We decided after a group meeting and a substantial amount of dialogue that we all agreed on soundbites as the name. We believed this was a good idea for our app as it was a soundscape based game, with a clear narrative which was based around our fictional character as a symbolic representation of the magna carta itself. Keeping in fitting with the empathy that we was trying to create through the use of the Magna Carta man. We included him in both the start and end screens of the game. As we considered him a fundamental part in the experience for the user. So with all this in mind we decided to have the game enclosed within the start and end screen and him making appearances throughout. We incorporated the idea of bites into the name as the sounds were short which has two meanings firstly from a data perspective they would consist of (data memory in the form of bytes), and secondly and more importantly the way in which our target audience were more likely to recognise the sound clips were short which could be compared to bites in the way that it would consist of multiple smaller bites rather that the thing dissapearing in one go. Along with the fact that each correct answer was signified with a new slice of cake.
The design of the start screen was designed in a way that you would instantly come across the character in an interesting way, so this was conceptualised by using illustrators tools in order to create a 3d title and make it look like the title was resting on a plate in the same way that the cake would be in the end screen. Following on from this the title was made to look like it was being eaten by the character in order to make the game seem more humorous and appealing in a friendly nature.
The design of the end screen was created using illustrator as was the majority of the app. due it capabilities of working with vectors instead of pixels, allowing for the designs to be designed with responsiveness in mind. The concept of the end screen was to show an elated character, due to the fact that you had completed the game therefore getting him a cake for his birthday. As the birthday (due to the 800th anniversary of the magna carta) as displayed with the number eight hundred on top of the cake. The cake was also a continuous theme throughout as each level was rewarded with a new slice upon completion, this made the transformation into an entire birthday cake at the end. Along with the cake the character was is wearing a party hat. To reinforce the fact it’s his birthday.
With the architecture of Salisbury’s Cathedral being such an allure for visitors both new and returning, and with the best kept version of Magna Carta Being displayed at salisbury cathedral. Although the cathedral isn’t completely intrinsic with the Magna Carta. Given however, that the environment of the church will be the setting in which people will be experiencing the app along with the fact that we want to give a historical yet playful feel to the app. It therefore made sense to include the cathedral within the app. So this required some further research.
It became apparent from both my own experience and its reputation that the architecture is very aesthetically pleasing, and definitely leaves a lasting memory. This is one of the key factors behind why it was chosen to be incorporated into the graphics of the app. It was decided an effective way of including this would be to create a border in the style of the architecture. The Cathedral is a very well kept example of Early English architecture. Salisbury Cathedral is unique in that it was built within a short time span (c1200-1275), thus its architectural style is predominantly Gothic. Upon further research into gothic architecture. It has become apparent Quatrefoils are a big part of the design, they were popular back then and have remained popular through out the ages and can now be seen in a variety of different design circumstances. They are crucially about using symmetrical and geometrical designs to create beautiful complex looking shapes from simplicty. The basis of the design of a quatrefoil is 4 identical circles overlapping. As can be seen below.
the part of the cathedral of particular interest to me which served as my inspiration was this part.
As Illustrator is a vector based image creating software and the border would need to be created so that it could be re-sizeable through scaling it allowing for responsive design without loss of quality. This Meant the software used would need to be a vector based software for definite. I therefore chose to utilise the tools of adobe illustrator to create the design.
The design of this was then re-designed in regards to the use of colours so that it complimented the other elements better.
With the code coming along well, our game structure appeared rigid in its simplicity (more like our inspiration from 4 pictures, 1 word). Aim to give the user self-gratification and closure within the game as well as there overall experience with the exhibition at Salisbury cathedral (thus moving away from 4 pictures, 1 word). Thus in order to inject more creativity into our game we made the development of including a narrative. We achieved this by setting the game at the celebration of the Magna Cartas 800th birthday! Thus coincided nicely with the resent development of a magna carta mascot.
App starts and Magna Carta man is sad because its his birthday and no one has bought him a cake thus the aim of the game is to answer each question to obtain a cake slice to give to him. This also provided voice for a more elegant design where a level system was no longer needed, instead a much more elegant progression bar, which didn’t increase in difficulty but instead provided closure to the end of the game while tying in more appropriately with the personification of the magna carta.
This also led to the suggested development that we provide a prize at the end of the game in the form of vouchers for cake at the café. The problem with this is that we wouldn’t know how many people would play the game and are not in a position of power to offer unlimited vouchers so therefor must act professionally and provide what the client was after rather than the user. To counteract this we devised a finishing screen where the user is able to give the magna carta a birthday cake. Thus give user closure and solidify an enjoyable game experience. This story telling element where each level is rewarded is also a common convention in video games such as assigns creed where parts of a story are accumulated and by completing the game the user is rewarded with the entire game. Thus the accumulated a cake slice within each level acts as an incentive to finish each stage.
With the team assembled and the team roles assigned the first port of call was to start communications with each other and share our ideas for how we had each interpreted the brief in the form of our initial ideas. This meant we had a variety of different approaches with apps that would suit a varied audience. This meant that we had to critique the ideas until we had refined them enough that we all had an idea we agreed on.
This post will be explaining two of the initial ideas but in particular one we had called “Magna Farta”. Taking Inspiration from Buzz feed one of our initial ideas was a Buzz feed quiz style version of Magna Carta in the form of a which character would you be, in relation to the Magna Carta and key historical figures involved. Another, of the ideas was conceptualised originally as a joke. We were discoursing about the Magna Carta when Sulsh C 2015 said “we should have an app called Magna Arta”, this then took shape into “Magna Farta” the original concept of Magna Farta was a soundscape game requiring the user to match the fart noise with the character responsible for making the sound. This nearly never got put in to production as we thought although it was interesting it would be deemed too rude or silly. So I almost didn’t mention it. But to our surprise the lecturer thought it was a great idea and he found it very comical. So this idea became popular favoured for its creativity and originality. As opposed to the Buzz feed idea which had lacked originality. So Magna Farta was brought to the forefront and made our chosen idea.
Now that we had our direction we discussed the idea amongst us as a team and the idea changed from Magna Farta but it still remained immersive through the element of soundscape. By the matching of a sound to another object element still apparent. We drew inspiration from the very popular app “4 pictures, 1 word” in order to gain an understanding of fundamentals of a successful app yet simplistic in structure. We knew that our target audience were going to be young typically 7-14 year olds. This therefore demanded a simple engaging interface, however unlike the content of “4 pictures, 1 word” ours wouldn’t have endless questions. Working with clients on a live brief meant that we had to be realistic and limit the amount of content. Our app would also differ in the fact that we would be using audio content instead of visual content in order to make a connection. The connection would come in the form of a phrase which would come from a combination of the sounds the user just heard. Each phrase serves as a representation of something and upon the correct answer they would be provided with a fact giving them more information explaining the meaning behind the phrase.