Oraculum booth – Painted logo
Back in July this year (2012), with exams now behind us and with classes no longer an issue – myself and the rest of my fellow 4th year Creative Media students in DkIT were busily putting the finishing touches on projects which we had all labored over and put vast amounts of work into over the course of the academic year. Many of us had encountered setbacks over the year, which resulted in slow progress. While others had to start all over again, having invested weeks or sometimes months into their projects – now faced with starting again with less time than other groups. Yet we persisted, working harder as the year went on, often resulting in increased stress within groups and often heated words – which in retrospective we can now be looked back on jokingly.
Divided into groups of 2-4 members per project back in November 2011, each group was to develop a project from scratch – initially brainstorming ideas to come up with the physical project itself. This project could be anything, a product or game even, so long as it was an interactive media piece, backed up by solid research supporting its reasoning as a product. This project would then be developed and created with the final result then to be ready for display and interaction with the public at Dundalk Institute of Technology’s annual FIS exhibition the following June (2012).
Our project was Oraculum http://oraculumcorp.wordpress.com/
Oraculum brainstorming – Early ideas being hammered out.
Oraculum design – Intro animation still.
Oraculum SFX – Fionn recording a flower during SFX recording.
Oraculum – Exhibition booth poster.
Oraculum character design – Alice sketch.
Oraculum team caricatures.
Forming our group back in November 2011 – Lynsey Toner (Project Manager & Animation), Elena Rimeikaite (Design), Fionn Larkin (Audio) and myself Eamonn Cahill (Narrative & Programming) – we created an interactive science-fiction narrative, set in the alternative future city of Europa, a place where a new technology called ‘Focus’ has split the society in two and where the evil corporation Oraculum controls the population with an iron fist. As an ‘interactive narrative’, the user follows the story of Europa citizen Alice Leporinum – an Oraculum employee who for the past year has been searching for her missing brother Albus, a former scientist for Oraculum. As a point & click adventure, the user interacts with on-screen graphics and animations, navigating along a unique path through the story, encountering mysterious characters and difficult puzzles/ mini-games along the way – ultimately ending in one of two possible endings.
Fionn painting the Oraculum booth.
Oraculum booth – Lynsey painting logo.
Oraculum booth – Painted circuits on walls.
Oraculum booth – Ready for equipment…
With a complicated narrative (eventually condensed down to what was eventually exhibited), a branching storyline (again, cut down), original soundtrack (composed by the talented Fionn Larkin), unique design (from the mind of Elena Rimeikaite) and superb animation (courtesy of our excellent PM Lynsey Toner) - Oraculum grew and grew as the year went on, becoming quite a large project to finish.
But we got there!
Oraculum booth – All programming bugs fixed!
Oraculum booth – Ready for exhibition…
Beginning of June 2012, and everyone in the Creative Media and Film & Video departments were hurriedly rushing around, setting up and decorating individual project booths while some were adding the finishing touches to their projects, fixing programming bugs and preparing equipment for booths. Everyone was busy getting their projects ready for what was to be the culmination of over 7 months work – ending with their projects going on show at DkIT’s annual FIS Exhibition, an event which attracts a large crowd of vistors from the public each year, as well as important figures from the media industry.
Veracity guys hard at work.
Smart Kids booth
Miology Labs booth
Caligo booth – James ironing out programming bugs.
[Unfortunately only have pictures of a handful of projects on show at the exhibition... Sorry.]
In the Oraculum camp, with two days presenting our work to the public, describing how we came up with the idea for the project and explaining all the research behind the narrative and its meaning, as well as watching how people actually enjoyed and engaged with our project, then coming out saying how much they loved it – it all felt worth it. 7 months of hard work, late nights, heated debates over the projects direction and a building workload, suddenly felt justified. We got the project there in the end.
As always, looking back on the year, there was always room for improvement. Certain parts of the project could of been done better and we could of done with starting work on some parts of it a lot earlier. But then its easy to pick holes looking back on something. We created a totally original product, something which didn’t replicate or copy anything else. We worked together as a team, helping each other out when it got hard, understanding the need for criticism as well as approval in getting work done right. We worked hard on our respective areas, while ensuring it jelled together as one solid product. We got it done.
It took a heck of a long time getting there, but we had a great time doing it.
FIS Exhibition take down day
FIS 2012 – (Most of) 4th year Creative Media.
Hopefully I can update this post sometime soon with an uploaded version of the Oraculum project so you can see for yourself what we managed to create in the end…