08 Design: Coding: Criterion A
Task A1: Explain the problem
What apps do you use? Most apps can be grouped into one of four categories: gaming, social, media, or general. Some apps blur the boundaries such as YouTube could be considered a media app because of the video and music content, where as it could also be considered social because of the comments and chat capabilities.
Spend a few minutes brainstorming all the different apps you use and can think of, and what purposes they solve. What do successful apps have in common?
Think about what app/game/programming project you might like to make during this unit.
Complete section A1 of your Design Journal. Be sure to write complete paragraphs for each question and include your reference website addresses.
Task A2: Plan your research
Now you have a project idea, it’s time to do some research into it so your product can be as effective as possible.
You are going to research into at least 3 different existing apps and their strengths & weaknesses.
Do some preliminary research to decide which apps you are going to study, then brain storm questions you want to answer about each one.
The list below can be a good starting point of other successful games that may be worth looking at. Research into the game and the person who built it. Find articles/videos containing interviews with the person, about the person, about the game.
- John Romero - Doom, Wolfenstien and Quake
- Shigeru Miyamoto - Mario, Donkey Kong
- Toru Iwatani - Pac man
- Sid Meier - Civilization, Railroad Tycoon and Pirates!
- Satoshi Tajiri - Pokémon
- Dave Jones - Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Body Harvest, Crackdown, AP8
- Gabe Newell - Half-life, Counter-strike, Portal, Left 4 dead
- Jason West - Call of duty
Some questions you may consider include:
- What did they draw inspiration and ideas from?
- What are the keys to successful game design?
- Pitfalls/challenges to successful game design?
- What importance did they place on the various aspects of a game (Characters, visuals, style, personality, story, sound) and why?
We will brain storm in class different questions that might be relevant for certain apps. The following are also some suggestions to help you get started:
- What does the app “do”?
- How was the app made?
- What programming language?
- What technology do customers need to run it?
- What technology was used to create it?
- How does the app look?
- How do customers interact with the app?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Is it engaging?
- Does the app use audio features?
- Does the app use motion sensitive features?
- Game design
- If it is a game, what are the main “characters” of the app?
- What personality and story has been given to them?
- Why has the developer made these decisions?
- Who is the target market for the app?
- Why was this market targeted?
- What is the feasibility of the app?
- How long would it take to build this kind of app?
- How much would it cost to build this kind of app?
Complete section A2 of your Design Journal. To adequately address strand A2 you should:
- Identify research questions for further investigation. (Don’t create questions based on things you already know the answers to!)
- Prioritise your research questions using some form of scale to indicate those that are crucially important compared to those that are optional/nice-to-have in order to solve your problem.
- Justify each of your research questions by providing a rational for it’s inclusion and the level of priority you assigned.
Task A3: Analyse existing products
For each app you identified in A2, conduct the research you planned.
Begin with the question you gave priority 1, move on to the question you gave priority 2 etc. Keep researching until you have used up the allotted class time. Ensure you include the reference information. Be sure to include pictures / diagrams / links to videos as well.
Some videos I think are really interesting and would make great research for your Criterion A:
- Watch Juice it or lose it - a talk by Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho
- Watch How the inventor of Mario designs a game
To adequately address strand A3 you should:
- Ideally investigate at least 3 existing products for inspiration
- Identify and discuss the strengths of each product
- Identify and discuss the weaknesses of each product
- Identify and discuss what ideas you can take from each product.
- Include referencing/bibliography for your research
Task A4: Design brief
Now that you have completed your research, part A4 is about you summarising what you have learnt and offering an analysis of the information.
To adequately address strand A4 you should:
- Summarise the problem you are solving from A1 (only a couple of lines).
- Summarise what you learnt from your research in A3
- Based on what you have learnt, what guidance/advice would you recommend to any one else attempting to solve the problem you will seek to solve.
Complete the section A4 in your Design Journal.
|3A||Needs identification||Research planning||Inspiration analysed||Design brief|
|1-2||states the need for a solution to a problem||states some of the main findings of relevant research|
|3-4||outlines the need for a solution to a problem||states the research needed to develop a solution to the problem, with some guidance||outlines ~~one~~ existing product that inspires a solution to the problem||develops a basic design brief, which outlines some of relevant research|
|5-6||explains the need for a solution to a problem||constructs a research plan, which states and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem, with some guidance||describes a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem||develops a design brief, which outlines the findings of relevant research|
|7-8||explains and justifies the need for a solution to a problem||constructs a research plan, which states and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem independently||analysis a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem||develops a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research.|