Jerz: New Media Projects (EL405)


Ex 1: Response to Koster

Write a richly linked blog entry, which links to other online material that helps you make the points you want to make about Koster's book.

Permalink | 5 Sep 2006 | Comments (4)

Ex 2 Draft

A playable IF game, ready for peer review.

Watch another team play your game. Without telling them what they are supposed to type, watch what they try to do, and revise the game so that it responds to reasonable actions.

Permalink | 14 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Ex 2 Revision

Revise your game so that it responds to the reasonable things your beta-testers tried to do.

For example, if Lady Thistlecrest is supposed to be offended when the player tries to kiss her, but your beta-tester instead tried to throw a cup of tea on her, you'll need either to refuse to let the player throw things at Lady Thistlecrest, or you'll need to write a new response that describes what Lady Thistlecrest does when you throw something at her, or you'll have to create a generic "offended" response that applies to numerous player actions.

Permalink | 19 Sep 2006 | Comments (5)

Ex 2 Beta Transcripts

Each team member should ask someone who is not in the class to play their game. Print out a transcript of the beta-tester's session with the game, and note how you can improve the game so that players find it more responsive.

While some interative fiction game engines contain the ability to generate a transcript, you won't actually need to do anything fancy. After your player has finished, just copy the text from the game session, and paste it into a word processor file.

Print out that transcript and annotate it -- jot down what you learned, and what you plan to change based on what you learned.

If you're having trouble coding a specific sequence, this would be a good time for you to write out what you want to happen, so that the next time we're in class I can try to help you.

Permalink | 21 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Ex 2 Final

The final version of your IF game.

Permalink | 26 Sep 2006 | Comments (3)

Ex 3 Concept

Form a different team, and bring to class a two-page plan for an arcade game. Consider bat-and-ball, side-scroller, platform jumper, catch-and-avoid, or auto racing games.

Start out simple -- if things go well for you, you can always expand. For a model concept document, see pages 21 and 22 of Darby. You are welcome to reuse graphics that come with The Games Factory 2, find graphics online (plenty of sites give them away fo

Permalink | 5 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Ex 3 Draft

A playable version of your concept, illustrating how the game will become more challenging in later levels.

Permalink | 12 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Ex 3 Revision

A revision of your arcade game. Two or three complete levels, rooms, stages, etc.

Permalink | 19 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Blog Portfolio 1

Agenda items for each assigned reading; your development journal, in which you give regular informal updates (with links and screen shots, where appropriate), and offer support and feedback to your peers.

What is a development journal? Here are some examples of entries that might make up part of a development journal. I'm asking for a detailed, regular development journal for Project 1 and Project 2, but for this portfolio I'd be satisfied with just a few entries.

Submit your portfolio by posting the URL in a comment on this page.

Update: More blogging details added, at Stephen's request.

Because EL405 is more of a studio workshop than a discussion seminar, the most important texts we will encounter in this class are the new media creations that you will be working on. As with any class there are assigned readings, but the contents of a typical "how-to" chapter in Flash Journalism probably won't offer up much intellectual material for debate.


  • The Cover Entry: Post a blog entry that contains links to all the entries that you plan to submit for your portfolio. For the benefit of an outside reader (that is, someone who doesn't know what a blogging portfolio is), introduce each of these links and explain why they are significant. (For example, see "Favorite Blog Entries: Journaling Mode.")
  • The Collection: Your blogging portfolio is supposed to be a collection of your best weblog entries. For the purposes of this class, a "good" blog entry is one that demonstrates your intellectual engagement with the new skills you are developing -- even if you feel those skills are coming slowly and your blog is more of a rant than a list of accomplishments. I will accept a bulleted list of entries, but please write for an audience that does not know or care about your homework requirements. (Thus, no boring titles or links such as "Chapter 4 Blogging.").

    1. Coverage. Ensure that you have blogged something for each of the assigned readings (for a C-level grade, at least brief agenda items for each assigned reading; for a higher grade, demonstrate your intellectual involvement with the assigned readings). If we read more than one chapter from a book, or several short articles, I would accept a single blog entry for the day, as long as that entry addresses common themes that you find in multiple readings. (If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.)
    2. Depth. Some of the "coverage" entries you selected above should also demonstrate your ability to examine a concept in depth. Do some original online research, and link to the precise pages where you got ideas that helped you formulate your ideas. If you prefer to use a library book, quote a passage that you found interesting. Here are a few examples (from a literature class) of a blog entry that goes above and beyond the standard "what I thought about the book" blog entry: Fitting in in the Diamond Age and Forced Reading-- Beloved Character.
    3. Case Study Blog Entry: Choose one of the case studies in Flash Journalism, and write a "richly linked blog entry." (By that, I mean simply a blog entry that uses links, not just as add-ons or throw-aways, but a blog entry in which the links are a deep, integral part of both the structure and the content.)
    4. Interaction. Of the "Coverage" blogs entries included above, some should also demonstrate your ability to use weblogs to interact with your peers. For instance, you might disagree (politely) with something a peer has written; link to and quote from the peer's blog entry, then carefully (and respectfully) explain where you disagree. Rather than hurl accusations in order to make the other person look bad, cheerfully invite the other person to explain their perspective. Quote passages from the texts your peer has cited, or find additional examples that help unveil the truth. (These may or may not include some entries you have already included among your "Depth" entries.)
    5. Discussions. Blogging feels lonely when you aren't getting any comments; you will feel more motivated to blog if you enjoy (and learn from) the comments left by your readers. Your portfolio should include entries (which may or may not overlap with either the "Interaction" or "Depth" entries) that demonstrate that your blog sparked a conversation that furthered your intellectual examination of a literary subject.
    6. Timeliness. A timely blog entry is one that was written early enough that it sparked a good online discussion, before the class discussion. A timely blog entry might also be an extra one written after the class discussion, if it reacts directly to something brought up in class. The blog entries that you write the night before the portfolio is due won't count in this category. And don't try to change the date in your blog entries -- I know that trick! ;)
    7. Xenoblogging. "Xeno" means "foreign" or "guest" so xenoblogging (a term that I coined a little while ago) means the work that you do that helps other people's weblogs. Your portfolio should include three entries (which may or may not overlap with the ones you have already selected for "Coverage") that demonstrate your willingness to contribute selflessly and generously to the online classroom community. Examples of good xenoblogging:
      • The Comment Primo: Be the first to comment on a peer's blog entry; rather than simply say "Nice job!" or "I'm commenting on your blog," launch an intellectual discussion; return to help sustain it.
      • The Comment Grande: Write a long, thoughtful comment in a peer's blog entry. Refer to and post the URLs of other discussions and other blog entries that are related.
      • The Comment Informative: If your peer makes a general, passing reference to something that you know a lot about, post a comment that offers a detailed explanation. (For example, the in the third comment on a recent blog entry about the history and culture of print, Mike Arnzen mentions three books that offer far more information than my post did.)
      • The Link Gracious: If you got an idea for a post by reading something somebody else wrote, give credit where credit is due. (If, in casual conversation, we credited the source of every point we make, we'd get little accomplished. But since a hyperlink is so easy to create, it's not good practice -- or good ethics -- to hide the source of your ideas.) If a good conversation is simmering on someone else's blog -- whether you are heavily involved or not -- post a link to it and invite your own readers to join in.

    8. Wildcard: Include one blog entry on any subject -- related to the course material or not, serious or not -- that you feel will help me evaluate your achievements as a student weblogger.

Permalink | 19 Oct 2006 | Comments (12)

Project 1 Proposal

Based on the skills you have learned so far, how might you create a persuasive game that deals with a Catholic Social Teaching issue?

A brief document, 1-2 pages.

Permalink | 19 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Ex 4

A narrated slide show (Flash Lesson 10) or something else that we agree upon in advance.

Permalink | 26 Oct 2006 | Comments (2)

Project 2 Proposal

Interactive fiction, arcade game, Flash site, or something else? I would welcome a significant expansion of your CST work, but you may choose any subject -- informative, persuasive, entertaining, or some combination.

Permalink | 9 Nov 2006 | Comments (1)

Project 1 Final (rescheduled from Nov 7)

Since I'm cancelling class for the Hocaust conference, I've moved this due date from Nov 7 to Nov 14.

Permalink | 14 Nov 2006 | Comments (1)

Ex 5

After I get a clear sense of what we can realistically accomplish in a few weeks, I'll flesh out this assignment. I'm thinking of asking everyone to personalize a room of a certain standard dimension, including a 3D prop that you designed in Blender. I wi

Permalink | 21 Nov 2006 | Comments (0)

Project 2 Website

Draft of a website that presents your project to the world.

Permalink | 7 Dec 2006 | Comments (0)