The Brief

Well we have been given the brief for the next unit, just before the holidays so we can use the time to come up with ideas for it. The new unit is called: G106140 – The World Played and Controlled. A lose title we are told as it does not really convey what the lecturer wishes to teach us. It is an interesting project, one that I have opted to do on my own after the last group project. I have to see if this is okay still, but I kinda want to tackle this one so as to test myself a little.

Here is the excerpt from the project handbook going over the brief and the rationale behind it. As we were going through this in class I did come up with some ideas that I would quite like to do. My only constraints this time being my own technical know-how and time. Seeing as it has been set over the holidays we technically had a little longer on this project, however the holidays have escaped me somewhat it appears…

Project Title: Portraits


Digital games have revolutionised the distribution of narrative information throughout a given text. In prior popular media forms such as the cinema and the novel, convention dictates that a story begins and ends at a given point, passing through a set series of narrative spaces. This is not the case in digital media forms, which instead use interactive strategies and notions of hypertext, where information is not organised sequentially as in traditional media but rather organised and associated in terms of its relatedness. How might one construct a hypertextualised event, which functions unlike a traditional fiction, but instead like an account of an experience told to you by a passer by, trying to recollect the scant information sources to form a picture of that moment or that prescence? Beginning, middle and end all jumbled up – what we are left with is the sense of an experience.


A portrait, or a postcard, captures the essence, mood, qualities of that which is portraitured. Be this a person, a group of persons, or a place. The portrait can be produced in many media and is not exclusive to traditional notions of representational or abstract painting and image making. Cinema may be used to produce portraits of places and spaces, literature can present characterisation; soundscapes can also evoke the characteristics of people and places.

In terms of software interaction design Progressive disclosure limits the information presented to a user to only that which is necessary to a task, ie hiding distracting information, icons for instance, until they are needed. In a game environment, while we understand that the following terms are merely to ‘hang’ gameplay upon, character development and narrative and player toolsets can be delivered through progressive disclosure or delayed disclosure. User interactions reveal defining characteristics of that which is eventually fully or only partially described dependant on player action; successful or otherwise.

In this project you are asked to produce an interactive portrait/postcard of a place, a person, a character. The characteristics of that portrayed will be disclosed through interaction. This could take the simple form of interactive objects that develop a character narrative, comic strip like slideshows with interactive hotspots or other strategies. The final artefact will give a complete picture of that portrayed, user interactions will be meaningful and appropriate to the context portrayed.

So there we have it – to create a portrait or postcard of a place, person or character. To be honest I have ideas for all three. The next few posts I shall explore those ideas a little, I have a feeling that the one I would like to do, the one I want to do and the one I should do may not match up. Well here goes…. πŸ™‚


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