Tuesday, 23 November 2010

final project evaluation

As a result of this brief I have designed and made an entire Monopoly set based around the theme of philosophy. The brief I set myself was that I wanted to rid philosophy of the general stereotype of boredom, books and academia. The idea was to make philosophy much more accessible to the everyday person who doesn’t have the time and will power to sit down and begin reading Plato’s Republic.

The idea was to effectively make philosophy fun in such a way that males and females ranging from adolescents to pensioners from all walks of life and classes, engage and interact with it in an informal way. The target audience being so broad due to the general nature of philosophy relating to the existence of everyone – in that – it searches for truth in how and why every single one of us is here. In essence, I am encouraging ‘people’ to think and become a little more aware of themselves and the world around them. A deep concept, hence why I chose the informal (and interactive) medium of a board game as a way of engaging.

I feel like I have succeeded in finding a universal message of delivery (Monopoly board game) of what is definitely a universal idea (philosophy). Monopoly is the great selling board game in the world. It is universal. So it is this very concept of universality that makes it appropriate for the theme of philosophy to fit to it. I feel that it is a successful way of promoting the fact that philosophy is good to said audience. What I also like about this concept is that it only takes one person to buy the game, then the engagement in philosophy can be exposed to up to 9 other people (as there can be up to 10 players in the game).

Contemporary design to the product is very important to the design due to its ability to draw attention and engage with the message. The contemporary design – entwined with the method of delivery (board game) - becomes the crux of engagement with the audience.

In development of the graphic design of the packaging and contents itself, I was looking at how contemporary design is used to engage awareness of a subject on my design context blog such as herehere and here. Contemporary design attracts people towards whatever it is being used for. Judging from crits and studio chats with peers, it seems that I have met these requirements and also, I feel as if I have met the requirements for am aesthetically pleasing, attractive and contemporary design for the packaging and contents that is far more engaging that the 'cartoony' mess of most other Monopoly packaging such as these. I feel like my design fits in with this re-design and this 75th anniversary edition as being contemporary and engaging.

Research into the game was pretty extensive and I feel like I have pulled it off by conducting the relevant research as I went such as categorising and positioning philosophers on the board, finding philosophical replacements for everything on a standard Monopoly board and researching quotes for the relevant philosophers. The research really brings the game together and makes it work. Without the research the concept would not work and I feel like I have done it successfully. However, this leads to what I see as a big flaw to the project.

I wanted to create an instruction manual to accompany the Monopoly set to fit inside the box. As well as including instructions for first time Monopoly players on how to play the game, I would liked for it to have contained a bit of information about the philosophical relations to each element on the board and perhaps a small bit about each philosopher included on the board. What simply prevented me from doing this was my own time constraints. It is a big shame as it would have tightened the whole concept of the project that little bit more. However, I see the game as still being an interesting, informal engagement with the usually formal topic of philosophy. The opens up doorways to different philosophers ideas through a quote provided on each property card. These were carefully selected as I wanted the quotes to attempt to offer a particular general view of the philosopher on the card for example, Nietzsche's quote is very atheist which clearly communicates his atheist tendency in some of his philosophy. I feel that I have done this successfully as it informs the player a little bit about the philosophers on the board and leaves them with the freedom to explore philosophy further. The game is a good starting point for people to develop an interest in philosophy in my opinion.

In terms of my final presentation boards, what I am least pleased with - without a doubt - is the quality of photography of the product on the boards. I really didn't get the lighting correct at all and I was left with dirty looking photos of the product that don't do it that much justice. Other than that I am pretty happy with the composition of each board and how it communicates each aspect of the game. Although I did find it quite difficult to summarise the game due to the large amount of components it possesses. I could have done with a clearer idea of the property card in my opinion. Print processes are all accurately specified for how the product would be printed commercially which I should assume is a good thing! However, in terms of the actual game I have made, I do wish I experimented a bit more with print processes. I did some foil blocking but I wish I did some embossing, de-bossing and mock up spot varnishing. Either of these could have been really nice on the logo of the finished packaging. It is a bit of a flaw that I didn't try this out. I suppose I was too focussed on nailing the concept and generally just finishing the product.

As for promotion of the game, I feel like I successfully found relevant locations that are very public and are exposed to a lot of people. I kind of stuck with a subtle 'London' theme as a hint on the classic British Monopoly and also because it is a very busy place where adverts for my Philosophy Monopoly can be exposed to an extremely wide range of people as mentioned above. This is successful although I wish I had the time to capitalise on it a bit more and create a further range of promotional material based around very bust places in not just London but everywhere.

Deliverables for the project were a board game set w/ philosophy theme + methods of promotion to be displayed in busy public locations to run alongside it and 5 A2 presentation boards.

All in all I am very pleased with the overall result of what I have produced for the module. Considering I am not the craftiest person, I feel like I have produced a high quality final mock up for this project. My main concerns are that I did not try out embossing for the logo on the box, I am not satisfied with the quality of photography on my boards and that I wish I had time to have produced some kind of instruction booklet.

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Be seeing you!

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