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Game Design Proposal

My two favorite types of games are FPS’s and MOBA’s. I wanted to combine some of the fun mechanics from each of these genres, and of course….add zombies. 

Overview: A multi-dimensional zombie bloodbath. This game will primarily follow the MOBA game structure, combined with the vantage point and intensity of a FPS. Players will have the ability to switch from first person, over the shoulder, and third person to view the environment. Increasingly difficult hordes of zombies will make their way towards the fresh edible scent of your character. 

This game lets you choose from 1 of 5 characters, in a cooperative game type, where survivors must band together and utilize separate skill sets to gruesomely eradicate the undead hordes. There is no salvation, no military bases, no rescue team. Just your group, and the great unknown. The only option left is to make a stand. The ultimate goals of this game are economy and survival. Zombie frags acquire you experience, and sometimes interesting loot, while your own reflexes determine your survival. Unique objectives yield game leverage as well as additional resources. Make your way through varying terrain, towards the great unknown. 

  • Select and customize 1 of 5 unique and exciting heroes
  • Search and secure buildings of your choice
  • Quietly pick off stragglers, or viciously mark your path of brutality
  • Utilize natural environmental formations to your advantage
  • Level up unique skills that compliment your play style 



The Guaranteed 10

The cyberspace section we covered was very interesting to me. The idea of “here” and “there” of cyberspace creates some interesting discussion. Much of this topic can be related to gaming, which is something I easily identify with. By doing the number of projects we did, I have really began to understand what “affordances” of media really means. When I took the Media Theory and Practice class, it was a little fuzzy to me still. But after this semester, those ideas were actually reinforced very well. What’s interesting is that, apparently, I should have taken THIS class first-THEN Media Theory. But it worked in my favor the other way around, I was able to have a heads up on the discussions and I was able to reinforce and apply what I had learned the previous semester. 

I took great interest in the number of data visualizations our class came up with. I think it’s an essential field to graphic design, and I would like to work more with it in the future when I have the time to really learn some of the visualization tools. It’s a little difficult to just put everything together in one of the programs featured in the Adobe Suite. Many of the tools I examined for that project seemed to be very intricate and required some outside knowledge, but I can appreciate how powerful they are. These were the two areas that stuck out to me the most this semester.

Hail Professor Nunes! Wooo!

The Importance of Gaming

I think games are essential in developing coordination and mental strength. For me, I am largely a FPS (first person shooter) player. FPS players largely rely on fluid reaction to a number of different things in a given environment. Developing and honing these reactions in a video game does transcend into reality. Don’t you hate being blinded by high beams at night? Don’t you wish their reactions would have been better? What about spotting wildlife crossing the road at night? “Hardcore” gamers are trained to notice the slightest difference in an environment and react upon that occurrence. I believe that people who partake in a range of video games can generate a number of solutions to an issue in a relatively quick manner. 

The mental game has so much to do with gaming. Sometimes the best way to beat your opponent is to get into their head. Many times you are not able to take a boss or another player head on, so you have to strategize and develop alternative methods. Video games help to develop your mental capacity in terms of problem solving, strategy, and reaction time. There are a number of uses for these skills in reality, as well as virtual reality. Some games teach us organization, some teach us timing, some strategy, and some nothing at all. But it is important to recognize that video games help condition us in ways that reality cannot always provide (also, without much consequence). 

Glitch Art example

I would argue that this would be considered a work of art in both the way it’s framed and acted out. The wavering, distorted, human forms reflect the delicate steps of ballet. The way this shot is set up-lighting, props, actors-we know that we are to appreciate this as art. This most likely falls under the category of performance art-where the subjects are interacting with each other. The repetitive visual effect we see is obviously a glitch, as that is not a natural occurrence. It would appear that the frame rate has been slowed down to better accentuate the mood and music of the performance. I feel that this is a pretty solid example of how glitches can be used in an artistic sense-it’s not all about grainy filters and distortion. This glitch actually embodies a delicate wavering human form-much like ballet itself.

Le Research Project

Okay so I have had my fill of projects for this semester. I have decided that I would like to write a research paper instead. The subject of typography has become increasingly interesting to me over the past couple semesters but I still have a lot to learn about it. I would like to revisit some of the traditional features of typography, but also explore its use in today’s forms of art. I would like to focus on this topic because it has been only touched on in a few of my classes, and I feel like I could greatly benefit from this sort of research. Often, color is also a strong point of emphasis for typography. I would like to highlight the collaboration between these two elements of design.

Something else that I was considering was the roles of gender in the media. I feel like we as viewers tend to see the same characters played out in a number of different films/shows. Could it be because the same companies own the means of production? I would like to call attention to the chain of command in regards to media.  I find it interesting how diversity is still thrown at us. Genders play a role in that as well. Do we still need to be so obviously reminded of this concept? In relation to this idea I would also like to discuss the affordances that film and tv have over things like personalities on the radio.

Watchful Habits

I enjoy the experience you get going to see a highly anticipated movie in the theater. In reality, it’s probably not the most magical place to really enhance that experience. I mean you’ve got little kids asking their parents questions about everything they see, the group of high school kids out past curfew, and then of course everyone’s cell phones. And don’t forget about that puddle of sticky-whatever that you just stepped in getting to your seat. How many times have I gone to a movie where a phone has rang or I’m constantly blinded by the displays of those phones as people “discreetly” text? I honestly don’t know, too many. 

For that reason, I always prefer to watch things in the comfort of my own home. My girlfriend and I watch a lot of different things. Well, she falls asleep and I watch them all the way through (unless it’s something out of my interest). I have the luxury of DVR now (sorry I’m so late), so I’m able to record things when I may not have time to watch them during the week and catch up with them at a later time. Also, Netflix is still very satisfying for me. Between my PC and my living room, I have two TV’s. One of these I also use as a monitor for my computer. Netflix is primarily viewed from my PC while everything else is viewed from my new couches in my living room! 

During the week I watch a lot of things on my own. While I’m working on homework or just bored, I’ll usually have something running the background like Parks and Rec or It’s Always Sunny. I like to pay attention to the shows when I can because they’re super funny, but I can’t always be watching their every move. It seems to me that public venues for viewing this material just end up being annoying to me. People aren’t raised the same as you, or parents just don’t have control of their kids, etc… Sure it’s not always a horrible scenario, but the more popular the show you go see, the more candidates you get. 

Data Visualization

I found a visualization project that captures the “to and from” routes that bicycle riders use in Washington D.C. I wouldn’t say that this functions as a New Media Art object, but it still functions as visual communication. This kind of study would not exist without the presence of these “ritual cults”. Communities of travelers that prefer to use bicycles as their main method of transportation. Whether that be a messenger or someone who really cares about their carbon footprint. In fact, the visualization of this data reminds me of the post roads from the early 1600’s that we’ve discussed in class. The activity has increased enough to the point where some of the “hubs” are very close together. The redundancy of this visualization helps to build meaning for the graphic, but is it not exactly information rich. For example: from Route A to Route B, there could be as many as 2,000+ trips/year (as shown in the description). What is nice is that there is not a large degree of error or noise in this visualization. The text helps anchor the meaning of the visualization, but does nothing to take away from this project’s essence. Having not used any specific design style, I can’t really make a good argument for why this could be considered art. But even still, I can appreciate this for what it is – data representation that still communicates in a semiotic fashion.

The Public Sphere

The internet occupies a large amount of our idea of the public sphere. The type of public sphere that Habermas suggests would promote the exchange of intellectual views and knowledge. In some online communities, I’m sure this does exist. However, in many online gaming communities you simply will not find this.

League of Legends is a free-to-play Action-RTS (real time strategy) game. It exists online and has several dedicated communities. In recent months, the game has gained an insane amount of popularity and the number of users has skyrocketed. So much that they had to update a Tribunal (punishment) system to regulate some of the harsher interaction between users. What is interesting is that this Tribunal is also user run, and rewards players if they play a part in the banning/pardoning of a given user. This public sphere of discourse that supposedly exists has deteriorated to an irreversible point of immaturity in many online gaming communities. This Tribunal system is overrun with childish grieving, racism, and many forms of verbal harassment. It is very common across many different platforms for communities of popular games to have this type of cancerous user base. For this reason, it is actually agreeable to have things like the Tribunal put in place to limit a degree of this “participation”. The fact that this game is free to the public, means that the chances of running in to these types of people are higher than normal. The reason you see this type of behavior more in video game communities is because it’s very easy for people to get frustrated with each other’s performance. Sure, there is a very small community within this gaming public sphere that is actually there to offer help, but they are buried by senseless chatter.

The public sphere described by Habermas seems that it can only exist in high culture or a professional setting. When people are online playing a game, interacting in that public sphere, they are typically not interested in the exchange of intellectual conversation.

ChromaTweet – New Media Example

Hey everyone!

For my first post I wanted to find some interesting form of New Media Art. Through searching, I found one simple but effective work. It is called ChromaTweet and it was created by artist Aleksandar Maćašev. Basically, he was looking for a new way to communicate more effectively as opposed to using the constant character-limited tweets. His goal was to be able to communicate a variety of things through one single color. Every day.  The only rules he has given himself is that he can not use White or Black. So far he has been doing it every day since April 1st, 2009, and he is not even close to stopping.

“I decided to use hexadecimal color values, because I can use the same color for both screen and print and it’s cross-platform friendly. There’s 16 million color tones to choose from. (Which could be around 44.000 years worth of ChromaTweets without repeating the same color value twice).” – Source: Aleksandar Maćašev

Well, it turns out that he would need this to be cross-platform friendly because they used and printed  his idea in the “Dumbo Arts Festival” in New York. His posts added up to a 300ft long outdoor print that you can see here.

So what makes this New Media Art? Well, he is utilizing an immensely populated social networking tool to stimulate people’s minds. He is also diving very deep into Color Theory, which is a surprisingly complex field to the unknowing person, and a field that we must study as Media Artists. The way that this work really calls attention to itself is not by viewing them as single posts, but as an archive overall. When you are able to look back on past posts and experience the different moods evoked by his color choice, it starts to take it’s hold of you. I believe this to be a strong example that challenges the typical mediums of artwork, as he continues to use Twitter as his primary artistic platform.  This originates in a digital platform, but Aleksandar has allowed himself the creative opportunity to expand beyond that into a much more physical representation as well.

So why do I view this as art? It cannot be answered in one sentence, much like that of the question “what do we consider art?” This is not a project that you take at face-value. The experience is not over when you observe a color that you associate with a mood. What was the saturation/tint of the color? Can one color convey multiple feelings? This art work largely relies on our visual reception, so we are the ones that are making meaning out of the work in the end. His role as the artist in this is to stimulate your mind and get to you wonder why he didn’t go darker or lighter with a color, or what this slightly different shade of this previous color signifies.

The guaranteed 10

Media Theory & Practice has been a very informative class that I have enjoyed since day 1. This is the kind of class that begins to build your foundation of deeply understanding media and it’s various tools/strategies. I think that in order to understand the contemporary status of media arts, it’s important to note the past theories first. Many of these theories are still very much relevant to our digital culture.

Some of the lasting ideas that I learned from this class:

  • the deceptive tactics of corporate control over mass media, how many realistic looking news productions are in fact Video News Releases (VNR’s)
  • the idea that our body’s play a vital role as the enframer and interpreter of information in terms of media art. (Hansen was one of the most interesting reads in the class, to me)
  • remediation (if done correctly) can be a very fun and effective method of production
  • the powerful message(s) of the cell phone (Rafael’s piece) and it’s ability to reach beyond physical location as a communicative multimedia tool

This class has been extremely valuable to me, and will continue to be in the future. It has provided me with a lot of legitimate arguments and reasoning, in addition to helping me understand the way media works for us today. Examples like F.A.T. Lab provided me with a strong interest and motivation to continue to grow and learn from contemporary groups such as these. It also really helped to have a professor that was very involved in media theory and practice, as well as having a pretty good sense of humor! I have a feeling I will be coming back to reference some of the theorists and theories we have covered.