So, for my main uni project this year, I’m creating a site based around a fictional story. Its jolly difficult to write in this style, knowing all the links have to work and the plot has to round off within a set number of options.
This, below, is the bare bones of my story. It won’t look like this in the end… hopefully, but will have a graphic interface, sounds and other interactive elements. You also won’t need to choose numbers, but hopefully will be able to navigate by clicking icons on the page etc.
For now, though, I need to know if the story works. Its like one of those ‘choose your own adventure’ stories from the 90s, but vastly simplified. I’ve read it too many times now to be able to tell if the sections all work, if there are dead ends, if it makes sense… so I thought I’d ask you, my esteemed cyber friends
Any feedback you can offer would be really appreciated! Thanks in advance! (ps the links don’t actually work at the mo, you have to navigate by reading and scrolling to the correct number!)
1) One day, you notice a small gold tin high on a dusty shelf.
-If you want to pick it up, choose 4,
-If not, go to 2.
2) Next to the tin, near the back of the shelf, shrouded by dust and creeping cobwebs, you find an old bronze key.
- If you want to pick up the key, choose 3,
- If you ignore it and keep looking around, choose 16.
3) Remembering the warnings you were given about trying to leave, you hesitate.
-If you decide to try and escape anyway, choose 17,
-If you are too scared, choose 21.
4) The tin feels strangely heavy, and as you shake it, a strange snuffly clicking sound emanates from it.
-If you want to try and open the tin, go to 5,
-If you choose to put it back, go to 9.
5) The lid comes off, with a shower of silver sparks. Shocked, you drop the tin and what looks like an old, folded tarpaulin rolls out.
-If you want to see what it is, choose 6,
-If you think its best to try and put it back, choose 7.
6) As you touch it, the green object starts to unfurl, and you realise it is a creature, scaly with what look like wings and a long beak.
- If you are terrified and try to squash it back into the tin, go to 7,
- If you are intrigued, and want to explore further, choose 11.
7) You try and squash the green scaly creature back into its tin prison, but the physics don’t make any sense… how could something so large have emerged from such a small space?
-If you decide to try and hide from it, go to 8,
-If you decide to try a different tack, and watch it unfurl, choose 10.
8 Your attempts to hide are fruitless, as the shed is small and square and bare, to see what happens next, go to 10.
9) You put the tin back on the high shelf and sit down, dejectedly. Time passes…
-If curiosity gets the better of you, and you decide to look inside, choose 5,
-If not, choose 21.
10) As you watch, the creature splutters shivers and slowly unfurls a pair of magnificent wings. It blinks at you, confused.
-If you’d like to know his name, choose 12,
-If you don’t care for such trivialities, choose 11.
11) You realise it is some form of dinosaur, and stare at it in numb disbelief.
-If your understanding of reality can expand to include such unforeseen events, choose 12,
-If not, go to 21.
12) The creature is a pterosaur, a winged creature from the cretaceous period. It blinks affectionately at you, and you decide to nickname it Hugo.
Suddenly, you have a great idea…maybe Hugo can help you escape from captivity!
-If you think it will work, choose 13,
-If not, and you decide this is all a rather unfortunate trick played on you
by your imagination, choose 15.
13) Patting Hugo on the top of his head, you look around at your options for escape. Considering your options, you feel worried that the noise it would make would draw attention to your hiding place, but it seems to be the only option.
-to direct Hugo to fly at the window, choose 21,
-to direct Hugo to fly at the door, choose 14.
14) There is a huge crash, and Hugo crumples to the floor, dazed. There is, however, a shard of light illuminating the dank shed – Huzzah!
-If you decide the crash will have attracted too much attention, and that
it would be best to stay put for the time being, choose 15,
-If you decide to try and make an escape now, choose 18.
15) Glumly, you sit on the splintered wooden floor eating a mouldy sandwich, negative thoughts about the seeming hopelessness of your situation flood your mind.
-If you decide to give up, choose 21,
-If you think it is worth searching for another way out, choose 16.
16) High on the wall, above the shelf, you notice a small keypad. There are two codes scratched into the wood, beside it, as well as two small pictures – a skull and crossbones, and a key… it seems to suggest that one code will bring freedom and one disaster, which will you choose?
-If you decide to try the first code, go to 21,
-If you go for the second code, go to 18.
17) You put the tarnished, heavy key into the door and try to turn it. It makes a lot of noise, and your heart begins to beat faster, perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea.
-To try the key again, choose 18,
-To put the key back and reassess your options, go to 16.
18) With a loud creaking and splintering sound, the door opens slowly. You see out into a dark garden with high brick walls, it looks deserted, but you can’t be sure.
-To make a run for it, choose 19,
-To close the door again and wait for daylight, choose 21.
19) You start running, and hear someone calling your name, plaintively, from behind. You wonder if they need help.
-If you look behind to see who it is, go to 21,
-If you keep running, go to 20.
20) Leaping over a broken piece of wall, you escape from the garden and run into the night, free of your pursuers. Well done!!
21) Sadly, your decision means the end of your story this time, the bad guys win this one! Click to restart and try again.
Life is fun at the moment. After a minor ‘freak out’ last week about how much uni work I have to do, things seem to have settled down a bit over the weekend and I’ve been enjoying a productive Monday.
I’ve handed in my first bit of work for the year… a 500 word commentary on a Virginia Woolf text. It was a challenge, mainly because I found sticking within the word limit tricky. I can write 500 words on a shopping list or just doodling, so being concise and brief is always a challenge. I’m definitely in the ‘why use one word when sixteen will do’ camp!! Its not due in till Thursday so I’m feeling a bit smug to have handed it in six days early. (Mainly due to aforementioned freak-out).
This morning I’ve been working on my animation for one of my art modules. I’ve never found drawing particularly pleasurable. It feels like I slept through, or didn’t attend most of my school art lessons, (which makes me sad as I’d like to have given it more of a go). I’ve always believed that I can’t draw, so when the module brief this year talked about drawing a cartoon, I started to worry!! One thing I’ve learnt this week, in the process of attempting to draw out some of the backgrounds etc, is that, I’m not particularly good at drawing things just out of my head… I find it hard to visualise exactly how they would look, and things like perspective go out of the window. If I have an image before me, or even on the screen that I can look at and have as a guide, then its fine and I’m actually not too terrible. I actually enjoyed drawing the scenes.
This is my coffee machine
We’re supposed to be animating a joke, and I struggled with this at first, not finding jokes particularly funny. I decided to do a funny situation, however, and at first was going to do a witty repost on my friends’ hapless guide dog and his encounter with a frozen lake. I found it very funny at the time, but my tutor thought that if something like that really happened, it wouldn’t be funny at all (oooops… what does this say about me!). My latest effort involves a pterodactyl that comes alive in a museum, and attempts to fit in to normal life as a commuter in London. I’m not wholly confident about it, but I’m definitely having fun having a go and learning new skills.
I hold in my hands the project briefs for my next year of uni, and I am excited. I love the potential that flows out of this moment. I love it that my mind is already freewheeling with a million different creative ideas, like those pieces of paper are a springboard or a starting piston that gives me the inspiration to run!
-Create a short animation (narrative or abstract and all points in between) that explores the theme of animating a joke.
-Produce a set of five thematically related, printed, image compositions… based around the theme of landscape, space and place.
-Produce an interactive web site for a company, product or service, real or imagined. Students will specify a brief as if it was issued by a client.
I’m not sure how I feel about the animation one, after all jokes often frustrate me with their lack of originality, but over-all I love the brevity of the briefs and therefore the space they give for interpretation and exploration.
Last year we had to make a portrait site about someone, so I turned this city into a person and made the site about her. I love taking a task and doing something unusual with it. I love creating web sites actually, so I’m looking forward to that one.
The issue of landscape is an interesting one. The module outline makes specific reference to the landscape tradition in British art, and there are definitely some excellent modern, abstract works using this as a reference point. Its definitely something I am looking forward to exploring photographically.
Where I am still speechless and instead decide to post a couple of photos:
We decided to build a globe out of chicken wire:
There were a few minor hiccups:
But in the end it looked lovely
80% of the mark for one of my uni subjects is based on two websites which I’ve been working on since the beginning of term. The first was to be a self portrait site, which I completed in December and blogged about here.
The second element had to show development of skills, and had to include some multimedia elements. My first site was quite intense and busy, so I specifically chose to strip it all back and go for a much simpler look and feel with the second.
Our task was to create a portrait site about someone we knew. It could be anyone, or a made up person. I loved the blank-page that the brief afforded, and was soon dreaming up exciting ways to make it more interesting.
In the end, I decided to make my site about this city. It would be a challenge, as it would mean imagining and portraying the city as a person. What would its gender and characteristics be? How could I add depth and story to the site? How could I include aspects of prophetic imagination without making it a cheesy Christian site?
I’m really happy with the final site, which I uploaded today. You can visit it here:
Again, there were a lot of swift learning curves and I can already see stuff I’d like to improve for next time, but I still feel pretty proud of the two sites, and excited that there is a little bit of the digital world that I dreamed up and brought to life.
Today we had to pick our options (preliminarily) for next years uni. One of the options I think I’m going to go for is Digital Imaging…
I’ve never really had any training on photoshop or anything, but I’m beginning to get my head around it a bit more I think. I made this picture today, and though there is much about it I’d want to change, I don’t think its bad for a first attempt.
While I’ve been away I’ve been trying my hand at ring making. These are the bigger ones (check out the starring role from Ophelia the cat in the top right of the photo):
And the smaller ones:
Today dawned bright and sunny but I was squirreled away working on creative projects. First these- cherry and choc chip hot cross buns (which involved the fun challenge of oiling cling film and learning what to do with yeast).
After that I spent a good couple of hours transforming a fabric remnant into a cushion cover. I didn’t excel in my textiles GCSE, but I was rather proud of my sewing efforts today! I love creative days!
One of the beautiful things about having a new church building is that there are lots of walls to fill. Blank, magnolia walls just crying out to be adorned. Metres of void space needing a little something to make the whole place a bit more communicative.
So what else to do but fill them!
I put together this collage recently, using some wonderful photos from http://www.zoriah.net:
I’m not sure it shows up on the photo, but we came back from an away day last week to find that someone had scribbled on the edge of one of the photos ‘thanks for what you do, it doesn’t go unnoticed. This place is a lifesaver.’
I don’t think it’s the place that’s saving lives.
I don’t think it’s us.
But I know that God is here, and I’m excited that others can feel that too.
This is Sad Sack, from the 90′s kids TV show ‘The Raggy Dolls. Now, it isn’t that I have been hiding a major knitting talent under a rather effective bushel, the truth is that a very clever friend of mine knitted him for me. Isn’t he marvellous!!
This, however, is my knitting! And I am very proud of it. Once I learn how to fix dropped stitches all will be well!
I so so enjoyed making Christmas presents this year, that I have to admit to feeling slightly bereft now that the creative urgency has diminished somewhat.
So I’ve been musing over the last couple of days about what my next challenges should be. I’ve come up with two so far; two projects that make me curl my toes with excitement and want to stay up all night perfecting them. They are as follows:
My Nanna was an amazing ‘knitter’, we had some groovy cardigans when we were younger, and I often find myself missing their cabled comfort. Then, this Christmas, I was knitted a lovely red and white toadstool hat by a dear friend, which I have fairly lived in during the frozen days since then. To top it all off, I spent a portion of Boxing Day marvelling at some socks knitted by a creative and inspiring friend. And so the markers have been set. This year I will learn to knit. And I will knit on buses and trains. I will knit at conferences and if I can’t sleep. I will knit in cars and in my kitchen and at church. I am very excited to have my first lesson in knitting this evening!
I blame ‘Ideal Home’ magazine for this one. I was excitedly perusing it during my train journey yesterday, and they have this wondrous section which showcases peoples’ houses and the decorating schemes they have adopted. There was a young boy’s bedroom, and there was bunting hanging across the top of his ceiling. You could order it for a slightly inflated amount of money… but I wasn’t going to do that. The bunting in the feature was a safe red blue and white, but I suddenly had the inspiration to make my own, and to decorate the top of the walls and ceiling in my bedroom with it. I have some teal ribbon to hang the triangles from, and I’m going to make each triangle represent something about my life. Something like a postcard or a picture or a gift tag, or even just some brightly coloured paper or something I have written or a photo.
And I thought that instead of birthday cards etc, I could ask people to make a triangle, that I could add to the bunting. And just build on it through the year(s!). So I have already collected a couple of things to cut down and build into triangles, and I can’t wait to get started!
I will endeavour to post photos as I go!