Recently I've been playing around with a couple of ideas for mobile apps. I began developing an idea called Playground which is about exploring and debating radical ideas.
Ideas are represented as characters in a playground, which the player selects and interacts with. The player has the option to like or dislike ideas, as well as rate and favourite them. There's a play mode which let's the player learn about the idea through interaction, and following this there is a debate mode which tests the player's knowledge of the idea and ability to debate it.
Some of the ideas include smart cities, virtual astronauts, stem cell technology, synthetic meat, augmented reality and genetic engineering. Stuff like that.
The app would be for children and would aim to engage them in scientific and technological thinking about the future, in a fun way. The image below represents screen navigation.
The app idea I'm now playing with is about different types of depression and uses a coral reef inside a snow globe to represent the brain and coral bleaching to represent depression.
The mechanics will be simple with the main action being to shake the phone (using the iphone's gyroscope or accelerometer), symbolizing the shaking of a snow globe. This will activate an animation inside the snow globe which will begin to communicate the biological and psychological story of different depression types. Shake the phone again to activate the next animation in the sequence and learn more.
The aim is to help increase public understanding of the disease, so thorough research will be done to work out the narrative and correct representation. The idea at this stage is that the coral will serve as a coloured brain map with defined pathways, and areas during the animations will become highlighted and bleached to represent the afflicted areas and components of depression.
I liked the idea of using coral reefs to represent the brain as they are richly diverse and dynamic ecosystems easily agitated by internal and external forces, but also resilient and adaptive. Sort of like a brain! :P
I'm thinking of calling it Coral Grief: An app about brain pain.