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Reflective Essay, PW: open

This semester I got to work with several types of mediums all associated towards the genre of gaming. I do not know much about the gaming genre when I first started this project. All I knew about gaming, was that it has grown exponentially and recognised over recent years due to online video mediums such as YouTube.

Researching the gaming genre has brought up many interesting finds, such as Non-Player Characters, Walkthrough game videos, Playthrough game videos and Gaming montage to name a few. Reading the readings on narrative and new media I recognised a link between gaming and the concepts of non-narrative, narrative, variability etc. For example, walkthrough game videos have a linear narrative structure to it as they are in a sense a linearisation of video games who are non linear in structure. While montages have a non-narrative form, showcasing parts of interest and compiling it.

After Understanding the genre a little better, my group decided to explore the genre with a medium that was not traditional in the gaming world, Vines.

For Project 1, Steve and I combined our interest together by using Vines to record the gaming genre. The process proved to be more difficult than we thought as in Project 2 when we started experimenting with Vine and throughout the sketching process, we experimented with many variations of how we could go about recording the gaming genre. What I realised from my sketches, was that Vine, had a limitation of six seconds and it loops continuously. In one of my sketches, showed, even though the sketch had a narrative to it, but it was only because of the content of the video, we can’t do a ‘day in a life’ video with games as the narrative in games tends be isolated from or even work against the computer-game.

Feedback from Project 2 was to make our sketches more precise and more related to gaming as what we were doing for our sketches in Project 2 was just about daily activities and our audience could not comprehend the gaming element to it. Therefore, the start of project 3 we decided to stop heading in the direction of Vine videos and explore various types of mediums we could use for our potential prototype. At this point, we knew we wanted the structure of our prototype to short but not as limited as a Vine video. We wanted freedom to build a different type of online gaming video which we eventually came up with Gaming Highlights. What we established a gaming highlight should be was essentially a gaming Vine, but without the limitations of a Vine. We decided to expand on this concept of a gaming highlight across several mediums to try to create something different.

There was an ongoing issue throughout our sketching process was the copyright and classification issue brought up by Seth in regards to taking game footage that we didn’t create. Disclaimers were mentioned briefly in posts in case the issue poses a potential problem, fortunately however, it did not in our sketches and works.

As mentioned in the paragraph above, our concept for Project 3 has switch routes to the gaming highlight form. We explored using multiple mediums such as Vimeo, Youtube, Snapchat and Twitter to see how each platform varied. By the end of Project 3, we realised that just by manipulating the highlight we had a different video, similar to that of a walkthrough game video. What we aimed to achieve was to keep the video form to make it feel like a highlight but not your typical game highlights. Finally what we decided from Project 3 was to expand on this on one of my sketches of using gaming highlights within Twitter to create sort of a ‘gaming highlights feed’. Something like what 555’s example was but for games.

From my sketch we finally moved on to our Project 4 probe known as a gaming highlight.

You can see how much we’ve progress and how our practices had changed. From trying to combine gaming videos with a Vine to creating highlights and incorporating them into a social network to create a real-time collaborative community. Our highlights at this point had become much more distinct as opposed to previous videos and sketches such as this which was made to dawdle compare to our highlights now.

The issues I faced while working on our projects was hardware as I do not have the game nor the software to record them and depended heavily on my group mate on this aspect for example, in the middle of Project 4, Steve and I ran into a problem involving a computer virus which had corrupted all of the footage and was unusable. We were footage-less for a week or so but Steve managed to salvage some stuff and we worked on those we could. Another issue was the process of creating .gifs for the gaming highlights feed, i only had limited footage to work with as I cannot record footage myself and you only can do so much with the same footage without looking like a repetition of each gif. The scaling down issues faced while trying to record .gifs lies in the aspect of trying to compress large file data to only 3mb worth of footage. One way I went about this issue was to find already made gaming gifs and repost them with our hashtag. That it creates awareness for our prototype as well as saving the hassle on trying to scale down.

What i took out from this process was even though we had an idea of what we wanted in mind from the beginning, and because there really isn’t flexibility in gaming videos, we thought we could not work with much. But, with the constant feedback and help from our tutor and peers, we extraordinarily changed our approach. The insight gave us many different alternatives to work with be it through manipulating gaming videos to using different social mediums to create a network.

We’ve come a long way from Project 1 to our prototype and I’m glad we went with what we did for Project 4. Being able to expand the gaming genre and pushing boundaries, ultimately we explored alternative forms of video production and applying an imaginative approach to it.

Project 4 mock presentation, Week 12

After presentation on Friday, Seth suggested that our prototype is more of a collaboration involving different mediums to express the same concept made by different people including us and not so much a networking

As I reflect on the presentations that were done previously and how we struggled to narrow down our sketches, I realise how we have begun to structure them in ways that were both quick and effective. Also, since Seth has given us a different perspective to look at – like captioning, incorporating precise structure etc. The feed back from peers and consulting our tutor really helped us to move forward. Seth’s constructive criticism during allowed us to go deeper into what we have already been working on.

Hopefully we will be able to come up with something that not only better illustrates what we have done over the semester, but also puts out an idea in a practical and critical manner.

Building a community on twitter – Project 4

Expanding on our first idea – by using hashtags within a gif to set a trend. Hashtags have the potential to put your content in front of a wider audience – including people who don’t follow you on social media.  Whether they see the hashtag in a post and click on it, or search the keywords and stumble across the hashtag, they are then presented with all of the posts containing that hashtag. Which met with the concept of ‘suggestions’ – asking the audience of what they want to see, what they want to happen, giving them the freedom to manipulate what they see to an extent.

Through these trials Steve and I found multiple ways of establishing a community through highlights. Like taking in suggestions of what to do by the audience as to establish a highlights reel feed more suitable to showcase for our prototype – where as by trying to set a trend to the community is difficult to show and control as it’ll be all over the ‘twittersphere’– however the hashtags make it easier to group certain aspects of highlights that we may want to share and spread.

Captioning it right- Project 4

I’ve decided to expand on applying the caption option on twitter after getting feedback on our progress on Friday. Using captions to try to work with the .gif files is restricting` because you’re only allowed 140 characters in a tweet which affects the creative process. However, In my opinion this makes me think out of the box to find interesting way to express yourself, especially when we’re trying to establish a gaming community through twitter.

Previously, Steve and I used short simple captions like: ‘oh no’, ‘fuck’ and etc., this was directed towards a specific audience, an audience of gamers who would understand what had happened in the game.  We assumed the captions would only be read by gamers who took an interest in these ideas, but after discussion, we found that if we were to add a more descriptive caption it would be able to be viewed and understood by a wider audience – hence we’ve expanded on this approach of caption in our latest couple tweets – adding as much description as possible so the images and gifs would be easier to understand.

Project 4 concept

So the feedback we got for Project 3 from the panel was to forward with our gaming highlight on twitter but try to be more specific and narrow down what we want to explore exactly. Steve and I decided to go forward with this idea of a ‘gaming highlight’ within a social network such as Twitter – to see if we can build upon this concept to create something different.

After getting more feedback on this concept, we narrowed our idea down for project 4 – the idea of essentially exploring gaming videos through several forms such as .gifs, image, video caption and place them on Twitter.To specify, the title of our work (subject to change) is essentially ‘a gaming highlights vlog/blog’ – we plan on exploring how we can utilise how Twitter  to create a gaming community through usages of different types of highlights and forms in which they may be presented in – e.g. images, gifs, videos, etc.I came up with one idea we can work with that I explored through Twitter by creating a ‘trend’ within the gaming community by using hash tags. This works very much like every other trend however, it’s specifically directed towards the gaming community – allowing for a more concise work and a non-narrative structure.And Steve came up with the second idea which is to focus on actually trying to create a ‘timeline’ of events that were apart of a much longer and larger recording session. This felt more like a ‘mini blog’ of what we were doing in the session – something he could expand on if he focused on much more than just the recording session.

OVE Project 3 – Sketch 5

How does changing the context of a highlight effect it?

For this sketch I’ve selected a highlight of the game and added royalty free music  to it. As you’ve watched, the solemn music changes the concept of the game it longer feel light hearted anymore, the music dampens the whole mood of the game and made it into a very serious video.

Essentially the clip by itself is made to be a funny, joke like video. However, it’s easy to manipulate the mood and context just by adding a song on top of it. Of course it depends on the genre of music, but it is interesting how you can manipulate found footage so much just through the simplest things.

So for this sketch we can further explore how different types of genres of music can be used to ultimately change the context of a gaming video.

OVE Project 3 – Sketch 4

Try making a ‘highlights reel’ using the Vine app, how does the 6 second constraint effect the creative process?

For this sketch I made a relatively quick  highlight reel of the main moment of the game.  Here I am simply exploring what kind of styles are suitable for certain online services. This sketch in particular is short, given the time limit of a Vine.

The space between each scene is left to our imagination to fill up as vine takes two scenes and join them together, that bigger then time gap, the more audience will think about what happened next and then join it all to form a single idea.

In my opinion something like this affects the moments i want to highlight in the game due to the time constraint and i have to cut up the video making it choppy. This way of making a “highlight reel” might be similar to the GIF sketch however, unlike the GIF sketch, it’s not as smooth.

OVE Project 3 – Sketch 3

For this sketch, instead of video, we use gif, which is a type of photo format however it plays about 24 frames per second so runs like a video on an endless loop.

These GIFs are structured like jokes on the internet today, with the barest minimum of set-up e.g.: An old man on a robbing a bank, two dolphins arc graciously from the ocean’s surface—until a clumsy third dolphin arcs directly into the second; a man pushes a stalled van off of train tracks right before a train blasts past.  GIFs get to the point instantaneously, and at the exact moment when one feels the impulse to rewind and watch the climax again, the loop restarts right where it should.

Hence, by having a highlight reel as a GIF, it loses it’s essence after a while, just like how a joke loses it’s punch line if it’s being repeated too many times. On online platforms such as 9GAG, 4chan etc, you can further manipulate the context of the GIF, by the title you give it:

Due to constraints of file size, my gif is not able to be uploaded onto 9gag or 4chan.