Category Archives: Activities

How to Play – Trash Traders

Do you have four iPads and a wireless network? If so you can operate Trash Traders! Trash Traders is an experience developed at Carnegie Mellons Entertainment Technology Center, that has shown to be fun and promote discussions about living a more green life. The following is footage collected from playtests of Trash Traders.

The following is additional footage of discussions about living a green life:

About

In Trash Traders players take the roles of four recycling centers, where each iPad is a recycling center, whose objective is to clean up the pollution in their city. They do this by fulfilling the needs of the city by creating green products using eco-items that are produced at the recycling centers. The recycling centers face a challenge though.

Each recycling can produce only one type of eco-item and more than one type of eco-item is often required to create a green product. Therefore the recycling centers must work together otherwise their city is doomed to be ruined by over pollution!

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CHI Play 2017

Angle Jungle was a great project and on completion we wanted to expose our work to the wider community for more feedback and potentially even to explore possibilities of formal assessment of the game actually being effective in its transformational objectives. Therefore we wrote up a paper and submitted it to CHI Play. Fortunately it was accepted and we were invited to present the game. My intention at the conference was then to connect with people who were able to help formally assess Angle Jungle as well as keep an eye out for good connections.

Top Presentations

My top two presentations were definitely:

Diegetic ConnectivityPaper here

Why I loved this was that by the end of the work they had a playable deliverable that made engaging with language an essential part of the experience, not at all like the typical chocolate broccoli that tends to happen. I definitely connected with the speaker and will remain in touch with them.

Bibles and BioshockPaper here

Religion is a hot button issue (as usual) and I loved this talk because it opened my mind to the actual academic consideration of religious discussions in video games. Particularly interesting was how it attempted to categorize people into behavior categories.

Other interesting papers I found interesting:

All papers accepted at conferences main program can be found at the following link:

https://chiplay.acm.org/2017/program/

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To Ireland

Before I started my Masters of Entertainment Technology I visited an old friend in Northern Ireland. The following are a collection of photos taken during my trip.

Carrickfergus Castle

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Belfast City Hall

Tesco Belfast

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Team Tiny

Team Tiny is a four person project at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center tasked with building an educational iPad game for Colonial School in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

The following is a week by week look into the project with a focus on design.

  1. Week 1 – Setup & Initial Brainstorming
  2. Week 2 – Client meeting, more brainstorming and first prototype
  3. Week 3 – More prototypes and iterations on prototypes.
  4. Week 4 – Development of ideas for 1/4 presentations
  5. Week 5 – Playtesting and new direction
  6. Week 6 – Focus, meeting with Zynga
  7. Week 7 – GDC!
  8. Week 8 – First digital prototype playtests
  9. Spring Break! – Playtesting!
  10. Week 9 – Puzzle crafting
  11. Week 10 – Further puzzle crafting, playtest day
  12. Week 11 – Finishing puzzles, map and reward system, deeper puzzle analysis, scaffolding introduction
  13. Week 12 – UX Considerations and more polish
  14. Week 13 – More UX Changes, Polish & Playtests
  15. Week 14 – Finals Presentations & Publish to App Store
  16. Week 15 – Final polish

Shadow of The Colossus, Visual Story Assignment

As part of our Visual Story course at Carnegie Mellons Entertainment Technology Center we were required to briefly analyze visual imagery in a piece of media. I choose the game Shadow of The Colossus as my subject matter.

Diagonal Lines

As the game begins with an eagle in the distance. The eagle descends into a mountain range flying rapidly, in a titled manner past our hero creating a momentary clear diagonal, and frame within a frame. The combination of techniques draw our eyes into that area of the screen where we our introduced to our hero clearly contrasted in brighter colors against the dark mountains.

Contrast

As our hero continues to travel under the cover of darkness, we see the moon peer out from the canopy. the contrast between the moon and the dark leaves draws our eyes in which the director then uses for a smooth visual transition to the next scene which has a horse’s feet moving at the position of the moon.

As our hero approaches his destination he encounters a pass. Our eyes are drawn to our hero in his bright cape, and the glowing pass which contrasts with the stone grey scene. The techniques help setup our eyes on to our hero and where he is heading.

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solo-editing-image

Solo Editing – Visual Story Assignment

As part of our Visual Story course at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center we were given a solo editing assignment which required us create a video given professionally shot editing software. The following is my video. The music used is Denial Revisited by The Offspring.

Task

Our task entailed selecting footage from a number of videos, namely:

  • TN Parkour: First experience with editing & storytelling.
  • Stranger at the Door: Easy but more storytelling elements.
  • Anesthesia: More story(scary) with effects.
  • Unleashed: More challenging with Green Screen, VFX.

I chose to edit TN Parkour. With this video I attempted to create a music video of with cuts at beats, and attempted to tell a story of friends meeting up to do Parkour and ultimately feeling some sense of accomplishment at the end.

Improvisational Acting – Improvised Portraits

During our first session of Improvisational Acting at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center one of our tasks was to work together with a partner. The task was to create improvised portraits, and name them.

The rules to create these portraits was simple. Each person was given a different colored pen, and was allowed to make single strokes one after another. Any hesitation resulted in having to stop drawing, and choose a name. The name was created by taking turns writing a single letter.

The following is what Charlie and I created.

Improvised Portraits

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We very much enjoyed making these memorable characters! Try out this exercise yourself sometime, its loads of fun!