No auto save. Gaming in the 90’s


I was a hard-core gamer once. I had every popular game as a kid and would play well into the morning on weekends (of course) until completion. I’m talking about the hard-core gamer here –  blow into the system and game cartridge gamer. No auto save, you only have two options: game paused or game over gamer. Yeah, hard-core.

I’m not bragging here, I actually can’t believe there wasn’t an option to save console games until The Legend of Zelda in 1987. The cartridge had an internal battery that powered a RAM chip which allowed players to save their progress. The NES was a good console but I have to say, the SNES changed my LIFE.

I get nostalgic when I see micro-controllers. I think of gadgets, game consoles and anything electronic from my childhood. For my Raspberry Pi assignment I wanted to use Sonic Pi to create a few sounds from an old school game. I ran into trouble during set up because I wasn’t able to find the /opt/sonic-pi/etc/samples folder with all the .flac sample sound files. I downloaded several .wav sounds from as a workaround and wired four push buttons to a breadboard and Raspberry Pi to create a GPIO box.

Check it out:


Next steps: Turn .wav sounds into a rhythmic flow and pattern. Make music!

I’m actually really interested in Sonic Pi in general and I’d LOVE to eventually make an entire album using Sonic Pi and live coding.

Stay tuned…

Also, I found this cool website for 8 bit sounds after I completed the GPIO box…

I added another button and include a game over wav file.

I. had. to.


[Final Video] Emotional IQ

I had so much fun with this project. It was an informative learning experience and Marina’s feedback during our early stages into completion was critical.

Thank you Gabriella and FenFen for your hard work and dedication to our project.

Also, a tremendous thank you to the actors who made our video possible.

Actors: Amanda Wallace and Rel Holla

Voiceover Actor: Evelyse Fung

Music: Alumo Royalty Free Music – Cinematic Inspirational Music Instrumental


Thank you!

[Midterm idea] A blast from the past [ICM]

We were asked to incorporate ICM work with Pcomp for the midterm assignment. Its been well over a year since ICM but I’m still pretty excited to refresh my mind and revisit some of my old projects from my ICM days… I was obsessed with Kanye West last year for some odd reason; way before his recent comments in the media about well.. everything. Needless to say, Ye’s been under harsh criticism lately – and rightfully so.  Millions of people look up to Kanye West, particularly the youth  – to go even deeper, young black children. Trust me I get it, it’s not a rappers job to play a positive role model for kids but it’s crucial for entertainers to have an awareness of their direct impact and influence, on and off-screen. I’m not interested in judging Kanye’s political views;  we have the right to support who we want to support. But there’s a huge difference between free thought and trolling…

Anyway, Kanye is the subject of my Midterm assignment. I plan to use a potentiometer to manipulate an image of Ye in P5.  The pot will control several behaviors and I’ll add a final touch at the end of the potentiometer reading.

How does this all play into a “Halloween Themed” project? Well, aside from Kanye’s scary ass behavior lately, the potentiometer will also control spooky sounds. Additionally, I plan to have two bright red LED eyes on the base of my device. If this all works out, it will be super cool!


Make something [NYC Police Sirens]

I also followed the book for this exercise; I seem to retain more information when I read examples directly from the Arduino projects book.  I switch between the resources online and the physical book – this is extremely useful and helpful for me. I used a Pushbutton switch and three LED’s (red, blue, white), 3 220 OHM resistors, and 1 10 K ohm resistor to replicate NYC police sirens. The code was pretty straight forward but I added an extra 100 delay to create the flickering effect between the white and blue LED’s.

Make something C4/C5

I was able to get through a few labs but I ran into problems with the servo motor control project. I started with the web version and decided to work on the example in the book, which I found easier to comprehend. I followed the project line for line this time around to avoid mistakes but I still ran into trouble. Initially, I wanted to build a small menu with three food options for dinner. An arrow would cover the servo arm, similar to  the Mood cue example.

Ingredients: 3 Male header pins, 1 Potentiometer, 1 Servo Motor, Motor arm and 2 100UF capacitors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get it working so I had an apple for dinner. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I followed the code line for line, I’m not sure why it isn’t functional. The servo motor starts as soon as I upload Arduino however, the serial monitor returns weird values. I’m sure this is incorrect and I’ll need to ask Danny for guidance.



Loud Flower

Music, I have arrived! I’m excited about this project, although I couldn’t figure out how to import the pitches.h library until I disconnected the Arduino. I was feeling a bit nostalgic and wanted to play the Super Mario theme song through my 8ohm speaker.

Ingredients used: 1 220 resistor, 1 force-sensing resistor, 1 8 ohm speaker.

I used a custom-made picture frame designed by my grandmother to hold the speaker in place (hey Nana!). The sound isn’t great but it works and that alone is music to my ears…


Rough Cut

This week my group focused on organizing and delegating tasks. We figured out who was really good at a particular thing and assigned responsibilities according to our skills and interest. We sorted the following tasks:

Shot list
Selecting the music
Cuts in Premiere
Script writing
Scrap voice over
Branding & design

I researched several royalty free music sites for background music and narrowed the selection down to three. Also, writing a script for a pharmaceutical commercial is disturbing. Although part of our commercial has a sarcastic tone, the adverse effects of real medication is  alarming. Here’s some research on the side effects of a popular anti-depressant:



Gabriella wrote the script and voice-over, FenFen focused on branding and cuts and I worked on sound effects and music. I have some ideas for text placement and branding in the video; using this commercial for inspiration:

More to come…

Go out and shoot!

Today my new group and I were on set recording content for our  fantasy commercial project. Originally “Emotional IQ”’ was centered around a child and his exhausted parent but Jenny suggested using two adults because children generally take longer adjusting on set. I’m glad we agreed because the co actors worked really well together and we were able to collect a lot of material during our 4 hours of filming. You know, collaboration is tricky… it’s really hard to get a group of busy people in one room at the same time but when you’re lucky, creative juices really flow and magic happens.

Here’s the updated storyboard and work on set.

Prompt: Create a 2-4 minute commercial for a fantasy product.

The product: The “Emotional IQ” is a mood-stabilizing app that helps you control your emotions via smartphone. The app is connected to a cybernetic tattoo that both measures your biometrics and changes them to synthetically stimulate mood changes.

Genre: Speculative fiction/design, sci-fi

Style: Emotionally-relatable scenario showing the product in use, elements of humor, familiar family tropes, “no words necessary”

Characters: Two adult housemates, preferably couple.

Plot: Couple bonding on couch in living room, playing with app on mobile device. Character 1 realizes their glass is empty and gets up to refill. Char1 opens the fridge, takes out beverage and attempts to pour. The bottle is empty and a small drop falls into the glass. Char1 is visibly angry and questions Character 2 about the empty bottle in the fridge. Char2 (still on the couch), is also visibly frustrated. At this point, there is a notification on Char1’s phone (still on the table in living room). It shows an alert of “angry” and prompts the user to adjust the emotional settings. Char2 inconspicuously changes the settings on the app. Char1’s demeanor immediately shifts as they happily plop back on the couch. It’s all good and everyone’s happy.  Commercial ends with the product name and slogan (possibly small-print warnings of possible side effects for humor).

Storyboard Frames:

  1. Establishing long shot: Living Room: Both characters on couch, talking, playing with mobile phones. [you can see the apps here and they’re clearly sharing ideas, smiling, laughter, close together]
  2. Medium shot: Both drinking from glass, char1 notices glass is empty, gets up to refill.
    1. B-roll of char2 drinking from glass, playing with phone, etc. 
  1. Medium long shot: Char1 walks to kitchen
  2. Close up shot: Char1 puts glass on table, opens the fridge
  3. Extreme close up shot: Last drop of beverage in glass
  4. Long shot: Char1 visibly upset, lots of body movement blurred [Char2 focused, visibly frustrated]
  5. Close up shot: Phone alerts on table, Char2 quickly grabs phone
  6. Medium shot- over shoulder: Char2 shyly looks over to make sure Char1 isn’t around and  adjust settings [Char2 smiling]
  7. Long Shot: Char1 angrily throws empty bottle in trash can, looks up at “to buy” list
  8. Close up shot: [ tattoo on Char1’s neck]
  9. Medium shot- over shoulder: [Char2 position- emotional settings updated on the phone]
  10. Long shot from the trash can: Char1 body jerks  suddenly; change in their emotion [char1 exaggerated happiness and smiling]
  11. Medium shot: Char1 excitedly adds beverage to “to buy” list
  12. Long shot: Char1 walks back to living room smiling
  13. Medium Shot: Both characters are back on the couch smiling and resume talking
  14. Close up: Both characters smile at the camera, Char2 gives a thumbs up and winks.


Cut to product logo and slogan, maybe with small print side effects on the bottom


We followed the new story board on set and checked off each line item as needed. I found this really helpful because we were able to record our ideas and had creative space to add to frames without losing any material.

Sidebar: Reading “At the Blink of an Eye” before shooting was invaluable! Walter Murch covers film editing in great detail. He covers  video continuity, emotions, collaboration, cutting criteria , perception, interpretation, character chemistry and so much more. It’s an interesting read and eloquently explains the art of editing and I highly recommend reading it!








* I have to thank the team of course… FenFen, Gabriella, Rel and Amanda. You guys were awesome and pushed me creatively. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with for this assignment.

Thank you…

Audio piece reflection/ Storyboard

I had a great experience working with my team creating and building for our Audio piece. We were able to manifest an idea using an entirely different approach, pretty much working backwards. The sound effects used were really helpful in creating the story and building the emotional arch as we connected the pieces of the story line together. I don’t think we made use of the braille postcards as much as we would’ve liked, but the idea was to create an inclusive and interactive experience for everyone. I also really appreciate the feedback from our classmates – the good, better and bad parts. Ultimately, our goal was to evoke an emotional reaction from the listener and it worked…


Listen to the walk here…




Collect sounds for a 3-5 minute sound walk to a specific location inside of 721 Broadway. 

Our group decided to record different door sounds throughout the building and met later in the week to discuss placement of the recordings.  Unfortunately, we ran into minor trouble because we had a bunch of content without intent. We were so excited to compile audio using the Z00m recorder that we completely neglected the purpose of the soundwalk- the storyline! The group made a decision after much deliberation, we agreed to use the sound of doors as a representation of uncertainty; the idea of being lost and not knowing what’s behind any given door. Different sound effects were also added to intensify  the feeling of fear and anxiety — this all aligned well with our title, “Lost”.  Ultimately, our approach worked out well and our narrative arc fell right into place. The idea is to create a unique experience each time the listener enters the elevator and exists on a random floor to complete the walk. The sounds mirror events, activities and randomness related to each floor. Creating an unknown outcome was completely intentional. 

We also created an infographic guide in two different flavors – text and Braille, to ensure an interactive and inclusive experience for everyone in the class. 


guide w/o graphics

braille side of guide


design 2 – guide with graphics


Final design

Sidebar: The title “Lost” was created from a real experience! We were actually lost for almost 20 minutes during the soundwalk. We inspected every floor in the building collecting content and completely lost track of direction in the process. We found our way back to ITP only after we asked security. Honestly, I really enjoyed being lost with my group and I believe it was the initial framework for our story!  

In the end, our group created a fun, interactive, creepy and playful soundwalk.

BEWARE and Enjoy! 

mmm hmmm har har har (spooky laugh?)