Multimedia Design Principles


"A narrative is a concept, composed and delivered in any medium, which describes a sequence of real or unreal events" (Wikipedia®2007 - September)

A story traditionally has a beginning, a middle and an end; but this is not necessarily the case. Increasingly, narratives are being applied to a broad range of non-linear media. There are numerous examples of books and graphic novels that are not read in sequential order. Console games - as they become larger, more complex, more rich media and model themselves more on Hollywood conventions - often use conventional movie narratives to set the scene and link between different interactive/game sections.

But narrative can also be said to inhabit everything we do; it is a description of an object's history, or a description of process. The playing of any game, console-based or not, can be regarded as a narrative (think of Hollywood poker games).

Your task is to produce a simple game or navigable narrative space. As the subject of this piece of work, take a song or a book or a poem that is important to you. Reduce it to its essence or take an aspect of it and produce an interactive piece based on this that will be presentable on-screen, using mouse and keyboard.




The Simpsons Navigable Narrative Space Write Up


As you can tell probably my final outcome was a narrative of the Simpsons with a navigable space. To start with though I sort of began on thinking on generating a point in time as this was the starting point of the unit last year. The reason I am on about last year is that I didn't finish the work and so I had to retake this particular unit. On talking to Phil he said that the brief was the same as last year so I went about "a point in time" and so I started to brainstorm my ideas on what I could do. When I started this unit again it had just been my 21st birthday and so I thought what about when I was born 1987 as my point in time. On my birthday I actually got a really interesting card and it had a few things that happened that year on it, so I started to research on what else happened that year.

Here is a list on what happened in 1987:
Part of the 20th Century
Part of the 1980's,
Chinese Year Of The Rabbit January 29, 1987 - February 16, 1988
The year was shortened by one second to make its length exactly correct.

February 11 - British Airways is privatised and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
April 13 - Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.
April 19 - The first appearance of The Simpsons on The Tracy Ullman Show.
June 11 - United Kingdom general election, Margaret Thatcher is elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the third time.
July 11 - World population reached 5 billion people in Zagreb, Croatia, according to the United Nations.
July 27 - Australian singer Kylie Minogue releases her first hit, a remake of Little Eva's The Locomotion.
July 31 - Docklands Light Railway, the first driverless railway in Great Britain, is formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II
October 15/October 16 - Great Storm of 1987: hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England, killing 23 people.
December 1 - Construction of the Channel Tunnel is initiated.

Thomas Knoll and John Knoll develop the first version of Photoshop.
Microsoft's Bill Gates became the world's first dollar billionaire.

April 11 - Joss Stone, English musician
April 19 - Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis player
September 28 - Hilary Duff, American actress and singer

February 22 - Andy Warhol, American artist, director, writer (b. 1928)

Your shopping cost
Single record £1.99
Litre of petrol 38p
Pint of beer 76p
Cinema ticket £2.25
Road Tax £100
Colour TV License £58
Bottle of Vodka £7.60
Mars Bar 20p
20 cigarettes £1.55

The means I found this information was from my birthday card and

I then started to draw up some designs on my sketch pad for the introduction into going back in time to 1987, I came up with a couple of similar ideas. I wanted to incorporate the Simpsons into the intro as I had just seen a Treehouse of Horror episode of the simpsons of which Homer falls through a collapsing universe. I then set about generating the intro using a combination of software, which I used Photoshop for images, a bit of Flash and Director to animate, Quicktime player and iMovie for video content. This is the stage of which I got up to when I spoke to Anthony during a one to one tutorial lesson. I showed him my work and he said I had sort of gone in the wrong direction but he suggested on concentrating on one subject i.e. the simpsons. Anthony also showed me some lingo coding that would help me build my narrative space, I took this away with me and started building.

From the tutorial I had with Anthony I decided that I would generate a navigable narrative space of the Simpsons as I had already used Homer in the intro section of the space. I set about researching more information about the Simpsons as I would need content from 1987 through to the current day. I found the original characters as they looked in 1987 to compare them with nowadays versions, also the entire characters that lived with the simpsons in springfield. I also dug up all the games of the simpsons of the internet to show in a gallery type section and also some scenes of the old to compare with the new including the movie last year, which happened to be 20 years from when it all started.


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