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Podcast Reflection: UnderTale

Humor, determination, and violence were some of the themes that were touched upon in discussion with the co-producer, Cherie, and line producer, Wenyi. An all-inclusive approach was involved, because it felt there would be missing elements that would not explain the length and depth of the game. Between producers, the work was placed on google docs. We split the work in half, starting with a rough script and adding more details to explain each point. As producer, I wanted to include ideas of probing and Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter strategies in consideration to the theme of the other podcasts. This led with a lead-in with probing and ending with SuperBetter in order to best connect with the older podcasts and bring in a new theme. In short, the script was conversational, each producer replying and adding a new point to the argument. It was also focused on the mechanics and then branched to larger messages.

The primary goals were to condense the amount of topics created and used in the game and to show a relationship between the design of the game with a larger message both with texts and real-world issues. For example, we explained the mechanics of the game as progression from probing to humor and unconventional knowledge about game mechanics. From unconventionalism, it led to comments about violence, which made commentary about SuperBetter techniques including post-traumatic growth, the self, and bad guys etc. Interweaving all evidence and commentary from the creator Toby Fox, SuperBetter, and the game was the most important in order to encompass all aspects of the game. The only problem that was not touched upon were civil issues; they were vaguely hinted at with violence, but the argument focused more on conflicts between individuals and the results upon the main character. Clearly, it was unrealistic to mention all aspects of the game, but this one category was particularly lacking. There needed to be more evidence outside or an additional theme to interconnect the idea of civil issues such as overcrowded cities to the individual and compassion. However, some challenges were to create a more fluid idea rather than create several separate points and a lack of interviews from Toby Fox, the creator of UnderTale

The podcast overall allowed us to achieve the learning outcomes by having the team communicate and collaborate on ideas; adding onto each others points and conversation through text was the main idea. The team was able to translate a rough draft of points in essay form into a working script, and finally into vocal media. Interviews, texts, and the game were all synthesized to emphasize our message of the medium to teach one to improve their individual qualities. Writing was a process involving an outline of themes, a written script with edited points for both producers, and a final recording/editing. Finally digital citizenship was displayed through credited links of all works used to produce the podcast. Some patterns of creating the podcast was the full explanation of game plot and mechanics in the beginning intro, and the consistent use of music to imply transitions in topics. It is similar to traditional essays in that clear transitions and background information are important to an audience in order to convey a strong argument and flow. The most important skill was the ability to pre-plan and continuously edit a piece of work. It is very easy to fill in the blanks once main points are established and all evidence is gathered. These skills will certainly be used in future pieces, because final drafts are simply rough drafts subject to deadlines.


Assembly Parody

I did my assembly on the plot of Resident Evil 2. Although it is a horror based game, there are a lot of detective aspects and probing which I find to be my way of writing. Also I like the series.

Clever Girl

I decided to recreate my favorite scene from Jurassic Park. The drawing and inking was really fun, but coloring was the toughest. I almost regret putting color down since it looks really rough, but I will keep practicing my coloring skills. Hope you enjoy my illustration!

Doing laundry plus origami tutorial

It’s origami. I had a really fun time, making each little piece, from the drawers to the trousers. Of course, the trousers and drawers combo was the center piece for this side quest. And the pants do fit perfectly into the sliding drawers.

I created and posted my own tutorial down below on how to fold an origami trouser so that you guys can all learn how to extraordinarily fold paper pants during this time. Hopefully, origami will be a nice hobby for you to start with.

A Little Crafter’s Party

My bathroom got turned into a kids’ birthday party all with party favors and arts and crafts! I chose the shark mask, but there are plenty of other cute items to win and plenty of drawing materials from scented markers to waterbased ones to share. Pardon me, but the unicorn ate all the candy we had to spare. Nothing says a little kids birthday than a rustic kitchen mat saying home is the heart of the home, a stuffed mascot, and colorful party bags of pencils and erasers.

A Soloist’s Secret

I made this throw simply to poke fun at the many solo musicians. Have you ever wondered how they could memorize long pieces of music? Well, this is the quick and easy method that many soloists use; clearly, hide the sheet of music near your instrument as you play and dispose of it once no one is looking. Those clamors of genius musicality can only mean one thing right? During this quarantine, I came across this idea after a quick session of violin practice. I also noticed there were not many videos with instruments involved, so I thought it was interesting to play a quick piece. I say this is spectacular in some silly irony. Brahms and Paganini would laugh right about now with this ultra-super technique.

Slime 3D

This is a generic slime character from the video game franchise, Dragon Quest. His name is Rocket Slime, and I loved his design from the series. When it came to 3d printing, I was first inspired by bulbous, stackable characters such as Disney’s Tsum Tsums or those stackable stuffed animals. This slime is stackable with other duplicates of it since it has a hole at the bottom. There were drawn parallels to me that if something was small and plastic, it should be a simplistic character which could be holdable. This design easily rests in my palm. I found other slime models and stackable characters on Thingiverse, but none spoke out to me as almost identical. Painting was the most difficult. I did not have any acrylics, but I found out permanent markers went great on any surface including pcl. Also I added eyelids to this character, because I found the muppet-like eyes to be more endearing than the original slime.

Bookies, Druggies, Dead Babies >> Fiasco Game Reflection

Fiasco offered an experience full of tantalizing objects, needs, and people in the hands of a few dice and an online guidebook. This was a difficult session amongst the five players who played; one was replaced with another player, ultimately changing the social dynamics from the start. The frozen tundra pre-set game changed into a small-town scenario game. Primarily, the game relied on social relations and creativity. Immersion of this roleplaying game similar to Dungeons & Dragons required a re-telling of a story and its characters. Thus, the interactions and acting of the group led to a verbal form of text that followed conventions of writing techniques and referencing outer resources.

The session began with five players in a small town using “Main Street”. Five relationships were in play: bookie/gambler, former spouses, cousins, commissioner/mayor, and drug buddies. I took on the role of a young male office worker unlucky with women and was divorced to an older woman. Will was the former spouse and druggie, Shiela. Zamirah was the cousin and bookie, Z. Some inspiration transpired from Tabletop’s Youtube episode on Fiasco, and I was surprised to find similar relations from a previous session. Act 1 adopted slow build-up due to reorientation of players and scenario: five people in estranged, manipulative relationships try to get rich or get revenge for their fates. Rough drafts were significant in this portion as we would often revise how the story goes when the collaborative effort of the group explores down a narrative path. For example: Nate and Sheila dying from suicide generated and explored two possible endings as a group; discussion chose one. The constraints-the number of dice deciding relationships-led to a focus on relationships between players left and right of themselves. Thus, I found limited interactivity such as my character Nate not meeting Commissioner Jordan till the end of Act 2. The initial setting in Act 1 felt forceful as it occurred under the purpose and audience expectation of creating an under-ground crime hub in a small town with the mystery/tragedy genre.

The story unfolds slowly, starting with my cousin Z and Commissioner Jordan playing bookie and gambler. A mysterious suitcase comes in with drugs and money which from the start involved the mayor and Sheila in the majority of Act 1; all 4 meet up with a personal agenda, strike deals, and double cross others. A secondary narrative was created, because group criticism revealed slow progression due to the writing convention of narrative introduction. I was most active in the secondary where estranged divorcees Nate and Sheila deal with a dead baby, drugs, and an introduction of the mayor potentially having an affair with her. Initial build-up of character was determined at the beginning of the “Set-up”; thus, I went for the pitiful divorcee wanting his ex-spouse back and pulled much of the darker elements as the story transitions from mystery into tragedy. The naivety and pitifulness of Nate gave me a tragic role which supported the group collaboration of tragedy/mystery as Nate gets pulled into the fiasco by Sheila, manipulated by his cousin Z, and killed the mayor in revenge. The group has a habit of pre-determining outcomes in spite of limitations like dice, so I was not surprised by Nate’s eventual insanity. However, the purpose of the game changed due to the constraints. Act 2 invoked a hurriedness to elevate the tragedy; description transformed into acting and improvisation. As an audience member and player, the purpose changed to maximize tragedy for entertainment which required constant discussion in establishing one’s own scene and reference to the guide for endings. I found acting quite immersive with the finale of all 5 characters at a stand-off gun fight while yelling.

Ultimately, the set-up of Fiasco with its stages of “Set-up, Acts, and Aftermath” took on a literary form with our version of a slow introduction, a build-up of exposition through mystery to tragedy, and a twist ending where Nate received the “pretty good” ending, coming out forgiven in society, recovering from mental trauma with a caretaker, living as a hermit. The others included: Mayor Morris died with his grave desecrated (“horrible” end), Shiela locked up in an insane asylum (“savage” end), Z escaped with barely any fortune (not too shabby end), and Commissioner Jordan arrested and wounded (“bitter” end). References during the game session were the online guidebook and Youtube gameplay. The collaboration and editing of scenes after criticism of pacing were important. Given these points, the skills to build a Fiasco game allowed for the complexity of a collaborative and thoroughly explored literary work within the confines of a tabletop game.