This section allows you to follow the brainwaves of the Design Paradise Think Quest team as they created this website. Oooooo. Included in the brainwaves are excerpts from 'chat' sessions, excerpts from email mesages, and diagrams the te am drew as they worked on the site. Enjoy!
In order to create this website, the Design Paradise Think Quest team first identified characteristics of effective websites. Before Jeff joined the team, Dawn and Darren had been using the 'talk' feature (similar to IRC) on the kalama server to brainsto rm (Dawn was on the island of Oahu and Darren was on Kauai). Shall we tap into their phone line??
They then decided to focus the content of the entry on Hawaii.
They then merged their brainstorms on interactivity and their brainstorms on ancient Hawaiian land use policies to come up with the idea of a simulation game about land use and balance. At this point, however, the ideas were only content based. The team members knew what they wanted, but weren't sure how to get there.
Dawn and Darren then asked Jeff to join their team. With the addition of a programmer's perspective, they could see whether their concept could be transformed into a functioning, web-based simulation game.
The Design Paradise web team held their first meeting at Borders. This meeting involved just talking and note-taking (and sipping on the official Design Paradise drink, coffee). During this meeting, the team discussed the programming, size, and browser issues that are associated with putting a simulation game on the web. In addition, they came up with the idea of creating a resource section running parallel to the game, allowing use rs either to look at the resources or to play the game or both. the team also mapped out a sample game--the map screens, the status bars, the data entry frame, and the feedback frame. This helped the team in writing a clearer proposal.
From there, Darren returned to Kauai and began scheduling preliminary interviews, all of which he conducted. Dawn began constructing a skeleton for the resource section and Jeff began reading up on programming.
When summer began, the team started meeting more frequently. Dawn traveled to Kauai where both she and Darren conducted more interviews and began major work on the resource section. They also gave Jeff data (price of hotels, number of employees, etc.) to plug into the game. This involved poring over the data books and statistical abstracts, recording numbers, and using those numbers to calculate other numbers. This process consume d an entire pad of Post-It notes and was especially agonizing for Dawn aka the "English major."
In mid-June, both Dawn and Darren returned to Oahu for summer school. This allowed for more frequent team meetings and phone calls. Major construction of the game began at this point, which involved a lot of clarification and more brainstorming. And, o f course, the last-minute calculation of more statistics. At the same time, Darren began creating the 10 pixel by 10 pixel tiles used in the map. This involved creating the icons, uploading them, coding them into the program, consulting with the team, and then making any revisions needed.
>Okay...Darren put together test of icons...dunno if that's what you had in
>mind...if not, let us know and we'll keep trying...
Yeah, that's just about it. Do you think that is a good size for our icons? If so, start drawing those icons. Uh, also be ready to place 4 icons side by side to represent a building and so on.
Jeff--I was wondering, you know the icons you said for me and Dawn to test? Did you mean like draw a small tree or house, or make an actual icon with those little squares you fill in? Cause I don't have a program that does that. Thanks!!
Well here's the idea:
Any map with a hotel or a visual icon on it is composed of tiles. So that means every single map in the game is made of tiles. The only map that is generated on the fly is zoning. The rest of the maps must be tiled. Reason? So that when a building is being built, the grass is replaced by a picture of a building. Obviously you need to do this for each individual zoomed in map. For the big map, the same applies. The big map of all three zones basically reflects what happened in each zone. You can d o nothing to modify the big map, it is only for information. The only time when you can modify is when you are in the zoomed in map. All other maps are just FYI. Ok...I'm off to camp now...
Okay...here's the updated list of flags with the coordinates filled in. Also, not including areas where development is impossible, there are 169 possible squares in which to develop (on the big map). Do we still need zoom-ins? Also, I added more mountains...we need to update the map online. Okay...
DAwn the dwarf
>tonight. We were wondering--did you want the flags in separate html
>documents or in one big file? Also, did you want me to include the flag
>triggers (the "if, then show:" stuff)?
OK, I would like the flags we made at Borders. Just give me them in the format that we did, like plus, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, minus, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Um...and yes, I would like you to include any if...then things if they are apart from the typical 1,2,3,4,5 thing . Um..yeah...
They also started mailing out letters to writers on Kauai and Oahu asking for permission to publish their work as part of the entry.
Toward the beginning of August, the website began coming together. The majority of the programming had been completed as well as the majority of the resource section. The Design Paradise team began to test the site.
Hiya folks, well the game kinda works..uh...well it's coming along.
Um, ok the good news:
-It can tell if you are logging in w/ wrong passowrd
-It can accept new users
-It displays the frames
the bad news:
-You can't log in more than once
-Every tile is a mall
well after 9 hours of debugging just to make the darned thing log on, I'm pretty satisfied.
Oh and check it out, okay? I must have an opinion. Like:
-Gosh that really sucked
-Hey, good enough, who needs the game anyways?
Well, laters guys...
In early August, the entire team traveled to Kauai to put the finishing touches on the entry. They stayed up into the wee hours of morning playing the game, debugging, and working on the resource section and demo. They also had time for sightseeing and showing Jeff the island that had only been a bunch of tiles and numbers until then (it was his first trip to Kauai).