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My Week 1 report: Whittling down a project idea

AmyAngryNirdsAl
Level 4
Feeling overwhelmed with my lack of tech skills 😕 , but just went and got a new LA Library Card so I can try the Lynda.com tutorials for Unity.  Wondering if they'll be more user friendly for my noob-ness.   Luckily I'm swimming with ideas, but trying to narrow them down and focus on the Aug 27th submission project.  Here are my current ideas (each status is a form of research or game dev document).  I try to keep 

1st Idea:  A project specifically for seniors, hopefully with powerful results with dementia and happiness.  Elevator Pitch:  "POP Culture Time Machine for the Elderly".  
  • Status:  Just met with the Director of my local Senior Center to come and do a demo for the staff and some seniors and do interviews about the VR experience.  Tons of research on the web, but want to see/feel their reactions first hand.  Looking forward to scheduling this next week. 
  • Next steps:  1-prepare for mini research day at senior center  2-start game development document to lay out concept and reference images.  3- Read up on all research and VR tech working with the elderly
2nd Idea:  A sort of "map" strategy game that is centered in a classroom/school environment.  Gameplay includes note passing game, memory testing, relationship RPG.  Levels will have different tasks, you advance through grades.  Different era classrooms is another way to advance (meta levels).  
  • Status:  When I saw Aquatic Dolphin Classroom in the trailer at Oculus LAunchpad I almost spit out my coffee.  It was so similar to how I wanted my perspective in a classroom to be. I wish I had a chance to demo it when we were there to see how I liked the experience.  Game Dev document is underway, but I'm not sure I'm doing a good job at explaining the game play.  
  • Next steps:  1-Get GameDev document to a point that I can share with colleagues at E3 (SOON!!)
3rd Idea:  A Survival game for kids.  Think DUMB WAYS TO DIE + FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S, but created as useful tool for FEMA or other disaster preparedness groups.  Similar to these concepts:  https://www.ready.gov/kids/games/data/dm-english/index.html
  • Status/Thoughts: Concern for age considerations, since hardware is not (legally able to) recommend for ages under 13, I'm worried about the promotion of the final project.  Success of this program would require a partnership with a disaster preparedness organization.  Who would that be?  FEMA?  I'm VERY interested in doing something to help with emergency training.  
  • Next Steps:  If this is the idea I go with, what art style is best?  The topics I want to explore can be dark (if you're in a burning room, if you're kidnapped and put in the trunk of the car, etc.) so I don't know how to keep focus on empowerment of preparedness and not give kids nightmares.  
4th Idea:  Take Xanadu and Heavy Metal (the movie).  Basically a rock-opera highlighing LA and Roller Skating.  Since this is more of a filming project, I'm thinking this isn't the project for this opportunity as it seems they want Unity based stuff.  

Current Challenges & Solutions:
  • School is out tomorrow which means my 8 yr old will be with me all day/everyday.  Can't afford camps.  Toddler (2yo) is only in daycare 3 days a week for me to work as is.  Solution: force daughter to work on this project with me?  Noise cancelling app just purchased on my phone (check).  
  • Total Noob learning Unity and Game Design at same time, with a few months to pull together proposal. Solution?  Found husband's Beginner's Guide to Unity book (so I'll find out what an "Inspector Panel" even does) (check).  Went to library today to get new card so I can access Lynda.com tutorials to see if they're more user friendly for my noob-ness (check).  Wiggled my way into a Unity prep event AND a Hololens hack-a-thon in the next few weeks.  
  • NEED to pick one idea and start working toward goal. Need input.  Solution: Invest time to view as much VR content and applications to make sure my ideas are unique.  




4 REPLIES 4

AshtonK
Level 4
I feel your struggle on whittling down to one idea. I just met with a tech biz dev guy and when I explained my ideas to him, he offered that I should focus on how to apply VR to one industry... not both mental health and entertainment. I feel much more passionate about my first project because I think it could be a great tool for helping with mental wellbeing but there are a lot of people working in the medical space with much more research/training and background. There's also the legal hurdles that might present themselves. And also my lack of tech savvy-ness. 360 video was my natural path to VR... but it needs to be right story for the platform.

Anyway, I need to go through a new customer/needs evaluation soul-searching process and nail down the right project. All of these ideas sound intriguing... I personally think the 1st idea is really solid and I like the 3rd idea... maybe if you produce a proof of concept and pitch it to different educational platforms or organizations you might be able to get the full app funded -- it doesn't necessarily have to be for children (also think the game Worst Case Scenario but for VR).

DrSzilak
Level 5
Amy--love first idea. if you look at the data for Alzheimer's patients one of the main determinants of quality of life is "pleasant" experiences. This is true for both patients' own assessment and their care giver's. Now, if you could combine this with games that help with cognitive abilities. This is perhaps the most famous --http://gazzaleylab.ucsf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Anguera_Nature_2013-Video-game-training-enhances-cognitive-control-in-older-adults.pdf  It was published in one of the most important scientific journals in the world. Also have to keep in mind poor eyesight, hearing, and vestibular function in elderly. 

AmyAngryNirdsAl
Level 4
Thanks that is all so super helpful!

akababa
Level 4
Amy, I totally love your ideas!

I Agree with Ashton, your first idea sounds really intriguing and I'm excited to see where your idea will take you!

I just posted the recap from our bootcamp and am reminded of Bernie's advice on prioritization, analysis and process. I say reminded, but that's actually where I am right now. Like you I want to work with Kids (and in hospital facilities) but I also know there is so much to be done for 13+ – So I am trying to find the right solution for adapting my idea. I'll hopefully post later today if not tomorrow after a little PAP myself! 

And doing the research like you mentioned on FB sounds like the perfect place to start! :smiley: