Week 1

  • January 12-16, 2015

    It’s week one here at the ETC. Team Cat Scratch met for the first time on Monday, January 12th. The project description: creating an interactive story for the new Amazon Fire Tablet. The ambition is to take a text-based story that would normally be presented in print and transform it into a digital format, augmented with different types of media that don’t detract from the process of reading. Our five teammates are: Laura Weber, Hannah Turner, Allyn Chen, Shirley Park (me) and Will Hagen.

    This week, we have been able to look at precedents for the type of app we want to produce. Prominent examples include Device 6 and Motion Comics, both of which are applications that present text-based stories using a variety of creative UI methods. Looking at these sparked discussions about the possible directions we want to take the story – do we want to make a dynamic “fishbowl” 3D scene, do we want to publish on the Amazon Appstore, are we sure we want to use the Fire?

    We definitely want to use the Fire. You heard it here first. However, the other questions will have to be answered after we start making prototypes. Our programmer, Allyn, is looking into tool research. As of now, he’s proposed overlaying an html layer of text over any 3D or moving parts within Unity. Our artists, Laura and Hannah, met with Professor Shirley Yee to consult over design and were able to make some stylistic decisions. I (Shirley) am plugging along with writing the story, and Will’s been diligently equipping the team.

    P.S. We also attended the Playtest Explore Workshop, and brainstormed for two hours with some people from HCI. We got some good feedback by asking the exploratory question: “What would make your reading experience better?” with responses ranging from comics to sound.