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Persona:
Tim Hall
3rd year CM GaTech student
likes casual games
likes to eat lunch at Campanile
likes pop music
likes to text message friends
recently got an iPhone
familiar with AR technology
tech savvy

Scenario:
It’s lunchtime and Tim is at the Campanile; he sent a text to his friends but they couldn’t come. He sees a plaque that invites him to “help the little people by whipping out your phone.” Always interested in new things for his phone and wanting something to do while he eats, he is intrigued and goes to the link to download the application to his phone.

Tim opens up the application. Bullet points explain that the Red and Blue nations compete for resources, despite the mountain between them. The Sea people are a neutral nation separated from the Red and Blue by an open space of grassland. He quickly skips through the rest of the intro, eager to start playing.

Sitting in the red zone, triggered by RFID markers and the orientation confirmed by his phone’s internal compass, Tim sees his Red nation. Little red people walk around on the Campanile steps, minding their own business; some are planting crops while others are studying or building huts. Tim takes a bite out his pizza and wipes his fingers on a napkin. Taking out his stylus pen, he selects a person and waves the guy around, seeing what he can do with the person. Pressing on the screen again, the villager drops down the ground and shakes his fist at Tim, then walks back to his hut. Happy to evoke a reaction from the villager, Tim plays a bit more with other villagers, seeing that different things he can do to them to evoke different reactions – Tim likes it when he makes two villagers mad and they fight with each other.

Tim continues to observe the Red villagers as he eats his lunch. Looking at the top of the screen, he notices the library. Clicking on it, he sees the options to help one of the two nations. Triumphantly, he chooses to help his Red nation by giving them a cow and saw that all was good in the world. He notices that the thunderbolt has turned yellow, but within moments is back to green as the Reds worship him for his gift.

Quitting the application, which saves in real-time, Tim gathers his trash and leaves the Campanile, headed off to class, excited to come back to the Campanile tomorrow to play again.

Research Findings

Summary of Research Findings

Research Method 1: Behavioral Mapping revealed hotspots of the space, as well as the most trafficked paths. Based on our findings, we determined that:

  • The user will most likely want to sit down to use the application
  • The stairs going through the seats in the Campanile will be used to separate the virtual regions (Red and Blue)
  • We will add a sign at the top and bottom of the stairs to attract attention and to recruit new users

Research Method 2: Activity Analysis helped us break down the application into tangible aspects. We determined that:

  • RFID antennas would be strategically placed in the space to determine whether the user was in a red or blue zone.
  • The combined usage of the phone’s internal compass to determine which zone the user will edit

Research Method 3: Paper Prototype allowed us to observe participants interact with our UI. Based on our observations, we determined that:

  • Gravity would be in effect (ie: a villager on a boat will not sink)
  • We only need to keep user actions to a minimum
  • The application AI will have random encounters between different groups

Notes on the Paper Prototype

As is visible in our gallery pictures and in Liz’s post, the paper prototype consisted of 5 sheets of paper. One sheet detailed general rules of our simulation, three were pictures of specific zones of interaction (red area, blue area, sea people area) and the last was a visual  overview of the campanile. What happened with the first two trials was unexpected, although in hindsight perhaps it was the predictable outcome. Users placed resources and people evenly within their zones, with red and blue people receiving roughly equal shares of the village pieces and the boat and fisherman going to the sea zone. Yes, it is true that people often placed things in the sea zone without regard for solid surfaces (i.e. putting things in the water,) but we did say these were sea people after all so maybe they can handle it, like Aquaman. Trial three was my biggest surprise, with our participant carefully spreading the red and blue people evenly throughout each zone in positions that suggested cooperation and coexistence, rather than our imagined team-based antagonism. It could be that our characters are just so darned cute that he couldn’t imagine them fighting.

If any ideas came out of this, I would say perhaps allowing for cooperative play with the opposite team, and perhaps evenly distributing resources automatically since our users did this anyways. The unexpected results may be because our participants didn’t sufficiently identify themselves with one of the factions, so if we perhaps more explicitly assigned/gave them a side to control and took control of the other factions away, the user might be more motivated to see a particular side succeed. The issue is whether we even want this anymore.

Paper Prototype v2

The purpose of Research Method 3: Paper Prototype was to observe how people placed objects into the Campanile world. Each participant had five sheets of paper in front of them: a world map of the Campanile, a sheet containing the objects with a set of rules for our simulation, along with three different images corresponding to each region in our virtual world. We then gave the participant several objects to place anywhere they wanted. The participant was free to do anything to the objects they wanted; the trial ended when the participant wanted to (ie: he was done playing with the objects).

Notes on Trial 1


Placed objects on seats as if they were on flat land
People spaced apart
Even division of animals between red and blue
Happily placed fisherman placed on top of the boat on water, with a remark about having a boat for the fisherman
Sheep placed next to people

Notes on Trial 2


Huts were placed next to each other, with a even division of housing between the Red and Blue regions
Hut on reeds was placed on the seat
Sea people placed in the water

Notes on Trial 3


Crop on water
Red and blue on sea with crop in between
Facial expressions of red and blue in close proximity can generate a speculative narrative

Conclusions:
All the trial participants placed the single fisherman in the Sea People’s region
Users want the ability to place things on the water
No one flipped, rotated, or placed objects in the sky, on the grass, etc.
Trial 3 was in a relaxed area and that may have directly affected his choice to deliberate and take his time to consider where to put the objects.

Changes to design concept:
For our Campanile Village, I would suggest implementing gravity into our design. For example, objects placed in the air will fall down to the ground; objects placed on the water will sink unless it is a boat or something that can float on water. Another would be to have fish in the pond that users can place fisherman nearby to fish.

Observations

  • Objects were evenly distributed over the 3 areas
  • 2 out of 3 people keep all the blue people on the blue side, red people on the red side, and water people in the water
  • animals, building, and plants were equally distributed to each group

Alteration to the design

All in all I think the design is good but we have to make sure that the nature of the people of this experience is clear and always a focus in the users mind. So one way to do this is to have frequent random encounters between the different groups where they show aggression or dislike to the other group. They would only occur when the player is looking at a particular side so that the user remembers these interactions.

Tasks
Management:
Creates a village, Oversees the factions
by micromanaging certain individual villagers
using the stylus or finger and leading them to resources and activities

Play God:
Encourage/Discourage war between the factions
Add/remove villagers

Have fun:
Go fishing
Plant crops

Objects
Cell phone
Stylus
Campanile
RFID antennas

How do we get people to pull their phone out?
A sign inviting people to: “Help the little people by pulling your phone out.”
The sign will have an image of a cute villager. Underneath, website link for new users.

Performers
One cell phone user

Interactions
Sit or stand near one of the RFID antennas
Use stylus on phone’s screen to move, select objects

Image depicting various paths described in the Results section:

Campanile Map

Results:
We observed a limited number of popular paths that people used. The most common path is one where people cut through the Campanile through the stairs then down and out by stage right. Similarly, many people enter the Campanile through stage right and go up the stairs to exit. Additionally, we observed more people enter the seats from the top of the Campanile than those who come from the bottom. There seems to be no specified popular path when leaving the top way, except the most linear path from where they sat and the top.

We cannot specify an unused path, but we did observe people favoring to sit in the green area marked in the above map. Contrastingly, not as many people sat in the blue area. Very few people sat on the very first step and aside from photography or film purposes; rarely did anyone go up to the actual waterfall pool area. There was no apparent distinction between individuals and groups in selecting a spot to sit down at – personal space dictated that.

Use this information to identify what may be the best hot-spots for your design concept. Where might you put the marker(s) and how do you expect people to navigate your installation?

If we consider the idea that a person will need to look at the stairs or water to see the images, then we are going to need to use the distinct terrain of the campanile as a marker or have marker on them. A person would also have to stand at an optimal spot that will most likely be in the walkway, which could block traffic. Also standing for long periods of time strains the body so most people would not want to stand and the optimal spot would need to have a designated chair. We also considered the idea that a person could sit down in a section (there will still be an optimal spot) then look across to the opposite section and play that way. This is good because they don’t have to stand or be in the way of traffic. However if they want to look at the side they are sitting on they have to get up and move which could become tiresome.  The last idea we discussed was that we have RFID tags around he sitting area and a camera on the spiral. When a person sat down to play near a RFID tag their phone would recognize it and show them a live video feed of the campanile based on there position and superimpose the images onto that feed. This is good because no matter where you are you can get a nice view of the space. The problem with this one is that the video feeds quality may not be very good, more than one camera may be needed, and the cameras would need to be high so that they are safe and secure which would mean the view changes the feel of the game.

Since people go to the campanile to relax outdoors it is important to make sure that our experience promotes relaxation as much as possible so standing and moving around don’t fit into that ideal. Therefore we wish people using our space to be able to sit at all times and not be forced into a crowded area (some amount of freedom to choose). The best spot will probably be the bottom step since it is relatively unused and has the best view of the water.