Final Project – Call of Duty: MW 3, The Board Game

 For my final project I decided to build a board game based on the popular video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

To download the keynote presentation click here.

To download the paper click here.
(paper is emailed as well incase the parsons server acts weird)

I have linked all the videos I used below for easier access.

The Video comparing the game to chess:

Michael’s reaction to the game:

The Teaser Advertisement:

Juan before playing the game:

The playtest video:

Yong’s reaction after playing the game:

Juan’s reaction after playing the game:

The Rules:

Public Intervention “If I Ran the Park”

For this project, the class had to work on a public intervention in a group. My group was made up of Vivian and Jason. Through many prototypes and many failures, our group decided to focus on making a crowd-sourced movie made by the people, for the people.

The Smiley Prototype

The Camera Crew Prototype

We had made other prototypes prior to the final crowd-sourced movie such as the Smiley Prototype where we tried to grab the public’s attention by displaying numerous smiley faces using blob detection and the Camera Crew Prototype where we tried to act as a camera crew and deliberately shoved cameras into people’s faces to document people’s reaction. But soon we realized these interventions were either too passive or too aggressive.

Union Square Park

By making a crowd-sourced movie, we wanted to grasp people’s notions of Union Square Park. Why we chose Union Square Park is because we thought it was a place that showed a lot of diversity and history of New York City. We also wanted to make full use of its liberal space. By holding interviews with people who frequently came to Union Square Park, we could better grasp the inner needs of change for the park. We wanted to use the public as communal knowledge.  We had no given author, director, or scripter. What we learned from intense interviews directly translated to our scripts. How people acted out each line was of their own choosing. We believed that if we worked together, we could create something fascinating.

Nickelback – Rockstar MV

Red hat and bowtie

We were greatly inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the Park.” The book is full of imaginations and provides great inspiration and motivation. Other precedents we looked at were the “Johnny Cash Project (www.johnnycashproject.com) and the Crowdsourced Fan Film of Star Wars Uncut. In the end, we wanted to go the direction of Nickelback’s Rockstar music video where numerous clips of people of all age and sex starred in the video each singing a phrase of the song. We grabbed a spot in the middle of Union Square and made people from all around the world say a line of our crowd-sourced movie. A red hat and a red bowtie were used to resemble the magician that summoned all the wishes of Union Square Park.

The whole public intervention project was very fun and intriguing. It was fun working with people I’ve never met with before. And most of the people of Union Square were very nice and some were even eager to be starred in the video. Regulars started greeting us as we were in the park very often throughout the project. The public started to find people who could participate in our video. We saw a lot of patterns people had in Union Square Park. Because the project was very intriguing, perhaps I would like to further work on this project in the future. Problems we could fix are the ambient noise created by street performers and random people. We could also incorporate more involvement of the public as a group rather than as individuals. Overall, though, it was a very fun experiment in working with the pubic and trying to intervene into people’s lives.

final video and our project blog can be found here

final presentation (pdf) of the project can be found here

(post is same as Jason’s as we thought we would post it as one group)

Scrapyard Challenge – Arshaan

Everything done during the scrapyard challenge workshop was new to me. I have never worked with electronics before. However, once I got the basics it turned out to be a lot of fun. The fact that we could use junk to make new things in a creative way started to excite me once we started tearing apart the junk. In our day to day lives, not many people would think to use their junk to make new things. We would just throw it away. The things that everyone made during the workshop showed me that even if things stop working we can use them to make new things. They don’t have to be wasted.

The Project:

Me and my group had no idea what we wanted to make in the beginning and just started tearing apart whatever we had to find things that interested us. We started tearing apart old cordless phones, routers, floppy drives and a scanner.

After a few minutes we decided that we would use the moving motor in the scanner (which was surprisingly working) to make sounds when the motor hit certain parts. However, Kenny told us that a few other groups were trying to do something similar and we decided to go another direction.

From the floppy drive we tore apart we got this cool little piece of junk that we decided to make it a dj turntable. Once we decided that we were going to make a dj turntable, we thought that we should make musical instruments for all of us and turn us into the worst band ever. We chose to make a drums, a guitar and a bass.

The drums were made completely from an old router that I tore apart. I used the covering of the router to make the drums and the antenna of the router to make the drum sticks.

The guitar (which looked more like a harp) was made from the parts from the scanner. We took out the big plastic piece that held the glass in the scanner and put wires across it. Each wire made a different sound when hit with a pic that we fashioned from the metal piece on a floppy disk.

The bass was made using the same techniques that we used to make the guitar. It was made out of the remains of the router. Instead of using a pick, we decided that we would wrap one of our fingers in foil and wire and play the bass with our finger.

In the end we had a four person band rocking out some awesome tunes.

 

Mash Up – Arshaan

Software Mash Up:

When I started off with this project I knew I wanted to something that made a social impact. Before coming to New York I had stayed in Dubai for almost 7 years. One of the things that annoyed me the most back home was the fact that a lot of news is fabricated. Reporters are not allowed to report certain things. Most of the news just praises the city and the country. I know all of this because I had a friend who was a reporter for one of the big newspapers and she kept telling us about stories she could not write about. A lot of crimes, financial disasters and poor living conditions go unreported. When I decided to make a documentary on the living conditions of construction workers in Dubai I had to do it in utmost secrecy. This had to be done because if government officials found out I was doing this I would have gotten deported.

Coming back to my project, most of the population (including my family) only read the news produced in the country. There are many websites out there that publish the truth. I want people to know the truth and that is where my website ‘Get the truth’ comes in to play. It is a mash up of news websites. It grabs news articles from the local newspapers and compares it to articles that easily show the lies in the original article. The following sequence shows how the website works.

The home page shows all the latest news articles from local newspapers. Each article has a small summary describing what the article talks about. There are also links to a news archive where you will be able to find all the news articles.

Once the user selects the article, the person is taken to a page where he can read the article. After reading the article the user can then choose to learn the truth. In the article I have chosen to show as an example, it speaks about how the suicide rate has dropped in the country.

Once the user clicks on the ‘learn the truth’ button, the original articles fades a little bit in to the background and a new article from a different source shows up on the right. This article will try and show why the local article is a lie and there is nothing to take from it. In my example, the new article talks about how people have left the country thus explaining the drop in suicides. It has nothing to do with good working or living conditions. The user then has the option to share the truth if he believes in it.

Hardware Mash Up:

For this mash up I originally wanted to do something environmental. I planned to show the problems of global warming by making an internet based game that affected ice cubes in some way. However, with time running out and with no solution I decided to have some fun with this project instead. I started off as a marketing student in my undergrad and decided to make a marketing gimmick that would be part of a bigger marketing plan.

My website here is called ‘Think Stink’ and it would be used to promote air fresheners or deodorants. It would be implemented in work location or schools/universities. Whenever someone enters a ‘stinky’ persons name in the website, air fresheners placed in pre-determined locations will go off. The website will also have a leaderboard system where people with more votes will be placed higher up the leaderboard. The leaderboard is used to give people a reason to return to the website. The website states that everything should be taken as a joke. The following sequence of images explains how this would work.

The home page gets straight to the point. It tells the user what is supposed to happen if they put in a friends name. It also contains the top 10 people in the leaderboard and the locations of the air fresheners.

 

 

 

 

Once the user enters a persons name, the air fresheners in the locations will go off. This promotes the use of the air freshener as these highly crowded locations will start to smell good. There is nothing wrong with a nice smelling work place right?

The user can also visit a page dedicated to the leaderboard where they can see how high up they are located in it or where the friend they are pranking is located. The user can also enter a friends name on this page.

The last page is a basic contact form where users are encouraged to provide their feedback.

 

Week 2 Reading Response: Arshaan

Grey Album:

I have never heard of the Grey Album before. Being someone who listens to a lot of hip hop and rap I feel ashamed that I haven’t come across this before. The mash up of the two artists is excellent. I have heard a few mash ups before that I have really enjoyed and some that have failed miserably. This album is one that is thoroughly enjoyable. The amount of work that goes into making songs like this is tremendous. I had no idea that so much deconstruction had to go into making a successful mash up. Everything seamlessly fits into place. The fact that Danger Mouse did this even though he knew that lot of people thought this was sacrilege is something I admire even more. The fact that he made it because he would like it is really cool and something I look to do with my work. On a side note I think the album that Jay Z and Linkin Park made together was a very successful mash up of two completely different styles of music.

Mashups: The new breed of Web app:

This was a very technical article that even with my knowledge of creating web pages I am not sure I understand all of it. It did an extremely good job of talking about the various different mashups like mapping and search mashups. I thought I had no idea what a web based mashup was. However, once I read about RSS feeds my grasp on the topic strengthened. I was and still am a little bit lost on the technical side of things. With my general understanding of what a mashup is though, I feel that there are already a ton of websites that do this. The point that the author brings up about how providers will handle their content when mashups become sophisticated applications is an interesting one especially if it is is private content.

Why Things Matter:

This article talks about blogjects. To put it as simply as the article, a blogject is an object that blogs . There are three peculiarities of blogjects and to summarize them they are tracking and tracing, having self-contained histories and having some form of agency. The thing that excites me the most about blogjects is how they can be used in a social/environmental context to help us overcome problems. Having automobiles telling us about their fuel consumption habits seems to me an extremely useful thing. It can help us reduce the consumption of fuel and maybe even in our efforts for finding a new fuel source.

Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualising Social Data as an Experience in Physical Space:

I find the idea of calm technologies fantastic. It might be introduced as as sensual experience in a physical space and the example the led light might illustrate this. However, the bell that rings and the jackhammer that damages the building are far from sensual. To me personally, they open up this new world of social advertising. Making social posters is something I love to do and one of the things I really want to do is make some kind of interactive social poster. I can see this idea of calm technology as a way for me to do this. Making someone interact on a website to make something react in the physical world is what I see as an answer to making interactive posters. I am 100% there yet though.

 

 

7 in 7 Updated – Arshaan

Day 01 – Shut Your Mouth:

Concept: To make annoying fans of the big three shut up when they keep talking about their soccer club.

Execution Method: Cards the size of a normal businness card as it is easy to carry around.

Day 02 – Arsenal Anonymous:

Concept: Trying to partly bring to life a quote I had read a few months ago. ‘Given the amount of abuse they have suffered this season, it’s about time someone started a group called Arsenal Anonymous, where people who have been persistently abused by the club they love can meet and share their burden in the company of like-minded individuals. I can just see it now: “My name is John and I’m an Arsenalaholic. I too believe it is all the referee’s fault…”’

Execution Method: Stickers based on ‘hello! my name is’ tags so that arsenal fans can identify each other.

Day 03 – Tissue Box:

Concept: When United are humiliating your friends team, what better way to be supportive than to hand your friend a tissue so he can cry in to it.

Execution Method: A small tissue box package that is shaped like a shoe to add to the feel of soccer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 04 – Ronaldo Tribute Poster:

Concept: He might have left United but I still think that C. Ronaldo was one of the best players to wear the United jersey. I wanted to design something that would show how much I appreciated his time at United.

Execution Method: A poster in which I would draw Ronaldo using pencils, color pencils and photoshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 05 – Trophy Cabinet:

Concept: In 2011 United won their 19th English League title making them the most successful team in the league. There might be a lot of United fans out there but not many people know when and how the trophies were won.

Execution Method: An interactive flash piece that gives a little bit of information to the user about each title won.

Download .swf/flash file by clicking trophies.

Day 06 – We Do What We Want:

Concept: By this time I knew that I wanted to make a website as my last project. I felt a short animation like a pop up ad (flash banner) was missing regarding United and showing their domination.

Execution Method: A short flash animation based on ad banners showing up on websites focusing on the United chant ‘we do what we want’.

Download .swf/flash file by clicking banner.

Day 07 – United For Life:

Concept: As all my projects were related to Manchester United, I wanted to make a website to showcase all the work and a place where United fans can look at my ‘gift’ ideas and get in touch with me to buy them.

Execution Method: Basic HTML 5 to create a single page website showcasing all the work done during this week.

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to go to website.

To be able to read my response to this project please click here.
To download presentation to see a bit more of the process click 7in7A.

Locataur: Social Network Redesign – Arshaan

Locataur:

Locataur not only is a social networking platform, it is a cross platform augmented reality using, holographic image projecting mammoth that serves as an effective informative tool that broadens the prospects of location based networking. The best feature about this platform is that it successfully connects online communication with immediate offline engagement which from a money makers point of view, has been the biggest problem that the current social networking platforms face. And it has holographic projection.

The presentation can be found by clicking – Locataur. (low quality version)

 

 

7 in 7 – Arshaan

I think right after I finished my second project I had decided that I was going to base all my projects on soccer. It was a topic I really liked working with and there a lot of things that I can do with that topic. A theme I did not intentionally intend on was for it to be all made for a Manchester United fan. Sometime after the fourth project I realized that I was doing everything related to United in particular as I am a big fan of the club.

After the completion of my projects, I do feel that every project can be improved. To start with, the project done on the first day can make fun of so many other clubs. I can keep adding to the list of cards and make it a whole set for every league. However, time made me limit me to only insulting three clubs. In the second project, I can expand the project to include a facebook group page, a web page and maybe a poster. I feel that for the third project, the tissue box can be given more curves to make it look more like a shoe. I feel the poster, which is the fourth project, is probably one of the projects that I would not do much to improve. As I had the most time for the poster, I feel a lot of effort and time was put in to making it. Both the flash animations can have more animations and information. The website can be a multiple page website and not a single page website. It could also include a shopping cart and a blog page for United fans.

Even though I have mentioned improvements for probably every project, they all seem finished for what I set out to do. Before every project, I would determine how much time I would give for the project depending on how many hours were left in the day and how much other work I had to do. As such, I feel all the projects are fully complete as I executed my concept in all of them to a level where the concept can be seen clearly in each project. For this project I felt that every thing I did must be done to the level mentioned above and that meant knowing how to execute everything I decided to do.

Overall, I feel like I might have missed out a little bit by not experimenting with a range of topics and execution techniques. However, as all the seven projects are something close to me personally I am left feeling extremely satisfied with the outcome even though a lot of them can definitely be improved.

7in7 presentation

Week 1 Reading Response – Arshaan

Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural:

Being a PS3 fanboy, I have always found the failings of the Wii hilarious. The use of actions too natural, like the example given in the article regarding the bowling ball is exactly what I laugh at. However, Sony launched their Move controller based a lot on the Wii controller. The Move controller has not fixed everything that was wrong with the Wii but it did make some improvements as listed on http://xxgamerzhavenxx.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/the-difference-between-wii-motion-controller-and-playstation-move/. I do believe that besides the weird poses you have to make (a problem with NUI as mentioned in the article) the Xbox Kinect does a pretty good job at NUI. There are a set of gestures defined by the game itself but once that is done the interface works perfectly fine with my limited use of it. Overall, I do feel that NUI will become a definite in technology once a list of gestures can be standardized over time.

Great Wall of Facebook:

This article was really interesting because to start off, I had no idea that Google wanted to buy a share of Facebook. Also, I had no idea about the ways in which Facebook was competing with Google in the search engine department. It has never occurred to me that Facebook can act as a search engine, although I do search on it subconsciously. I personally feel that a merger of both companies into one would be amazing for users as it combines two of the most used things on the internet. I do feel that Google+ does do this to some level on it’s own. The problem is that with so many people already on Facebook, people do not move across to Google+. I do have a Google+ acount myself that I do not use at all.

The Web Means the End of Forgetting:

This article makes so much sense. I used to always be afraid to post something related to my work place back in  Dubai in the fear that I might get fired if it was too negative. I had to keep telling my friends that they should not post pictures of me smoking as my family thought that I had quit. However, there is only so much you can tell your friends to do. A friend’s friend took a picture of me smoking and uploaded it to facebook where my family saw it. (I had to add them because how can I not be friends with them on facebook. That was their argument). If I had known about Diaspora I probably would have been one of the backers. The need for privacy, something which facebook keeps changing every month, is essential. The fact that any stranger can find out about me by just taking a picture of me in the near future is frightening. I do feel that legal solutions will not help us out. There are too many loop holes and besides that, it will take too much time. I truly agree with the part in the article that says that we are slowly coming to terms with the merging of identities. However, it is going to take some time for that to happen completely. I know that any embarrassing pictures that I might have on facebook are not what my friends or family(besides smoking because that was a lie & while I was working) use to judge me. The fact that they know me at face value is what really helps and I try to limit my online friends to people I know and converse with not just online.

Things That Make Us Smart:

I completely agree with the statement,”it is things that make us smart”. My grandpa used to live in a village that only had an oral culture. The fact that he was given the chance to go to a school outside his village and learn things like reading and writing helped him move to the city and land a good job. The point that Socrates makes about books is something I have never thought of before. He makes some excellent points on how it destroys thought.  I, however, from personal experience with books do not really agree with it. I do not usually read non-fiction books. I stick to fantasy and sci-fi. It is this love for books though that made me be imaginative. I am not saying this is the only way for people to be imaginative and creative. Whenever I read I take my time with a book, thinking about why the author would do something, have a mental dialogue with myself. I think this is why the author says that the fault lies with the reader. I do feel there is a lot of power in representation when done right just like the author. The amount of times I have tried to use objects to describe something that is relatively simple to explain and have people give me a ‘we are not dumb look’ is countless. The representations of the flights reminded me a lot about the data visualization project we had to do during boot camp. The data takes importance over design. Alas, if only I had Dave’s solution when I was taking a ton of medication for an injury. I kept forgetting when to take the pills. The method he uses simplifies it so much for a patient. Even though the book says that it is easier to add roman numbers, I am finding it extremely hard to work it out. However, I can see that if I was taught roman numbers as a kid, I would find this easier. I also see and understand the reasoning for why it would be a lot easier to add them up. I love the fact that they had to learn less. When I was looking at figure 3.3 I kept thinking that if I would have done this I would have used one shade and opacity to represent the percentages. It is something similar to what the author has done in figure 3.4. The most important thing to take away from this reading is to know figure out the choice of representation to make hard tasks easy.

You Are Not a Gadget:

This excerpt talks about how arguments about the human relationship with technology should take place before things are designed. It goes on to list a lot of technological innovations, that seemingly great at first, falls short and creates something called a lock-in. He fears that companies like Google and Facebook have created online environments that have restricted true individuality. He gives us a few pointers on how we can start humanizing the web again. I read a few reviews on this book and the conclusion in one of them really stood out to me. It takes a completely different and extremely interesting stand to some of the authors main points. I find myself agreeing with a review a lot more than I do with the author. “Mr. Lanier is nostalgic for that era and its homemade Web pages, the personalized outposts that have largely been replaced by the more standardized formats of Facebook and MySpace. The aesthetics of these newer options might be less than refined, but tens of millions of people are able to express themselves in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. And let’s face it: Those personal Web pages of the 1990s are hardly worth reviving. It’ll be fine with me if I never see another blinking banner towed across the screen by a clip-art biplane. Like a remote beach that has been discovered by the masses, the Internet is no longer the pristine preserve of the well-off few. But what it now lacks in exclusivity it has more than made up for in ease of access. And for all the problems that Mr. Lanier rightly worries about, the trend seems to be toward a Web of ever more striving human activity. Indeed, we are not gadgets.”

Article link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703652104574652341134015738.html