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Yue Yamanaka-Nash Blog Post Two

We spent Wednesday and Thursday participating in all day workshops conducted by industry professionals. The first day was very useful and relevant to our group as it had a very heavy focus on storytelling, as our project is narrative we were able to take away a lot of information and implement it within the project, particularly in regards to writing the script. The industry practioner walked us through the concept of story arcing, wherin there should be a start point, a rise, a fall and a subsequent rise.
We were able to use this information to guide us in how to structure the choices that the user must make, and which points in the story to place them. This was very important to our story as without a good sense of story, the project is ineffective.

On Thursday we spent the first half of the day with Takashi of The Tomoe. Takashi was a VJ and visual artists. He took us all through the more experimental side of digital narrative, going in depth into more abstract digital art pieces with a focus on projection mapping and Audio Visual synchronicity. This was important information for us as without synchronicity our animation would not be cohesive and the audience would be lost in a jarring experience.

Creating a genuinely captivating experience is an essential part of our project, as the visual style will be minimal to focus on the audio. The danger with a minimal visual style is there is greater potential for the user’s minds to wander outside of the story. To avoid this it is imperative that we have a strong audio visual relationship that works in a tight lock with one another, this way the audio will be allowed to do the grunt work while the visuals can play a supporting role (switching the traditional roles between Audio and Visual). This is our biggest conceptual challenge in this project and part of what we as a group really wanted to explore. Speaking with Takashi was an interesting experience as he works in one of the few fields in which the visuals are considered to be a supporting role to the Audio, as well as working in environments in which the Audio and the Visual have an even relationship.

On the Friday we spent the day recording the audio for our piece. At first we recorded my voice speaking, which caused an issue as we realized that the script we had written when voiced in English was too reminiscent of MYST style narrative games of the early to mid 90s. To overcome this problem we had Ilham translate our script and perform it for us. His cadence and diction were suited perfectly to the role and lent a special quality to the character that will be far more encapsulating than the English recordings. The only issue now is that we have to create a sub-titles set for English speakers, though this will be a relatively simple task.

As far as the coding is concerned, most of the functional concerns have been overcome, there was a slight issue finding the write way to write code that would allow an Onpress function for a specific key, though eventually that was overcome with some Javascript. Luckily HTML5 supports <autoplay> and <video> out of the box so what I thought was going to be challenging was in fact not too much trouble, provided the video format was .mp4. While this format isn’t ideal quality wise, it is the format I thought we would end up using anyway because latency needs to be at an absolute minimum to keep the story flowing and the user interested.

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