Now that I am entering my (presumably) last year of masters program I find myself in awe of the work ahead of me. my writing on the matter will become less project oriented and more based around the concepts that I'm exploring from week to week as they develop. I do so in the hope that by the end of this I have documentation that can not only serve me but others as well. and if not then I know what I need to work on.
Last weeks thoughts
"As it stands I just want to make, but I know that's not thesis worthy so maybe I should drop out"
I started this year a little bit indignant and it shows a lot in my personal work. I have felt a little stifled by the limitations last year put on all of us in terms of being able to work comfortable and safely. so clearing that out from my mind was priority one. afterwards was reorienting myself to why I want to work in the first place and drawing out those threads as key points in my research.
The list of topics
Stay with me here because this will be a little scatter shot but It should make sense.
there were a lot of questions I've been asking since I started this program and they never seemed to be addressed in a way that I appreciated. and I thought it best to document them out for this part of my process.
What is I can do, what is it I want to do, and what is it I need to do?
I CAN do a lot I've found, at least in terms of visual design, and coding, and sound if that means anything. I can do a lot little things with varying levels of success and can talk fairly confidently about all of it.
What do I want to do?
That questions is trickier, I've found that I have a vested interest in the novel idea. every new story deserves my attention, and to hell with the work on the last one. I used to see this a strength however, in last few years it has proven to be more of a hinderance than anything. I'm devoted to the work more than I am to the projects. because of that I have a sizable body of work but not to say about it. at least that where I feel I'm at right now.
What do I need to do?
I need to make a killer thesis so I can wow all my friends and family and get a good job and live on easy street forever and ever and I'll never die.
that's the primary cynical thought that plays in my head every time I get to this question.
what I need is a novel idea I can explore and eloquently talk about to prove that I am indeed a learned individual in design. that I have something to add to the conversation of design.
But what is there to say about design that hasn't be already said. more elegantly than I ever could?
Previous works and where they stand in my research
Now that I have a chance to look back on that work and actually digest what I've made I can tell you as a mater of fact, I just love making stuff. Being precious isn't my strong point I will make and make and make, and leave polish to the end because there's always more you need. But that's just my practical application of labor in my process. What matters is why I make this stuff.
looking at my old work I see a few common threads.
Aspects of the self
Aspects of the other
and Elements of loss
Each story while not autobiographical do have elements of myself in them. where? in the spine. the reasoning for their exitance is to adapt aspects of the self into narrative lenses. Now this in itself isn't profound a lot of artists and designers use their lives to inform their work. but I digress. what maters is there is a me in this work, either as a criticism of systems or observation of traumatic experiences but there is a specific point of view being addressed at each point and it's important to make note of that.
These three works were some of my point in which I found those common elements of exploration I wanted to poke at more. and whats funny is it was in my regrets for each of these pieces. the "Oh this could have been better"s or "If only I had more experience/time"s.
I saw that narratives always felt like it need more as I worked, and I foolishly thought that it was I needed more done in the art. I had even thought to consider that I was not utilizing my space to it's fullest.
The first game. "goodbye" was an interactive poem. as the player progressed throughout their game they were given more pieces of tiny poem. HAD I HAD MORE TIME. I wanted there to be more poetry, optional building for narratives inside the players choices. however I was not skilled enough to do so at the time.
the second was an animation "run" simple horror narrative, the character runs from a scary thing in the woods. thing catches them, smash cut to black. It was so ugly to me. and that's because what I wanted it to be was a VR experience. something I had no control in. and even if I did I'd have done something totally different with what I know now.
Ambrosia was something I was proud of but it's time was so limited I wish had more time to really get it the polish I wanted. but I learned I loved working with others in game design because it was less restrictive on what could and couldn't be done. As a designer, I could delegate tasks that needed to be done while I focused on my strengths. which is bad in academic space, we should always push to explore, BUT I did find I loved 2D over 3D so it wasn't a total wash.
I also learned that I hated working with a team that didn't have the same needs as we did. but that was just me being petty.