For the last two months, my colleague Gabrielle de Haseth and I, have been working on a renewed version of this educational project. The game we designed is a hybrid one in which the digital and the physical gameplay elements are combined for an enhanced learning experience. With the agency of a mobile device, participants will be expected to set an expedition around the Oosterdok region and make a collection of all the signs attached to walls, traffic poles and so on. Upon scanning the illustrations, the pages of the Kunstformen der Natur will be augmented on top of the physical signs. Once added to the collection, users can also inspect illustrations more closely and get further information about them. This way, we aim to contribute to the promotion of not only the Oosterdok Region but also of Kunstformen der Natur.
Of course, such a multilayered project requires good preparation, organization and communication. Although we are already in the design phase, I would like to give some insight into the preparatory steps we took. Gabrielle's role will be marked with "E" for "Education", mine with "D" for "Design".
- Concept Development & Research:
E: Defining the aim and extent of the project. What is our target group? What do we expect participants to gain from this project? What is the educational value of the project? How do we make it more accessible and easier to understand? What will be the end goal that will motivate people towards collecting all signs?
D: Defining the gameplay and design. What are the main functionalities that we seek in the application? How long will it take to complete the game? Which software development tools are compatible with our software knowledge and skills, or with a different type of devices for that matter? Are the pricing options of these engines within our budget? What are the terms and conditions for using these licenses? In which platforms will the application be launched? How long does the process take? Will there be localization?
E: Distribution and mapping of signs to cover the most area possible. Gameplay test on foot to see how long does it take to collect all signs.
D: Connecting to server and downloading all the signs that are used in the previous game. Creating an image target database.
E: Improvising poster pages on our website, since they are a bit too complex for a general audience to understand.
D: Creating main gameplay mechanism; adding pages, animations, directory links; adapting our visual identity to the interface design; building for IOS and Android for testing.