Case 1.4 / End Case
Final task of the year was to create a game. (as our study direction suggests we do).
The idea/concept of our game was something we’ve been working on the entire year.
The last three weeks of the year were the time we had to make the game.
I’m not going to go too much into detail about this one, as I’d probably be writing an entire
book if I did, but this task really showed a lot about how much an idea can change throughout
the year. Mainly because of limitations of ability or time, but also because you tend to
grow tired of ideas that otherwise seemed to be incredible to you. I think this is probably
one of the most important lessons learned from this year.
I didn’t manage to put everything I wanted into the game, but despite that, I’m quite proud
and happy with what I’ve achieved.
To give you a basic idea about the game I made, here’s the pitch:
To save the life of a dear friend, a boy (the player) gets pulled into a sort of watercolour world.
It this world he must collect pieces of her heart (Heart Pieces) by finding his way through a route
with the help of watercolour techniques. He must learn to use these in a simple but smart way.
It’s a simple game that mainly focuses on the calm atmosphere and story and wants to let the player
relax a bit. But of course he must sometimes think a bit about what would be the best way to reach
Task: Create a (short) game based on old arcade (or alike) type games.
Programming is, in a way, fun, but it’s also the subject I have most trouble with.
For this little game I chose to make something based of Space Invaders.
To explain the game;
There’s two lines & each has 5 holes that shoot bullets. One of the lanes is the enemy, which
randomly shoots one or more bullets out of its 5 holes. The other line is controlled by the player.
The player too can shoot bullets out of their 5 holes (by clicking on the a,z,e,r,t keys).
Now, what you basically have to do is shoot and destroy the bullets the enemy shoots at you. However
if the enemy hits your line and/or you hit the enemy line, it’s game over! With other words, you may
only hit the bullets. Try to keep up for as long as possible.
I was quite proud of this game. Unfortunately, for some reason, I couldn’t get the scoring system to
work. It helped me a lot programming wise though. I finally started to properly understand several
things. The game itself is actually also quite fun to play in my opinion.. (has both normal & hard mode)
I noticed I hadn’t posted this one here yet.
One of our tasks was to create a satire (free subject choice).
Now, regarding the subject;
What I chose for this task is a bit less known than discrimination, war etc…
These days kids often get labeled in class, not by their name, but by whatever
disorder they carry. Be it ADHD, autism etc… Please don’t misunderstand, of course
it’s important to pay attention to a child if there’s something wrong with their health
but that still doesn’t mean every single word or action has to perfectly organized.
It’s a bit hard to explain my exact feelings regarding this, but a child is still a child
and should be seen as such. Nowadays, if there’s even a tiny problem, children immediately
get taken to a doctor, get a “disease” written down and problem solved! Most teachers
that deal with younger children already have it hard, but now they need to become
doctors as well. Children are no longer seen as “who they are” but as “what the papers say”.
Art wise, it was pretty fun to do this. I actually had this idea in my head for a little
while longer, so this task came at the right time. I do not draw children that often &
the anatomy was a bit hard (with the arms holding the name plates on their back. I’m aware there’s a tiny mistake)
but the practise helped me get better I guess. I tend to get a bit lost in details, so the
smaller amount of lines & simple background were also a good practise.
Third project this school year. This case was actually for one of our subjects
(Interaction & Design) which learns us how to program using Processing.
The amount of people in your group depended on what exactly it is you wanted to make.
My group had 3 people in it. You could choose between making some sort of
creature(s) that interact with you in some way or making something with multiple screens
(by setting up a server which allows (example) an object to move from one screen to
another). We chose the multiple screen option.
Our group made a bunch of jellyfish that swim upward over the screens. Two of us (me
& a friend) did the programming, while our third member did some artwork.
True, about 80% of the code was copied from the internet, but changing it so it works the
way we wanted to, putting it all together, making it work etc.. was no easy task for
people that know zero to nothing about programming, so we were quite proud of the
result. And personally, I think this has taught me a lot about programming and how
certain parts work/connect.
Case 1.1 was our first group project of this school year. The task was to create a
sort of projection in a public space using VPT7. The theme/subject of the projection
had to be something that related to hidden poverty (People that might be living next to
you and are seemingly fine, yet are actually victims of poverty). This was a subject
that was also quite often mentioned in my previous school. Even meeting with these
people at some points & learning about their lives.
We worked in a group of four. These sort of tiny group projects were nothing new to me.
We had a problem coming up with a good idea the first week, but once we knew what we
wanted to do, the end result turned out to be quite good. VPT7 was… to be honest not
that fun to work with, especially since no one knew how the program worked (in our
entire class), yet we still had to use it. Thankfully one of our group members figured
it all out. There were some other small issues but these I’d rather keep to myself.
The last days, watching everyone set up their projections, were quite fun though.
I don’t have that many pictures, but basically our group made a story about two girls.
On the outside both of them seem to be really similar, yet behind the walls of their
houses there are small & subtle, yet visible, differences between the two of them. One
having a better/richer life than the other.
We initially wanted to make the whole thing digitally (a sort of animation movie) but due
to certain issues, we made paper puppets instead & filmed them behind a piece of white
cloth (like one of those indian shadow puppet shows). We then projected this movie
on the walls in the public space. I, along with the help of one of my groupmates, made
the puppets/scenery & the two of us also controlled the puppets behind the cloth. A third
member later filmed, edited the videos & projected them with VPT7.
I was quite stressed but in the end everything worked out well. 🙂
(The public space was C-Mine by the way ↑. A part in the old buildings where you can see how the old mines worked. It is now a place tourists can visit.)
Game Art Task: Create (or rather recreate) a hero, sidekick and anti-hero.
Use an existing story (movie, game, book etc…) to locate the characters.
For this I again chose one of my all-time favourite movies: Spirited Away.
The hero being Chihiro of course, Haku as sidekick and Yubaba as anti-hero.
We had to make 2 drawings of the same characters. One time in a cartoon style, the second time
in an abstract-figurative style. I had to research several times what exactly was meant by
“abstract-figurative” since those two words are complete opposites and Google was no help either.
In the end I tried showing off their shapes more and using some loose lines (round for Chihiro,
somewhat rectangular for Haku and pointy/triangle for Yubaba).
I tried keeping the colors +- the same as how they are in the movie (pink-blue-purple).
I’m quite happy with the result, as I first wanted to use a different story.
To be honest, I wish we’d get a task where we get a soft description of a character (behaviour,
gender, style, maybe a short background) and then have to come up with a design, instead of
recreating existing ones. It was still a fun to do task though.
abstr-fig x cartoon
New 3D task: Make an insect.
For this task we had 3 types of insects (a grasshopper, a wasp and a rhinoceros beetle) and
had to combine elements from the three of them to create a new insect that still looked realistic.
I feel that the problem with this one was that many people chose the same elements though…
Luckily I didn’t add wings, unlike many.
The big challenge during this task was the UV-map. I still haven’t learnt how to make the different
pieces line up nicely and form a shape. My problem was that you had a bunch of messy pieces and
had to figure out which one was which.
Some new things I’ve learnt:
You can put the UV-map pieces on top of each other. This way you only need to make a small sized
texture image (as all stacked pieces will get the same color).
If your 3D object is mostly symmetric you can spare a lot of time by only making one side &
then simply mirroring it.