All posts by Sturle Mandrup

Final Blog Post?

Hello!

Will this be my last blog post? I do not think so, I have been fond of writing about a topic every other week or so. I still have one more post I have to write, as I am one short from ten written. I will probably write more in the future, but not weekly, maybe once a month or something like that.

Electronic Literature Collection!

One of the activities this blogpost is going to cover is one piece of electronic literature from the ELC.

When I first browsed through ELC volume 1, the piece that caught my attention was, Star Wars, one letter at a time. I am a big fan of the whole Star Wars universe. I have watched all the movies a dozen times and played most of the games, my favorite being Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I even celebrated fourth of May, known as Star Wars Day, from a pun on the well-known quote “May the force (fourth) be with you”.

I enjoyed this piece, even though I think I would have gone mad if I stayed until the end. This piece literally writes Star Wars episode IV one letter at a time. You can hear the sound of a typewriter making its distinct sound effects. The piece does not require any actions from the user, other than listening on the sound effects and reading of course.

maythe4thbewithyou

 

I made a Twitter Bot!

It is always fun to learn something new, and now I have learned how to make a Twitter bot. The twitter handle is @A_Haiku_bot, and as the name suggests it creates Haiku poems. If I did it correctly it should create one random poem every six hours, if you don’t count the first one, which was a test.

Twitter Bot

It was really simple thanks to the great tutorial made by Zach Whalen.

 

I have made more Digital Art!

After Constucker showed me the ropes around Photoshop I have been enjoying just fooling around with the program, figuring out what I can create from nothing.

Introduction to Electronic Literature!

Hello everyone, long time no blogging!

We have now covered Digital Art and Video Games, and it’s time to step into the world of Electronic Literature, or E-Lit for short. Our last subject.

“Elit” refers to works with an important literary aspect that takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer.
Born-digital literature.

There are 5 genres of Electronic Literature:

  • Hypertext Fiction
  • Kinetic Poetry
  • Interactive Fiction
  • Generative Fiction
  • Locative Fiction.

 

The one that caught my eye was the Interactive Fiction, because it has some similarities to Video Games, which is a big hobby of mine.

In class Mia showed the Interactive Fiction, Façade, which I had heard of before, but never tried out. I therefore chose to write about this Interactive Fiction as my first E-Lit post!

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Façade puts the player in the role of a close friend of Trip and Grace, a couple who recently invited the player to their New York City apartment for cocktails.

The way you Interact with Trip and Grace is though writing, you chose what to say, and they react accordingly.

The game can end in alot of different ways, the player can be asked to leave, or forcibly removed by Trip. You can also fix Trips and Graces fading love for eachother, or even make one of them leave their partner for you, admitting a past affair.

In my first playthough the game froze… So I had to try again no matter the outcome.

In my second playthough I ended up splitting Trip and Grace, with Trip choosing to leave the appartment, leaving Grace in tears. My third attemt at trying to get the happy ending I got a more neutral ending, nothing changed. I left the appartment, leaving Trip and Grace to continue their arguing. On my fourth attemt trying out something different I ended up splitting them appart again, but this time with Grace leaving Trip.

The Interactive Fiction, Façade, is a bit weird to play through at first with how you interact with the different objects, and the characters, Trip and Grace. When you get used to it being mostly listening in on them and answering a few questions it opens up with multiple choices and scenarios to try out. I gave up trying to go for the happy ending after getting all the different endings I mentioned above a good few times.

 

Rain Games & Empathy games

Instead of class this week, a group of us visited Rain Games Studios. I got excited when Patrick announced the field trip to Rain Games; it was fun to not only see the games they were making, but also get to see the development process and time behind games. They showed us a game they recently released called World to the West, this is an action adventure game that builds upon the universe of their indie hit Teslagrad. I knew that I had to get this game as soon as possible when I heard that I could buy it for the Nintendo Switch.

We got a look on another game under development called Mesmer. From what we were told about the game, as well as the small clips they showed, I can say that this game will be on my watch list and if you like strategy games, you should check out this game here.

Thank you so much for this possibility, I cannot wait to hear more about your projects!

As “homework” for this week, Mia asked us to play one of the empathy games from her list. I chose to play Papo & Yo. This game is about a young boy named Quico, and his abusive, alcoholic father, portrayed as Monster. I don’t want to spoil the story of the game so I am not going to write about the game to much. It was a well made game, with complimenting music to the areas and scenes. The only real critic I have is that it was a bit rough around the edges and could have been poslished a bit more to make the game feel smoother and more pleasant to play through.

I also made some Digital Art with Photoshop thanks to Markus Mjelde, aka Construcker. He showed me how the program worked and came with a handfull of tips and tricks.

Click to view slideshow.

Redefining game genres!

This week’s gaming topic were about game genres and the three dimensions of games, mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics.

Mechanics are the rules and systems that create the play we experience, its rules, the actions the played can take in the game, the algorithms and data structure in the game engine.

Dynamics are the experiential play those mechanics create that we engage in, the running and gunning in an FPS.

Aesthetics are the reasons that we go to that game for, the emotional responses evoked in the player.

The gamers and designers view these dimensions opposite from one another; the gamers view the aesthetics in the game, while the designers start from the mechanics and build their way up, this can lead the designers to focus too much on the mechanics that they forget to think about the aesthetics of play they are trying to deliver.

Now about the genres of games and why they need to be redefined.

In movies and plays, we define the genres by the underlying motive reason that we go to that genre for, comedy, drama or action. However, with games we lump every game that are similar into the same genre. Take First-person shooter as an example, this genre is defined by the fact that it has a first-person camera that involves shooting, which is ridiculous. Games like Portal and Fallout are two completely different games, yet they are both in the first-person shooter genre, because they both share the same mechanic, but have completely different aesthetics. Therefore, we should stop categorizing the games after their mechanics and rather looking to the aesthetics to define out genres.

There are nine types of aesthetics:

  1. Sensation (Game as sense-pleasure): Player experiences something completely unfamiliar. A game you play for the visuals or the music.
  2. Fantasy (Game as make-believe): Imaginary world.
  3. Narrative (Game as drama): A story that drives the player to keep coming back
  4. Challenge (Game as obstacle course): Urge to master something. Boosts a game’s replayability. This is not the same as difficulty.
  5. Fellowship (Game as social framework): A community where the player is an active part of it. Multiplayer games where the multiplayer part is of great importance.
  6. Competition (Game as expression if dominance): Urge to demonstrate superiority over others.
  7. Discovery (Game as uncharted territory): Urge to explore game world.
  8. Expression (Game as self-discovery): Own creativity. Expressing some aspect of yourself.
  9. Abnegation (Game as pastime): Lets you zone out and disengage.

I forgot to post #dda187 Explore the Firelit Room, but I did play it for more than I thought I would… It was actually a fun narrative game and I encourage you all to try it.

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What gamer type am I?

This week’s topic is about video games.

We kicked the week of by doing an informal poll on what type of gamers we might be. The four gamer typers Mia mentioned in class were, casual gamer, social gamer, specialist gamer, and expert gamer.

Personally I am more than just one of these. I do not fall in to the casual gamer category, video games is more than just a casual hobby to me as I often read up on lore and really immerse myself into games i thoroughly enjoy playing.

My most played game I would say is World of Warcraft created by Blizzard, a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). Most people have at least heard of this game as it is the standard for the MMORPG genre. I love reading about the lore of World of Warcraft as it gives me even more out of the game personally. The social aspect of this game is also important for me, as I more often than not play together with friends that I know in real life and also only in this game.

I also play Overwatch (another Blizzard game) from time to time, but this game I play more casually. I don’t play ranked game mode, where you climb the ladder to prove how good you are at the game. Just like in WoW (short for World of Warcraft), I enjoy the lore of this game. I really think that Blizzard has good teams when it comes to writing about the lore in their games.

I also watch E-sports from time to time, I mostly watch Overwatch League when Houston Outlaws are playing. Go Houston Outlaws!

 

This week we also launched the Peer Game Showcase. Patrick had a presentation about the game developer world. This was really interesting to hear about, becauce this is a world I am very intrigued by , even though I don’t know the first thing about coding… When he talked about his field trip arrangement to visit the game development studio Rain Games, I got really interested and would love to join!

 

I also made a #dda this week, #dda173 Pets Channeling Mr Spock, about what my cat would say if she could speak.

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Internet Art!

The lecture this tuesday, the 13th of February, was about internet art. Mia talked about examples of early internet art, like My boyfriend came back from the war, by Olia Liamina. She also talked about browser art, rewriting the ways we explore the internet, examples that she brought in were The Web Stalker, I/O/D and NetoMat. The last form for art for this lecture was about software art, which is about code as a form of creative writing. Code as the paint and canvas of the digital artist. This was an interesting class about the early form for internet art.

For this week’s lab we had the task to complete the #SelfieUnselfie assignment, which is an interesting art project, even though I don’t take a lot of selfies myself. The selfie really doesn’t show the person underneath, I don’t know much about the person from just a selfie. What I can tell from a selfie might be persons important of looks, when I take selfies I just take a quick photo of myself and I don’t really think about my looks in the picture, others might delete and try again a good couple of times before they are happy with their result. I have also heard about some people actually deleting their instagram selfies if they don’t get enough likes. I still don’t fully know what I want to do with this task, but I think I have an idea.

#NetNarr Studio Visit: Emilio Vavarella
This week there was also an online studio visit with digital artist Emilio Vavarella, he shared his reflections and his creative process. It was really interesting to hear about his views on Net Art as of now, and his thoughts about the future of Net Art and modern technology, if you haven’t seen it yet I strongly suggest you to do so. You can watch it here.

Around the time I wrote last week’s blog post I began working on an RPG making program called RPG Maker VX Ace. It’s an easy program that do most, if not all the coding for you, and you can even put in your own soundtracks if you don’t like the ones that come with the program. I found out that one of the games (To The Moon)  I wrote about in my last blog post were made with one of their other programs called RPG Maker XP.

This inspired me to try and make my own game, I am starting to get a bit familiar with the program even though I haven’t clocked a lot of hours. They live up to their slogan, simple enough for a child; powerful enough for a developer. At this moment I don’t have anything to share, but maybe in a future post I will have some pictures to show.

I also made a #dda this week, #dda20 Be Wary of Gnomes, about the possible dangers of gnomes.

Video games as digital art!

This week has been a challenge for me in some way. As I grew up I have always been the quiet kid, I have never been any good at talking about my ideas and opinions. To be honest, Networked Narratives has been a little bit scary to me. When I heard that we were going to have an open discussion: #NetNarr “Flash readings”, I got a bit out of my comfort zone, but I have started to do these things, getting out of my comfort zones and challenging my irrational “fear”. I set myself a goal, to answer one of the questions that would need an answer, and I did!

But enough about this week’s class, for this blog I wanted to write about something that I enjoy doing in my spare time, playing video games, but I am not just going to write about all the games that I enjoy playing. I am going to write about games that might not have the best gameplay, but have an amazing story, games that you just cannot leave before you finish it, even if it will take the whole day. Games like Undertale, To the Moon, Life is Strange, Portal, The Last of Us, to name few. Check them out if you are like me and like games with good stories 🙂

I have not played through all these games myself, but I have heard that the stories that they tell are what makes the game good. If you know about any games like these that, you can recommend I would love to hear about them. 🙂

The one thing all these games have in common are that they have awesome stories to tell. I cannot talk too much about these stories because most of these games have a plot twist, this also makes most of these games difficult to play again because you already know the story. If I could compare them to anything non digital it would be a good book with pictures and music. They tell a story that could not be told any other way that through a video game.

In this weeks labgroup we had as task to find and write about one of the net art projects on https://net-art.org/ I chose to write about FORM, which is an interactive, formalist art site, which can be aimlessly navigated by clicking through blank boxes and links. You can even find hidden secrets like mini games and animations. After I posted this I played around even more with the site, the hours flew by like nothing. I recommend you to check it out.

I also did some dda’s this week, that I will put down below 🙂

Love Letter Algorithm

The first digital literature as far as we know is “Love Letters” by Christopher Strachey.

On Wednesday the 31st of January, Guest speaker Dr. Leonardo Flores talked about the three generations of electronic literature, the first one being about pre web experimentation with electronic and digital media. This was such an interesting lecture.

Back to this first digital literature (as far as we know), Love letters was an algorithm for the Manchester University computer, a Ferranti Mark 1. The algorithm created love poems by following a basic template:

Frist it would print two words taken from a list of salutations. The machine would then do the following action five times, choose one of two sentence structures, and fill the sentence structure from lists of adjectives, adverbs, substantives, and verbs. It would close the letter with yours and an adverb, before signing the letter with M.U.C, for Manchester University Computer.

Here are two examples of these algorithmic generated poems.

HONEY DUCK

MY BURNING ENTHUSIASM ADORES YOUR RAPTURE. MY FONDNESS KEENLY CARES FOR YOUR LOVING WISH. YOU ARE MY IMPATIENT LOVE: MY PRECIOUS LONGING. MY DEAR LIKING COVETOUSLY LIKES YOUR FONDNESS.

YOURS TENDERLY

M.U.C.

DARLING SWEETHEART

YOU ARE MY ADORABLE SYMPATHY. MY FELLOW FEELING IS WEDDED TO YOUR DEVOTION. MY CURIOUS FONDNESS CARES FOR YOUR KEEN APPETITE. MY WISH LIKES YOUR HEART. MY SYMPATHETIC FELLOW FEELING ATTRACTS YOUR HEART.

YOURS TENDERLY

M.U.C.

Nick Montfort has reimplemented this algorithm, check it out here.

 

Down below you can find the gif I made for this week’s lab, as well as some of the dda’s I made this week.

To end my blog post I just want to thank Dr. Leonardo Flores for an amazing lecture about the three generations of digital literature and the four phases of e-lit adoption: approach, discovery, exploration and in the end adoption.

 

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I made a gif that represents the second cup of coffee in the morning ❤

 

My first blogpost

Hello, this is my first real blog post, if you don’t count the small introduction about the blog itself and the plan for the blogs future. As all the other plans I make, this will also not be set in stone. I will probably make some twists and turns and not do exactly what was planned from the start, but that’s how I like it.

My name is Sturle Mandrup, I am a 21-year-old man. I come from, and live in, Bergen Norway. I enjoy the simple life, spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy playing video games, taking photographs and to get lost in the woods.

My first impression of #NetNarr was that this would be a fun challenge, I am what you would call an introvert and I don’t particularly like to talk in front of people. I am working on this and I think that this subject might be what will push me over the ledge into a more social life. My digital life surrounds mostly around online video games, World of Warcraft and Overwatch are the games I play the most. I also play some single player games from time to time. I am not an avid user of social media sites like, facebook, twitter, instagram etc. I do use snapchat from time to time, but not as much as most other people I see. Thanks to #netnarr, and their DDA’s i’ve used twitter almost daily, I don’t know if this is a good thing, but at least I am expressing myself in some way and showing it to the world, so all in all I look at this as a good thing for my social interaction.

To get sorted into #NetNarr I have been posting DDA’s, I really like them this far, they are fun small daily «challenges» that only take a few minutest to do. I will post the first DDA I did, as well as a meme I made on Friday, January 26th.

This DDA was about messages encoded with ROT 13, a special case of the Caesar cipher, developed in ancient Rome. You can decode my message here 🙂
Uryyb rirelbar! Tbbq zbeavat sebz Oretra Abejnl. Ubcr lbh nyy unir na nznmvat qnl!