DGST 201

Jennifer Hill

Overzealous Obstacle, I Absolve You! —

Mind Block

Warning: Loud Noises (screams)

Click Here to See Mind Block

I have been avoiding this assignment for the last two weeks because I have been so uninspired. Typically, I like my work to have meaning, to be inspired, driven, and with a clear purpose. I’m not saying this piece isn’t any of the above, but right before the conception of this project, everything felt worthless, unimpressive, and oh so dull. I was expressing these qualms to my roommate a few nights ago when we joked that I should personify the mind blocks preventing me from creating one of my more involved works. So, I did just that.

To begin, I went to the trusty Noun Project. I found this simple block that I thought would be perfect for the body of my sprite. While further spelunking on the Noun Project, I found this André Luiz’ collection called Eyes o.o. This series was perfect for my project and gave my blocks very cartoon-like expressive eyes. For the first block, I had the eyes in their normal state looking worried and then switching to this wide-eyed look. The second block also had a wide-eyed look that alternated to a tiny, concerned eye expression when it touched the other block. 

In my project, I had my two blocks gliding around randomly and then switching costumes when they touch. Moreover, the two blocks talk to each other when they touch. I did this by writing two lists, Block 1 and 3 responses, and populating them with expressions such as “yike” and “big mood.” These expressions evoke the feelings I had when I was procrastinating and feeling apathetic. Working with the lists was pretty difficult, but I managed to figure them out and use them to make the blocks appear to be having some dialogue. 

Additionally, when the two blocks touch a scream is exuded. These screams represent the pain I felt when I was uninspired and unmotivated. The screams change pitch every time as Scratch chooses a random pitch value. Another feature of my Scratch project is the brain spinning background gif. I found this brain spinning video on Videoblocks and then used ezgif’s video to gif converter to edit it. I then used ezgif’s handy split into frames option to extract the frames and upload them into Scratch. Scratch is capable of reading .gif files, but I ran into issues with it uploading the .gif frames out of order. Thus, I found it easier to use ezgif’s split into frames option. Regarding the requirements, technically, we were asked to have three different backgrounds. Well, technically, a gif is made up of multiple image frames “playing” sequentially. So, technically, I have 150 backgrounds. 

I do have two additional backgrounds on my Scratch that are hidden until you press the space bar. Pressing the space bar reveals a new brain, one that is liberated from the mind blocks that plagued it. A message, which reads “At last, I’m free,” is also exposed when the space bar is pressed. The image and message together represent the catharsis one feels when they finally break through a debilitating mental block. 

This project has been an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to work through my mind blocks that afflict my creative process. Through this, I was able to learn that it is perfectly normal to start a project uninspired. This revelation helped me come to terms with the expectations I set for myself. Not every work has to be my magnum opus. It was through truly embracing my indifferent and unmotivated state that I was able to create an engaging work that expresses a pain I deal with while creating. Truly, I enjoyed being able to accept my status as a struggling creator and turning this pain into something productive.

Conclusion

If I were to do this project again, I would try to spend more time understanding the inner workings of Scratch. I spent a lot of time searching for documentation on the Scratch Wikis for how to do something when I could have been putting more of that time into my work if I had spent the time to experiment with Scratch more. However, I do have to say that the Scratch Wikis are extremely helpful and comprehensive. All in all, I enjoyed this assignment as it allowed me to experiment with code in a way that productively expresses my current feelings.


Categorised as: Scratch



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