Our final film, THE JOB, a short horror film starring Paul Kite and Jay Heiselmann. Written and Directed by Matt London, Mark Kleback, Crys Moore, and Luis Palacios.
My midterm for ICM is a conversation game in which the user answers questions provided by a digital person (in this case, me). As the user selects her responses, the digital person’s attitude changes via shifting facial expressions. The more in line the user’s answers are with the digital person’s, the happier the digital person gets, and the less in line they are, the sadder and angrier the digital person gets.
I consider this the third evolution of my Escape the Cavern text game. In the first, I used keystrokes to navigate text strings, simulating rooms. In the second, I was able to utilize the same three keystrokes to move between strings. In this final installment, there are a number of components operating concurrently. I use a global variable that is reset after every question, so that the same keystrokes can be used in each question. I changed what each keystroke did from question to question, which allowed for less predictability. In addition, I use another variable to represent the digital person’s “feeling,” which goes up and down depending on the responses to individual questions.
Here’s a sample game:
The HappySadMaker has over 100 lines of dialogue and five endings.
Click here to play.
My code is below.
Here it is, the first step to our shoe painter.
Whenever I see that trickle of sludge oozing down the center of the subway tracks, I always think that there is something even more germ-ridden in a New York City subway station, the dirtiest in the world. It’s the touchscreen of a Metrocard machine. Can you imagine how many filthy people wipe their dirty fingers on those things every day?
I chose the Metrocard Machine because few devices are so needed and so reviled. When you watch people use a Metrocard machine, you can see the anger on their wrinkled brows. This little HAL9000 takes your money, gives you a flimsy piece of plastic, and assures you that you will get terrible service for your troubles.
Our assignment this week was to work with strings and text to create a program. I decided to make an old-fashioned text adventure game. Here’s the end result:
You have to scroll the black box to the top of the screen, then click on the gray square. This will allow you to input the commands to navigate the cavern.
I sort of felt like I was reinventing the wheel on this one. I developed the navigation structure from scratch. For my midterm, which will incorporate aspects of Escape the Cavern, I might try to turn my rooms from printlns into objects. Hopefully this will allow me to use the same keyStroke commands in each room, rather than having to make each option a unique Keystroke.
It was a lot of fun to watch the class play Escape the Cavern. Chris gave a great dramatic read, and the class was taken when some of my turns of phrase. My personal favorite is the monster’s “arboreal jaws.”
My code for escape the cavern is pasted below the cut.
Quick thoughts on the reading from this week:
Designers face many challenges when conveying the uses of their products to the users. Problems arise when it is difficult for users to interpret the functions of the product. One example used throughout the reading is a phone system that has 12 buttons but 25 functions. It’s nearly impossible to learn how to use the phone system because there is nothing intuitive about the buttons and their functions. In a car, on the other hand, there are over a hundred functions, but the method of activating each function is highly intuitive. For example, to turn a car to the right, turn the steering wheel to the right. Not only does the input mirror the output, but feedback is immediate. This is a valuable principle to follow when designing anything.
Maybe it’s because the recent death of Steve Jobs has put Apple in the public consciousness more than usual lately, but this chapter got me thinking about the difference between Apple packaging and Microsoft packaging.
Funny, right? Now, who is to say that Snow Leopard is superior to Vista? It’s possible that it’s not.
The Emotion and Design article had a lot of resonance with me. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there was a time when scientific instruments were things of great beauty, but that now they all look hideous. My brother argued this point with me in the comments, indicating that he thought his boxy, monochromatic computer tower was beautiful. There is something to be said for using something that is pretty. Moleskine notebooks are more satisfying to use than flimsy spiral notebooks, but why? The spiral’s tearability and disposability make it MORE functional. But the texture of the moleskine cover under your thumb feels good, and the authority the hardcover grants you makes you feel smarter, and more serious as a writer.
When I first conceived of my prismatic spray back in the first week, I never thought it would lead to something as dynamic as this. Check it out! I have mouseClick function that randomizes the color of individual lines, keystroke functions that adjust the direction and color of the spray. I’d say this is pretty cool. I utilized many of the skills we have learned this past month to create something pretty cool. Here’s the link and the code is pasted below the cut.
Presenting… my Stupid Pet Trick! My goal for this assignment was to play with the classical elements to create a puzzle, like something you’d find in The 5th Element or a role-playing game. You have to fill a glass of water to turn on a series of LEDs, and then light a candle, which is detected by a photocell, which lights another series of LEDs and opens the lid of my puzzle box.
I successfully accomplished the task of input, process, output. I feel good with my success. I had to temper my ambitions a little bit, but I just didn’t have the space or time to do everything I wanted to do. I love that the puzzle uses natural, elemental objects to perform computer functions.
I adopted some code from the servo tutorial, my old farmer game, and a photocell tutorial I found online.
Click below for my Arduino code: