Final Summary

For my final project, I present Golden Obsidian, a heavily Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy story. D&D was first truly popularized during the 80s, so that’s where my main influence is from. I don’t have much experience writing fantasy stories, but I do have experience reading them. I have also played D&D before when I was in high school. The planning for this project was extensive. I knew I wanted to create a map to help capture the feeling of magic as well as reality. I hoped to share the main character’s journey with the reader by making a believable map that you can look at as you read through my story. This was the graphic element to my project. I used a website called Inkarnate, a tool that helps design maps for D&D campaigns

The tools on Inkarnate were relatively easy to use and very customizable. I was able to choose textures as well as change the scale of any icon I placed on the map. I drew my own shape for the landmass and also drew my own rivers. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to include all of the locations on the map in my story, but I wanted a lot of them to at least be referenced to create a more concrete world. I thought of the names for everything just by writing random fantasy words that I thought sounded fancy.

The story itself is very long. It added up to about 4000 words. It’s made up of a party of Cecilia, a half-elf ranger and her half-brother Ephraim, who was an elf wizard. I had so many ideas for this story that it was overwhelming. I kept thinking of new ideas and events and pieces of lore to throw into my convoluted fantasy story. I ended up having to take out an entire party member to shave down the word count. There was originally a human rogue named Kieran who was supposed to join them in Part 2. Once I get into something like this, it’s hard for me to not be a perfectionist. I wish I could have made it much longer and more detailed, but I am very proud of how the final story turned out. Maybe one day I’ll make an extended version.

I also made and incorporated ambient soundscapes to fit into various sections of the story. They are meant to be loosely the environment that the characters would be hearing. Some of them had music that was non-diagetic and were for effect instead. I utilized Audacity and various free sound websites to compile special location noises that I edited together in different environments. My favorite track that I made was definitely Lake Ferina. I edited the sounds by repeating tracks, pitching up parts, adding reverb, and various filters to fit the moods that I wanted. I chose the most important settings to make soundscapes.

Overall, it was a very time-consuming and creative project that I am incredibly proud of. I used some learned graphic design skills to create an interesting map. I especially took audio mixing skills from this course. Before this, I had no experience with it at all. As a creative writing major, it was fun to have freedom to create something that I really wanted.

Final Project Progress

I thought long and hard about what kind of project I want to make, and I decided on a short story. I specifically want to write a story that is inspired by D&D. I want to make a fantasy adventure story since I don’t have too much experience writing fantasy. Since D&D was popularized during the 80s, that will be where the course theme comes in.

As for the forms I’m incorporating, I plan on drawing up a map graphic for the world that will count as design. I also want to make soundscapes for various parts of the story. I would probably use of freesound websites to create sounds such as town ambience or other atmospheric scenes to go along.

I drew a pencil sketch of what I want to map to look like and I decided to use a group of 4 characters for the main party.

I think I’m gonna make it three long chapters in the form of acts! I might also draw the characters if I feel like I’m skilled enough to do so.

Weekly Summary 11/15

This week was super fun! My remixes were especially interesting! I had trouble incorporating the theme this week. I might be a little sick of the 80’s now. I tried to squeeze it in but my assignments just didn’t align with the theme too much this week.

Mash-ups were funny. I thought they were pretty creative. I surprisingly liked making the tutorial. I think it will be pretty helpful for future students who actually want to try that assignment when they’re in this class. I didn’t notice a huge difference between mashup assignments and other categories, but I enjoyed them anyway. I thought the brand-switch project was silly in a good way.

The text story felt so unnatural but it was also a form of storytelling I’ve never encountered before, so I was very open to it. I can’t believe how close we are to the end of this long semester!

Daily Creates:

Weekly Summary 11/8

This was our video week 2! I chose the group route, so I spent the last 2 weeks filming our mini movie that we call “Misplaced”. It was an interesting week because it was different kind of work that I would normally do. Instead of working on my computer, I was meeting with my group and collaboratively working on our film and shooting all of our scenes.

Overall, it went super well. Our group worked super well together and I enjoyed the process. It was a plus that our project turned out nicely. I feel like I’ve said enough about all of this in my production posts, so I’ll spare writing it all again. It was a good week.

Daily Creates:

Weekly Summary 11/1

I had a lot of fun with video week. My group and I worked to plan a video story and we got super inspired. Video editing is actually simpler than I thought it would be since I had some problems with audio in the past weeks.

I would be open to the idea of making more in depth video essays that analyze more content than shots. I particularly like exploring themes and culture. I think it’s fun to try to match up video cues to audio or vice versa because it’s pretty satisfying to watch.

My trailer came out cuter than I thought though. I was worried about making a trailer without much footage yet, but I gave it my best attempt. iMovie has been super helpful to me and I’m looking forward to filming our mini movie this weekend. I know it will come out great.

Mini Movie Planning

Beetlejuice! Short Shot Analysis

Mini Movie Trailer

Here are some daily creates:

Weekly Summary 10/25

This week was an exciting opportunity to look at all of things I’ve made over the past 9 weeks. I decided to go for one rework and one remix. We also got to listen to radio shows on ds106radio.

I thought my reworks went really well. I think both of my posts changed the original content significantly. I’m particularly happy with my poster redesign of the Creative Writing Club poster. I thought remaking it completely was the right decision. I got to try a different design style other than minimalism.

The best part of the week was listening to the radio shows. I really enjoyed hearing how other groups organized their shows and hearing everything put together. There were so many cool commercials and bumpers that connected interesting 80s content. I also linked together daily creates that can be found in this post.

Weekly Summary 10/18

This was an exciting and nerve-wracking week for me! I had never recorded my voice before for a radio show/podcast, and I was kind of nervous to not have a script. Once I sat down to do it, I instantly became more comfortable since it felt more like just a conversation.

The process for recording and editing went very smoothly, and I enjoyed preparing for the radio show and watching the movies from the 80s. I talked about most of it during my radio show progress post, but I had a relatively easy time editing my segment and recording with my group!

I’m interested in hearing what other radio shows ended up sounding like!

I completed two daily creates this week!

Weekly Summary 10/11

This week kicked off our planning for our radio show groups! I met up with my group and they all are kind, helpful, and very creative. I’m excited to see how our podcast turns out. In a way, I kind of got my wish for the show, which was to analyze movies through different lenses. We still have plenty of work to do for it, but we are definitely off to a good start. For more info, check out my radio show progress post!

I had to do audio assignments again, which I am not a fan of, but I tried my best. I completed exactly ten stars.

An A Capella Attempt

Imagine You’re On the Beach…

Kool-Aid Commercial

Overall, it wasn’t a difficult week. I enjoyed meeting with my group and planning out radio show. I also commented on a fair few of blogs as well! I love seeing where other people are going with their ideas.

Daily Creates:

Weekly Summary 10/4

Here is my complete list of work this week:

Star Assignments:

Four Icons…One 80s Movie

Footloose (but minimalist)

Illustrating a Song

Creative Writing Club Plug

DS106 Logo

Click If You Want To Be Happier

Design Reflections:

This Kidd is Pretty Good

Meg’s Design Blitz!

This week was comfortable for as well as new and interesting. I felt like I put the skills I learned during the week for visual assignments to use for the design projects. I made use of photo editors this week to attempt graphic design. I especially liked reading the design resources and learning different aspects of graphic design as art.

I think reading the Brain Pickings article and looking at the design resources page changed the way I see book covers and random architecture. I never thought I would be interested in school posters, but I found myself mentally critiquing them this week.

I definitely prefer design assignments to audio, and I look forward to implementing these skills in my future projects in this class as well as outside ds106.

Here are my daily creates:

Weekly Summary 9/27

Oh my goodness. This was a difficult week for me. I whined about how I had never done photography last week, but audio is a whole different monster. At least I have edited photos a little bit in the past, but this was my first time ever working with audio. I was most excited to attempt to make a music mashup because I really enjoy listening to those in my free time! However, I must have spent HOURS trying to put songs together with nothing to show for it. I was just too unfamiliar with Audacity to make it work. I tried looking at tutorials, but most of them used terms and numbers that I just didn’t know what to do with.

I accomplished some other cool things this week though! I had some successes with my audio work and I think I’ll try to play with Audacity more until I can finally make a cool music mashup. I was really happy with how my “muffle the music” assignment came out most of all. All of my Audio Assignments are located HERE The rest of my posts from the week are also on my blog!

I’m nervous about the group work in the upcoming weeks but I really like the idea of making a radio show. I don’t like hearing my own voice but I do like sharing opinions and stories.

Here are my daily creates this week: