Decided to have another shot at furthering the quilt design process tonight. ??I firstly moved the rings slightly further away in Sketchup and then ran an export at 7000 by 3375 pixels.
My mother is keen on me having three rings – not so sure about it as it may start to produce issues with the fogging effect. Will try it though again to see if I can get it to work.
I put the image into photoshop and was very pleased to see that using a widescreen aspect ration of 16:9 (I want this quilt to be very reflective of my own slightly gadget/tech life) the exact dimensions would be 6000 by 3375 pixels. ??This may be what I choose to work with as the base size.
Next jobs therefore:
- Decide on the shades of grey required
- Work out the actual physical dimensions of this quilt.
- I've also decided that each window frame will be a single block of material – must therefore cut all of them out using Photoshop, number them and start printing out templates based on the physical dimensions
- that should be it i hope!
My atmosphir blogging seems to be going well – I may even have a new convert in @mwclarkson to show for my work and have also developed an excellent contact in @kristianstill.
In my previous blogpost I looked at the production of a requirements specification. This is vital I believe for ensuring that the design stage is done really well and pupils maintain realistic expectations whilst creating their levels in Atmosphir.
How to approach this with the class?
The beauty of a design stage for a game is that with a creative class you can approach this in multiple ways. From drawing characters and scenery in Art to using post-it notes and a white board (and photographing the result) to plot out how the action goes in on a level you have a huge amount of options for developing a level in Atmosphir.
One idea I had was due to Atmosphir's blocky nature and if you have a supply of Lego how about getting pupils to build aspects of their game in Lego and then photographing it? You may not have enough to approximate whole levels but it could be a good way to do at least part of a level.
How to write this up?
Writing this up is I think very dependant on what design methodology is used. The majority of the evidence for the designs may be photographs so an annotated photo gallery would be a good bet. Some design elements will be written such as rules and guidelines for the level as well as a description of the plot which could be produced as well written documents.
This series of blogs is my attempt at thinking through some of the issues surrounding using Atmosphir as a tool for teaching the ICT systems life cycle. The first blog post contained the different stages and the following blogs are looking at each stage. At this point I am not trying to come up with a definitive guide, merely think through some ideas for its usage in the classroom. At the end of this I may very well have a scheme of work in place.
In my previous post
I briefly looked at analysis and feasibility studies. At the end of that section a pupil should have a redefined problem definition or idea about what they wish to build. This should include some basic investigation into what the end user wants. This is crucial to have prior to moving onto the requirements stage as it will form the basis for developing a good requirements document.
How do you approach this stage with a class?
The intention I would think would be to create a reasonably detailed requirements document which would form the basis of the design stage. As I am still teaching myself the design process within Atmosphir I may miss out a few sections however the following would probably be good categories for stating requirements for the new game
- Plot / Background
- Gametype and rules
- Scenery, setting and World rules
- Character usage
- Enemies, objects and interactives
Writing up the requirements for each category
Instead of being quite strict about how pupils should write up a requirement for a category I think it would be better to accept or encourage pupils to create requirements in any form they wish. This could be mindmaps, drawings, lists of ideas. For older pupils though a structure for the requirement could be useful.
I'm aware that adding drawings could be construed as beginning the design process already. I think this points to some of the issues with the systems life cycle in any case in that it is stagnant and too structured. Under the principles of Rapid Application Development most games ideas would probably morph from idea to design and be created fairly quickly but I do think that it is important for pupils to understand some of the thought processes involved in moving from idea to reality so that they do have some structure when they approach it themselves.
It would essentially lead to a better design process in any case. One thing which pupils could fall victim to in the design process if they don't structure their ideas properly is 'feature creep' and concentrating on putting out achievable requirements is part of that process.
I think its time to resurrect my blogging on using Atmosphir to design games. Even though Atmosphir is not easy to roll out on our school network due to the Unity Web Player being difficult to install with user profiles Atmosphir is still a useful model for getting to understand games based learning. I have yet to use many games in class apart from just touching the surface of Scratch.
In my previous blog post
on Atmosphir I looked at how the problem definition of the systems life cycle could be approached. In this blog I will be looking at how Atmosphir can be used as part of the Analysis and Feasibility study of the games design process. By this stage pupils should have identified at least an idea for a new game such as … “a football game where you have to shoot the ball with lasers”.
How do you approach this stage with the class?
With this idea pupils will now need to analyse whether it is a feasible idea by beginning to do some further investigation. This will probably involve looking at:
- complexity of the idea
- whether Atmosphir has the resources and material to execute the idea
- what further requirements the target market users may have for their game
- drawing up some initial basic designs and ideas
Writing up the analysis and feasibility
What should pupils possible produce as end documentation for this section? I think they could produce a short write up on their analysis of whether their idea is feasible or not based on its complexity. Certainly they could rewrite their problem definition stating whether their original idea for their game is still feasible or not or update it to reflect what their new idea for their game is. Include some of the initial ideas (drawings, designs) and any end user comments at all.
Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: John S
Film: Ina’s 1969