The process of the virtuous cycle was very fast. Jumping from the idea of motion energy to the idea of transportation in the city was a very abrupt one, but an interesting and meaningful one.
What did I learn: I learned some principles of physics I might have studied a long time ago in school. It was really interesting to read about them from my current way of seeing the world, and not as boring physics. I was really fascinated with the infinity of this subject and how it really involves every single moment and action in our existence and even after!
The most challenging part of the process was being able to narrow the subject into something useful and also into an urgent one. I asked myself what was really the way motion was related to my life. I decided it had a very important roll in my life, as I needed to move long distances between home and school almost every day.
So the next step was figuring out how to make this a topic o common interest with more people. Commuting definitely is a subject that affects the great majority. The life quality is linked to a very large degree to the quality of our commute and also to how long it takes. The other subject directly related to it is the environmental problem linked to transportation. This, of course, is an issue that affects all people at a global level and also all living forms on earth.
In the first stage, I started finding resources and reading and about motion and energy and then I started drawing mind maps to try to link the different concepts and ideas. This helped me to narrow down the subject to the idea of transportation in the city. So then I thought about how would I communicate this and to who, and for which purpose. I found many resources, documents and also projects that addressed these topics of transportation and environment problems.
The big question I still don’t know how to solve in the project is the balance between the research, findings, and important facts, and the process of communicating it to others. I feel somehow that the format of the project shifted into a platform for raising questions, awareness, curiosity and a space for debate. It distanced from the idea of a guide to access valuable information that was carefully researched and carefully selected. I still don’t have an answer to solve this paradox.
The feedback I got
I got very useful feedback from the class and from people I talked to. Some of the most important points were the following. It was fun as a game and would be interesting to play for adults. But it could be clearer in terms of the instructions, and also more fun. It had a serious tone, which was adequate for the goal. The design had to be improved, and changed to a smaller one, with less text and information. I learned I had to become a temporary expert in design and grammar.
I also learned how much work a simple field guide has. I put a lot of time and effort into it, but it was never enough. Finding a balance between research for the content, design and playtesting was not something I accomplished successfully. I now understand how much iterations you need to get closer to a final version of a product like this. I found myself printing again and again after finding errors. I also struggled with software problems, I learned how to design a box and to laser cut it, challenges that took a large amount of time.
I still have pending a large amount of time for playtesting. I also think that there’s a lot more room for design improvement also considering the possibility of taking this conversational game-guide to a real audience. The idea would be to create the least expensive way to print it, and finding the most successful or “viral” distribution format.