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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