Fly Trail A Sifteo Cube Game INFO I564 Midterm Project
Wei Pan Aeshvarya Verma
Fly Trail Table of Content
1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………… 2 2. Design Exploration (Ideation) a. Initial Sketches and Concepts …………………………………………………… 2 b. Description of final selected Concept …………………………………………… 6
3. Early Prototype a. Low Fidelity Prototypes …………………………………………………………... 7 b. Functional considerations of the paper prototypes ……………………………. 7
4. Informal Walkthroughs a. key findings across the users ……………………………………………………. 7
5. High Fidelity Prototypes a. High Fidelity Prototypes ………………………………………………………….. 8 b. Significant changes from earlier round based on walkthroughs …………….. 9 6. Prototype Test a. Description of the test process ………………………………………………….. 9 b. Summary of key findings ……………………………………………………… 10 7. Lessons Learned a. Lessons learned through this project ………………………………………… 10 8. Appendix ………………………………………………………………………………… 11
Fly Trail 1 Introduction The Sifteo cubes are an interactive gaming platform developed by Sifteo, Inc. These motion-aware 1.5-inch blocks with full-color clickable screens interact with users and each other when they are shaken, tilted, rotated and placed adjacent to one another. They are designed for use by playersâ€™ ages six and up. Sifteo cubes support 4 hours of play on a single charge; they recharge in a custom Sifteo charging dock. A range of games are available for the original Sifteo cubes, most created by Sifteo. Sifteo games are designed to be fun while encouraging the development of core thinking skills, such as spatial reasoning, strategy, collaboration, and pattern recognition. Most games target ages 7+, though some are for children as young as four. As the mission of midterm project, our team is challenged to design a new game within the constraints and limitations of Sifteo cubes by using paper prototype. Each of us came up with several different ideas and had them discussed and decided. Then we tested our final option with several people and refined the ideas based on the feedback. Finally we developed high-fidelity interactive prototype and tested it again with another 3 people.
2 Design Exploration (Ideation) a Show sketches and briefly explain concepts explored i Escape (3 -6 cubes): In each cube, there are randomly generated three geometric figures with different colors and shapes, and all the figures are flowing aimlessly in the cube with different speed, you job is to collect all the figures with same colors and shapes into one cube, and with the completion of each stage, your level is getting up, along increases the numbers of the figures inside of a cube. To indicate a success, there will be visual and audio cues. And the hardness is raising if the numbers of cubes are increasing. For example, if there are 6 cubes connected to the main unit, there will be totally 6 different geometric figures, and you have to separate and collect them into individual cubes to success.
Puzzle (6 cubes): There will be more than one component part of pictures in each cube, and all the components in one cube are different, however, there will be one component in each cube which is meaningful and could combine with the rest meaningful components in other cubes to form a complete, meaningful pattern of picture. To this, players need to title each cube to go over all the different component parts inside of this cube, remember them, and find the appropriate, correct one and try putting
Fly Trail those cubes together to get a complete 2X3 pictures. This game is getting harder by increasing more components parts in one cubes.
iii Unique (3-6 cubes): The task is simple- finding the different cube among all the cubes. Each level of stage, every cubes will show same pictures except only one which has very tightly different pictures/ Chinese characters, the players job is to find it within a certain period, they can press the cube which they think is different to choose. Throughout the game, they will have 3 chances to misjudge. And with the level goes up, the time allowed decreases, which means they have to find the odd out within a shorter time span. As long as they pass 5 stages, they will earn an extra chance or life.
iv Fly Trail (6 cubes): A game involving 6 sifteo cubes in which the task of a player is to land the plane safely on the runway. A plane given in any one of the cube starts to land with its trajectory shown. There are three kinds of trajectories possible - yellow (slow speed), green (normal speed) and red (fast speed). Players need to choose a cube having the right trajectory. All this happens in the presence of winds which changes direction from cube to cube or in some cases on tilting the cube. The aim is to maintain the plane on its trajectory while cancelling the wind effect. As the game progresses, a player may face different obstacles or wind blowing designs. This game involves strategy, planning, logic and computational power of the players at every level.
v Backyard (3-6 cubes): In this game, the player is given with three trains which are color coded. He/she needs to make sure that all the trains goes in their respective yards, which are color coded too, without collision. When the player touches any train, it gets activated and then you can form tracks on the cubes by simply touching the surface. When you touch on the yards, the train starts their journey.
vi Dropâ€™Em dead (3 cubes): This game is playable by only three cubes. The theme is two kill the character Nom which moves randomly in one of the cubes. The other cube houses a weighing machine like gun with a weight on one side and a photon outlet at the bottom. Whenever a player matches a weight with the given weight, the gun opens and fires. This fire need to be directed towards Nom. In the third cube, there is lot of weights given, the player need to select the correct weight from this weight bank. Thereâ€™s only one outlet for the weights, players need to tilt the cube to extract that weight out.
b Describe your final selected concept i As we discussed, we found that some of the initial ideas were too simple
and does not maximize the experience of using Sifteo, for example, the “Escape”, “Unique” etc. traits. So we decide to go with “Fly Trail”, which involves strategy, planning, logic, computation, patterns and perception of the players at every level. Fly Trail (6 cubes): A game involving 6 sifteo cubes in which the task of a player is to land the plane safely on the runway. A plane given in any one of the cube starts to land with its trajectory shown. There are three kinds of trajectories possible - yellow (slow speed), green (normal speed) and red (fast speed). Players need to choose a cube having the right trajectory. All this happens in the presence of winds which changes direction from cube to cube or in some cases on tilting the cube. The aim is to maintain the plane on its trajectory while cancelling the wind effect. As the game progresses, a player may face different obstacles or wind blowing designs. This game involves strategy, planning, logic and computational power of the players at every level.
3 Early Prototype a Show examples of your low fidelity prototypes
b Explain any functional considerations of both the prototype
construction and how it might operate if a live application: i
Resolution: the resolution of Sifteo cube is 128X128, while we design the prototype, we didn’t take that into consideration. However, we realized that the resolution doesn’t make any difference to us, because our design doesn’t heavily depend on the resolution to make it fun to players. As long as the user can differentiate objects that we designed, it is fine. ii Screen real estate: however, the length of trajectories really depends on the size of the screen; it’s true to the size of the plane as well. For example, if the screen is larger, the trajectories could be longer, therefore, there would be longer time for the user to play within one cube and longer time for them to place the next path before the plane reaches the edge of the cube. iii Responsive time: We assume that the cube is responsive enough, so that when players neighbor the wind cube to the main cube, it will immediately have an effect on the flying plane, may blow it up or down instantly. iv Audio: In a live application, there will be audio feedback for the players, for example, when the plane is flying, there is engaging sound, and when it crash, it will have a exploration sound. However, by using paper prototype, we just assume that there will be certain kind of audio output. But we can use computer to simulate that when doing the interactive prototype testing with users to enhance the engagement. v Accuracy: There could be some kind of technological failure in every live application, but for the paper prototype, we just assume that all the response is accurate and precise.
4 Informal Walkthroughs a Summarize key findings across the users
Fly Trail We conducted the informal walkthroughs with 3 different users. Two users had some idea about the sifteo cubes and the third user heard about these cubes for the first time. The following are the key findings from the informal walkthroughs: â– The users were confused on how to use the color coded wind to advance the plane along various contoured paths. â– A change in the direction of the path made the users change their wind cube placement rather than selecting a different cube. â– As the game interfaces were sketched on paper, there were little to no urgency shown among the users when playing the game. We specifically told them in the beginning that the plane is running low on its fuel.
5 High Fidelity Prototypes a Show examples of your high fidelity prototypes
b Highlight any significant changes from earlier round based on
walkthroughs Initially we made both the winds and the paths to be selected from a wide array of choices. The winds in the initial prototypes were color coded too. These additional parameters increased the cognitive load of the users and restricted them from playing the game with ease. So, we kept three types of winds fixed on three cubes - low, medium and high. Instead of color code, we used the pictorial representation of a human face to represent the wind level. Since, a user can relate to a human facial expression more easily. We made a fuel indicator to make the users aware of the running time. We incorporated 2 chances in the game - initially with a normal plane and the last chance with a one-winged plane.
6 Prototype Test a Describe the process i Warm up: We introduced our team members to participants, and ask ii
them basic information as warm up. Briefly introduction: Then we briefly introduced the concept of the game, and the basic instructions and rules of how to play it. The biggest challenge here was to introduce the participants to the sifteo cubes, a totally kind of hardware for them. We showed a video of sifteo cubes too in one of the cases.
Fly Trail iii Test: Then we asked them to play it, and assigned one team member as computer and facilitator to handle the screens when the participants are playing the game. At the same time, we played engine sound as background music to enhance the playing experience. iv Interview: After they finished the game or played it for a while, we asked them about the feedback of the game design, and where could we improve to make it better. v Cool down: Finally, we closed down the user test by thanking their participating and suggestions.
b Summarize key findings and patterns that may have emerged i Need Instructions for the users so that they can figure out when to flip it over to pass the path and when to choose the right wind: ii Paper plane instead of jet plane, so that it makes sense to have the plane changes its direction based on the wind. iii Plane’s speed may become faster when level goes up. iv Utilizing different skill levels when advancing through the game like Beginner, Medium and Pro.
7 Lessons Learned a Report on lessons learned through this project i Lack of Transition: when using paper prototype to simulate the physical, real Sifteo cubes, we can’t have the transition such as fading, moving, and passing. So in our case, all we can do is to develop the important parts of screens which are supposed to move as a separated piece, for example, the plane is moving from cube to cube, so we create a small plane and manipulate it manually to mimic the plane is flying. ii Lack of Physical Sense: Since we are designing game for cubes, we want the players to have the feeling of touching a “cube”. However, using paper prototype for the testing, we cannot use only a layer of paper because this will prevent the players feeling like they are playing the cubes, so we manage to have the screens attached to post-it pad, so that they can move, tilt, neighbor the post-it as they can do with Sifteo Cubes. iii Lack of Audio Output: The real Sifteo supports the audio as output feedback for the players, while using paper prototype, we don’t have such kind of audible output, and so if we want to simulate the audio feedback, we need to have the computer speak it out. Since audio provide an immersive environment. iv Using the paper prototypes instead of the actual sifteo cubes we were able to cover the breadth of the desired interfaces and depth to a certain extent. But showing the interactivity, especially in a game setting, required us to think out of the box. We became the computer and controlled the movement of plane by hand. We also controlled the fuel indicator when the player was playing.
Fly Trail 8
A comprehensive report describing the process of developing an interactive physical prototype of a Sifteo Cube based game.
Published on Feb 17, 2014
A comprehensive report describing the process of developing an interactive physical prototype of a Sifteo Cube based game.