A design fiction.
3 days Hackathon
What is Design fiction?
Exploring and criticising possible futures
by creating speculative, and often provocative, scenarios
narrated through designed artefacts.
Think of the last movie, book or a game world you experienced, how the design of the world subtly tells you a story. Design has always been an integral part of fiction.
Design, an invisible character in fiction.
Now to the project at hand
It all began when a friend said,
An artistic but accurate representation of my friend while saying this
Broooo, have you heard about this theory that
Our world could just be a simulation?
So like any person with an attention span of fruit flies (Yes. Apparently gold fishes are not that bad) and the curiosity of a cat,
I googled it. Obviously.
Sooooo, the scientists... are kinda split on this
but I think that is irrelevant to the unnecessary adventure we are going to take.
The world as we know it, you, me and all the drama we do, exists in a toy inside the pocket of a teenager from a super-intelligent civilisation?
The world as we know it,
is just a coded simulator program in super powerful Tamagotchi?
What is a Tamagotchi?
For the non-nerds, it is a device that holds a digital pet inside which you need to care for and raise into adults.
There is a hunger meter, happiness meter, health, discipline meter, blah blah blah.
It’s just all the responsibilities I run away from as an adult packed in a toy.
Can I have your imagination for a second here?
I asked Dall-e to paint a picture for us.
A civilization of beings with cognition beyond our imagination.
A cognition so powerful that every moment of every atom of this world can be perceived simultaneously by this random inattentive teenager.
We are nothing but entertainment, a plaything to fiddle with when they are bored.
A thriving computer program that self-governs until interfered.
It's almost like the movies we make but procedurally generated.
Billions of evolving stories every passing moment.
A computer program so advanced that it started to make movies to entertain itself.
and the teenager has the power to shape the world as they please.
Our world as we know it and all of us, are inside the tamagotchi. A tamagotchi of a very very veryyyy intelligent being - so intelligent that they have cognitive ability to simultaneoulsy observe this insane population that inhabits this world and an obession to the question what if?
So the world we live in, is just series of decisions made by this being we will for our convinence call God from now.
So.... an important question here...
Do a bunch of Gods sit around in house parties and do backseat gaming like we all played GTA V at a friend's house?
If so, the other gods at our world.
(3 days Hackathon)
How will the interface of this device the Gods use would look like? UI of the gods
and can we tell a story with it?
3 days hackathon scope down.
WEATHER. ( Massive impact on life, Universally applicable)
The Bangalorean instinct.
The good part, I spent a lot of time looking at really cool weather events and pictures of beautiful landscapes. Volcanic thunderstorms, Rainbows, moonbows???
and got to the basics of how weather works, day night cycles, etc
Asked a lot of questions to figure the UX of the interactions.
What features should be present?
How will the world be depicted?
How can God edit the weather?
What stats should be present?
How do we categorise weather events?
First wireframe of the UX
Okay now how the hell would I find a map which I can stylise it should also have day-night cycle (Hopefully functional)
All my searches led me to Snappy maps where I was able to do my custom CSS. So I made 2 maps - Day and night.
Overlapped them and made a custom mask to make the day-night cycle
So it looks something like this,
The day-night cycle ladies and gentlemen,
Finally the day we paint pretty pictures
Day 3 is here.
Step 1: The vibe
When designing for a fictional world, there are a blank slate which demands creativity which is both a dreamland and a crippling shackles.
There are no users to talk to.
There are no references to look at.
Heck there are no rules to play by.
There are no data to validate decisions.
Sure I can roleplay GOD. I guess?
Keywords of the vibe we are going for.
Step 2: The aesthetics
I have always loved looking at our planet - The blue giant.
It's an exceptionally pretty one. So it need to be modern, playful and pretty.
And IT GOTTA BE BLUE.
So this is how it turned out!
Or should I call it climate change?
How does our world affects their world?
The phrase "With Great power comes great responsibility" comes from the first-ever simulation movie in the world of Gods.
The phrase was later adapted into the app as an ode to the original.
The 'made-in-simulation entertainment' is predicted to be a massive market in the coming lightyears.
God SAVE us.
Maybe the worst time we are living will be reset?
A good, kinder and enjoyable design always contains fail-safes, checks in place and friction towards high-risk and unintended actions.
To protect the user from themselves & make curiosity rewarding rather than punishing.
The control panel of everything everywhere and all at once.
Add new parameters
New weather phenomenons can be added here
Come on - ofcourse everything is customisable
Load time/space co-ordinate
The fail-safe. The way to rewind time in a snap.
So the reality we live in, is it permanent history?
The 3-day sprint ends.
Thank you for coming on this pointless adventure.
There are no takeaways. There is no climax. There is no point.
It's just us trying to throw our designs at walls and see where it lands.
If you insist that you need a takeaway, take this to work. Next time, take more risks with your designs and let your designers lose some time. They may tell great stories - the designers and the design.