Interest, Major Project, Notes

Cluedo movie cancelled

IGN website reveals details about a new Cluedo movie being dropped. Too bad, otherwise it could help promote (or deter)  my idea for a Cluedo based app.

The full article can be found at:

Journal, PG04 Prototyping, Research Process

Research into detective novels/comics

After writing my Research Proposal, there was a section I forgot to include which focus on doing research on areas I already looked at but in more extensive detail.

This includes discovering & reading more detective novels/comics that could influence me when writing the script for Rules of Suspicion. After all, the genre is suppose to be a mix of detective work, mystery & comedy.

Although I already looked into this briefly i.e. the clue movie (which mixes comedy & detective work brilliantly) and the manga Deathnote (a very clever manga that plays it’s stories like a chess game), I really should look into successful western comics like the detective batman stories and modern comics like Ruse.

There is also a ton of detective novels & other media I could look into which Mark Ingham has mentioned to me before.

It’s a bit late to read them and then change things to my script, but I only really wrote the script for episode 1 which doesn’t go into any real detective work. So Episode 2 could be where it really starts.

PG04 Prototyping, Research Process

A couple of apps to mention

I’ve been rewriting my Research Proposal for today and thought I mention some apps that I have investigated since writing my Learning Plan:

This was interesting to look at from a design perspective. It does a great job of telling a story and using the camera angles to move the story forward without changing artwork.  Laying out the text so it is part of the visuals and not just a text box was also inspiring. Plus the menu management was simple and easy to use, giving me some food for thought.

Recently released, this is the closest app that represents what I wanted to do. It’s innovative style of story telling and interactivity keeps viewers glued to the device. It concentrates on using animations and camera angles as it’s focus point of interaction. It’s dark setting is also perfect for this type of app and I was considering doing a comic with a darker mood which tends to be more appealing to the general public than lighter humour. Why? Maybe it’s from the darker comics that seems to be more popular since the 90s or the games, films & tv shows being recently released like true blood, dark knight & L.A Noire which has a more serious & gritty look towards it.

This was the first interactive novel I’ve found that was similar to what I want to do from a touch device point of view. It includes a lot of creative interactive moments like colouring in the beanstalk that reminds me of the times when I use to colour in black & white pics from storybooks when I was a child. The creators did a fine job at taking the interactive experience from reading a physical book and transferring it into digital format while keeping those experience intact.

Disney’s app,  a very rich and deep app that includes everything from reading a book, painting picture, playing games, listen to music and finally an extensive menu system to choose a range of different options plus a chapter selection which was interesting for me since I was also looking into how to integrate this into my project.

SquareEnix’s app is a split between comic and game. It has a very interesting layout which let’s you view a single panel individually like cutting out a panel from a comic but can also zoom out to see the whole page just like any digital comic reader. The games and interactive elements are interesting and the app itself is something different compare to the children’s books mentioned above.

I was looking for inspiration from other apps and found this. It’s use of timeline and 3d object viewing is great to look at. I especially like the the background change from night to day. The layout of text and information was also inspiring.

These are examples of interactive novels out there that do what I intended to do. The only difference is they are designed for ipad only.

While this does make my idea somewhat obsolete, the reason why I choose to do it on iphone and not ipad is because I wanted to develop something which people can view anytime and anywhere. Although people do use the ipad for this reason, the number of people who use their iphone compare to people who use their ipad on the tube is significantly higher. Why and why use the tube as the example? The tube is a cramp space where people have to change trains every few stops, it’s a perfect example of a using dead time with restrictions. To answer the former, it could be because the ipad is an expensive device which most people see no reason to use or it could be people don’t want to use it on the tube because it’s either troublesome to take out of their bags when they only changing trains a couple of stops. If you look around the tube, you can see there is a larger diversity among iphone users while ipad users tend to be above a certain pay wage.

This observation of course is bias, I can’t be on every line watching all the time, also I should mention people who would rather listen to music than play with their device. However this observation is from peak times where one tube line is mostly full of businessman, another line which is mainly the working class and the same lines at different times where it is mainly tourists heading into London.

Journal, PG04 Prototyping

Journal Entry 21/05/11: Story & Interaction Redraft

This is a 2 part post to cover what I’ve been doing this month.

The past month I’ve been thinking about the storyline & the characters and how to develop it so it becomes a “universe” not just a one-off episode story. This makes things complicated and much more long winded than anticipated. However this is the right move.

Most writers would probably start simple and develop the story as things progress. This makes sense when creating a pilot episode. However my genre is a crime/mystery in spirit and the plot outlines are from cluedo. I have all the basic material at disposal so need to make a decision how much I want to derive from the content without causing an outrage to cluedo fans.
Secondary the mystery usually relies on hidden clues that would be later explained in future episodes. This is my way of attracting people to want more and to think about the question “who did it?” using the clues they already have.

This speculation is what I want when building the social side of this project where people can share their views online to each other and where I the admin can reveal clues about the murder by posing as one if the characters.

Anyway I digress, basically i’ve created a 7 episode series in my head with rich character development and unique plot twist. But to pull this off, I made the script for the first episode too big but felt it necessary to tell the story right. What made it worse is the interactive points that should allow the user to feel like they are in the story. These points are too vague and clustered together in several groups which are separated by long dialogues.

Now I need to find a way to break the first episode into chapters or just get rid of some details.

After talking to Jared about my dilemma, he suggest taking a non-linear route using the unique cluedo board as the foundation. This allows the breakdown of chapters depending where the player chooses to go. I liked this idea that bring back some nostalgia of playing the board game. It also allows me to break down the pacing of the comic so people don’t get bored. And that is also another advice I received, to look at pacing the user’s experience.

To help me with creating a non-linear storytelling experience, I’m reading a book in interactive narrative storytelling. It’s given me some insight and also reaffirm my belief that time should be spent drawing up a good script. After all it’s still a comic and it will only continue to sell if it has a good storyline.

Journal, Major Project, PG04 Prototyping

Journal Entry 24/4/11: Decision Made

After Thursdays workshop tutorial, it seems like the Cluedo idea would be better. After all, its a popular board game that would attract people who have found memories and people who have heard of Cluedo would be curious how a story is made using the well known characters.

I guess this idea was inspired when I was working on a script to use black & white visuals with around 4 main characters who each have their own story but would intertwine with each other. The only way to understand the compete story would be to buy the other episodes where each episode would follow the perspective of one character.

After speaking to Jeremy Barr and thinking about how I would create a comic that would be “timeless” and inspire the general public to continue reading and pick up new comics to read, the answer came in the form of something Antony said during a get-together session about the TV series misfits using social networking sites to create a facebook page for each character and how they would comment or tweet each other after each episode. To me this was a great idea to keep people entertained after they finished watching one episode and inspire me to use the same technique to keep the people who download my app to get involve and be absorbed in this story world that I am trying to create.

While developing the black & white story I came up with the idea of a clock tower where each character would use it as a centre point and the user/reader would be able to tell what the other characters were up to (from reading previous episodes) by knowing what time it is and how close they were to the clock tower.

Somehow the clock tower and how the characters would eventually all encounter each other there reminded me of the center room in Cluedo (the cellar) and and how the six characters gather to find out who murdered Mr Black.

Something clicked and the idea to use Cluedo as a basis sounded great! I then have a baseline for each character and could reinvent or just refine them depending on people’s view on which Cluedo character they like most and how that created fond memories of the game. If I could keep the essence of the character the same but change it enough to produce an original story it could be interesting.

I could use the rich characters and their development to promote the use of social sites with my app for example a poll to say “which character is your favourite” as well as bios to say what their DOB, likes and hates are. This extra content could keep the project alive while I develop the next episode plus people’s comments will help to know what people want to see in the next few episodes.

I still want people to know it’s Cluedo but not enough that people don’t see it as an original story “loosely” based on it. After all, I don’t want people to see this as a replacement to the game or for the loyal fans to criticise it for not sticking to authentics. This should be helped by the mechanics like being able to accuse people of who is the murderer and choosing the weapon & place of murder.

Major Project, PG04 Prototyping

Plot for Project: Senseless/Suspects

Art style: Art style changes slightly depending on person narrating the episode. Mainly features vivid colours with cartoonish manga effects for comedy parts and simple dark tonal serious parts for murder scenes.

Genre: Mystery Humour with Sci-fi/Fantasy elements.

Summary: Loosely based on the popular board game cluedo, the user follows one character through their dedicated episode usually featuring a backstory and an art style that depicts the character’s personality. The dialogue and art style of other characters are also based in the character’s opinion.

At times the user will interact with objects to find clues of the murderer. They have to reconstruct scenes using the device to re-act the action.

The user will at times get to accuse the other characters of being the murderer.

Plot: Six random people are invited to test a new prototype created by Broddie Black the billionaire of Black industries.

After the tour of the new Virtual Reality Room, Black was found dead and the six people are left in the room with no way out and a murderer amount them.

Join the characters as they investigate, accuse, insult, and ridicule the other members to find out who the murderer is as well as a way out!

Major Project, PG04 Prototyping

Plot for Project: Antagonist

Art style: Sharp stylish visuals, bright colours, urban decor. Mix between modern manga and rich teen comics.

Genre: Comedy Action with a touch of phylogical drama.

Summary: User will follow the journey of the main character have to make decisions on choosing the best interest between himself or his best friend.

Later user can choose which powers and which traps to play on the hero and how successful they are.

Plot: Main character is best friends with a superhero who is also rich, smart and good looking. Fed up with being compared to his friend and wanting to get revenge after being turned down in favour of his friend, he creates a persona of a supervillian whose main goal is to mock & play tricks on his best friend to ruin his sparkling reputation.

Things get complex when he has to juggle between being a good friend and being his secret nemesis. Plus trying to control the situation so people do not get hurt during his schemes.