That’s a Wrap!


I just posted the grades for ENGS 095: Digital Composing, so you should be able to see them now. I have also e-mailed to each of you individually the remaining grades and comments for any assignments I hadn’t returned to you yet.

Thank you for a fun and challenging semester! I hope you have a wonderful break.

Best wishes,

December 14th, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

The Final Push!

Hi guys — the semester is almost over, so here’s one last reminder of what’s due when (because goodness knows finals is a crazy time and it’s easy to forget things).

  • Your MASHUP is due by noon on Thursday the 10th; if you post it publicly, feel free to just send me the URL. If it’s not public, you’ll need to find a way to get the file to me. (If it’s a big file, use the UVM file transfer system.
  • Your MASHUP COMPOSER’S STATEMENT is due by noon on Thursday the 10th; this is a 1-2 paragraph statement about what you were going for with your mashup — why did you mashup the things you did, what were you trying to communicate?
  • Your REVISED WRITER’S MANIFESTO is due by noon on Thursday the 10th; this is your opportunity to revisit your Writer’s Manifesto and update it. You’ve had a lot of different composing experiences since you first drafted it — what’s different now? Do you still see writing the same way? Do you still see yourself as a writer the same way? Do you still see composing the same way? Update the content, format, tone, audience, and/or anything else you think needs to be updated to reflect your views on writing now.

Finally, if you have any gaps on your grade sheet (besides the original Writer’s Manifesto), you need to get that to me. The holiday spirit has moved me to include blog posts and comments in this offer, so act now. Supplies are limited!

As always, if you’ve got questions, zing me an e-mail. I’ll be in my office (429 Old Mill) Thursday morning if you want to come by to either drop off materials or chat. If you want to drop off materials on Wednesday, take them to the main office of the English Department — 400 Old Mill.

December 8th, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

The Final Countdown… er, I mean, Showdown!

We’re almost at the end of the semester, and you know what that means! THE FINAL BLOG VOTE! Who will be crowned the kings and queens of all of blogtopia?

Vote now! The future of the world depends on you!

December 3rd, 2009 by Richard Parent | 12 Comments »

Winding Down

As the semester winds down, the stress and craziness ramps up. So, to help with the insanity, here’s a handy checklist of what’s due, and when.

  • BLOG: a total of 24 posts and 24 comments (from the beginning of the semester) is due by Thursday, Dec. 3rd, in your third and final Blog Tally
  • MASHUP: Your mashup needs to be presentation-worthy (because you’ll be presenting it!) by Thursday, Dec. 3rd; a few of you will get to present on Tuesday, Dec. 8th, but the goal should be to have the mashup done by Thursday
  • MANIFESTO: Your writer’s manifesto (what it means to you to write and/or to be a writer) is due for a re-visit; what’s changed since you wrote that first one? What’s new? Where are you now as a writer? Given all you’ve done in this class, how has your understanding of writing (and its joys and challenges) changed? These changes should be reflected in your revised manifesto, which is due by 12noon, on Dec. 10th.

As always, if you have questions, just ask.

December 1st, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

100-Word Story Contest

Hey, everybody! BoingBoing is having a 100-word fiction contest.

The theme is: FOUND IN SPACE.

There are prizes! “The prize is a $700 HP MediaSmart EX495 PC, set up as a Windows home server, with 1.5TB of storage and Mac/Time Machine support. The winner shall be chosen at arbitrary whim. Runners-up get something random from the gadget dungeon.”

So, write your 100-word-long story on “FOUND IN SPACE” and post it in comments at BoingBoing.

Good luck!

November 17th, 2009 by Richard Parent | 1 Comment »

Mashup Examples

Here’s a small selection of different mashups in different media. Though video and audio mashups seem to dominate the field online, there are lots of different sorts of mashups, and yours can take whatever form you think will be most interesting.

As you can see, there’s really no end to the possibilities. Your only constraint here is that you to remix something, mashing it up with either something else or with other parts of itself to create an interesting new thing.

November 12th, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

Interactive Fiction!

Hey all, here’s the result of all of your hard work!

Right-click on the links to the games below and save the files onto your computer. Unzip the archive (if you’re on a Mac this will happen automatically when you click on the file. If you’re on a PC you may need to use a program to unzip them.) Clicking on the .inform files once you’ve downloaded and unzipped them will open the game in Inform, and you’re ready to play!

And, for your reading (and playing) pleasure, here is a document I made compiling all of your walkthroughs for the game. So, if you’re stuck, here’s help. (I was sneaky and made the text of the walkthroughs invisible on the page, so you’ll need to select the text and change its color from white to something you can read.)

Have fun!

For Thursday’s class — now that you’ve played the games, vote for the ONE game you think was the best. (Your criteria for “best” may vary.) Put your vote and your rationale for your vote in comments to this post.

November 11th, 2009 by Richard Parent | 6 Comments »

Thursday, Nov. 5 – CLASS CANCELLED

Sorry for the late notice, but I’m bravely fighting off the plague and would rather not share said plague with you. So, class is cancelled today. We’ll meet again on Tuesday.

I’ve updated the Course Calendar to reflect this. You’ll see that the Interactive Fictions and Walkthroughs are due on Tuesday, November 10th, as I said they would be in our last class. We’ll have about 15 minutes to do some final debugging, and then your game goes gold, as they say in the gaming industry. That means that you’ll be releasing your game to the public (which, at this point, are your classmates) to play.

This means that this weekend you really need to work out the kinks in your game. If a kink persists, it may be time to try something less complicated for that aspect of the game. Don’t think of it as selling out your vision, but as a pragmatic, practical response to the hard reality of deadlines.

I hope you’re all feeling better than I am, and that you have a great weekend.

See you Tuesday.

November 5th, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

For Thursday – DE-BUG!

For Thursday’s class, try to get your interactive fiction game to be as playable as possible. That means that when you hit “play,” Inform doesn’t throw a bunch of errors at you.

If there are problems you cannot solve, write them down and bring them with you to class.

The final version of your game will be due on Tuesday the 10th, and you will need to have a playable (bug-free) version of your game AND a walk-through solution for your game by then.

November 3rd, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off

Inform 7 How-To Video

Taylor tracked this down, and it’s pretty helpful. Check it out!

Thanks, Taylor!

October 29th, 2009 by Richard Parent | Comments Off