Using rapid ideation, present a new creative app concept using the following constraint or theme.
“As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems.”
- Another way of saying; if we didn’t have each other, we wouldn’t have any problems…
- Problems are generally considered a bad thing…
- “As long as we have each other” & “we will never run out” are both positive kind of comments, along side a perceived negative attribute (problems). It’s a juxtaposition.
- Do we want the problems?
What kind of problems are there?
As we can see there are a wealth of possible problems in the world and I doubt I’ve even scratched the surface with this quick mind map.
Do I create an app that addresses a single problem or is there something that could deal with multiple?
It might be worth taking a moment to see whether we can draw a link to the “amount” of a problem, to the number of people that could be involved. Could it be that the more people involved, the more problems are created exponentially.
Here’s an example: Person A has a debt problem and owes Person B a sum of money. Person C tries to help, by lending Person A a sum of money. Now person A owes Person B & C money. More people involved, more problems.
Initial App Ideas
Whilst we are constrained around this conceptual idea of “problems”, there is no remit of the type of application that could be made. As such I have come up with three very rough ideas in different mediums and will critique each one on their merits, both on course criteria and personal merit.
A game where you follow the protagonist through a world of “problems”. These problems don’t have an effect on the protagonist, or at least are small nuisances until friends or non playable character join at different points throughout the story. It is at those points that the protagonist is constantly bombarded with them and has to deal with them. Problems could be mobs in a person vs environment/monster world, keeping with this conceptual “problem” theme. There also could be puzzle dungeons. To solve the puzzle you have to remove yourself from your “friend” to solve the task e.g. You move to a point on the map and pull a leaver to “accidentally” lock them in a cage, so that they don’t get in the way when you’re trying to get a key at another point on the map.
It would be interesting to see how far you can take the story without the player realising that the “problems” only occur when they are with a non playable character tagging along on the journey.
UnSocial Media App
Social media is full of peoples problems. What would a social media platform be like if there was only yourself in it, with no problems? The idea is for an app that allowed the single user to create a profile and the wall posts would auto populate with content pulled from the users photo’s and video album on their devices. The app would post as if the user had themselves. The concept could be taken further to be Black Mirror-esque, where the account is a “better” instance of ourselves. It shows us only our best moments.
An application I have already developed, Stamp, is designed around the logging of events and notes or problems within a theatrical or entertainment context e.g. A lighting cue was taken too early, so a note would be made to log that. A remote application for iPhone/Android/Web could be developed which could allow for multiple users to log their problems onto the same timeline. By creating an environment for more users, Stamp could become a place for all departments to log their thoughts, notes and problems relating to the production, being a single point of knowledge.
The game idea offers the option to address multiple problems throughout the storyline. It is also a new medium I’ve never worked in with little knowledge of, which is exciting and offers areas to grow and learn in. The scope of the project could bring in a variety of different new frameworks and languages e.g A powerful game engine such as Unreal or Unity could be used with C++ as a language or graphically something a little more simple could be used and a framework such as Apples SpriteKit implemented. There also could be aspects of gameplay which could prove to be interesting coding challenges as well as enjoyable graphics. With this project I would need to come up with the storyline as well as well as learn the new frameworks and languages at the same time.
UnSocial Media App
To be something that a user would use daily it would need to be on a tablet or handheld device and on multiple platforms. As such this would be a great opportunity to look at the QT framework and mobile development. There could also be aspects of the app, such as the automated posting on the wall, to be done with machine learning technology with image processing and text composing. On a marketing front the app has very little scope for traction being very insular in its design, focusing solely on the single user and including no one else.
Being a remote it would be beneficial to be used on a tablet, handheld device or laptop on multiple platforms. A cross framework could be applied or if time permitted native frameworks, one for each. It would be worth examining whether a web API could be employed rather than building the logic of the app onto the device, bringing the whole thing onto the internet and saving doubling the workload e.g. Using NodeJS or a Server Side Swift framework like Vapor. Web Development is new for me and would be an interesting frontier to look into whilst also the benefits of this research would also help with the running of Stamp.
Over the last week I’ve been trying not to commit too early to either of the app concepts. It’s easy to say that a game would be more “creative”, without giving thorough thought to the creative elements and implementations of say a documentation & logging app. I think, also, it’s worth exploring ideas of an app like the un-social media app which might not have many financial or good marketing strengths but conceptually could give the features to allow for research in interesting areas. That said; I’ve chosen to go into more detail with the game, which can be found in Part Two.