Narrative

The narrative of this project started off as a story about a couple and their journey of falling in and out of love. The purpose of having this narrative is to show the contrast between the two scenes. But after our user test on 13 Jan, the feedback I received on the narrative is that the impact isn’t strong enough. So, I refined the narrative and gave it an extra element which is adding in 2 more groups of characters which showcases their lives behind the scenes.

The inspiration for this came from the realization that everyone has a story, and that every single passerby is living a life that is worth sharing. So instead of showcasing the contrast of one story, I decided to do 3 main groups of characters.

1

W8: change in execution method

To be frank, I have been struggling with the tech part of my project for the longest time. Due to the complications with cross-platform technology such as Node.js, it was a real challenge for me to overcome. I didn’t want to waste my time any further as I’m already in week 8; with only about a month left to submission. I had to make a decision.

I decided to take away the mobile input of the project and just stick with the web execution method. Meaning, whatever interactions will only happen on the screen. This way, I can focus more on the visuals of the project and not get too caught up figuring out the technical errors that are constantly occurring.

This change in execution method slightly affects the perspective of the whole project direction in general. But the foundation still remains – to allow users to experience a story from various perspective, which grew from the roots of remix and exquisite corpse.

I truly hope that in the span of 1 month, I’ll be able to perfect this project and provide a well-finished interactive music video that is able to touch my viewers emotionally.

We’re almost there!

Tech research + more refinements

After looking at multiple ways to execute this multiplayer project using Socket.io and Node.js, I’ve learnt that it would be easier for both players to be looking at the same graphics appearing on screen rather than having commands like “pick a route” while the other player waits. It avoids confusion for the other player waiting for their friend to “make a decision”. So here are some further adjustments I’ve made in order to fit with a more realistic execution plan:

  1. Both players will be looking at the same screen.
  2. They will use their phones to control the graphics appearing on screen. (eg. colors, scenery, actions).
  3. The visuals remain as a split screen so they can see how the “exquisite corpse” method forms when two players pick different scenes.

IF only one player is connected to the server, then he/she is only able to switch the scenes for the first panel:

plan1

Pretty much like what we see in Jeff Buckley’s interactive music video, but instead of clicking on the panels, users will be using their phones to switch scenes in the panels. This allows them to see the different scenarios that could happen at one place such as the image below:

rs-233850-Jeff-Buckley-Just-Like-a-Woman

The underlying technology behind this mainly consists of Node.js and Socket.io. This tutorial: https://modernweb.com/2013/09/30/building-multiplayer-games-with-node-js-and-socket-io/ teaches us how to build a game using these technologies and the 3 platforms which I will be using (2 phones, 1 PC).

The architecture:

According to several researches, there are two types of multiplayer functions.

Client – Server – Client (which is what we’ll be doing)

or

Client – Client (this is rather straightforward and it does not require a feedback from the server)

architecture

The image above was taken from the tutorial website. It shows us how the architectural framework and the roles of Socket.io, Node.js and Express.js in this multiplayer project.

I’ll be researching more on the technology and try to code a prototype before executing the actual project.

Refinement

Since the semester break started, I’ve been experimenting with different music styles and genres. Discovering new ways to produce the soundtrack also led to refining the project itself. Instead of creating a community which encourages other artists to collaborate in a music video platform (which is rather difficult to control because it involves public contribution), I’ve decided to switch the focus of the website to just ONE soundtrack and put all the attention on that instead.

Since the soundtrack will be an originally-written piece, alongside with the animated music video created from scratch – this project will showcase my works as a designer and a musician. Besides that, users will still be able to experience the project as a multiplayer interactive music video as it encourages the unique journey that two individuals can create together.

With this new direction, the project would be scaled down and thus making it more feasible. Because of this change, I would have to refine certain things in the prospectus document in order to keep the project on track and provide a clearer direction.

Things to do:

  • Go through PPM Assessment feedback and respond to the questions and concerns.
  • Refine the prospectus document

Further idea refinement

Through the past weeks, I have further refined the project idea, aim, and execution of the interactive music video. I figured instead of creating a single user experience, why not TWO players? Since the Exquisite Corpse method did started out with two players, passing on a folded paper to contribute their ideas until they achieved different and random outcomes. To minimize the risks and challenges, it’s ALMOST impossible for my project to be too random, because it’s difficult to maintain quality control. Who knows what users will draw or write if they have that kind of freedom?

Anyway..

I’ve decided to re-think the objective of the project and how I could apply a multiplayer function into an interactive music video. And what’s the main intention behind it?

Well, mainly, it’s to extend the possibilities of interactive music videos. Since most ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ interactive videos online nowadays consists of only one user, this project will explore different ways of implementing interactivity in everyday music videos in order to further enhance the music experience.

So here is the updated & refined version of my project in a nutshell:

 

About this project
Inspired by the Exquisite Corpse method – a surrealist game invented by French artists back in the early 20th century, where words or visuals are collectively assembled by various collaborators and put together to achieve different types of outcomes, this final degree project will imitate the structure of an Exquisite Corpse game, but produced in the form of an interactive music video.

Project aims
The main goal of this project is to allow users to witness the different outcomes of a story line when they are collaborated with another player. It emphasizes on working together as the first player’s decisions affects the second player and vice versa.

Project Title: Exquiscenes

Project Genre: Entertainment

Format: This project will involve an interactive video displayed on an online platform

 

 

That is all for now! Will update everything else in the Prospectus document 🙂

Idea Development W7: Updated SOI

After several stages of research and refinement, I have decided to update the Statement of Intent (SOI) document with all the updated details of my project.

The big idea I started out with was a collaboration project, which led to the research of the exquisite corpse, and frame-by-frame animations. Through these findings, I realized that each contributor has a different perspective and idea of the frames they were given to draw. So, I’ve decided to look at it from the perspective of music videos and the purpose behind them.

progress1.jpg

The progress that I’ve done so far is scoping down and fixing on the type of project that I want to produce based on collaborative action.

The key idea of my project is to allow the targeted audience to contribute their ideas and imagination to a collaborative music video based on their own perspective, and turn them into a frame-by-frame animation. These contributed frames will be collected and compiled prior to the release of the music video. After the video has been compiled, viewers are able to switch “scenes” of the music video by clicking or tapping on it.

rough sketch_ppm

There will always be an evident relationship between the visuals and the music, however these visuals will differ depending on the perspective, imagination and ideologies of the producer. The main purpose of the interactive music video is to give a sense of freedom to the targeted audience to express their imagination while allowing them to gain insight on how other people perceives the visuals in the music video as well.

 

UPDATED SOI: Final Degree Project_SOI_UPDATED

Issues regarding development process

Certain issues regarding the development process of this module have surfaced throughout these few weeks, and I hate to admit that I’m quite far behind on schedule for this module, but certainly, I will do whatever I can to speed up this process. The issues that I have faced are indecisiveness of choosing a topic, lack of research and proper time-management.

I could not find a suitable way to bridge the organization that I wanted to work with and the usage of interactive murals, it took me weeks to finally realize that my mind had been so clouded on trying to force a contribution / collaboration project with the execution method that I couldn’t properly link them together.

My tutorial session with our module lecturer Sweii (23rd June 2016) has also made me realize that my lack of research on these topics heavily affected the development process. She mentioned that I did not have enough on my hands therefore I do not have any options to work with. This was a real problem that I needed to solve ASAP.

Thus, I have made some decisions to ease the research process and help me work towards a better pathway for my final project:

Cancel out any forms of execution method and just focus on the big idea that I wanted to start with:

  • Organization: Refugee charity
  • Execution Method: Interactive Mural
  • Key Idea: Collaboration

The main part of this project will be focused on the idea of collaboration and bringing people together, that’s the big idea. Now I have to think about the group of people that I want to address, what is the topic that I want to use to bring people together, what is the best possible way to share this message.

The next few weeks will be nothing but challenges after challenges, but the time is ticking and I REALLY have to take things up a notch in order to catch up to the planned schedule. Students make mistakes, and unfortunately, I have been stuck at a dreadful stage. I can’t change my beginnings but I can decide my ending. I will be putting an extra effort in researching, brainstorming and refining this idea in order to bring about the best execution method for my final project.