Environmental and Contextual Study
In our current group work, the game is based on the Monopoly idea, but adapted to suit commerce in a real-life environment, with a vision to boost commerce in the area, and to increase the use of QR codes for delivering promotions. As our project takes place in the city, ideas pulled from the original game had to be adapted to suit retail so then delivery of promotions can be delivered effectively, and also to add an aspect to the game where both gameplay and specially-created offers are used.
Most of the time, the Plymopoly game takes place in shopping and commercial areas, which is a mixed environment because the main areas in the city are indoors and outdoors, and also have varying degrees of footfall, which depends on many factors such as weather, economic and other events that take place at the same time, such as student nights that take place occasionally in Drake Circus.
Drake Circus has an estimated 74 stores, whilst the main shopping districts of New George Street, Armada Way and side street Cornwall Street have an estimated 150 stores and businesses. Together, they make up about 224 shops and businesses inside the main city centre districts. Drake Circus is inside, whilst New George Street and Armada Way are mostly outside, with the latter having an inside section below Sainsbury’s.
The online environment depends on how the connectivity is affected, and how reliable it is. Because of the mobile nature of the game, connectivity is required, and the game would not work if connectivity is not available, so 3G and available Wi-fi is a major pre-requisite for participation as it needs to access the internet to read QR codes, update the status of properties and register leader board statistics. Also, a working camera built-in to the device is also required because the project relies on QR codes and applications that support QR code capturing. The websites that are going to be used in the project are optimised for smaller screens and will use less bandwidth, so then the project will be accessible to all, especially those that don’t have an extensive mobile internet plan.
The game will take place in an environment where the amount of people movement is expected to be high, particularly in central areas. As nothing but QR codes and handheld devices (i.e. smartphones) are involved, there are no obstacles in regards to equipment placement that will occur in the project. The most tech-savvy are likely to be the biggest users of the project, although it will be expected that casual smartphone users would also take part as well.