Class Work and Projects

Works created for USC's Institute for Media Literacy usually combine traditional scholarship with modern media methods such as video and interactivity to demonstrate an academic argument.

Agency

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A simple piece that describes, through interaction, the concept of "agency" as it applies to storytelling. This work demonstrates the difference between a traditional story, where all agency rests in the hands of the author, and an emergent narrative where it can be d


Definitions

An early work, developed in Flash, that considers the question of how far a definition (in this case, "car") can be stretched before it no longer applies. A gallery of images of cars and other vehicles is navigated according to the tags that describe them, leading the user through minor changes that add up to substantial differences.


Species and Stereotype

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[original]
[shorter version]

This video, created with footage from Bioware's Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, showcases the franchise's message on race and society, as delivered through the metaphor of species. Everyone, regardless of background, is a unique individual that defies attempts to be categorized casually or easily.


Blogs

From IML 295, Race, Class, and Gender in Digital Media:
"What Is Digital Culture?"
"What Is Globalization?"
Response to Neuromancer
Response to Blade Runner: Society and Values
Response to Blade Runner: Replicants and Slavery
"The Young And The Digital"
"Liberal Sims?"
"Beyond Access: Race, Technology, and Community" [flash]
"The Virtual Barrio" [flash]
"Future History of Neuromancer" [flash]


From IML 422, Information Visualization:
"Visualizations and 'the truth'"
"Quality and Quantity"
"Art and science"
"Information and interaction'"
"Visualizations and the role of text"
"Spreading connections"

PyOrks

download: [.zip]

This program, built by hand in Python, constructs a warband for the Ork faction of Warhammer 40:000. The user selects forces to fill each of the positions available on their roster, customizes those squads by adding members, equipping them with exotic wargear, and making other selections, and the program compiles the army into a single, easily readable list. The program shows the army's points value in real time and the user can go back to any previous selection, allowing them to adjust their forces as needed to hit a desired size.


Fan Codex Project

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An extension of my ongoing fan codex series, this project features four of the codices of the Mass Effect series built as interactive web apps. In addition to all of the rules and background text contained in the .rtf format version, these online codices contain images, sortable tables, internal links and cross-references, and more.
Contains Codex: Systems Alliance, Codex: Citadel Council, Codex: Terminus Systems, and Codex: Reapers.


WorkSChops

Also known as "SC Workshops", this project was a semester-long group process that resulted in a workable proposal for a student group on the USC campus. Our proposal detailed a theoretical group designed to put on workshops of valuable skills for students, ranging from life skills like tax prep or basic computer use to more esoteric engineering needs such as welding or soldering. The proposal was meant to be as in-depth as possible, and includes elements such as a student group constitution, notes on the workshop format and needs, a schedule and budget, and surveys of student interest. All of these elements were collated into a formal proposal document for the final deliverable.


Nationforger

Created for a multi-part game writing seminar, Nationforger consists of four main elements: a overview of gameplay concepts and features; a treatment of the story, its major players, and act structure; an in-depth, illustrated "walkthrough" of a short section of the game, describing both gameplay and story elements; and a pitch, performed lived at THQ studios, selling the game on the merits of both original gameplay and narrative.


Rotrace

Role: designer and test supervisor

Play Rotrace!

A tile-matching game in the vein of Bejeweled, with the twist that the player must juggle four different power meters along the periphery of the board, rotating the entire board to face each one in turn. Designed for iOS using touch-based and rotational input (hence the name), but prototyped on the PC with keyboard and mouse.


Classic Games

Role: programmer, team leader

The classic games project requires a team of students to recreate a portion of a well-known game from the 8-bit or 16-bit era. In my case, I worked on a recreation of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, building a simplified version of the first level, including such classic elements as throwing weapon pots, hacking through grass for coins, and the famous ball-and-chain trooper. Our challenges included adapting a side-scrolling shooter engine to the top-down game style and building existing sprite-based graphics into a programmable Flash animation.


Animations

Predator Patrol [youtube]

This animation was built in Autodesk Maya using handmade models inspired by Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars. In addition to basic modeling and lighting, it uses specular, glow, and bump maps.

Chess Match [youtube]

A second animation using NURBS surfaces and nonlinear deformer animation to create more organic, lifelike shapes and motions.