Friday, March 23, 2007
We had the Orball flash game on a large Plasma screen, and our digital stories were all on a dvd played through a projector. At 2 points in the evening the Mygo 'House' team, demonstrated the game a few doors up at our D10 office. This worked well, as it requires participation by the user to get the full experience of the game.
All in all the night was a success, and I think that people from industry were suitably impressed. I had a few chats with various people, be they freelancers or from companies around the Bay. I also had a chat with someone who used to be the head of S4C. It was a great environment for everyone to chat and show their work and I was really pleased with how it went. It was a fitting end to my D10 journey.
Having said that, Unique Media did go into some detail on how to encode well, and the importance of correct formats and compression, to give the user the best experience.
One point was that when shooting, obviously continuity is very important, as if you retake a shot the speaker and props must be in the same place. This is obvious, but easily overlooked. Another point is that you can start on a wide shot for an intro, and then stop the person talking and zoom into a tighter shot and then they can continue speaking. Cutaways are also vital to a completed piece. Unique Media like the Windows Media file format to export the video as it is good quality and has a wide hosting support. I personally like the Flash format, but it can be more expensive to host and difficult to scale up.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The beauty of bluetooth is that you can receive multimedia information such as adverts, event info. etc via wireless free of charge to your mobile.
Rob Light told us about mobile marketing, i.e. promotional material sent to consumers, usually that you have to sign up for. They have tried this out, for instance, at a rugby match where consumers are notified how to get the information via their mobile and then have access to future events match details.
I like how this way of marketing can be very useful at events, as we found out at our graduation showcase. Also that you have to register, so you don't have unwanted adverts on your phone. For my final module on D10 I researched about the potential impact of multimedia in the developing countries and its use for education, essential information. There is quite alot of scope for mobile phone and bluetooth technology to take off in these countries. I could see the potential for health, education and agricultural information to be downloaded to users, so they can have direct access to essential information that helps their communities.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
The timeline can be viewed online at:
Friday, February 16, 2007
This is the menu design for the How far? timeline:
This is an example of the design for a popup which appears when the user clicks on a speechbubble:
When we user tested the timeline, the following points were raised:
This is the final design for the Mystery House game -
This can be viewed online at:
Today we had a video conference with Mygo. This was very productive. They gave very positive feedback for the game. They liked the concept of the mystery house, the animations and look and feel of the design.
They had a couple of pointers for the game -
To add a function so that when people text into to play, their name appears on the television. At the moment their name only appears when they get the answer right.
Also, they would prefer a more 'mystery' angle to the game, rather than just an anagram. This can be achieved by a general knowledge trivia, so behind each window will be a general knowledge question.
Overall they were very pleased with it, and if we make the changes, this game should go live on television in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.
They really liked the Mystery House Idea, and so we went ahead and developed this idea.
This makes the coding of the game alittle more complex, as we need to think about how to get the information from the texts into the game. Also, the gameplay is abit more restricted as people will not have a keyboard or mouse to play it, as in a web game, but only their mobile phone. Other things to consider are colours when it is on a tv as it is different from a PC. For instance, red doesn't look great on the TV. Also, lines and drawings need to about 5 pixels wide, as otherwise they flicker.
After a brainstorm, initial ideas for the game are -
A game based on the Nepalese version of Solitaire.
A mystery house game.
Pass the Pigs.
Football Penalty Shootout.
After discussing these options, we decided to pitch 3 ideas - the Nepalese solitaire, mystery house game, and football Penalty shootout.
So the primary purpose of the cd would be a promotional tool to give to funding providers. We agreed that we would place 3 interviews on the cdrom, with a link to a pdf document holding the stories for all interviews.
So we began the build for the Flash timeline.
The Riverside community has been an independent charity running for 30 years. It has been an education provider for 5 years. There has been a focus on women, due to initially a direction of tackling gender inequality since the 1970s. But now they are working with men as well as women and minority communities. They are currently running I.T. lessons for the elderly Chinese community.
We had a meeting at Riverside with Allan Herbert. We discussed how to put Allan's Word document timeline which illustrates people's learning experiences, into a more interactive format:
· Allan stated that he would like a timeline representing someone’s life of learning, in an interactive and visual way.
· He would like it to be ideally easily updatable, a cd rom, that he could give as a tool to people to record the interviews.
· He liked the idea of clicking on part of someone’s story and more information appearing a box that zooms into view.
· The VLSC and European logos need to be on the Flash component.
This was a productive meeting, in particular with regard to learning about the client process. It was initially quite hard to unpack what the client was after. Also, Allan eventually wants a software application which the timeline would be an updatable template that people could just add their stories and text by clicking directly onto the speech bubbles and popups.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Here is the final design of the menu:
Here is the design of the food exercise:
Here is the final outcome, delivered to the client:
My writing exercise:
Shamim's match them up exercise:
For the purposes of D10, and incorporating the 2 exercises under one menu, I created a menu to link them together. This was initially challenging, as the first menu, when you clicked and entered into one of the exercises, the buttons would not work as they were looking for the base level 0, which was now the menu movie.swf, not the French exercise movie swf file. To work around this, I used loadmovienum, so that when the exercise was loaded it was then the new level 0.
Here is the link to the menu and the exercises:
As we had already uploaded our exercises, the client had some changes that she wanted us to do before the final deadline. This was a productive meeting to be able to have some valid experience of meeting a client, although in the 'real world' we would have met the client at the beginning of the project, not at the end. Never the less, the changes she requested were minor, and as follows:
*To make the instructions for the exercises as generic as possible for all writing and match them up French exercises, so they can be used in the future.
*To remove the exit button as it was not needed.
*To make sure that the exercises would be able to pull in the XML data on a loop basis, so that they would be capable of up to 10 possible answers per question.
*To remove the title on each exercise.
*To make it clear that the instructions are non-interactive and not part of the actual quiz.
*To create a page where the user can choose whether to read the instructions or go straight to the quiz.
We had already anticipated and planned to make some of these changes, and we set about implementing them in the final few days of the brief.
Overall the client was very happy and said that she like the design and layout of the quizzes and would be interested in working with myself and Shamim in the future.
We have already designed some initial mock ups of the exercises, and began to now build them in Flash. In building the writing exercise, I initially used arrays to pull in the picture content. Only after further training in XML was I able to finalise the exercise with adaptations to accomodate the XML.
We carried out some testing with other people and other versions of Flash. Here were the findings, which we implemented:
On the writing exercise -
*When you click on the check button and have got the answer right, the next arrow should flash, to encourage the user to go onto the next question.
*There should be a results page at the end with all the possible correct answers.
*A moving cursor and a border around the instructions, so it doesn't look interactive.
Match them up exercise -
*To make the text and flags larger.
*To adjust the actionscript so that it is not possible to drop 2 flags on top of eachother.
*To have some feedback on how well they are doing.
We liked the simple style of these exercises, which suits the age range that we are aiming at - 11 year olds. These exercises had large buttons and text. It was obvious what to do, and there was good use of pictures and feedback where needed.
We also looked at www.vocabulary.co.il/ , which had an example of a hangman game exercise, and a multiple choice quiz.
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primary/french had a good menu to follow.
http://funschool.kaboose.com/arcade/language/index.html has number language games.
We also looked at the Eurotalk Interactive Learn Italian cd roms for children. This was good to see how they, for instance, do 'match them up' exercises. However, the design was not that great and the naviagtion not very simple.
We also established that they wanted us to use the existing pictures on the website. This was good news, as both Shamim and myself are more developers than designers, so it meant that we could concentrate on the technical side.
I knew after this meeting that it was vital that we created the exercises so that they worked with the existing XML files, as this is what the client was after.
One of our first questions to Phil Murphy at Sequence would be are they also asking for a CMS, as mentioned on the brief. Also, the scope of the project is needed to be narrowed down as there are hundreds of language exercises on the website, and we need to check which ones they would like us to build.
Monday, December 04, 2006
We also created a basic flash photo gallery using actionscript controlling the movie. I also enjoyed creating a MP3 player, using actionscript to show the position and duration of the song.
Here is a motion tween I created, with the car following a motion path:
Monday, November 27, 2006
It was a helpful couple of days, although I think I will need to practice making music in Reason to become more comfortable with it.