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L OST IN T RANSLATION The perils and opportunities of adapting ideas to new media Scott Kim Jun 9, 2005 scottkim.com
We often adapt works Book + Living Book: Arthur Manipulative + computer: Tangrams Apple II + Palm: Tom OBriens games
But some adaptations fail ¥ Works poorly on computer because 3D manipulation is awkward
How do you do adapt ideas well? 1. A DAPTATION 2. V ARIATION 3. I NNOVATION 4. F ULL C IRCLE
1. A DAPTATION 6 rules for success
Some ideas adapt well ¥ Drama: Shakespeare ¥ Music: Bach ¥ Computer games: Arcade to mobile
Rule 1. Choose the right game ¥ Tangrams
Rule 2. Know your audience Younger = bigger, simpler, more basic
Rule 3. Know the medium ¥ Output size, resolution, sound ¥ Input degrees of freedom, control ¥ Storage size, persistence, network
Comparing media ¥ What do you give up ? ¥ What stays the same? ¥ What do you gain? MEDIUM 1 MEDIUM 2
Physical vs. Computer ¥ Tactile manipulation ¥ Geometric shapes ¥ Nonphysical moves PHYSICAL COMPUTER
Rule 4. Avoid whats hard ¥ Moving pieces is hard on computer ¥ Can move only one piece at a time ¥ Hard to check solution correctness
Juniornet ¥ Positions restricted to a grid ¥ Rotations restricted to 90 degrees
Rule 5. Keep whats essential ¥ What stays the same? ¥ Surface form ¥ Core gameplay ¥ Player experience
Discover Magazine ¥ Goal: find each outlined shape in the grid
Phone ¥ Which shapes can by overlapping the 2 pieces?
Rule 6. Add whats possible ¥ What is unique to the medium? ¥ How can that add to the game? ¥ Experiment and see where that leads!
Math Dance ¥ Giant tangrams lead to group manipulation
2. V ARIATION 4 ways to change an idea
Theme & Variation ¥ Music: Goldberg Variations ¥ Literature: Exercises in Style ¥ Games: arcade / puzzle / 2-player modes
1. Vary shape: Pentominoes ¥ 12 shapes, each made of 5 squares
Calendar ¥ Which shapes can be made with the 2 pieces?
2. Vary movement: Concave Convex ¥ No rotation. Overlapping allowed.
3. Vary goal: Puzzle Inlay ¥ Goal: fill the shapes within time limit
4. Mutation: Tetris ¥ Pentominoes + falling = clear lines
What the computer adds ¥ Convenient access ¥ Improved interface ¥ Undo ¥ Levels of difficulty ¥ Interactive tutorials ¥ Automated opponent ¥ Algorithmically-generated puzzles ¥ Bells & whistles
3. I NNOVATION Taking a big leap
Take poetic license Romeo & Juliet + West Side Story Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe + Es brillig war. Die schlichten Toven Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben
Back to Rubiks Cube
1. Avoid whats hard ¥ 3D is hard on computer. So go 2D.
1. Avoid whats hard ¥ Rubiks cube is a permutation puzzle ¥ Like a 2D sliding block puzzle
2. Keep whats essential ¥ Multiple pieces move at the same time.
2. Keep whats essential ¥ In physical sliding block puzzles one piece moves at a time
3. Add whats possible ¥ Computer enables nonphysical moves
3. Add whats possible ¥ On computer, noncontiguous pieces can move simultaneously.
Cogito ¥ 2D puzzle ¥ Slide row/column ¥ With wraparound ¥ Fill 9 center squares ¥ 100 levels
4. Going further ¥ Pick out a core idea ¥ Rubiks cube: simultaneous motion ¥ Change everything else ¥ Just 2 simultaneously moving objects
Double Maze ¥ Move both balls onto both stars at the same time
4. F ULL C IRCLE New possibilities in old media
Newer Better ¥ Technology is fueled by obsolescence ¥ Harry Potter (print) ¥ Tetris (old arcade game) ¥ Apple II educational games
Use multiple media together PBS = Television (draws you in) + Web (connect you to more info) + Books (for more depth)
Underuse Technology ¥ Living Books (work within limits)
Underuse Technology ¥ Living Books (work within limits) ¥ You Dont Know Jack (audio)
Underuse Technology ¥ Living Books (work within limits) ¥ You Dont Know Jack (audio) ¥ Daily Puzzle (focus on content)
Choose the right game Know your audience Know your medium Avoid weaknesses, use strengths 1. A DAPTATION
¥ Vary shape ¥ Vary movement ¥ Vary goal ¥ Mutation 1. A DAPTATION 2. V ARIATION
¥ Take poetic license ¥ Keep core, change everything else ¥ Whats wrong with the original? 1. A DAPTATION 2. V ARIATION 3. I NNOVATION
¥ Newer better ¥ Use multiple media together ¥ Underuse technology 1. A DAPTATION 2. V ARIATION 3. I NNOVATION 4. F ULL C IRCLE
Good ideas transcend technology
Contact Info ¥ These slides are on the web at ¥
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