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Alien Invasion

Link to the Storyline Module: See An Alien Invasion - built with Articulate Storyline The Idea: I think it's important (sometimes) to play. This was (and is) just for fun - an attempt to design in the style of a "florescent paint set" from my childhood. The intro uses abstract line art from freepik.com, but it needed a title. I thought "An Alien Invasion" fit the style. I added a nav-menu I had built a while ago, but re-styled it in a "florescent/sci-fi" theme.  Then I forgot about it for a year, until ...  The "Storm Area 51" story was in the news for a while in 2020. Some people were taking it pretty seriously. Others were clearly having fun. Eventually, I…

Imitate Good Stuff

Nicky Case developed this game on Anxiety Disorder: https://ncase.me/anxiety/  This game-like experience is hard to categorize, but is best described as an "explorable explanation." This term was coined in 1994 by Peter  Brusilovsky, professor of Information Science and Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburg. As Wikipedia puts it, "Explorable explanations encourage users to discover things about the concept for themselves, and test their expectations of its behavior against its actual behavior, promoting a more active form of learning than reading or listening." To say it more simply, if not too simply, it refers to "learning through play." The term was popularized in 2011 by Bret Victor in a blog post of the same name (http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/). Some board games that…

i+i = idea & iteration

idea & iteration:In each of these blogs I will share a simple design idea. Then, I'll post some iterations of where it led me. How does design happen? It's simple, right? You get an idea and then you make it. But, it doesn't work like that. Even a brilliant idea doesn't get you very far. How do you know whether an idea is any good until you try to implement it? Have you ever had this dream? You've discovered the solution to the mystery of life. While half-asleep you realize your idea is a revolutionary break-through. You wake with the urgency of one who has an important obligation to share your discovery with the world. But, upon waking, the great…

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Idea: Place

The Idea: How to create an immersive experience using Articulate Storyline? That is, how do you give the illusion that you are located in a physical environment that completely surrounds you, so that you feel like you are inside it and part of it? We exist in place and time in bodily form. We are not stationary creatures, for we have the power of movement, and can navigate our location in space. Using a tool like Articulate Storyline, could I create a digital space that imitated how we experience the real world? As a kid, the board games that appealed to me most were those with elaborate visual themes. Themed-games are the ones that give you the illusion that you…

Iteration 2: Haunt the House

Take at look at this version of the grid. In this version the house has become a haunted mansion with spooky sights and sounds. By now, I realize I am making an escape room. I wrote a back-story in this version to set it up. Next, I will hide clues in the rooms for the players to find to solve the mystery. This started out as play and working backwards I see that I've ended up with a viable idea for a product. This idea could be translated into a training module. Now I would just need some training content. It would be creative fun to find ways to bind the training content with the back-story and additional haunt-themed game-features.…

Iteration 1: Walk through a House

The next step was to create a more complicated grid. View this version of the 5 x 5 grid.  I'm not completely sure where I'm going with this, but I have an idea I want to explore. At this point, I would say my main interest is in "navigating a place" but I have a couple "places" in mind that I might explore. It could be a forest, a park, a city-scape, or a map, or it could be a building or someplace indoors. From these options, I think I want to imitate "walking through a large house." 

Struggling to be Creative

At a dinner party in New York, I was talking to a fashion designer who owns her own business. At one point in the conversation she told me that she struggles to be creative. I could relate. There are times when you hit the wall and all your ideas are stale and over-used cliches. A voice whispers that you don’t have what it takes. It’s easy to feel discouraged and just give up. But, we all experience this struggle. In fact, it is part of the creative process.  As a creative professional for 20 years, I feel like I understand a lot about creativity and I’m still learning.   What is Creativity? Ask yourself: What is creativity? What does it…

The Creative Process

What is creativity? What does that look like? What does a creative person do? Are these types of people creative – artists, poets, musicians? Most people would say yes. What about people who are mathematicians, computer programers, engineers, administrators. Are they creative? It really depends on how they approach their work and lives. Today I parked in a far off lot and making my way to my office I decided to take a different route. Because I took a different route, I hit a dead-end, I got lost and had to ask directions from another person. I accidentally ran into an old friend and had a good conversation. Then I met an student from a previous class who gave me a good idea.…

Brainstorm & Ideation

Thinking Inside the Box: When I teach my Visual Design course I have students participate in the following brainstorming activity. I ask them to pair up. I tell them that they are working for the breakfast cereal company Post, and Post wants to get more children to eat Honeycomb Cereal. The bosses have decided that the best way to appeal to kids is to include a prize in the box. They’ve gotten a deal with the movie company that produced the Harry Potter movies. So, the theme will be Harry Potter books and movies. The Goal: The team to come up with the most ideas (doesn’t matter how good they are) wins. Next I list the the Restrictions of the Game (which…

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