally, you may choose to add more than one right off the bat. I did, choosing to connect both my twitter handle (@jaaaaamesrives) and Facebook profile to them. Once I’d done that, I was greeted with a page telling me that “You’re a natural!”

Though, I had no doubts about that. Buffer is primarily used as a scheduler that allows you to post things to your other accounts automatically. So say you wanted to post the same thing to both Twitter and Facebook (as all reasonable people do, right?), then all you’d have to do is schedule how often you wanted to share these posts and send them through Buffer. From there, it’ll make your post and any subsequent ones based on when you tell it to.

Here’s a look at what mine looks like:

My Buffer Dashboard

All in all, I’d say that while this tool doesn’t seem like the most important in the shed, it’s definitely a time-saver and just screams convenience. Check it out!

My Weekly Summary

This week was definitely a learning experience for me. Having never trying to write a horror story before, I found myself in a difficult place while doing the main part of this week’s assignment. I’m not a huge fan of horror in the first place. Suspenseful movies rarely scare me and I refuse to watch anything with heavy gore (except for The Evil Dead 2). However, I learned that a great part of learning to create horror is understanding atmosphere and what it is that truly frightens people. Usually, that means the supernatural or things that are simply beyond one’s control. Perhaps even a sense of helplessness.

But on the bright side, the easier side of this week was setting up all of the social media accounts (I had like half of them already set up). Next week, I’d like to try my hand at better understanding how to write whatever story we have to next. Other than that, this has been a treat so far and I look forward to the rest.

Fasten your socks, kids…

In Late November, a night most would have called innocuous unfortunately became something much worse. A young man, Thomas Rainier, from a small town in southern Virginia, had finished another shift at his mundane job. Accounting. He’d never had a passion for it but, as a recent college graduate, sought to pay off his loans as soon as possible. An “average joe,” he’d call himself, Thomas viewed most things as “uneventful.” He was 5’10”, wore relaxed fit clothing that was neither too fitting nor too loose, and had mussy, dark hair that he kept swept to one side at all times. To the ordinary on-looker, there wasn’t a single remarkable thing about Thomas. But upon closer inspection, one would be very, very surprised.

As he parked his car into his driveway as uneventfully as ever, Thomas stopped once he’d turned the car off. It was always a bit small for him but, even then, it felt more cramped. Condensation was beginning to form on the windows and he wrote it off as humidity. He hadn’t gone through four years at college without learning to question a few things here and there but in the back of his mind, he already knew what was happening. He fumbled around for his keys and eventually opened the garage door. Stepping through the kitchen, Thomas paused. There was the same humidity but this time, it felt more concentrated. There was a puddle lying on his counter next to the coffee maker just waiting to cause an accident. Rushing to clean up the mess, he reached out for it and felt a shock– some of the water had made it towards the power cord. It burned a small circle onto the palm of his right hand. The smell of searing skin nauseated him. A little shaken, but mostly fine, Thomas headed toward his bathroom’s medicine cabinet to rub a little ointment on the wound on his hand. The lights flickered on and off and there was a creaking sound from the un-oiled hinges of the cabinet’s mirror. Closing the window, Thomas’ burn continued to hurt him but he was more concerned with what now faced him.

 

It was the visage of a woman whose face was somewhat deteriorated. He knew this face, or what was left of it, well. This spirit had been haunting him for the past few years, six to be precise. Immediately after his father’s death, he’d inherited his “curse.” All the while the spirit stared on at Thomas, a faint screaming could be heard. It was unnerving and sent a chill down his spine in waves. Feeling a numbness wash over him, he fought through it and made his way to the couch. Thomas hoped that watching some TV would calm him down. Reaching for the remote, he felt the woman’s presence again as she seemed to reach through him. Thomas knew that the woman was the spurned lover of his great-grandfather and an evil woman. She swore vengeance upon him and his household when she was left with a child and no support. Years after Thomas’ great-grandfathered denounced her publicly, she began to practice outright witchcraft in an attempt to wreak havoc upon his life, even offering her newborn son as sacrifice to further her goals. Though she’d never acted out against the Rainier men, they always knew she was there– watching, waiting… and for some reason, she seemed to have had enough. Thomas lived a somewhat solitary life and felt no especial happiness throughout any part of it. He never wished to die but he was indifferent to the idea of it. He felt that he could never truly object to something he would never feel. And as he sat, shivering in his chair, the woman’s form– fading into and out of ethereal space– drew closer. Perhaps she felt as though his misery wasn’t yet sufficient, that he hadn’t felt enough pain. She reached her hand into him and paused, a blank stare seemingly filling the room. In what felt like seconds, there was a surge of blood that sprang from Thomas’ chest, yet there was no wound. Whether or not it was his, none could tell. He choked for a while, fading into unconsciousness and feeling a sharp pain surge through his chest and with one or two final breaths, he collapsed. The woman’s corpse made its way back into the bathroom and stood vigil inside the mirror, seemingly glad that her job had been done.