Author Archives: Nick.Cardinali.

Draco Warrior

The story of Draco Warrior takes place in a fictional version of the European Middle Ages where humans and animals create bonds by communicating openly with one another through the power of zoolingualism. Humans are able to communicate with animals that are commonly found on Earth, such as bears and pigs, and mythical creatures such as unicorns and centaurs. Upon birth, every human is paired with an animal companion. The animal companion will live with the human that it is paired with until death. Once either the human or the animal perishes, the solo individual will not have the opportunity to find another companion and that individual will be shunned from society forever. Humans can be paired with any animal in the animal kingdom except for dragons. Since dragons are considered to be just as intelligent and independent as humans and they are known for being the creators of the universe, humans do not have the honor of being paired with dragons. However, only humans that have demonstrated great acts of bravery, compassion, and purity can be paired with dragons. The most powerful dragon in this world is known as the Dimension Dragon. The Dimension Dragon has the ability to travel to other universes that are parallel to Earth. Anyone that is paired with the Dimension Dragon has the honor of acquiring the title of Protector of All Universes.

The main character of this story is a young serf named Drake. Drake belongs to a family whose ancestors have controlled dragons in the past. His father claims that if Drake is strong enough to leave the land that is owned by their lord, he will have a chance to go on a journey and prove his worth to the Dimension Dragon. Based on the animal companion the player chooses, the player will follow Drake on his quest to become the Protector of All Universes.

Logline: In a fictional version of the European Middle Ages, a young serf named Drake must escape his lord’s land with his animal companion and fulfill his father’s prophecy of proving his worth to the Dimension Dragon and becoming the Protector of All Universes.

Hobby Algorithm – How to Play a Trombone

Hobby Algorithm – How to Play a Trombone
1) Find and visit a music store, whether online or offline, that sells trombones, trombone mouthpieces, music stands, tuners, metronomes, and trombone sheet music of your preference.
2) Purchase a trombone, a trombone mouthpiece, a music stand, a tuner, a metronome, and trombone sheet music of your preference at a music store that offers these items.
3) Return home, bring your purchased materials into your house, and find a quiet and spacious place in your house to conduct your rehearsal.
4) Remove the music stand from its case, adjust the stand according to your height, and place the stand in front of you.
5) Place a piece of trombone sheet music on the holder of the music stand.
6) Unlock the latches of the trombone case and open the trombone case.
7) Hold the bell of the trombone in your left hand and hold the slide of the trombone in your right hand.
8) Place the bell into the slide receiver and rotate it until the bell and the slide create a 90° angle. Turn the ring of the slide receiver until it is tight and the bell and slide lock into place.
9) Remove the trombone mouthpiece from its box and place it in the mouthpiece receiver. Turn the mouthpiece until it is tight and locked.
10) Turn the tuner on and set the frequency to 440 Hz.
11) Place your left thumb on the lowest brace of the bell, your left index finger on the mouthpiece receiver, and the rest of your left hand on the bell of the trombone.
12) With your right hand, hold the second brace of the slide with your middle finger, index finger, and thumb.
13) Bring the mouthpiece to your mouth and place the bell of the trombone on your left shoulder. Make sure to stand straight and hold the trombone in front of you.
14) Take a deep breath and make a buzzing noise with your lips to produce a B flat out of the trombone. Look at the tuner as you play the note. If the tuner says that the pitch of the note is flat, push the tuning slide at the top of the bell in slightly. If the tuner says that the pitch of the note is sharp, pull the tuning slide out slightly. Keep adjusting the pitch of the note until the needle of the tuner is in the middle.
15) Set the metronome to the tempo that is written on the sheet music.
16) Play the song that is written on the sheet music by reading the page from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner.

Albano Video Assignment

Worksheet for GDV talk by Heather Albano
1. In your own words, explain the difference between a parser interactive fiction game and a choose your path interactive fiction game.
Even though parser games and “choose your path” games fall under the interactive fiction game genre and allow players to play these games according to their actions, they have distinct differences in terms of their gameplay.
A parser interactive fiction game is a game in which its story is told through a series of textual accounts and developed through the choices of the player. When a chunk of text is given to the player, the player can respond to the text by typing in anything that relates to the current situation. If the response is valid, another series of text will appear that shows the result of the player’s action. This routine will continue until the player reaches the end of the game.
A “choose your path” interactive fiction game has a similar concept to a parser interactive fiction game, but the story of the game is developed through choices that the game offers to the player. After the player is given a textual account, the game will present a certain amount of decisions that the player can make. The player will then see the result of his or her actions and a new set of choices will be made available. The player will go through a series of multiple scenarios, choices, and results in this matter until the player comes to the end of the game.
2. Name an example of a parser game.
An example of a parser interactive fiction game is Planetfall. Planetfall is a game made by Infocom in 1983 that recalls the adventures of a low-rank patrol soldier through space.
3. Name an example of a choose your own path game.
An example of a “choose your path” interactive fiction game is any game from the Ace Attorney series. The Ace Attorney games are courtroom-style games that are owned by Capcom in which the player controls an attorney named Phoenix Wright through dramatic, comical, and creative court cases.
4. Why does she say interactive fiction virtually died out in the mid-1990s?
With the acquisition of Infocom by Activision, the production levels of interactive fiction games began to decline in the 1990s. Also, the overwhelming challenge that branching narrative provided for developers and the demanding nature of some interactive fiction games led to the decline of interactive fiction in the 1990s.
5. Why does she say poetry is an important element of interactive fiction writing? What example does she use?
Games that belong to the interactive fiction genre rely on text to tell their stories, describe their characters, and generate mental images of their environments. For this reason, every word and every phrase needs to be carefully chosen and placed within the structure of the text in order to create a descriptive narrative that makes the game come alive in the mind of the player. According to Heather Albano, poetry in interactive fiction relates to the descriptive quality of the prose. She also explains that the descriptive prose of an interactive fiction game gives the player the ability to investigate the world of the game through text alone. Heather utilizes a few excerpts from a game titled With Those We Love Alive as examples of poetry in interactive fiction. In the excerpts, certain words are highlighted within the text. When a highlighted term is selected, more information is given to the player about that term.
6. Why does she say that ambiguity is not only unavoidable but also necessary?
Since interactive fiction games majorly rely on text to tell a story, it is impossible for the developers to describe every detail of the game’s atmosphere. For this reason, Heather Albano explains that developers utilize ambiguity to give short descriptions that can provide a sufficient mental image of the game’s world to the player. Aside from inevitable ambiguity, Albano states that ambiguity is imperative in the development of interactive fiction games because it allows players to use their imaginations, create their own stories, draw their own conclusions, and immerse themselves in the world of the game in their own way. In other words, ambiguity provides interactive fiction games with replay value.
7. What’s important about complicity?
When an interactive fiction game possesses complicity, it transfers the responsibility of telling the story of the game to the player. Complicity allows players to take ownership of their gaming experiences and gain the ability to change the story according to their interests.