Prop design – Charlemagne’s sword Joyeuse

Joyeuse concept

ConceptArt.org’s challenge was to redesign Charlemagne’s sword, Joyeuse. The sword is real, so the task is to reimagine it as a fantasy weapon.

The key features to the sword was that it changes color multiple times in a day, and it represented joyousness. More of a mass media weapon than a slaying device.

For the color feature, I settled on using opal as a material source. Opal was reputed to be a gemstone that changes color, even when the owner dies. The change of light throughout the day would change the refracted light from the sword, so it explains the color-changing feature. Continue reading

Usability Testing Method for Design Students

Usability Testing in KDU for Design Students

Previously I posted on the prototypes my game design students did for their game design classes. This post is on one of the processes we used to improve the design of their prototypes: usability testing.

The research and application started in 2013 where I was looking into the best ways to teach design for design students. As cited, one of the strongest feedback received was to get the design students to create prototypes. The second strongest feedback I got was to train them to design based on feedback. That is, to collect data from users, and to create a design that would respond to the issues pointed out by said data.

I recognized the application; it’s what online games do when they track user behavior and adapt their game to maximize wanted behavior. It’s a process used by Facebook games in the late 2000s and being used now on data collected from users on mobile games. The feedback made sense in terms of keeping designers relevant.

That means figuring out how to do playtesting for designers in order for them to collect data to analyze. Continue reading