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Creative Development Journal

Welcome to my journal! My name is Mat Wright and I’m a creative app developer. I use this journal to document my research and development.

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Interactive Rotary Phone Demo

A demo of my vintage rotary phone dialler build with Flutter with sound effects and number dialling recognition.

Custom Animated Interactivity #Dialler

I created a telephone dial using Flutter’s CustomPainter API. This permitted me to draw the various elements onto the screen relative to the size of the screen. The problem now is : how to detect which number has been dialled.

ARCore Flutter Further Tests

I was able to scale my 3D object correctly using a combination of GLTF settings and ARCore config. With some Shader work within Flutter I’ve created a Noiresque look in which the vintage 1940’s 3D telephone I got from Sketchfab (see link in video description) is positions consistently in the AR of ‘Mixed Reality’ world based on the detected horizontal Plane, the Pose of the object and of course the World Coordinate Space.

ARCore with Flutter Tests

In order to get to the bottom of the issues I have been experiencing with ArCore for Flutter I decided to test and document different combinations of factors. Given that there is a multitude of possible test cases with different types of 3d object file, different versions of Sceneform and heaps of other stuff; I wanted to test each case one by one and record my findings, as I’m convinved this is doable with Flutter and ARCore.

Narrative Design [WIP]

The Noirscape app narrative design features several conceptual layers.

Conceptual Design

I am currently working on a conceptual design document inspired by BJ Fogg, founder, and director of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab.

Interactive Narrative : Spatial Narrative

Following on from my reflection and study-notes about the porous boundary between the fictional [or synthetic] world of electronic narrative platforms and the realworld, I would like to now switch my focus to the role of realworld within the scope of interactive networked narrative; I shall focus particularly upon the idea of spatialised narrative i.e. the intersection of space and narrative; with the aim of exploring the synergistic potential of combining space, place, computing and interactive narrative.

Interactive Narrative : Blurred Boundaries

In my previous post I compiled some of my thinking and study notes around the notion of implementing interactive, branching narrative using the smartphone medium. This got me thinking more about the uniqueness of the smartphone app as a creative interactive medium as opposed to book or video. I considered how the Choose Your Own Adventure books I played as a kid were in fact book-games just as games I played on a tv screen or monitor are video-games. More recently I played the 2018 Netflix movie-game called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Interactive Narrative : CYOA

Like so many other kids growing up in the 1980’s I spent a heck of a lot of time playing Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books as well as playing/making text based adventure games for my Commodore and Sinclair home computers. I recall spending hours upon end staring at a tv screen with a flashing cursor, writing simple commands within a text game : go west, sit down, pull chord, enter hole. Often I’d be stuck in a seemingly neverending sequence of typing the same commands and just not being able to unblock new content.

Photoshoot and After Effects Improvements

During my recent experiments I have been working with Adobe After Effects to apply special effects and animations to 360 degree video footage. My first experiments were quite successful. I was able to do what I set out to do, with a couple of areas that would need some further attention. One such area was the exportation format from After Effects which was producing an unusual effect whereby the 360 image was not wrapping correctly.

Delivering 360 Video from Device Assets

360 video files can be quite big, the short ones I have been experimenting with are around 10Mb and even on a fast wifi connection there was a significant delay while the video is downloaded in its entirety before the 360 video player starts playing. This would provide a poor user experience in terms of the wait. I could potentially add some gameplay functionality into this waiting time; but it’s still a big ask – to download large files; especially if the user is outdoors and using mobile data, which may be limited or even expensive to the user.

Testing 360 Video with Flutter App Development

Following on from my 360 video experimentation in Adobe After Effects I wanted to test out options for embedding my 360 videos within a a mobile app using Flutter.

360 Film Experimentation

I would like to explore the possibility of shooting studio footage – for example of character acted scenes, using a green screen which would be integrated into the town footage. This would mean I could reuse the same studio footage in multiple towns and therefore offer the app to a greater number of users. As my theme for the app is Film Noir, I could also use other props and footage such as period vehicles and so on.

Ideation : imagining a solution

The aim would be to create a ‘Pilot’ version of the interactive experience at a local town, to which I have easy access and which I know well.
I would be looking to pitch the pilot to the local population as well as the tourist board and local newspaper.

Familiarity Hypothesis

Although I consider this app to be foremostly an artistic endeavour, this doesn’t mean I can simply ignore user research. A creative app is quite pointless if no-one ever interacts or engages with it. My hypothesis is that that people react with greater curiousity and desire to engage with a creative piece when they feel […]

Ideation : Finding and analysing a problem

Over the last 6 weeks I’ve spent much time ideating for a new app. I know that I want to make good use of the technical skills I’ve been developing over the last couple of years in augmented reality, digital illustration, applied machine learning and somehow bring it all together with my gamification research as well and my philosophical interests.

XR Experiments Retrospection

It’s been a couple of years since I became keenly interested in cross reality (XR) app design and development. To begin with, I was experimenting with Google Daydream VR (virtual reality) and had also recently acquired an Oculus Go headset; which had become widely available and popular. At this time I began thinking about ideas […]

Flutter Adoption Retrospection

Although I’ve built several mobile apps previously using web technologies Cordova and Ionic, I was never fully satisfied with the quality of the end products. In most cases, this was because of the un-native ‘look’ of the web based ‘hybrid’ apps. I recall experiencing much frustration using native plugins too.