On Thursday afternoon. we began the lesson by splitting the class into groups of three, however being partnered with people we had not worked with in the past. This provided an opportunity to help build relationships between all the individuals in the class, allowing me to see their strengths and weaknesses, which I may be able to call upon for advice / help in the future projects.
The main objective of the lesson however, was to design and enter a couple of competitions relevant to the course.
Data Movement App
“Tyne & Wear Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) has released a number of new travel and transport data sets to the public and through an Open Innovation Challenge want you to design and build the app of the future.”
Using the data now available to us, we needing to come up with ideas for an innovative app which would be useful to the public. We decided it was evident that all the data available pointed towards a traffic / road users related app.
Here are a few ideas I jotted down, whilst we discussed ideas:
- Provide drivers with vital data such as up coming traffic reports and computing an alternative route to avoid them.
- Linking into CCTV footage / images of current traffic situations to give the driver a visual idea of the severity of congestion.
- Accessing car park information to notify drivers which areas have parking spaces available.
- Using the data available to start analysing what is the optimal time / day to travel between certain locations when planning a journey.
Whilst we thought these were all good ideas, we also thought they were not particularly original and were having problems coming up with an idea that stood out from the rest of the market.
Northumbrian Water Game
“We are looking for you to create an original game that captures our passion for delighting customers and that actively engages, encourages and rewards our employee community of over 3000 to go the extra mile.”
Whilst discussing ideas, Stephen suggested a game using “Tetris” as inspiration. The game would consist of similar mechanics, however replacing falling blocks with different shaped piping which is relevant to the company. I suggested an additional mechanic to have a water level situated in the background which slowly rose as the players score increased. This would allow the player to gauge how well / badly they are doing, or to have a situation when the level is completed when the water reaches the top.
My suggestion was a puzzle game, where the player rotates pipes within a certain time limit, to allow water to flow from a starting point to a finishing goal. Also, the addition of extra sewage pipes to increase the challenge, where players must ensure they connect the correct pipes and avoid any overlapping.
Although, not highly original, the game had a couple of variations that we had found on the app store with a combined download amount of ********* (Plumber & Pipe Puzzle), which proved the game is highly desirable and successful which will help when pitching the idea.
We also started to think about how the colour scheme could be linked to the company, Northumbrian Water. With the use of dark blue for water pipes, green for sewage pipes and the light-blue / turquoise for a clear backdrop to play upon.
Also, when perusing the official website, I came up with the idea of having a meter reading to display the players score. This further linked the games design to the company.
Although we were satisfied with the game ideas we had produced, I still feel we are not fully meeting the brief and the companies requirements. They want the game to be “original” and to “capture our passion for delighting customers“, and I feel our game does not quite acheive this.
Finally, working as a team with Stephen and Tyler was fairly fruitful and I feel this is evident with the ideas we produced, and I must thank them for that.