| Goal: Deliver our Soft’s opening in the RPIS with confidence.
Challenge: We were not confident in parts of our work (the narrative and the overall emotional impact).
Did we fulfill this week’s goals: Success!!! The faculty loved our project!
We scheduled with Drew to have our 20-minute Softs in the RPIS for all the faculty to playtest together. Because of this time constraint, we shortened our 40-minute experience down to half. Dave and Brenda told us to be confident in our design regardless of Piggy’s narrative. Brenda referenced Jon Rubin as someone for us to base Piggy’s tone and attitude on. Dave suggested to focus on delivering the workshop.
Despite agreeing with both Dave and Brenda, we knew in our hearts that there was something missing to deliver our experience from “good” to “awesome.” But what?
We got chu, Piggy Banksy!
We invested our last attempt on Piggy Banksy. High-authority voice enabled the audience to take this experience seriously. Low-authority voice enabled the audience to laugh and help Piggy out. We wanted both.We wanted the audience to engage, have fun, and take the workshop seriously. Since Piggy does not reveal him/herself in this experience, Kevin and I discussed to have Piggy’s voice be mysterious, powerful, not too much attitude, but a lil threatening. I could not find a character to use as example until Saumya asked, “Batman?”
WHA BAM! We got it!!!
What if we turned our challenge into our advantage? How interesting would that be if the audience was not sure whether Piggy is good or evil? His voice from the phone call could deliver a powerful and urgent tone for the audience to take this experience seriously; however, the art style on the iPads could enable the audience to relax and discuss their opinions with others without feeling pressured? Kevin continued to deliver background music for the activities, with a faster Jazz beat for the slogan and poster round to enhance excitement.
Turned process into product
I asked myself whether there was any additional thing we could do to help the audience engage in discussions without feeling shy or personal. How should we leverage Piggy Banksy’s identity to trick the audience into wondering if this experience is serious or fun? This gave me a flashback to week 5 when I brought in a sailor hat to give everyone a subtle permission to be critical of our playtest. As a result, Piggy masks!!! The team loved this idea and was ready to commit. Boyi created the mask template in less than 5 minutes and we all helped making them the night and morning before Softs.
The last pillar in our experience design pillars (noted in week 12’s blog) was not about “having fun.” It was about being engaged by surprises and delights.
Our experience was spectacular, much better than what we, Dave and Brenda had anticipated! It was so exciting seeing how shocked and intrigued the faculty looked when we handed them the masks in front of the RPIS. We felt so good witnessing our players engaged in the experience we had designed. Selfies, discussions, laughters happened between the faculty. We knew we did this right!
At the end of the experience, many faculty shook hands and congratulated us. We were so happy that we all almost cried. Ok, that was a bit dramatic but seriously, it felt amazing!
Dave and Brenda were proud of us and announced that we would go to Festival this year! We also got an A-!!! Oh la la…Proud team!
The next thing on my plate was to evaluate whether our team should do a site visit in NYC next week to do stress test or stay in Pittsburgh to refine our work. But first, lets sleep!