Doug Clever: A Murder Mystery

Brian and I worked together on our final for Dgst 101 because it was a continuation of a project we began a few weeks ago, a video game called Doug Clever, a text-based murder mystery coded in Twine.

The game takes place in a museum and hotel that are connected and follows the story of a murder that occurs following an archaeological philanthropy gala.

We started by fleshing out the rest of the plot and story structure before adding some creative twists. We had originally finished the first half of the story — up until the reveal — and we decided we wanted to expand upon that. In addition to that, we also worked on polishing some of the game’s mechanics, audio, and dialogue. One of the main focuses of this aesthetic upgrade was to add in character portraits. …

The Demo

Brian and I made a demo/prototype version of our game “Doug Clever” (the name may change later). It’s a murder mystery game that we made using Twine and we highly recommend you check it out! We plan to release the full version eventually.

If you’d like to read about our process, check out Brian’s article.

In order to play, click the link, download it to your computer, and unzip the file. Double-click the item labelled “Doug Clever.html”. It’s a very small file size, so no worries about it taking up space.

Download

Maybe it’s clipart animation

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Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash

For the assignment “What’s Behind Door Number 10101?”, I began by taking a look at my project options. None of the three suggestions particularly appealed to me, but one of the recommendations under the section “Something Else, Almost Anything Else,” stood out: kinetic typography. I’d never tried it before, but I’d always wondered how people had done it in the lyric videos I’d seen employ it. I decided to give it a shot.

I began by googling, “How to do kinetic typography,” but most of the tutorials I found were made for Adobe AfterEffects, which I did not own. I did, however, find a pretty helpful article on EnvatoTutsPlus about how to do kinetic typography on PowerPoint, though this led me to think about my project a bit further. I figured that if a person can animate words on something like PowerPoint, they could probably animate anything to an extent, since tools like PowerPoint and Google Slides are essentially virtual flip books. I did a bit more research into this idea and found a Google Slides animation tutorial on Ditch That Textbook. …

Mady May and Brian Merski

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Brian and I both became quite cynical about the internet following our viewing of “The Social Dilemma”. One thing we find to be particularly concerning, however, is the internet’s guise of usefulness, with which a person can be introduced to it through following their interests, but can become hooked when taken advantage of by large corporations who sell personal information gathered from the internet and shamelessly ferment addictions in order to keep acquiring that information.

Brian and I both view the internet as useful, but deceitful, and we wanted to use the image of two, intertwined hands to illustrate this idea. The hand on the left is covered in images associated with personal interests and the hand on the right features logos of social media entities and different addictive elements of those sites. One of the hands is guiding the other, though we wanted it to be unclear as to which of the hands is the leading one in order to highlight the fact that the internet is not black and white in terms of morality and usefulness. …

I definitely agree with this theory. The less companies can get us to read their Terms of Service, the fewer questions asked about the sketchiness of what they are doing. They don't want us to know that we're the product.

A fruitless attempt at erasing my virtual footprint

A world without social media is a blissful place to imagine, a difficult one to attempt, and an impossible one to inhabit.

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Photo by Petter Lagson on Unsplash

I remember one specific day in my computer lab class from when I was in elementary school: my dad, an IT specialist, came in and talked to my classmates and I about keeping ourselves safe online. I remember the event feeling important because all of the other kids in my class were listening to my dad talk about what he knew best, but I also recall that it was all the same stuff he had already taught me over and over again throughout my childhood: “Use a unique password when signing up for websites,” “Be very careful when clicking on links,” and most importantly, “Don’t share any of your personal information online.” We all took it pretty seriously back then, though it’s needless to say that ten years later I had already broken every one of his rules. On Instagram, I’m @madyyymay. On Twitter, I’m M May (plus a long string of numbers that identify me as one source of data), and on Medium, I’m @mmay3. …

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

To be completely honest, while David Fincher’s film “The Social Network” was well-made, (the acting, in particular, was excellent and very believable), I do not think I would bother to watch it again.

A response to Chapter 1 of David Weinberger’s “Small Pieces Loosely Joined

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Chapter 1 of David Weinberger’s “Small Pieces Loosely Joined” discusses the development of the internet and the implications it has on individuals through a series of anecdotes set in the late 90’s. While dated, Weinberger’s work does bring to light the intricacies of internet culture that remain relevant today, including new uses of space, time, knowledge, and self, among other variables.

In terms of “space,” and “time,” Weinberger notes the importance of links, which make the internet what it is: a complexly interwoven network of human thought and ideas, expressed through a mechanical medium. He explains that websites take up no physical space, that the landscape is different for everyone and is based on interest rather than contiguity, and that these “locations” can be visited and revisited at any point in time a person wishes to do so. “Knowledge,” Weinberger argues, can be attained very quickly on the internet, just through participation. He also discusses how the internet “self” is completely divided from a person’s pre-existing identity, rendering the physical self irrelevant to the self on the Web. I agree with this point for the most part, though I do believe the divide between physical and virtual self to be more nuanced today than in 2002. While it is possible for a person nowadays to create a persona that leaves the physical self anonymous, it is almost always expected to have the “real” version present on the internet. This occurs most notably through social media, though an online identity can be bent in whichever way a person chooses to showcase their life. …

A short review of “There Will Come Soft Rains”

Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” paints a picture of an impending technological apocalypse through a lens of failed domestic idealism. In this story, I will examine common themes found throughout the narrative in relation to the struggle Bradbury often depicts between family, nature, and innovation.

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Photo by Juan Rojas on Unsplash

Brief Summary

“There Will Come Soft Rains” begins with a description of machines woven throughout a suburban house performing daily duties such as cooking breakfast, cleaning, and providing information on the date and the weather to its inhabitants, though readers quickly learn that there is nobody home. A “city of rubble” surrounding the building becomes the setting, as Bradbury implies that the town had suffered a nuclear apocalypse; however, the house still stands, splattered with the silhouettes of its former owners. The machines continue their chores. Eventually, readers come to meet a sickly dog, frothing at the mouth, who curls up and dies in the parlor. …

How to recognize weight bias in film reviews

Of all of the fifty top-grossing films of the 21st century, not a single one features a plus-sized female protagonist; few, in fact, ​include plus-sized women whose characters are even given names. ​Why might this be​, and how might this affect society’s perception of plus-sized women as a whole? Themes to be explored in this story include common character roles and token-ing, importance of weight or appearance to plot, and widely-held assumptions on self-esteem.

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Photo by AllGo — An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

The Oxford dictionary defines “plus-size” as “denoting or relating to clothes of a size larger than those found in standard ranges”. Media sites assert that the average dress size for American women in 2020 is between 16 and 18; therefore, any person who wears over a size 16 could be considered plus-sized, if they so choose. Other terms, (such as curvy, husky, chunky, and more-to-love, to name a few), can be used as euphemisms for “fat,” which carries a negative connotation due to the common misconception that fat people cannot love their own appearance. While the body positivity movement is currently working to reclaim the term, “plus-size” seems to be the current societally-preferred way to describe overweight women. …

About

Mady May

Communication and Digital Studies/Studio Art student, Lead Writing Consultant, Rocky Horror enthusiast, fashion lover, daughter, sister, and girlfriend.

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