Toy Design Project

Friday, March 25, 2005

Underwater worlds are cool

One of my classmates tipped me of on this page. It is a fanpage for an old c64 game called exile (pictured above). The owner of the page loved the game so much he decided to make some new designs for it.

As far as I can gather the game takes place both under water and in space. So the characters are wearing suits that look like a mixture of space suits and diving suits. Some of the creatures you meet are fish.

At least one of the concepts I have for my project include fish, and I really got inspired by this guy's characters and artistic style. So I tried to make some drawings of my own (see last blog). Not as good, but in my own style.

There is something about fish and the world underwater that I think would fit toys and games great. There is just so much variety available. You have big fish, small fish, scary fish, cute fish, jelly fish and bottom dwellers of various sorts. It's a cool world for toys and games, and it exists for real! That's probably one reason why we've seen some focus on underwater worlds in animated films lately, with Finding Nemo and a Shark's Tale.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Focus group no1

Posted by Hello
Since the last post I have had a focus group with three boys ages 8 to 9. The main goal of this session was to see what interests the target group has and what occupies their time. Not much unexpected news was revealed through the session, but I did nonetheless get a good impression of what their situation and psychology is like.

They were, as one would expect, playful and active. They like football/soccer, play fighting, Pokémon and Harry Potter. Beyblade is not popular anymore and Pokémon cards is probably being replaced by Duel Masters soon, as there was a big argument between the boys about which was cooler. It seems as though the main reason Duel Masters hasn't taken off in this area yet is because the cards are difficult to get hold of. Not many stores sell them, and not many kids have them for trade yet. Also the rules are more difficult in the Duel Master game than in Pokémon, but this is probably because these boys are a bit below the main target group of the game.

What did surprise me was the low level of video gaming experience the group had and the fact that they did not read much comic books, instead opting too read books. I think perhaps this is limited to this group of friends only, and do not represent the majority of the target group. They did seem very interested in looking at the comic books that I brought with me though, so perhaps it has not been their choice to avoid comic books, but rather an unfortunate circumstance to a small amount of pocket money combined with a large interest in Pokémon cards.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Project requirements

Posted by Hello
I have done some thinking and come up with a list of requirements for my future concept. The goal of my project is to develop a toy concept that has a good possibility of becoming a craze, a toy that through the nature of its play and form will get the players to promote it further to new players.

These requirements are:

  • The toy must be fun to play with over long periods of time, it must induce flow.
  • The play or game of the toy must have clear goals.
  • The play of the toy must involve the use and advancement of skills.
  • The play or game of the toy must provide instant feedback.
  • The toy must have anappealing appearance.
  • It must be fascinating to watch others play with the toy.
  • The play must involve/require more than one player.
  • The toy must be easy to transport.
  • The toy must be collectable/ the concept must involve collectability.
  • The concept must have tradable pieces.
  • There should be some form of storytellingsurrounding the toy.
  • The concept should be original.
  • The toy can be customizable.

The last three requirements are optional and not absolute requirements. And some of the requirements are focused on stimulating flow in the player (The state of conciousness adressed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow, the classic work on how to achieve happiness).