Friday, January 31, 2014

Sketching Time!

I love sketching. I've always been a doodler; quite a few of my notebooks from high school are more doodle than notes! That's part of the reason I love being in a design program... the teachers rarely yell at you for doodling :P

So I started on my logo sketches, first on the white board wall stickers I have in my room:

The blog title sort of hints towards my love of whiteboards, but I've found that they are amazingly helpful. I realized it when Ira Fey, possibly the best Game Design teacher, held Skype interviews with professionals in the field. Four of the five designers had huge whiteboards in their rooms (yeah, I kept track), so naturally, I took notice. Having a huge writing surface readily available has come in handy for me more than once, I highly recommend it. If you need to be convinced, I'd suggest you read this article.

But I digress, back to the logo sketches:

After the concepting, I put ink to paper in the most painstaking process ever! Pens bug me out, since once it's on paper, that's it. Not pictured are the three pages of mistakes.


I've been mindmapping for years without knowing it. I first learned the skill in Game Design, when we were laying out ideas for our first big game, "Awesome Man and the Maze of Doom." Now, we called it brainstorming, but it was a very similar concept. A big, blank whiteboard and some markers, and we plotted out the whole concept over the course of a few days (with minimal unintentional erasures), and that helped us to cement what we were doing.
Fast forward three years (God, has it been that long?) and I'm beginning to think about putting together my portfolio. Pattie Belle introduced the concept of the mindmap to us a diagram form of the brainstorm, a physical bit of proof of ideas. Along with providing us with plenty of examples of mindmaps, she introduced us to the concept of creating one to keep track of project ideas. An extended brainstorm, you might say, as you keep it going over a long period of time.
Now, I wanted to create my mind map on a whiteboard in one of the classrooms, but fate intervened in the form of an eraser while I wasn't there (to be fair, I left for more than an hour). So, until I can get in front of a whiteboard unimpeded,  I turned to NovaMind to create the Mindmap on computer.

This is by no means finished; as a matter of fact it's only beginning. This article from Mind Tools explains that, unlike the brainstorm, the mind map continues on for the life of the project, always expanding.
Expect to see plenty more (and better looking versions) of these!

Such as this one! (Update 2/7/14)
And there's a lot of restructuring that needs to occur...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creating a Person

I've created quite a few people before. As an amateur adventure writer, I've fleshed out my fair share of characters, with everything from personality to goals to conversational quirks.
That being said, none of that prepared me for creating a user persona. I started out the process thinking that I was just going to be creating another character; albeit a character that exist in the real world and was interested in mobile apps. I figured I could give her a short backstory, a little moral conflict between her family and her dreams. Maybe she could have a job she didn't like, but it helped her support her busy family.
When I create a character, I'm creating from scratch. The only limits are the needs of the adventure, and even those I can modify to fit a more interesting character.

I can shape the character to my needs, and usually that means making the character as unique as possible.

UNDER HUGE REWRITE!!!!!! check back tonight