Crunchy Bytes: A Prototype

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You can find the prototype video here.

When developing a prototype of literature or media, a creator must be highly receptive to both feedback and honing the craft of whatever they’re trying to achieve. In my case, that meant publishing my comment, welcoming criticism and taking in valuable advice. After I published the trailer for my planned video on video games and hardware limitations, I first set about collecting plenty of information and critiques of my pitch for Crunchy Bytes. One of the major concerns that were voiced over my proposal was the seeming lack of focus for the video. I tend to agree with that assessment, as I often find myself wanting to discuss something in far too broad terms. So I followed that line of reasoning and settled on something that would allow me to have two different analytical frameworks simultaneously, by discussing only the PlayStation One. It means a lot to me, having always just been there as far back as I can recall and it’s also an excellent system to examine a sort of transitional period where gaming was starting to fully come to grips with the new technologies at their disposal.

As outlined briefly in the prototype+discussion video above, the Structuralist approach is for the specifics of system architecture and development whereas the Post-Structuralist approach gives Crunchy Bytes a more ‘personal touch’, reflecting on the past and what I remember of these games when they were new. Alongside this iteration process of production, I also posted somewhat regularly on social media sites like Twitter of progress I made on the video. While these posts didn’t gain a lot of traction, I still found them nonetheless useful as a documentation tool to track my progress. The video goes over a few more things and also gives an idea of what I’m trying to now accomplish with Crunchy Bytes. And hopefully, I keep my ambitions for the potential series in check, for the time being. One other, more minor criticism I received was the poor mixing of the audio. The prototype has far better audio clarity compared to the the first Crunchy Bytes trailer, the quality (or lack thereof) of which I apologise for.

I’ve also done a decent amount of research. This included fan resources like the Final Fantasy Wiki, the MobyGames Database alongside some staggeringly detailed stuff – one such case being an unfinished but nonetheless extensive reference document for the Final Fantasy VII game engine (Check under Walker, J & Qhimm Team). There was also some excellent interview material, and the one which caught my eye the most was Crash Bandicoot: An Oral History that was published on the website Polygon where members of Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot team talked about the specifics of the game’s developments (which I know will prove immensely valuable when the full video is created). There’s also a few scholarly, academic references – although I am planning on beefing the number of these up significantly to bolster and legitimize my work further. Finally, while I’m also utilising the Structuralist/Post-Structuralist frameworks, I’ll also be looking at Media Archaeology as a potential framework – being particularly inspired by the works Errki Huhtamo, a prominent academic figure who kickstarted the concept of Media Archaeology as a framework for analysis in the first place.

I think the future looks bright for Crunchy Bytes. Perhaps bright enough for more than one episode somewhere down the line. But I’ll have to wait and see if I’m up to the challenge of that or not.

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