Game Interaction Review

I’ve always been able to look at Skyrim as a game that I could play for hours on end and never get bored. Skyrim is a game in which the experience is tailored exclusively around how each individual player wants to play. Players can choose different combat style based on what their preference was. I always enjoyed playing as a warrior with heavy armor and a greatsword. The game’s mechanics are as simple as using the W, A, S, and D keys on my keyboard to move the character, moving the mouse to point my character in different directions, and pressing the mouse buttons during in-game combat.

Every time my character levels up or receives some sort of upgrade, the player is immediately rewarded with a brief, 5-10 second orchestral piece which incites a sense of achievement or power in the player.


One game that I get incomparably frustrated by is a game that was only available on PC for a short amount of time. It’s a game called 8-bit Bayonetta. The actions were simple. There were only two buttons that I, as the player, needed to press. One button was to jump (and double jump), and another was to fire the playable character’s, Bayonetta’s, gun. The gameplay mechanics were not what frustrated me, however. Because the response from physical action to in-game effect was instantaneous and had no issues. I got frustrated with the game because it is very unrewarding when the player does something right and unforgiving when the player does something wrong. The goal is to shoot the enemies coming towards Bayonetta to get a high score, meaning it can essentially go on forever with no end goal in sight. When Bayonetta gets hit once by an enemy, she instantly dies, triggering a “GAME OVER” screen that, when the “game over” text, player’s score, and the “retry” option all appear one after the other, takes 8 seconds to fully appear (yes, I kept track of it) before the player can interact with the game again. 8 seconds may not seem like a whole lot. But when it’s so easy to slip up, and especially when the player has a high score, being punished with an 8 second “GAME OVER” screen can get very frustrating.

Whenever the player presses a button to fire Bayonetta’s gun, a short, low-pitched, 8-bit firing sound plays. Whenever one of her bullets hits an enemy, a higher-pitched, slightly faster version of that sound plays. The sounds themselves aren’t all that appealing to listen to at all, leading to the player getting easily irritated with the game. But what really destroyed the experience for me was this: the music that plays when the player enters the actual game is somewhat appealing. At least, I found it to be catchy. But the music cannot be heard over the sounds made when the gun is fired or when an enemy is hit. When the game increases in difficulty, the gun needs to be fired at a faster rate. When all that the player hears is a flurry of bullets being fired and hitting the enemies, the music cannot be heard at all. The experience was essentially ruined for me even while I was playing the game.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interactive Design: Portfolio Site

This is the basic idea that I had for my Portfolio site. I wanted to keep things simple and basic

Here is a general idea of what my final site would look like.

Here is my final portfolio site.

Posted in Interactive, Non-TimeBased | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interactive Design: Roland Wise Gallery Write-up

Interior NR2L, 1975: acrylic on canvas

From February 10th – to May 21st, the Margaret L. Wendt Gallery, in the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, has been hosting an exhibition titled “The Interior World of Roland Wise”. The exhibition was essentially a throwback to one of Wise’s previous exhibitions “Interiors” which was featured at the Burchfield Penney Art Center back in 1994.

I was enthralled by the visual simplicity of these paintings and yet how distinctly they resembles certain figures and forms. His paintings can be compared to much of the art within the Bauhaus movement. It especially follows the philosophy of “form follows function”, which is the idea that the form of a figure must have some function or purpose. The colors and shapes of Wise’s paintings are simple yet distinctly identifiable in terms of what they represent. There are also some cases where the forms seem more abstract and nonsensical.

However, one thing that remains consistent in his work is the feelings emanating from them. While each piece shows depictions of similar interior settings, each painting has a unique feel on an individual basis. Some feel warm while others feel cool. Some feel spacious while others feel cluttered. One such piece that stuck out to me was “Interior NR2L”. This acrylic painting has a mixture of warm and cool colors and is overwhelmingly cluttered. When I saw the piece, the first thing that popped into my head was “messy room”, which seems like a common thing most people can relate to. And creating works that people as a whole feel like they have a connection with is one of Wise’s strong points.

One thing that I would take out of this exhibit is how I can make my work be something that other people feel like they can connect to.

Posted in Non-TimeBased, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Interactive Design: Art Gallery

On April 10th, I attended the “Abject Architecture: Landscape Survey 1” gallery held on Alfred University’s campus. The work featured was made by Lea McCormick Griggs, a studio craftsman, designer and artist. Griggs also pursued art in architecture as evidenced by the art exhibition shown. However, his primary focus while studying was directed towards woodworking, ceramics, glass, digital fabrication technology, and craft theory.

The work there featured several sculptures that somewhat abstract and distorted. They seemed more like an amalgam of random objects put together to make a form of some sort, comparable to Marcel Duchamp’s “readymade” series from the Modernist era of art.

The piece that I was most drawn towards was the one title A Mountain “the Cannot Not Exist”. I was drawn towards the pattern of myriad small white squares that, as the viewer looked higher up the sculpture, began to thin out. While at the base of this sculpture was a rock. I saw this as representing some sort of “ascension” from Earth to Heaven.

As I mentioned earlier, Griggs’ works and exploration of medium that were featured in the Gallery can be compared to that of Marcel Duchamp’s “readymade” series in which he takes preexisting objects and utilizes their form with other objects to make an abstract piece. There is definitely something for me to take out of this. And that is Griggs’ level of creativity with his medium. I have a tendency to look at things too literally and too technically and learning to be more creative with my work will help me in the future. Especially with such a logic-oriented class such as Interactive Design.

Posted in Non-TimeBased, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alchemy Juice- Gallery Write-up for Art History II

On Monday, April 17th, I attended the Alchemy Juice Gallery opening which featured the ceramic works of Alex Zablocki. Alex Zablocki is a writer/storyteller as well as a worker in ceramics. The name “Alchemy Juice” came about when Zablocki put several titles through an online word randomizer, and one eventually spat out a long sentence which contained the words “Alchemy Juice”. This appealed to him the most and so, Alchemy Juice was created.

The exhibit was featured at the Robert C. Turner Gallery on the Alfred University Campus. The sculptures featured seem to have suggested something out of the 1990’s. Alex Zablocki has never been one to name his works of art. His reason for this, quite simply, is because he “didn’t feel like it”. He believed, in essence, that his sculptures were more of a means to an end that they were the end in sight. His philosophy was that the process of making his sculptures were more important than the outcome. He sought out to use the creation of the sculptures to determine what the work really means to him. He capitalized on this method to experiment on the materials and determined how they behaved and misbehaved. His process of sculpting, he believed, lined up very well with his naming process.

At one point in Zablocki’s life, he worked with 600 pounds of clay over the course of two days, making two sculptures out of it. For the two weeks that followed, he covered them and refused to look at them. Once the two weeks were up, he saw the sculptures and was displeased with what he saw. He realized then that his work was too dark and serious. He decided then to incorporate more humor and randomness into his work. It was with this in mind that he challenged the traditional idea of ceramics.

Zablocki opposed the idea of aesthetics and compositions of traditional ceramic pieces. He never had any idea of how the composition would look after it’s been fired in the kiln or what would change. Instead of trying to work around this to achieve some aesthetically ideal sculpture, he embraced this idea of uncertainty to allow himself unmitigated creative freedom. The way he challenges traditional ceramic pieces to create a more abstract appeal can be compared to the art movements of Modernism, namely the abstract of Dadaism.

One thing that makes Alex Zablocki’s work so unique is his exploration and deconstruction of the medium he works with. It is like an introspective approach to his connection with the material he works with. He is known to, in contrast to many sculptures and ceramics artists, separate the glaze from the clay, using the glaze as its own sculptural material.

Much of his work is a mashup of psychedelic and vibrant colors grouped with monochromatic, de-saturated pastel colors. Some examples can be seen as such.

By mixing contrasting color scheme, separating the sculpting materials as their own objects, and concerning himself more with the process than the results, Alex Zablocki took a very unconventional approach to sculpting and came to reach new heights because of it.

Posted in Non-TimeBased, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Production II – Literary Adaptation

Posted in Time-Based | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interactive Design: 60fpsmaze

Posted in Interactive, Non-TimeBased | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment