In Technology class throughout this semester we’ve been working on a unit about Minecraft and collaborating in groups of 4 to create a theme park. My group’s theme park were allotted the theme horror. Below is a short screencast of me touring the part of the theme park that I built, as well as explaining why I chose to include some things to fit our theme.
During the Investigation (the start) of the unit we wrote some Design Specifications, which we want our final product, the theme park, to meet. The design specifications were in three categories, namely Theme, General, Function, Quality and Aesthetics. Each category had three different specifications, one essential, one desirable and one must not specification. Our list of Design Specifications is as follows:
Theme: Our theme is Horror
- essential: Our park must be scary
- desirable: Our park should have darkness
- must not: Our park must not be cute
- essential: Our park must be navigationable
- desirable: Our park should have the most suited materials
- must not: Our park must not have cliché elements
- essential: Our park must frighten people.
- desirable: Our park should have jump scares (pop-up scary things)
- must not: Our park must not have completely different qualities of attractions
- essential: Our park must use dark blocks to show darkness
- desirable: Our park should be built cooperatively by helping eachother with our parts
- must not: Our park must not have misplaced materials in the wrong places
- essential: Our park must be original
- desirable: Our park should have aspects of our creation and none else’s
- must not: Our park must not include direct elements from other parks.
These were my groups design specifications, and I’ve underlined the ones we didn’t meet in our final product. As you can see only one of the specifications is underlined, and it’s a desirable spec. So we met every spec but one, which I think means we made a pretty good theme park. The specification we didn’t meet states: “desirable: Our park should have jump scares (pop-up scary things)”. I think the reason we didn’t have that is partially because of technical difficulties. Making things that pop up automatically is advanced and quite time consuming . I spent time on other part of the park instead, since I think the other things (such as decoration, roads & my attractions) were more important to have in high quality. Other than that I think we did a good job on meeting our design specifications, since we met almost every single one.
In order to further check the quality of our theme park, we also devised five ‘tests’ for our theme park. I’ve listed them below, as well as the results from each test.
I could test my theme park by sending a survey to 10 7th graders with pictures of the theme park, asking them if they think it’s scary.
I’ve sent a survey, however we’ve recieved no answers from the 7th graders. Because of this, I also interviewed Ms Cofino and showed her a tour of our park. She said: “This definitely looks liks a horror park. I wouldn’t think it’s a fun park to be in. It looks really scary with the darkness and cobwebs.” So I’d say we succeeded with appealing to the adult range of our target audience. Our choice of decoration (cobwebs etc.) fit the theme, according to this feedback.
I could test my theme park by checking to see that all of the blocks used are appropriate (Anything except for pink, purple, bright yellow) to the theme.
Checked, and we pass this test. Because we didn’t use any inappropriate blocks. All our blocks fit our horror theme and they don’t
I could test my theme park by looking at our design brief and seeing if we built according to the map.
Looking back to our db, I would say that we did not build accordingly to the db, but we had good reasons for it. In our db we assumed the entrance to the park would be in the middle of one of the long sides, but this was not the case on the server. Our entrance on the server was placed in the top left corner, and so we had to move some of our attractions accordingly. Also, on the db we made a Fiery Dome, but when we were dividing the workload into our group we decided not to make a Fiery Dome, as that would be too much work on one of the members. Two of our team members could’ve worked together on it, but we felt like it wasn’t a big enough part of the park for us to spend time on that. We’d rather focus on the other attractions.
I could test my theme park by making sure we have not copied ideas from our sources of research by asking my group peer.
After checking my sources, I can say that we did not directly copy of off anything, it was all original ideas.
I could test my theme park by searching through it to see if we made any building errors by misplacing blocks.
We have not made any building errors with the blocks, and so we pass this test also.
Here are some possible improvements I’ve noticed from these tests. From the question on whether we built according to our db, I realized that when we were making our design brief we should’ve considered how long it would take to build our attractions, so that we could’ve avoided adding the Fiery Dome and then deciding not to include it because it would be too much for us to build. When making the design brief, we needed to think realistically about how much we are able to produce, so that we can follow the design brief when making the solution. Another thing we could’ve done is used a bigger variety of blocks as decorations. In my tunnel, I used a lot of monster heads (zombie, creeper) and cobwebs. We had cobwebs all throughout our theme park, but I didn’t see that many other scary decoration blocks. Things such as jack-o’-lanterns and bookshelves fit our theme and we should’ve used them as well as the other types for more variety of decoration.
Use of Design Cycle Evaluation
In the investigation part (the first part) of the design cycle we made two major things: A Design Brief and Design Specifications. In the Design Brief we wrote down things we needed to research, any questions we needed to investigate and how we plan to make our product (Theme Park). We also made a poster with information about what our park will be like. On the poster we wrote down our target audience (13 – 50), made a slogan for our park and made a small map of what the park might look like. There was also some other information on the design brief. In the Design Specification (showed above) we wrote down different qualities we wanted our finished park to have as well as 5 tests for the park after we finished it.
In the Investigation part of the unit, I think I could’ve improved on my team’s design brief. It looked pretty good, but the miniature map of our park on it, I feel, was sloppy and our park didn’t end up looking anything like it. I think just spending more time on making it realistic look like something we could actually make would’ve made the map much better. Here’s a picture of our design brief, although I’m not quite sure if you can see the small map. PIC OF DESIGN BRIEF HEEREREREREREERE
The major thing we did in the Design part of the unit was making three possible layout ideas for our theme park, and then choosing one final one to follow in the create section of the unit. We made three big drawing of possible layout, all of which should’ve been colored (but we didn’t color them). They were also generally sloppy looking, when it came to roads and such on the park. My group and I sort of fixed this by, after we had chosen our design, adding more details about materials and colors. We used a color coding for different blocks, and the final design looked good enough to follow when creating.
I feel like the biggest thing in the Design part that my group and I could’ve done better is putting more effort into the three first designs. If they were better done we would’ve gotten a better idea of the different designs. And then we might’ve chosen a better fitting design, since there would be more details to consider for us when choosing which drawing to select.
In the plan part of the unit we did three things. First of all, everyone wrote down the steps to creating their attraction / part of the theme park. We then thought about what materials (block types) we will use and how much time it’ll take to build our part of the theme park. We then gave our plan to a random person in the class and they had to follow the plan. Then we saw what they had created with our plan, and if it was clear enough. Since I didn’t get any feedback back from my peer-assessors, I think I made a detailed and thorough plan. I didn’t include what my attraction was going to look like, but I linked the drawing we had made in the Design part. So that you can follow how I had drawn my attraction there.
This is a minor thing, but I could’ve done it in order to make my plan better. So, as mentioned above I linked my design brief in the plan. So that you can see how I drew my attraction in the design brief. I did this so I didn’t have to write down what it’s supposed to look like in the plan, since that would take a long time. But if I had more time on the Plan, I would’ve done this. Because by describing how it looks like in my plan, I’m adding more detail to my plan. That in turn makes my plan higher quality, so I could get a better grade. However I think that the plan I made is good enough for me to follow, so this would only be a minor improvement.
In the create part we spent 4 classes on just building our theme park in Minecraft. I think this was the most fun part of the unit, since we were just on minecraft the whole time.
An improvement for our park, would be to change the way our trees were made. We had cut them in half, because they were really tall and we couldn’t work as well.
But that looks really weird when you’re standing on top of the statue. All the trees are and you can see the roots. It looks unnatural and we should’ve changed it back. But if we were to change it back we’d have to do it manually. And we decided that it’s not worth the time doing it manually. So we didn’t change it, but if we did it would improve the overall experience of the theme park.