What am I working on?
In taking my own path, I decided to focus on geometry and children.
Geometry is something that is quite easy to understand and implement in a project where i need to satisfy a large and divers public. Thus, simple, easy, and quite universal.
To explain it shortly, I want to implement geometry in the hospital as a tool for distraction. My aim is to create a modular system based on geometry for children
to be entertained with, but also create intricate visuals to be placed in the interior.
CONCEPT: In depth
Geometry is the theme that I chose to work with, it is the easiest and most universal language that I could find, everyone knows what a square looks like, and it comes in handy when I have to work with a large and divers public.
There are a lot of things going on in the hospital, and after my research i understood
that children do not really want to be involved in ‘hospital’ things. Thus, the best way
to go is by creating a new layer to the hospital system that has nothing to do with the hospital so that children can be entertained with.
I created a game that focuses on interaction, movement and having a lot of fun with no expectations at all. Therefore, there are no scores, nor goals that you as a child might have to aspire to.
With the game comes a set of quests that are made into physical cards which are hidden around the hospital. The child will have to go out and find them, motivating the child to get out of the room. Once you have the cards you can then start building your own creations. You can get a stamp on each finished quest and if you have done a certain amount you will be able to get a reward from the staff. This reward can be anything, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. The most important thing is that children have fun.
The visuals or the functions?
So, I am hitting rock bottom as I am finalizing the last things for the working of the game, I haven’t thought about the visual appearance of my UI in detail just simply because I do not need it at this very moment. What I am trying to get working is how the app will function on the hands of a child. For that I really want to get the technical aspects to work so that I can test it on a few children. I have thought out a few quests for the children based on:
- Getting to know the app
- Creating an identity for themselves
Whit the initial quests the child can create a certain profile of themselves and can hang it on its door (as there is the possibility to save and print) to create a visual point for other children to interact and connect to. Think of it as a Facebook profile.
Child1 likes ice cream. Child1 draws the ice cream and hangs it on the walls. Child 2 walks through the hall and sees the ice cream. Child 2 also likes ice cream. Child 2 relates to the child and sees an opportunity to interact.
The interface can be used in multiple devices such as an iPad or a laptop. Ideally it could be also used as an interactive game where a Kinect will be used, this last one will engage children into physical movement which is very important for their healing process.
Some critical questions:
1. How do people know that the game exists?
They will be getting an intro box when they arrive, the staff has to be aware that there is a game in the hospital as well, for them, a little briefing/ introduction will do.
2. The question has been raised as to whether I should let the children scale the elements or not.
+ by scaling you can make use of the larger elements to quickly create background and be more efficient.
Ex: a circle can be an eye, but it can also be a face. Same shape, different sizes.
-do children really need to be more efficient in a case where it’s all about being entertained and passing time? But then again do I want to limit children to work only in ‘pixel’ mode, meaning that if they want to make a large square they will need to build it by using multiple little squares which is time consuming and they may get bored of it. So I would rather just give them the option and not limit them.
Again, children like to make up their minds on their own and giving them OPTIONS gives them the illusion of being in control.
3. Too many elements to play with.
I do not agree fully; I think that the age that I am trying to reach mostly will enjoy having that many shapes. What I could do is make various interfaces for different age ranges. It is quite logical that a child that is 3 years old is not going to be able to play with the same interface as the one who’s 8 is using.
4. Hidden cards
Not everyone will be able to get out of the room:
Well yes, but that doesn’t mean that the cards can’t get to them. Physically challenged kids could get extra privileges. It is a good thing that the game is quite flexible for that matter.
There are a few extensions to the game. I have made the alphabet into a set of stencils that don’t require any technological devices to be played with.
For the modular system I created a set of blocks based on the basic shapes of
geometry. With these shapes we can build pretty much anything you could possibly imagine. It is like a basic Lego game, only this game offers you more freedom and control of your shapes since you can scale them and recolour them, for example.
I started thinking and sketching for my interface design. For it, I need to make something easy and accessible for children.
*Toolboxes for each shape
*Icons for functions
Here’s some process shots for that.