torsdag 26 september 2013

The Hipster's Guide to Italian Coffee, intro

For a while now I've wanted to develop a digital guide to Italian coffee (one of my big life passions). I've had the silly word-play title "The Hipster's Guide to the Galaxy" kicking around for a while, and decided that the Italian coffee application could fit under that umbrella.

Real concept development of this idea started last Friday, when I was sketching ideas for how to navigate through all the different types of coffee, and considering the hierarchical structure. Based on experience I gathered during my thesis project (here), I wanted to encourage a exploratory navigation through the application, and probably a flat hierarchical structure.

I realize that this is not a new app-concept, and have already checked out a few of the ones that are available on Google Play. However, those are often pretty utilitarian in their looks, and at least a few of them seem to be aimed more at the home espresso machine owner, than my target group: the trend-sensitive hipster that wants to stump the local super-smug, fixie-riding, arm-tattooed barista.

This left me deciding to go with a side-menu navigation, with a list of the different types of coffee. Since I want the app to be a bit eye-catching, rather than utilitarian, I decided to test out a few different graphical styles. I played around with different illustrations as well, but couldn't really find the tone. In the end I found this inspiring poster on called Exceptional Expressions of Espresso, by the Pop Chart Lab, and decided to incorporate that into my prototype, just for mock-up purposes. The idea is to replicate a similar kind of visual language going forward, but with illustrations that are a bit more flat (and of course non-copyright infringing).

Final result after almost two days of work can be seen below:

- user test on someone (urgently), something that's difficult when you're home alone developing
- add a bunch of more variations of coffee, and also expand the descriptions
- replace all the "borrowed" material from the coffee poster with my own beautiful Inkscape-products

PS. If you have the IP rights of the poster, and you don't want it featured on this site, drop me a line and I'll remove the images.

onsdag 25 september 2013

Bollspel, game design part 3

Today has so far been filled with thinking about keeping the player in the "flow channel" (discussed here, among other places). After Thomas' observations of his girlfriend playing we can conclude that the player behavior is (of course, as always!) different from what we had expected. So how do we design more levels, which bit by bit should raise the difficulty level, while at the same time allowing for a number of different play styles?
Expect a follow-up later this afternoon / tomorrow.

måndag 23 september 2013

Bollspel, game design part 2

Day three of our tiny game design workshop: since we've experienced a number of problems with the bouncing(!) in the Construct 2 game engine, Thomas has started to mock-up a prototype in Unity, to see if the physics there work better.
In the meantime I've put together another level, and cleaned up the graphical look. Gone are the block dividers, that made the game resemble the old Windows 95 game Chip's Challenge.

The first draft of the game is playable at

fredag 20 september 2013

Bollspel, game design part 1

Together with Thomas Rogowiec (blog here), we started to develop a game based on a simple concept proposed by him. The idea, quite simply, is to shoot a ball through a room, and out via an exit. The project started yesterday afternoon with some concept sketches, and today developed into a first primitive digital prototype with six rooms. The digital prototype was quickly put together with the use of the quick-and-dirty game engine Construct 2.