Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Process Report - 3 projects

Table of contents

1.      Introduction                                                                                               3
2.      Project objectives                                                                                     3
3.      Your tasks & milestones                                                                           6
4.      Achievements & Challenges                                                                    8
5.      Your role as a team member                                                                    10
6.      References                                                                                               11
7.      Appendices                                                                                               12                   


n    Background for your work in this semester:

In the second semester of our first year we were given a series of projects. This semester was more busy than the previous one due to the fact that we had three projects to complete under a short period of time. For each task we were submitted four weeks to come up with interesting ideas, designs and the implementation of them.

Project objectives

n      The clear objectives set for the different projects and your understanding of them

Game Project

Our first assignment was the Game Project, when we were working in teams to create a game design concept for an instructional computer game aimed at 11-15 year old school children. We had to create a short plot on which our game design was based. We also had to develop our game concept from this plot and deliver a pitch promoting the game design. Our task was to come up with a game story, characters, levels, game-play, a detailed example of a single level for your game, layout of our specific level, a walkthrough as a storyboard (detailing key events and showing how our level would play).

In order to better understand this project we had to investigate the current sophistication of gaming systems. We also had to understand the differences in
developing for the different gaming platforms.

My team has chosen to do a science game named “Space Expeditions” which is based on exploring and teaching children about the solar system. The members were Alex Talmage (design and technical research) and Lisa Cripps (design and team leader).

Mobile Project

The mobile media project aimed to provide us with an introduction to the world of mobile technology, discuss its role in relation to the modern information society, make us comfortable with developing concepts of mobile devices and applications. We were introduced to the particular constraints and possibilities of mobile technology with a focus on physical qualities, the mobile experience and portable interfaces.

The teams had to create a visual prototype of a mobile, portable or integrated device and an interface design of an application running on it.

Each team had to demonstrate the prototype, show its features and use in their presentation.

We had the choice to do the visual prototype in a 3D render, an illustration, a drawing or photograph of a physical model. The prototype had to demonstrate the device’s physical size, show how a user interacts with the device and display inputs, outputs, buttons or controls. Also we were asked to build the interface in Flash.

The concept idea of the project was to find a need or a problem that can be met or solved with mobile technology.

The contexts to choose from were:
1. Travelling on public transport.
2. Going to an entertainment event.
3. Buying furniture.
4. Ordering food.
5. Watching a sports event.
6. Presenting to people.

After a series of discussions, my team decided to choose travelling on public transport as the target area. The next step was to think about what the device and the application required to achieve our idea would look like. The brief stated that it could be a mobile device like a mobile phone or a media player, or an integrated device that is part of something else like a heads-up display in a car.

We opted to create an app for smart phones, called “Touch Travel”. The members were Joshua Harrington-Lunt (developer and team leader) and Daniel Hoff (interface design and research).

The brief stated that at the final presentation we had to pitch the concept to an audience of potential investors that knows about mobile technology but are no experts. In order to help them understand our product we had to explain the concept in an effective and compelling way, demonstrating any features and unique selling points.

Interactive Project

In our third project we were given the opportunity to explore interactive systems which are being used for displaying information and ideas to an audience.

We were divided in teams to design and develop a scheme that will offer visitors of Winchester Cathedral an exciting experience. The purpose of this interactive exhibit was to really add to the people’s understanding.

The requirement of this project was to push the boundaries of the way in which the content is delivered, technically and physically. We had to come up with a software and a hardware which is not commonly used for exhibits, especially not in historical or religious buildings.

            For each team was given a target audience which are the following:
  1. Young People
  2. School Parties
  3. Foreign Tourists
  4. People with Disabilities

The brief highlighted that it is important that these target audiences should be able to interact with the exhibits. Accordingly, we had to make our exhibit appealing and interesting to them. Also, the brief stated that the way how the information is delivered is as significant as the information itself and the way in which people engage with it at their own speed and in their own sequence.

This project demanded from us to research the target audience, their specific needs and interests in relation to the Cathedral, also the technology platform that we selected.

            The experience of the Cathedral had to meet a lot of demands:
  • it had to be informative
  • it had to highlight important aspects of the building’s history and architecture relevant to different locations throughout the Cathedral
  • had to allow the audience to interrogate aspects of the Cathedral history, architecture and function using an accessible system
  • employ a technology system that is easy, safe and interesting to use, but also which is easy to maintain and is secure
  • the system has to be easy to update and alter and inexpensive to maintain.

We had the chance to choose ourselves the platform in which the information is stored and delivered. We had to consider a wide range of options in order to suit the needs of our application.

Finally we decided to choose AR (Augmented Reality) for recreating the Old Minster Anglo-Saxon Cathedral that was demolished in 1093.

The system which we named Augminster bring users experience to life, instead of hearing stories about the building from the tour guides, people can

rotate, tilt and view Old Minster Cathedral any way they want to, simply by rotating the AR tag.

My team members were Joshua Harrington-Lunt (developer and team leader) and Rika Iijima (researcher, 3D modelling).

Your tasks and milestones

n      Your ability and understanding of time and resource management

At each project the first step was to distribute the team roles then we split up the work. Throughout the whole process we tried to be equal, share the work and divide it evenly.  Each of us did his/her individual research and then shared it with the rest of the group.

Game Project

As stated above my team members in this project were Lisa and Alex. Due to the fact that Lisa is a very organised person, who likes finishing work on time and not doing it at last minute, we had no problems regarding time management. Everything went fine and according to schedule.

      At our first meeting the first milestone was decided what kind of game to create. We considered many options. Lisa wanted to do a game which teaches children about healthy eating and Alex wanted to do a sports one. After a short brainstorming we opted for something easy, a science game involving the solar system.

The next step was to come up with a story for the game, which is the following:

“The story takes place in the distant future, the year is 2211. In the past two hundred years the world has developed immensely, technology has already exceeded the limits of imagination.
Whilst people were watching fascinated as Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon on the 20th of July in 1969, now it is possible to do so for everyone.
In 2211 it is a common event to make trips wherever you want, you can have a nice picnic on Jupiter if you like.
Children in order to learn about the different planets in the solar system, go on field trips in space to explore it.

The game has 9 Levels (which are the planets of the solar system): the first one is Mercury, the second Venus, the third Earth, fourth Mars, fifth Jupiter, sixth Saturn, seventh Uranus, eight Neptune and the final one is Pluto.

Each level has obstacles and aliens which the player then would have to jump over or across, whilst collecting points. We named these points ‘Stars’.
The player would have to complete 3 mini games which would teach them different facts about the planet they are on. These are illustrated as 3 chests which would open up revealing one of the mini games. ”

Next we divided the work, Alex did the home screen and the first mini game, Lisa the background and levels and he second mini game, and me the characters and the third mini game. This was followed by individual work, everyone was busy doing his/ her share and then we sent it to each other to gain feedback. The first home screen was too realistic, so we had to make changes to it.
At the first presentation we were provided with useful pieces of advice. Some found the characters too childish, but a research which was carried out by me proved that children do like them as the way they are.

For the written proposal we had to do a walkthrough of a level, so this was the next important milestone in our project. We had to create one of the levels, the bad guy and the side view of one of the characters. Also, we had to piece together the game rules.

After we pinpointed these, we could get down on working on them.

Mobile Project

Dan, Josh and me in our first discussion debated about which area to choose. We went through a few ideas, then ended up with public transport. We decided to do a travel app for smart phones which also helps users to track the bus/ train, buy tickets and pay for them.

The second step was to research whether there is a similar app or not. The outcome of this research was that although there are a few bus and train apps, none of them enables you to buy the ticket.

After a discussion with Debs Wilson, it turned out that our idea doesn’t fit the brief, because it is just an app, but not a new device and at the moment iPhones can’t do NFC (Near Field Technology).

This led us to further brainstorming, which resulted in the idea of an attachment. Users would have to attach the dongle called “Touch Travel” to their iPhones which would help enable NFC.

Our next step was to split up the work, so Josh did the prototype, Dan the interface and me the icon and the research for the project.

At a next meeting we discussed how we got along, and afterwards made the needed changes. The final milestone was to do the demonstration in Flash which was carried out by Josh.

Interactive Project

Since me and Josh were in one team at the previous project, we got to know each other and how the other works.

We followed the same strategy, so first we got together to discuss what to do and then we consulted via email.

Our initial idea was to do a dictionary involving the cathedral’s map, but then we decided to do augmented reality with AR tags.

The next step was to divide the work, Rika did the 3D model, Josh the implementation of it and me the cathedral’s design, research, the logo, the poster and another poster with information.

Achievements and challenges

n      Your ability to devise appropriate solutions that meet the design and technical requirements within the parameters of the brief
n      Your ability to understand and develop a collaborative and adaptable approach to your design practice
n      Your ability to adapt your knowledge to changing circumstances
n      That you have developed a broad understanding of the technical processes that can be used to realize a design

This semester meant a bit of a challenge to all of us, especially the last project because these were very rapid ones comparing to the cohort website project.

We had a few weeks to come up with the ideas, design, and at the last project the implementation as well.

Game Project

At this project my work was to create a male and a female character for the game and to design the third mini game. After surfing on the internet I found a few astronauts boy and girl illustrations which inspired me. There were especially two,

which I found very good, but with the help of Photoshop I added a bit more to it. The result was Rick and Eva, the protagonists of “Space Expeditions”.

            For information about Mars, I checked a few websites and then composed a quiz.

All this didn’t require too much Photoshop knowledge, but I enjoyed doing it and along the way I discovered a few tricks. There was a signature on Rick’s and Eva’s astronaut costumes, so I had to make them disappear by using the Ctr + Ins and Shift +  Ins.

Through the researches we did I got to know a lot of interesting things about games. For example now I know that there is a software called Unity which is like Dreamweaver and which helps so to develop games which are compatible with most things. Also, I got an insight about game developing in general, how to create a storyboard, what kind of games there are and what kind of platforms for them.

Mobile Project

At this task my work was to design and create the logo for the app and to do research about other travel apps and about NFC.

My first step was to draw a sketch about how I imagine the logo, then I surfed the internet for illustrations and other app icon. I downloaded a few of them to help me in the illustration process. Then I opened up Adobe Illustrator and created a bus, a stopwatch, a pin and a ticket. Then I merged these, which resulted in the Touch travel logo. I had no problem doing these, the downloaded images were great help.

            The research about NFC helped me to understand how this technology would work and how iPhones are working at the moment. I’m not really interested in smart phones or apps, but this project was a great opportunity to gain some minimum knowledge about these.

Interactive Project

Because this assignment required more technical knowledge than designing, my part was mainly researching the Cathedral’s history, designing how the Old Minster might have looked like, designing a logo and poster for the exhibition.
Also, it turned out that it is impossible to accomplish to show the 3D model and the text simultaneously, so then this was my task as well, to compose a leaflet or poster.

After doing some research, I found an image of a page from an old bible, which inspired me. I decided to use it as a background image for the poster.

The next step was to do the logo. I tried out many font faces in Illustrator and I found one which looks like an old gothic hand writing. The curve of the “A” in Augmister caught my imagination, I decided to manipulate it and draw an eye. After this I inserted it in the background but found that the writing on the images makes it difficult to read the logo. I had to erase that, which I did with copying a part of the image and covering the writing with it.

The poster with the facts about Old Minster is similar, I just added the image of the build to it.

Your role as a team member

n      The contribution offered to the team by your individual research
n      Your development and implementation of facilitation strategies needed to sustain team work
n      The ability to work autonomously with the group environment

As I mentioned it before the distribution of the team roles was following:

Game Project:

Alex Talmage – Design and technical research
Lisa Cripps – Design and team leader
Orsi Hegedus – Design and market research

Mobile Project

Joshua Harrington-Lunt - Developer and team leader
Daniel Hoff - Interface design and research
Orsi Hegedus – Logo design and research

Interactive Project

Joshua Harrington-Lunt - Developer and team leader
Rika Iijima - 3D modelling and research
Orsi Hegedus – Design and research
After defining the roles we started our own individual research and every week we let the others know what we done so far. We discussed the problems, assigned everyone’s task and started working on our own at home. When we finished these, we emailed it to the others or shown them.
We had no problems in decision making, we could easily get through our ideas with good points.

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