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PROCESS BOOK The thesis work of Rob Fullmer


E G A P E L T TI EPIC HISTORY PROCESS BOOK Rob Fullmer


CO

S T N E T N

FORWARD

vii

1. THE PROBLEM 1 The Problem More Problems Questions

2. RESEARCH Interviews The Event Target Audience Keywords

3. SOLUTION

My Proposal Names Logo Illustration Style Visual Systems Guide

9

4. PRODUCTS

57

5. THE FUTURE

82

Videos Comics Website Action Figures Board Game

What’s Next Stories I Still Want to Tell Lessons Learned Thanks

31


Forward  ∎ vii

FOREWORD As the son of a high school history teacher, I was raised on all the best stories from the past. Once, in sixth grade, my father helped me with a history report by telling me the story of Hannibal, scourge of the Romans. I don’t remember much from the report, but that story has stuck with me the rest of my life and was my first introduction to how exciting history could be. In college, I was always torn between history and the art department. I was fascinated with both of them. In the end, history won and I graduated with a degree in archaeology. But, I’ve always wondered if there was a way to combine both my passions—history and design. Now, with children of my own, I’m telling the same stories that inspired me, and this time, I’m using my training and talents as a designer to spread these stories to a much larger audience.


THE

The Problem More Problems Questions

1 R E T P A CH

M E L B O PR


SCHOOL IS JUST SITTING THERE WITH PAPER, HOMEWORK AND A BOOK. ­— JULIE, AGE 12


Chapter 1: The Problem  ∎ 3

THE PROBLEM It was a spring evening, and I was walking home with my 12-year-old daughter. Our conversation turned to what she was learning in Social Studies. I knew that this year they were studying world history and, as a history geek, I regularly quizzed her to see what she liked about history and what was inspiring her. “We talked about Alexander the Great,” she explained. Sweet! Could there be any historical figure more fit to capture the imaginations of preteens? My mind immediately went to the striking figure on a horse, leading his loyal troops against impossible odds… “Yeah, he’s boring,” she mumbled. What?! Maybe she just had an off day. Then again, maybe her teacher wasn’t very good. Maybe they were studying some other Alexander. Whatever the reason, I was interested. I decided to see what the problem was, so I researched it. It turns out that a lot of kids are bored in history classes. Somehow the excitement of history was being lost, and kids were being turned off from a vital part of their education.


Epic History Process Book

THE

M E L B O PR


Chapter 1: The Problem  ∎ 5

MORE PROBLEMS It wasn’t all kids, though. Some of them were just as excited about history as I am. I had some great discussions with them about the spear lengths of Greek hoplites and why that didn’t help them against the Romans. These kids loved the details and trivia of history. The problems these kids have is in the materials available to them. Ancient history materials generally fall into two categories: childish books and videos that don’t contain much information and giant tomes that are too advanced for a younger audience. Any materials in between these two extremes are often difficult to find and they typically focus on mythology or ancient Egypt, completely ignoring large civilizations that helped shape our modern world. So, half of the kids learning history are bored and the other half have no way to learn more.


Epic History Process Book

IF YOU DON’T KNOW HISTORY, THEN YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. YOU ARE A LEAF THAT DOESN’T KNOW IT IS PART OF A TREE.” — MICHAEL CRICHTON


Chapter 1: The Problem  ∎ 7

QUESTIONS 1. WHAT IS KEEPING KIDS FROM LEARNING ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY? 2. WHAT IF HISTORY TEACHING RELIED ENTIRELY ON STORIES? 3. WHAT MODERN TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY COULD BE EXPLOITED TO TELL THOSE STORIES?


2 R E T P A CH

H C R A E RES

Interviews The Event Target Audience Key Words Focus


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 11

INTERVIEWS Sixth grade is one of the only times in a student’s career where they are forced to learn world history. Although 12-year-olds can be a difficult audience, they are also really enthusiastic about the things they like. So, before going too far, I knew that I’d need to know a little more about my potential audience. What did they like? Where did they spend most of their free time? These were some of the questions that I felt would help me develop this project. My target was Mr. Chris Paulson’s sixth grade Social Studies class. This group of 38 kids happily volunteered to be my first group of test subjects. They answered a 14 question survey that helped me get a grasp on some of their favorite things. The initial survey was followed up by several interviews with other children to help clarify some points. In the end, many of their responses surprised me, but also confirmed that I had picked the right audience.


Epic History Process Book

61%

OF SIXTH GRADERS READ NON-FICTION FOR FUN

HISTORY


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 13

92%

MOST OF SIXTH GRADERS ARE ON YOUTUBE, AND TWO-THIRDS OF THEM VISIT DAILY.


Epic History Process Book

C I M

O C

MORE THAN 1/3 OF SIXTH GRADERS READ COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS AND EVEN MORE READ ILLUSTRATED BOOKS LIKE DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 15

WHAT COMICS DO I LIKE THE BEST? ADVENTUROUS AND FUNNY!” — ‘AMANDA’ AGE

12


Epic History Process Book

KIDS DON’T RECOGNIZE GAMES WHEN THEY ARE PRESENTED IN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND WHEN THEY DO, THE GAMES BECOME LESS EFFECTUAL. — EXTRA CREDITS, HOW GAMES CAN IMPROVE OUR SCHOOLS (2013) AND PERSONAL OBSERVATION BASED ON INTERVIEWS.


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 17

CONCLUSION ANY LEARNING TOOL HAS TO BE ENTERTAINING ON ITS OWN MERITS. KIDS WON’T PARTICIPATE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS “EDUCATIONAL”.


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 19

THE EVENT Now that I had talked to a lot of kids, I wanted to expand the research to include parents and teachers. Homeschoolers were particularly interesting to me as they are regularly scouring the internet for good educational material. What better way to attract some willing participants than through a nice afternoon of history, food and gladiatorial combat! Two separate events were selected. Guests were invited to participate in the discussion while any kids were given an arsenal of padded swords and shields to battle with. The project was already leaning toward using storytelling as the best means of teaching history, so each guest was encouraged to bring a copy of their favorite book and discuss what they liked about it. The events resulted in some in-depth discussions about how children learn and where their enthusiasm for subjects come from.


Epic History Process Book

I THINK THAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS A BIG THING FOR ME... THE MORE I KNOW ABOUT CHARACTERS THAT I LIKE, THE MORE I GET INVESTED IN THE STORY. — ADAM


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 21

PASSION IS CHARISMATIC. A TEACHER’S PASSION FOR A SUBJECT WILL ATTRACT STUDENTS TO THE MATERIAL AND WILL OVERCOME A LACK OF MOTIVATION THAT THEY MAY HAVE ON A PERSONAL LEVEL.” — ORIEN


Epic History Process Book

I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST DRAWBACKS OF MOST TEXTBOOKS IS THAT THEY DON’T DO ENOUGH STORIES. THEY DON’T SHARE ENOUGH OF THE REAL PEOPLE. — NATALIE


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 23


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 25


Epic History Process Book

TARGET AUDIENCE Having already settled on sixth graders as my audience, who in that audience was the primary target? Are their additional people who could benefit? Who exactly do I see using this?

DISINTERESTED

This kid hates history. They think it is boring and regularly wonder why they have to learn any of it. They don’t go out of their way at all to find out more.

RELUCTANT STUDENT

UNINTERESTED TEACHERS

This include new teachers who don’t have a lot of experience with history. Teaching history is part of their job, but not their favorite part. They have other subjects that they prefer. So, they are always looking for something to help them through their curriculum.

This kid has homework to do, so they are surfing the web looking for easy content for their report. They are also usually bored in class, but might get attracted by a dynamic graphic or something interesting. An enthusiastic teacher might get to them. They are easily distracted, though.

ENTHUSIASTIC TEACHERS

HISTORY FAN

SELF-TAUGHT ENTHUSIASTS

Always liked history, but never sure where to start learning. Gets excited about the more romantic elements in ancient history. They know mythology pretty well and are attracted to games and movies that are historically based. They are always on the look out for more information.

These are the teachers that love history. Their rooms are filled with books, maps, posters and activities. They will readily jump on anything new that will help them keep their lessons interesting and interactive.

These are those that love history, but aren’t necessarily studying it or teaching it. Sometimes homeschool parents fall in this category. They are generally excited about learning and they see a lot of history as something they should’ve learned in school. They get excited about anything new they find that might help them learn more about a subject.


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 27

I THINK WHEN YOU CAN PICTURE YOURSELF IN THE STORY. WHEN IT BECOMES A PART OF YOU IS WHEN IT BECOMES REAL AND YOU RETAIN IT. “ — RANIE


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 2: Research  ∎ 29

KEYWORDS Several words jumped out as directions to take the design of this project. Three of them were selected for special focus. Ancient Light-hearted Amusing Classic Stylized Connection Interactive Friendly Sculptured


3 R E T P A CH

N O I T U L SO

My Proposal Names Logo Illustration Style Visual Style Guide


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 33

MY PROPOSAL By the time the majority of the research was finished, the way ahead seemed obvious. If I was going to reach kids, I needed to be on YouTube, I needed to have ways that kids could learn more if they wanted to, I needed to focus on stories and characters more than details or events and it all needed to be tied together in a consistent and engaging style.

VIDEO SERIES

Fun and fast-paced online videos that will create an introduction to many of the great stories from Greece and Rome.

WEB COMIC

A light-hearted series that tells some of the great stories from Greece and Rome, sharing the style of, and to be used in conjunction with, the video series.

ACTION FIGURES

Collectible action figures based on Greek and Roman heroes. The packaging and style of the figures will appeal to collectors, while the figures themselves will come with a set of game rules to help students interact with the characters in competitive play and in historical scenarios.

WEBSITE

The website will direct students to additional books and online materials about history. It will also serve as a resource for parents and teachers to download activities, lesson aides and teaching ideas.


Epic History Process Book

POTENTIAL NAMES Ancient Heroes

Edge of the Kingdom, Center of the World

Heroes from the past

Hazardous History

The Ancient World brought to Life

Gods & Emperors

Heroes from the Ancient World

Ancient Awesomeness

Tales from the Ancient World

Greeks are Great, Romans Rock

Stories from the Ancient World

History Sucks

Caesar’s Tales

Ancient Glory

Sandals and Seas

Honor & Glory

History of the Ancients

Spears of the past

Mystery of the Ancients

The Struggle for Power

From the Sands of Rome

The Mists of Power

The Seas of Greece and the Sands of Rome

The Soul of a Conqueror

Hail Caesar!

The Paths of Glory

Swords, Sandals & Revenge

Horns in the Mist

Kings of the Past

The Death of a God


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 35

HOW ABOUT EPIC AWESOMENESS?”

... MAYBE EPIC HISTORY!


Epic History Process Book

EPIC HISTORY


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 37

VISUAL SYSTEM GUIDE Epic History is all about stories from ancient history Epic History is an entertaining YouTube series that teaches kids about stories from Greek and Roman history. The website links the videos and gives kids additional information, comics, action figures and games. One of the strengths of the Epic History series is its consistent style and quality. To ensure that the Epic History brand remains consistent, the following brand rules and guides have been developed.


Epic History Process Book

E EPIC HISTORY E EPIC HISTORY

E EPIC HISTORY E EPIC HISTORY


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 39

LOGO DEVELOPMENT When developing the Epic History logo, I wanted something that would be engaging and fun. I really wanted to stay away from what is normally expected from history brands. I tried to stay away from chiseled serifs and cracks in the text. Instead, I started looking at toy brands from the 1980s and sports logos for my inspiration.


Epic History Process Book

LOGO The Epic History logo is the centerpiece for the brand. It can be used with a single color, or with/ without the sword. It should always be used with proper space around the logo. Altered versions of the Epic History that say Epic Win or Epic Fail are for use in the videos.

PRIMARY LOGO

No smaller than 1/2-inch wide.


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 41

VARIATIONS WITHOUT SWORD

DARK BACKGROUND

SINGLE COLOR

GRADIENT


Epic History Process Book

LOGO DON’TS

Do not alter colors

Do not rotate or use the logo at an angle

Do not change aspect ratio

Do not remove the shadow at the bottom of the logo

Do not apply drop shadows or other effects

Do not tint, screen or display at a lower opacity


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 43

GRAPHIC ELEMENTS Graphic elements should be based on the graphics used in both the website and the web comics. These include word balloons, colored offset drop shadows, colored bars and triangles.

TEXT BOXES

It all happened near the small town of Chaeronea, 338 BCE.

BARS AND TRIANGLE ELEMENTS

18 WORD BALLOONS

! H A N

DROP SHADOW

18


Epic History Process Book

TYPEFACES AVENIR NEXT BOLD ITALIC

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 12345

AVENIR NEXT REGULAR

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 12345

AVENIR NEXT ITALIC

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 12345

AVENIR NEXT BOLD

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 12345

WEBCOMIC STYLES BACK ISSUES BB REGULAR

BACK ISSUES BB BOLD ITALIC

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 12345 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTU VWXYZ 12345


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 45

TYPEFACE USE

HEADING

Avenir Next Bold Italic, All Caps 48/57

SUB-HEADING

Avenir Next Bold Italic, All Caps 24/28 Body Text Avenir Next 14/17 Caborero volorec taquam fugia conse rerchic itatesciet quodis aperia cores et quas ersperum et harchil il ipsam harias ipietur ad eatemporunt ape entiorero volorum escidis aut moluptat fuga. WEBCOMIC TYPEFACE USE IN WEBCOMICS, BOLD ITALIC SHOULD BE USED SPARINGLY FOR EMPHASIS

TEXT FOR THE WEBCOMIC SHOULD BE CENTERED IN A BALLOON OR BOX WITH A 2-POINT STROKE.


Epic History Process Book

PRIMARY COLOR PALETTE

C30 M90 Y100 K35 HEX #812B19

C15 M80 Y100 K4 HEX #CA5427

C1 M42 Y95 K0 HEX #F6A128

ILLUSTRATION COLOR PALETTE

C4 M28 Y54 K0 HEX #F1BD82

C24 M43 Y83 K0 HEX #C7954B

C9 M1 Y85 K0 HEX #EFE748

C0 M100 Y98 K1 HEX #EC2227

C15 M11 Y12 K0 HEX #D7D7D7

C36 M57 Y84 K23 HEX #8D633A

C30 M66 Y84 K50 HEX #6B3E21

C0 M50 Y99 K0 HEX #F89520

C25 M100 Y99 K22 HEX #9E1D20

C67 M2 Y0 K0 HEX #1DBFF0

C35 M13 Y14 K0 HEX #A5C2CF

C48 M0 Y100 K0 HEX #92C83E

C80 M0 Y100 K19 HEX #049640

C79 M52 Y0 K0 HEX #3F75BA

C87 M35 Y46 K10 HEX #077B80

C82 M0 Y100 K45 HEX #00712E

SOCIAL MEDIA AVATARS

HH


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 47

WEBCOMIC SPECIFICATIONS The webcomic pages should be 8 x 10 inches, oriented horizontally. A 2-point border should be placed around each individual panel. Panels should have a 1/4-inch gutter (minimum) between them.

The finished page should be reduced to 1350 x 1125 pixels and be exported as an RGB, JPEG file.

8 inches

10 inches


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 49

STYLE DEVELOPMENT From the beginning, I new I wanted to illustrate this project. The appeal of hand-drawn, cartoon figures really fit for the audience I wanted to reach. The problem was what the style of the characters would be. I played with completely vector figures that reflected Greek vase painting and more childish figures. In the end, I settled on exaggerated figures that fit a more simplified comic book style. This style was diverse enough that it could fit any kind of story I wanted to tell, and yet simple enough that I could easily exaggerate anything to tell a better story.


Epic History Process Book

ILLUSTRATION STYLE

Thicker outlines, thin detail work, in pen. Color is flat, mid-tones only.


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 51

MIXED ILLUSTRATION When vector and hand-drawn elements interact, text and vector elements used in illustrations should interact with the illustrations through layering, perspective, and shadows to create dimension.


Epic History Process Book

APPLICATION – WEBSITE www.epichistory.rocks

HOME

ROMANS

GREEKS

COMICS

VIDEOS

FIGURES

DISCOVER SOME OF THE

GREATEST STORIES THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN!

Hit the comics, watch the videos, check out the action figures, or just browse through the stories by looking at Greek or Roman history!

LATEST COMIC UPDATE FALL OF THE IMMORTALS, EPISODE 004

LATEST VIDEOS

ALEXANDER, PART 1

ALEXANDER THE GREAT PART 1 ALEXANDER, PART 2

ALEXANDER THE GREAT


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 53


Epic History Process Book

APPLICATION – VIDEO SLIDES


Chapter 3: Solution  ∎ 55

APPLICATION – COMICS At first, the greeks ignored them. They were too busy fighting each other...

THE FALL OF THE When they finally realized that the Macedonians were a threat, they had already marched down into greece!

IMMORTALS It all happened near the small town of Chaeronea, 338 BCE.

At this time, Sparta wasn’t very powerful, athens was strong, but Thebes was the powerhouse in Greece.


4 R E T P A CH

S T C U D RO

P

Videos Comics Website Action Figures Board Game


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 59

VIDEOS The first video I worked on began the story of Alexander the Great. It seemed like the perfect place to start. Alexander is part of most schools’ curriculum, his story is filled with adventure and most kids aren’t very familiar with the people and places involved in the story. Alexander’s story, however, starts with his father, Philip II. Alexander wouldn’t be who he was without Philip. The challenge was to start the story with Philip, but use it to introduce Alexander. At the same time, the video needed to help the audience understand where everything was happening. To ensure that the audience was able to follow the story, the video was regularly tested on both the target audience and their parents. Siblings and friends who were nearby also chimed in with suggestions of their own.


Epic History Process Book

0:10

0:18

0:22

0:30

0:40

0:50

0:54

1:08

1:26

1:37

1:47

1:54

1:58

2:12

2:16

2:18

2:23

2:29


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 61

2:36

2:47

2:53

2:56

3:02

3:08

3:12

3:38

3:58

4:07

4:20

4:28

4:35

4:40

4:55

5:01

5:05

5:12


Epic History Process Book

Alexander the Great conquered the world by the time he was 30 years old!

I am Dontellus, the famous greek historian...

* not actually a greek historian

In 10 years, he led his troops from greece to the jungles of india. he never lost a battle!

and Alexander’s story begins with his first battle in central greece...


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 63

COMICS The advantage of web comics is that there is no printing cost and the pages come out on a regular schedule. So, there is no limit to the number of pages you can take to tell a story. As a result, the web comics were a perfect way to use the same visual style of the videos to delve deeper into the stories and give details that there wasn’t time for. As the comic was developed, there arose a need to have some sort of narrator, some character who was telling the stories. I’ve always been a fan of Asterix and Uncle Scrooge comics. Both comics like to hide jokes in the names of their minor characters. So, the character of Dontellus was created. That character could be easily used to transmit a sense of enthusiasm for the stories and could pull back to explain more difficult concepts in the middle of a story. Any resemblance Dontellus has to the designer is purely coincidental.


Epic History Process Book

THE FALL OF THE

IMMORTALS

MACEDON To the north, though, a new army was building. Macedon was growing restless and attacking its neighbors. It wasn’t long before they turned their eyes toward greece.

It all happened near the small town of Chaeronea, 338 BCE.

At this time, Sparta wasn’t very powerful, athens was strong, but Thebes was the powerhouse in Greece.

At first, the greeks ignored them. They were too busy fighting each other...

GREECE

Greece had to put a stop to Macedon!

So, they gathered their armies from Thebes, Athens, and anywhere else they could get soldiers and marched to head them off.

When they finally realized that the Macedonians were a threat, they had already marched down into greece!

Thebes sent Theagenes, the mighty general,

But Macedon was ready for them with thousands of specially trained and prepared soldiers...

Athens sent Chares and Lysicles to lead their army.

Led by Philip II, King of Macedon

along with the Sacred Band, 300 elite soldiers thought to be invincible.

And his son, Alexander!


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 65

The lines were drawn on the battlefield...

But thE start of this Battle began years ago, when Philip was only a child...


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 67

WEBSITE From the beginning of the project, the purpose of the website was to coordinate all of the other elements. Obviously, the webcomic would live there. And there could be a store to sell the action figures. But, as Epic History developed, it became obvious that the website could be more. The primary focus is still the same, the website functions as a hub, linking the videos, collecting the comics and hosting the store. But, it also acts as a record of what videos and comics are being planned. Each story has its own page, giving a short description (just enough to entice the audience) and then linking to any videos or comics that cover that story. The stories are organized by civilization and placed in a timeline. In that way, the kids still get a sense of the story’s position in history and also helps them browse to the stories they are interested in.


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 69


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 71

ACTION FIGURES There is something unique about stepping away from the screen and holding objects in your hand. With the action figures, I wanted to create something that, stylistically, still tied to the rest of the project, but could allow for a new set of teaching opportunities. The characters were designed and drawn, then delivered to a sculptor. We went through several rounds of revisions before we had the finished look. Then, the figures were digitally scanned, small elements were adjusted, and then 3D printed. Although this process was successful, I will be experimenting with sculpting the figures directly in the computer for the next set of figures. After 3D printing, I will also try casting resin or vinyl figures from the prints.


Epic History Process Book

The figures were first sculpted out of plasticine.

A basic DIY scanner worked surprisingly well.


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 73

The final digital file after some adjustments (like adding a sword after I accidentally broke it).


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 75

After printing (left) and trimming the supports (above), the figures were sanded and painted.


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 77


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 79

BOARD GAME The figures by themselves are cool, but they needed an educational tie-in. That is where the game comes in. Based on a combination of an out-of-print card game called Anachronism and a homemade game that used action figures from the 1980s, the Epic History pits the different action figures against each other. Each character has traits that gives them an advantage over the others. But they each also have special powers that are individual to that character, based on their stories from history. Alexander moves fast, Philip uses strategy, and Caesar has the loyalty of the army. Each power, as it is used, makes the character stronger and stronger. The goal of the game is to knock out every other player. Because of the simple rules, the game is quick to teach and quick to play which makes it perfect for classrooms where a typical class is only 40 minutes. The game mechanisms also make it easy to have a lot of players. Ideally 8–10 players can play at once. Each character also comes with a QR code that takes the kids to a secret page on the website filled with strategies for that character and extra scenarios that can be played to enhance the original game.


Epic History Process Book


Chapter 4: Finals  ∎ 81


5 R E T P A CH

E R U T E FU

TH

What’s Next List of Stories Lessons Learned Thanks


Epic History Process Book

N G I S E D Y L R L O I W HIST FOR


Chapter 5: Future  ∎ 85

WHAT’S NEXT To this point, I feel like I’ve only been laying the ground work for Epic History. The enthusiasm that I’ve seen from kids and teachers alike confirms to me that not only is there a place for Epic History, there is a need. I have a backlog of stories already listed on the website, and even more stories listed below. Each one of these stories could have at least one video, a comic series and a figure in the game. This means that I’ve got plenty of content. By my own efforts, I plan to produce one comic page each week and one new video every six months. It is possible to speed up this pace with the right funding. I’ll be initially looking to crowd fund the production of the first few action figures. If this is successful, I will also pursue larger funding sources that would allow me to permanently make content for the site. With luck and the right benefactors, this project could find a permanent life in the future!


Epic History Process Book

STORIES I STILL WANT TO TELL Greek Stories

Pisistratus — the guy no one wanted Cleisthenes and Democracy The Persian Wars The Greeks Rebel (the burning of Sardis) Marathon We are Sparta! (Thermopolae) First Peloponesian War (Greece vs. Sparta) The voyages of Pytheas After Alexander

Roman Stories

Rome vs. Greece Crassus, Pompey and Caesar The two greatest generals of Rome First Punic War Hannibal & the Second Punic War Spartacus Baudica — Warrior Queen Amanireuas — Queen of Kush Saint Maurice — Legionnaire & Martyr Herman the German (beware of your friends) Severus & the year of 5 emperors Augustus — The Republic becomes an Empire

Other stories

Israel Cleopatra & Egypt Cyrus the Great Pangea Arteshbod, Commander of the Immortal Army

Shorts

Difference between Greece and Rome Who are the big dogs? (Powerhouses in the ancient world) How the Roman Army changed over time Archimedes’ crazy machines


Chapter 5: Future  ∎ 87


Epic History Process Book

THIS DOESN’T REPLACE THE TEACHER, THIS AUGMENTS THE TEACHER.” — JAMES PORTNOW


Chapter 5: Future  ∎ 89

LESSONS LEARNED Epic History was the longest and most detailed design project I’ve ever taken on. Because of that, it has also been one of the most enlightening projects I’ve ever worked on. Most of Epic History wouldn’t have worked if it weren’t for the amount of research that I put in. Research and user testing helped dictate the deliverables, the style and even the name of Epic History. There were a few times when what I had planned turned out to work with the audience. But, the majority of times I interviewed audience members, I came away with invaluable insights. This is a step in design that is only ignored at the designer’s peril. Designing for kids was a unique challenge. It surprised me just what things caught the kids’ attention and what things they really didn’t care about. I found that if it was working, they wouldn’t say anything (or I’d get just a “cool” under their breath). But, if it wasn’t working, they’d be pretty vocal. That helped particularly well with the illustration style and the places I used text (or didn’t) in my videos and website. Finally, I gained a greater appreciation for the power of good design. Defining a problem, researching the solutions and testing them along the way helped develop a system that can teach kids history. I think there would be great value in more designers tackling the task of designing for education. It could make a great difference in the educational system of this country and could even change lives.


Epic History Process Book

THANKS So many people helped me through the production of this project. Thank you to all of the professors and staff at Academy of Art. In particular, thank you to Anitra Nottingham who helped me develop the plan for this project. Thank you to Jeremy Stout for working closely with me in the exploration of the thesis. Thank you to Sandra Isla for agreeing that a game was a good idea, and Marc English for teaching me that sometimes you have to let a design be what it wants to be. Thank you to my in-house support team: Jay Fullmer who answered my constant questions about drawing technique and helped produce the illustrations, Cassie Ricks for her sculpting prowess, Brenden Fullmer for his fantastic knowledge of video making and storytelling, Katie Fullmer for her never-ending enthusiasm, Julie and Ethan Fullmer for being my test subjects and Jenny Fish for giving me a teacher’s perspective. Also, thank you to all of the many kids and parents who had to sit through my stories, take surveys, watch numerous renditions of the videos, and answer ridiculous questions about what comics they like to read. Finally, a big bag of gratitude goes to my wife, Natalie, and my four daughters who all put up with an absentee father for the years that it took to finish this project.


This book was set with Avenir Next, a typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger and Akira Kobayashi, published by Linotype in 2004.


ICH P E . W WW

S K C O R . I S TO R Y

Epic History Process Book  

The process for the Epic History thesis project by Rob Fullmer for the Academy of Art University Graphic Design department.

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