Midterm Portfolio

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The EL405 class has been fully concentrated on three units up until the midpoint of the semester.  

My midterm portfolio is arranged to display what I have been working on for the past two months and what I have learned along the way.  This class is about engaging with a project and facing the difficult situations during the creation process, it is not necessarily about the complexity of the project itself.

Units
1.  Scratch

Scratch
Scratch turned out to be a fun and interesting project for me.  At first, it looked like a children's game or something that I would understand very quickly.  However, Scratch ended up being a lot more complex than I imagined, but not impossible to understand.  I can now say that I have successfully completed a Scratch interactive story game.  I am mostly proud of it because I drew all of my own characters and backgrounds and I developed my own coding.  I felt like I had achieved an entertaining game.  More than that, I know if I had more time I would be able to create an even better game and expand the codes (through trial and error) to give a more adventurous experience for the user.

To help further look into Scratch and the project I created, here are two games that helped me develop my ideas.

1.  A Close Shave - This game helped me because I thought it was adorable and it held my attention for a surprisingly longer time than I thought it would.
2.  Space hunter - This was just another one I chose to play and had no real affect to my game except for it was a "game" and not a "narrative" like a lot of the other Scratch projects.

This game I developed is a way to interact with a computer generated story.  There are no mind boggling trivia questions or areas of difficulty.  It is simply a game to satisfy a user and maybe get them thinking about a game of their own.  The story is friendly and the scenery is exotic and unexpected.  Henry is a puppy that just want to grow up and explore the world (and even further).

Scratch Unit Blog Entries
 
My Scratch Game PUPPY!

Inform 7
Inform 7 was a familiar but refreshing experience for my second time using it.  I developed a game that I was interested in and could keep working on if I wanted to go back to it.  Text games interest me more now than they have in the past because I know how to work them better.  I am most proud of the codes that I found myself in the documentation pages of the Inform 7 project manuel.  I tweaked codes so they would fit my game and they worked.  If something didn't work then I tried a different way around the issue until I could make it work.  I think that is the most important lesson I have learned through any of these units.  The point is to keep trying and learn from your mistakes, not to immediately know everything and create picture perfect material.

Tp help further look into Inform 7 and the project I created, here are three games that helped me develop my ideas.

1.  Shade- We looked at this game together in class and I thought the concept was interesting.  I had no idea there was going to be so much more than just trying to find the tickets.  It was exciting but frustrating, although I think most IF games have to be.  
2.  Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - At first, there wasn't much description.  But I liked how it played like the actual story.  This is where I got the idea to think of a a real event that has happened.  I know this story isn't real, but it based off of a real book.
3.  Broken Legs - I thought this game was hilarious.  I wanted to play a game where you had to be the villain but it was actually kind of tough.  You want to get to the stage and take anyone down who gets in your way.  Obviously I had to laugh at it instead of being repulsed by it.  This game gave me the idea that I would have the player choose to help others or fend for themselves and see what happens.

The genre I chose to do for my game is adventure; obviously.  To me, an adventure game is the most exciting type of IF game.  The setting is in the bottom steerage floor of the Titanic.  You heard me correctly: The Titanic.  The object of the game is to make it out of the bottom floor and up to a lifeboat before the Titanic sinks.
 
 My Inform 7 Project Titanic
 
Inform 7 Unit Blogs Entries

HTML/CSS
This is another unit that is familiar to me, however, I felt like this second time around went more quickly than the first time I used it.  That being said, I also found it easier to use.  Perhaps this is because I am older and wiser, or perhaps it is just because I am paying closer attention to how I am creating my website.

I looked at Dr. Jerz's example website and started to base mine off of the code from that.  Thus far, I have been tweaking the color and links and pictures to make it more my own style.  This website is a portfolio of the work I can do and more information about myself.

The hardest part for me is searching for the codes to use and making the very precise changes that need to be changed for the code to actually work.  It is tedious and difficult but I also understand where it is going and I know I can get there.  I am learning along the way, and sometimes it is worth it to just Google what I need and come up with an answer.  After all, that is why Google exists.

What I am most looking forward to with the HTML/CSS unit is being able to show my family how I have a website that is can be adapted for the iPad and iPod.  I think this unit is entirely useful for any career because these Web Apps are the future.

HTML/CSS Unit Blog Entries

These were three very different units, but similar to the way they made me think and problem solve.  I would want my future employer to see that I have created a project from start to finish.  It might not be the best project in the world and it definitely might need tweaking, but it is something that works and can be useful.  I learned a lot about myself and how I handle situations when I do not know what to do.  There were times I asked my professor, other times I asked a fellow student, and more often than not I found the answers I was looking for by just searching for them.  I am prepared for a career that involves problem solving because I am able to face the challenge.


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