Monday, July 14, 2008

The First Tutorial

This video was made immediately after the completion of the Island's build. It is a straightforward run through of the instructions found in the original Fireball Island with very little alteration in narration and structure. To me, this was the easiest way to get into all of the details of both the game and it's rules.

There are lots of images used to make up this stop-motion tutorial. I used a fairly decent digital about 4 or so years old so the quality is not incredible, but you can get to see some of the important detail work while it's running or in freeze frames. As most of my stop motions go, I started and finished it in the better half of a day. I hate revisiting things over and over again for lots of reasons, but this was rushed due to the opening reception of my MFA (masters of fine arts) Thesis Show. I threw the images into iMovie and made the animation process according to the outline form the rules booklet before I recorded the audio portion in Garage Band. This might be somewhat of a backwards way of working, but for some reason I like it and get a better look as to what to say. The big downside with this process is that the Garage Band mp3 I make is one long track with no breaks, which forces me to go back and edit the video until it fits the audio just right. I think this back and forth makes me focus more on timing and other creative aspects of the final product I wouldn't have cared as much about had I gone about it another way.

What I find so funny is that I thought this video would be a really great way to learn how to play Fireball Island. I really don't think that it accomplishes that task. I suppose I haven't tried it out on many people but in my opinion, the video becomes instead a hyper-mediated, over-explained and over-detailed walkthrough with really boringly-announced narration. Don't get me wrong, I think these are all elements that make it amazing but it isn't the simplest way to learn the game rules. Someone who knows the game could do it much quicker I think.

At any rate, tutorials for boardgame gameplay just don't come by that often so I had to make one for this great childhood game. If you have any thoughts or comments about any aspect of the video feel free to comment about them. This is the first of many boardgame related posts to come.


Orlando said...

I think your being a bit hard on yourself. I thought it explained the game nicely, with good visual aids. the narration could be a little livelier, but that's just being picky. Thanks for taking the time to make the video

rodney said...

Thanks Orlando! I was a bit too hung over and shy when I recorded the audio portion so nothing but the simplest of readings would do.

Joe said...

Now I want to try playing, looks fun. Where can I get a copy? Your voice is hilarious for narration. I agree it could be livelier, but then is an instructional and it adds a little humor.