Game Comparison Reflection

Read my essay here.

I had no difficulty starting the essay the way it was structured. I actually thought that it was a better way to write essays, even if the pattern was not the same. I first thought about things that I wanted to speak about in my essay and then I tried to figure out how it had shaped the two games and their journey overcoming trauma. Instead of playing the entire game by myself, I played both games as much as I could before I got stuck at one point trying to overcome an obstacle for a long time. I decided that watching a walkthrough of both games on YouTube, where I could actually concentrate on the characters itself rather than figuring out what to do next and it would be more efficient as I could change the playback speed. The only shortcoming to this way was that I could not stop at one place, look around and just admire the beauty of both Gris and Firewatch, which were games with excellent visuals that even helped in some character development. 

Instead of writing about the things that we discussed I based my entire essay on how I thought this game and the story it was trying to tell us through the course of the game. In doing so I actually had some trouble organizing my ideas and tried to make it not repetitive, but after spending some time just jotting down ideas and then structuring it made me happy with my end result. 

Twine Game Reflection

In India, the majority of the population is under the poverty line, nevertheless those who weren’t, also suffered because of the pandemic and the fact that lockdown begun so early in India, that almost no one was able to work for five-six months. For very few it was blessing in disguise depending on the jobs they had they could work from home and spend more time with their family, however, for the daily wage earners and small-scale businesses it was nothing short of a curse. They couldn’t be bothered less about Covid-19, they were dying from hunger and the shortage of money. So, we concluded that the issues that people faced, to some extent, would be the issues people faced in other part of the counties as well, so we decided that we should make a twine game where there were three people from three different parts of the society (lower, middle, and upper class) just to provide what kind of problems they might have faced. Everyone had some kind of trouble no matter how big or small it might look to us. Another thing we tried to address was the fact that- “The problems that seem small to us might be someone’s biggest concern.” For example, Rebecca, our lower socioeconomic class character, always had a shortage of cash and had to literally move to an unsafe neighborhood just to save money on rent so she could survive through the pandemic, while Crest, our upper socioeconomic class character, had no shortage of money and his biggest concern was to either remain in his penthouse in NYC or move to his mansion in the Hamptons. We wanted to add more to the game like meters but since none of us on our team knew coding in JavaScript we just included it in our presentation that we would like to add meters like money, physical/Covid, and mental health meters that would also be able to display all states of mind and body and in general just talk more about the character’s state. 

Check out our game here.

Podcast Reflection

In the last episode of our podcast we decided to go with Catan. We always wanted to do Catan but couldn’t in the last episode as we had some time constraints. We wanted to do a podcast on Catan because I think most people that play Catan love it from the first game, however, what many don’t realize is that the fact that the game has another side to it. This game involves a lot of brain work and strategizing about building settlements, which we thought was a really cool thing to tell people about as well as analyzing. I had never played Catan online, so it was quite a challenge as the game is much better when played in-person. We really had a tough time figuring out the emulator but after finally figuring out certain rules we played it. 

Strangely even though we thought that we had a lot of stuff to analyze, we couldn’t really figure out how to move forward with it as some of the ideas we had were essentially kind of repetitions. We played the game again and brainstormed with Professor, so after a few discussions we came up with ideas and talking points. We framed it in a proper way and came up with different things to talk about. Then, we finally prepared a script and recorded it to finish our podcast series. 

Listen to it here.

Assemblies

Tea is something that I drink a lot, so this is my take on what makes ENG 101 a good class as ingredients of tea-

  • Tea leaves- the most important component, it’s the major assignments we had like the literacy narrative and the game comparison essay
  • Water- the 2nd most important component, it is the many reflection posts we did for class
  • Milk- the readings we had to do for class which taught us the importance of games and how people try to get over trauma through playing games
  • Cardamom – the side quests that we had to do for each week where we sometimes had to get creative in order to do them
  • “Masala”- this is something that almost all Indian tea lovers put in their tea, it just makes tea even more lovable. This would be the podcasts and twine games we did that made this class even more enjoyable.
  • Cup- the class itself, ENG 101 taught by Professor David E Morgen 

Visual Notes

This is a typical page from my Chemistry 150 class. It is pretty visualistic, as you often have to show how the atoms bond together or how the energy in orbitals work and hybridize. I didn’t have the means to do it digitally, but after looking at the many visual notes example, I started using two colors to write notes, so that I can locate a particular example or a topic quickly.

Podcast Reflection

So, for the first episode I was the producer for the first episode of the podcast from our team. We met a total of 4 times- decided on a few talking points, a meeting with our executive producer to brainstorm on some interesting point and how to move forward with the podcast, working on our script and decided on some questions for interview’s and the podcast recording day. We thought that instead of dividing up work and working individually we should meet together, which I think is particularly advantageous as I think it was crucial that we met as it was a good way to get to know people and bond in this virtual environment.

Before we even started the podcast, I decided that I would not listen to other podcasts as I felt that, even though it might have its disadvantages, I would have not been able to make points totally different than other groups and analyze the game in a similar way. I did listen to them after them and I really liked them. But one thing we did completely different from what anyone had done was to have 2 guest speakers in our episode, which I really thought was interesting and a fresh perspective as we loved to hear from someone who played the game just for “fun” and not from the point of view of analyzing it. 

Initially we did have a bumpy start as we debated what game would we analyze. It had to not only an interesting game, something that would appeal to a larger crowd, but also a game that had more depth to it than just say a game with rolling a die and moving three spaces forward. We ended up choosing Secret Hitler. We discovered that there were variations of the game. But, the reason the game was so successful, was – the underlying message “politics”. Politics is one of the most discussed topics throughout the world, and especially with the events of 2020 I felt that it was something that people particularly related to making the game even more successful in 2020. I think what made this assignment interesting and little restricted at the same time was that the fact we had to make it into a podcast and not just a narration of something we had wrote. All my life I have been used to writing essays so I think it was a challenge as we couldn’t frame it in such a way that it would be an actual discussion, however, when we recorded the podcast the first time, it did not sound good at all. Eventually, we came up with some basic tricks like to emphasize on things we said and talk a little slowly, making us happy with our end result!

Listen to it here.

Piece of Paper

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sheVNBAutTV1rVvxm7SunBguFB7ODWtj/view?usp=sharing

I think mine is the best because not all pieces of paper belong to the bin. We should not waste paper and throw it in the bin all the time. We should try to save paper and try to use empty spaces on a piece of paper. This does not mean that you shouldn’t EVER throw a piece of paper in a bin. But, you should try to use pieces of paper that are used only on one side, try to use it as a scratch paper, for math equations or something else. We should try to use as little as paper as possible as it is not ideal for the environment.

GRIS

First impression basis- I like this game more than gone home, although, there was kind of a slow start, the pace of game is much better than that of gone home. The girl in the game loses her voice, the game feels gloomy which led me to believe that this game is about stress or fear, or maybe just overcoming a rough time in your life. I think has a more of an artistic feel to it. It feels more like a painting than a game for some reason. The setting of this game has a post-apocalyptic feel to it. 

I was initially stuck at one part with a big rock, couldn’t figure out what to do, while goofing around I finally figured out I had to go to the opposite direction and basically jump and around and could then climb on that structure, and actually start the game.

For me this did not feel like a typical platform type of game, because I imagined platform games would be like clearing “floors”/levels, while on the other hand the Gris’ clearing level would be to add colors, and even if we had to like climb structures we ultimately ended up on the same “floor”. Moreover, I used telescoping, which I think is to break down goals, which could be to obtain those white-colored “orbs”, and get new abilities like turning into that box so that you don’t be pushed back when the wind starts to blow.

I wasn’t able to transition to another color, as I still am stuck at one part and cannot seem to clear it. Hope to clear it soon!

Sunday Sketch

I’m not the most artistic person, no, I’m not an artistic person. But, this is my best attempt to a “sketch” of a guitar. As you can see it is an outline of a guitar with the ruler as its neck. The inspiration for this sketch is the previous assignment of combophoto where there was a guitar as a bridge. So, I thought it would be cool to incorporate the ruler in a guitar. Also, the ruler has these markings which are on the ruler have a similarity with the frets on the guitar neck.

The name of the sketch is- “No rules”. A ruler sets a sort of perfect straight line, that you wouldn’t get while a free hand drawing, but an artist while drawing would never use a ruler, eh would not use a “rule” to draw a sketch. Similarly, there is not a set definition or set formula for what an artist plays on a guitar. My favorite guitarists are Kurt Cobain and Slash. They never had rules while playing the guitar, going above and beyond while playing it, with solos that gave me goosebumps whenever I had listened to their songs.

What’s in my Bag?

Welcome to the backpack content of a normal college freshman. A laptop with its charger is a must, along with a notebook and a pen- a “basic starter pack” for any college freshman. The most fun thing in my bag would be the hard drive. This has my most valued collection of movies, tv-shows, and anime, not available on NETFLIX. It also contains important documents that I need for college. The backpack also has a USB to Type-C connector because that’s the only thing that works for apple, and my AirPods which I just use when listening to music. 

The crafting took little to no time. So, I learnt this term mis-en-scene in my film class and it basically means how you represent a shot. Filmmakers look at mis-en-scene carefully, as to “amplify” the characters present in the scene. I chose to keep the white charger on my notebook so you know its there, without looking at the picture very carefully. Since I’m at home doing classes online, I don’t keep a backpack, because I don’t need it now. But, this picture is just a representation of what would have been in it, if I were on campus. The only thing challenging about this assignment was figuring out what would I should have been in it. And I think just showing a catalog of the content of the backpack is a form of writing because there is a very famous and cliched quote- a picture is worth a thousand words.  

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