Skip to content

Smokescreen Day#5 Part 2: Photoshop Hero for Reals

Part 2 of Day 5 is Mission 6, in which you crop and paste like a fiend in the second half of the web-editor-as-game-hero part of Smokescreen. It’s a drawing kind of gameplay. I am both talentless at this kind of play, and I HATE it, so I am perhaps not the best person to evaluate this one. Still, this is a play journal, so take a big grain of salt before continuing. Narrative continues to understand that teenagers do naughty things, and there’s a great lesson on social networking privacy. Spoilers within.

Fond now of the phone calls over the IM, Smokescreen starts me on the phone with Jo, who cut school to take part in a quasi-protest event. Someone caught a picture of her down there and posted it on Fakebook.  She called in sick at school, and now she’s worried that her teachers will see the post and bust her. She calls her friend Melissa to try to get her help, but Melissa claims she’s useless with FB, so it’s up to me to save the day.

Jo sends me her Fakebook account and asks me to log in as her. Again, I’m deeply impressed by how good Sixtostart has been at making social networking analogs. That design is helping the game a lot. Once I’m logged in, she asks me to detag the photo, which is a matter of finding the button on the page. Once I’ve done that, she asks me to change the privacy settings on her page to make sure only her friends can see it.

This part is fascinating, and it’s where the verisimilitude of this fake site pays off. Basically, the game part is finding the Privacy Settings button in the interface, and then clicking on each field to change the setting to Friends Only… It’s trivial as a game, but it is EXACTLY what you do to make your site private on Facebook. This is really nice. Sixtostart is teaching you how to set your privacy settings on Facebook by narratively having you do it in the game. Just awesome.

Melissa and Jo chat during this time about dating. Melissa was asked out by Cal; Jo has been chatting with Billy. I finish the privacy settings, but the pictures are still up on FB because they are on the event page, so Jo wants me to use Photoshop to make a bunch of fake pictures to obscure the one she’s in.  I’m taken to a page with a big Photoshop-like tool bar on the left and a picture in the middle of a guy at a party with a cut-out line around around his head. There’s a 2 minute timer counting down.

So, like anyone sort of familiar with PS, I start clicking on the huge toolbar. Nothing happens. The scalpel is selected and stays selected. I click and drag around the line. Nothing happens. Try again. Nothing. I’ve got less than a minute left when I realize there’s some small text under the clock explaining that I’ve got to click on the photo and draw a line around the cut-out line to get the image. THAT would have been nice to have upfront. I finish this picture and get to a next page. Annoyingly, I have to advance by a continue button, and the button is below the conversation display (more on that in a second) and  I can’t click it. I run out of time, and a message pops up telling me to restart the mission and warns me that I should be less concerned about quality and quantity. This gets me swearing. Don’t insult me because your instructions weren’t clear.

I redo the mission and I fly through it, mostly because I HATE this tracing and could care less about quality. In the meantime, Jo and Melissa keep talking about dating, mostly about how Billy’s been flaking on Jo online.  When I finish, Jo asks me to help a friend cover up some photos of him at a party. It seems like I can refuse to do this, but I don’t know how. I click on an email that appears in front of me, and that gets me started on another tracing job.  I hold my nose through it and get a Questionable Morals achievement (or something like that), which I would normally have been upset by, but I just want to get out of this mission.

The narrative continues with Melissa talking about a birthday party that Max is going to have for a few friends, and they’re looking forward to meeting the guys in person for first time. Jo calls me to reveal that another friend accidentally ratted her out at school, so she’s caught anyway. But before we sign off, the girls reveal that someone posted Max’s party online as a festival, and it looks like a ton more people are going to show up than are supposed to. Looks like someone is definitely out to get Max, and the narrative has even more places to go. More next time.

Posted in Core.

Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.