Project 3: Interactivity, Data and Design

Final Product:

Project 3 (Illustrator Mockup file + Flash.fla & .swf files + Mockup Images):
Project 3 Process:

Continuing from project 2, my focus is still on MMORPGs, however I decided to broaden my topic in this project and extend my focus onto many of the other major MMORPG titles that have been published. By extending the amount of games I was looking at, I had much more data I can use in making them interactive. The challenge though, was to find a balance between having too few data and too much data. So I decided to start my initial research at websites such as Nick Yee's The Daedalus Project again since his website contains many research and data collected over the years. A problem to this that I soon found out however, was that Nick Yee's research were all static data that has been collected through methods such as surveys and questionaires. Such data won't be able to be used to create anymore interaction than static charts and bar graphs.

So I started developing my initial ideas for interactive data. My ideas were:

1) Ties and Connections
"Its been proven that many people who play MMOs play it with their friends/relatives/romantic partner/co-worker/boss, etc. But the degree of connection to which those people who are connected to the player may expand to much greater degree."

Concept: An expanding web of player to player connection.

2) Guild Representations
"A visual representation of guild break-downs, which includes all the members that composes the guild and the roles that they play in the game."

Concept: A collection of guild names across different MMORPGs.

3) World View
"The idea is to create a visualization of the amount of players logged on to their MMORPG throughout the world. Each game will be colour-coded and represented by circles of colours. As the amount of players active in an area increase, so does the size of the circles. A filter will be preset if the viewer wants to see a certain game and the amount of players playing it."

Concept: An overview of a continuously active state of MMORPG worlds.

I initially wanted to explore idea #2 but eventually as I delve deeper into the idea, I didn't like the overall aesthetics of it. It was too simple for my taste and the data required for a complete list of all the guilds that exist in every MMORPGs that I have on the list is simply too much, and so I decided to scrap the idea and go with concept #3.

With concept #3, I envisioned an ever active overview of the world. The list of MMORPGs that are selected are titles that have spread and become known by gamers and have a solid player base to them. World of Warcraft is a prime example to such a game. The coloured circles will be pulsing continuously to reflect an increase or decrease in the amount of players connected within that area. This allows for certain patterns to be witnessed if the viewer stays on for a long period of time as the amount of players connected to a game will most likely reduce during early morning and business hours. Viewers have the choice of filtering out certain games to get a clearer view of that game's data representation. He/she can then click on a circle representing an area to see statistical data such as the amount of players estimated within that area, the longest connection time recorded, etc. The viewer will be able to do this to every area of the selected game.

Useful websites and resources:

1) ADNxtc - Architecture Design Network: ADNxtc
Used for initial research and inspiration of layouts and aesthetic styles.

2) Time Multimedia - America By The Numbers - Where We Live: Time Multimedia
I referred to this website when I needed inspiration and an estimation for the amount of people within a certain area.

3) Burst Labs: Burst Labs
This was the site I drew inspiration from for one of my initial ideas which never made it pass the research phase and I ultimately felt it was too simple aesthetically, so my idea was switched to the one I have now, but the overall mechanics and concept of my initial idea is very similar to this website.

I used this website for its complete list of all the published MMORPGs that exist and out of its list, I chose the titles that either had a review rating of 8 or above or titles that I personally know are popular and wide-known internationally.

5) The Daedalus Project by Nick Yee: The Daedalus Project
Again, I used Nick Yee's website for some initial research and inspirations.