Week 5: Gold Spike

This week (Feb.14 – 20) was a fun week. We made our goal and tasks clear last week so there was less brainstorming and more devoted development. By Wednesday’s meeting with Samira, we wrapped everything we had so far together and presented the gold spike prototype to her.


Programming-wise, we’ve accomplished the main page, first department, and an empty plaza with a DNA landmark. Although everything is gray-box-like, it does the job of demonstrating the experience flow.

In the department, we made our first mini-game: the puzzle game. We have 3-5 mini-games in mind to juice up the experience. After solving each of the games, the user will get a stamp for qualification. In this way, people will want to collect all the stamps and result in exploring more in the world.

We also implemented the message board in the department. The message boards allow users to leave messages or questions for the host of each department. This is the part where users ‘unmute’ themselves and talk to the experts.

Art Concept

For the art concept, we decided to keep the environment in a futuristic style. There will be a lot of neon-like lighting in the scene and DNA models floating in the air. Yuki sketches several wonderful images to demonstrate our art style.

Client Meeting

Samira invited Cody, the co-found of FilmStacker to the weekly meeting and he proposed his view about how we should arrange the videos and other materials and how he would like the experience to be felt to users. We were glad to find that most of his ideas aligned pretty well with what we’ve implemented or planned to build. And both of them were happy to see our progress and gave us a lot of freedom on the department and plaza designs.

One thing that we disagreed on is that Cody and Samira wanted to incorporate Tomorrow Life and FilmStacker into the experience. More specifically, to build a department for FilmStacker and allow users to jump to their website by clicking the mouse. We found that quite different from what we imagined the role of the experience would be. Our goal is to build an alternative option for TomorrowLife.com because the previous effort has failed on attracting public attention. We want Unmute to be something totally different and out of the shadow of Tomorrow Life. Also, it will definitely harm the level of engagement and overall atmosphere if we are to re-direct our users to outside websites.

With that said, we will start building the first department in our original plan and keep the discussion going to see whether we can persuade Samira to give up the idea of incorporating FilmStacker.

Plan for next week

For next week, we will focus on refining the first department. We plan to incorporate all the art assets and mechanisms together.