Monday, August 30, 2010

E. Experience of Experimenting

Overall, all these experiments have shown me a little of why I like what I like, but they haven't really made me want to change my what I want to do this semester. They also haven't made it easier to narrow down which particular topic I want to use. I like both of the topics, but for different reasons. The Rodent Plumbers idea, I like because it's cute, yet completely absurd. It posses the question of "could this happen?" On the other hand, my Animal Planet of Mythical Creatures idea is funny because it couldn't possibly happen. Knowing that, it would be displayed in a way that would make it true, even when it clearly is not.

A made me want to go back to doing something horse-related. While I don't have any ideas thought out for this particular genre, I think doing something with animals would be more than good enough to satisfy myself. The solo play just taught me that I like color and texture. The group play taught me that I can be confident around other people, but only to a point. In relation to my own idea though, I didn't really learn a whole lot more. As a whole I like my original ideas. The only thing I have left is to pick one and to use it.

D. Group Play

My group play experience was with Ashley, Aaron, and Caroline. We played Cranium together. Aaron and Caroline were on one team, and Ashley and I were on the other.

Strangely enough, this was actually a really good game as far as making us put ourselves out there. My team kept getting stuck on a color/event that required us to act out people, things, or hum songs.

We came to the realization that all of us were kind of terrible in several aspects of this game. Still, since we all sort of sucked at it, it ended up being fun.

I learned that I don't mind acting kinda dumb if its in a small group with people that I know. it's when I don't know or trust the people and when the group is larger, that I have issues.

C. Solo Play

My solo play experience turned out to be an odd kind of paper, flower, rock, etc. chandelier...

The quantity part of this experience had to do with just how many things I had hanging down and attached to this one poster board snowflake.

What I had originally thought of doing was going out and getting sculpy. I then remembered that I had a whole box of random materials that I wasn't using for anything. I decided that would be perfect for this project.

It's been a long time since I've actually taken the time to put something together without having a set purpose in what exactly it was going to be beforehand. I had a few instances where I had to solve a few problems... like how to get things to stick onto the paper without falling afterwards.

I don't really believe that this project has anything to do with any of the ideas that I actually want make, or any of the materials that I actually want to work with though.

If I did this exercise again, I might choose a different kind of solution or a different way of going about creating it. Still, I'm not completely unhappy with the overall result. For play, I think this was a fair idea.

As for learning about myself though, I'm not sure I can really say that I did learn much in that area. I can say that
I like pretty things like flowers and clear/colored rocks. Maybe something to explore in the future.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

B. Favorite Games

Favorite Games:

  1. Civilization (board game)
  2. Titan (board game)
  3. Mabinogi (internet game)
  4. Soul Calibur II & III (video game)
  5. Conquer (internet game)
  6. Centipede (PC game)
  7. Sims (PC game)
  8. Black and White (PC game)
  9. Egyptian War (card deck)
  10. Next Generation (card game)
  11. Chip (PC game)
  12. Dark Ages, Snow White, Billy the Kid (PC games)
  13. Pharaoh (PC game)
  14. Zeus (PC game)
  15. 1830 (board game)
  16. Clue (board game)
  17. Twister
  18. Battle Ship
  19. Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition)
  20. Pogs
  21. Mouse Trap (board game)
  22. Centipede (adventure PC version)
As far as connections between the games, there are a great deal of board games and internet or PC games. That probably says something about my family in general. We valued spending time with simple games, but making them complex through interaction and imagination. This interaction is also a trait I value in online games. With PC games it becomes artificial interaction. Also, many of the games have some fantastical element to them... most including mystical creatures and the projecting of character roles. Then there are simple games like pogs, and card games. Perhaps these simple games are where I get some of my random dry humor from. I dislike some games that live too much in reality or show an excessive amount of blood and gore for the hell of it. I just feel it's not necessary in some cases for that sort of thing to be shown. At the same time, I can respect a story that packs a slight punch, as long as it has a purpose.

A. My Play History

In the current day and age, I play computer games or board games on occasion. I will also include reading as play, just because it helps me escape the immediate issues of the world.

Before my brother moved out to go to school, there was a winter Olympic games that took place. He and I watched event after event on TV. So, old enough to know better, but still too young to care, we began to mimic the athletes on the screen. We started with figure skating. Putting socks on, we both walked over to a large patch of wood floor and began to pretend to skate. I don't think my brother ever quite let go of this experience though, as he still has fun "skating" across wood floors, even today.
The next event was skiing. So, we stapled several sheets of paper together to make them sturdy enough to put our feet into, and then we began to ski down the couch (much to my mother's horror, I'm sure). Luge was both of us taking turns, dragging the other around on the floor behind him/her on my quilt. I could never underestimate the power of the imagination again, even if I tried.

Back before that (when I was around nine), my work and play were often integrated into one because I spent several years riding horses. I was trained to think quickly, to react accordingly, and to spend time getting to know the horse I was riding. During the winter, when I hadn't ridden my horse in an extended period of time, I would often put her inside the arena to run, let myself out of the gate, get a bag of carrots and run around the edge of the ring. And so she would chase me until I could run no more. Then when she caught up to me, I would give her a single carrot and begin the process again. This continued until I was completely out of breath, or out of carrots.

As I grew older, I would spend hours, just sitting and talking to my horse while she grazed just a rope's length away. Those became my moments of complete peace. I suppose most would think that to be silly, but I never will.

My most joyful image of play was one Christmas when it snowed on the day and my brother and I got a K'nex roller coaster. He and I spent nearly the entire day putting it together and playing with it, making the car go down the track that we built. It was one of those toys that only worked if you built it right and maintained it. If not, it would fall off the conveyor belt, lose speed in the loop, or derail before it got to the end. But when it did work, that's when it was really fun. Of course, this process of fixing, rebuilding, waiting, and watching kept both of us entertained for probably a day and a half. The chance for it not to work made it all the more fun when it finally did.

As far as I can see, there really aren't a whole lot of connections between this roller coaster and my current work, nor do I actually really want there to be. My brother was more of the roller coaster lover and the builder. That's probably why he became an architect. On the other hand, I probably found the experience fun, not just because it was building a roller coaster, but because I got to do something with him.

If there was ever anything I wish I had back in my life, it would be horseback riding. It was nearly everything of what I was for several years. My horse was my best friend, and the trainers I had were probably as close as family to me. I have never trusted anyone as much as I trusted my first instructor. She was good at incorporating play into the instruction, but careful to emphasize specifics. My worst falls were also under her care. I'm glad for that. She's probably a good reason why I never got seriously injured.

On the other hand, I read a lot. Mythology, fantasy, science fiction... they are all things that I have been interested in since childhood. My dad was probably a big part of this. Since he didn't spend a lot of time playing with me or my brother, he would sometimes read us stories like the Lord of the Rings.

That coupled with the almost cartoonish playfulness of running around feeding my horse carrots, is probably where ideas like the animal planet mythical creatures and the rodent plumbers idea is coming from. They allow me to use animals, myth, and dry/sarcastic humor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Final Brainstorming

The final ideas for this project I'm thinking are going to end up to be Animal Planet of Mythical Creatures and Rodent Plumbers:

Like I said in my last post. This idea originated from a sketch I made in my 2D design class during Freshman year. Never got a chance to use it though.

Plumbers" would consist of
probably several short stories of small animals (not necessarily "rodents") that perform services. Mice who fix the plumbing, birds that babysit, beavers that fight fires, etc.

In these stories, each animal would most likely come in contact with either some part of human society or a person directly at some point. Each animal would be labeled as intelligent in their own task (using materials), and probably have some human-like qualities as well (being able to talk maybe).

The second idea for a project is to use mythical creatures in a sort of animal planet-like approach, like this video of the Komodo Dragon. Though the approach I'm looking for as far as style is more that of the video in relation to the Honey Bees.

As far as the actual content of what types of mythical/magical creatures I would be using. I have access to an Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures which would be a great resource to all types.

What I want to do with this is to make a series of "episodes" where commentary is given in relation to the mythical creature in question. Each creature would be researched heavily and would be reacting to its environment (as well as any human presence & the camera as well) exactly the way it would, based on its own traits, tolerance, etc.

In turn, the camera would have to react to any
motions that this creature would make, and the commentator would have to probably comment on the situation, but would likely continue talking on and on
very calmly...

There would be a variety of mythical creatures--dangerous, cute, large, small. In other words, not all of them will have the same traits, dangers, likes, dislikes, or reactions.

One idea which was pointed out to me was actually to maybe combine the Rodent
project and this Mythical Creatures together somehow. I'm
not totally sure that's the
direction I want to go, but with further suggestions, it could maybe work.

Brain Storming

~Rodent Plumbers – small animals doing specialized tasks -> this originated from a sketch for a project I did in 2D Design my Freshman year. I wasn't able to do the project at the time due to a lack of approval. However, when I dug it back out of my sketch book, I knew this would be a very funny idea.

~Sports that haven’t made it into the Olympics - This was sort of a random thought of sports that haven't made it in to the Olympics and why. Perhaps making fun of that just a little, seeing as how some sports that perhaps shouldn't have made it in, have.

~Tales from Noah’s ark

- This originated from an image I saw on the web. This would be more individual stories told about certain animals or groups of animals... things that would crop up when spending so much time together on a boat.

Fairy tales told in New York style - It's like it says. I'd imagine telling fairy tales in the way that modern New York clothing, style, manner... would be involved. Why New York? Because it's distinctly different in individuality and flavor than the rest of the U.S. This is of course referring to mainly Manhattan (in other words, the rich part mostly) NYC, and not Queens or any other parts of the city.

Where to next – a peak into the future (ridiculous items we would have, what people would evolve into, where we would live)

The woes of being popular in popular culture - a comical look at what its like to have people always following your trends and in your business.

The animal planet of mythical creatures - You know those episodes of National Geographic, Animal Planet, and Nature? What if you got commentary so mono-toned and excitable when you got a first hand look into the mysterious and magical world of mythical creatures? That's basically what this project would be... (pumped full of as much comedy as I can manage).


I think in all, I'd kind of like to do a comedy this time around. in the past I've rather tried to stay away from comedic shorts, but I want to have fun with this class. Also, I found that a great deal of my ideas had to do with animals or people is some way, shape, or form. Not sure what that observations is good for yet, but I will admit, I think I like the animal related ideas the best.