Outside The Box – First Full Draft

January 19, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Outside the Box StoryCubes

It took a bit longer than planned, but the set of cubes for Outside The Box have reached the first prototype stage! (Applauds) It took a lot of energy to meet the deadline but seeing the finished prototype makes all the hard work worthwhile, I am very pleased with the results and hope you all will grow fond of them too! Thank you Giles and Alice for your patience and advice in teaching me the palette decision making process and guiding me in polishing the sets to a finished prototype. Thanks to Radhika and Haz for taking time out to assist in assembling the cubes together and working on the story telling set!

What happens next? (grin) we play with them! The next stage will be to test them out, not just with the team but with our target audience – kids! We’ll be thinking of additional ways to play with them, making observations to check that children understand the content on the cubes and hope they will enjoy playing with them. Our findings in this stage will be taken into consideration when making decisions on the final product.

Outside The Box – Progress

December 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Outside The Box is a project inspired by the Love Outdoor Play campaign, which supports the idea of encouraging children to play outdoors. We brainstormed about possible games children could play and creating props to assist their gameplay using Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes made with bookleteer.

The first idea was a visual game using the StoryCubes, which Karen had blogged a sneak peek of a few weeks back. It was a brain teaser type of game, where one image was spread across two squares – so one face of the cube had 4 halves of an image along each edge of the square. The aim was to match up the top and bottom half together. The puzzle only worked if there was nine squares, any less and it wouldn’t have been challenging enough.
The original set had 4 themes, the first being domestic pets, the second insects and bugs, the third sea creatures and the fourth snakes.

 

The animal draft set.

After leaving this set out for members of Proboscis to try and solve, they thought it was humorous mismatching the animal halves together. They came up with many wild combinations such as a mer-dog (top half of a dog and lower half of a fish) which struck the idea of another way to play with this set of cubes – make the sound of the animal on the top half and move like the animal on the bottom half. Keeping this idea in mind, I redeveloped the set by adding different animals which make funny noises or move differently and as a result it made the puzzle easier for a younger age group because it resembled the card game Pairs.

More animals have been added!

More animals have been added!

The next set consists of a role playing game, encouraging children to use their imagination and interacting with each other if played in groups. With elements of exploration, this set was most fitting for the Love Outdoor Play campaign. There are six characters to choose from, each occupying one face on each cube with a mission. Just like the first set, this game used a total of nine cubes – meaning each character had a total of nine missions to accomplish. Characters for this set included spy, detective, super hero, storyteller, adventurer and scientist.

 

Role playing set progress.

The last set is a story telling game, the set of cubes acts as a starting point in telling a story leaving children to fill in the gaps with their imagination. One cube decides the genre of the story, another cube decides the time setting and a third cube decides how the story will be told. Keeping the consistency of using nine cubes in one set, the remaining six cubes consists of words to which the player will use in their story.

Genre Progress

Genre progress

At the moment these games are in prototype stage, where the final colour palette is to be decided and the finishing touches to be made and polished. Although I had hoped to have finished the prototypes sooner I guess working on 162 faces was a lot more  challenging than I thought (laughs). 120 of the faces were illustrated and the remaining 42 contained words, which the  Proboscis team kindly assisted with (thanks everyone!) Nonetheless, I have enjoyed the whole process and think that this project has given the opportunity for team work and I still feel that I have much to learn and look forward to learning more about the different methods used in deciding a colour palette for the final product.

Tangled Threads

September 20, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Tangled Threads consists of a storyboard in the form of a Diffusion eBook, that reflects upon the different projects and aspects to which Proboscis has delved into. You can download a copy of the eBook here: http://diffusion.org.uk/?p=2171

My task was to create a storyboard using only the text Karen had scripted. With her words I had to create a series of fast sketches within a short time frame, jotting down the first visual that came to mind. It was later decided that the finished storyboard was to be presented in the form of an eBook, as a counterpart for a new Proboscis film that will be presented as part of a Leonardo/MIT mobile digital exhibition curated by Jeremy Hight.

This was my first time creating a full scale storyboard, but it was also my first time adjusting it to an eBook format. It encouraged me to use different panels and discard frames which can be reduced to one panel. I am also glad it became an eBook because it would have been a real shame if others could not see the impressive text Karen had written.

The most challenging part of this project was the initial sketches: being asked to do fast speed sketching within a time limit. This method made me stay focused and avoid swaying off into different artistic directions and just sketching the first thing that came to mind, then only further developing that idea. Although this method sounds like rushing, the results were pretty interesting!

Overall, it was a great challenging project which allowed me to experiment with a different technique to spark my imagination and creativity. It gave me a chance to use some of my own knowledge about storyboarding and panelling, and Alice had given me a lot of freedom with the concepts. It was also a great opportunity to practice artistic techniques and being aware of areas that may need more improvements.

Here are a few samples from the eBook and initial sketches, the first stage as I mentioned earlier was creating the quick rough sketches of what popped up in my mind. Then I condensed frames to a set of panels on a single page, with this it is scanned in and cleaned up. The final stage was digitally painting the images and resizing them according to the Bookleteer guidelines.

Mandy Tang : Working At Proboscis – First Impressions

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi all! I am Mandy, one of the creative assistants who just joined recently. I am a junior concept artist who have previously worked on iPhone games and is seeking new challenges in the field of creative arts as I work on my portfolio. With my artistic background, I’ve been assisting in the Sensory Threads project so far and have had a go at creating my own storycube and ebook with Bookleteer.

From the first two weeks of working with Proboscis I can confidently say that it has been very enjoyable. When I first stepped into the building I questioned the dark lighting and the long flights of stairs, but the studio proved otherwise. As a junior artist, being surrounded by art equipment and technology can easily be compared to taking a child to the toy store.

The studio located in the attic of the building had great lighting, the angled ceilings and structure of the room gave off a unique feeling. Everywhere you look you will find assets used for previous projects and interesting objects hidden away to save space. It may look like organised mess to others, but I find that each object no matter the size has a story – what it was used for, where did it come from, how long its been there. Every day I find myself noticing something new and just wonder about the story behind it.

The working environment in Proboscis is very laid back and comfortable, I get to do what I enjoy most and with people who are very friendly and are creative themselves. I am particularly inspired by the work in which Giles and Alice do, and admire them in creating an organisation which keeps growing and reaching out to others. The number of clients that come to the studio for meetings makes me realise how much they take part in various projects and it makes me nervous thinking I will be assisting Giles and Alice with these projects.

Giles and Alice as my boss give good guidance and I believe working with them will really help me to define myself as a junior artist, I hope after this placement I will gain valuable experience and participated in various projects. I hope to have explored a different side to creative arts and use this knowledge to refine my own work and portfolio.

I also discovered the source of everyone’s energy in the studio is alot of coffee… or tea *grin* I look forward to the upcoming projects in which I will be assisting with, and will do my best to be a team player.

A small display of the work I've been doing recently