I’m planning that the final project will be a history documentary about an alternate dystopian future caused by the Coronavirus, where I’ll be combining video, images, and audio together to paint the future history of the geopolitical ramifications of a Coronavirus which rapidly mutates out of control, becomes significantly more deadly, and eviscerates the economies of every country. I saw in the news that a new symptom of foot lesions has recently shown up in Spain, France, and Italy, so a significant mutation might not be too far fetched. I will create a few modifications to one of my political simulator games to show the rapid spread of the virus and the rapid collapse of governments throughout the world, record the in-game footage, and commentate over the events as they happened, while inserting relevant images from time to time, almost like a history show in the far future. I’m also considering working with my group members from the last projects (Kyle, Lewis, Lilian, and James), and we’ll meet sometime on Sunday to discuss plans to work together and integrate our ideas, likely around a similar theme.
The warning label was from my previous assignment, making fun of those medical commercials with the strange side effects using Valve’s Portal Gun from the Portal series of videogames. We were to remix it with Savanna, but it was not descriptive in what we were to do, so I put a savanna in the background of the warning label to make the warning label more desert themed.
The original assignment was to change the colors, but the remix was to add a bad infomercial feeling to it. I figured the best way to do so was to make this feel like an unusual advertisement, and since the colors changed, I made it a color changer, along with the typical free random cheap product thrown in to entice potential buyers
This week was alright, except for the homework, but less then I imagined. The dreaded writing assignment for my programming class, unlike the other two 4 page papers, was posting answers to 6 simple questions, and my Deep Learning Neural Network class didn’t have us write any code at all. I started working on a converter program in Java which will take a save file from the Roman Republic strategy game Imperator:Rome, and generate a mod for the medieval Europe simulator game Crusader Kings II, with the idea of completely playing out the game in Imperator:Rome, then continuing in the medieval era of the other game, with starting CK II countries representing how they were by the end of Imperator:Rome. If I play as Carthage and destroy the Roman Republic in Imperator:Rome, for example, then Carthage should own all of that land in Crusader Kings II. Currently the converter just takes information from a province in a save file and extracts the information from it, like what nation owned the province, what was the culture of that province, how many people were living in there, etc. Since there’s a large time gap between 1 AD (the ending of Imperator:Rome) and 700 AD (the beginning of Crusader Kings II), I plan to have the program set Crusader Kings II’s start date to either 1 AD or 100 AD, and generate the events necessary to simulate the historical events at the time, like the rise of Feudalism, Christianity, and Islam. The video project was fun to make, and James’ editing was excellent. Lewis, James, Lilian, Kyle, and I all coordinated well online to finish the assignment, and I like how the final product turned out. I stuttered too much during my segments, but overall it looks and feels like a documentary, and Lewis’ funny segment definitely lightens up the mood, while Kyle and Lilian get specific with the details, which makes it feel polished. It was a real gas mask I was wearing, and the story about my great uncle George being an underwear salesman during the 1930’s depression is real, lol. My grandfather still has his suitcase full of 1930’s underwear.
Here’s the video on Youtube:
Progress and behind the scenes making my segments:
More Ideas for future projects:
My group had met together online using Zoom on Monday at 5:00 pm EST to discuss the video format for the project. Since it was a documentary, we decided to do a documentary format by having Lilian, Lewis, Kyle, and myself record and submit footage of ourselves talking to the camera about how we each in this future survived the virus, what life was like, the economy exploding, and the toilet paper scare by Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. James would then edit the footage together, put in the credits, and add sound effects.
I sat down with the laptop to record at 4:00 am on Thursday morning, and I was glad that the web cam worked, since I had never used it before. If it had problems, I would have tried using my old 2007 HP’s camera, then if that didn’t work my cell phone on low battery. My younger brother who recently graduated from high school enjoys buying old military surplus clothing and gear, and happened to have a gas mask and a full hazmat suit lying around. He allowed me to borrow the gas mask for the filming, but without the filter for the gas mask which makes it usable as a gas mask. He only had one of those filters, and they aren’t reusable after being used, so it would be a waste to use it for filming, but I think the mask without the filter still gave off an ominous appearance that worked effectively to enhance the atmosphere. I shot it by the lava lamp, which I thought added something interesting to the background, and I was sitting in my great aunt Bessie’s 120 year old chair to provide an antique feeling of an old man recalling his experience of a historical event. I’m not sure what exact year the chair was made in, but she was born in 1899, and I think the chair was made around that time. It was strange talking through the gas mask at first, but after a few minutes I got used to it. Unlike the audio where I could record several clips and combine the best ones, due to my lackluster video editing software, I had to record the entire part in one go, so if I made one messup, I’d need to restart entirely. I was awake until 5:00 am recording my parts.
I tried to paint a darker world for my recollections in the documentary, many economists before the virus sprang up were predicting that we were in a massive bubble that would burst into another recession, but with the virus now completely destroying entire industries, I think it’ll serve as a catalyst for a far greater depression, akin to the 1930’s, which will cause massive political turmoil and upheaval throughout many countries. Political Polarization has drastically increased in the last 10 years, I remember back in middle school how no young people cared for politics, and it was seen as lame, I was always called crazy for liking politics, but now it’s the primary thing that fellow young people care about, and people on both ends of the spectrum are becoming increasingly intolerant of eachother’s political views. With people out of money and jobs from this depression, I only see that intolerance increasing. I predict that during the 2030’s or 2040’s, fueled by the political polarization and this depression there will be a second civil war in our country between those who can no longer tolerate eachother’s political differences. I tried to recall the world after these horrible events, as an older, broken man, recanting the catalyst which brought everything down from utopia to distopia. I tried to lighten it up a little bit by sharing the story of my great uncle George who had during the 1930’s depression became an underwear salesman and sold underwear in his suitcase. My grandfather still has that suitcase, lol.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty quiet, I avoided communication with most people, made food from supplies in the house, and remained safe from the virus. On Wednesday I was up until midnight working on homework. On Friday I mowed the lawn, did a paper for my history class, and stayed up until the early morning finishing my work. My old middle school and high school friend is getting married Saturday March 28th, and I’ll be watching it from a video live stream. I’ve made sure to avoid or clean packages in the mail, as Coronavirus survives on cardboard for 24 hours. This week my Radio project group came back together for the video project, which has a finished trailer, I did the daily create based off of the Coronavirus being able to live on cardbord for 24 hours, and I did the video scene analysis, although I avoided using copyrighted images. I can’t get Windows Movie Maker to run on Windows 10, so I’ve used the similar Windows Photostory software to make videos, but I have an old Windows XP computer I could use for Movie Maker videos in case Photostory becomes too limited to use.
This week was long, I was awake most of the week working on coding work and a coding project. I was up until midnight on Monday, and on Tuesday I started coding at 9:00 am, took a break at 4:00 pm, resumed at 9:00 pm, and finished at 4:00 am on Wednesday. There was a problem with one of our classes which plagued us throughout the project, I can’t go into further detail due to the honor policy, but it took hours of pondering, testing, and fixes before it was finally working. Normally we would present the project to the professor, but with the Wuhan Coronavirus, had to submit video footage of it running. We’d record the code running for 30 minutes for the footage, and after 30 minutes of recording, find a significant error, rewrite and do testing, record for the footage again, find a significant error, then repeat. It went on for hours, I was up for 14 hours coding, and was awake for 20 hours straight from Tuesday to Wednesday morning. We all eventually fixed the code after we all endured the grueling time, and it runs as it should. Social isolation hasn’t effected me too much, I’ve practically already lived in social isolation most of my life, and it’s been interesting seeing how other people have adapted. I’ve spent most of my time alone, doing either work, eating from supplies, or having some free time. I’m hoping I’ll have more time over the weekend to sleep and relax. My cat keeps hogging most of the space on my bed, making it difficult for me to sleep, but I can never get angry with my cat, lol. I wasn’t able to listen Monday and Tuesday due to my work, but Wednesday’s shows were interesting. I enjoyed the Crime Show, it was interesting, and it was nice to hear my group’s show on the radio. This week I redid the Audio from Hell assignment, which was fun to make a horrible, ear shattering screeching noise; I created an interesting story combing the paint from the Holi daily create, the handwashing from the handwashing diagram daily create, and the Wuhan Coronavirus daily create; listed ideas for future projects, such as Radio Show 2:Electric Boogaloo; and reflected on the Radio Show I listened to.
This was an interesting week, I would have never expected the NBA, March Madness, and our campus to shut down entirely. I’ve never seen anything like this. I was meeting with my partner in the Radio Show project, Lewis, when they sent the email on Wednesday afternoon. It didn’t change my plans too much, since I usually visit my parents on the weekend, who live nearby. I had an advising meeting scheduled for Thursday, so I waited until after the meeting to return home, but campus had already become desolate and a ghost town by this point. Although shortly after finishing my advising meeting, the school sends out an email stating that class scheduling would be delayed until April, it would have been nice to know earlier, lol. I emptied most of my mini-fridge, packed the bedsheets, and took home the laptop. Symptoms of Coronavirus don’t occur until a week or two after being infected, I hope I haven’t been infected, I was infected with the Swine flu back in 2010, and that was horrible, so I don’t want it to happen again. My plan will be to avoid going out of my room and meeting other humans until (or if) we go back to school. I only had 2 classes this week, I have no in-person classes on Tuesday, my history professor had to cancel class on Wednesday, and my programming professor’s Wednesday meeting was not cancelled, and both Thursday and Friday were cancelled due to the virus. Most of my in-person classes haven’t announced what their plans’ll be for online work, but I hope that they’ll be posted soon.
Here’s the Daily Create for Friday, the Radio Progress Report, and the finished Radio Show:
This week started solemn, where I visited my grandmother’s grave on Sunday for the anniversary of her birthday. She died back in June, and they still haven’t made the tombstone for her yet, which is frustrating, so there’s just this square hole in the ground above where her urn is buried. I found out midterms are next week, spring break came quickly this year. I’ve spent most of this week awake and working, and ran out of food again. Wednesday was fun with watching the debate with my club, Bloomberg got destroyed in the debate, and I don’t think he can recover. I honestly predict Sanders will win the primary, then loose to Trump. Extreme candidates do well in the primaries, but have to get the moderate vote. My group programming project went well, but my teacher had to spend the first thirty minutes saying my class was almost a whole month behind because some people in my class still did not programming basics, such as while loops. This scares me how somebody could get into CPSC 240 without knowing how to make a loop, it would be like getting into algebra class without knowing how to multiply. I hope that the teacher will let these people learn the basics quickly on their own time or just fail so that the rest of the students can move on with actually learning new content, I don’t want to be a semester behind my peers and waste money on a coarse. On a brighter note, I’m glad that I was able to inspire our professor Bond in converting his image to a glorious sound, lol: http://blog.raptnrent.me/2020/02/16/inverted-synesthesia/
My assignment bank assignments were interesting to make, and I felt satisfied with them, but took much longer then I expected in MS Paint.
The menu design was based off of an old 1980’s green and black personal computer interface
The warning label was designed for Valve’s Portal Gun, a great device which in the Portal games can create portals between any two points.
The contradiction assignment was easy, I always contradict myself, lol
This assignment was fun, but was long to do in MS Paint, lol. I created a wanted criminal poster for communism, essentially
An interesting read
Since I could never get Instagram to work, I posted the images to the blog.
This week was long and tiring, I only ate on average 1 meal per day, and usually had between 2-5 hours of sleep per day. Programming was fun as always, but the rest of the week was exhausting, with me working until late in the morning on a few days, especially on Thursday-Friday where I had worked until 9:00 am on Friday morning. I ran out of tissues during the week, and with my nose in full allergy mode, it was annoying. With time being constrained, especially with my night class, I unfortunately missed the Tweet-A-Long assignment, but I hope next week will be better. Coordinating with my group members in my programming class has worked out good, and we expect a finished program by Sunday. I had honestly forgotten Valentines day was on Friday, and wouldn’t have known had it not been for Google’s unusual doodle. My Grandfather has had a hard time dealing with this week, this is the first Valentines day that he’s had since his wife died, and Sunday will be the first anniversary of her birthday since her death. In politics club, I had a good time for our week’s topic of religion, and I’m exited that my club will watch the presidential primary debate to scrutinize the remaining candidates. The last one we watched, we had a tally sheet to record points based off of what a candidate said, with a negative for each time they said something we strongly disagree with, and a positive for tolerate; Elizabeth Warren got a -65 for my sheet, lol. The sound in hell assignment was fun, so I could upload a horrid, loud, screeching noise certain to cause one’s eardrums to explode, I use something similar for my cell-phone alarm, which can wake and keep me up after only having one hour of sleep in the past 24 hours and no coffee. Last week I forgot about the write up, but I’ve made sure to do it this week in each Assignment Bank assignment, as stated in the Write-Up guide.
Links to this week’s assignments: