Thursday, 20 December 2007

Whiteboard Arcade

I have developed, with the help of this tutorial, a simple Snake game. It isn't great as yet but the basics are there and it's quite addictive once you get into it.

Snake and the other two games I have been working on are now available to play at my website at the new 'Whiteboard Arcade' section. Note that it might take a while to load or not load at all if you have Flash disabled.

Edit: I can only get it working in IE at the moment. Patience. Here's a (working) link to the Office Pong game for now.

Decided to group the Flash games under this umbrella and remove the 'MTV' bits from the Pong game. I wanted a chance to clean it up, really and this was a good way of recontextualising it.
  • Wikipedia entry on Snake. I didn't know this game was so old.

Useful Flash websites

Some good Actionscript/tutorial sites I used when researching code for the Whiteboard Arcade project:

An interface

I have devised a simple menu navigation system to help organise and present the work I have produced in the first semester. It isn't brilliant but it will suffice for just the CD presentation. Maybe another future project would be to produce the cover for this and further to that a DVD with some of the motion graphics I have produced in the first semester:
  • Telegiffer and Teletext is Dead
  • A Call to the LMB
  • MTV stings
  • Screenshots from other projects
I will probably not use this design for my portfoilo website but it has helped me to organise the files. Total size is approximately 500Mb.

Office Pong

The Office Pong idea has been refined and the graphics redone to look more 'clean' and not MTV-related. This can perhaps set a precedent for more whiteboard games to create a whole series of them as a spin off from the MTV project. After all, the 'virus' link has become more tenuous with this aspect of the project.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Been looking at more possibilities for the whiteboard aesthetic, including some more games. Managed to find a tutorial for Breakout! which I have applied the whiteboard idea to (right).

The game is not as detailed and involved as the Pong game but it would perhaps be an idea to produce a few more of these games that could keep you occupied for a minute or two. Alright for some one-day projects.

For now this will be grouped under the MTV project and will probably stay that way. Although I wanted these to maybe be separate projects they have been attached to the Virus idea and in a way are a bit of an evolution of it.

MTV Interface

Been doing some visuals for a navigation interface for the MTV project. This is going to be the biggest project in my portfolio so I think it deserves some extra presentation. However I want to keep things relatively simple:

Pong Blogger

I'm considering making the Pong variations I have produced into some sort of project. For now, I have created a blog documenting a selection of the best of these and made them available for download there via my website.

Pong Blogger

On the other hand, their association with the MTV brief may ensure they become fixed with that.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Phoneline visuals

The phoneline interface is pretty much complete. I have cut the number of questions to 7 as I felt nine was bit long. Only one problem remains - I'm having some trouble with the coding; I cannot make it so that and functions work. It kind of does but constantly jumps to the same frame, effectively freezing the thing.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Probe Records - Ecard thingy

Spent this weekend wrapping up the Probe website. It isn't complete yet and I don't plan to - this will only be a demonstration of some of the functionalities. That said I will try and work on it to the best of my ability/patience.

A portfolio website

Been thinking about some possibilities for a portfolio website. There's a few themes emerging from some of the work I've already done but it would be good to limit those to their individual project pages. I think I'll probably come up with a new idea for an overall site design.
I set up an online bank account this weekend so I'll be able to purchase some webspace and a domain name rather than my Blueyonder hosted current website.

I've been exploring the idea of making my own Mario Flash game. This could form a navigation interface for the website or maybe even be worked into the MTV brief (though to be honest I think I've got enough material for that now). I've hit a bit of a wall with it so I think I'll leave this for now, maybe.

PAL - The Friendly Political Advice line

The visuals for the political advice line are beginning to take shape now. I've got the interaface mocked up and tomorrow I will start to put the script into an audio file to be inserted into the Flash project.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Pong whiteboard animation

It seems someone has beat me to the the Pong whiteboard animation idea. This is pretty basic though, probably knocked up in less than an hour as a test. I'll be looking to create something a bit better than this for my video game.

Last night I did some test shots for the Office Pong game and I plan to put these into a test Flash file. If it's good enough I will use it as my final piece, perhaps shooting some better animated bits later on.

Meanwhile, a more advanced Pong animation that is actually interactive is being developed by 'Roo Reynolds' on Flickr. In it he uses some whiteboard dusters as paddles. Looks quite fun, don't know if the paddles can move horizontally as well as vertically as suggested in the image, though.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

To do checklist

There is about a month left to get first semester projects finished and portfolios sorted. I still have to:

Updated 16/11
  • GARP - priority. Complete appendix and do some read throughs. Continue to expand/refine as necessary. Print on b/w printer and bind with two bits of card. - Done. Didn't bother with the card and colour print cost too much.
  • MTV - Space Invaders and Pong video games - create. Animations are pretty much done, only need to add some website addresses to the end of them.
  • Probe Records - continue to work on the interactive side of the website. Demonstrate some of the functions but don't spend too much time on this bit. Should take about a day.
  • Shrinking Cities - shorten the video and edit out some of the poorly synched bits - wide shots. Shouldn't take long, about 2 hours at the very most. - Done
  • The fourth project (Phone line). Refine scripts then record. All but done, just a coding glitch
After these are finished I will work on my print portfolio presentation. I will continue to use the A4 format and keep the same layout from second year, for now at least. I plan to do this after the Christmas break.

Proposed schedule for the next week.
  • Friday - Slide lecture. GARP, MTV. Probe, maybe.
  • Monday - GARP, Shrinking Cities (draw to a close). Begin a CD ROM presentation folder.
  • Tuesday - GARP, MTV. Phone line script.
  • Wednesday - GARP presentation. MTV.
  • Thurs - GARP hand in (finished). Phone line, MTV
  • Friday - Phone line, MTV if not yet finished.

Political vote selector

I have decided the idea for a political phone line that advises callers on who to vote will be a project in its own right, making it the fourth of the four projects this semester. It is a Shrinking Cities spin off in its use of the phone line but otherwise is quite different.

I don't expect this project to take as long as the other projects as I am already about ready to start implementing. I need to revise and refine the script a few times, then:
  • Film/photograph a phone situation
  • Make a series of audio recordings of the script and split them into sections
  • Put the above into an interactive Flash file where the actual phone line can be used
Presentation will take the form of a script and visuals from the interactive piece.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Proposal for extension of Shrinking Cities project

I want to take the idea of telephone lines a bit further. It would be good if users could actually use the phoneline.

A simple graphic layout is outlined in this diagram. The phone would be situated in the centre but people could click on other areas of the room to explore. This would be a simple way of organising and presenting some of the other work I've done for this project:
  • Computer: Website homepage
  • Phone: Rubbish phone line
  • TV: Call to LMB Video
  • Paper rack: LMB Application forms.
Of course, if I decide to go along the political phone line idea that might have to have its own simple stand alone static piece.