Playable City Research
Urbanimals Source Date: 22/03/16
This is the winner of 2015 International Playable City Award. Here is a short description of the interactive experience.
Source Date: 22/03/16
While this experience was running I saw one of the pieces around Bristol which was the kangaroo jumping up and down some steps. It was created by a projector projecting an animation of a kangaroo onto the wall and only turned on at certain time at night.
Overall I think this experience worked well because it made me and other people stop and pay attention to their surroundings rather than go into “autopilot” and walk home or to work.
Shadowing Source Date: 22/03/16
This is the winner of Watershed’s 2014 Playable City Award. As people walked through the light their movements would be stored in the lampposts’ memory and then played back when someone else would walk past.
I also had first hand experience with this interactive experience. At first when walking through the light I though it was just a regular lamppost until I realised that there was a shadow there which wasn’t mine. This was a very interesting experience and lead to me walking back through the light several times to try and work out what was happening. I think this is what makes these playable city experiences so successful, the fact that you pay attention to something that you usually wouldn’t notice. This is something I will have to look into doing when design my playable city mobile game.
GPS Based Apps
GPS Tycoon Source Date: 22/03/16
The main mechanic of this game is buying virtual land to build up an empire and gain more money to buy more land. The only way you can buy land is by being in that area and having enough in-game currency so it requires the user to be in different areas to proceed in the app. This encourages people to be active and explore places they wouldn’t usually visit.
I’ve always liked the idea of tycoon games so this app seems fairly interesting and engaging to me.
Ingress Source Date: 22/03/16
I decided to try out the app “Ingress” because it related to the app I will be making for my final piece since it uses GPS tracking as a core mechanic of the game. From what I could tell when playing the game, the game consisted of going to areas and hacking into waypoints people have marked out. However, when playing this game I found it very difficult to understand and there was a lot of information to consume when first loading the app.
I do like the concept behind the app but it seems too complicated for someone who is new to playing games and it is not very intuitive to use.
Resources Game Source Date: 23/03/16
This game also relies on GPS tracking for the gameplay to work. This game looks fairly similar to GPS Tycoon but instead of buying property you have to build mines to gain money and resources. You can also steal other peoples’ resources if you are nearby.
I also find the concept quite interesting, however, I feel it would be hard for new players to start off in built up areas because there maybe a lot of more advanced players nearby which might make gameplay difficult.
Legal and Ethical Constraints
I need to include a notification that lets the user know that their location is needed to make the app function correctly and let them disable it easily.
I will also need to make sure the app doesn’t discriminate against those who have disabilities. For example, if there was a waypoint on the map that couldn’t be accessed by those who have a wheelchair.
Possible Solutions for the Mobile Game
One of my possible ideas is a game that gives you a picture of a location but the image has be distorted in a certain way and you have to work out where that location is. You will be rewarded with points depending on the difficulty of the distortion applied to the image. I think I will be using the app creation website Actionbound to create the app to see if the idea is fun and if it is successful I will try making the app from scratch in another software.
BTEC Interactive Design
BTEC Level 3 BTEC 90 Credit Diploma in Art and Design (Interactive Media)
BTEC Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design (Interactive Media)
|Learner Name: Owen
City of Bristol College
Specialist Area: Interactive Design
Working title: Playable City Mobile Game
Tourists, professionals who work in the interactive design in the city, students, teachers and others in education.
What you will work towards producing: (Detailed description of your proposal)
I will be making a playable city mobile game that will be played within the harbourside. The game will include GPS tracking and will be some sort of puzzle where you have to work out where a certain picture was taken.
Influences, starting points and contextual references:
One of the starting points came from a previous app we all made as a class and that is where I got the idea to use Actionbound.
I was also influenced by other GPS based apps on the Google Play store such as Ingress.
Early ideas research and sources: (What are your sources for contextual and personal research?)
I researched previous playable city experiences and popular GPS apps on the Google Play store
Intended techniques, non digital and digital processes:
I will be using Photoshop and Illustrator to create the visuals for the app and I will be using Actionbound.
Timescales: (Please insert weekly targets of what you intend to work on from the beginning to the end of the project)
Week 1: Research and Proposal
Week 2: Ideas Generation
Week 3: Ideas Development
Week 4: Produce Outcome
Week 5: Produce Outcome and Evaluation
Proposed methods of evaluation: (How will you evaluate your project?)
I will self evaluate my work and I will get critique from those who test out the app.
This shows some possible ideas that I could include for my harbour side app.
Here is a flow chart showing the basic structure of my app. I am not yet sure on how many questions there will so this is just an example for now.
Here are three different distorted images of Millennium Square for different difficulties, however, on Actionbound I can’t find a way of adding the next image to trigger if the question is answered incorrectly. An alternative way of solving this would be having separate apps for each difficulty.
I feel these three images have a great distance of difficulty between them.
Here is a test of the app for the millennium square location. For the final outcome I will be using my own pictures so these are just temporary ones for testing.
I managed to work out how to separate each of the difficulty settings. This is far more user friendly than the previous system and it means that the user doesn’t have to repeat the same task multiple times. It also allows the user to start on any difficulty and gives more freedom to the user.
Here are the three different images for the SS Great Britain in order of difficulty.
Here is a video play testing the easy mode on the app.
I noticed that players found the other modes easy once they had completed one of the modes because all of the modes use the same base pictures so I could add some more unique pictures to make the app more challenging.
Here is one of the pictures I will be adding to the hard difficulty.
I decided to add different angles of the picture to add some more variation to the modes.
After some testing of the app, I feel it works a lot better with the pictures in a different order and some more difficulty and variation to the modes.
I added an optional GPS starting point to the app so it gives the user an idea of where they should be looking for these locations.
Once you have downloaded Actionbound on your desired platform you will need to access the Actionbound QR code scanner and scan this QR code.
When you load up the app, it will lead you to this page which will take you through to this instruction page which will explain the game.
Here is one of the questions from the easy mode.
Final Play Test
Overall I think the process of creating the app went fairly well. The Actionbound interface for creating apps was very easy and user friendly which allowed the me to create the app efficiently and effectively, however, there were certain limitations to the app. One of the limitations was that I couldn’t find a way to make a default slide for the app so I had to recreate the same slide multiple times. Also the GPS tracking wasn’t as accurate as I wanted it to be which led to some inconsistencies in the performance of the app. I’m not sure if this was due to the smartphones hardware or the app itself.
If I was to create this app again I would have tried adding more content to the app for example a larger variety of pictures used and filters applied to those pictures. If I had more time on this project I would have tried to attempt making this app from scratch, this would allow me to make the interface customisable and would allow me to add more detail to the application.
Here are the results from all the tests of the app.