Thursday, 28 May 2015

App Accomplished

The absolute final steps of modifying and completing the app had to be finished by the end of last week (ish). From the invaluable points of improvement provided to me by those testing the app at Breary Banks, I was then able to alter the scripts of the audio for each stop and record myself (which did get a bit repetitive!). For the Memorial and Tree stops, all that was needed was to give practical guidance to the audience, for example to point out that the site was private property and not to enter the fields (otherwise, the sheep wouldn't be too happy!). However, the final audio for the trench had to be changed quite drastically due to the difficulty of navigating yourself to the position on the pathway. The other two stops were very emotive and engaged with the participant's senses so that they feel more involved with the landscape's history. This injection of appealing to the audience's imagination had to be inserted into this script, for example, imagining the sounds of boots marching, the soldiers 'chatting' to one another, which I think added to the content and individual stories. 

Once again, we spent most of the day with Tom Smith, to work on the visual effects on LiveCode for each stop. The idea for the Tree stop was to dissolve a photograph taken by us with one taken 100 years ago to give the audience an idea of the structure of the camp and how to orientate themselves, and then loop the imagery. To do this, we created a video using iMovie, with text inserted to differentiate the different time periods (but it's pretty obvious when you look at them both). 
Screen shot of the present day 'tree stop' 
Screen shot of the dissolved effect from the present day to 100 years ago
Following on from this, I had to create a similar effect on the Trench stop, as those who've tested it on site commented on the confusion of finding the firing range and the focusing on the connection to the audio. By creating yet another video using the same software, I was able to use the photo we took on site and highlight the firing range and zoom in, so that the audience can look at their screen and be able to see what they are meant to be seeing! This worked really well, as now you won't be worrying that you are looking at the wrong field, and you'll be able to engage with the audio and the surrounding landscape. 
And finally, the Map page had to be modified so that each stop was easy to find, going in an upwards formation up the road/pathway. 

Screen shot of the firing range being brought into focus.

Screen shot of the transition from the above image to a close up image of the
firing range.
Screen shot of the firing range which will be seen on the mobile's screen.
Screen shot of the 'Map' page, we've circled the three stops so visitors can
direct themselves and have a more direct impression of how the app operates. 
Hopefully, now, this is the end! Since going to Breary Banks to see how the first draft worked, it made me realize how beneficial it was for the whole organisation of the app and to highlight other practicalities that were thrown at us. For me, only being on site for 5 days caused a few problems in that I had to take in every detail straight away, from where visitors would be parking which would dictate where my first stop would be (this would most likely be by the Memorial), having to state that the site was under private ownership and the weather played a big factor in what the audience will be able to see or not see. Now, the next step is to send the app and get feedback from various stakeholders, other staff members in the Department here in York and the Nidderdale First World War Project, such as Amanda Walters who supplied us with invaluable resources and information. I've devised a survey in which those who receive the app can write as much or as little as they want about each individual stop. They probably won't be able to make it to the site to test it out for the full experience (most likely, they'll be in a warm, wind-free room, which is not what Breary Banks is like at all!), but by getting their critical responses, we will know whether we have satisfied the expectations of bringing Breary Banks closer to the public and being more accessible. 

No comments:

Post a Comment