Beck’s Bier mobile app
This month has seen me complete the Beckspert Android app for Beck’s Bier (Northern Ireland).
I was contracted by Elevator Promotional Marketing to develop the app, designed for Beck’s promotional teams to use with members of the public in pubs and bars. The app challenges players to test their knowledge of Beck’s through a selection of games. If successful, players are rewarded with a free drink, and have the chance to enter a prize draw. The app stores the contact details of players who choose to enter the prize draw, which can be extracted later and viewed as a spreadsheet.
I’ve recently completed a touch screen video player interactive for ay-pe. Historic Gwynedd (installed in Caernarfon, Wales) allows visitors to view a short, animated sequence about the History of Gwynedd, in either English or Welsh.
Richard III – The search for a King
Working on behalf of Mather & Co, I’ve been privileged to be part of the team that has recently delivered the Richard III temporary exhibition at the Guildhall in Leicester.
In a little over 3 weeks, I’ve designed and developed a software interactive for a large multi-touch table, the centrepiece of the exhibition. The skeleton explorer allows visitors to examine the remains of Richard III, and discover the fascinating facts and mysteries that surround it.
Our Plan 2013
Working with eko create, I’ve recently developed another interactive CD-ROM for Aviva. The Our Plan 2013 interactive software is designed to support Aviva’s internal workshop sessions.
New website for the National Museum of the Royal Navy
Working in partnership with Maytom Associates, we project managed the development of the new website on behalf of the Museum.
Bringing your vision to life
Working with eko create, I’ve just produced another interactive CD-ROM for Aviva. Bringing your vision to life was developed to support a joint pitch between Aviva and Sandringham Financial Partners, and contains a suite of HD videos and an interactive PDF flipbook.
Last month saw me complete and deliver the Interactive Explorer software at Lancaster Priory, working on behalf of The Workhaus. The touch screen installation was commissioned by the Priory to complement and support their Pipe Organ Project, which has seen the renovation and installation of two historic pipe organs at the Priory. Starting work on the project towards the end of 2011, my role was to design and develop the software, and to also manage the project. A crucial component of the project was to conduct a number of hands-on workshops for local volunteers, covering topics such as digital photography, photo editing, sound recording and editing, all of which were very well received.
The Interactive Explorer software details the history of the Pipe Organ Project, including timelapse footage and panoramic photography, a quiz, music, narration, and also a client-updateable photo and video archive and forthcoming events calendar. The software also contains a mini history of pipe organs, a wealth of information about the Priory’s involvement with the community, and a dedication to the sponsors of the new pipe organs. The central feature of the software is the animated organ, an interactive and playable virtual pipe organ, that shows the inner workings in both two and three dimensions.
Oxford Castle Photographic System
Earlier this year I designed and developed a retail photographic system for Oxford Castle – Unlocked, providing them with a streamlined solution to take and sell unique souvenir photos to their visitors. Until 1996, the Castle had been used as a prison for over 900 years. Now, as a leading attraction, visitors who explore it’s history on a guided tour can choose to purchase a unique reminder of their experience.
During the tour, visitors pass through a prison cell where they can have their photo taken. Two types of photo are available, an individual mugshot showing the front and side of the face, or a small group photo with their friends and family. Visitors can choose to have either type of photo taken, or both if they wish. The guide uses a handheld professional SLR camera to take the photos, which are transmitted automatically via WiFi to a computer that runs part of the software I developed. The software processes and stylises the photos, assigns a unique ID number to them and also determines on which guided tour they were taken. Additionally, the software determines the type of each photo, giving the guide as much flexibility with the tour group as possible. If the guide takes a bad photo, perhaps out of focus, the camera can be used to mark the photo as bad, before retaking it. The software will automatically detect and remove any photos marked as bad. Processed photos are then automatically transferred to the gift shop for display and printing.
At the end of the tour, visitors are free to explore the Castle before exiting through the gift shop. The souvenir photos are displayed across a series of large high-definition screens, each photo labelled with a tour time and ID number. Photos are available to purchase in a range of options: a large, high resolution printed photo supplied in a presentation folder, a smaller printed photo in a magnet or keyring, or electronically via email. Visitors simply quote the ID number of their photo or the tour time, and a member of staff uses a touch screen to enter the details. An additional visitor-facing screen shows a large preview of the photo before it is printed, allowing visitors a more detailed look. The staff-only touch screen provides quick access to a range of features, including browsing and printing of all photos, without interrupting the visitor-facing screens. Photos are automatically archived for a few weeks before being deleted, allowing recent visitors the opportunity to get in touch and make additional purchases. The retail system in the gift shop uses five high-definition screens and a professional photo printer, all controlled and operated from a single computer running my bespoke software.
National Coal Mining Museum – What to expect
In early June I worked with Maytom Associates on behalf of The Workhaus, to produce a range of audio visual material for the National Coal Mining Museum for England in West Yorkshire. As part of a revamped underground mining tour, the Museum needed to let visitors know in advance how they should prepare to go underground, and what to expect while there.
Our brief was to interpret this information through two different types of media. Firstly, through a silent, subtitled photographic sequence that could be displayed on a large high-defintion screen. Secondly, as a narrated voice that visitors could listen to in either plain English, or a local Yorkshire dialect.
Carlisle Castle Virtual Tour
Earlier this month I was contracted by ay-pe to develop an interactive virtual tour of Carlisle Castle, commissioned by English Heritage. Developed to run on a touch screen kiosk, the tour combines both interactive 360 degree panoramic and traditional photography, in order to explore the locations in and around the Castle.
Interface Design – ay-pe
Beekeeping demo app
I recently developed a demo app for both iPhone and iPad, as part of a joint tender to win a larger interpretation project at the National Beekeeping Centre for Wales. Unfortunately we didn’t win the tender, but the app was a lot of fun to develop, and the client was really impressed when they got a chance to play with it during the interview stage.
R-MC Interactive Sales Tool
The software needed to work across a wide range of different specification laptops including both Windows and Macs, must be installable and require no internet connection and should also allow for multiple language content.
I developed the application using Adobe Flash, Actionscript 3.0 and delivered it as an AIR application.
Interface Design – ay-pe
HMS Victory – Bones of Oak and Iron
This summer has seen me working almost exclusively on a new exhibition for the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Bones of Oak and Iron tells the continuing story of HMS Victory’s conservation and restoration from the time she was built in 1759, through war and peace, to her current and future state. Working with Erich Kadow | Interpretation & Design and Maytom Associates, we developed and delivered the interactive exhibition from concept to installation in just 3 months.
In addition to working on the overall concept for the exhibition and media (including projected and audio installations), my primary role was the design, development and on-site installation of a suite of touch screen interactives, including:
Conservation Explorer provides a wealth of information about Victory’s construction and on-going restoration and conservation. Supported by modern day and archive photography, video, plans and diagrams, the content is accessible through a fully interactive timeline, a categorised elevation and plan of the ship, six key phases in Victory’s history and also a huge media browser. Displayed in full HD, the interactive showcases the best from the Victory archives.
Shipwright’s Apprentice features two games. The Repair Challenge asks visitors to try their hand at looking after and maintaining Victory, including dealing with an attack of Death watch beetles, leaks and water damage and giving Victory a new paint job. Get it wrong and you’ll be fired from a cannon! This interactive also includes a quiz about Victory, rewarding players with promotion up through the ranks.
The Next 250 Years is a questionnaire that provides visitors with an opportunity to give their views and opinions about Victory, including what should happen to her in the future. Responses are stored for the museum staff to analyse.
3D modelling – Philip Henderson, Rumour 3D
Our Plan 2011 half year update
The past few months have been so busy that I’ve only just found the time to blog about my latest CD-ROM for Aviva, which I developed way back in July.
Using a similar format to previous Aviva interactives, Our Plan 2011 half year update is video-rich and focuses on the plans and priorities for Aviva UK during the second half of 2011, while also highlighting their achievements during the first half of the year.
Working with eko create, the interactive was developed initially for CD-ROM distribution, followed shortly after by an intranet delivery.
The annual update CD-ROM which I developed back in November 2010 has recently won a marketing award for best internal communications strategy.
After several months in development, the Friendly Phantoms interactive game for touch screen kiosk and the web is at last finished!
Created for Ordsall Hall in Salford, a haunted Tudor manor house over 800 years old, the game pits you against the ghosts of four historical characters, each from a different period. Based on the characters of Lady Margaret, Sir John Radclyffe and children Thomas and Emily, the ghosts are brilliantly illustrated by Chris Jevons and post-produced by ay-pe. In order to discover their stories, you must catch each ghost as many times as you can throughout the Great Hall and the Star Chamber rooms, before the clock runs out of time.
Over several months I spent a number of weeks programming and animating, mindful that the game needed to work on a touch screen kiosk with bells and whistles aplenty, but could then be easily adapted and optimised for use on the web. It required quite a bit of research and testing to get the right balance of visual quality, while still being able to play smooth and fast and also be web-friendly. Developed in Adobe Flash using ActionScript 3.0, the touch screen kiosk version was published as an AIR desktop application and the subsequent web version was delivered as a Flash interactive.
You can play the Friendly Phantoms kiosk version right now, converted for the web in all it’s glory! It’s a 26MB download, so if you haven’t got a super fast internet connection then please be patient, it will be worth the wait. You’ll need the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.
Don’t forget to turn your speakers on… …and enjoy!
Concept and post production – ay-pe
Illustration – Chris Jevons
Audio – Ben McAvoy, Wave Media Productions
Numeracy Dictionary CD-ROM
April has been another busy month, a large part of which has seen me working with Frog CDROM on the Numeracy Dictionary interactive CD-ROM.
My role involved creating almost 200 flash animations to help explain all manner of keystage 2 mathematics topics, aimed at 7-11 year old school children.
The launch of SpeciesID this month adds yet another interactive for The Deep to my portfolio.
Working with ay-pe, I’ve developed an interactive touch screen flipbook that provides visitors with a novel way to identify and learn about the fish and creatures on display.
Border Disputes Interactive
Working with ay-pe, the New Year has seen its first software development, a touch screen, mini interactive for Wrexham Museums. Border Disputes is a dual language, high definition interactive, that allows visitors to hear firsthand, the stories of a number of local historical characters.
Our Plan 2011
November has been a very busy month; pitches, proposals and several projects on the go. Somehow, I’ve managed to find the time to develop Our Plan 2011, a widescreen interactive CD-ROM for Aviva UK.
This video-rich interactive focuses on the company’s plans and priorities for 2011, and also highlights some of their key achievements during 2010. Working with eko create, I have developed the interactive to be delivered initially on CD-ROM, followed by an intranet distribution.
RAC Pension Point
My latest development is the Pension Point kiosk for the RAC, a touch screen interactive that is being used on numerous RAC kiosks around the United Kingdom.
The software is designed to keep members of staff at the RAC informed and up to date during the pension scheme changes and consultation which are currently taking place within the company. The changes to the pension scheme are presented in the simplest and most straightforward way possible, by using a combination of voice over, with synchronised and animated charts, text and calculations.
Working with eko create, I have developed a kiosk interactive that will be updated over the coming weeks and months, as the consultation progresses.
This month saw the completion of two bespoke interactives for Istanbul Akvaryum. Working with ay-pe, I’ve developed two beautiful interactives for this aquarium in Turkey.
Holoshark is a dual screen, high definition and dual language touch screen interactive that allows visitors to peel away the layers of a shark. A touch screen allows rotation and examination of the computer generated shark through each of the layers: senses, skeleton, internal organs, muscles and skin. A second screen displays a video of the computer generated shark layer swimming through the sea.
Global Warming, the second interactive, is also high definition and dual language. This interactive shows how sea levels might change globally or locally around Turkey, and is projected onto a round table. The sea level can be raised and lowered by turning a physical wheel; the language and world view can be changed by pressing physical buttons.
Guide to Life
My latest creation is the interactive guide to Life CD-ROM for Aviva, a half-yearly update for their UK Life business. After developing the interactive to a very short, and very tight deadline for my client eko create, today sees the master disc go for duplication, with a UK wide launch of the CD taking place early in July.
I’ve just supported Jelly Bridge Productions with their Gigglebies interactive software. In preparation for a marketing campaign, I assisted them in developing downloadable, trial versions of their wonderful Gigglebies interactive CD-ROMs.
The Gigglebies are a group of characters who help children aged three to five improve their spelling, counting, memory, observation, computer skills and hand-eye co-ordination, while having lots of fun.
Follow Tipi and Scoot and the other Gigglebies on a trip to the Adventure Islands or the Fruity Park Theme Park. Go back in time to Medieval Gigglesbury or help the Gigglebies throw a garden party for all their neighbours!
Aviva Showcase launch
This month saw the successful installation and launch of the Aviva Interactive Showcase kiosks around the United Kingdom. I developed this internal communications and promotional tool for Aviva, as a unique way for them to deliver their messages and vision throughout the company.
Experts and Engravings
Today sees Sir David Attenborough open a new £6m visitor centre at Creswell Crags, home to Britain’s only known Ice Age rock art.
I recently completed two touch screen interactives for the centre. The first interactive is Cave Art, a dual screen, touch screen interactive which provides a virtual tour of the caves, and the art and engravings contained within. The second interactive, Talk to the Experts, is a high definition touch screen, which presents video interviews with the archaeologists who discovered and interpreted the art.
Silver and Swans
Last night I attended the official opening of the new Silver and Metals Gallery at The Bowes Museum.
The reception was held in the spacious Picture Gallery, although there wasn’t much room to move as more and more guests arrived to hear a presenter from the Antiques Roadshow speak and open the new Gallery.
It was my first opportunity to see the World famous Silver Swan in person, having seen it so many times on a computer screen. The new gallery went down a storm, with visitors flocking to the Silver Swan touch screen interactives and audio-visual installations.
History meets high definition
Yesterday, the renovated and refurbished Tithe Barn at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny, was opened by HRH Prince Charles. Believed to be the oldest such building in Wales, it now houses a modern, interactive exhibition area.
I developed three touch screen interactives for the Tithe Barn, which explore 1,000 years of Abergavenny’s history. Tales from Abergavenny is a dual screen, high defintion interactive that interprets stories from Abergavenny in a Jackanory style. Explore the Priory is another dual screen, high defintion interactive, that displays a 3D reconstruction of St Mary’s Priory through five time periods, dating back to the Roman period. Visitors can watch the automated interactive, as it shows the changes the Priory has undergone throughout its history, or they can take control and discover for themselves. I also developed the Tapestry Explorer, which allows the Abergavenny Tapestry to be explored and interpreted up close.
I have just returned from a successful trip to Edinburgh, to install an infrared photographic retail system at The Real Mary King’s Close. Working with associates and contractors, we began work in the early evening, just after the visitor attraction closed to the public. Working through the night, and into the early hours of the morning, we installed and configured a bespoke souvenir photographic system for the 5 star historical attraction, which was ready for a soft launch the following day.