OTAKU: A DIGITAL MANGA :: Tyler Porten // Supported by FRFAF (#2014-12)



A Dietrich Senior Honors Thesis by Tyler Porten
Collaborators :: Mark Strelow, Kyna McIntosh, Ben Porten
Advisors :: Jim Duesing and Yasufumi Iwasaki

An interactive story that responds to your every move. Otaku: A Digital Manga, is an original Japanese short story, which incorporates elements of graphic novels, manga, and Japanese and western-style animation and video games.

The medium of the digital manga I pursued with this project is a bridge between traditional graphic novels and animation. It is a flexible method in which still characters can be animated to emphasize important scenes. As a digital manga, the project primarily uses computer tools and software, including Unity, Photoshop, and Clip Studio Paint. The project includes hand-drawn digital illustration, text, and audio in the form of voice acting, sound effects, and music, and uses elements of the traditional graphic novel to produce the feel of a manga. Hence the reader sees one panel of the comic at a time and will control when to proceed, like turning the pages of a book. The reader can also pan the screen of the digital manga, being able to interact with the three-dimensional space in which the work has been constructed. Some animation companies and web artists have explored this technique for a portion of an animation or static comic, but I expanded it into a stand-alone medium. The digital manga expands upon the “visual” novel found in some Japanese video games, but the latter lacks animation and does not read as a manga.

The completed project is a multi-media digital manga in Japanese with English subtitles. It has been build in Unity, and is available for Mac, Windows, and PlayStation®Vita. The work includes the first chapter of one of the characters in the game, consisting of 98 branching dialogue options, and a total of 387 interactive panels.

Made possible with support from the
Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier
Carnegie Mellon University
Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Duration: 289

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