Mosaic Wassaic

Mosaic Wassaic is a conceptual app framework designed for event documentation and activity-based interaction at the specific location of the Wassaic Project. The goal was to create an application that could be used to document experiences related to art, culture and music based on events and showings held at the institution.

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The Mosaic Wassaic app is a mission-based mobile application game that collects photos, videos and audio from users who volunteer to contribute their content to the archive of the Wassaic Project. The game is an attempt to construct a collaborative assembly of content that will be used as a reference for the activities and events that exist within the Wassaic Project’s annual summer festival. Through the content gathered by users, people less familiar with the ideas and goals of the Wassaic Project can then obtain a better grasp on the centrals goals and ambitions of the Wassaic Project.

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Users are greeted with a mission screen from where they can select different options and then subsequently perform these actions. In this example, the user has chosen to capture concert audio to contribute to the archive of the Wassaic Project. They are given the option to record and then greeted with a “thank you” screen allowing users to view the archive or perform a new mission.

How did Mosaic Wassaic start?

After visiting the Wassaic Project itself, the team took pictures of the location, learning about the site with the help of the residents and documenting textures and interesting angles that embodied the overall feel of the location. The wood grain textures were prevalent, and the emphasis on authenticity and preservation became interesting.

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Map, archive or game?

We then had to decide what we wanted our particular game to be about. Did we want a game that emphasized mapping, archiving or entertainment? We did some research on pre-existing games and platforms in an attempt to clarify our focus. We created our own game based on exercises pioneered by Grow-a-Game, and looked into the possibility of including digital badges into our project. We knew initially that we wanted to do something community based—something that could integrate a lot of people and represent the Wassaic Project in that way (collaborative based game) and conducted research on successful crowdsourcing campaigns to use as inspiration.

Creating the mood

After adequate research on collaborative crowd-based campaigns, we had to establish a mood for ourselves—discovering initially what we wanted our game to evoke. We wanted an element of fun, and also wanted to embrace the atmosphere and feel of the Wassaic Project location. We constructed some moods boards based on individual missions we wanted to include, just to get ourselves started on thinking about how we were going to implement these concepts and make them speak for themselves. We experimented with iconography, color schemes, and interesting patterns in an attempt to get this feel for what we wanted in the overall product. The desire was to create fun missions that contributed to an archive, while also maintaining the idea of the mosaic—something that people could construct by themselves and feel good about creating.

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Generating the steps

Now that we had our idea outlined, it was time to address the game in terms of its structure and step-based organization. We wanted to establish what the user would experience and discover what would allow them to complete each mission in as little steps as possible. We worked with adding and removing steps in order to create a sense of refinement to crystallize our ideas.

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Early sketches

After getting ourselves together in terms of concept, layout and order, we began sketching some possibilities for digital wireframes. We wanted to first address how we could most successfully convey the sequence of events and experimented with different button placement & application layout through sketches. We experimented with different colors and layouts, eventually leading us to the final product implementation.

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The game

In order to get started, the user is greeted with a sign up screen, which they see once—this is where they will be asked to enter their name or username. On subsequent visits, they are be greeted with a “Welcome back!” screen before entering their missions list.

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After they’ve completed the initial steps they are guided through the interface in order to establish an understanding of how to navigate through the application. This is another element that will be shown only once, but can be revisited at any time by clicking the INFO button in the top right of the interface. Once they confirm that they understand the layout they can begin playing missions and are greeted with a MISSIONS screen.

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The central idea of the mosaic concept is to have users construct the shape of the Wassaic Project behind their screen after completing the five missions. Each mission shows a section of the Wassaic Project, and the Wassaic shape shows itself when the missions are successfully complete and the components are uploaded.

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The missions

As an example, the first mission users encounter is to “catch the train.” The objective of this missions is for the user to capture a picture of the train coming through Wassaic. Greeted with instructions regarding the mission, the user is then given a camera screen outlining where to take and process the photo. Users are given the option to “view the archive” following their completion of the mission or to continue with a new mission. If they choose the archive option, they will be taken to the archive screen, where they can view their work in addition to the work of others.

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The archive

The archive exists as a collective gallery where users can view their photos from particular missions, along with the entire collection of other users who have also contributed their part to the Mosaic Wassaic. The top navigation here can be pulled down to select common tags, based on missions, or the user can search for other tags within the search bar. From the archive, the user has the option of favoriting photos or sharing them with other networks, and those options are available here.

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The map screen can be accessed at any time from the bottom navigation, and this screen is where users can view the locations of particular missions from an overhead view. Once the user taps the map location icon, the text for the mission is brought up.

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The “Listen to this jam” mission, as an example, functions as a goal in which the user attends the concert series at the festival and records a clip of audio to contribute to the mosaic. The user can record for a maximum of 30 seconds and these clips can be accessed within the archive collection.

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Collaboration with: Lauren Myer and Sam Swayze.