Friday, 13 December 2013

Yr2 Week 7 (Wed 27 Nov - Film and Innovation)

Taking a substitute lecturer today (though he had experience with interactive media, talking about past collaborations he had done with Helen and the university), we returned to the subject of interactivity, specifically narrative strategies. Frankly, how could new media transform the way we take in stories was the igniting question:
  • Non-Linearity, affecting in what order and when we come into contact with certain information about world, characters or plot.
  • Locative (Location, time, date), affecting when we may or may even not come into contact with the aforementioned information, depending on where we are (say there's a clue on a specific tree related to the mystery, and furthermore, that clue is in a certain ink that only shows under a certain type of sunlight).
  • Evolving Tech, always allowing us new possibilities for experimentation and trials, each time expanding a little further and further out there in what we can build and what the player/viewer can experience. The boom of the internet and portable tech like tablets and Ipads has given a tremendous boost to such thing in the past few years.
Furthermore, even with fancy gadgetry, what would be the design and development needed to create such ideas? Well:
  • The writer is crucial, otherwise the world, characters and general 'hook' created will not be sufficient to entice people to interact and engage.
  • Trials and testing - no matter how good you may think it is, always keep testing and testing, ironing out bugs and perhaps even discovering new tricks and ideas for extra bonuses/features for the player. Programming also ties into this.
  • Recording/Editing the material, ensuring maximum quality, but also considering the aforementioned possibilities and experiments.
  • Narrator? Paths? Characters? Style? What is the user generated aspect, if any? All of these, even when in development, must be constantly fine tuned and perfected, and they each bleed into one another, as well as offer reasons for further, if not actual, replaying.
We also briefly discussed the concept of the 'storyshape' (a circular model that showed the boundaries of the main elements, with the 'space' being the center, while outside dictated when the player entered and exited.) And then we quickly returned to main concept of interaction, and questions about the level of control/manipulation that a player should have, though this has been mentioned and talked about in past weeks. And well, that's a wrap for the day. Next week is the presentation, so I'll be pulling the team together for a final 'check' on ideas, and what we will go with for our proof-of-concept.

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