Recently in New Media Projects Category
We started off using the tutorials in the book, Flash Journalism, which was a useful guide. One of the examples from the book was of an animated eyeball and another was of a narrated slideshow project. These assignments gave us an opportunity to experiment with the Adobe Flash software and a solid foundation to start more advanced projects.
For my final project, I chose to create an interactive map of Seton Hill University. Before the alpha release (11/20) I had used Adobe Photoshop to create the map, but over November break I discovered Google’s SketchUp program. I used the software to create a new map of SHU with multiple views.
By the time the beta version (12/02) was ready to be viewed, I had recreated my project using the new images. This time there weren’t any errors with the finished product. I tried adding popup photos of the buildings, but the finished product was cluttered and messy. The buildings on campus were just too close together. In the end, I removed the popups in order for the map to be clearer and less overwhelming.
After having my map reviewed by a peer (12/04), I realized that the width of the uploaded map was too narrow and had to increase the size of the Flash document.
- To create the map, I followed the tutorial of "Making an interactive country map" on Flashexplained.com. I just altered the code in order to use my own images and buttons instead of the ones they used to create the map of Croatia. To hear more about the coding, watch my Developer's Commentary Screencast.
- The photos I used were screenshots of a replica of the Seton Hill University campus map, and it was made with the Google SketchUp program. With Google Sketchup, you can make 3D models with ease. It was great software to use and really enhanced the images.
I wanted to learn how to make an interactive map using Adobe Flash since it seemed like a tool that was often used in new media. My goal was to create a map that would show labels for the different buildings on campus and have an option to show which buildings were dorms. I have accomplished all these tasks, and using Google Sketchup I was also able to show a 3D close-up of the University and a reverse view.
I created a new map and several new views over break, so I decided to redo my project from scratch. It’s finished and works without error. I just need to add popup images, which I will save to work on in class tomorrow.
“ this book allows you to start your learning journey in whatever way works best for you.” - xviii, Flash Journalism by Mindy McAdams, part 1.
This book sounds like it will be very flexible. Rarely does a how-to book offer different ways of completing tasks. Flash appears to be very relative to new media journalism and a tool that actual professionals use on a daily basis.
Coding an interactive fiction game can feel like you’re using an alien language until you become accustomed to it. It’s an easy language to learn once you know the rules. And the rules never change - they don’t seem to be circumstantial. I think I like that.
Coding an interactive fiction game helps you develop a language of programming. If you were unaccustomed to computers or using search engines, developing an interactive fiction game is another way to use trial and error with language until you achieve the desired result. I enjoy the aspect of experimentation.
You also have to anticipate the actions of your audience -- the player. This can be difficult because you have to play the game as they would and imagine what actions they would want to take.
It also forces you to focus on the words and the order in which you use them. You must have an attention for detail in order to fix the error messages you encounter. You have to keep trying different methods of coding until you find a way of expressing what you want the player to accomplish.
It’s about molding your writing style into a form the software can understand. We don’t have any classes on technical writing, despite the fact that there seems to be a large job market for it, so I like to think that the basic language used in programming an interactive fiction game is good experience.
I prefer to start by creating the beginning, middle and end. After I flesh out the general plot, I get the directions and rooms mapped out. This can be difficult and I think is the most time-consuming part. It’s also the most important part because if the player cannot move effortlessly move about, they’ll get stuck or quit the game.
After working out the troubleshooting errors, I can spend time filling out the interactive details. This is the process that works best for me.
I am pleased that my game is a finished product. It feels more like an accomplishment.