Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 138

Our two projects Saba and Kani have taken up almost all of our attention this week. A quick rundown of both follows.

Saba is a game for the Utrecht University Museum. Families visiting the museum play using one iPhone while exploring its rooms. We are initially focusing on its cabinet of curiosities. The goal is to have them look at the exhibits through the eyes of a scientist. We’re midway the design phase with this one.

This week was all about finishing a digital prototype for testing on Friday (today). Hanne and Karel finalized copy and art, respectively. I then worked with Alper to integrate as much of it into the game as possible. Poor Alper was a bit under the weather so we had a bit of a delay getting to full functionality. Nevertheless, after a heroic last sprint on Thursday, we finished a playable version. This morning I ran two tests with help from Erwin. Two families – both friends of Hubbub – played through the game while we observed. It was rewarding to see, for the very first time, players work through the whole thing without our assistance. We’ve discovered plenty of issues, a lot of them interface improvements that in hindsight are always obvious. Other issues relate more to our use of the turn taking and players sometimes feeling a bit left out of the action, something that will require a bit more cleverness from our game designers.

Kani is just getting started. It’s a design research project commissioned by a hospital. I’m working on this with Hanne as well, and Herman, who was our partner on Code 4. We’re looking at improving certain aspects of the patient experience, but since its very early in the project there’s not much more to say about it than that.

We had two internal design workshops this week. Herman also conducted numerous interviews with assistance from Tjerk-Jan, with hospital personnel representing the full range of disciplines. We’ve mostly been exploring the enormous amount of requirements that have arisen from the brief, as well as our desk research and preliminary findings from the interviews. This has already lead to some exciting ideas that I can’t wait to develop further. But before we settle on one direction, we’ll generate some alternative scenarios in the next week. We have more than enough requirements, it is time to start synthesizing.

And with that it is time for me to wish you happy Easter. We’re off the air for an extended weekend. Back on Tuesday!

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