Next week you have a big Critique – details below.

Hello People,

I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s work on Monday and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what exactly is expected.

You will be presenting the four related projects to class. We will not have time to read the stories in their entirety (I will however at home) so please consider how you would like to use your time. Each student will have approximately 15 minutes which means 7 min should be spent presenting and the remaining time will be for feed back.

This is a graded project. Please see rubric below.


1) Written character descriptions and any visual avatar you may have created. This may be in paragraph form or you may have addressed the questions directly.

2) The text adventure story written on Inkle writer. Be prepared to walk us through the links. Although most of you have many more, you must have at least two options and one graphic. Please link to your blog. The share button is on the upper left side of Inklewriter. You may want to consider adding a screen grab of the cover on your blog which links to the actual story.

3) 5 graphics (drawings, photos etc.) laid out in Indesign. This must be exported in two ways: a) a print pdf b) jpegs which you upload with brief explanations to your blogs. This can either be a scene from your story or the Origin Story of you character. You do not have to illustrate your whole story. Consider compositions and the use of close ups. Try to develop an individual yet consistent  look.

4)Using the same images (although you may add others) create a non linear story using the interactive Indesign tools. You must have at least 1 button on each page. Buttons can be words, objects or images. You can create a transparent box which you turn into a button on an image. Be creative and think of nonlinear ways you could present the images. If you are the kind of student who always gets an A+ you may want to consider adding sound. Please export as an interactive pdf and link to your blog. Again you may want to consider putting a screen grab up and a brief explanation of the concept.


character development           20%         

Text adventure story               30%

Indesign Print document        20%

Nonlinear Story                       30%

Here are the things I will be looking for:

technical advancement – grasp of tools

concepts – ideas stories

artistic direction -


Cohesive presentation on the blog and ability to present

Ok!  Have Fun and work hard!  Very much looking forward to next week.







Week 3 – Can you beleive it

Just wanted to touch base. Please take the time to look at each others and write at least one review. This should be written on your blog but linked to the persons piece. Also don’t forget to let them know.

If you don’t have a link yet shoot me an email with your url.

Homework is to have at least 5 panels drawn, photographed etc. about your origin story or a short scene. Consider how it reads as well creating dynamic compositions juxtaposing closeups with perspective shots. Your can reference the Scott McCloud. These should be digitized and brought into Indesign.

Have fun and  happy jewish new year. Its the year 5750!

Comics, Graphic Novels and Photo Essays …

I present the amazing and visionary Scott McCoud!

Here’s the the PDF of Scott Mccloud’s seminal book  Understanding Comics

There is an amazing new app to read, share and create interactive comics called madefire. Here is  madefire create. There is a bit of a learning curve – so I encourage you to explore some of the interactive comics and look at some of the tutorials. If you are motivated to teach yourself these tools you may complete the next assignment using Madefire.

We will be creating a short interactive graphic novel or photo essay  using some of the interactive tools Indesign offers. The first step will be to layout your illustrations/photos in Indesign.

Building on the stories you have written you must create a 5 -10 panel (at least 5 panel) scene which “illustrates” and “animates” the “origin story” of your character. In other other words the circumstances that made your character who they are.  If this proves uninspiring you may also choose to just use a scene from your interactive story. You must use original graphics or photographs.

1) Choose topic (workshop)

2) storyboard (workshop)

3)create images.  You may need to use Photoshop, Illustrator or … (save all your files)

4)Basic layout with txt in Indesign

4) Indesign interactivity – next week!




Hello and Welcome to Nonlinear Storytelling.

Interesting compilation of Transmedia examples.

Not sure if we have any students who want to go into journalism but the New York TImes is offering 2 dozen, 2 week internships. It seems like a good opportunity: Here’s the brochure and here is the application.

I enjoyed meeting everyone yesterday and am looking forward to a productive semester with lots of experimentation. Tesseract

1)The first genre we will be exploring is interactive fiction. I am posting an article from the New York Times which discusses a recent revival in Text Games. Please read the article and be prepared to discuss it in class. It would also be good if you could familiarize yourselves with some of the links. We will be creating our first projects in an application called Inkles. There are many examples on their website please explore and again be prepared to discuss which ones you find strong and what makes them work. Also can you post to your blog an example of a graphic artist that you respect.

2)Please develop a character in the first person that you would like to work with this semester. I am posting questions that you should answer about your character. Be creative and try to imagine the kind of world your he/she lives in.


1. Communication style: How does your character talk? Does she favor certain words or phrases that make her distinct and interesting? What about the sound of her voice? Much of our personality comes through our speech, so think about the way your character is going to talk. Her style of communication should be distinctive and unique.

2. History: Where does your character come from? Think out his childhood and adolescence. What events shaped his personality? What did his father do for a living? How about his mother? How many siblings does he have? Was it a loving family or an abusive, dysfunctional one? What events led him to the career choices he made? You may not need to provide all this background to your reader, but it’s good to know as the writer. It helps give him substance in your mind as well.

3. Appearance: What does she look like? This may be the least important ingredient to make your character a person to the reader, but you should still know it in your own mind. Not every character needs to be drop-dead gorgeous, by the way. Most people aren’t.

4. Relationships: What kind of friends and family does he have? How does he relate to them? Is he very social or reclusive, or somewhere in between? People can be defined by the company they keep, so this can be a good way to define your character.

5. Ambition: Just as this is the central letter of the acrostic, so too this concept is absolutely central to your character and plot. What is her passion in life? What goal is she trying to accomplish through your story? What is her unrecognized, internal need and how will she meet it?

6. Character defect: Everyone has some personality trait that irritates his friends or family. Is he too self-centered? Too competitive? Too lazy? Too compliant? Too demanding of others? Don’t go overboard on this. After all, you want your reader to like the character. But he’ll feel more real if he has some flaw. This is usually connected to his unrecognized need (see Ambition) and often gets resolved through his character arch.

7. Thoughts: What kind of internal dialogue does your character have? How does she think through her problems and dilemmas? Is her internal voice the same as her external? If not, does this create internal conflict for her? In real life we don’t have the benefit of knowing someone’s innermost thoughts, but a novel allows us to do just that, so use it to your advantage.

8. Everyman-ness: How relatable is your character? While James Bond is fun to watch on screen, most of us aren’t uber-trained special agent-assassins so it’s a little hard to relate to him on a personal level. On the other hand, Kurt Russell’s character in the movie Breakdown was far more ordinary and relatable, creating a more visceral experience. Be careful not to make your character too elite or he may be too difficult to live vicariously through. And that, after all, is the key to suspense.

9. Restrictions: More than a personality flaw, what physical or mental weakness must your character overcome through her arch? After all, even Superman had Kryptonite. This helps humanize your character, making her more sympathetic and relatable.

3)Lastly you may want to begin to think about your first interactive story. You can begin to sketch/plan it out on a story tree. photo(6)





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Looking forward to seeing everyone’s transmedia projects! I’ll be around tonight shoot me an email or tweet me if you have any questions.

Work hard!!!! Be inspired!!! Have Fun!!! See you on time tomorrow!!!

There’s a twist – Check the Challenge out!

I can’t believe this our last class! By the end of today’s class I will need to have OKed all final projects Remember – Your Transmedia stories must successfully give your character an on line identity and contextualize her or him in the Megaflood story that has been unfolding. Presentation is important! Consider how you will put the media elements together and how together they propel the story. Everything must be on your blogs! Consider embedding some of the tweets you participated in.

Final project minimum required elements:

  • Character development
  • Social media/twitter identity
  • use of at least one online application (timeline, storify, mapping tools, visualization app, etc., )
  • One media piece – sound or video (3 min)
  • additional media (gifs, image editing, paper)
  • A reflection blog post (due after finals but before I grade)
  • All media must be organized on one page of your blog!


King Rats are Smart! Total Panic! Bounty Extra Credit Prize! 

This footage was leaked to the press late night causing alarm and is largely considered a warning to all borough kingdoms. Below is an x-ray of the rapidly occurring mutations photographed during stage 1. Human tissue is grafted to the intricate rat web.


[ezcol_1half]New York is switching to triple black emergency mode for the fifth time today. All defense forces are out fighting the King Rat infestation, which is proving increasingly difficult.  What makes these rat conglomerates remarkable is their ability to multiply not only in number but also in intelligence kilowatts. New Yorkers are being enveloped at the rate of 2 people per hour sometimes increasing in the evening.  As human’s brain tissue is devoured, it grafts itself rapidly on to the rat web becoming a robust organism.  Some fear that New Yorkers are at risk of morphing into a new rat-being breed.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]

Fortunately, many people are already on the streets killing the king rats and protecting their people as best they can. The Feds are offering an extra-credit bounty prize to the borough that manages to regain control of this New York pandemic.  In the event that the problem should continue to expand they are threatening a drone attack.

The Challenge is on! Which Borough Kingdom will come up with the best plan to save the greater NYC? Tweet it out! Use Tags #CT101 #Megaflood #umberto #Yourboroughkingdom


The Storm is Rageing – Who will hear you?

Ok – The saga continues … babys are being born, cupcakes are being sold, rats are roaming, friends are lost. Who can you trust? Where are you DIgital Story tellers? Follow – (wordpress) Follow megastorm2019 on twitter. The official record is depending on your voice – tweet like hell and use the tags #CT101, #megaflood #umberto and share all maps, info graphics and timelines.