Brief design notes that were amidst the character design sketches.
Mocked up homepage for Pixel Plasters with active links to the project's research and development (portfolio link comes later.) The placeholder downloadable file is a random existing .exe for a game launcher that I pulled from Program Files (x86) on my laptop.
Images from the trials:
The way I present this project really counts since it is a digital piece, but it also matters because we are presenting these peices digitally to be assessed. Sketchbook thoughts:
Knowing that the project will be distrubuted as an .exe file, I started to conduct research into how best I could present the comic to its audience.
How will the consumer access the interactive comic?
1. Host it on an external site made for uploading your indie games, even if it isn't necessarily a game, it would support the platform.
1.a. Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/sub/163632/ £76 to host, free for consumers to access (there is also a paywall option).
1.b. itch.io: https://itch.io/docs/creators/faq Free to host, free for consumers to access (there is also a paywall option).
2. Make a homepage for the interactive comic on my website and include a creative download link. It will run as a '.exe' like PC games.
With Option 1, it seems unlikely that children would have access to Steam as you have to be over 13 to have an account on it. However, parents could make a Steam account and download it for them. Hosting on Steam or itch.io would give a professional landing for the comic. But as a product that isn't really a game, just a comic with elements of them, it might not be the right platform. It would also mean hosting it publicly right away.
On the other hand, with Option 2, on a webpage you can mimic such professional landings as a game's page on Steam, but with more creative freedom. There are less complications, and I already how it works. The downside is that nobody would find it. The audience wouldn't come to the comic, I would have to make the comic come to the audience.
I think the creative freedom and comfort of hosting on an Airusani webpage is the best course of action for this project. For the university's requirements, I think it satisfactory to host the comic professionally like this. In the future, after refienement, there is great potential to ask permissions of primary schools to distrubute the game for years 5 and 6 (the comic's audience). Parents could download the game from the website link.
As an .exe, the comic will only be able to be read on a laptop/PC, at least for now. For long term development, typically a programmer would have to adapt the program to work on an app. Children this young don't all have smartphones, so I think this limited availability is okay. In the UK, computers are a common household item, and schools and public librarys also often have PC's. The university tutors confirmed that it is okay to have this project only be for laptop/PC users right now.
Development compilation for Pixel Plasters.