Reflections at the end of all things

As part of the conclusion of the module, the student participants were asked to reflect on their participation.

Emily

What do you consider to be the main learning outcomes of the module? What will you take away with you after completion of the module?

From this module I have learnt and developed many skills that I otherwise would not have had the chance to. Including; programming and coding, photoshop editing, communication within a group and working with a real museum to develop a product that will be used in the heritage world. Moreover the main learning outcomes I have achieved from this module are perspective and communication. Working with a group has meant that compromise, coordination and allocation of tasks has been key, possibly mirroring working within the heritage sector in my future career. Perspective has been crucial as understanding what the museum wanted and being able to fit this to their environment was something I have never done or thought about. The chance to work on a project that will be used in the real world is something that is not usually offered to first years and has given me key skills that I will take with me into the following years of my degree.

Do you think the fieldschool has had an impact on how you understand heritage? How?

Definitely, as the opportunity to work with a small museum has shown me the heritage world from a completely different perspective. Seeing a museum run on one member of staff and the rest being volunteers, changes the dynamic of how management choices and the organisation of the museum is decided. Additionally being able to work on a heritage project instead of solely being on the dig allowed me to see the heritage world from a professional perspective for the first time.

If you could describe this module in one word, what would it be?

Opportunity.

Hayden

What do you consider to be the main learning outcomes of the module? What will you take away with you after completion of the module?

To be introduced to how a heritage project is undertaken.
To develop teamwork and presentational skills.
To acquire a range of technical skills.

I will primarily take away a better understanding of how a project can be undertaken by a small group. Particularly, I believe I have developed my own understanding of what contributions one should make. One major point of feedback I received throughout the module was that I don’t push my opinions and ideas to the extent I should, even though I clearly have them. My justification for this was the dilemma of not wanting to cause unnecessary friction and seemingly hinder progression, yet I learned that when creating a final product, opposing opinions is vital to the process.

Do you think the fieldschool has had an impact on how you understand heritage? How?

Before taking the module, I understood heritage to be far more finite and ‘static’, in the sense that we are already naturally provided with our heritage in a tangible form, and we then make a few minor decisions on how it should be presented. In fact, it became apparent that heritage is not so definite, and is actually something that continuously develops. If we consider heritage to simply be a representation of our understanding of the past, then it becomes something very ephemeral.

If you could describe this module in one word, what would it be?

Informative

Marionna

What do you consider to be the main learning outcomes of the module? What will you take away with you after completion of the module?

I think that the main outcome for me in this module has been having to expose my ideas and learn how to work in a professional way with a museum.This was really interesting because that’s actually one of the things that I want to do after finishing my degree. Apart from that, I think it had been really enriching as it had helped me to view different ways of having to coordinate for managing an important work in only two weeks. And also having to learn how to treat our public while they were testing the game as I had never had to do something like that before.

I would take away from this module the opportunity to expose our ideas, as in other modules, is more difficult to be heard if you aren’t fast or you are not secure about your dominance of the language. Here you are encouraged to say what you are thinking and you can feel that what you say is valued.

Do you think the fieldschool has had an impact on how you understand heritage? How?

Yeah because I always thought that Heritage was about managing expositions, making leaflets, and create boring posters to announce amazing exhibitions that nobody use to visit . But here I have realized that is more than that, It’s gaining people’s interest, especially those who just don’t bother about culture. It’s making them realize what are they missing and show them that it’s actually interesting and exciting. I realized of this while doing our game, as our main goal was that players learned something in an interactive way,having fun in the process.

If you could describe this module in one word, what would it be?

Different

Isobel

What do you consider to be the main learning outcomes of the module? What will you take away with you after completion of the module?

I consider the main learning outcomes of the module to be able to create a video game, which meets the needs of our clients, and provides both entertainment and education to the visitors of the museum. Alongside this was the learning outcome of working together with various groups of people, and to learn skills such as CSS, Photoshop, and photography.

I will take away from this module, the ability to use Twine, a program previously I had no idea how to use, I now know the best way to photograph archaeological artefact to enhance its intricate details. On top of this I have learnt, about the complexity of Heritage as a discipline, and it has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the area of work I hope to go into in the future. Working together as a team has also taught me more about myself than I would ever imagine, and I feel like my ability to work in a team has improved vastly over the course of the module.

Do you think the field school has had an impact on how you understand heritage? How?

The field school has definitely had an impact on how I understand heritage, before I started I had a vague idea that heritage involved museums and historic buildings. This module however, has taught me the importance of digital elements in the world of heritage, and how by embracing the technology of the 21st Century it can allow people to create a connection to the historic and prehistoric past. Archaeogaming is not something I had heard of, but now I can see the important role it plays in heritage, and helping people understand heritage and archaeology as disciplines.

If you could describe this module in one word, what would it be?

Eye-opening!

Digging up Malton

Tras semanas y semanas de trabajo, realizando cursos en tiempo récord de Twine, de Photoshop e incluso de fotografía ha llegado el momento decisivo, puesto que la Exhibición del año 2017 está a la vuelta de la esquina

Aunque ya hemos pasado por mucho juntos como equipo, con bajas en nuestras filas por este estrés que  nos tenía con el corazón en vilo, con la fase de nervios por nuestra presentación en el museo, en el que alcanzamos las expectativas de los miembros y voluntarios del museo que confiaron en nuestro buen hacer ( aunque no tuviéramos ni idea hace un mes de como realizar un videojuego y yo personalmente de manejarme con el Photoshop) y en el que  obtuvimos el visto bueno de nuestros jueces de 8 y 9 años. Así que ya, con el camino medio recorrido solo queda la el momento culmen de todo este trabajo.

Pero por supuesto esto no va solo de este videojuego, sino del trabajo de todos nuestros compañeros que siguieron trabajando en esta increíble excavación, sudando la gota gorda para conseguir desentrañar los misterios  de la antigua ciudad  romana que una vez hubo en Malton. Pero además de encargarse del almacenamiento y limpieza debida de los objetos hallados( lo cual casi nadie menciona cuando te hablan de arqueología), han sabido hacer malabares para sacar tiempo y hacer unos paneles que serán expuestos en la exhibición. Y como no podía ser menos para añadir más emoción a esto y motivar un poco a nuestros compañeros, se hará una especie de concurso para ver cuál es el más votado por los asistentes

Así que habiendo dado lo mejor de nosotros hasta el final, solo queda preparar todo para la exhibición, como el póster de la exhibición , determinar quién se hará cargo de los diferentes puestos durante la exhibición, y procurar que todo esté perfecto para el día definitivo. Aunque siempre pasa que los nervios juegan malas pasadas y que algo no funciona, confiaremos en que todo saldrá mal, que además con el verano ya a la vuelta de la esquina, ¿ qué mejor para terminar que enseñar lo que hemos aprendido este primer curso y si se tercia ganar el concurso de los paneles? Así que, cruzando los dedos, espero que este año tengamos tanto público como el año pasado y que les guste el videojuego y los paneles de nuestros compañeros.  No te lo pierdas!

Este es el póster final para la esperada exhibición en el Departamento de Arqueología (Poster designer : Sara Perry)

******

After weeks and weeks of work, taking courses of Twine , Photoshop and even photography in record time ,it has arrived the decisive moment, since the 2017 Exhibition is just around the corner.

Although we have gone through a lot as a team together, with lows in our “ranks” due to this stress that we had with our souls in vilo, due to the nerves for our presentation in the museum, where we matched the expectations of the  members and volunteers of the museum that relied ability to do our work right (although we had no idea a month ago how to make a video game or ,I personally, handle  Photoshop) and in which we obtained the approval of our 8 and 9 years old judges . But with half of the road already walked, there is only left the culmination of all this work.

But of course this is not just about  this video game, but the work of all our colleagues who continued to work in this incredible excavation, sweating the fat drop to unravel the mysteries of the ancient Roman city that was once in Malton. But in addition, apart from having to take care of the storage and cleaning of the objects found (which almost nobody mentions when they talk about archeology), they have managed to juggle t have time and make some panels that will be displayed on the Exhibition. And as, as it couldn´t in other way, to add more emotion to this and motivate a little our companions, there  will be a kind of contest to see which is the most voted by the visirtors.

So, having given the best of ourselves to the end, all that is leftto do is preparing everything for the exhibition, such as the poster of the exhibition, or determine who will take over the different positions during the exhibition, to ensure that everything is perfect for the final day . Although it always happens that the nerves play tricks and that something does not work, we will trust that everything will go well. And also, with the summer  just around the corner, what better for  finishing tan showing what we have learned this first course and  winning the competition of the panels? So, crossing our fingers, I hope that this year we have as much public as last year exhibition and that everybody like the video game and the panels of our partners. Don´t miss it!
.

 

 

This is the final poster for our expected exhibition on the Department of Archaeology (Poster designer : Sara Perry)

Now it’s your turn…

The wait is finally over! We can reveal that despite many Photoshop breakdowns, countless gladiatorial debates, and CSS crises; the game is live!

After weeks of design and production, and despite many set-backs right up until the very end, the game we have poured so much time and effort into it is complete. We’d love to hear any and all feedback on what we’ve created – leave us a comment below.

Roman Malton awaits, if you love the game visit Malton Museum, in Malton, North Yorkshire!!

Click the Image to Play
An image of the opening page of our game showing the entrance to a Roman fort with the text "How long would you survive in Roman Malton".
The opening page of our game. (Photo credit: Isobel Christian)

 

Tackling Photoshop

Now that the actually quite pleasant tasks of discussions and excursions are coming to a close, this week will consist of nothing but production. Instead of adopting a Chamberlain-esque method of simply starting and winging our way through it, it became immediately apparent that the dreaded old ‘organisation’ thing would be at play again. The sticky notes even made a comeback.

One of the main tasks in the production process would be editing the photographs of the museum’s objects that we would be including in the game. Unfortunately, this meant that we’d have to try and get our heads around Photoshop. Indeed, we did have a lengthy Photoshop session last week, which I confidently nodded through. However, my blank expression when I opened up the software afterwards suggested that I wasn’t following it all as much as I thought.

When the group was asked to identify who was most confident with Photoshop, we all sank back deep into our chairs, resulting in us all sharing the burden. Consequently, the others weren’t pleased when I admitted that I used Photoshop for two years in Interactive Media. In my defence, those days were mostly spent placing my friends’ heads on the bodies of dictators (and the occasional phallus). Since Malton Museum didn’t at any point make requests for that sort of material, I think I was justified in concealing my experience.

In fact, what was required was background removal and general tidying-up of images of the museums objects. Perhaps I should have paid more attention in my school days, as my incompetence shone through when I started hacking off chunks of the objects instead of the background.

As punishment for my earlier deceit, I was next allocated a particularly tricky image of a comb on a similar coloured background. Rather than doing the sensible thing and finding the most appropriate tool, I opted for the tedious method of changing the colour of individual pixels one by one. Needless to say, my dishonesty and stupidity meant that I fully deserved the subsequent migraine.

An image of a bone weaving comb
An image of a bone comb that caused a lot of grief (Photo: Isobel)

One major issue I have with the editing process is the fact that nobody will understand the time and effort we put in when they see the final product, yet they would have noticed if we hadn’t. I’m beginning to think that I may have to stand with the game and verbally inform people of what I did to the images.

All in all, the photo editing went pretty well considering I can barely even take a photograph, never mind ‘adjust its colour saturation’- whatever that is. Another bonus is by concentrating on the image side of things, I avoided any ‘CSS work’. I won’t explain what that is, as I’ve been only pretending to know myself for the past two weeks.

The final battle has begun!

Perhaps the title sounds a bit dramatic, but certainly this week has been and is, the final battle of our video-game. After an exhaustive collection of data and images in Malton, and taking pictures of really impressive objects everywhere, the fateful week arrived.

We didn’t just talk about ideas or possible stories that could take place in our game. We had reached a point where we had to make final decisions and certainly, I was a bit stressed because of that. At the beginning of the first week everything seemed very distant, we had time, there was no need to look to the sky for ancestral inspiration that never came. So on Monday, after discussing what would be the exciting life of our characters, and after having received all the instruction we would need, we got to start on the real work.

We distributed the tasks so that everyone could do a little of everything. (Although, at the time of deciding who would take care of the Photoshop task, the room was silent and I think that I could hear my own contained breathing.) However, none of us got rid of that part of the work. The truth is that before, I  had never had to do anything with Photoshop and if I needed it, I just asked someone else. This time I would have to get into it completely, there was no escape. So I decided to choose what I thought it would be the simplest task, the starting image. However, how naive I was for  believing that something in this tricky program would be easy.

There is a wall of sticky notes.
The page of to-do tasks we had ahead on Monday (Photo: Tara Copplestone)

After an hour of trying to change the gray and cloudy sky that appeared in the original image (I think it was an hour but it seemed to me endless) I finally got a bright sky that invited to enter the Roman fortress I managed to find. But to my surprise I saw that nature was making his own trouble in the photo, spoiling it with some bare and rare branches on the top of the image. So after declaring in my heart an eternal hatred of Photoshop, I decided to look for another image. But as my “mastery” in Photoshop had improved after my infinite practice, it was shorter.

Later we decided to create in a definitive way the history that our characters would have to go through, which, I have to say, was quite interesting. So we put in the video-game everything we had ready. Although I, with my chameleonic abilities, had avoided the disaster of taking care of that part of the work as much as possible, the truth is that I was impressed with what we had achieved in one morning, it seemed like a real game. I could not help feeling in my inner self relief because everything sounded very good when we put it into words, but from there to become reality was something else.

So once the first part of the programming was done, the next day we continued doing the second part. This time I chose to make the narrator’s Photoshop that although was not as complex as that impossible sky, it seemed to want to make fun of me, as every time I put it in the game there was a little white dot that had escaped from my sight. At least we almost have it, I just hope I do not have to duel again with Photoshop.

***

Quizás el título suene un poco dramático, pero sin duda esta semana ha sido y es la batalla final de nuestro videojuego. Tras realizar una exhaustiva recolección de datos e imágenes en Malton sacando fotos por doquier de objetos realmente impresionantes, llegó la fatídica semana.

Ya no solo hablábamos de ideas o de posibles historias que podían tener lugar en nuestro juego, habíamos llegado a un punto en que debíamos tomar decisiones y ciertamente me estresaba un poco. Al empezar la primera semana todo parecía muy lejano, teníamos tiempo, no había necesidad de mirar al cielo en busca de inspiración ancestral que no llegaba nunca. Por lo que el lunes tras discutir  cual sería la emocionante vida de nuestros personajes y tras haber recibido toda la instrucción que podíamos necesitar, nos pusimos manos a la obra.

Tara Copplestone is shown in front of a white board.
Tara helping to organize our game, to make it reality. (Photo :Harald Freidheim)

Nos repartimos las tareas de modo que todo el mundo pudiera hacer un poco de todo. Aunque a la hora de decidir quién se encargaría del Photoshop, la habitación quedó en silencio, hasta creo que se podía oír mi respiración contenida. Sin embargo ninguno nos libramos de  esa parte del trabajo, la verdad nunca había tenido que hacer nada con Photoshop y si lo necesitaba se lo pedía a alguien, pero esta vez iba a tener que mojarme de lleno,no había escapatoria. Por lo que decidí escoger lo que a mi parecer era la más simple, la imagen del inicio. Sin embargo, que ilusa  fui al creer que algo en este engañoso programa sería fácil.

Tras una hora de intentar cambiar el cielo nublado y grisáceo que venía con  la imagen original( creo que fue una hora pero a mi se me hizo eterna) por fin conseguí un cielo brillante que invitaba a entrar en la fortaleza romana que había conseguido encontrar. Pero cual fue mi sorpresa al ver que la naturaleza estaba haciendo de las suyas en la foto, estropeándomela con unas ramas desnudas y raras en la parte de arriba de la imagen. Así que tras declarar en mi fuero interno odio eterno a Photoshop, decidí buscar otra imagen. Además como mi “maestría” en Photoshop había mejorado tras mi infinita práctica se hizo más corto.

Más tarde, decidimos crear de manera definitiva la historia  por la que tendrían que pasar nuestros personajes, lo cual he de decir quedaron bastante interesantes. Así que nos dispusimos a poner en el videojuego todo lo que teníamos listo. Aunque yo, con mis habilidades camaleónicas, había evitado el desastre de hacerme cargo de esa parte del trabajo en todo lo posible. Pero  la verdad es que quedé impresionada con lo que habíamos conseguido en una mañana, parecía un juego de verdad. No pude evitar sentir en mi fuero interno alivio, porque todo sonaba muy bien cuando lo exponíamos en palabras, pero de ahi a que se hiciera realidad era otra cosa.

Por lo que una vez realizado la primera parte de la programación, al día siguiente continuamos haciendo la segunda parte. Esta vez elegí hacer el photoshop del narrador que aunque no fue tan complejo como aquel cielo imposible, parecía querer burlarse de mí porque cada vez que lo poníamos en el juego había un algún puntito blanco que se me había escapado. Al menos ya casi lo tenemos, solo espero no tener que batirme en duelo otra vez con Photoshop.

STRESS STRESS STRESS

Production week has finally descended on our small group of four, and as anticipated, there have been several moments within the past two days where I have wanted to take the University owned laptop I was working on and throw it off the top of the Minster.

The reason behind this irrational thought, Photoshop. Before this week I had naively thought that our short crash course in Photoshop would be more than enough to cover the Photoshopping we would need for our game. I was wrong. So very, very, wrong.

Monday morning I had a great time working on the CSS for the game with Tara, which basically consisted of changing the colours and making the game look pretty. CSS was something I felt confident with, I knew what I was doing provided Tara was next to me the entire time in case I messed up! However, this is a group project and so my stress-free morning did not last as I took up the new task of using Photoshop to edit one of the images we needed for the game.

After I had opened up the image in Photoshop, something I did with great ease, I

A image of the Twine software, and mechanics of our game.
A screenshot of the mechanics of the game in Twine.

knew I had misjudged what I was getting myself into. It was in that moment as I stared blankly at the screen before me, I had no idea what I was doing. What followed was what I can confidently say one of the most frustrating and painful experiences of my life. Whenever I stopped to look at how Hayden was managing to do everything that I couldn’t, I imagined running away from King’s Manor very quickly and never returning. Somehow though, I managed to remain in my seat and through what can only be described as a miracle I managed to muddle my way through and edit the image to something we could actually use.

Tuesday morning dawned and all I could think was that if I had to use Photoshop ever again I might actually just break down on the spot. My first job was indeed to use Photoshop again. Tuesday was off to a great start.

However, to my surprise and probably the surprise of everyone else, I quickly managed to crop my image and resize it to the correct dimensions. In hindsight, it’s no surprise I managed it as it was probably one of the simplest jobs I could possibly need to do. The next image though was definitely going to test my meager abilities, but thankfully Tom from the University’s IT department was in and managed to explain to me exactly what I needed to do in order to sort out my image.

Ironically, this afternoon I cruised through the rest of my Photoshop work, and to my immense disbelief even managed to enjoy myself. This was an unexpected turn of events, and I’m convinced I must have hit my head at some point, either that or Photoshop isn’t as bad as I thought, but I’m not convinced.

The end is in sight

As we were faced with our final full week on the project a sense of impending doom fell rather heavily on my head for the Monday morning commute. How was this game going to be completed on time? Were we even going to produce our minimal viable product? And why in God’s name am I not a Photoshop voodoo master by now? Terrifyingly, at the time an overarching to-do list appeared on the wall with far too many sticky note for my liking, and an exceptional amount of words and phrases I still didn’t understand. However, as the day progressed and tasks were distributed between the four of us, what appeared to be a rather well-functioning game appeared before our eyes; proving ultimately that something from the past three weeks must have stuck. Looking back at original versions of the game and old tick lists the extent to which progress has been made is something I did not think possible this time last week.

This demanding to-do list however became my best friend as I felt I was back in primary school gaining a gold star every time a sticky note was moved into the completed section. Following this, phrases such as CSS and variable implementation became as clear as, well a fogged glass, but this was still progress from mud. Although all this progress did not come without difficulty as the incredibly frustrating challenges of Photoshop layers and editing tried all of our patience to the limits, with laptops close to being flung out the window. Still, there was a definite overarching enjoyment in seeing something that started as nothing being moulded and sculpted into a product that we could happily give to the museum. This excitement was emphasised when  I found I was able to create edits in Twine by myself and not see the game implode in front of my face. Due to the project having a focus none of us undergrads are familiar with, this allowed for all the less than small victories to feel like conquering the world, which has been a welcome contrast to the constant state of confusion.

Seeing the end in sight has, if anything, made us focus more and want to create a product that is the best of all our abilities. However the counter-effect of this means that the frustration level in one room has reached an arguably dangerous pitch as glitches and white marks on edits are finalised for the fourth and fifth times. The anticipation of what our finished product will look like is driving all of my efforts to complete this project.

How long would you survive in Roman Malton?

Friday saw the birth day for our game, consisting of painfully intense conversations about narratives and object choices. Despite our discussions bordering on gladiatorial combat, we can finally reveal the premise of our game!

How long would you survive in Roman Malton?

You are thrown into Roman Malton, where you must use your historical knowledge, creativity and intuition to survive for as long as possible. Guide our siblings, Lucius and Claudia, to thrive or suffer an early demise based on your decision making! The game follows them through their three main life stages of early life, middle age and old age exploring what it was like to be a real live Roman in Malton. Answer the questions correctly and progress  through the life stages, or get it wrong and start again. Set in and around the Roman fort and town of Malton and inspired by the objects recovered at the site from various excavations, from military to marriage and farming to weaving the game leads you through many aspects of Roman society. See Roman artefacts which have been out of the public eye, in the museum stores, brought back into the spotlight once again.

You’ll need your wits about you to survive..!

Today we leave you with our fantastic game panels. Tune in next week for the launch of the game!

Pitch Day!

In this post, three of the module students, Marionna, Hayden, and Isobel, share snapshot views of their first heritage and interpretation pitch, made to the Malton Museum on 8 May, 2017.

Marionna:

Quizás este  proceso de diseñar un videojuego parezca largo y tedioso, y no voy a mentir, lo es. Aunque nuestra rutina sin duda no tiene todo el ajetreo y la presión de un arqueólogo de la vieja escuela, los cuales tenían que realizar la búsqueda, la publicación de sus hallazgos y la promoción de sus exposiciones  , sin duda sí que llevamos el espíritu de sus investigaciones, el estrés. Durante el día de hoy, tras realizar un pequeño repaso de nuestros artículos para el blog , nos dirigimos de nuevo hacia Malton.

En esta ocasión la reunión no me  pareció tan aterradora puesto que en esta ocasión podíamos contar con que ya llevábamos una idea del videojuego que queríamos hacer y que más o menos creíamos que podía cumplir con las expectativas de lo que se esperaba de nosotros.

The students draw on tablets to make materials for the meeting.
Preparing our meeting materials. (Photo: Marionna Sandin)

Por lo que, una vez nuestra dibujante oficial  había realizado todos las imágenes necesarias para ilustrar la idea que había surgido de aquel torbellino anterior, nos dispusimos a exponer nuestra idea, todo estaba hablado y ensayado. Sin embargo,en el momento de abrir la boca aunque las palabras parecían surgir como un torbellino de mi cerebro, el muy traicionero le dio por no querer traducir lo que estaba pensando. Así que, durante un milisegundo, solo se me agolpaban palabras en mi propio idioma, y yo solo podía pensar “Por dios espero que nadie haya notado mi lapsus mental”.Finalmente mi cerebro decidió dejar su descanso y pudimos terminar nuestra presentación tranquilamente. Seguimos con la reunión para intentar definir los últimos puntos flacos que quedaban pendientes, pero nos dimos cuenta de que la información que realmente teníamos sobre Malton en la era romana era bastante escasa. Pero menos mal que vamos a recibir la visita de un experto sino no me imagino el desastre que habríamos ocasionado.

Maybe this process of designing a videogame seems long and tedious, and I won’t lie, it is. Although our routine certainly does not have all the hustle and bustle of an old school archaeologist, as they had to perform the search, post their findings and promote their exhibits. Certainly we carry the spirit of their researches, and the  stress.

The students and instructors wait in the York train station to go to Malton.
Heading to Malton. (Photo: Marionna Sandin)

During the day, after a short review of our blog posts, we headed back to Malton. This time the meeting didn’t seem so frightening since we already had an idea of ​​the videogame that we wanted to do, and that we, more or less, believed that could match the expectations of what was expected of us. So, once our official sketcher had made all the necessary images to illustrate the idea that had arisen from that previous whirlwind, we set out to expose our idea, everything was spoken and rehearsed.

At the moment of opening my mouth, although the words seemed to emerge like a whirlwind out of my brain, the very treacherous brain just decided not to translate what I was thinking. So for a millisecond, only words  in my own language crowded in my brain, and I could only think “God I hope no one has noticed my mental lapse”. Finally, my brain decided to leave its break and we were able to finish our presentation calmly. We continued with the meeting to try to define the last remaining weak points, but we realized that the information we really had about Malton in the Roman era was rather scarce. But thank goodness that we are going to receive the visit of an expert, without that I couldn’t imagine the disaster that we would have caused.

Hayden:

After collating the ideas we gathered from the initial meeting last week, the time came on Monday to pitch our game idea back to the staff of Malton Museum. After tying all of our loose threads around our concept together, we again went through the process of a mock presentation, in front of Harald, Meghan, Sara and Tara, our Twine instructor. Oddly, this proved to be one of the most awkward scenarios I could possibly conceive. This may highlight more about my personal mindset than the general pitching process, but I find presenting an idea to a group of people who helped develop it particularly embarrassing.

It pains me to admit that this is very useful, however. Ironing out creases at this stage made the final pitch far more fluid. I just wish that we could achieve this whilst skipping the stage of looking as uncomfortable as somebody forced into joining a karaoke session.

To aid in our pitch we created some visual representations of how we envisioned the final product looking. Perhaps ‘we’ is not the most appropriate term to use, as I tactically suggested that Isobel should draw my visual aid. Indeed, the affair would have been far more awkward if the clients had to attempt to decipher the inky mess I would have created. Fortunately, with the use of my treasured legible depiction of a game screen, my section of the final pitch seemed to go rather well, as did everyone’s. I’m starting to think that these organisational skills Harald and the others are teaching us may have a lasting effect on me. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Isobel:

On Monday the 8th of May, we yet again made the short train journey to Malton. The objective of our trip this time was to pitch our idea for the videogame to the volunteers at the Malton Museum. I’m going to be honest, if you had told me before I’d gone in that morning we would have a cohesive idea for our game and that we were going to pitch it well with good feedback, I would have laughed in your face.

I had been feeling less than confident about our game ideas over the weekend, and was beginning to think we would never come up with an idea which matched everyone’s wants and needs. However, when we arrived at King’s Manor on Monday morning, despite being a group member down, we quickly settled on one definitive idea, ‘How long would you survive in Roman Malton?’ and before my brain could quite comprehend it, our game was born.

The pitch itself was also making me nervous, I have plenty of experience in performing and public speaking but the idea that the quality of our pitch was the decider on whether we could go ahead with our game definitely made me uneasy. Despite this though as I pitched our game idea, and explained the premise of it I felt confident and calm, all doubts drifting away like leaves on a windy day.