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September 13, 2010

Got an itch? Scratch it.

So after only being back to school for a little less than a month, I have already made my first "new media project." Which I must admit is pretty exciting, especially considering that if you asked me on August 13th what Scratch is, I wouldn't know what you were talking about. Overall, I have to say that this course is shaping up to be very interesting and exciting and although I know for a fact that knowing how to make a project in Scratch or in Inform 7 (which is what we will be working on next) isn't going to get me hired at a leading PR company like I one day hope to be, but being able to maximize my level of patience along with knowing how to do some simple, on my feet, problem solving to get a project done is always going to be useful, in any kind of job setting.

When we first started this process, I really wanted to do something more along the lines of a story, rather than an adventure type of Scratch project since I knew that the Inform 7 project would have to be more of an adventure/game type of thing. So even though I knew ahead of time that the content would be different for both of them, I also wanted the process to be different just so I could test my limits (so to speak) and try to make completely different projects, so I looked into the more narrative Scratch projects as inspiration. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I really liked and researched a project made by Nightfire and actually downloaded the project to learn the coding he did to be able to put that into my project as well, which worked out decently, but after reviewing how he made the characters flash from one to the next, I realized that I didn't think that same idea would work for the project I had in mind, so I modified what he did to fit what I needed.

My project, as mentioned before is about the Behold the Griffin campaign that the Seton Hill Institutional Advancement Center is holding to get more attention around our school's mascot, since at the end of the spring 2010 semester, William and Mary, another small college, located in Virginia, changed their mascot to the Griffin...just like Seton Hill, only (as a biased opinion of course) not as good looking as our griffin. So in the Scratch project that I made, you'll see a little bit of that biased opinion...but it's all for the campaign and clearly my love for Seton Hill.

After my usability testing, I was told a few basic things. First was that the title screen changes too quickly to be able to read everything, which sometimes messes up the rest of the look for the project. Second, one (out of three) of my testers said that the screens that describe the Griffin move to quickly as well, but she was also my eldest and least experience tester, so if I decide to continue with this project and make it into my final project, I will have to do more tests to see if that is a real problem for the entire work, or if it's just because of the age of the user and amount of time that target group has devoted to a computer screen during their lifetime. Also, while the project always worked smoothly (and how I imagined it would) inside the Scratch project page, the same is not always true for the actual page on the Scratch website. Sometimes it starts without being told and sometimes it skips a vital part of the interactive section where the user is supposed to type in a word to move to the next screen, so again, that is something that will need to be fixed if I decide to work with this project further for my final project for the course.

Overall, I'm pleased with this project and was glad that I was able to download the project that Nightfire made, because without that it probably would have taken me a lot longer to bring this project to life.

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