Artwork #4: Experience

For my art game I decided to create a game that tries to depicts social anxiety by using Minecraft. Weeks before the pitch meeting I was thinking of making an art game about loneliness or anxiety. I planned to use rpg maker to create a game that is largely empty to give players a sense of loneliness. I then give up on the idea and move on to an idea about decisions. This idea is inspired by a song that I was listening to where a line says “Life is multi-ending”. I thought about this line and wanted to create a game that is kind of against what majority art games depicts life. Unlike the an art game that was shown in class, life isn’t just a straight line. The choices we make determines the outcome and ending of our life. I then decided that I would be using Minecraft to create it. The reason is that Minecraft is also used as a adventure map maker by its players. Players can create minigames and map with commands and redstones in creative mode. I was thinking of making a map where the player make choices and collect stuffs. And their ending depends on the stuffs they collected. However, I thought that the game will be too boring even if the core idea is interesting.

So, I finally decided to make a game about social anxiety in the middle of the pitch meeting. I chose this theme because it’s something that I personally struggled with and want to express it. The game will depict how it feel when trying to make a new friend or even tries to talk to new people. The game will give you simple task such as “Talk to a person” and have a difficult task standing between the player and their goal. The difficult tasks will be difficult Minecraft minigames such as parkour and mazes. During these challenges there will be “voices” telling you to give up and discourages the player. This emulates how it feel during or potential social interactions. This function is inspired by the game “Loved” that was shown at the show and tell. If the player decides to give up there is a room at the end of the hallway that the player always have access to. The room is designed to be cozy to be the player’s safe space that people with social anxiety retreat to, usually their home/room. The environment also changes as player progresses through the level. The hallway becomes bigger, brighter and colorful to represent the player’s emotion. The safe room also changes to from dark and cozy to bright and empty as the safe room doesn’t seem necessary anymore. And a change to add on to that idea is the levels will get easier as player progresses through the game. This emulates the sense of courage with each successful attempts.

The game contains 4 different hallways that gets brighter and the final hallway, which is the ending.

The first level is parkour and the player’s first task is to introduce yourself to “Sam”. Sam is a Minecraft dog that is suppose to represent the person that the player is trying to befriend. I chose the first level to be a parkour because it’s one of the hardest minigame in Minecraft, at least to me. However, it has proven to be difficult not only to me during the first play test.

The second level is a dark maze with monster inside it. The monster is named “FEAR” and I made it to be invincible. The task is to talk to Sam more and the player have to get to the end while avoiding the FEARs. I put light up safe area within the dark maze where the player are invisible while being inside it. This was the third level of the game but I thought this is much more difficult than the previous second level. Play tester expresses the same thought and said that this is more difficult because you can’t see the goal.

This is the current third level where previously this was the second. The reason for the change is that it’s easier than the current second level. Also if you’re lucky enough you can easily clear it. The task is to accept Sam’s invitation and the challenge is to reach the goal without being killed by the mob.

This is the final level which is a dropper. Dropper is a classic Minecraft minigame where the player have to thread the needle and fall into the hole. This is the easiest level of the game. The task is to invite Sam out which is something people with social anxiety can only do when they’re confident enough.

The final hallway is the ending where you’re finally close friend with Sam and escape the hallway. This gives a sense of liberation.

Appropriated material: Minecraft by Mojang

Artwork#3: Intervene

For my intervention I decided to have people from Isec and Ryder hall draw some robots. My idea first came up when we were talking about our intervention pitch for next week. I had a mix media art pad that I got for my 2d fundie class. I thought that I can have people draw stuff on it. The first idea that I had is having people from two location draw on the same paper. In the first location I would have people draw something cute and harmless on one side. Then at the other location I’ll cover the drawings on one side and have the people in the other location draw on the other. The prompt for the second group would be “draw things that will defeat the other side”. My idea is that people would draw dangerous and violent stuff that would attack the cute drawings. This is to demonstrate the idea of blindly follow direction. When thinking about the location I recall to when we played with the parachute. When we played the parachute in the common I saw a lot of people and some of them did participated. I thought maybe I can also conduct my intervention there too. During the intervention pitch meeting I had a second version of my idea. Coincidentally, we talked about a woman with a sign that says “draw on me” which is similar to my intervention idea. The second version will still involve two locations but the prompt will be the same for both locations. And the prompt will be vaguely worded to let the audience come up with their own interpretation. This way I can observe how people in two location think different and how the first drawing affects others interpretation. However, it is pointed out that this will heavily depend on the location. After many thought about the locations I decided to held it at Ryder and Isec hall. And the prompt must be relevant to both hall. Isec is more engineering and computer science centric hall. Ryder has more art and media students gather around. So I pull the two theme together and came up with having the people from the two hall draw robots. Students from Isec are familiar with robot and students from Ryder can express their creativity with drawings. My hypothesis before executing my intervention is that Isec students will draw more realistic robot like Roombas. And Ryder students will draw more creative robot like Gundam.

During Friday I decides to execute my intervention after game design. I looked around Ryder hall and noticed that there isn’t that many people, so I decide to go to Isec first. In Isec there were a lot of people studying and sitting around. So I stood outside the entrance where people would come and go. I held up my mix media with the word “Draw a robot of any kind” and marker to let people know that they can draw on it. People who walked by took a look at the pad before continue going. I waited for around 5 minutes standing like an idiot before someone came. It was a girl and she asked if she could draw. I answered yes and then she asked if this for a project and what class. A lot of people also asked this question. The robot that she drew is a conventional robot with boxing head and body and antenna. As time went by more people drew on the pad. In the end all the robot have a similar aesthetic in the form of a conventional robot. I believe that the first robot also influenced the others. The outlier is by a dude who’s with his friends, he drew the robot with the drill and whisk. Next is Ryder where I did it on Tuesday right before class. This time people are more willing to participate and I only have to wait aboutFff two minutes. The first robot is also a conventional robot however it’s more toy-like. It’s also the first time someone used more than one color in their robot. Then someone surprised me by drawing Doraemon which is a robot cat. The result was a lot different type of robots, people even drew laptop, car and claw. The last person participated asked if she could take a picture of the pad. She said that she have a similar project.

There is a lot of interesting result by comparing the two experiences and pictures. Students from Ryder are more likely to participate than Isec. I also noticed that in Isec, women are more willing to participate than men. Meanwhile, in Ryder both men and women have the same chance of participating. Everyone in Isec used only one color for their robot while 2 people used more than one color in Ryder. Ryder also has more unconventional robots, meaning that they think more outside the box. This has been a fun intervention and experiment.



Indie game show and tell: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is an 2d platformer by Yacht Club Games. After a very successful Kickstarter the game was released on 2014 for all platforms. The game is Mega man like where you complete levels and each with unique bosses and collecting power up. Shovel Knight uses 8-bit pixel art to give a retro feeling. Even though the game has a retro graphical style, the game feels fresh and unique. The main mechanic of Shovel Knight have you jump and uses your shovel to bounce on enemies and other stuffs. Each stage is unique and difficult to some degree the bosses is definitely the highlight. There are 8 knights/bosses, a stage before the final boss and the final boss itself. The bosses is difficult initial but with enough practices, they can be defeated without taking damage. An unique mechanic to this game is that you can destroy the checkpoints in each stages. By destroying these checkpoints you essentially make the game more difficult for yourself. If you destroy all of them in a single stage you have to redo the entire stage when you die. I heard of this game for while and I decided to watch a let’s play of it. The let’s play convinced me to get it on my 3DS. By the time I got the game there were 2 DLC already released for free. Each DLC is a full on campaign, essentially you get 3 games for the price of one. Each DLC features one of the bosses as the main protagonist. Each knight plays differently and have different mechanic to make the game feel fresh. I later found out that the DLC was decided by the fans. Yacht Club Game held a voting poll for which 3 bosses to be the playable for the DLC. This fan interaction is one of the reason as to why I love indie games. Another reason that I love indie game it’s its music. Shovel Knight has a high energy and jumpy 8-bit soundtrack. The main composer of Shovel Knight is Jake Kaufman who is also responsible for the soundtrack of another famous indie game: Shantae. 2 music in the game was composed by the composer of Mega man: Manami Matsumi. I have completed the base game with along with both DLC and their new game plus, as well as some challenge mode. Shovel Knight is definitely one of my best game of all time.

Artwork #2: Appropriate – Whack Gacha Card Game

Artwork #2: Appropriate – Whack Gacha Card Game

For Artwork #2 I decided to appropriate multiple different card games into one gacha card game. For those who do not know what a “Gacha” game is, here is a brief explanation and history. A Gacha game usually take form of mobile games. The core game mechanic usually having players using in-game currency to “gamble” for playable character base on luck. Because of this luck based system players can get duplicates and have grind for more in-game currency to draw the character they want. This is similar to loot boxes, however loot boxes usually give skins or items that is not essential to the core gameplay. What gacha differs from loot boxes is that it is the core mechanic and attraction. Many popular gacha game came from Japan as well as the term “Gacha”. The origin of this name came from gachapon machines that could be found all over urban Japan. Gachapon usually requires around 100 to 200 yen to draw a random accessory. The first gacha game is “Dragon Collection” on a Japanese social platform called GREE in 2010. Here’s some popular gacha games: Kantai collection, Girls frontline, Azure lane, Fate grand order, Onmyoji, Fire emblem heroes, Pokémon master and even Hearthstone count as a gacha.

During my planning phase I thought about what object that I appropriate and I thought of the Pokémon Cards that I had at my home. Which lead me to combining multiple different card games into a single card game. You can say this combination of multiple items are inspired by Kurt Schwitters. This use of random cards is like Schwitters’ use of random found objects in his collages. What inspired the gacha part is because of the gacha game that I am currently playing and the realization that Hearthstone is essentially a gacha game. The reason that I chose Pokémon, poker and Uno cards is because those are the most accessible cards to me. Pokémon cards fit perfectly as the central battling monster cards. Uno’s special cards provided interesting mechanic to the game. And the basicness of poker cards allowed it to be easily appropriated. During the development phase I have to think of the varies rule that card games have. Thanks to the already existing rule that came with the cards I just have to simplify it and adapt it into my game. Now for the gacha part, since all gacha game are virtual I have to think of a way to bring it to the physical world. I came up with the idea of assigning each card with a dice combination. In most gacha game there is a tier list where high tier characters have the lowest chance of getting. And as a gacha parody I decided to make the top tier Pokémon to be overpowered and have the lowest chance of getting. During the testing phase with my brother he suggested a extension to one of the mechanic: defending, giving it more purpose to take this action. After testing with him, I realized that this isn’t just appropriation of cards but also mechanic. The game has the mechanic of Pokémon, Yugioh, Uno and gacha games.

The cards

When it’s finally the time to test it in class interesting result appeared. The game is a one on one duel with deck that the player gets through rng. The game was played twice with different people both time and both time one of the player gets exceptionally good pulls, both getting the legendary Pokémon. This made it that in both game one player were up against another player that had good luck. However, the result of the 2 games were different. Through the creation process of this game I have one thing in mind and that is unfairness. In a game of luck like gacha game, people with good luck always had the upper hand. To recreate that feeling I made the best card ridiculously overpowered. The first game ended up as I expected, both players played well but the player with the better luck won. However, in the second game the luckier player lost. I concluded that it’s because the other player have the better strategy. And the second game proved to me that with strategy you can win against luck. You could almost saw the second game as an analogy to some real life situation. Some system are made unfair and people with the better luck generally have a easier time. But with a good “strategy” and hard work you can also succeed.

Game Rule and offering chart
The second games player’s deck

Washing Cycle Score

Washing Cycle

1) Pick up a dirty laundry
2) Wash it until it’s clean
3) Throw it at any surface that would make it dirty and do one of the following
a)Pick up the laundry and repeat step 1-3
b)Leave the laundry

Development and Inspiration

The first iteration of my score is a simple three step instruction. The first step is to “pick up a dirty clothes”. The second step is to simply “wash it clean”. And the third and final step is “throw it in a dirty puddle”. My inspiration for this score came from the scores in Grapefruit. In Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit there is a lot of seemingly pointless and absurd scores and instructions. Scores that stand out to me are Water piece which just simply stated “water”. Another one is where it tells you to hide until everyone forgets about you and die. I wanted to make a score that seem pointless like washing a dirty clothes just to throw it away and make it dirty. During the class discussion people brought up a lot of good points and observation about my score. Such as the score could represent a cycle or breaking of it. And that there is no further instructions after the last step, where it’s up to the person. So I took in those ideas and made the final version of my score. I wanted to give a clear option to the person performing this score. One option will create a cycle and another with break it. I also changed some of the wording to give more freedom to the performer. I changed dirty clothes to dirty laundry so that they can use other things such as socks, pants or even backpack. I changed the dirty puddle part to any surface that would dirtied the laundry. The reason for this change is because during the discussion someone brought up the point of what if the performer couldn’t find a dirty puddle. All these changes would let the performer use any laundry and at anywhere.

My idea behind the score is the idea of redundancy and cycle. Everybody is technically already doing the first three steps in their everyday life. They got dirty laundry and they would wash it. Eventually the clothes gets dirty by touching multiple surfaces and then the cycle repeats again. This is why I made the score vague in terms of time. I did not tell the performer to do the step right after the other. I left out the words such as “then” and “finally” so that each step can be done at any time. Everyone is repeating the 3 step until they chose to leave the laundry. The option at the end is a representation of the option everyone has: an option to stop. But ending a cycle is difficult. For example a bad habit, people can tell you stop but it’s difficult. You’re not gonna stop unless you want it to. Like the dirty laundry why would you throw it away just because a score gave you an option to. Only reason you would want to is you choose it yourself.

Appropriation: Amen Break

Amen Break

The example of appropriation that I chose for the show and tell is the “Amen Break”.
Amen break is the drum solo that was part of the 1969 remix of the gospel song: Amen, brother.
The solo was done by drummer G.C. Coleman and now his work is sampled in over 3000 songs, across
all genre.
The reason that chose this to present is because when we were talking about appropriation I
immediately thought of a video called “The most sampled loop in music history” by Great Big Story on YouTube.
Link to the video
I find this interesting because of the sheer number of songs that sampled this loop.
It’s in so many song that I don’t even realize it. I only start to hear it after doing some research about it.
And another interesting fact about the Amen break is that it inspired the Jungle music genre.