BFA Exhibition – “Once Upon a Time”

This week was the scheduled opening of my solo exhibition. I’ve been planning and working on it for a long while, especially over my spring break vacation. To see it fully realized and working is a huge relief!

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Once Upon a Time: An Interactive Storytelling Experience is a cute, fun, web-based interactive program, projected onto a gallery wall where users can come inside, pick up the mouse, and interact with the game directly while others watch. The program starts with a storytelling narrator’s voice, who responds directly to the people in the room as he is delivering an old Norwegian fairytale to his audience.

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However, being observant in your role as a “listener” and making choices of your own throughout the story may possibly affect the narrator and the state of the program…

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Because it was designed specifically for a physical installation in a room rather than just an online-exclusive website, the sound, atmosphere, physical space, and audience are all pretty crucial. Some of the writing in the program assumes that you are playing in that public installation space, as well. For example, leave the program alone for a few minutes, and the narrator will automatically call out to passerbys in an attempt to lure them to the story. You get a much different experience playing it inside of a gallery room, on a writing desk, with a booming voice surrounding you, and people listening on the side, rather than playing it at home alone on your laptop with your earphones on (though the latter option is available!).

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The gallery was a bit small, so it got pretty crowded quickly. People lined up behind the user as they watched the screen on the wall, and took turns coming in and out in small waves. Some played multiple times to see all the results they could get, some stopped in the middle to allow others to play, and some followed the direct storyteller’s path and read the fairytale all the way through.

It’s a simple concept and execution on the front end, but the planning, pacing, writing, organizing, and coding on the back-end took me a while to figure out… it was my first time learning and working with Twine, which is an incredibly powerful program. I had quite a few concerning sound/looping issues minutes before the show opened, and I had to patch that up quickly. There are still some things that need tweaking in terms of that, but thankfully the major glitches were resolved right away.

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I’ve been heavily inspired by text-based RPGs, choose your own adventures, interactive fiction, and video games with multiple branches and choices. I was aiming for a talented voice actor to deliver the role of “warm storyteller/snarky narrator,” who is technically invisible, but whose powerful presence can be heard and felt throughout the room. Special thanks to the wonderful Bud Ayers, my old dance teacher and coach, for the amazing voice acting!

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The installation show itself is over, but you can play an online copy here view in Firefox, audio required!):
http://digital-dust.net/onceuponatime

I hope to continue exploring the possibilities of Twine games and public installations with what I’ve learned so far!

April 5, 2014 - 11:16 am | Comments

bfa show

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In about two weeks on April Fools Day, I’m showcasing my project in my first solo gallery show. I still have a lot of work to do in coding and such, as well as figuring out how far I can go with Twine, but I printed out some postcards and am already passing them out to friends and family. I’ve talked through this a lot with friends, classmates, teachers, and have gone through many versions of this within my notes and research. Now that it’s finally coming up and suddenly feeling very real, I’m super duper nervous!! Still some work to do!!

The online version of this project, along with some documentation, will be available here shortly after the show.

And I don’t know why I’m obsessed with this blue/white color scheme in a lot of my projects.

March 17, 2014 - 10:43 pm | Comments

preview: bedroom

Here’s a preview/image still from an upcoming small project for my digital video class:

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lol ok, it’s a picture of dresses in my closet and it’s not very exciting. It’s my first time using a DSLR for filming anything and I have much to learn and practice, but I’m looking forward to getting better with it!

Video coming tomorrow!

September 30, 2013 - 9:14 pm | Comments

park(ing) day san jose 2013

Last Friday, my class participated in Park(ing) Day 2013 with a street art project- cardboard bowling in downtown San Jose!

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Here’s a video of everyone’s awesome progress and work (you can hear me awkwardly talking at 4:28)

And our website!

http://gutterballday.wordpress.com

September 24, 2013 - 10:10 pm | Comments

stereoscopic images!

Just for fun, here are a couple of 3D images done for a class assignment. If you have red/blue 3D glasses, the images will pop out at you!

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May 17, 2013 - 1:24 pm | Comments