System Analysis-Mad Libs

For our first _____________ assignment for Tracy Fullerton’s Design for Interactivity class, we had to provide a simple analysis of a game system. To that end, you can now enjoy my analysis of Price Stern Sloan’s popular and ____________ language game, Mad Libs!

To view, you can download a ___________ PDF version of the file here.

541 – Simple System Analysis – Pocket Etch-a-Sketch

The most eye-catching aspect of the Pocket Etch-a-Sketch is its bright red front panel, replete with a rectangular viewing area and two white knobs in adjacent corners. The device gives the overall impression of a television set (or at least, a television from the days of the Etch-a-Sketch’s invention). The knobs cry out to be fiddled with, and the tiny icons above each knob—left- and right-facing triangles above the left knob, up- and down-facing triangles above the right knob—suggest the probable results of exploratory twisting.


Art and Design Workshops

In Monday’s inaugural 541 course, we opened a market for skill exchange. Visual arts and computer programming seemed to be the skills in highest demand. As somebody who is interested in (among other things) the former and capable of providing the latter, I think it would be valuable to set up some extra-curricular workshops for us to teach each other in a group setting. This would be separate from the 541 class, and would involve no graded deliverable. Later on, these workshops could expand to include writing, music, or even group playthroughs of games.

In particular, I believe that by getting together a group of subject experts (artists or programmers) and a group of people who want to learn those subjects, we can bond more strongly as a class as well as pick up some new abilities. The rough outline I imagine for these workshops could be brief lectures to set the tone and establish techniques followed by a big block of time spent working, with the subject experts available for question and answer. This structure isn’t set in stone; subject experts would obviously determine the flow of their workshop. When not working as a group, participants could be expected to practice on their own and bring in questions. For people who are “officially” teaching or learning these subjects, the workshops could also serve as valuable supplementary resources.

As for the scheduling, I think the ZML is the natural place for this if it’s available; otherwise, we could work out a different location. Timing-wise, I think they could work very well one after another, perhaps twice a week; at the same time on alternating days could also be effective (e.g. art on Monday/Wednesday, programming on Tuesday/Thursday). We’re fortunate in that our schedules are quite similar, so finding a good time slot shouldn’t be too difficult.

So, if this idea is interesting to anyone, please leave a comment saying whether you’d like to give or receive instruction in either topic, and a suggestion for a time slot.

Skill sharing–Sound creating and mixing

Download file

This is the work from 541’s skill-sharing. I learnt sound creating and mixing with Logan. He is a very patient and skilled teacher, helped me from basic principles to actual practice. With his help I got to know how to create sound in Max/msp, and how to combine different sound effects together in Final cut pro. In this piece, the “Mary Had a Little Lamb��? as well as the heartbeats and the scary noises are made in Max/msp, then I combined them with several other sounds together in final cut and add some effects. The heartbeat sound is not loud enough, so please turn on your volume a little bit. Thank you.

Sorry for the delay. I should upload this one earlier. I was thinking made some changes to it, but couldn’t find the original final cut pro file any more. So this one is still the one we heard from class. Many thanks to Logan, he is a great teacher. I appreciate his help a lot. And many thanks to Tracy for this fantastic idea of skill-sharing, I believe many people enjoyed it and would like this activity could continue and expand to the whole division.

CTIN 541 | David Merrill's Siftables

In reference to what Logan and I were babbling about in class last night, the following links explain further what Siftables are and how they work. David does a slightly better job explaining them than we did. Additionally, there’s a link for Hiroshi Ishii’s MIT profile page, if anyone wanted further reading.

Siftables Research Page:

Siftables Video (about halfway in):

Hiroshi Ishii:


(For a CTIN541 assignment.)

Undertow! is a mod of the popular family board game Up the River, with a grim slant. Instead of merrily rowing boats up the river, each player is responsible for a group of swimmers who are being pulled out to sea. We were aiming, in our design, to hit a particular emotional note: hopeless desperation, waxing panic. I believe we hit that mark.