Final Crisis: The end of ds106

Stardust by Fletcher Hanks

For your final project, you are going to tell a story across multiple categories of media. You’ve done writing, photography, audio, video and design. You’ve remixed and mashed up. You’ve done big projects and group projects. You’ve connected different stories. Now we’re going to bring it all together in a transmedia extravaganza.

One of the assignments the other week was to create a mission, an adventure, or some kind of crisis to solve. The point of that was to generate final project ideas. Your final project will be to build a story in multiple interconnected media. What do I mean by interconnected media? We have used several different types of media over the semester – visual, design, audio, video, web, and remixing and mashing them up. Your project will use at least three of these media. For example, part of your story might be a video, another part might be a series of images, and a third could be an audio production. You would connect the three in a blog post. Or maybe you would pin them on a Google map that gets embedded in a blog post which explains your story. The purpose here is to show that you have mastered several different types of digital media and that you can bring them together in a coherent story.

You are encouraged to work together on your projects, but this is not a requirement. Due to the nature of the assignment, it will not be necessary to meet up in person to collaborate. If you work together you can bounce ideas off of each other and share the work. You can look out for each other and raise each other’s game. Everyone has to blog their own write-ups, of course. I am sharing with everyone via email a spreadsheet of details on all our characters. The sheet includes the Twitter handles people submitted, so you can get in contact with each other.

How big should this be? How long of a story do you have to write? That’s hard to quantify. This is a major project, so treat it as such. Think about the work that went into your radio shows – it should be comparable to that. Think of the kind of effort that would go into doing about 30 stars worth of assignments.

The mission:

For your final mission, we have collected some crises. You may have additional ideas of your own. You may have to do some investigation. You have to determine a plan of action. You have to find a way to save the day. Or deal with the consequences.

  1. Save the world: I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but it has been uncovered that forces near to ds106 are plotting The End – The End of the World and the end of ds106. We don’t have much in the way of details, just a collection of cryptic comments and a video of what appears to be destruction on a cosmic scale. This is a job for superheroes if there ever was one. It will probably need several, working together. Are you a supervillain? No matter. The threat applies to you as well, so you may want to put aside your differences and fight for survival. Who is behind this? What are they planning? What do they have against ds106? What are you going to do about it? Will you rise to the occasion?
  2. Save the city: If saving the world feels like too big a job, there’s trouble brewing in Fredericksburg as well. An alien creature drops from the sky and begins to terrorize the city. Bats are attacking people on the river. Jane Doe is stuck in traffic and late for work. College students across the city are beginning to struggle with end of semester assignments and finals. Foreign military lands in the city. And our ds106 villains think this is all too peaceful. What are we going to do about all of this? And is it a coincidence that it’s all happening at once, or is there some grand scheme to uncover?
  3. Save yourself: Or maybe your heroes need to save themselves. You thought you were going to go about your normal super business. Then you discovered, for some unknown reason, that you were suddenly one of the normals – no powers, no advantages, just like the rest of us – except you still have your job to do and you reputation to uphold. How do you manage this crisis?
  4. Do something different. There were other ideas submitted, like investigating how your superhero character represents yourself, or coming up with a sidekick for your superhero. These have rich possibilities. You are not limited to the prompts here. They are only meant to give you ideas to get you started.

You can see everyone’s ideas here: You are free to build off of other ideas. You can use one or more of the items above as the basis of your final project. You have free rein as to how radically you want interpret or embellish these prompts. You are free to add other ideas as well. There are no limits. The important factors are to use a variety of media, involve your characters, be creative, have fun, and make it awesome.

By Friday, 12/1, at midnight, you need to post a progress report. This should, at the very minimum, outline your project and plan. That is, it should show that you’ve started working on the project and that you have an idea of where it’s going. If you are working with a team, indicate who they are. This report could function as your weekly summary.

Post the project by 12/8. Your final project should be in a blog post. You will submit the URL of that to Canvas. It can link to other posts, if it makes sense to run it in multiple parts. All media – images, audio, video, etc. – must be embedded (not linked) in the post(s). The final project needs to be accompanied by a final weekly summary, in which you discuss and reflect upon the project. This could be the same post as the project, or a separate one, depending on what makes sense for your project.

There will be an additional (easy) assignment in the last week, details to come.

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