Early in the summer, another collaborative grant opportunity emerged, which encouraged scientist to scientist collaboration within the TTU/HSC systems. We brought on board Dr. Justin Keene, who brings psycho-physical expertise into the aphasia project. We will be adding this component gathering both cognitive and physical data, which will give us a clear picture as to the efficacy of our visual intervention. Although we applied, we did not receive the PCRG but Dr. Keene has remained with the project.
The VINI project was in full swing with the development of the visual narrative. From the grant funds, Stacy Elko procured one 22 inch Cintiq Drawing pad to begin the narrative, while waiting on the three 12.9inch iPad Pro with Apple pencil. The app Procreate was used to create the drawings as the advantage over Sketchbook Pro was the export functions. We would be able to export the Procreate files in ‘procreate’ or PSD format preserving their layers. Casey would then be able to pick out pieces for animation if necessary.
The artist then generated 175+ storyboards from which to base the final drawings. The drawings still took multiple revisions, given feedback from Dr. Corwin concerning aphasia friendly imagery.
The project is divided up into 4 phases: art production, game design, testing, data collection/writeup
So as the artist on the team, Stacy Elko was responsible for directing/creating the visual narrative that would be used. The team wrote the text for the narrative, and 2 MFA students, Stephanie Berrie and Jeremiah Macha were hired to work on the drawings which were slated to be finished by August 31, 2017.
Dr. John Velez has brought in a PhD student Casey Smith well versed in Unity 3D to begin determining the basic game interface.
At the end of May 2017, the TCVPA developed an ARC-arts research collaboration lab in the basement of the library where we began having meeting. This meeting, in the ARC, all the images of the visual narrative were projected for markup revision.
After months of organizing meetings amidst hectic teaching schedules we finished the applications and Chris Hall, the grant writer submitted them. Then on pins and needles.
April 2017 the results were announced and we received both an AIM grant and an SGIR grant for a total of $100,000
The team was ecstatic and felt vindicated for our work.
Next posts: organizing the art, artists, visual narrative and PCRG grant
Without belaboring the difficulties of grant writing, our team proceeded to work on an Arts and Medicine grant application through the Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts at TTU and the SGIR grant. We worked closely with the TCVPA/Library grant writer Chris Hall.
Initially we were including fMRI component to our research utilizing the facilities at the Experimental Science Department at TTU. We were wanting to incorporate the neuro-imaging along with our cognitive research but upon touring the facility and discussing the research, we decided that was a extremely large complicated component that we were not yet prepared to tackle.
After my meeting with Dr. Corwin of the TTUHSC, we continued to communicate and investigate funding opportunities for post-stroke aphasia rehabilitation using serious game design.
In the summer 2016, TTU announced the SGIR grant, a seed grant opportunity to encourage interdisciplinary teams of research. Dr. Corwin and I reconnected and decided to pursue this opportunity. Needing a team of at least 3, we contacted Dr. John Velez of Media and Communication, a game theorist to be the third member of our team.
Next, the labors of grant writing!
In early 2016, my music collaborator Sean Kennedy and I gave a brief presentation concerning our December 2015 collaboration in February 2016. https://vimeo.com/155300924
I think the subsequent presentation was by the TTU Health Science Center. I remember leaving in the elevator with a woman. I’m not socially engaging, but I remember talking with her about her project which was with stroke survivors. At that time I was currently working on my certificate in Serious Game Design and Michigan State, and in that brief meeting and walk to my bike, we talked about using serious games in rehabilitation with stroke survivors.
And it has evolved from there!