As part of my 4th year thesis, I created a WebApp to explore the scope of digital mediums that I could apply my thesis to, in order to create something more of an experience and approach my concept in a more holistic manner . My thesis, titled ‘Personal Demons’ explored the idea of creating your own demons and thus, inspired by character creation games, this app came to be.
I first undertook the task of figuring out what method would be best to create this game in. Based on the “Build-your-own-doll” games from early 2000s, my initial research involved deconstructing how these games were made and which ones were most free of user clutter. After some rudimentary sketches, I created some basic layouts with Balsamiq’s free webapp. With little to no programming experience, my research with indie game development programs such as Unity and Stencyl seemed daunting and overboard considering the scope of what I was trying to make. it wasn’t long till I figured out old school Flash was the best way to go.
Building assets was the most fun and liberating part of this process. My goal was to create ambiguous yet ‘recognizable’ shapes that could be utilized in a variety of different ways.
Navigation and UI
I wanted to provide virtually no explanation at it’s launch at my grad show so in order to create a UI that required the least amount of explanation and worked intuitively for all ages, I conducted various user tests with several models of navigation. With the help of a friend (and a programmer), I was able to animate the buttons to roll over as well as move fluidly with interaction in Flash. (to see the buttons in action, check here
The save button allowed users to save their creation and the trash button cleared the canvas. The upload button was for the user to be able to upload their creation to gallery, which was one of my key goals; to be able to allow users to reflect back on the thing they created.
After several user tests, I launched my demon creator web app as well as the demon gallery at my graduation show. I had friends and family create their own demons and showcased them at the grad show as well. Guests at the show were also able to create their own demon, upload it and save it, print it or view it at a later date.