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Week 6 News

Weekly Newsletter for 2/24/2012

This Week from Digital Dream Lab!

Hello World!

The theme of this week has been “Hello World!” We are introducing a new language to the Kindergarten age range, so we felt that this was the most apt analogy for teaching the basics of how our blocks work. The environment is dynamic, and changes as the child adds or takes blocks out of the work space. We tried to place as few restrictions as possible, so that the children are invited to explore and try different combinations of blocks. We will also provide basic templates that help explain the meaning of the blocks, and inspire the child to put together ideas from different templates.

The children will have the opportunity to use the following blocks:

• Show Me – Our analogy to the print function, which is required to display something on screen
• Object – Basic characters and objects that will be rendered in grayscale if used alone
• Color – A block that paints the objects based on its orientation with the object block
• Action – Looping animation

Model a Day

Based on the amount of assets that we will need to create to have a breadth to choose from, we have adopted a model a day approach to jump start our pipeline. Ariel has agreed to create a basic asset every day, for review with both the team, as well as Makeshop. After feedback, she will revise, and it will be sent to Anisha for unwrapping and texturing. Ariel will receive the asset again for rigging and basic animation. Mike will round out the pipeline by placing some polish on the animations.


We performed a temporary installation in Makeshop flex space today, which included hanging a projector and web camera from two different I-Beams. Matt put together a custom mount for each item that will hang in the space until we specify final equipment to purchase. This gives us the ability to have rapid iteration cycles between testing on site and making changes back in our project room.

Play Testing Preparation

We have a play test tomorrow, which will include the general audience of the museum, as well as an afterhours birthday party for a group of ten year olds. We have the opportunity to answer some of the initial questions about how our target demographic interacts with the blocks, as well as observe what they try to do with them. We also have the opportunity to bore an older demographic, and then ask them what else they would want to do with the system.

Next Week

• Debrief our debut play test and adapt
• Continue creating assets and backdrops for our virtual environment
• Start construction of wooden block set based on findings from debut play test
• Continue defining rule sets of and functionality of Hello World! phase
• Introduce new blocks to the system for focus group on 3/1
• Start working towards variable concept and more complex blocks