Project Stages


Brand New Page: An Investigation into augmenting traditional toys with digital media techniques

This seed of an idea was to take us on a journey. We wanted to explore the possibilities of play and digital media before going on to produce a piece based on our research. Initial research included, child psychology; children's play and development, the history of toys; popular toys; gender bias in computer games; audio in games and current trends in physical interfaces.


By this stage we had spent a month researching. The concept stage involved analyzing this research and identifying key ideas we wished to explore. We decided that we wanted our final piece to be:

We spent an intensive week brainstorming ideas. At the end of that week we were left with approximately 5 key ideas which we felt had the potential to go into production. We agree on 1 idea, and spent the next week refining the concept. BlowAway, the Winds of Therslow was our result.


The production process lasted 2 1/2 months. Programming, sketching, strumming and drilling all kicked in as we worked towards the deadline.

With about 1 month to go to our deadline we had a working demo of the game. Up to that point we had made many assumptions regarding how children play. We needed to test those assumptions, and to see how children reacted to the game. Testing took place in two schools: Virgin Mary's Boys School and Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch, both based in Ballymun, Dublin. The boys and girls who took part were aged between 9 and 10. Initial Alpha testing took place with an early demo of the game. A more refined version was tested at a later stage. The results were a resounding success. The children were very helpful, providing informed comment and feedback. Most importantly, the children enjoyed the game thoroughly, many expressing regret when they had to stop!