The teampage of team 4 for Best Scene in Town @ PICNIC ’11

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2011 at 8:24 am

Use this post for documenting the entire process, so do not create new posts – update this one!

Title

Team 4

Jonathan Baldwin / Parsons / MFA Design + Technology

Jonathan is an interaction & mobile designer, interested in creating interconnectedness between devices and people, through decentralized and recycled technology. At home in Brooklyn,NYC , he loves to experiment in food hacking. He was previously an art director for projects at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, Space Exploration Technologies, and various movie campaigns.

Tami Evnin / Parsons / MFA Design + Technology

Tami is a creative technologist interested in utilizing digital technologies to express familiar human experiences. Her current focus is on perfecting her web and mobile based technological skills, as well as her marathon running skills. Tami lives in New York City, but a part of her will always be in California.

Alex Gekker / Utrecht / New Media + Digital Culture

Originaly from Israel, Alex resides in the Netherlands for the past several months pursuing an MA in New Media and Digital culture. Interested in all things technological and cultural, Alex has at various time dabbled with games, PR, Journalism and video production.

Hirumi Nanayakkara / Parsons / MFA Design + Technology


Hirumi is a design strategist + interaction designer currently focusing on using mobile technology and interactive media to further affect social change in areas of sustainability, social justice and education. Prior to attending Parsons, she worked in Higher Education management for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She most recently worked at KARAJ, the first media lab in Beirut Lebanon in sustainable design research. Hirumi lives and runs in New York City.

Concept

Weave PICNIC’s theme of Urban Futures and pop-up / ad-hoc city microcosms and social market bazaars into a physical social networking application via 7scenes & Twitter, stimulated by social gaming mechanics (set collections, micro-missions, building structure together).

Based on PICNIC’s tagline of “What Are You Bringing?” we want to materialize the skills and resources each person brings to PICNIC using 7scenes. With 7scenes, players create ad-hoc “picnics” with each other at NSDM Wharf to collect and trade skills with other players into their virtual picnic basket. This interaction is designed for times in between lectures/events or for after hours networking opportunities.

Players are assigned to pre-existing teams and must work together to collect resources, in the form of playing cards, to build a city together. Teams can gift rivalrous, resources to other teams’ players they interact with, as a sign of a good will or trade amongst others. While the Urban Futures PICNIC is building a real-world, temporary physical city, the BSIT game will be building an Urban Futures social and online city, by compiling all ad hoc interactions into an organized city structure with an overarching game ending.

PDF Presentation

Video Walkthrough

Rules & Gameplay

– Players (aka Architects) are preassigned to 1 of 4 teams upon login. Architects must attend PICNIC events to collect resources and build their city. Resources come in the form of physical artifacts (playing cards) that are found at each event.

Resources: We based the resources of the city off of the Urban Futures theme. Various combinations of infrastructure, sustainability, media, design & society will uncover needed structures for the architect’s city.

– In between events, architects gather at Trading Posts as designated in 7scenes. At trading posts, architects can trade cards either between their team or with other teams to form desired combinations. These combinations unlock needed city structures. Combinations needed for each team’s city are listed below and will be available on an external website visible at trading posts or any mobile device.

Green space – 2 Infrastructure, 2 Sustainability, 1 Society
Municipality – 1 of each (Infrastructure, Sustainability, Society, Design, Media)
Transit net – 1 Infrastructure, 2 Design, 1 Society, 1 Sustainability
Artisans Quarter – 2 Media, 2 Design, 1 Society
Local news – 3 media, 1 society, 1 Sustainability
Market – 2 Sustainability, 1 Media, 1 Design, Infrastructure

– Once a winning hand is created, architect/s must tweet a picture of hand to reveal the needed city structure as well as a string like “#bsit2011 #red #municipality”, which indicates the team name and city structure. Based on the number of tweets, an external javascript site will show the progression of each team’s city. A functioning prototype of this site can be viewed here. (Note: In this prototype, we are using the terms like “municipality” & “infrastructure.” In the actual game, architects will trade their card combinations for a secret code at the trading post, which they will tweet, and unlock the respective city structure)

Prototype of external website. Each city resource is drawn based on the team's Twitter updates.

– The winning team will have the the most stable city based on event attendance and successful ad hoc interactions with other PICNIC architects. (Note: A stable city will be determined based on the events scheduled for that day.)

Build a city structure with your own tweet:

Tweet anything you want, as long as you add #bsit2k11 and #yourteamcolor (you can choose between: green, blue, red, purple, yellow, orange) and #citystructure (you can choose between: municipality, greenspace, localnews, market, artistsquarter, transitnet). The “citystructure” hashtag is a placeholder, replaced by a secret code (given when appropriate resources are collected) in the final game.

Process

Our team’s process is well documented below, in reverse chronological order. Each team meeting is documented with notes and images to show the progress made.

Production

To fully produce this project, the following needs to be completed:
– Fully integrate 7scenes game with the PICNIC location.
– Design and develop fully integrated external website which pulls Twitter feed and draws each team’s city as it is being built in real-time. Alternatively, pulling Twitter’s API into 7scenes.
– Print and distribute custom playing cards.

More

PDF Presentation

Video Walkthrough

 

PROCESS

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Thursday, September 1st

Despite many side projects and many time zone changes,  we worked together really well and were able to brainstorm and iterate a scene that stayed true to our initial concept. Our major focus was reiterating the theme of PICNIC and integrating it well into 7scenes. There were a few issues with the themes. International trade and collect + trade are not yet compatible on the Iphone. We also are unable to link externally from the story line in mobile devices like we are when we view the content on the web. If this concept moves to to Amsterdam we would have to focus on the folllowing:
Finalize the look and feel of city structures
Find out which events are occurring the day of PICNIC, and assigning cards to each event.
Determine whether or not 7scenes API is accessible
Print playing cards
Lots and lots of user testing!

 

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Wednesday, August 31st

Look at how hard gmail was working for us in our final day before the deadline!

We worked together to clean up the scene, walk through a user scenario, and add details to the blog post.

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Tuesday, August 30th

Photos from today’s work session. We’re making use of the idea paint in our new lab space!


Jonathan mapping out a simple prototype of how the urban city will look.

Here is the feedback loop between twitter and the city.

Debating between aesthetics. Keep it funky or stick to the architect/blueprint feel?

 

Troubleshooting:
*Secret trail is strict chronological order, luckily freeplay  doesn’t have that restriction and also allows team formations so we will be switching to that.
*In the “story” section of the scene, there is the option to enter hyperlinks, however the hyperlinks are not available/visible on mobile devices. We will have to explicitly instruct users to access our external site.

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Monday, August 29th

WORK SESSION NOTES

SUMMARY:

*teams work together to create the ideal city
*the ideal city can only be built upon skills/knowledge acquired from PICNIC events
*tweets from players build the city

USER SCENARIO:

– Go to conferences or workshops to collect city building blocks (eg. Infrastructure, Sustainability, Society, Design, Media)
– In 7scenes, collected relevant items for going to that specific event (eg. collected 2 Infrastructure, 3 Design)
– Go to one of three trading posts scattered around PICNIC area to exchange digital items for physical building block cards.
– Exchange cards with others to collect for a pre-determined combination that results in a digital city structure.
– Once the card combination is collected, exchange back at trading post for special Twitter/QR code to tweet at (eg. #BSIT #___code___ #___teamname___) to add that city structure to your team’s digital city
– Each team has there own digital city that needs to be kept in balance by adding more of a specific city structure. The digital cities can be viewed on the special mobile website or on screens at each trading post.
So now, we need to figure out the city structures to use (maybe a total of 6?) and the building block combinations to use to make them – these structures should reflect the urban futures/ city theme of the conference as the building block cards do (eg. Infrastructure, Sustainability, Society, Design, Media)…
Designing a logo, graphic images for each building block / city structure, trading cards and the javascript twitter api framework (just a quick example to show that it works), and a PDF presentation to show a user scenario like the one detailed before.

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Friday, August 26th

Google hangout invades Amsterdam!

Notes from Lukie:
*Secret trail may be a good substitute for collect & trade/ international trade
*Everyone will be using hashtag picnic11
*Using assignments to incorporate twitter
*Use photos to confirm completion of tasks
*Outro text can detail reward/skill acquired

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Thursday, August 25th

We are thinking about assigning skills to each lecture/event during the day using dynamic scenes with shifting icon representations of knowledge acquired. In between conferences, trading posts are scattered throughout the grounds that allow players to trade/exchange acquired knowledge and items to collect for set to build towards an urban future.

An additional component we want to use is Twitter. Players can tweet to #BSIT  and share what they’ve learned during the game. We also are leaning towards using a javascript website to show a leaderboard of acquired skills.

Our major roadblocks at the moment are:

1. trying to make the collect & trade theme work without the actual theme

2. determining if we have access to 7scenes API

3. how we can use different means to create the same outcome without access to the scenes that we thought were available

 

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Monday, August 22nd

SHATTERED DREAMS


Hiccup in the design process

Crisis for team 4. Our entire concept was based on the collect and trade theme, but it turns out that this genre is not compatible with the Iphone. We really believe in our concept and think that this will be a very successful social interaction for participants of PICNIC. It’s time to play with other themes, make sure they are compatible with both Android & Iphone, and bounce our ideas off of Ronald.

In order to maximize the social experience of this game, we are looking at using Twitter. Not only will there be interaction between users, but will allow us a way to easily measure success.

Questions:
Can we pull twitter API into the 7scenes platform?
How to disseminate usernames/pws?
Is there a workaround for team formations in collect & trade and international trade?

Other notes:

http://wilderdom.com/games/Icebreakers.html
favorites include: group juggle, human knot, & screamer

body storming: assigning random objects/purposes to the team and using their skills to solve the puzzle

flash mob/situationist challenges: hugs for 5 seconds, random dance party, mummy/zombie invasion

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Tuesday, August 16th

Feedback from Ronald Klein Tank on our progress thus far:

* In terms of the scope of your concept; keep in mind how the chosen scene genre affects the flexibility of people. In other words, multiplayer genres require people (who already have a 7scecensaccount to be able to be added to a team) to be at the same time available to participate.
* I read you think about the physical boundaries of the festivalgrounds in relation to incorporating other parts of the city of Amsterdam. It is good to keep that in mind when setting the scope of the concept.
* Your combination of physical elements along with the use of electronic media and GPS guidance through 7scenes opens up possibilities for attractive interaction between festival visitors and locals.

Q&A With Ronald

Will there be any special modes of transportation in the conference space? (shuttles, segways, magic unicorns) if so we incorporate them in the design process.
WORKING ON GETTING ELECTRIC “GOLF CARTS” AND ELECTRIC BIKES. NO CONFIRMATION AS OF YET. ALSO WORKING ON ELECTRIC CARS, BUT THESE WILL ONLY DRIVE TO AND FRO THE VENUE.

How will the economy of the food/ drinks work – is it free once you inside the conference area or do you still have to pay?
COFFEE, TEA AND WATER IS FREE
LUNCH FOR EVERYONE WITH A DAY PASS OR 3-DAY PASSE PARTOUT IS FREE (PROBABLY VOUCHERS). THIS IS A FIXED LUNCH PACKAGE.EVERYTHING IN ADDITION TO THE MENTIONED ITEMS SHOULD BE PAYED FOR SEPARATELY (LIKE ICE CREAM, FRENCH FRIES, SALADS, SODA DRINKS AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, DINER)
What is the actual area of the conference? Are there any divided “zones” inside it in terms of passes/ registration? how many in-doors venues are there? (interrupts with mobile GPS abilities)
NO DIVIDED ZONES. WHOLE FESTIVAL TERRAIN IS ACCES WITH SOME SORT OF BADGE ONLY.ON FRIDAY LATE AFTERNOON (AS OF 15.30) YOU CAN GET IN WITH A WRIST BAND AS WELL (GIVES ACCESS TO THE VODAFONE MOBILE CLICKS CEREMONY AND THE DRINKS @ PICNIC).ALL PROGRAM VENUES ARE INDOORS, BUT ALL BUILDINGS ARE TEMPORARY ROOMS/CONSTRUCTIONS. SOME ARE SEA CONTAINERS.ACCESS TO THE VENUE IS ONLY POSSIBLE WITH A BADGE OF SOME SORT. ALL PROGRAM LOCATIONS ALSO HAVE SEPARATE SECURITY.

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Second Team Meeting (Thursday, August 5th)

 

Use photos from flickrstream – http://www.flickr.com//search/show/?q=ndsm
metering of social aspect?
our intentions
how to keep players interested
micro-missions
stimulate social interactions
missions come out of random people being in the same location
game exists for as long as other people are involved
playtest
start building out scenes
list out social interactions / peer to peer exchanges
working with limited resources and choosing recipients
precedents from ice breakers — a series of evolving icebreakers
how to gauge success of social interaction?
using passwords to unlock secrets from other players
using categories of urban futures— possibly doing subcategories
hybridization of disciplines

 

Other Team Interactions

Causing a ruckus on Google +

 

Google Docs Collaboration  —> Contains most of the collaboration/brain storming process:


PICNICBrainstorm_PDF_Download

 

Google Maps Collaboration:

View BSIT Amsterdam in a larger map

 

Email Chains:

 

Research:

Transitive / ad hoc city precedents:

*Constant Nieuwenhuys’ New Babylon – architectural future philosophy

*“Invisible Cities” book by Italo Calvino

*cliché…but BurningMan is a temporary city

*Peer to peer economies:

*These ad hoc groups = temporary city microcosms? Trading markets / bazaars?

  • What’s the story, motivation behind this?
  • Can you “setup shop” and buy/sell/trade/gift with others? Ad hoc market places hmmm
  • Is a story weaved through temporary micro cities within the temporary PICNIC city? A la Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”?
  • “Walking cities” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_city

 

Interaction

*design around PICNIC attendees (ex: foursquare, tumblr, etc…)

        • check-ins
        • near field communication / QR code / tiny urls
        • digital business cards – “bump” contact info with interesting people you meet
        • something along the theme of a picnic or the “picnic game” – “My name is Tami and I’m bringing tomatoes…” This idea may be juvenile or may not translate well cross-culturally
          • Maybe its about how each person brings some other talent or idea with them to PICNIC? Like, commodifying the users qualities and sharing/exchanging them with others in a “collect them all” game scenario…these can be extrapolated into various categories (a la vegetables, fruits, utensils, etc for a picnic), but on a more abstract level of tech/design focus?
            • The tag line for PICNIC is: “what are you bringing?” as in, ideas for a “picnic,” so this idea is pretty relevant

*flashmob

      • a la the situationist app. completing tasks/challenges with other participants based on location and posting photos to picnic
      • Maybe something along the lines of “happiness hacks” games by Jane McGonigal: use a mobile platform to interact meaningfuly with fellow players ad the citizens around you. check out C2BK or Top Secret Dance Off -Alex.
        • C2BK is a great way to spawn conversations/meet new people, no matter if both are playing the game or not – a variant on this theme while incorporating 7scenes tech might work well…maybe the “assassination” targets actually have secret treasures or maps or clues that you can collect from them?
          • Maybe if two/multiple people on team or some other category are within a certain GPS radius, they receive relevant goods/clues? –> like, meaningful flash mobs

 

Concept

Weaving PICNIC’s theme of Urban Futures and pop-up / ad-hoc city microcosms and social market bazaars into a physical social networking application via 7scenes, stimulated by social gaming mechanics (set collections, micro-missions, building structure together). Based on PICNIC’s tagline of “What Are You Bringing?” we want to materialize the skills and resources each person brings to PICNIC using 7scenes. Using the Collect & Trade / International Trade theme of 7scenes, players create ad-hoc “picnics” with each other at NSDM Wharf to collect and trade skills with other players into their virtual picnic basket. This interaction is designed for times in between lectures/events or for after hours networking opportunities. Possible tasks will encompass design solutions for an urban future.

Other possible interactions between players could derive from location-based, timed item spawning (must be in a “picnic” with whomever for X minutes to gain X points/items), needing to trade specialty items based on pre-existing skills/resources between players (combinatorial) or using various real-world ice breakers to engage players. Letting players gift rivalrous (limited-resource) goods to other players they interact with, as a sign of a good picnic outcome, could push for more relevant interactions between players. While the Urban Futures PICNIC is building a real-world, temporary physical city, the BSIT game could be building an Urban Futures social / online city, by compiling all game interactions into an organized structure with an overarching outcome / game ending.

 

Next Steps:

Now that we have spent a few weeks researching precedents and familiarizing ourselves with 7scenes and PICNIC’s theme for this year, we will all begin building our own scenes individually. Before our next Google+ hangout, we will play-test each other’s scenes and begin the iterative process.

Checklist:

  • research ice breakers
  • start building scenes
  • determine how to measure successful interactions
  • explore using leaderboards & crowdsourcing

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Google Docs — Keeping Us Together

Our schedules were a bit crazy the second week into our planning sessions (the four of us were scattered between New York, Amsterdam, Sweden & Lebanon) so we relied on google docs to keep each other updated on our individual research process for BSIT.

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First Team Meeting (Saturday, July 21st)

TEAM 4:
Jonathan Baldwin / Parsons / MFA Design + Technology
Tami Evnin / Parsons MFA Design + Technology
Alex Gekker / Utrecht / New Media + Digital Culture
Hirumi Nanayakkara / MFA Design + Technology

First hangout screen shot


Our group meeting in a Google Hangout.

Ideas:

  • Charting the types/groups of people who live/visit in Amsterdam
  • building up toward urban future cyberspace infrastructure
  • collect people into your picnic basket
  • pop up gatherings in urban space
    • ad hoc picnics/friendships
    • meet for real picnics at the end
    • form a picnic like Google Hangouts – someone is nearby starting a picnic, you can only see it when you are near them, then you can join the picnic
  • BIKES!
  • sustainability? – tasks could be centered around this theme/bikes
  • Gamification – certain combination of people get a task or badge, penalties?

BSiT/PICNIC Info:

  • Mostly European attendees
  • What 7scenes wanted last year – Not time based, short-term, quick, in-between-talks interactive game
  • Genre – International Trade

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