It’s working…almost. for the most part! Famous last words spoken from most likely every ITP student to endure the nuances of completing 3-5 large projects simultaneously. Largest lesson learned is to plan and structure out attainable goals in hitting completions in time. Seriously would have made this last stretch much less stressful. But we will see if that is even a thing come next semester. I have goals at least. An a marker of understanding that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t put myself though the deep knowledge of discovering that the ‘Real World’ work structure should indeed be applied back to Grad School Work. So basic. Yet so far from grasp.. oh well, we are creatures of experiential conditioning. I digress.
I started off the semester with high hopes and big dreams of where I could go with code.. When ICM began, I remember having the flood of memories come in from a previous time in which I said the exact same thing. I got overwhelmed quickly and started to slow down my ambition and just try to embed the concepts so I could take this somewhere later, trying so so hard not to feel lesser than all of the super talented folks in our class. It’s a big one to admit, but I’m so happy I took things slow.
When it came time for choosing our final, I was in such a state of overwhelm that I couldn’t think of anything more than that of the SOLO Physical Computing Final I was working on (an Etch-A-Sketch <link tbd>). As I initially presented this idea, it seemed to not be in-line with the goals for this exercise, so I went back to the drawing board (in so many ways).
I had a trip to LA for a Wedding planned right after the class where we discussed the assignment and happened to go back to my childhood home and saw all of my childhood things. It was a deep experience, but I remember finding a TMNT slider puzzle (similar to this one that Walmart sells), and it hit me — I should do that. Make a slider puzzle. But do it with the camera (we just went over video/sound for Week Eight) and it would be so so so cool. I presented that idea as a direction and it seemed like the next big thing in my mind.
Okay, so reality hit as soon as I started to research what would be necessary in getting this off the ground from ideation to practical building. I got overwhelmed again ( ..feeling a theme brewing) and decided to switch gears and work on my Etch-A-Sketch planning. I needed (maybe wanted) to buy an Etch-A-Sketch — in that process of finding the one labeled with the ‘prime’ letters, I saw a mag-na-doodle and it all came in. Strong. I need to make this. This will be the direction. I choose YOU, Mag-na Doodle.
That was easy. Sort-of. I am resourceful and if I can find an example out there, I can implement that example into my code. So many coding challenges watched but I found a method to my madness and began to sketch out a basic idea of what I wanted to see. Sure this was no REAL Mag-na Doodle, it was beginning to be the MAD-NA Doodle.. Get it.. if you’re reading this you’re on my site, and the insert of ‘MAD’ as a preface before any of my ideas has been a setting of mine since I was in undergrad (Mad Shutter came from me, Madison (Mad for short) and Shutter as in Photography…I also have unpublished about 3 other projects with Mad as the beginning of the business name. I digress again. Anyhoo, the Mad-na Doodle was born and creation began.
During the first Play Test in class, I got so many great ideas of where to go with this idea. Changing the colors was the beginning, but really adding sounds and making the shapes were the next level. I felt that I could do it.. like if I put in the right amount of time and research I could figure it all out.. and I did in a way, but really so much learned in this process.
I did know from the beginning that I wanted it to feel alive. I just absolutely adored the P5 Skribble library and knew that if done correctly, I would see a bit more of the movement that I wanted to see. I had a sketch from an array exercise found online from earlier in the semester and adapted that to appear as an on/off drawing board. I added some DOM elements and the SLIDERS. They are the best things ever. Really loving the customization of them and making them do yet more customization. I think colors are so important in driving engagement — and to be able to set your tone is just as important.
I presented the below slide deck in class for the final and knew that I had a week to get as much done as possible. I learned a very valuable lesson in planning (mentioned again) and also about debugging. HOLY COW. The only time in which I can recall sitting and focused for a length of time greater than 2 hours without noticing the fact was when I did my photography art. I must really love this stuff or really bad.. but really do appreciate the art of code so much more now.
I knew I really wanted to change the design to only have sliders to control the colors of both dots and background, but time hasn’t allowed in the process of turning this project in by the due data (one again planning.. its showing up so valuable right now). BUT ideation seems to be constantly baked into my process. As, I start out with an idea, then begin to build it out… THEN get inspired to go deeper and get lost in more function/features/etc. Okay, I admit I tried to add a few things last minute before posting this and somehow killed my draw function (it’s okay, fixed now) but there were so many good lessons here (today) and within my creation process for other projects to be more precise with planning and to not push extra features at the last moment. I REPEAT. No more pushing features last minute. Lesson LEARNED.
With the shapes, I managed to break my code in so many strange and inconsistent ways.. I want so bad to re-design this (AGAIN) so it looks perfect and is completed, but there’s something in having it not completed that makes me want to keep it undone so that I will go back and get er done.
I’m proud of myself for this one. I got so much completed and learned a great deal of practical lessons. Like more than I thought I would get.. I couldn’t get the slider to reset the drawing fully (it’s kinda not working but works occasionally). The sounds work on clicks (only) — like all clicking, but there’s a 2-3 second lag. The responsiveness is lacking. I will live with the imperfections for now. But I want to do so much more with this. I think I will. I know that this break is a good opportunity to focus on what I missed and go through the lessons as time allows (again).
See project AS-IS below. I’ll update with updates as they happen.
Code found here.