PROPOSAL- INTERACTIVE MAP

(Unit 5, 6 and 7 -1.1 and 1.2)

  • What is your chosen area and why?

Canterbury High Street. As I walk through it often and it’s very local, it makes it easy to research. It is also the main place people go to in Canterbury, with a multitude of shops and places nearby, and it suits my idea well.

  • What theme are you using? (i.e. food, history, sport, fictional, photography etc)

I am going for a fictional theme. More specifically, I am writing a near-distant future – which is the Cyberpunk genre.

  • What is your style of writing? (Travel/Journalistic, Blog, Non-fiction or fiction)

Fiction. The full version will be on a blog for easy access and additional material (a ‘director’s cut’, putting it simply), though the key parts (the stories) will be in a booklet.

  • What are the aims and objectives of your map? (Educate? Entertain? Prompt imagination? Promote the tourist industry)

The aim is to provide social commentary and entertain readers. It is not an educational piece, though there will be subtle nods and callbacks to stories, rumours and urban legends that exist today. This is to provide a fun ‘then and now’ experience, contrasting the present day to this fictional dystopia of 2099.

  • Target audience; who is your audience and why?

My target audience is 16 and up. The characters use crude language (though not extreme, only ‘shit’ or ‘bastard’ or ‘damn’) and it will deal with mature subject matters such as police brutality, totalitarianism and transhumanism. Though, it will not entirely be this way, these themes will be touched upon through world-building.

  • What is the overall style of your piece?

Told in first-person, through the eyes of the main character – Amelia Valentine. There will not be much narration, as it will focus heavily on the dialogue between her and the two other characters – Ryuu Ishikawa and Akemi Ueyama. Paragraphs will be kept short and concise, to put a heavy emphasis on showing and not telling.

  • Generally, describe what you want to include in your map and why?

The map will be simple, with icons to indicate places of interest and an easy to read interface. It will focus on simplicity and vector art.

  • What visual elements will you include and how will you implement them? (Photo’s drawings, colour scheme)

As it is an almost entirely fictional concept, the visual elements will be drawings. One drawing per piece for the booklet, with maybe more on the blog if I can manage. I personally don’t have much experience drawing, so I’d need to commission an artist I know or procure art some other way. The style will focus on ‘cool’ colours such as blue, purple and pink, with an emphasis on sleekness and the neon lighting. Even if it’s sketches, I can make do.

  • Technical: How will you make your piece interactive, visual and audio based?

Interactive – The booklet itself is interactive. On top of that, the blog will be interactive, and serve as its own little webpage.

Visual – Illustrations, or sketches at the least.

Audio – The key elements will be given voice acting and possibly ambient music. I am handling Ryuu Ishikawa, while two others I know (outside of college) will be handling Amelia Valentine and Akemi Ueyama.

  • What creative problems might you need to overcome in audio, interactive and visual and how will you propose to do that? (i.e. a contingency plan)

Interactive – Finding a way to neatly present the blog, but more importantly make it easy to access for people on this walk. A playlist of the recorded stories is a possible way to overcome this. I’ll consult a friend about this. (Backup: The booklet comes first.)

Visual – Finding someone to do the art in the first place, as well as having a bit of money for the commission. (Backup: Looking for someone in the college, or asking my dad to do the art, as he’s a digital artist. Would prefer not to ask my dad, as he’s often busy and has a style that doesn’t entirely match my vision.)

Audio – Mic quality, communication between voice actors, audio editing, etc. Even basic familiarity with Adobe Audition can help, as will prior preparation and a group chat between me and these two people. (Backup: Use people in class or elsewhere in the college for voices. This doesn’t look like it’ll happen, though.)

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During this week, I was not around for both Monday and Tuesday, causing me to miss out on much. However, I was around on Wednesday, and that is what I will focus on apart from the weekly progress update.

But, first, the update. I am currently in a state of panicking, as I have not been able to write a full draft of any other piece yet. I have been able to plan more extensively and find a voice actor for the third character, which means the audio base is covered. Visually, my tutor has told me not to worry about it just yet, so I am currently holding off until all of the writing is finished.

As I was not able to learn much this week, I could not take many skills or refer to many professional examples. What I did learn revolves around Adobe InDesign CS6, a program where you can design and create digital booklets – but they can also be printed off. Below is a step-by-step guide of what we learnt, with screencaps.

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To start with, we had to set up our document. File -> New Document, first. Then, for our settings, we set the columns to ‘3’ and the number of pages to ‘20’. The most important part, however, was to click ‘More Options’ and set the bleed to 5 mm. Bleed gives a sort of ‘buffer’ region outside of the pages. Images that are slightly too large will fill the bleed and the book can be made without any white parts.

To familiarize ourselves with the controls, we learnt that the quick access to pages can be found in Window -> Pages. CTRL + Spacebar = Zoom In, CTRL + Alt + Spacebar = Zoom Out. To create frames for our pictures, we selected the frame button, which was identifiable through the rectangle with a cross through it, on the icon list to the left. And, finally, to place images, we go to File -> Place -> The picture in question.

Most of this is simple, so far, but why do we need the frame? This frame is the section in which our images can be placed. If an image was too big for a frame, we would only see what that frame covers – the rest would bleed over and ‘disappear’.

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So, to edit our image in the first place, you select the black cursor icon. This allows you to select elements on the page instead of altering them. Click the image, and a donut-like icon should appear in the center. This allows you to move the image around, though the frame will not move. You can move the frame by selecting a space outside of the donut, and dragging from there.

To fit the image inside the frame, you can manually resize it through the percentage drop-down box along the top bar (third from the left). Alternatively, above the box ‘autofill’ is an icon that will read ‘fill frame proportionally’, which does the work for you.

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Some other options we have with InDesign is as follows.

Going into Window -> Links, you can view the links page to the right. Here, all image files used will be displayed under their file name. DO NOT alter the source files, move them to another folder or rename them. Doing so will cause InDesign to not print the image, and there will be a large red X on the Links page, next to the image in question. From there, simply tell InDesign where the image is located.

Next, you can place text in three different ways. After making the text box through the T-shaped text icon to the left, you can either…

File -> Place -> Text in question

Copy and paste.

Type – > ‘Fill with placeholder text’.

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To alter our text box, you can select the ‘prison-like’ icon to the right on the top bar. This is the Columns button, and it will have a ‘1’ next to it. Increasing the number increases the amount of columns that the selected text box has.

Moving on, you can go into Window -> Colour -> Colour + Swatches (they’re two separate buttons so click them both) to open up the colour and swatches menus.

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First and foremost, there are two options for selecting colours. A ‘foreground’ box and a ‘background’ box. What this actually means is that the first box is for normal colouring, while the second box is a ‘stroke’ box, giving you a colourful border. To increase the size of this border, you go to the top bar with your colours selected, and there should be a box with ‘1 pt’ inside. A higher number means a thicker border.

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To stretch text across multiple pages, we do something called ‘Text Threading’. When a box cannot contain all of the text inside, a red + will appear next to the box. Text will appear around the cursor once clicked, and all you have to do is click to another text box. This will move the text there.

While optional, you can go into View -> Extras -> Show Text Threads to see where text boxes are linked together by a line.

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Finally, to finish our work, we went and replicated a title page from the sample booklet given to us. We went to the page we coloured earlier, made a text box and typed in ‘Dirty Stories with Clean Endings’. From there, we were told to replicate the size and font. I chose Arial Rounded MT Bold, Size 72, and got the desired effect.

To do that, I referred to the top bar once more, which allowed me to change my text settings. However, to the left, I could see a paragraph icon below the A-shaped text icon. This was for paragraph settings. By going to the center of the top bar once more, I unticked the ‘hyphenate’ box, so the large words did not hyphenate. This further replicated the booklet’s text.

Finally, we highlighted this text and coloured it purple, using the colour menus shown earlier.

As an optional, final touch, we learned that if we were to unselect everything and press ‘W’ on the keyboard, all of the guidelines and technical information will be hidden. This shows us what the book will really look like, with none of the extra clutter.

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