What is a, ughh… cowbird? I hear you ask, voice sparkling with oh so much exuberance and curiosity!
No, it is not a new species of animal accidentally produced when a cow and a bird…. , it is in fact a website allowing people to share their own short stories on anything they like through the internet all sparked through their belief that stories are “how we make sense of our lives”.
Inspired by the flipped lecture on futurism regarding Augmented Reality, I have utilised cowbird to write my very own short story!
An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose.
E-books are a new technology revolutionising the way we read. Electronic versions of almost any book, available from the convenience of your smart phone, i-pad or e-reader. But does this mean that the days of hard copy books are over? And if so is it for the better?
so what are the pros of e-books?
They are easily read-able having the ability to zoom and make the letters bigger.
They are easily portable and you can carry more than one book on the one device! Perfect for when you have only a few pages of a book left, or you are a super speedy reader!
They are much more environmentally friendly, no trees killed in the making or ink used at all.
Lighting conditions never a problem, the e-readers having their own in built, adjustable light source.
It is perfectly ideal for covering up the fact you are reading books of the “50 Shades of Gray” variety while in public places, saving much potential shame!
so wait, then what are the cons?
They are useless without an E-reader of some description
You have to worry about battery life.
E-books are not always readily available, and not the most robust of tools!
Copyright Laws can be a worry even though you purchase the digital book, you do not own the rights to it, which can be an issue when trying to share the eBook with friends and family.
Less broad variety of books available
Formatting Issues can cause trouble, as different providers distribute different formats of eBooks, which may be incompatible with certain brands of readers.
Overall, there is no denying E-Readers are a huge technological advancement, that may eventually lead to the depletion of hard copy books, especially as the technology improves ever so rapidly. For now however, I will admit I do still enjoy my books as paperbacks, no batteries required able to be read everywhere. Perhaps there will always be a nostalgic sense about paperback books. However, I do see the benefits of E-readers and I guess at the end of the day despite the pros and cons whether it be paperbacks or e-books each medium allows you to do the same thing… read a book!
The process of making a game even what I though was going to be a simple choose your own adventure one, turned out to be much more complex than I ever imagined.
In order to allow the player to have a choice in their adventure, there had to be at least two choices for them to pick and then each of these choices had to lead onto an alternative scenario. The final decision tree of all the choices through-out the game ending up looking like this:
I encountered some difficulties with trying to figure out how exactly/ what order to publish all the posts in order for them to exist and be linked to the choices in order for the game player to progress through the scenarios. Deciding that I should publish the final post with the ‘treasure’ last so it becomes hidden among the other posts, and the post outlining the game-play and linking to the beginning of the game last, so it would be the first post seen on my blog.
The thing that I feel really worked most about my game was the ease of the gameplay, and the simplicity of it. The player just having to decide which choice they wanted to make and then either click on it or scan the relevant QR code to move onto the next scenario. I also think the use of visuals in particular the map made according to the destinations within ‘Gnomeadic Island’ the story world, was an effective part of the game play.
The things that I feel didn’t work that well were that initially some of the links didn’t work, which brought the whole game-play to a halt; a problem that was easily solved. Another thing I think may not have worked to well, is having the ‘Treasure’ post located on the blog, as it can be accessed without playing the game if you are aware of its existence. The last thing I don’t feel worked too well was the way I incorporated twitter, as in order to reply to the user with how to get their prize, I would have to constantly be monitoring the hashtag which could become an issue. The prize also most likely a let down in the end to, but what were you really expecting from a game modelled through blog posts? Really?
Overall, the making of a game which allowed its users to make decisions proved to be an interesting, much more complex process than I could have every imagined!
Legend has it that years ago, a band of wandering gnomes hid their treasure on the far away Gnomeadic Island; guarding it with a series of obstacles and leaving nothing but a treasure map split into two pieces to find it. You have recently come into possession of one half of the treasure map your job to find the other half of the map and make that treasure yours! But be careful, one wrong turn and you could lose it all….
Playing Gnomeadic Island Treasure Hunt is simple, a classic choose your own adventure type game, you will encounter a series of scenarios that will require to make a choice, make your choice and you will either proceed on your quest, or your journey will come to a tragic end!
The below decision tree underlining the basic structure of the game:
Why would you want to play? Simple if you win, you not only get the satisfaction of solving an age old mystery and uncovering buried treasure, but you will receive a prize of some sort!
SO HERES THE FIRST PART OF THE MAP, EITHER CLICK THE MAP OR SCAN ONE OF THE QR TAGS TO BEGIN YOUR QUEST!