Ibalon's action-adventure mobile game; film on mental health, named as best sms theses

Posted: December 13, 2018, 11:25 A.M.
Multimedia thesis “Designing an Action-Adventure Mobile Game Using Game Design Theory for the Adaptation of The Ibalon,” and Digital Cinema Thesis “Ophelia: A Narrative Short Film Representing Mental Health and Depression Through Autoethnography” are recognized to receive the Best Thesis Awards this December 13, 2018 in the 7th Commencement Exercises of Mapúa University at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Angelica Joyce Anne G. Santiago’s multimedia thesis focuses on designing an action-adventure mobile game of Ibalon. The researcher determined the protagonist and antagonist of the story, and this was done through content analysis of the epic’s story. Both character designs and models were derived through the use of keywords, visual metaphors, shapes, and colors. The general semiotic theory by Umberto Eco was used in generating artificial signs for the gameplay elements of action-adventure games. These signs are considered necessary to define core game mechanics needed in the game. Game design theory also helped the researcher to explain the concept of game design and games as system of rules. The approach used was qualitative content analysis to compare the character designs and existing games. A checklist of game interfaces was included to describe and to list the important elements in the game visually.
Santiago claimed that games, particularly video games have fascinated her for a long time. For this reason, creating a game is what came to her mind. “The research originally emerged from the idea of creating a game that will feature one of the stories from Philippine epics. However, it was inspired the most by the puzzle-solving elements of action-adventure games that are usually seen on console games but rarely seen on mobile games, and that is why, creating a mobile game became the deciding factor that helped me to undertake and to clearly define the overall vision of the research,” Santiago said. And when asked why she considered Ibalon as her main subject for the development of the game, she replied, “The epic of Ibalon was chosen as the story due to its vast characters, which create a complete story even though it is only an incomplete and fragmentary epic.” The progress of her research paper, and the development of the game output were mentored by her thesis adviser, Prof. Marvin B. De Leon.
On the other hand, Celina Mae M. Medina’s Digital Cinema thesis deals with the creation of a narrative short film that translates depression through autoethnography. It aims to localize the portrayal of depression that translates in a subtle and realistic manner, and to give a more Filipino approach on depression. The research uses autoethnography as the primary method in order to give a good insight on what it is like to deal with depression and mental health particularly on middle class millennial Filipino college student.
Medina said that Ophelia is a film that is very close to her heart. It is loosely based from her real experiences, dealing with mental health and depression. “I am diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder,” she admitted. From there, Medina watched a lot of films about depression and she noticed that most of them were exaggerated or formed from a western perspective. The film is a collaborative art. It is a product of the hard work and creativity of her team. Medina gave her advice to young filmmakers, “I would like to tell the young filmmakers out there to love your craft and trust the people whom you are working with. Always be good to people and remember that film is a collaborative process.” The progress of her research paper, and the production of the film were mentored by her thesis adviser, Prof. David R. Corpuz.
The film "Ophelia" won 2nd Best Film, Director of the Month, and was nominated for Screenplay of the Month and Actress of the month (Rea Molina) in The Monthly Film Festival. The film was also selected as an official semi-finalist and nominee for best student short film in the Winter Alternative Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, and an official semifinalist for the Los Angeles CineFest.