I am fresh out of the mk2 presentation, and have just submitted all of the necessities for the degree show booklet and website, making me very aware that I need to make the very most of the weeks we have left. Luckily, the last couple of days have been highly productive and there has been the first glimmer of a technological breakthrough which leaves me feeling far more confident in the lead up to the final hand ins.
What I've been up to
I wanted to be able to show the opening for the game play at my mk2 presentation. Which meant needing to get a basic intro sequence and animation of the world spinning. I have an idea of how to use these animations within processing and using the motion from the accelerometer to trigger the animation to play when the spin action is completed as a first step.
I started the week on using after effects and photoshop to create art work for the intro animation. I actually managed to sketch a map of the world and scan that in to photoshop using my phone. This has then been wrapped around an animated sphere to create the following animation. This was then put in to proto.io so I have the chance to wizard of oz prototype a part of the experience to show Caitlyn during testing (which was later that day):
Taking it to test
I was hoping at this stage to have the tech connected at least somewhat for Caitlyn to test, whilst also taking photos for the degree show booklet. However, I had to improvise a little because that wasn't the case. Fortunately the session was really valuable purely from an observational perspective to see how she reacted to the smallest prompt (spin) and how fun she found just that. Also, the association she made between the suit and being "allowed" to spin.
I went over after finishing in the studio, so we had a quick run through before her dinner was ready, and then again after. But she actually kept asking as she was taking the suit off if she could have another go after she had eaten and commenting on how fun it was. Michael (her 5 year old uncle) was also there, and also wanted to "have a go". It was really heart warming to see how much fun they seemed to have and how active the suit and minimal interaction seemed to make them. Definitely encouraging!
It was also encouraging to see how she interpreted instructions. I asked her to respond with actions to prompts such as pretending to be animals, or jumping, spinning, what would you do if you needed to collect an animal etc... and it was great to see her interpret it in her own way.
This got me thinking more about specific 'game-play' and back to the chat I had with Rob from Yalp in November about free play. Giving enough guidance so that you can interact and play, but enough room for interpretation and imagination. I am thinking that the sensors can be used more like buttons, so as a digital sensor instead of analogue, where it turns on or off dependent on reaching a certain threshold, perhaps using velocity as the variable. For example Sona had a dance battle mode, where it would award the winner as the person whose sensor recorded the most movement, however there was no indication of exactly how you had to dance. I feel like this type of testing is going to be what really helps me to shape and form the remainder of the project - it's really exciting!
Above are a few options I was able to take for the degree show catalogue. I am really excited that I have managed to organise a location for the final shoot and video, which is nice and clean, contemporary and minimal but with bright pops of colour that fit my colour palette.
The tech breakthrough
breakthrough might be a little strong, however I have managed to connect the accelerometer through arduino, in to processing to (kind of) trigger the intro animation to play. It's very sensitive at the moment and will try to play repeatedly. I literally only got it connected about half an hour before the mk2 though, so I've not at this present moment had a chance to resolve the multiple glitches.
I feel that mk2 went pretty much as I was expecting. Graham suggested a few technical hints such as checking on the bounce rate, and also discussed the idea of making the interactions trigger similarly to buttons, at a certain threshold. I feel there were some concerns about the amount of work that is left, to achieve all that I want to achieve and to ensure I focus on a section of the experience to display at degree show.
My plan is to regroup tomorrow and plan the next couple of weeks out as strategically as possible, to make sure I make the most use of the time I have left.
I am also attending a talk at the V&A tomorrow on the history of videogames in Dundee, which I hope will be informative and inspiring.