2.744
User Experience Storyboard Reviews
Home > Assignments > User experience storyboard results > Reviews for Yakov Berenshteyn

Yakov Berenshteyn
scribbles n bits
[review]

 Runaway Train Post Civilization Earthquake storyboard design/website City Madness
Average Rating
 
Client 1:
Client 2:
Reviewer 3:
Reviewer 4:
1-marginal     2-ok    3-good     4-very good    5-outstanding

Innovativeness and potential of Runaway Train storyboard

Client 1:

I like the runaway train concept. I'm a little unclear on what the challenge is. I think what I see from your storyboard is that there are three stations, one to control the speed, one to control the track switcher, and one to read the subway map, and users have to share information and coordinate their behavior to stop the train. If that's the case, how does this activity scale with more than 3 players?

I could see this working where everybody controls a track switcher, and it's a dexterity game to guide the train into the correct station safely. Maybe make the subway map large scale (wall-sized) and each intersection has a track switcher at it. Then the game is for everyone to man however many stations they can reach and route the train together into the correct station.

Think about how you can scale the difficulty of this game up and down, as well as how to grade each group's performance on the three-star scale.

return to top of page


Client 2:

Being unexpectedly stuck with the task of driving a train would be great! A clear set of goals and victory/loss conditions could be added by introducing a schedule that must be kept with specific times to arrive at certain stations.

return to top of page


Reviewer 3:

I think this idea is really cool and innovative. I like that the users would be inside a train and driving it because it helps them pretend they are a part of the adventure and forget that it's fake. I like the amount of alarm involved because it can get people really excited. I think it is good that you not only give the users the ability to control direction but also speed because this makes the task at hand harder. I also liked the introduction of the subway map because it makes the task even more complex. The task becomes both a mental and speed challenge. I only saw one control track switcher, and one speed controller. My impression was that one person would be in charge of the track switcher and another of the speed controller, while the third person would be yelling commands after examining the map. I think this does a good job of engaging a group of 3 people. However, since the target is 3-5 people, I suggest adding more pieces to the challenge to be able to engage up to 5 people (you could add more speed controllers and track switchers, or add another task such as blowing the whistle of the train to alarm bystanders).

return to top of page


Reviewer 4:

Runaway Train fits in the "have dreamed of being in that situation" category for me. It is clear that Yakov has thought critically of tasks that could be performed within our design constraints (space, engagement of multiple team-members at once, time and failure rate). In particular, the engagement of team members is appropriately described by vignettes 4-7, where the speed controller, track switcher and map are introduced. Additionally, vignette 7 illustrates how at least three players are needed to successfully control the train. In order to more clearly define the challenges faced by the team, I recommend adding some other trains to the subway map and making vignettes 5, 6 and 8 more compatible (i.e. map speaks to the train location, switcher speaks to the decision, illustration of the train speaks to the change in the train path). Although the storyboard defines different tracks (looks a lot like the T map!), details on the location of the runaway train and other obstacles might improve the realism of the challenge without adding too much detail in each individual drawing to distract from the main concept/action. With this goal in mind, the track switcher and subway map might work better in the reverse order, where the map introduces the location of the runaway with respect to the other trains as well as the different paths or train lines (colors) and the track switcher identifies how to make a change to the path of the train (same color scheme as the map). I think this world has a lot of potential and I would like to see this idea develop further!

return to top of page



Innovativeness and potential of Post Civilization storyboard

Client 1:

Wow, you have a lot of ideas in this room. I can see most of these being fleshed out into a complete game concept (the snake will be tough!). Choose just one of these challenges and build a game around it. What you have is too much for one room. Try and think of ways to make these challenges theme-specific in more than just a superficial way. "Floor is lava" games are fun, but they've been done a lot, and adding the prison aspect is just a visual layer over the game - it could just as easily be themed as ancient Greece, or espionage, or pirates...etc., etc. If you can add some sort of theme-specific twist to it, that will help. Maybe in the prison you can have players try to sneak past some guards while balancing on the edge of the prison wall.

return to top of page


Client 2:

This idea seemed like too complicated to fit in one space until re-examining the first frame of the storyboard. Good job illustrating how several different physical challenges could fit in a narrow themed cityscape.

return to top of page


Reviewer 3:

I think this idea is innovative and has potential because it presents fun physical challenges. I was a bit confused about the "oozing toxic sludge" and what the challenge actually was. You can try drawing that scene in a different perspective to make it clear. I had trouble visualizing how the ideas in this storyboard would all fit in a room. It might be easier to pick one of the activities/challenges presented to focus on since the room dimensions are not big enough for all of them. I think the laser challenge has the most potential because it is the one that requires the most technique since you have to balance yourself on a thin ledge (and it involves lasers which is always cool). Moreover, considering the space we have to work with, it may be more feasible to build this instead of a swinging rope challenge.

return to top of page


Reviewer 4:

The Post Civilization storyboard transports the reader to a post-apocalyptic city where the remaining humans are forced to return to nature (forest). The main concept and obstacles of this journey to the forest are conveyed; however, I found it challenging to follow the actions required to succeed in this journey. More specifically, what is the trapped individual supposed to do in vignette 3 (also what trapped him)? I assume this is the same individual as in vignette 4 but whatever it is that he bumped into in vignette 3 is now a pool that he is swinging across... I believe the idea is that the other team members are rescuing the trapped player using a rope but the illustration in vignette 4 conveys that the he/she is simply swinging across. By giving the other end of the rope to the two team players on the right, the storyboard would more explicitly describe the teamwork required to succeed and reduce the ambiguity of the sequence. I found similar challenges in the toxic sludge in vignette 8, where the illustration conveys that the player that is rolling in between the sludge and the buildings is trapped. This issue might be resolved by an illustration of how the other team members are finding a path across the sludge. After going through the storyboard, I appreciated how the first drawing foreshadows the adventures ahead. Maybe adding the forest behind the toxic symbol building completes the story? Overall, I find a lot of potential in Post Civilization but am concerned on how the design requirements (particularly the time and space constraints) might morph the experience of escaping a crumbling city.

return to top of page



Innovativeness and potential of Earthquake storyboard

Client 1:

This is my favorite of your three ideas. I haven't seen anything like it before, and I like that it's a good mix of a mystery and dexterity challenge. There will be some challenges in getting the buildings to collapse without hurting anyone, but I think that's surmountable.

Think about how this might scale to smaller or larger group sizes (actually, think about how it might work with smaller or larger humans, as well!).

I'm interested to see how this idea develops.

I also think that this is by far your best storyboard. The multiple points of view are helpful in showing both the user experience and how the game fits into the space. It's concise without leaving out details and explains a lot of concepts in just a few frames. Well done!

return to top of page


Client 2:

This is great! a 3d puzzle that won't stay put without help. Balancing difficulty with multiple group sizes may be tricky though! Perhaps only require certain areas of the city to be rebuilt for smaller groups?

return to top of page


Reviewer 3:

This idea is innovative since it requires that people act like giants who are repairing a city. It does a good job of engaging a group rather than an individual. There is potential to make the puzzle of figuring out where to place people to keep the building standing complicated. This could increase the value of the game and engage people more!

return to top of page


Reviewer 4:

Earthquake offers a paced introduction to the complexity of rebuilding the city after an earthquake, from one individual focusing on a specific building, to developing a comprehensive plan that engages all players successfully. By construction, this room concept outlines how it can be developed as a self-resetting experience. The storyboard follows a clear progression and touches on many of the design objectives and constraints. Although the concept is very well presented, I was left curious on how the individual blocks fit together with one another such that the person has to stay in place (not needed for this assignment). Additionally, I am troubled by how the game can adapt to the number of players and their size, given that they might not be tall enough to reach the blocks or they might be too few/too many to either successfully complete the task or to fully engage the team. I think this is an innovative idea nonetheless and am certain that solutions to the challenges described can be developed. In terms of the storyboard I appreciated the level of detail of the human figures, which do not distract the reader from the concept developed and are sufficient to understand the physical aspect of the game. Earthquake is likely to challenge both mind and body, which is a big plus for this concept.

return to top of page



Storyboard design and website presentation and execution

Client 1:

Like I said above, Earthquake is your best example. I think your first two would benefit from the different points of view that you showed in Earthquake. That would help control the scope of your game ideas (thinking of Post Civilization here in particular).

You might consider adding a few more frames to games that are more complex. For instance, in Runaway Train, I would have appreciated one or two frames indicating how the stations interacted with each other, as well as a brief sketch of either the solved state or the failure state.

return to top of page


Client 2:

Good job communicating concepts.

return to top of page


Reviewer 3:

I thought the use of color in the "Runaway Train" storyboard was really helpful since it helped me quickly realize that alarm and speed were important factors of the adventure. The use of yellow in your "Post Civilization" storyboard was also helpful in helping me easily see the radioactive symbol, which created a sense of danger. Your website layout was simple and easy to navigate, and you drawings were clear (except for the one mentioned in my comments for the "Post Civilization" storyboard).

return to top of page


Reviewer 4:

The City Madness website is very clear with respect to the storyboard presentation. The storyboard icons (images at the top of the page) are very different from one another suggesting that they relate to separate content in the site. The storyboard titles at the bottom of each icon reaffirm this notion and prompt the user to navigate by clicking the images. Additional clarity (for a visitor that is not aware of the assignment requirements) could be provided by boxing out the three storyboard icons and titling them "Index". I find the design appealing in its simplicity, the use of white and black is appropriate for this post-civilization chaos theme.

return to top of page



Room theme, City Madness: engaging and interesting? identifiable with target users?

Client 1:

I'm not sure this is really a cohesive theme. Runaway Train and Earthquake kind of fit together, but Post Civilization seems like a bit of a non-sequitur. If you can add one more city-themed game to "trains" and "skyscrapers", I would be more comfortable calling this a usable theme.

return to top of page


Client 2:

This theme is plenty broad enough to allow for good game development.

return to top of page


Reviewer 3:

I think the overall room theme has a lot of potential and is very exciting. I think users ages 15 to 35 will have some experience that will help them connect with the adventure. They will either have played a video game or watched a movie or show (or even read a book) related to the theme .

return to top of page


Reviewer 4:

Yes, I think all three storyboards can provide exciting experiences for the target age. Runaway Train and Earthquake engage the team members simultaneously and strike me as the most implementable four our space and time requirements. The theme is very clear amongst the storyboards but I am unsure as to whether it matches any of the themes listed in the project description (slide 60 of the presentation) closely. I personally find this theme appealing and wish that it makes it to the real implementation! By exposing specific actions in Runaway Train, Yakov provides insight into the next actionable tasks to develop the command cabin environment. I am excited to see how these ideas develop!

return to top of page