So I knew coming in to this course that graphics were my weakness, which makes this assignment a particular challenge for me. But here goes nothing:
Idea 1: In a world of very basic geometric people, your life is very bland until this very exclusive club moves into town. You are faced with the options of continuing your boring life or trying to get past the bouncer and see what’s inside.
Idea 2: Stick figures at a party. You play as a college freshman at his first party, where you discover that consuming alcohol temporarily gives you the ability to read minds. This would be a very dialogue-centered game where your social abilities can propel you to great heights, or perhaps great depths.
Idea 3: Seven minutes in heaven. This would definitely be the most challenging game to do technically, but given my skill set, may be the most viable. Maybe. The only visual is a black screen and a dim light that shines from the other side of the closed door. You are trapped in the dark with someone you can’t see, and you have seven minutes until the game ends. My idea is to have a voice actor read the script and record it, and come up with an interesting enough personal narrative that people will want to play more than once. Another way to develop it could be to develop a string parser and go more along the lines of facade, which could be possible in Python.
The first thing I read this time around was the Experimental AI piece. I appreciated the brief taxonomy of artificial intelligence that it provided, but I was very intrigued by the Terminal Time piece which the author described. I wanted to know more, so I found the Terminal Time website, and I was shocked to see that Terminal Time was a project from 1999. They fit all the narrative, audio, and video footage to be synchronized together on a 32 GB external drive, which I found to be simultaneously impressive and questionable. I was hoping for a more serious algorithmic pairing of events, but the architecture suggested to me that the project was far simpler.
After that, I read Hemmingway’s Hills Like White Elephants. After I started reading it, I felt like I had read it before. After a page and half or so, I was hooked. I finished the article very quickly, and then I was frustrated because I didn’t understand the point. Then I got on the internet and learned about Hemmingway’s “Iceberg Theory”, and how the whole story was about abortion. After gathering the pieces of my blown mind, I learned a lot about how I can use dialogue to transfix my user, even while only subtly mentioning the actual purpose of the conversation.
^^ That’s me. I’m fairly passionate about Orientation, and I definitely took advantage of the opportunity this year to make a beard out of tape. My name is Andy Biar. I’m a junior BCSA major in Computer Science and Music Technology, and my skills are thus:
Programming: Java, Python, C, SML
Music Software: Pro Tools, Reason, GarageBand, SPEAR, Finale
I think games are probably awesome. I have actually had this internal struggle over whether I want to try to get into the industry, so maybe I can help sort that out this semester.
Idea 1: God complex. You directly influence the lives of people as a guardian angel, but you can’t know what’s best for them.
Sample Paragraph: You never awaken, because you have never slept. As a guardian angel, your role basically consists of constant, supernatural watchfulness, and protecting the well-being of your subject. Tommy isn’t too bad, either. He’s a nice kid, tries hard in school, and right now he’s riding his bike back from Algebra tutoring. You see that he is about to hit an overturned trash can as he turns the corner.
Choice: Let it happen, or steer him out of the way (a classic guardian angel moment, but the reality is that if you let him crash he will learn from it and grow, and if you protect him then he will remain in ignorance).
Idea 2: Multiple Perspectives. Without much indication to the reader, this narrative is a collection of witness testimonies in a courtroom, but the crime and punishment are both choices which present themselves to the reader along the way.
Sample Paragraph: I had thought it was just going to be a normal day. I got dressed, went outside, and Ryan was there waiting. His car had broken down earlier that week. We drove to school; Ryan had his window rolled down, and everything was the same as it always was. If only I didn’t think to stop for gas. I would’ve been alright. There were still a few gallons left, but we stopped at the Quickee Mart near my house. Then… then it got bad. I saw a guy drive up to the pumps, but he wasn’t slowing down.
Choice: I shoved Ryan to the ground, or I just stood there, or I ran inside.
The Garden of Forking Paths was an amazing piece of literature, especially given the eight pages it was written on. The narrative of Yu Tsun is periodically and beautifully interrupted by Yu Tsun’s thoughts at the time, perhaps my favorite one being “The night was at once intimate and infinite.” There was something captivating about Albert’s story – the effort that Albert took to solve the problem, the simple idea that most people were mistaken about the book and the labyrinth, perhaps mere curiosity – which had me hooked after the third page. I hope to be able to draw in my readers just as quickly.
Computer Lib/ Dream Machines was an interesting albeit somewhat confusing read. I was confused about whether we had the entire Computer Lib section of the book, as it was only two pages and did not enlighten me much at all about how computers worked as I was expecting. I find the Dream Machines portion to be creepily insightful. Not only does our author predict various future technologies like the internet, he is able to analyze effects and prescribe philosophical approaches to programming for it as well as describing at length features which it should provide, like the Xanadu version control machine which resembles today’s Git. I only wish the author was alive today so that he could predict the next 40 years of computing.