A collection of visual and narrative work by Liza Singer

About

'There once was a girl who wanted to go on a journey'

So Storytelling...

I love telling stories. It's been in my blood since my youth, taking to the hobby of concocting a million narratives which transformed into worlds on the playground. Though I've grown up, I haven't quite stopped dreaming and believing in these fairytales, and instead aim to make these dreams reality. Through my work, I look to push the boundaries of traditional narrative media, using game mechanics and interactivity to create individualized narrative experiences with realistic character-player relationships, to enhance and enrich storytelling as a means to entertain, educate, communicate and engage.

What Will You Find Here?

Collections of work both personal and professional, those of which explore narrative in both interactive and non-interactive ways.

Some of these are fully fleshed out ideas, while others are simply prototypes or explorations as a means to further my work in narrative development and exploration.

If you are looking for specific samples of work, feel free to use the tags to filter for exactly what you're looking for!

What Can I Do For You?

As an inter-disciplinarian, I orechestrate and provide disciplines necessary to bring a narrative experience to its complete vision. I like to get my hands dirty in many of the different aspects of the process to help bring the story that you wish to tell to life. For clients I can provide a range of disciplines:

- Narrative Design
- Creative/Non-Fiction Writing
- Illustration/Concept Art/Storyboarding
- Animation
- Game Design/Production
- UX/UI Design
- Motion Graphics
- iOS(Obj-C)/HTML5/Unity(JS) Development
- Audio Editing

LATEST WORKS

A collection of galleries and projects

Writing Portfolio

Game Design (GDDs) 
I’ve written and scripted for a number of games both professionally and personally.
During my time at Scholastic Media I have written for several games including: Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs* Word Girl Superhero Training App* 
In scripting these games, I worked with well know brands and established characters. A large part of the challenge was creating narratively seamless work that incorporated game design.
Below are samples of other general doc writing:
Genesis (Design Doc Excerpt)
Showstopper* (Design Doc Excerpt)


Scripts
Nephilim (Action Cutscene Sample) 
The Academy (Script Excerpt)See storyboards and concept art here.
Adventure Time - Saccharine Queen (TV Spec)


Book Excerpts 
Mourning Mary 
Deep Deep


World Building
Character Bios
Cassidy White (from Showstopper)
The Alchemist (from Genesis)


Op-Eds
Holy OUYA, The Future of Console Wars
Rape: The New Narrative Device
Spiderman & Why Superhero Films Don’t Quite Work
E3 2012: Where are Games Going?


* Some of my writing cannot be legally avaiable on the web. To access samples of these PDFs requires special permission. Please contact me at liza.singer@cardboardskies.com with the name of the doc and your reason for looking at it to request access.
 
Illustration & Concept Art Gallery

             
 
 

Comics      

http://24.media.tumblr.com/bec90367c6307f0f6b629ae2f2077c98/tumblr_n2phcy5s7k1qjcrwyo1_1280.pnghttp://24.media.tumblr.com/bec90367c6307f0f6b629ae2f2077c98/tumblr_n2phcy5s7k1qjcrwyo1_1280.pnghttp://31.media.tumblr.com/bec90367c6307f0f6b629ae2f2077c98/tumblr_n2phcy5s7k1qjcrwyo1_400.pnghttp://31.media.tumblr.com/bec90367c6307f0f6b629ae2f2077c98/tumblr_n2phcy5s7k1qjcrwyo1_400.pngSailor Moon: Planetary Babes Set
GENESIS
Genesis is a retro-futuristic virtual pet adventure game where players raise and train creatures to help them reconstruct their world. 
Trailer

Premise
What actually happens if children were given pet monsters to fight? 
In what kind of world is this normal? Genesis’ narrative and gameplay deconstruct the virtual pet genre, exploring what it means to give life to an AI creature and the psychological impact on these creatures when they are used as toys or tools. Genesis subverts and pokes fun at the stark black and white moral choices found in contemporary games, offering more realistic dilemmas. Game tropes are tested, cheating is encouraged, and consequences are enacted every turn. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players are given AI creatures called chimera to raise, teach and train, to aid in reconstructing their world. This creates an unique personal narrative experience as each environment adapts to the player’s choices. Chimera respond to and learn from these choices, mirroring the player’s true nature. Genesis is built in Obj-C using Cocos2D Framework.

Story
“Man, oh man, well this just isn’t pretty. The world’s been pretty beaten up, only a few towns really remaining and all that. See, after what could only be explained as an apocalyptic nightmare, things grew quiet. No one is really sure WHAT happened. Who is to say really. Just a lot of booms, a lot of crashes, and then everything became pretty bleak, dark, empty. And as we said, well, quiet. We were pretty sure we weren’t going to hear about you humans ever again.But you surprised us. Even with a pitiful number of survivors, you foolishly wanted to keep living, keep growing and restore the world back to the way it was. Right away you started rebuilding as if it was a mere flesh wound! Resilient little creatures aren’t you? We question if this is a good idea. After all with the way the world was, it did lead up to the nightmare in the first place. So we presume. Still, it’s hard to tough it out with everyone living off of scraps. You humans have a lot of motivation but it just isn’t enough, is it? You humans are scrawny weak little things. Right right, so of course you all have been bugging the most competent out of you beings, the Alchemist at the Elixir Emporium. Strange fellow came up with these little buggers called Chimeras. Genetic marvels. Very malleable too. Here for your assistance, your entertainment, your pleasure. See, they need very little but produce a lot. All about how you raise them, so The Alchemist says.”
- The Omnipresence
 
Gameplay
The player receives an egg, which they can then hatch, raise, and through their adventures out into the world, the player’s choices begin to effect how the creature grows and develops. Ultimately the gameplay is about making choices. Click on certain characters, items, chimera to discover what menu options and interactions you can have with them. Some of these interactions will lead to more complex, direct interactions such as mini-games that allow you to train your pets, or more menu-based interactions such as working.
Intended as a iOS sandbox game, Genesis is about giving the player as much functionality to explore and rebuild their world.


Thesis Presentation
Genesis also served as my Master’s thesis project during my time at ITP. The presentation itself is up online for those interested, though I will warn that both video and audio quality are lacking. If you would like to view the Thesis Presentation, please refer here

GENESIS

Genesis is a retro-futuristic virtual pet adventure game where players raise and train creatures to help them reconstruct their world. 

Trailer

Premise

What actually happens if children were given pet monsters to fight? 

In what kind of world is this normal? 

Genesis’ narrative and gameplay deconstruct the virtual pet genre, exploring what it means to give life to an AI creature and the psychological impact on these creatures when they are used as toys or tools. Genesis subverts and pokes fun at the stark black and white moral choices found in contemporary games, offering more realistic dilemmas. Game tropes are tested, cheating is encouraged, and consequences are enacted every turn. 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players are given AI creatures called chimera to raise, teach and train, to aid in reconstructing their world. This creates an unique personal narrative experience as each environment adapts to the player’s choices. Chimera respond to and learn from these choices, mirroring the player’s true nature. 

Genesis is built in Obj-C using Cocos2D Framework.

Story

“Man, oh man, well this just isn’t pretty. The world’s been pretty beaten up, only a few towns really remaining and all that. 

See, after what could only be explained as an apocalyptic nightmare, things grew quiet. No one is really sure WHAT happened. Who is to say really. Just a lot of booms, a lot of crashes, and then everything became pretty bleak, dark, empty. And as we said, well, quiet. We were pretty sure we weren’t going to hear about you humans ever again.

But you surprised us. Even with a pitiful number of survivors, you foolishly wanted to keep living, keep growing and restore the world back to the way it was. Right away you started rebuilding as if it was a mere flesh wound! Resilient little creatures aren’t you? 

We question if this is a good idea. After all with the way the world was, it did lead up to the nightmare in the first place. So we presume. 

Still, it’s hard to tough it out with everyone living off of scraps. You humans have a lot of motivation but it just isn’t enough, is it? You humans are scrawny weak little things. 
Right right, so of course you all have been bugging the most competent out of you beings, the Alchemist at the Elixir Emporium. Strange fellow came up with these little buggers called Chimeras. Genetic marvels. Very malleable too. Here for your assistance, your entertainment, your pleasure. See, they need very little but produce a lot. All about how you raise them, so The Alchemist says.”

The Omnipresence

 

Gameplay

The player receives an egg, which they can then hatch, raise, and through their adventures out into the world, the player’s choices begin to effect how the creature grows and develops. Ultimately the gameplay is about making choices. Click on certain characters, items, chimera to discover what menu options and interactions you can have with them. Some of these interactions will lead to more complex, direct interactions such as mini-games that allow you to train your pets, or more menu-based interactions such as working.

Intended as a iOS sandbox game, Genesis is about giving the player as much functionality to explore and rebuild their world.

image

Thesis Presentation

Genesis also served as my Master’s thesis project during my time at ITP. The presentation itself is up online for those interested, though I will warn that both video and audio quality are lacking. If you would like to view the Thesis Presentation, please refer here

image

games illustration writing
Mellifluous
An interactive narrative where anyone can step up to the installation and become a maestro. As you conduct you unfold a personal audio-visual narrative of unique otherwordly characters and weave their unique sounds into a mellifluous song. Conduct the story as you conduct your own song.


When you approach the tree, wave your hands to unlock the lives hidden in each of the windows. Depending on the other characters that you awaken at the same time, the narrative and song evolves and grows.
Software
The software was written in C++ using OpenFrameworks, using ofxQTKitMoviePlayer to play the different animations, and ofxKinect to help communicate with the kinect. Taking the data from the kinect we calculated measured blobs as hands and tracked them to create a smooth interface.
Animation

Animations were created in Adobe Flash, while backgrounds were painted in Photoshop.
PARACOSM
In Paracosm you play a game of Hide-and-Seek. You can create light with just your fingertips, but the light chases away the children who go to find another hiding spot. Lead the children home to their houses the bring them out of the shadows, or bring them to where the monsters lurk and they’ll be swallowed whole.
Paracosm is an immersive narrative, where players interact with a shadow world, and use touch and physical objects to introduce light into the environment to alter the narrative.
VIDEO
 STORY
In the dark lurks another world where children go to play their games. They remain unaware that within the same shadows, Shades cultivate, hungering for those foolish enough to enter into their darkened realms. Guide fireflies bridge the two worlds, casting light within the shadows and lead the children safely to their homes. But be careful, the light that can bridge the worlds can also bring the shades out of the shadows. ANIMATION 
Characters were animated and illustrated using charcoal and then using photoshop. AUDIO
Audio was a mix of environmental sample sounds and noise, originally composed audio and some classic horror audio. Done in Logic Pro. SOFTWARE
Developed in C++ with the aid of OpenFrameworks, we created Paracosm in three stages. First, we implemented the particle flocking to fingertips and OPEN_GL shaders. Simultaneously we built basic AI and general interactions with the children and monsters. Third, we implemented multitouch TUIO communication using CCV (Community Core Vision) to read all blobs and assist with calibration. HARDWARE
For the touch surface we used a Diffused Surface Illumination (DSI) Table. The materials used were a projector, IR camera, IR LEDs, projection surface and a specialized piece of Enlighten Acrylic.

PARACOSM

In Paracosm you play a game of Hide-and-Seek. You can create light with just your fingertips, but the light chases away the children who go to find another hiding spot. Lead the children home to their houses the bring them out of the shadows, or bring them to where the monsters lurk and they’ll be swallowed whole.

Paracosm is an immersive narrative, where players interact with a shadow world, and use touch and physical objects to introduce light into the environment to alter the narrative.

VIDEO



STORY

In the dark lurks another world where children go to play their games. They remain unaware that within the same shadows, Shades cultivate, hungering for those foolish enough to enter into their darkened realms. Guide fireflies bridge the two worlds, casting light within the shadows and lead the children safely to their homes. But be careful, the light that can bridge the worlds can also bring the shades out of the shadows.

ANIMATION

Characters were animated and illustrated using charcoal and then using photoshop.

AUDIO

Audio was a mix of environmental sample sounds and noise, originally composed audio and some classic horror audio. Done in Logic Pro.

SOFTWARE

Developed in C++ with the aid of OpenFrameworks, we created Paracosm in three stages. First, we implemented the particle flocking to fingertips and OPEN_GL shaders. Simultaneously we built basic AI and general interactions with the children and monsters. Third, we implemented multitouch TUIO communication using CCV (Community Core Vision) to read all blobs and assist with calibration.

HARDWARE

For the touch surface we used a Diffused Surface Illumination (DSI) Table. The materials used were a projector, IR camera, IR LEDs, projection surface and a specialized piece of Enlighten Acrylic.

installations interactive audio software development
Paradox
Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 - Finalist
A 3D, top-down adventure game where players travel through space and time to help people across Paradox’s fantasy world in order to manipulate and influence their future.
Features:
- Play as a boy or girl

- Travel through time using the fountain in the center of town to see your influence.
- Explore different and unique districts and tackle the challenges that plague them. 
- Gain SP or Social Points in each district by aiding others. This will grant you special skills and tools you can use throughout the world. It allows you to explore and unlock secrets in the present and future.

TRAILER
SCREENSHOTS
   
STORYBOARDS
   
AUDIO
The music was composed using the midi keyboard instruments in Logic Pro. For a simple children’s game it worked perfectly, creating easily engaging catchy tunes.