Monday, 5 December 2016

Design for screen - Idea Generation and research 2

After some time thinking about and working on how to improve Netflix, I realised that a more interesting outcome could be made based on an old idea: making a retro-videogame streaming service of the best hits in the past. This memory was triggered by the success that Mini-Nes has had on its release, which has been one of the best hits Nintendo has made in his latest times.

This online platform would distribute retro videogames (as new videogames are not possible to be streamed) from 1976 until 1990 (From first to fourth generation) and it would only require a month fee for unlimited access to videogames of some of the firms of that time.


Writing the brief also helped to consider other solutions rather than a streaming platform. A videogame compilation in a single disc that once it's installed can be updated through patches, a particular console that is designed to be retro-compatible or the website/app that can provide new content with updates.

The ideas developed to improve Netflix could be used here and the surveys reflect what the users would enjoy or are enjoying in other platforms like Netflix, Spotify, IMDb, Steam, EA access, Origin, or Xbox Live gold. Regarding the user experience, the design should convey cosiness and charm, as it is a feature that doesn't apply to videogames anymore. Consoles used to look like toys. Nowadays they look like futuristic consoles. After trying different names like Gaktion or Toybox, someone else informed me of the english word 'Den', most commonly used by gamers as gaming den to refer to their space to play video-games. This made me remember about a friend I had when I was a kid. He was rich, so he had loads of games and consoles in one room that was specifically for that purpose. I remember that room felt like Disneyland to me, and it had that cosiness earlier mentioned. That word helped to identify the name of the platform, which will be GameDen.

Different concepts for the design have been researched based on the idea of 'gaming den'.

Retro look: Using a limited colour palette (8-bit, 16-bit, etc) based on old systems using old games look as an inspiration. Bring back the simplicity of old times.

Retro but contemporary: Cleaner design, not so rudimentary. Using this elements as a nostalgia weapon like designers did in No Man's Sky or Stranger Things. It can be about old games but it doesn't have to look old.

Collection: Make it look like a showcase, hall of fame, obsessive games organisation. 
In this platform there will be more information about the games than just a couple of lines of what it is about. Interesting pieces of information like historical impact, first trailer, special editions, tv ads, anecdotes, curiosities, etc will be part of the whole experience. Show the game in its original format. Functional: No importance on the design. The platform is about the games, and it shouldn't gain more importance than them. Simple and modernist approach. Arcade gaming room: Bring back arcades in a digital way. Dark with lights (might look like a casino). Excitement of doing something unique you can't do anywhere else. The problem with this one is that has been done in the past (NEO-GEO) and hasn't had the best of the success. Besides, it should be about home game consoles. A fusion between some of the concepts might work in order to focus on the user experience without making the mistake of designing a platform that overtakes the content. Using a limited colour palette based on 8-bit systems, a clean and functional design and depth to allow the collector/den side (Final Fantasy XV has been a successful game with old fans because of this) fit into it should come together to meet these points.
Typefaces for logo/titles

Body text

Colour palette

Colour schemes

         Uzicopter: 80s Inspiration by Signalnoise:     

It's interesting to see how purples, blues and yellows are commonly used to evoke the 80's era of videogames. They were also used in the past as it can be appreciated, for instance, in the design of the original Game Boy. Also, contemporary designs that want to make something look retro and pixelated use dark colour schemes to convey the limitations of those times.

More images here:

 Video gaming is one of my favorite hobbies. My library, even though it isn't that big, I still love the games I actually do play.:  Mario, Link, Samus and Megaman:   

These are very good examples of how the retro look can also be enhanced, praised and engaging.

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