Objectives for the Week
- Finish wireframes
- Technical investigation
- Location services for iOS
- Differences between Google and Apple location services
- Permission requirements for getting location
Updates from the Week
Finishing the wireframes took much longer than I expected - I had extra steps in the interaction that I hadn't thought about in the initial drafts of the tutorial. For example, I had to account for the user deliberately tapping on something to move to the next screen. I also had to drop in text where I had placeholder labels (like Dialog or Instructions) in order to be ready for playtesting on Monday, but for a first draft it works for now.
The key questions (from the previous blog post) for this round of user testing are:
- How much dialog is the user really willing to listen to?
- Is it better to do this with audio narration and visual captions?
- When will I need to give the user directions?
As designed the tutorial is text only, meaning that while there'll be background music the Narrator won't speak aloud. This is accounting for the user playing the game out in public which limits how well they can hear the audio - headphones are an option, but I don't want to force the user to have them. The flip side of this is that the user has to tap to transition between screens of instructions/dialog when they're ready - they're in control, but they have to trigger the transitions.
I've started reading the Apple Developer documentation on location services - there are several options for how I can get the location from the user. One is to get their permission to turn on location services for the game while the game is running; this means that while in game I can pull the necessary information to pinpoint where the user is and how far the target location for the next part of the quest is. I won't need to know the user's location except for the Specific Location and General Item tasks. Having the location will help me to verify if the user is in the correct location to trigger the augmented reality animations for Specific Location tasks; I could also potentially build a database of locations for the General Item task as a way to create hints if the user struggles to find something during the course of the game. In the tutorial I also include a map for the Specific Location task to help the user see where they have to go. However, with this option the user would have to have the game open in order to use the map. As an alternative, I could allow the user to continue looking for the location by tapping on the map - this would take them out of the game and into the Maps application, after which they could return to the game.
There is also the option of getting location services in the background of the application. With this option, I could introduce notifications to tell the user when they are in the right location and can return to the game. Personally, I hate this option - game notifications bug me and I always shut them off. However, this means that the user doesn't have to have any applications open at all.
Additionally, there are two types of location tracking - standard and significant change. From the Apple Developer Guidelines:
The standard location service is a configurable, general-purpose solution for getting location data and tracking location changes for the specified level of accuracy.
The significant-change location service delivers updates only when there has been a significant change in the device’s location, such as 500 meters or more.
The significant change location service is good for if I don't need GPS level accuracy, which I will need to test with the tutorial.
For Next Week
It's Spring Break, so no class but I'll still have a bit to do:
Week of March 9 (Week 3 of 9)
- Playtest - paper prototype based on wireframes
- Start writing code on tying to location services
- Be able to pull phone location
- Take a picture and access location information of the picture
- Technical investigation - validate picture is of a certain object
- Deliverable for next week: demo code, iterate on wireframes from playtest
Week of March 16 (Week 4 of 9) - Spring Break, No Class
- Find a concept artist and a visual designer to help with art and assets for Project Legend
- Write story for Merchant's House
- Continue writing code for location services from last week
- Deliverable for next week: code demo