Five: Board Game-Week 3

For this week, I focused on the game play.

To keep it simpler this week, I included a slideshow of what I’ve been working on.

This week I play tested: “Five,” which I am thinking of renaming “Five: Journey of Truth,” with a living breathing audience.

And guess what? It was playable! Hot diggity!

While I have a lot of work to do, a party of five could get through the easiest level within one hour. I play tested three rounds, and got a good set of feedback and video which I will be converting into a small movie about the experience for my documentation.

For now, I’ll fill you in on some of the changes.

A. I inserted the stats of the characters on the backs of the cards, and conceived a boss and minions that were formidable and related to the first world I put the players in, “The World of Maru,” the homeworld of the Character, Jez.

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B. I split the game into three parts: Prologue, Dungeon, Boss. I also recorded how everything works, How to Play, How the Players use their abilities, etc, in some cohesive Game Documentation.

 

C. I made the board useful by making it applicable to the dungeon level. You have to choose a path and battle monsters if you are unsuccessful rolling for a sneak on the tiles.

D. I changed the Story Cards into a Story Booklet, very much like a D&D adventure module except more directed towards understanding the world and the characters. I did this with choices but kept the choices limited to two per encounter. (I sacrificed choice in order to keep the game to about an hour instead of it being a straight up 6 hour campaign with noobs. And the last thing you want is for anyone to feel like a game is above them.)

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E. I figured out the fighting mechanics. Enemies have initiative (aka they always attack first…for now), and then the team will retaliate as a whole, each rolling for above a 3 in order to activate their attack. Some of this led to triumph. Some of it led to very very sad 12 year old boys. Que Sera, sera.

Prototype 3 from Sydney Adams

I’ll add the edited footage later, but for now I’m going to be focusing on tightening up those game mechanics, balancing characters that are UNBALANCED. (Welf got up to 100 HP at one point and Jez is the most likely to die on her own planet where she is supposed to have the advantage. And Mam is a powerhouse, she didn’t drop below 40HP once!)
Want to check out the story I told? I’ll be incorporating the storylines as things that can be read for enjoyment into the main fold. But first I must edit that video and CULL the fat off the fluffy bits and give everything more reason.
In my desire to make the game easy to understand and quick, I took out a bit of the storytelling and did a lot of…TELLING. So I need to fix that. But in its final form, I’m hoping that it can be played with OR without a “Narrator” aka a DM.
And if you have started the journey late, get the story behind why I’m doing what I’m doing! (Other than a love of games)
-La’ers

Five: Board Game-Week 2

For this week, I focused on the aesthetic aspect of the board game. In this instance it’s just the look of the game, and kicking around a few concepts.  Just to remind you, I want to make a board game that allows us to dispel some of the more popular stereotypes surrounding Black women.

No idea what I’m talking about? Check this first.

How you ask? Well obviously the answer is…

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These two board games are highly successful precedents that I’ll be using to organize my thoughts and how I want game play to be. For now, i wanted to get an idea of how to work through this.

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Well, in order to make the concept subtle, I decided that the main characters would be Orc women from the vessel “Five.”

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(There are only four I know, but I was kicking around ideas)

The Five is named such because it can only accommodate five passengers. When the women of the Five leave a planet, they can take no refugees, offer no sanctuary, and no positions. Whatever issues take place on that planet must be resolved then and there.

In addition, each girl is a representative of her planet and they all work together as and intergalactic taskforce for the Galaxy of Sult.

Each has different abilities, and a different outlook based on where they came from.

The colors indicate the planets each character originates from.

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I initially created a board that color coated each character in their role and the goal was that you roll a dice on the board and if you land on your color, you can perform an action. It was intended that all characters could equally move around because I wanted to create some frustration to reinforce the limited mobility Black women feel in these caricatures.

However, I later revised. I want it to be a bit deeper than that.

So I introduced the three cards.

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Instead of a movement style game, I decided I want the players to be able to choose the Boss, Environment, and a Story accompanying each action. I was inspired by Sentinels of Multiverse and how every bands together to defeat a great evil.

At the beginning of the game, the players roll to decide who selects their character first.

THEN. That same player selects a Terra card, which lets you know which planet the adventure will take place. Then there is a story card that will explain how you ended up in that situation. And then you will select the boss card corresponding to that planet to tell you who the big baddy is.

In order to do this, that meant I needed to create some BADASS characters, that compliment each other.

So since this is still aesthetic, here are the concepts for my characters.

The art used is not mine, and was obtained through DeviantArt, Pinterest, and Google Images.Trying to pin down an exact artist has been a bit of challenge, but some of the art is signed, so I will leave it as be. This is after all for a class and not intended for monetary gain. Yet. Should it prove to be lucrative I will find an artist and commission new images. Until then?

THIS IS THE TEAM

 

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Here are their abilities as of late, and their attributes. Keep in mind each is supposed to have a subtle commentary.

Examples:

Sabwa can charge through anything, but it harms her internally  in the long run because losing HP is nothing, losing your attack power permanently? Not a small sacrifice.

Mam can’t attack directly. She can only do it underhandedly through poisoning or help others.

Welf can only suck the health out of the system and in best case direct all the attacks toward herself.

Sapphire can only attack and has no defense capabilities. She’s just an angry missile.

Jez uses her sexuality to make others fight her battles.

Starting to get my drift?

After forming the characters up a bit more, I updated the board.

Artboard 1.png

Sample Set Up:

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So now you can see the corresponding planet, but I’m still thinking about how to actually make the board more than pretty. What is it useful for?

I’ll be working on that.

-Tata!

 

Five: Board Game -Week 1

I am currently embarking on an 8-week journey to create a project that speaks to both my experience, and my design sensibility. With this is in mind I was inspired by my favorite pass-time,

Marvel-Logo

Reading comics!

Specifically, I became super interested in the newest hero, “Ironheart,” who in the Marvel Invincible Iron Man latest installment is supposed to replace Tony Stark with Riri Williams, an African-American, female, super genius. Here are some of the first drawings of her.

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These are pretty cool, until you take into account that she’s supposed to be a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL. These pictures are not appropriate for a character that is a child. They are sexy, and many fans including myself had a problem with it. While the sexualization of female heroes has always been a problem in comics in general, the real issue I have is that this echoes a deep inability for the general public to understand Black women. There appears to be a disconnect with what a Black woman really is. Is she an overweight sassy encouragement with endless advice that saves all the dumb young people around her? Is she a sexy siren that only a true man can satisfy, furthering the idea that a man can prove his worth by satisfying a SISTA? Is she a loud, angry, nag that emasculates the men around her?

It’s hard to decide with the media, and in instances that are intended to dispel these myths, i.e. the super intelligent 15 year old Riri Williams, you still see some of the stereotypes bleed through.

However, because Riri is a CHILD, it is lucky that the populace as a while rejected this, and the newer images are more appropriate.

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However, we then see that her hair texture has been loosened and her skin has been lightened, which is a a shame considering her character’s look is based off of the Disney channel actress, Skai Jackson.

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Even before the she was redrawn, when people discussed possibilities for her casting, these were some of the prominent fantasy picks.

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Oy vey. Why is it so impossible to have a dark skinned black girl who looks like a GIRL, be a super genius? Why can these things not coexist? Why does something have to give in order to make the idea somehow palatable.

It is these things that bleed over that makes me realize that despite the strides we as a people have made to overcome stereotypes, we still have a far way to go, which is why I want to create my game.

Five

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Originally I had planned to make a digital game, but I have a time restraint of 8 weeks to make everything happen.  So the first stage of my work is research, so that I can better understand how to convey my ideas.

SO, HERE IS A LITTLE HISTORY.

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mammy1

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jez1
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welfarequeen

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sbw

 

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Over the next few weeks I will be exploring these concepts more and how to make it into a game that is subtle, but powerful.

Wish me luck!

Research links:

  1. Ferris State University http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/jezebel.htm#
  1. A.V. Club http://www.avclub.com/article/iamos-n-andy-iwas-the-rare-representation-of-black-101275
  1. Alternet.org http://www.alternet.org/truth-behind-strong-black-woman-stereotype
  1. bitechmedia.org https://bitchmedia.org/post/six-annoying-women-character-tropes-in-black-romantic-comedies
  1. racism.org http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1277:aawomen01a&catid=72&Itemid=215

 

Gears

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been subtly OBSESSED with ballets.

One in particular, a less popular ballet called “Coppelia” has always kept my brain ticking.

“Dr. Coppélius is a doctor who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his fiancee, Swanhilda. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor.” – Wikipedia

The old inventor is lonely and wants a companion, so he creates Coppelia with the wish to make her living. He intends on transferring Franz’ soul to the doll, and his fiancee (who had snuck into the inventor’s home to tell Coppelia off for catching Franz’s eye (though she completely ignores him) pretends to be Coppelia to save Franz. In the process she breaks the inventor’s heart who think he’s finally brought his surrogate daughter to life, and runs off to be married.

Personally I never cared for the fickle Franz who would have easily run off with Coppelia if she were real, nor the vindictive Swanhilda who when HER fiancee decides to cheat on her, decides to confront the WOMAN as opposed to..I don’t know, him?

I always felt bad for the inventor and the doll whom would continue to live a life of darkness. And so, when I was given a prompt from a random word generator.

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I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

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With this, I had a week to execute the assignment, and after many clunky frames, managed to come up with something that summarized my idea. In future iterations I’d have smoother animation and more intimacy, but I believe “Love and Gears” has a certain charm.

Enjoy!

Gears from Sydney Adams on Vimeo.

Inner City

An html based text adventure game that explores the minute decisions of a woman in New York City.

Here is the Inner City trailer.

Inner City from Sydney Adams on Vimeo.

Music Credit: “Who Are You” by C2C ft. Olivier Daysoul

(All music rights go to C2C and Olivier Daysoul)

The playable FULL version will be available free by Dec 25th with extended storylines, and likely hosted on Github.

 

Boxes

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For our project we originally thought we would work in Columbus circle.

We soon found that Columbus Circle was not conducive for an interactive environment. We did a few mind-maps to determine what kind of people enjoyed the area, and found they were there for short durations, and mostly were introverted and wanted to be left alone.

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With this information, we relocated to Central Park where we could work more openly with people who wanted to be in the location for relaxation and leisure.

With this in mind, we crafted our Objective statement.

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Our original idea was to create boxes that modified the space, much like a physical AR, however, upon the first prototypes we found that looking out from the box either made the wearer look beyond the picture in the box, or just at them. It could be one or the other, but not both. Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 12.11.56 AM.png

We realized we had to change the boxes so that the focus would either be on the box entirely, or on the outside perspective of the box. With that we each created our own boxes. Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.55.27 PM.png

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My first box used quotes from popular fairytales and left them as excerpts. Once going inside the box, the child or adult(more likely) would be able to know where the phrase came from. This caused a lot of adult to child interaction, as the parents read the story to their children.

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The jellyfish box was intended to be for taller audiences, but I know children love the feel of dangling things, and so created the jellyfish box to be interactive in a way the others boxes were not. The kids were not expected to put their heads in, the adults were, and the children were meant to spin the box or play with the tassels.

Weaknesses:

For the storybook box, if I had more time I could have devoted one box to each story and told a fuller story that was more interactive. Possibly three, and used an abridged but fuller version of each story.

For the jellyfish, it was constantly breaking due to the tape I used and the force the children used. So I would attach it with knots and drilled holes and use ribbon instead of string both for beauty and strength.

We had an initially tough time deciding on our idea, but we realized that we really wanted a tactile experience and when Lucien suggested a cube we each contributed to it in our own way. The toughest part was deciding an idea and managing to compromise with such strong personalities. By giving parameters but otherwise having creative freedom, we allowed each person’s dignity to be respected.

Our project evolved when we realized we could not successfully augment reality due to depth perception without sacrificing details, so we evolved it based on user testing (noticing how the kids reacted) and on how we wanted each box to be used/interpreted.

Documentation was very thorough and we kept a respectful distance which allowed us to not anger the audience.

A successful augmented reality project is more like this one.

http://ny.curbed.com/2016/10/14/13287798/times-square-kaleidoscope-mirror-installation

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“Titled, The Beginning of the End, the sculpture is comprised of three giant mirrors and has been created by Cuban artist Rachel Valdés Camejo. Starting October 18, the interactive installation will be placed at Broadway Plaza between West 46th and 47th Streets.”

It is more successful at augmenting reality in a clever way using mirrors and using depth perception with the user as opposed to conquering it. The idea of this exhibit is to wrap all of Times Square around you.

Another cool idea is replacing tolls with LEDS. I think this is cool because it makes people look at the world differently, much like what we wished to accomplish.

THE ART INSTALLATIONS FOR TOLLS

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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/10/art-installations-to-replace-tollbooths-on-nyc-bridges.html

The light shows will be called The City That Never Sleeps, and here’s a video that shows why:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/10/art-installations-to-replace-tollbooths-on-nyc-bridges.html

I feel both of these are great, and the question I want to know if why they chose such simple things like mirrors and lights to create such an impressive effect. Is simpler better? Then again, with the scale of these projects, is simple a good descriptor? How big does something have to be to change your view? Can it be as small as a box?

Gurlz

Gurlz

Currently I am creating a series called, “Gurlz,” in which I take photographs of my female friendships, and paint over them to evoke a feeling of their personalities and inner strength. I plan to make ten portraits in total.

 

CUNY TV: Shadow Policing 2012

I had poetry in this episode about Treyvon Martin and my feelings after hearing what happened back in 2012. It got lost when I upgraded my website, but I’m putting it back where it belongs. My segment read by a lovely fellow student, starts at 27:53.

Thank you and click the link below!

By Sydney Adams

john jay

CUNY TV!