Contextual Report – BCM215 Digital Artefact

The Frame Work

My Digital Artefact, Cuphead – I’m the Boss Now, centres around the animation design of the Boss characters and how this influences their game play; while using these features to transform these into a paratext (in the form of makeup). 

Iteration Cycle

I first came up with this idea after rewatching my favourite You-Tubers in their play-throughs of the game. I was drawn to the unique style of the animation of the game and in particular the Boss Characters. The individualised nature of the bosses and how their game play was influenced by their design was fascinating, urging me to analyse it further. Originally, I wanted to create my own paratexts for each of the boss characters by turning their unique features into makeup looks in one minute Tik-Tok videos. 

I started with this idea, analysing the animation styles; which is heavily drawn upon the 1930’s animation styles used by Fleischer Studios and Walt Disney, known as the Golden Age of Animation. I looked at both journal articles and online sources that looked singularly at the 1930’s animation and also how that animation was utilised within the game. My main source was from Calma (2003) which analysed the significant features of the 1930’s animation style particularly looking at Disney and Fleischer Studios. Various readings into the more intricate details of the Cuphead animators and their process helped inform my own analysis of the game to transform it into an entertaining piece of work, seperate from the game. 

I took a post-structuralist view of the game to not solely rely on the game to inform my develop my own analysis. This was perfect for the idea I had, as a post-structuralist view allowed me to create my own makeup ideas. Though I did not end up being able to create the actually makeup looks due to my technological issues; my DA still inspects what I would have created. 

Feedback Loops

Through my pitch, beta and presentation I gained a lot of constructive feedback as to how I could improve and alter my ideas due to the difficulties that arose through the project. The Beta and Presentation were the main feedback I used to create the final product. The Beta feedback allowed me to adapt my original idea from Tik-Tok videos into a longer YouTube video where instead of actually creating the looks, explaining what I would do to interpret the features of the boss into a makeup look. The presentation also demonstrated I needed to triangulate my analysis which is why I opted to also comment on the paratextual element of the DA. 

Successes and Limitations

The project overall has a lot of space to continue as either a hobby of mine or for other DA projects in my future. As I was not able to complete an analysis of every boss character, is I can create more videos on the Cuphead game and to grow and adapt this analytical framework for other games. What I like most about this DA is that it can be an interest point too gamers, makeup lovers, animation enthusiasts and more. 

This DA of course has its limitations, I wasn’t able to analyse every boss (like I mentioned earlier). This means I wasn’t able to give a finalised project with the scope that I wanted. For further adaptation I would also have to choose other animation styles as Cuphead is original in its game animation format. 

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