Author Archives: Annie Flynn




When I began working on this assignment, I wanted to create a dynamic and interactive image that reflected a part of my personality while taking inspiration from Paul Klee. I noticed that in Klee’s self-portrait, his face is divided into geometric pieces of different shapes and colors. In my self portrait, I tried to echo that fragmentation using the arc() function. I created a face of different colors out of quarter circles. The division of a face into four sections seems to allude to facets of one’s personality by depicting them abstractly. I made the eyes with ellipses and then used a rectangles to form the neck and the mouth. The mouth is divided horizontally into two separate rectangles, which is an allusion to the way that Klee divided his own mouth into two tiny rectangles.




  Initially, I considered creating a few sets of palettes out of chosen colors to depict different moods and emotions, but decided to experiment with randomness instead after considering the tedium of compiling upwards of twenty variables for different colors in the different palettes. Instead, I declared six random color variables and assigned them to different shapes. All the shapes are different colors except for the facial features. I wanted to keep the facial features one color to keep them somewhat stable throughout the iterations of the image. I used the mousePressed() function to reassign those variables to different random colors.



  I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting palettes the random color variables created. I wasn’t expecting the image’s colors to look as cohesive as frequently as they do. For this post, I took about thirty screenshots and included my favorite ones. The colors definitely work to affect the mood and personality of the face. To me, the quarter circles represent different areas of my psyche circling through different processes and emotions as the colors change. I’m glad that I chose not to use preset palettes for different moods, because I think that ultimately would have led to simpler expressions of emotions (a blue palette for sadness, a red palette for anger, etc.) In reality, human beings don’t usually experience one emotion at a time – we experience multiple emotions across an array of actions and reactions.



After conference, I decided to further diversify the expressions of the iterations by adding randomness to the dimensions of the mouth and eyes. I made a few more variables for width and height of the eye ellipses so that the eyes could change expressions. The mouth was a little more tricky, because the usual rectMode controls the upper left corner of the rectangle along with the width and the height, which meant that the left hand mouth rectangle didn’t stay aligned with the center of the image and connected to the other mouth rectangle. I changed to the rectMode(CORNERS), which controls the upper left hand corner and the opposite lower right hand corner. This allowed me to keep the inner side of both rectangles at the same x value throughout the iterations.  

Digital Tools: The Art of the GIF


When making my GIFs, I drew inspiration from the styles of Paula Scher, Daniel Buren, and Anni Albers. Paula Scher and Daniel Buren often evoke bright color schemes, which was something I wanted to experiment with this semester. Albers created patterns that were very concerned with movement on the page – some of her designs are almost optical illusions – and I wanted to carry that concept over to my GIFs.

My first attempt at a GIF as the one below – I call it “The Disappearing Button.” l started by creating the red and black button background, then overlaid a large white button across the top. Because of the way that the background moves and the white spaces connect, the white button on top seems to disappear and reappear – even though only the background is moving.

This ended up being one of my simplest GIFs, but one of my favorites, and I thought, most successful. It’s able to create the appearance of more movement than is actually happening within the frames. Compared to the first GIF in this post, it was fairly simple to make – I just kept transforming and wrapping the background by about 25 px every frame. It only took me about an hour to make, but it looks complex. I ended up trying to recreate the success of this GIF for the rest of the GIF assignment, though I don’t know if I succeeded.


I continued to play with white space and movement, but also focused on color palettes. I generally have a very dark color palette in my artwork but after seeing Daniel Buren’s experiments with light and color, I decided to experiment as well. I decided to continue playing with empty space and overlaps and made the GIF below, which I call, “Red and Blue All Over,” which is a play on bruising. I wanted to just use red and blue but also attempt to make a third color, purple, out of them. I used the same layer-transform-wrap process as in Disappearing Button, except I had the red and blue circles moving in opposite directions, rather than the same direction.

I think it works to some degree, but is not as successful as I would have liked. Ultimately, to get the brighter purple that I wanted, I would have had to devote some time to make sure the thinly striped red and blue circles lined up more perfectly – so that only red and blue, no white, showed. This GIF ended up being a lot more stagnant than I wanted it to be – it’s cool, but because the background isn’t moving, the top layer doesn’t get much of a sense of transformation.  If I had to remake this GIF I would have had the background moving, rather than the individual circle layers. It was a lot more tedious to have both those layers moving in opposing directions, and not enough payoff.


I had a lot of fun playing with movement and colors in these GIFs. If I could go back, I wouldn’t have stuck so rigidly to a primary color palette. It definitely got me out of my comfort zone and into areas that I wanted to explore, but it would have been cool to look at some other bright colors. Buren and Scher both play with bright colors a lot but certainly don’t just stick to primary colors – I think their work might be less successful that way.

Non-Linear Post-Mortem: Heretic

Screenshot (19)   Game Design and Non-Linearity  Heretic is a 2D PRG that follows a young girl living a barren village. Resources are slim, the soil is untenable, and the villagers only think of their own needs for survival. The villagers live in fear of dying and the unknown, and have begun to carry out witch hunts, resulting in the burning of various women at the stake for crimes of witchcraft. The player can choose to leave the village and enter the forest, of which most villagers are afraid. If the player brings an item to the book, the village will be changed – for better or worse. The player can decide the fate of the village and the villagers based on what items they bring to the book. For now, I’ve designed four items that the player can bring to the book – a shepherd’s crook, a sword, a shield, and a potted plant. Each item is symbolic of the change it will bring to the town, though not necessarily in the way that the player expects, and not necessarily in a way that the other villagers are happy with. The potted plant, when brought to the book, will result in the construction of a new garden for the herbalist, giving her the ability to grow more plants. The player can continue this cycle and improve the quality and size of the garden with each trip to the book. However, the blacksmith may feel threatened by the increase to her resources and decide to accuse her of witchcraft, leading to her being burned at the stake. The widow, also, has a shepherd’s crook from her late husband that may be brought to the book. If the player does so, the widow will receive a sheep and a small plot of grass in which the sheep can graze. Again, the player can continue this cycle, but risks arousing suspicion of witchcraft the more the player helps the widow. During witch hunts, the women targeted were primarily women who seemed threatening to the capitalist control of production and reproduction. Herbalists were threatening because they had natural knowledge of plants, and often assisted with women’s reproductive health. This power over life and death was threatening to a system that need to control reproductive power to be able to exist. Widows, too, were threatening, because they existed outside of the bounds of marriage. Ultimately, I would like this RPG to illuminate the sexist underpinnings of the witch hunts, and the way they were used as a means to protect capitalist patriarchal power through player choice and consequence. If the player chooses to bring the blacksmith’s shield to the book, a large wall will be built around the village. They can continue to fortify the village by bringing the shield back to the book, and the villagers will never suspect the blacksmith of witchcraft, because the resources he provides isn’t threatening to the capitalist system. The nature of the book should be ambiguous. It may be magical, or it may simply give the player the practical knowledge to achieve the change she seeks. Originally, I was going to have the player bring items to a gathering of chanting women out in the woods, but decided against it because I play testers very quickly associated it with a coven of witches. The book, to me, represents knowledge, which is ultimately what truly threatened the capitalist regime. This game is non-linear most obviously in that the goal is entirely up to the player – whether they want to help or hurt the village – and in that there’s no set path to reach that goal. Though there are only a few items to bring to the book right now, in the future, I want there to be many more, so that there are even more paths and twists and turns. One path won’t necessarily cut you off from another path – if you build a wall with the shield, you can still bring the potted plant or the shepherd’s crook to the book later. Though it will take a lot more design time, I want this game to reflect the possibility of alternate timelines as Borges described in Garden of the Forking Paths. In one instance of the game, the player may wish to indirectly kill all the other NPCs and leave the village in ruins. In another, the player may achieve a utopian village with bountiful resources and no conflict. In another, the player may try to save the herbalist but attempt to kill the blacksmith and the widow, and so on and so forth. The paths should fork and cross over one another and double back and allow for as much exploration as possible. In a lot of traditional RPGs, players use weapons to combat enemies, and the enemies make up the bulk of the narrative. In this game, there aren’t any discernible enemies.  Yes, you can capture and kill a rabbit – but that’s not an enemy. The player can decide to buy the sword – one of the more expensive items – but the player can’t use it to kill villagers. If the player brings the sword to the book, the player may expect to receive some suit of armor, or a bigger sword, etc. But instead, a random building in the village will be destroyed. Just as the book isn’t necessarily magical, the changes it brings aren’t always good. The changes the book makes depends on the player and the items the player brings, and just as it can help make the village great, it can also destroy the village. In that way, this RPG is non-traditional – often, RPGS have one goal – to save someone or something – and there is one way to achieve that goal. In this game, the goal is up to the player, and the ways to achieve that goal don’t follow traditional narratives. For many games, a sword represents heroism. But in this game, the sword represents the violence of domination and oppression. Screenshot (18) Art Design Overall, I’m satisfied with how the game looks and feels. I drew inspiration from illuminated manuscripts of the 1400s and 1500s – a time of intense upheaval in Europe as the society transitioned from feudalism into capitalism. Illuminated manuscripts were usually drawn by religious orders, and were only accessible by those in power. I wanted to play with their patterns and symbols to evoke a religious and medieval aesthetic in my game, and also to re-appropriate the styles of the books to turn them against the will of the aristocrats that commissioned them – even if they did so five hundred some odd years ago. During my last leg of development, I decided to change the main village to be very rocky and barren, in stark contrast with the forest.  I wanted to convey the level of separation of the humans from the natural world through color in my game. Often, human culture and society feel like they are natural to those participating in them, thought they are anything but natural.  The colors of the human dwellings have bright accent colors that serve to further alienate them from the forest environment.    Screenshot (17)    Screenshot (15) Working in 64×64 in this dev cycle was not the best idea, because each tile took at least an hour to make, if not much more. The rock facade took at least eight hours. I got lost in the artwork, rather than the gameplay.  I ended up spending a lot of time on water tiles that ultimately didn’t get much use in the game, because I worked on artwork before actually testing my paper prototype. I had the idea that the girl would maybe crash land on an island in a boat, but decided to scrap that idea because I wanted her to be a part of the community. I might use the water tiles for a fisherman narrative later, but I shouldn’t have devoted so much time to an idea I was completely unsure of. The walk cycle took a lot longer than expected because animating with pixels was a lot harder than i first thought it would be. It seems simpler because you’re working with small units, but it can actually get harder because making a bunch of squares into a cohesive moving shape is kind of difficult to do when you haven’t done it before. I got so frustrated by the walk cycle that I didn’t finish it till last minute, and then I didn’t have time to code in animation of items being picked up, etc. Animating the movement of the feet was particularly difficult, and I’m still not satisfied with the end result. I’ll probably change it in the future. sheep   What I Learned Always test your paper prototype first! That’s one of the big things I realized this semester. Don’t develop a bunch of art and THEN gameplay, because you’ll end up focusing too much on art and not enough on programming. I have a very clear idea of where I want my game to go now, but I have very little of it programmed because I was focusing too much on what the game looked like, and not enough on what actually happened. I spent hours designing the sheep above and it didn’t even make it into gameplay because I didn’t have enough time to program it. Granted, I still probably would have only been able to code and animate one narrative from beginning to end because the art is so detailed, but I wouldn’t have spent so much time on art that I’m now not sure if I’ll use. If I could go back, I would design in a lower resolution and make my paper prototype before I even touched pixel art. I prioritized art over programming and now my game looks really pretty, but it’s not actually that playable. This was a really hard to game to conceptualize because I was working with really abstract concepts, but I’m glad that I did it. I want to keep working on this game because I don’t think there are a ton of RPGs like it, and the ideas I’m trying to illustrate about capitalism are ideas that I want to continue to explore. Designing this game actually really helped me to understand Frederici’s ideas, in a way that just reading them did not. I had a lot of fun working on this game and I definitely intend to finish it.  

Non-Linear Conference Proposal: Heretic

For my conference project, I am drawing from marxist feminist texts – Caliban and the Witch and Revolution at Point Zero by Silvia Frederici – to make a game that reveals the powerless position women have been forced into by the hands of capital. Frederici explains in these two texts that in the transition from feudalism to capitalism, it was necessary for women to become an unpaid source of reproductive labor. This transition was anything but peaceful – it happened in violent bursts that culminated in the witch hunt. For capital to convince women that their work – reproductive work – was not work worth being paid for, it first had to systematically revile femininity by equating womanhood with unholiness. Not all women were targeted; the primary targets of witch hunts were, unsurprisingly, women who held some sort of power outside of the patriarchal system – widows unbound by marriage, herbalists who wielded the power of nature, and midwives who had power over birth. The female revolutionaries that actual threatened the system were often spared by the witch hunters, because killing them would have given validation to their cause. The degradation of female power during the witch hunts forced women into a position of fear, and allowed men to kill those women who threatened to exist outside the bounds of their power. Some sketchbook pages (with notes from my readings): img_72461 img_72471 img_72481 img_72511 img_72501 img_72521     img_72531 I’m using illuminated manuscripts as inspiration for the visuals of my game. The game will center around a young girl who can pick items up and bring them to a gathering of women in the woods. Whether or not the gathering can actually use magic is unclear, but they will change the village of the young girl based on what she (the player) brings them. A potted plant will give the herbalist a garden, but may arouse the suspicion of witchcraft by the other members of the town. The protagonist’s actions can affect the fate of her town, for better or for worse. Ideally, the game will convey both the fear and frustration of women during a time period in which being independent from men could be prosecuted with death. screenshot-5   The protagonist in the herbalist’s building, with a potted plant.   screenshot-6   The protagonist with an old woman, near the (uncompleted) herbalist building.         screenshot-7   The protagonist with other interactive items – a sword and shield.

Conference Project: Lamp Lighter


(the new title card)

For my conference project, I continued working on my second group game, “Light the Lamps” (which was a continuation of my first group game, “Relay.”) I renamed the game “Lamp Lighter,” and updated it quite a bit. In “Lamp Lighter,” you play as the titular character whose job it is to protect its city’s lamps from evil bats who seek to snuff out their light with red goo. Background: As I mentioned in my post about my second group game, I wanted to add a background that was Victorian London-esque. I’ve included pictures of my drawing process: Sketch15341220

(the first sketch)


(after another sketch, the line work process started)

backgroundfinished   (the finished background!) 

I decided to keep the background mostly gray with highlights of yellow.


After play testing my second group game in class, I decided to change the color of the player and make an avatar for it, to really help it stand out against the background:


Bad Guys: 

Though I toyed around with random motion for a bit, I ultimately decided to keep my bad guys moving vertically in a straight line across the screen, but with random x coordinates, so that they’re not too predictable. Random motion ultimately made the bad guys too unavoidable, and this way the player really has a chance to explore the terrain of the game.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 06.03.03

I also updated the globs that the bats spit at the lamps to make them more texturally appealing – rather than just one single red color, they’re various shades of orange and red. Power Ups:  As I mentioned in my post about the different states of my bad guys, I decided to add a power-up to help the player stay alive. The power up looks like a glowing blue ball, and, when collected, it freezes the movement of the bats and turns their eyes blue. They can still shoot fire, they just can’t move around temporarily. The power-ups generate randomly throughout the screen and then quickly shrink away. As soon as one disappears, another one reappears.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 05.38.04

                  (the power-up)

Screenshot 2015-05-11 05.38.21

                  (a frozen bad guy) Sounds:  Finally, to put the finishing touches on the game, I added some sound effects from To start, I added an eerie track of multiple people whispering for the soundtrack. I also added an ominous noise for when new bad guys spawn (which happens whenever you press on the screen,) and a freezing noise for when a player collects a power-up. All in all, I’m really please with how this game turned out. I definitely got it to where I wanted it to be aesthetically, though there’s always room for improvement. There are still some bugs in the code that I’d like to work out (lamp posts staying red even after the player touches them, bad guys never unfreezing, etc), but once those are taken care of, I might have my first “finished” game.

Bad Guy Object Design: Evil Bats or Relay or Light the Lamps

IMG_5539 The evil bats in Light the Lamps have three states: moving, attacking, and frozen. The bats start the game moving randomly around the screen – their “moving” state is their default state. They transition into their attack phase – which consists of shooting “globs” of red at the lamps on either side of the screen – when the player crosses over one of three invisible “trigger” lines that I’ve placed equidistant from one another. They enter their frozen phase when the player manages to grab one of the floating blue circular power ups that appear at random points throughout the game. The patterns of these bats are very reliant on player choice, which will hopefully make the game more interesting and playable. IMG_5542 (1)

Group Game #2 – Light the Lamps

 Sketch43152513(a preliminary title screen)

    For my second group game, I’m redesigning my first group game, Relay. I started my redesign by imagining what Relay would look like if Tim Burton were to design the game, and came up with some some sketches: photo (25)Instead of the bad guys being circles, I changed them into black triangles with red eyes. The black and red colors of the triangles contrast with palette of my game, which is mostly grey and yellow. I decided that instead of simple black rectangles for goals, my goals would be lamps. The object of the game is to avoid the bad guys while keeping the lamps lit. The bad guys want to shoot globs of red at the lamps to put them out. If the bad guys manage to cover the lamps entirely in red, the player loses. After sketching, I created a simple interface: Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.27.58 AM As in Relay, the game starts without any bad guys on screen. But, each time you drag the lamp lighter, bad guys start to appear: Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.57.31 AMThe lamp lighter’s eyes also glow when you drag it around. I really like the mechanic of adding bad guys each time the player is dragging, because that way the player has to constantly be engaged with the game. This also gives the player choice – they can choose to drop the lamp lighter, but that will increase the game’s difficulty by making the bad guys more powerful. I also added a behavior to the bad guy that wasn’t present in Relay – it shoots red globs at the lamp to try to put the lamp out:

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.57.09 AM

I want the bad guys to cover the lamp red section by section, but I’m still working on writing that code. Right now, the globs are an array list within my bad guy class, and the bad guys are an array list in the main class. I might change the wrapping pattern of the bad guy so that they’re harder to avoid, or add a different bad guy that does something else, like shooting globs that freeze the player momentarily. I also want to add another lamp so that the player has to cross back and forth between the lamps while avoiding the bad guys.

I still have a lot to work on, but I’m confident that I can get the code written and design a more detailed interface. I’m working on drawing a different lamp lighter on my tablet, who looks more like this:


I also want to design a background that looks like a street in victorian London, and make a better title screen. I look forward to posting about my game when it’s all finished!

Post-Mortem: Come and Play

After working out the various bugs of my previous version of Come and Play, I have the final version of Come and Play. The title screen: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.50.08 AM The Monster got a bit of a redesign: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.54.18 AM (the central eye worked better with the grow mechanic) I also added the a shrink function for the Moon, so that it really seems like it’s being “eaten” and disappearing. Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.54.12 AM I finally worked out the bugs with the fireball/village collision and I got back the red “burned” village from the very first iteration of this game: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.55.09 AM I also programmed levels and made two separate level outcomes based on whether the player chooses to have the monster eat the moon or burn the village: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.51.22 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.50.49 AM I also programmed in some creepy sounds that will hopefully work when I present my project. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time figuring out the collision code for the fireball/village collision. I spent so much time trying to get the collision to work from within the fireball class (and not succeeding), but once I tried coding the collision in the main class of the sketch, it only took me a few minutes. I really enjoyed working with this game, and I had a lot of fun tying together code from my various projects. That being said, this game definitely has lots of room for more player choices. I’ve spent as much time with this game as I can for now, but I think that I’ll come back to it and add more to it in the future.

Conference Project Post #2: Come and Play

So after coming up with the initial idea of “Come and Play,” I sketched a few more ideas in my sketchbook: photo 1 (4) photo 2 (3)   I decided to make my monster, an arc instead of a circle, and to use the draggable item/particle system mechanic from my Magic Wand game to make it breath fire from its mouth. I also made my monster draggable, and game him a red eye. My new Monster with a mouth: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 4.23.32 AM and my new Monster when pressed and dragged: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 4.26.22 AM I also decided to add a face to my moon, so that when you hover over it, it has eyes: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 4.26.08 AM To add more player choice, I’ve decided to change the feed monster mechanic – instead of feeding the monster resulting in the monster turning red and shooting fire, the monster instead grows, until the player releases their hand, at which point the moon is moved offscreen. Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 4.26.31 AM The growing works really well, except for one problem: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 4.26.38 AM The eye doesn’t grow with the monster. I’m also trying to code in some fireball/village collision, and I’m struggling with that. Hopefully I can get some fireball collision and eye growth working soon!    

Conference Project Post #1: Come and Play

For my conference project, I decided to keep working on the game I’d started working on for the Black & White Exercise #2 assignment. I wanted to expand on the game and make it more interactive and playable. photo 2 (4)photo (24) I want this game to be more exploratory – I want the player to have multiple choices and goals and outcomes. Since I want the game to invite users to explore I’m titling the game “Come and Play.” (I also think that title is a little bit creepy, and I want this monster game to be a little creepy.)

Group Game #2: Stoke the Fire

After play testing my initial draft of my game in class and receiving some good feedback, I decided to make my game more representative of a “fire.” To start, I made the points, which represent embers, more yellow and orange, like so: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.03.41 AM I made the player’s circle into an arc because I wanted the object to represent a steel fire starter. I made the vehicle a darker grey to represent a piece of flint: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.10.22 AM Then, I added two sounds – a background sound of a fireplace crackling, and the sound of a lighter striking whenever the vehicle/flint collides with the player. I also decided to make the points float down the screen vertically, rather than horizontally, like little embers falling through the air. To start the game, I made a basic title screen: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.03.34 AM Once the player clicks on the screen, the level changes and the objects of the game are displayed. And this is what “Stoke the Fire” looks like towards the end of the game: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.04.06 AM I set limits on the size of the array, so when there are no points left, or when there are more than 250 points, the game resets and the embers begin to regenerate anew. I’d like to continue to work on this game and move towards designing a better game feel. Ultimately, I don’t think that I gave the player enough choice – there’s not a whole lot to explore in this game. The only options are to void the flint, and get rid of embers, or to let the flint hit you, and generate more embers. I want to code in more ways of affecting the environment, and see where that takes me.

Black & White Exercise #4: Magic Wand

For the fourth exercise, I decided to code a particle system that would look lie sparks coming out of a wand. To represent a wand, I used a long brown rectangle, and to represent the sparks, I used an array of transparent colorful circles that quickly shrink away after they appear. The start screen looks like this: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 7.36.32 AM And once a player touches and drags the wand, magical sparks begin to fly! Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 7.36.13 AM I also decided to loop in a little magical sound to set the feel for the game.

Black & White Exercise #3: Atoms

When I started making this game, I decided to start by coding three circles which each had three circles rotating around them (using translations). I wanted the movement and position of the circles to remind the player of the “Twist” rides you find at carnivals and amusement parks. When I coded those circles, I realized that they kind of resembled atoms – the three center circles were nuclei, and the rotating circles were atoms. I decided to abandon my former idea in favor of creating a basic animated atom. This was the result: Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 7.25.10 AM The “electrons” circle their nuclei using a circular motion code. To make it appear as though the atoms are whirring slightly, the nuclei slowly move around the screen using a random motion code. I decided to make the objects more obviously reference atoms by adding slightly transparent strokes around the center, which makes the electrons’ paths easier to follow. I think that I’m satisfied with the assignment because I accomplished what I set out to do, but I keep getting the nagging feeling that it’s missing something…

Black & White Exercise #1: Pentagon

I had trouble deciding what I wanted to create after being given this prompt, because there were so many options. I decided to create “Pentagon,” a game in which a player used objects to move other objects. Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.35.55 AM My game starts with five circles (in my class, I named them Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Sirius, and Lupin) stacked on top of one another. If the player touches any of the circles, the screen pulses black and white. Touching Ron causes Hermione to move, while touching Hermione causes Hagrid to move, while touching Hagrid causes Sirius to move, and so on. The goal of Pentagon is to create the titular shape by touching circles until they line up to form the point of a pentagon, like so: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.45.06 AM This goal is simple, so I decided to make the screen pulse black and white when any circle is being touched to make the pentagon harder to form (and hence why the pentagon in the picture isn’t perfect.) Pentagon isn’t finished yet; I still want to add a win state. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to trigger a win state when the circles line up with specific pentagonal points on the screen, but I’m having trouble making the tablet differentiate between a circle passing a point briefly (which shouldn’t trigger the win state) and a circle actually being stopped on a point. -Annie

Black & White Exercise #2: A Monstrous Narrative

When I first approached the prompt for this exercise, I was stumped as to how I could possibly represent all the different events of the narrative using only simple shapes and little color. After tinkering with the code for quite some time, I ended up with a simple game that relies timer-driven animation to portray a narrative. I drew my ideal narration in my sketchbook: IMG_0055 IMG_0054 And from there, I made this game: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.38.53 AM State 1: Day Turns to Night The game actually begins with a totally white sky, rather than a light grey sky (as in the picture), but it’s been hard to screen shot the white “day” background before it begins to change color. Each second after the game starts, the sky darkens until, on the fourth second, the sky reaches its darkest grey. Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.36.11 AM State 2: The Monster and the Moon Appear After the sky has stopped changing color – and also after the fourth second – the Monster appears from within the village, and the Moon descends from the sky. You can just see the Moon peaking out of the top of the screen in this picture, and the curve of the Monster traveling through the village. Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.49.53 AM State 3: The Moon Becomes Moveable Once the Monster has reached a certain point on the screen (about two thirds of the way across), it stops. The Moon also stops after its vertical descent. Once both objects have stopped moving, the player can move the Moon by touching the screen. This change is a timed event that happens sixteen seconds after the game begins. I’ve debated how to make the player aware of the movability of the Moon, but right now I’m relying on the player to find out just by playing with the interface a bit. Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.59.54 AM State 4: The Monster Eats the Moon & Breathes Fire If the player moves the Moon inside of the Monster, both the Monster and the Moon become red, and the Monster spits out a fireball, which moves towards the village. Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.59.38 AM State 5: The Monster Burns the Village Once the fireball reaches the village, the village buildings become red as the fireball passes through them… Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.03.45 AM …until all the village is on fire, and the game is over. Eventually, I’d like to add more fireballs that each burn a building in the village separately, and a better win state. This prompt really inspired me to create a story, and I think that ultimately drove me to focus more on coding an animation, rather than a true game. I have four classes in the game: a Monster class, a Fireball class, a Moon class, and a Village class. I think that my next step will be to use the classes to create more objects and obstacles that make the goal of burning the village harder to accomplish. -Annie