Week 10: Design development Part I

The tasks

  • Design your selected project concept. Post visual developments on the Ideas Wall and use your blog to elaborate on these experiments.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather feedback and ensure that your project aligns with your target audience. Post any feedback on your blog and analyse how it can inform the delivery of your final outcome.
  • Make prototypes and user test your design developments. Post images of these tests on the Ideas Wall, to gain student and staff feedback, and use your blog to rationalise the results.
  • Collaborate with peers and staff on the Ideas Wall and engage with relevant research groups, industry professionals or key stakeholders to refine the visual direction of your chosen project brief. Use your blog to elaborate on your discussions.

Design your selected project concept. Post visual developments on the Ideas Wall and use your blog to elaborate on these experiments.

Make prototypes and user test your design developments. Post images of these tests on the Ideas Wall, to gain student and staff feedback, and use your blog to rationalise the results.

Here are images of my concept. It is a game that manoeuvres between objects in the Science Museum collection to display links and context, and would be designed to run in a web browser (mobile, tablet or desktop):

6degrees

This is the start of the ‘game’ with an introduction to the concept behind it. I’ve used a similar typeface to the Science Museum typeface, with a serif font for my comments.6degrees2

I think the easiest way to explain how a player navigates through the programme is a map! This is a sample challenge I built from the actual objects in the Science Museum collection, and hopefully, I could use AI to make more in a real-world context.6degrees3

This is one ‘start’ object, that shows the meta-data from the Science Museum collection. The description for the object is drop-down, so that the player can easily read about the object, but the main data to contextualise the object is the ‘Details’ section.

At any point, the player can navigate directly to the object page in the main collection so that they can learn more about it.6degrees4

With this start object, the three possible routes are displayed to the right of the image in a circular rather than rectangular box, with an image and the connecting data item. The image can navigate to that route and takes you to the next page.6degrees5

This is a mid-challenge object, showing the route behind and ahead. The route could be infinite, but the aim would be to connect objects in six links or less.

Personal feedback

As I write this, I can see that this just looks like a linking archive. To make it into a game, I need to build a section into the UI to show the target object and details, and how many clicks the player has left.

Levels of difficulty

The player would start on an easy level, and build up to hard and harder, which might require them to hit the target object in an exact number of steps, or use just one metadata category, or a certain number of these.

Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather feedback and ensure that your project aligns with your target audience. Post any feedback on your blog and analyse how it can inform the delivery of your final outcome.

The key stakeholder, John Stack, gave a really good feedback session on Monday and I learnt from listening to his feedback to all the projects. He made these points for Jay, and I feel they can be applied to all of us:

  • When crowdsourcing, a few people will contribute a lot and most people a little, because they already have a deep level of engagement with the collections. Is the best way to introduce new people to the collection.
  • What does the project do in its resting state? For example, a fruit machine in a pub lights up whilst it isn’t being used to pull more people in.
  • Is it fulfilling for other people to use if they are not the primary user? My project was originally centred around intergenerational learning, so this is an integral question to me?
  • How do you hook in more users, particularly of school age, perhaps by using the curriculum?
  • Things need to be simple when they launch, and additional features can be added later.

For me, John really wanted to push the idea further than the metadata. He gave the example of the Science Museum’s Rugged Rover game, where players build a Mars rover and navigate it over rocky terrain. It’s build using actual Mars game physics and the players race against vehicles build by Mars engineers. The game logic used like this makes it constantly satisfying by having difficulty rating that is constantly learning from the players.

Innovation comes from applying one object in a different context, and John gave the example that drones have become cheap because one of the essential components, the gyroscope, has become readily available because it has been developed to such an extent that it is a cheap component of mobile phones. Rather than using the metadata to connect objects, John suggested I try to reach for more interesting connections like this.

Collaborate with peers and staff on the Ideas Wall and engage with relevant research groups, industry professionals or key stakeholders to refine the visual direction of your chosen project brief. Use your blog to elaborate on your discussions.

Feedback from my Art Director:

    • Unsure at first about what connects the object because the links seem very random and to jump all over the place
    • [When I explained about the connections being the metadata] The connections need to be interesting, because “made in France” is too vague
    • Look at a TV show called Connections by James Burke, because he took an object such as lightbulb and explored what technologies needed to be in place, or borrowed from other disciplines, for the invention to take place when it did.
    • By choosing one area per challenge, for example, Telecommunications, the connections would be less random and there would be more opportunity to build a narrative
    • The A to B concept is fine, but it could be more by building in a treasure hunt or players to find, and objects such as “Wally’s phone” [we work at the Where’s Wally? publisher] to add interest.
    • Ensure clear game start- and end-points
    • Build in rewards, like objects, and display them after finishing the game along with a map of the collection network that maps where you have gone on your journey.

Feedback from games designer (edited for clarity):

If you wanted to keep things relatively light and simple, you could look at an engine like Pixi or Melon:

For extra, extra, whizziness you could also consider something like Unity.

If it were me, I’d definitely build it in Unity. Aside from the fact I’ve already built a game in Unity, It will probably be the easiest of the three in the long term. Because it’s so widely supported, there’s all kinds of free/cheap third party plugins that will handle things like camera movement and particle effects etc, so you might actually find that unity is the slightly less intensive code option (Unity pros go for coding in C#, but it has its own version of Javascript that works well enough too)

Feedback from Android app developer and games designer:

GDE740_feedback_CC

Feedback from an educational and pastoral expert (my mum…)(edited for clarity)

    1.  For education:  in planning and getting ready to visit the museum, by using the app/website teacher will be able to link students everyday experiences/knowledge of something back to the exhibition they are going to visit ie why are we going to see stuffed animals, why knowledge about collections from the past had increased knowledge and understanding & affected development/progress and how we live today.
    2. Parents/carers taking children to museum – using website will suggest a ‘route’ through the museum, using perhaps less visited exhibits, linking items together. A ‘route’ taking 1 hour or 2 hours (the website would allow a choice of length of visit) would help to focus in on a few things rather than an aimless wander through glass cases. Do you remember going to one London museum and looking at just one section but with notes really being able to study things and making up a story?
    3. Adults – as advertising. “Do you know what links A with B” and having pop-ups to showcase current and upcoming special exhibitions.
    4. Fun! Multi-choice answers, each linked to a different route through the 6
      items. Scores? Leader board as in computer games? Quiz night questions?

Feedback from a systems designer (my dad…) (edited for clarity)

    • I like the fact that I can see where I’ve come from and where I’m going
    • Being a bit slow, it took me a while to realise that you’re using the meta-values to pick any next-hop.
    • In your start-to-end view, I was wondering if displaying the linking category against the connecting line rather than the target picture would make it clearer?
    • How would you filter the next-hop items to just 3 where at least 1 is part of the 6-degrees trail? But I expect this is straying into the technical solution rather than the concept!

I will carry on developing my concept in my next blog post.

Ideas Wall

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