Star Catcher: A Post-Mortem Pathways Study

Star Catcher: A Post-Mortem Pathways Study

The pathways we saw

1.The pathways

a) Lots of arm waving. Linear, circular, repeating or randomness.image03

b) Linear and noise pathways using all X, Y, Z. The players move horizontally, back and forward towards the screen, squat and standing up vertically.image04

c) Some stretching.image05

d) Circular movement turning their body.image07

What did we predict and design for?

a) Arm waving and position adjusting. One of the core interaction is to find out which joints are selected and get to control them.

b) Linear movement that parallel to the screen.

Which were surprises?

a) Usage of depth space. We did design for depth space, but our expectation was in another way: For example, player need to reach two stars at the bottom of the screen, but using two joints from top part of his body. Then he’ll need to move backward so that it could be a little bit easier.

b) Player trying to draw with their joints. Ehh, this is not our intention. The reason could be the trail taking too much attention.

c) Player trying to side face the screen. We thought it would be mostly facing the screen.

Design choices

1.The core interaction

The core interaction is to reach two stars at the same time to ‘Catch’ them and score. Players need to figure out which two joints of theirs are selected by looking at the skeleton. And adjust their pose and even position in the room to get the two joints reach the stars.

2.The pathway we expect

Our design intention was to require some body stretches and all kinds of combination of poses based on stretches for the players. The random generating stars and random selected joints brings a bit difficulty to this interaction. It’s impossible to achieve the goals if the player is standing still. We want the players to use some joints that they don’t normally move with intention, such as shoulder and hip. This is the kind of pathway we expected.


3.The visual elements

1)Color trail of joints with fade-in effect. –code done by Corbin

2)Rotating and blinking stars generate randomly from the edge. – code done by Manning

3)Star disappear with intersection check. – code done by Yuhan

4)Beautiful animated background galaxy. – code done by Corbin

We all love this ‘Star Catcher’ idea so much. We wanted the experience to be complete and immersive— not make the audience feel it’s just an everyday P5 sketch using one joint as x and y. But the way we put everything together is more like an experimental phase that we just put all the parts that we achieved technically and individually together. And we don’t criticize on teammates’ work. As a result, the outcome that we didn’t thought through was not as good as we expected. Unfortunately, the visual elements and the technical elements were not meshed well together. We did not think about how the visual dynamics would direct the technical aspect of our sketch. This is valuable information to receive, as we will now design to make sure the visual elements  enhance the the players ability to discover their agency within Star Catcher.

There was a discussion on how we could leverage the Trails that we incorporated into Star Catcher. If we need slower motion from the user, the audience suggested that would be the moment to use a longer, slower dissipating trail, whereas if we need a fast, rapid movement, change the trails to a shorter duration. This could be useful in directing the player through different types of exercises

How the audience felt

The overall experience seems to be very confusing to the audience, as we were the one group that got a lot of questions. All those visual elements we put there made it hard for the audience to understand the interaction very clearly. The feedback we got was mostly about ‘What’ and ‘How’ other than ‘Why’.

1.No one found the stars could be interacted with until the third tester. Even after the third tester found it, the following testers seem not clear about this function. And there’s no feedback when the player reaches one of the stars other than disappear, that made it not clear to the audience.

2.Audience felt the trail could be the interaction itself because it’s obvious and not continuous. They thought it was something to play with and change with different movement.

3.The red/green color are confusing. They didn’t know what does each means. And it doesn’t work for color blind audience.

4.Audience were curious about the visual design and how we made them. They seem like the way it looks.

5.The players realized that the chosen points were not only hands. But the audience that watched it didn’t realize. They felt the skeleton is not very clear to recognize

6.It was clear that the audience/player wanted a clear symbiosis of the visuals and sound. This would generally relate to action/reaction – i.e. when the player collects or catches the stars, there must be a sound response with a visual response to corroborate the interaction.

7.The players all suggested that the music should drive the movement.

8.Our audience and players found the idea of “being apart of the space” fascinating. How can we incorporate the player into the space? Clearly the visuals were working to ignite the imagination of our testers, perhaps if we enhance the dimensional space by projecting onto the floor, onto the ceiling, StarCatcher will be a more immersive experience.

9.We had feedback from our crit that suggested the idea of “Not giving too much away.” Our testers suggested to us that holding back on instruction could allow for a fun puzzle element.






Before vs. After diagram






Diagram with additional color referencing. This idea came up during production and may in fact be very useful for helping our users understand cause and effect/relationship to environment




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