Cardboard Kaiju Session 1
Over two sessions Albert Park Flexi School as well as men from two Men's Sheds will begin to make the cardboard city as well as design an Australian Kaiju (monster)
The plan Wed 15th Nov 2017
- All see the cardboard town that has been taped together
- Chat about the game concept for the cardboard kaiju world
- Brainstorm monsters
- Sketch some ideas
- Hot-glue the buildings together
- If any time remains laser cut a prototype of monster Kaiju
- Paper and pencils
- Examples of monsters? (Phil)
- Have cardboard city buildings down in the fab lab ready
- Hot glue
- Mats for hot glue to sit on?
Today three men from the Sunnybank Men's Shed arrived early (9.30) and got stuck into using the hot glue and putting together the buildings. This remained the focus for this group. They tested the designs and saw some pitfalls in a couple of the tall buildings seeing that they need tabs to make it easier to glue. Hot glue guns are surprisingly hot and a thumb and a palm got burnt. The men became a little more careful after this.
The young people arrived and there were many new faces so I gave them a tour and then Phil lead a brainstorming session around the KAIJU. The group thought about Australian and Brisbane animals and looked at Phil's research into Kaijus. Organically the group also looked online to research iconic monsters as well as animals in Brisbane. Some of the participants were keen to draw and others more into brainstorming and researching. Ideas unfolded organically and there was one participant in particular that began to take ownership of the ideas by drawing them and asking for the groups feedback and voting for ideas to be added to what she was creating.
The session was broken into three sections; brainstorming, individual idea generation and a discussion of the final Kaiju. We started off the session by clarifying what a Kaiju is, the origin and what defines it. We explained that we were designing our own “local” Kaiju, inspired by local fauna and also that the Kaiju was part of a physical game. With a whiteboard at hand we looked into what animals the group thought would be interesting to work with, would fit the project well or just be fun. Discussions were had, participants talked about movies they had seen or shared other relevant ideas or anecdotes about monsters and such. To maintain a flow of ideas we continually asked the group questions to encourage them to think of different aspects of the Kaiju, such as:
- What's the natural habitat of the Kaiju? e.g does it comes from the Brisbane River, the reef or atop a mountain?
- What's the Kaiju's intention? Why is it trying to destroy Brisbane?
- Is it a carnivore or herbivore?
- What's its name?
Once we had a bunch of ideas it was time for the participants to draw/sketch/doodle their own idea of the Kaiju. We suggested using several animals as inspiration and splitting up the Kaiju in Head, Body and Legs. this made it a easier for the participants to picture their creations because it allowed them to break down the problem. We gave the group a good 15-20 minutes to draw and discuss further. In the meantime we explained the principals of the Kaiju game we are designing and the overall narrative which was super exciting for a couple of participants who were into card games. This gave us the opportunity to invite them for some play testing, giving them the opportunity to give their input and feedback about the game.
Kaiju round-table presentations
It was time to present everyone's ideas. The Kaijus were varied with walking sharks, humanoid bilbies, slugs and monstrous koalas. Some cute, some terrifying but it allowed us to see some common denominators and themes as well as allowing for a broader perspective before the final stage of the design process.
As mentioned above one of the participants took it on her self to collate everyone's ideas into a single concept. She was very keen on drawing and definitely had talent for it. She started taking votes for the participants preferred “body part”, she kept everything divided into head, body and legs like we did at the start. This resulted in a final Kaiju that had a bit of everyone's ideas in it.
It was very important to set the requirements and restrictions to start with and to make sure everyone knew what the difference between a giant monster and a kaiju was. Discussions and the reference materials as well as a quick Wikipedia explanation helped with this.
We had discussion about how much structure we would provide for the participants in the creation of the Kaiju. We went with a fairly flexible structure that was there to support the development of the Kaiju rather than dictate it. There were also thoughts about implementing creative thinking techniques but decided not to go with any of them to make for a more relaxed session.
During the final stage it was important to give the participants the space they needed to steer the process and only act as support if needed.