SMALLab Flare is a project at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. It is focused on raising awareness and helping middle and high school students with mental and behavioral health issues they face, through games. The project is being built in collaboration with Northgate School District students and Allegheny Health Network behavioral and mental health specialists, notably from their Chill project.
An illustration of students interacting with SMALLab technology
Illustrating the exact position of students, the projector and visuals on the floor helped us realize the game design constraints of our experience. This includes the number of wands (controllers) available, as well as shadow interference because of the projector.
It also emphasized on the ‘collaboration’ aspect of the prototypes we are building, considering the nature of the platform. Since the users are able to run across the mat freely, we are able to make an active and very movement heavy experience.
Our Composition Box – Answering the Who? What? and Why?
One of the highlights of our week was making the Composition box for our project! We put together all the information we had gathered so far – about our client’s needs, the research and content, media that inspired us, our personal experiences and predicted needs of our target demographic – the teenage students.
Seeing all this organized information together helped us realize the most urgent questions we needed answers to. It will guide us on what kind of questions we want to ask the students, when we meet them next week!