Redesigned: Board, Cards, Look & Feel

So, this week I worked on changing the look and feel of my game. While the art is not likely to make it to the commercial version, it is important for easy playability to have a cleaner version.

So far here are the iterations. This is going to be the final version for my class, but is only the fourth generation of changes since original concept. Fun right?

CONCEPT: Character Cards

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CONCEPT ART: Ideation

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First Gen

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2nd Gen

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2nd Gen Card Back

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4th Gen

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4th Gen Back

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If you’ll notice, each girl now has a symbol on the back of her card. These touches are not merely decorative. They are used as physical pieces on the board to determine initiative after rolling (aka, who goes in what order during a conflict.)

In addition, each Rune (which is an actual Norse rune) correlates to the character, and has a meaning that speaks more about who they are, and what they stand for/suffer from. (As this game is still a social commentary)

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PLAYER BOARD:

My issue with the board was functionality. At first it was intended to be a proximity board. Your character can only move on squares that share their color. Then it became more of a map in 2nd Gen, which pointed out level of difficulty in the world as opposed to functioning in any way, finally I came to the last iteration, which basically made the board useful as a dungeon devise.

First Gen

(Players can only move on the square that corresponds to their planet)

board

2nd Gen

(A map of the level of difficulty with players seeking to make it back to the Green planet of Rica from the Red planet of Raa.

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4th Gen: Full completed board

-On-boarding for Reconnaissance, Dungeon Paths, Final Boss Lair.

-Runes for turn based encounter markers, tokens for health counters

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And you can also see that the story booklet and game documentation got an upgrade. We now have a lovely “Five!” Crest, which I collaborated with Anthony Kellaher to design.

INITIAL SKETCHES

THE CREST:

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Terra Cards

1st Gen

planets

Planets Back

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(Since the planets are intended to be hidden, thus making the terra or world selection a bit more exciting. (Unless you wanna cheat and just pick the world you know to be easiest or hardest.)

*******

VILLAINS

Sensua the Succubus (1st villain of Maru, Boss in “The Cycle”)

and Minions

Gen 1

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Gen 3

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Gen 1

“Five!: Journey to the Truth” Poster

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So there you have it folks! That game is looking up! My next iteration is perfect the art using a custom style, and start extending the other worlds of the Sult Galaxy.

UPDATING THE ART, CURRENT SKETCHES:

(Art by Angie Guevara)

My next mission is to redesign the cards with more stylistic art that matches the overall feel of the game, but still harkens to the essence of what I found when doing my precedents and working with the original art of the characters. (That was prefabricated for noncommercial use).

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Update 3/13/2017

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.

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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

 

D4TC: Drone, Prying Eyes, and Big Brothers

Technology has created great advances in surveillance. While jokes about being watched are often used out of humor, it does show that our cavalier attitude towards surveillance is more natural than it used to be. In fact, most people actually expect to be watched or listened to. Some cameras ate visible, like those on our computers that we put a cover over or the red light cameras that make disputing tickets difficult. Others, are more discreet, like the cameras and microphones in our phones or drones that fly thousands of miles above seeking out information and sending it about to whoever flies it.

Calling on Siri, or Ok Google, or any automated system comes at a price none of us really think about. In order to hear our every whim, the microphone of these devices never turns off, and in turn, we are always being listened to.

Our ability to disseminate information faster than ever brings new questions about the ethical and moral components of information sharing. When we see people destroyed by runaway tweets and unearthed indecencies from their teens, our right to privacy is threatened in a way that previous generations have never had to face.

Technology’s growth is not something that can be stopped or should be stopped, and with terrorism and safety scares, surveillance cannot really be diminished, but without laws and boundaries to protect the rights of the people, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the intentions of the inventors, good or bad.

In the Atlantic’s paper, “Eyes over Compton,” we see an entire city being surveilled in a way that benefitted not those citizens whom were at the mercy of violence, but corrupt law officials putting good cops to shame.

This is the future if nothing is done to stop it.

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality.

Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story.”

Mr. McNutt is advocating that this technology be implemented the police system nationwide. Yet this grave invasion of privacy doesn’t seem at all corruptible? Is video footage not once again a speculation of what one point of view can see? Can it not be doctored and twisted in favor of those doing the surveilling, in this case, the departments?

Whoever is DOING the surveillance, automatically has power over the object of surveillance. You can choose what you want to see. It is easily one of the most corruptible pieces of tech we have today.

AND IT ONLY GETS SCARIER.

In Honor Harger’s article, “Drones Eye View” the use of drones in warfare is questioned ethically. There are artists who use their work to show how invasive drones can be, and the technology is frightening.

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Drone strikes, have been known to gun down or bomb areas in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilian casualties included, but I never knew that the laser targeting system that occurs before a drone strike is called, “The Light of God.”

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Where does it end? Is man desirous of that power of being everywhere? That omnipotence that was attributed to God?

For me, privacy is something that needs to be protected at all costs. If a company or individual gets control over your identity, they essentially control you and all of your interactions. Bodies of power could use this as a form of dominance over their citizenry, and they would be unable to fight back for fear of self-preservation. While I do believe some V for Vendetta like coupe will ensue, I think that measures to keep this from happening should be implemented before it does.

-Week 7

Spoke the Thunder: Volume 5, Issue II

Spoke the Thunder-The Wake

ORIGINAL WORK PUBLISHED!

The Wake

With curtains of smoke, the tear blasted song

Rings out, deplorable in vibrant tune,

Hallejulah, to the Almighty One, and

The memories that wax and wane like the

Moon: like a mud puddle that never dries,

Or the sawdust that is never removed

From the floor by your armoire, seen once before.

I am mourning for the sake of mourning,

And for your sake I forsake all sun

But the day does not come, my skin begins

To sizzle under her tar black eyes, that

Cries I am a fraud, divinely punished

Sitting here in somber color, Your box

Steams with wil o whisps, Marlboro, New Port

To think your 3 thousandth poisonous gasp

Sits respirated within me, while you

Lie, guised beneath a curtain of smoke, that

Death cannot part, and tears cannot snuff out.

 

Latest SONG!

It’s a remix with a person called  Humunkulus, but I think my lyrics and voice really give it some flavor. Thinking seriously about starting Youtube channel.

 

https://www.hitrecord.org/records/2692075

Cause I gotta pay for grad school somehow am I right? And I don’t have the athleticism for stripping.

HitRecord

hitrecord

Hi MUSIC LOVERS!

So I started using this music collaboration site called HITRECORD  under the alias Adia Wyhm, to stretch my ability to work with others and provide lyrics, vocals, or poetry to already created pieces.

It’s fun to find an aesthetic that’s not quite your style and making it your own.

Thank you Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

hitrecord3

Please click the hitrecord underlined and check out my music! Feel free to leave comments on the site or on my site. Thanks ^_^

MARVEL: Apocalyptic Fiction as the Unpaid Shrink

So for the last two years I’ve been working on my senior thesis. We were told that we had freedom to choose whatever we wanted, but to assure that whatever we did we loved. Research of any persuasion can be tedious, especially when looking to secondary sources. It is difficult to be original. It is also difficult to write about franchises with entire universes.

The Marvel universe has often claimed bits of my soul during my research, and I can only describe research on Marvel like looking into a black hole. You can find things if you want to, and with the sheer size of it all, your brain starts to melt.

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However, I digress. Somehow I managed to finish my essay. It’s a lengthy darling, but I figured I might as well share the abstract. After I recover from my bouts of insanity, maybe I’ll figure out more on what I could use the essay for.

SO far my heart is set on a panel at NY ComicCon in October. Hard? Yes, impossible? We’ll see.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: Actor Tom Hiddleston speaks onstage at Marvel Studios
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 20: Actor Tom Hiddleston speaks onstage at Marvel Studios “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” during Comic-Con International 2013 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Abstract:

From the DC Universe to Archie Comics, apocalyptic storylines are becoming the norm. Each of these comics has three similar characteristics: Firstly, the world is in a chaotic state, a state that will inevitably destroy it. Secondly, there has been a significant shift in comic world politics and morals, and thirdly, the most beloved characters are picked off in gruesome ways. The apocalypse itself is a Christian construct, bringing to question why Christian ideals have shifted into the comic world. America is a predominantly Christian country so the idea that the religion might unconsciously saturate aspects of our lives is not far-fetched, but why do comics bear the brunt of apocalyptic peril?

The media is full of apocalyptic themes, but most visual media is based off a comic book equivalent. Popular television shows like “The Walking Dead” or movies like “I am Legend” were preceded by comics, and in both cases were adapted into a more palatable version for the screen. This essay will discuss the emerging patterns within post-2000 comics in order to support that apocalyptic fiction fulfills the human need to battle uncertainty. Apocalyptic fiction provides a form of wish fulfillment, a way for humans to control their fear, and to live it through easily identifiable characters. Graphic novels or “sequential art” is perfect for examining humanity because it accesses our emotions in ways that are cannot be copied by other mediums. In order to prove this, the essay is divided into three segments. Firstly addressed will be the construction of graphic novels and its effect on the reader. Secondly addressed will be the reader’s effect on the plot and story of graphic novels in history, then lastly addressed will be specific examples in the Marvel world that reflect the three apocalyptic storylines, and analysis of their content.

Sydney Adams

Apocalyptic Fiction as the Unpaid Shrink, 2015