Type I Error alternatives
Like the project we are creating, the construction of Type I error featured a host of options that we did not pursue because of one reason or another. In this post I’d like to explore some of the forks in the road we encountered and where we might have created.
A comic version.
I was inspired by the Wachowski siblings’ ability to use transmedia and spread their story into every medium they could. The Matrix comics especially appealed to me not just as a comic fan but as a really effective way of telling a story with mood and character etc. but at the readers own pace. Comic readers could go through the story as they wanted, each frame stands as a small chunk in itself. This proved too ambitious for a 8 week project with only two people, neither of whom is an illustrator or graphic designer. My hope is that somebody else might take what we started and continue it in comic form one day.
Investigating both the whistle blower and the journalist’s side of the story.
I really did draw a lot from The Matrix franchise and one of my favourite parts is a segment of ‘The Animatrix’ called ‘The Second Renaissance’. In it you are able to see the war between machine and man from the machine’s perspective. The above picture shows humans replicating a historical execution scene from our history except with a machine instead of a Chinese civilian. This shows the humans as barbaric and serves the justify the machines actions in enslaving them as a means of achieving piece. In our story I wanted to show the story from both the journalist and the whistle blower’s perspectives. By having them as more opposed we could have opened up a wider discourse around the subject matter. Unfortunately time restraints headed this off also. Writing two perspectives doubles the work load and complexity of the project. Maybe if we had had a bigger group we could have had dedicated people writing the scripts or building the Twine doc but that would have brought its own issues of coordination. I think the ideal group size to achieve this would be 5 dedicated individuals. One to write the journalist’s side, one to write the whistle blower’s, another to write the authority’s, One individual just working on the twine and multimedia and the fifth to coordinate the other four. If we revisit this project I’ll aim for that. Having three perspective would allow us to really explore the multifaceted issue of government surveillance properly.
Making the project a much more dense and difficult puzzle to solve.
Initially I simply wanted to present the user with a host of documents and let them work out what on earth was going on by themselves. This would have made it extremely difficult with a gargantuan learning curve. We decided to pursue a more linear, guided path that only hinted at complexity as complete sandbox detective work would have been just that, work. What we have ended up with is something slightly similar to Myst where the player can explore some parts with free agency but eventually they are tunneled towards binary choices. Not ideal but easier to write and certainly much easier to use. Maybe we could make a ‘Type I Error Elite’ one day that gives players almost nothing except the raw data such as ‘Day Z’. But for this iteration we decided to make it an easier experience.