Portal Through Zoom

I have played Portal a couple years ago in my high school when one of my high school dorm parents was generous enough to lend us his Xbox and game CDs. I’m glad George decided to do an episode on this game, because I had fun playing it with my friend for a while. I’m not an expert on the game compare to George, and to be honest, I got a little bit, just a little bit frustrated when I was playing a trial with him to gather information for our podcast seeing him pop out ideas almost instantly after seeing the set of the “maze”, and took me a while to even figure out that this machine cause you to lose this and that, and that block or sphere can do magical things such as this and that. But we soon realized that it’s totally a valid point we could talk about in our podcast when an experienced gamer and a newbie plays cooperate toward the goal, and also a healthy competitive mind set between teammates even we are aiming for the same goal. It is different from my podcast, as we came up with ideas while we are recording for the podcast, instead of having everything planed out, which is a little harder for me, as I do not express arguments very well in English without having them planned out in my head. As a result, there were a ton of repeats and unnecessary conversations that George had to edit out that it was too much for him to edit. So, we gathered some of the valid points and arguments and decided to record again. Now that’s not how we planned to reach our goal, but even it took longer than expected, I personally like it better than mine with everything planned out but just a little improvisation. The biggest technical difficulty might be the sound quality in the recordings, which there’s nothing we could do about it. Overall I felt more confident co-producing for the second time, and thus enjoy the process more. This was definitely a brand experience to record materials through zoom and seeing it being edited into a coherent podcast episode.

Detroit: Become Podcast

Detroit: Become Human is one of my favorite games, it not only has those amazing art design, twisted plots, but also a reflect on a current social question. Not that I realized the deeper meaning behind the game when I was playing it, I was pretty much drawn in the stories and pictures that the game presents, at most I was thinking “wow this is deep!” the few minutes after I finished the game, without knowing what’s deep about it. That made me wanted to make a podcast on it: to stand from a different angle and look at the game objectively. I started off thinking I have to try so hard to come up with a topic that I have to bluff about for ten minutes. And I discussed with David about some of the ideas I have, and soon I realized the harder part was to pick from what I have and how I can confine those into a ten-minute limit. I met with the assistance producer, Jessica twice and finished up a rough draft of what we were going to talk about in this episode. I outlined the main points I wanted to hit, and she was contributing some analysis of the ideas and examples. She came up the brilliant thought that we could interviewing how would a player (George) response in certain situations as we were provided during the game. I thought it turned out great as our audiences would probably pondering the same questions we raise and potentially be more familiar with the game if not already. We did meet technical difficulties; the one button studio would not work for us. We were trying for like an hour to record and run out of the studio to see whether anything was recorded on my USB, and then borrowing another USB from the library and tested it for multiple times. Luckily the media library was still open during weekends and we ended up getting a microphone and we used that to record. The sound quality turned out surprisingly well. The editing after we have finished recording was a lot of fun for me. I am a music major and I enjoy scrolling through the potential background music so much. I actually usually sit there and play random songs and music videos for hours without realizing it. This is something that I have never done in my life, to choose my back soundtrack to fit the bumper and the point I’m talking about. Adjusting the volume and sound effect depending on whether we are going to move to another topic or at the beginning and ending of the episode was also a new experience. I spent around almost four hours cutting out unnecessary conversations, edit the music, and put everything together. I usually get distracted real quick, but I was a hundred percent focused when I was doing the editing, figuring out Audacity. For example, I found out that I cannot edit the sound effect while I’m just pausing, I have to completely stop playing the excerpt in order to edit. I did not find it tedious or tiring. Side note, I didn’t dislike my voice, although I could tell I had accent when I was listening to it again.

Monopoly Game class

Since our class focuses so much on games, I thought it would be fun to incorporate a game into my diagram. Monopoly seemed like a good choice because there are a good amount of elements in the game that I can assign different game piece to what we have covered and learned in this class. Looking back to what we have studied, I was actually surprised. I did not expect we would be able to learn so many skills within one semester including under the influence of a pandemic. Collaboration is something I want to elaborate a little bit here. Usually in regular courses, collaboration just means finishing an assignment together or giving a presentation as a group. That collaboration usually ends up like dividing the work, everyone working on their own, and then put up together a result. In ENG101, the way we collaborate is so drastically different. In board games like Fiasco, we have to change our game plan according to other player’s story and eventually come up a decent ending. Or in mansion of madness, two groups of player are formed after the “haunt has revealed”, within each group of the players the goal is to either chase down or escape from the other group, and we are actively collaborating and talking secretly with the other player on your team. There are many other examples like creating a podcast or home-tasking that you collaborate with people outside of the class. These collaborations in my mind are enjoyable and everyone is contributing to a common goal, and are not heavily depended on one person in the team. From my perspective, these collaborations are enjoyable and make me feel accomplished. I wish I’ll have more chance of these type of collaboration in my future courses.

Spirit

Like most of people do, I have a favorite childhood movie that I would sit by the television and watch it again and again. This might not be a super famous scene, but it’s the movie that I really wanted to incorporate in this side quest. I also learned to make an animated short video, which makes me admire those artists who draw for cartoons. My video has about three seconds, which has a repeat of three times, and that one second, took me an hour to draw. Not to mention that my art work is no where compare to theirs. But it was fun to do, I got to revisit my childhood favorite movie, and also learned a new goal!

“Most Extraordinary Thing”

I hope my embedded video works!

I love that fact that inspirations just come out of no where, randomly. What is the most “extraordinary thing” in the world? To me, it’s time.

I always wanted to do a time-lapse video of a corner of a street or out in the woods. I couldn’t position my camera from the same spot every time I take the picture, so it isn’t an ideal time lapse video. But I think it makes the point. Plus it was fun taking a picture once an hour, which made me realized how an hour can be so short or long depends on what I have been doing over the hour.

World-class Badminton Fetcher

I had a great idea that even I am not able to accomplish it, I want to include it in my post: Wear all of my ski gears lying on my side on the floor and have a white bed sheets under my skies on the floor to mimic the skiing track, only if I have my ski gears with me.

So this is another plan I came up, including elements from the kitchen, a pan! I thought about using a tennis, but considering the amount of fragile kitchenware we have, I went to badminton that could cause a lower damage. And of course my old friend the cat who wasn’t invited intentionally.

Natural camouflage, maybe?

So I did spent a good amount of time considering how can I camouflage myself, I looked around for what I have for such days but could not find a good inspiration. And then I recall that when I was living in a dorm both in high school and my 3/4 college freshman year, I would always pick the top of a bunkbed, and whenever I’m in my bed watching Netflix or doing work, people would have a hard time finding me. I would have friends came in and thought no one was in the room and left. I thought the definition of a camouflage is when someone or something is right in front of you but you can’t tell where it is, and this is me whenever people cannot find me! It would be a lot better effect if I am actually on the top of the bunker bed and you will see what I mean.

Film Concert in a Bathroom

Here is my video link:

So… since I live in someone else’s house for now, it is probably not polite for me to mess with their bathroom, but luckily I live with Ruohan who has the same task as me, so we decided to do it together! The titanic music inspiration is from a youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KolfEhV-KiA) which made us laugh so hard, and we were going to mimic the video, but I guess it’s actually hard to play badly on purpose, especially both of us are new to our instruments (Ruohan hasn’t played her flute for years). Then we thought because the music comes from an actual movie, it would be really cool to do a film concert. I would totally spend a night in a film concert: it’s probably one of my favorite forms of live performance. We learned the music (and instruments) in one night, and did the “performance”, which I thought was pretty amazing. Ruohan’s cousin’s acting dumb also add a good laughing point to the video. Also shout out to Ruohan’s mom who filmed the whole video!

I hope you enjoy it.

When the cat is actually cooperating

This is Mika, Ruohan’s cat, who enjoys knocking thing off the table when bored. So I immediately thought of throwing a piece of paper on the table to let her push it off the table and into a bin when David mentioned this quest in the online lecture. In one try, I accidentally throw the paper too far away from the table, and she still managed to get it into the bin, and of course I was not recording during that time. But I thought it’s more interesting this way, and it took me many more take to get another successful shoot.

20-Sided Dice from 2nd B.C

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/551072

I chose to print this die based on an actual die from Ptolemaic Period–Roman Period, around 2nd century B.C.–4th century A.D. collected in the MET museum. It was said that the simple letters on the die might relate to divination: a Greek oracle book composed in in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. refers to throwing lots to obtain a number that would, through certain algorithms, lead to ready-prepared oracle questions and responses. I thought this was really interesting: 20-sided die wasn’t invented by Gary Gygax. Google is wrong! (Well, I guess Gygax invented the concept of using it in games, but not the actual object). It would be a good game piece, as it generates tons of randomness and produce a lot more possibilities in games. There wasn’t too much difficulty for me,  but I did spent some good chunk of time scrolling through the websites. I actually enjoyed the “scrolling through website” process, because some of them are really creative and well-designed. Now I just need to color it , not sure how I’ll do it yet. If I have a second chance, I would definitely choose the other material that David used in his post, those ones look a lot more delicate.