names and titles

Some names for my panda character:
Bao Bao
Pang Pang
Cha cha
Yang
Duo Duo
Diu Diu
Lang Lang

Names from Najlah's boy: Jiggly Jimmy


I'm using Duo Duo for now.

Project titles:
Panda Duo Duo
The Adventure of Duo Duo
Panda Duo Duo on His Planet
Panda Duo Duo and His Planet
Duo Duo Tells You About Earthquakes
Duo Duo's Adventure from The Earthquake
Duo Duo and His Shaking Planet

a new start?

Key words:

earthquake, survival, kids, learning, fun, animation, character, panda, 3D animation or motion graphic

The new idea is making a short animation piece with cute characters and a funny story to tell children some basic knowledge on earthquake and how to protect themselves in an earthquake. The concept is helping children to learn the important skills in a casual way, so they can understand and remember it easily.

I'm starting with building my panda character in Maya, and doing research on reference project that help children learn how to protect themselves under different circumstance. I'll make a list of the things I need to research soon.

character

No matter what media I am going to work with (an animation, a game, a book... ), I need a character. A character that my audience will love, a character that bring happiness to them, a character that can represent Chinese culture, especially Sichuan culture.

Since the kids are now in their summer break, I was not able to talk to them even though my friend is now working in Dujiangyan in Sichuan. He asked me to wait until the fall semester. I've read some interviews online. The questions they answered were what they wanted, what TV program they liked, and what animation they enjoyed the most. Most of the school kids wanted notebooks, pens, textbooks. They watched a lot of animation on TV, and the funny American animation Tom and Jerry was very popular.

Right now I'm planning to create an animal character. A panda is my top choice. The panda is representing not only China, but also Sichuan the province. They mostly live in that area. They always look fat, and move slowly and funny. They have very strange voice, which make people laugh. I'll do more research on the animal itself and find some existing panda animation as reference.

A suggestion from Sven and a couple of new ideas

I talked to Sven today about the Chengdu porject and my thesis project. He mentioned an idea of taking advantage of Wii or other portable gaming platforms, and the TV, which gave me a big inspiration. Gaming systems like Wii, are not very popular in China especally in the rural area. But in the early 90's, there was a Chinese vedio game and learning systerm called Xiaobawang Learning Machine that was seen everywhere. It connected to the TV and had various of applications and functions. I even remembered my mom used to code on that machine. It is a keyborad which is almost the same as computer keyborad with a slot for the game card. A pair of joysticks and a mouse are also included in this system.
xiaobawang.jpg

The Xiaobawang Learning Machine is a affordable system for most Chinese family. Since it may be not available in stores now, if people can donate their old Xiaobawangs for this project, it can be a nice platform to use.

Another portable platform that is very very popular among school teenagers is electronic dictionaries.
wenquxing.jpg

Almost every student has one for their English class, and for game play. There are several major brands with a number of different machines. Not sure how to code on that yet. But I can understand how much Chinese kids like these machines : ) Affordable price and a lot of functions.

One important thing Sven kept saying is that I HAVE to get DIRECTLY CONNECTED with the kids. One suggestion from Anezka from last two meetings on the user testing issue was to test with kids here. I'll keep these advices in mind and keep connect to people.

a couple of ideas 06/26/2008

How do I deliver the information to my audience?

1, Internet
People age below 18 are not allowed to enter Internet bar unless with a guardian. Personal computers are not highly widespread in rural area. After this earthquake, it is even more difficult for kids to access to Internet. But, with the power of connecting people from all of the world, Internet is still on the table.

2. Cellphone
According to my experience, cellphones are popular in college. But for elementary kids, most of them don't have a cellphone. Things may change after the disaster. I need to research an this.

3. Book
As Aneska mentioned, zines, which are books available on line, and ready for print. It's easier to distribute. But I need to check the publishing law in China.

4. TV / Movies /Radio
They are efficient way to reach the kids. But I still doubt that narrative is a good way to heal them.

5. Installations
It seems like some psychologists are planning to set up temporary workstations in Sichuan. If they or some non-profit groups can help me to install the project and show to the kids, it will be a good choice. So bad that I'm not able to go there for various reasons.

6. Stickers
This is an idea my mom mentioned while we were talking about my project. Stickers are popular in kids. They put them everywhere, on the wall, on their book, and on their faces. It is an interesting medium.
Profile

Fengyu Hao

Author:Fengyu Hao
I'm living in New York, pursueing a MFA degree of Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. My major interests are animation and coding for interactive design. This is a place where I document my MFA thesis working process.

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