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Concept Sketch Reviews
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Elizabeth Mittmann
spiro
[review]

StoryboardConcept Sketches
 Sleeping Monsters Tentacles Monster Spiders Monster Music Box Presentation
Average Rating
 
Client 1:
Client 2:
Reviewer 3:
Reviewer 4:
Reviewer 5:
1-marginal     2-ok    3-good     4-very good    5-outstanding

Storyboard Sleeping Monsters: innovativeness and potential

Client 1:

There are a lot of elements to this concept. Is there a way to simplify it?

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Client 2:

I really want to play this game, but like your colleagues, I have a few concerns about feasibility. I'm much more concerned about players landing on your mechanism than I am about them landing on each other, as callous as that sounds! I'm not sure that we can build something to be durable enough to not take damage in a collision, yet not injure the players. The energy of a jump has to go somewhere, and in a collision between tentacles and players, it can't go into the players! Feel free to prove me wrong with testing.

I also think that throughput time for this game will be very high, partly because it's a one-at-a-time game, and partly because getting out of that foam pit is going to take some time.

I wonder whether you can do away with the multiple music boxes. The box could play the same tune each time, but then the tentacles could move to a different spot anyway. This is actually kind of nice because it adds a level of anticipation to the game - "oh no, what kind of jump will I have to make?"

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Reviewer 3:

The storyboard is confusing for me, the text says "they seem to be guarding treasure" but there's nothing in the image to indicate that. Where's the treasure they're guarding ?

After they figure out turning the music box, guests are supposed to jump past the tentacles, but it looks like they'll inevitably fall in the pit -- do they crawl out on the other side where the music boxes are ? Or are the other music boxes on the side they started on ? Also, where's the treasure ?

Also, how will the room know that everyone made it across and what's stopping people from crossing when the tentacles are moving ?

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Reviewer 4:

I think the innovation and the WOW factor is there. The only thing that is not quite clear is the losing scenario. For example, imagine one person has successfully passed the tentacles region, and the second or third person fails. What would happen then? Does the whole group fail? If so, does everyone exit the same door, which means that the person who had successfully crossed the tentacles needs to come/jump back and exit with the other group members?

In addition, I think the spider laser idea is easier to implement compared to tentacles. However, the down side of the spider idea is that it's very similar to what we saw in 5Wits.

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Reviewer 5:

I really like this room because I think that it would just be fun in general to jump into a foam pit. I did have some concerns about feasibility and/or safety, but the concept sketches definitely assuaged a lot of those fears. My only thing would be to maybe add a little more dimension to the room. I think that the music box might be too simple, maybe make it an extra puzzle they have to solve or make the music box be something players have to "build."

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Potential, feasibility, user experience and human factors shown in the concept sketch, Tentacles Monster

Client 1:

Will these tentacles be durable enough to withstand the players? What happens if someone pulls on them? What type of sensor would be used?

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Client 2:

These things will have to withstand a *lot* of force. I'm no mechanical engineer, so I'll leave that critique to the experts. Mostly I'm worried about them being torn off of the wall. To be soft enough not to hurt anyone, I think that you will have to give up enough material strength that an aggressive player will be able to (intentionally or unintentionally) damage the tentacles.

Again, feel free to prove me wrong!

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Reviewer 3:

I'm a little confused as to how the tentacles are "bent to curve" like a tentacle. Are they moving ? Or staticly up ? Also, how does the angular movement come from the attachment ? It's vague.

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Reviewer 4:

The tentacles monster is a great idea as it is a dynamic obstacle. I think there might be some challenges regarding its implementation but it's definitely doable. It would be great if you could elaborate more on the following details:

1. I am guessing that you may need several actuators in order to make the tentacle look real. It will look real if it has several degrees of freedom and for that you need to have several actuators. The control problem to be solved here might become complicated.

2. I am also not quite sure how this tentacle is going to sense something touching it. In order for it to be sensitive enough, I am guessing that it needs to be covered with sensors. I am not sure how difficult this would be as I don't have much experience in control.

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Reviewer 5:

At first I had genuine concerns about how to pull this off, but I think the pool-noodle like padding and the sensors are a good solution for safety and sensing.

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Potential, feasibility, user experience and human factors shown in the concept sketch, Spiders Monster

Client 1:

Keep in mind that the player will not be able to see the beam of the laser. It will appear as a dot on the wall. In order to see the beam, you will need to add a fogger or hazer, but unfortunately our rooms have no ceilings.

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Client 2:

I like this idea in theory. I'm not sure how it'll play out in practice. On one hand, I'm much more willing to launch myself into a foam pit where there's no risk of hitting anything but the foam. On the other. It's much harder to tell why you've failed (as in which laser beam you broke). Back on the first hand, it's much cheaper than the tentacles!

An idea to play with: what if the goal of this game is to break the laser beam, not avoid it? You could play with distance, height, and multiple beams to adjust the difficulty. I can see a lot of crazy jumps happening, trying to launch yourself to reach that target that's *just* out of your reach. I think that by necessity (i.e., the average person's athleticism), you'd have to use fewer beams than the original concept, which makes success and failure a lot easier to indicate. If you can come up with a thematic reason why you're aiming for the lasers and not avoiding them, I'd play around with the inverted version.

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Reviewer 3:

I would also note that players might want to hit / climb the spiders, maybe having them behind glass or something ?

I do like the wiggling a lot, it provides both a audio and a visual cue to the spiders being awake / asleep.

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Reviewer 4:

I think this idea is much easier to implement compared to the tentacles. However, as I mentioned earlier, it might become very similar to what already exists in 5wits in the espionage game.

Regarding the position of the spiders on the wall, a suggestion would be locate them higher on the wall. This way, we can ensure that they can cover the whole foam pit area.

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Reviewer 5:

I actually like this concept better than the tentacles just because I think it's a bit creepier and a lot more customizable in terms of the shape of the obstacle that is presented to the players. I also think it's slightly more intuitive that you can't touch lasers than it is that you can't just run through the tentacles. It's also simply an easier concept to pull off.

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Potential, feasibility, user experience and human factors shown in the concept sketch, Music Box

Client 1:

The music box is a neat idea. It provides the guest with tactile and audio feedback. Beware that a crank often is tough to design in a way that it will have the proper resistance to feel natural, but also be durable enough. Would your music boxes factor in the speed of the cranking?

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Client 2:

These are nice aesthetic elements. I agree with your decision to make the box itself only for show - essentially window dressing on a simple push button (meaning anything that works as a contact closure, including whatever is detecting the rotation of the handle).

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Reviewer 3:

Looks like a standard music box.

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Reviewer 4:

I would suggest designing the music boxes in the form of old gramophones. The gramophone shape can easily covey the idea to the players that they need to play some music and when they start the music, they will see that there is some reaction to the music from the tentacles/spiders.

I would also suggest that there would be a gramophone disk in each gramophone but covered with a glass cap so that players cannot touch the disk. Players would be able to see the disk rotating when they rotate the handle.

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Reviewer 5:

I think that if the music box is the only other item in the room, it would be fairly simple for the players to interact with it and "solve" the puzzle of making the monster go to sleep. I wonder if there are ways to make this concept LESS intuitive to sort of increase the challenge.

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Sketching technique, clarity of storyboard and concept sketches, and their web presentation

Client 1:

This presentation was very clear.

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Client 2:

Very clean, I like it. Your sketches have some of the best artistry I've seen, especially your shading on the black widow spider concept sketch.

One minor thing I would have liked to see is a link between your storyboard and concept pages, just for convenience's sake.

Overall, very nicely done and clearly communicated. I appreciate the use of a sans-serif font, the fact that your sketches have a true-white background (not a bad scan or photograph of a piece of paper), and the minimalist design.

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Reviewer 3:

Sketching technique looks good, nice job on the lighting on the music box. The storyboard is a bit unclear as you place conclusions in the text that I don't think are intuitive to the guests.

As far as concept sketches go I would advocate for thicker marker use but other than that visually they're quite nice. There's a bit of detail i would of liked i.e. "attachments".

Other than that, good work !

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Reviewer 4:

The sketches are good enough to convey the idea. However, I think more details are needed to illustrate on how they exactly work. It would be great if the location of all the sensors and actuators could be clarified on the sketches.

The use of shading techniques is good and helps a lot with understanding the dimensionality of the objects.

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Reviewer 5:

Everything was very clear and the concept drawings were really nice. I really nice use of shading and reflection for the spider and the tentacles.

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