During this unit, we have created a theme park. We were put in groups of 4 (or in our case 5) and we were each given a theme. My group was given the theme “Zombie Apocalypse”. We each had to make one attraction each and I think we all did a really good job.
As you probably know from my previous reflections, in Tech, we follow a Design Cycle to complete our projects. The Design Cycle consists of 5 steps, Investigation, Design, Plan, Create, and Evaluate. This, as you can probably tell, is the Evaluate stage.
In the Investigation, we did a bunch of things. On the first day, we brainstormed a lot of things related to collaboration or group work. Some of the questions we thought about were: “Is there a difference between online and offline cooperation? Why or why not?”, “How can we organize ourselves to solve problems collaboratively?”, and “Are there pros and cons to working alone and collaboratively?.” On the second class, we researched more about the actual application we were going to use to build our theme park, Minecraft. Some questions we researched were, “What is Minecraft?”, “What is Minecraft capable of?”, and “How do you play Minecraft?”.
Starting from the third lesson on, we were assessed on what we did. Something we did in the third lesson was brainstorming what would make our parks good. Somethings we came up with were: Maps everywhere, Lots of good types of rides, food and drink stops everywhere, nice workers, excitement in rides, performances, parades… etc., clean, trash cans everywhere, cheap, good service. Looking back at this, I have realized that we did not put a lot of these things in our actual theme park. I think part of the reason is because you can’t really have things like, “good service, nice workers, and trash cans everywhere” in Minecraft. We do have a lot of excitement thought. 🙂 Another thing that was graded in our third lesson was the Design Brief. A Design Brief is basically like an advertisement with lots of information. I think ours turned out to be pretty good in the end, but we had a problem because someone was confused and didn’t know it had to be emailed (instead of printed). I think this is something we could have improved on. We could have improved on this by someone sending an email to the group reminding them of the homework a couple days before it’s due. I tried to do this but I think it was too late.
In lesson 4 we looked at other theme parks that had our same theme. Ours was pretty difficult to find because we found out that there were not a lot of theme parks that were horror theme. In lesson 5 and 6 we created a Design Specification. In the Design Specification, we included things like what thing are essential to our theme park, what things do we want our theme park to have, and what things our theme park must not have. It also included how we can test we did or did not do these certain things. This was a big part of the Investigation and it would be really helpful if you filled out THIS survey. Here are some pictures of our theme park to help you fill out the survey. (Sorry I can’t put the pictures in the blog post. There are quite a few so it would make the post super big!)
The next step in the Design Cycle is the Design stage. In the Design stage, we only had 3 classes but we got a lot done. The first thing we did in the design cycle was really design our theme park. We had to find things like where the attractions would be (the map), the colors and blocks we were going to use for our attractions, features (what the actual attractions were), and more things like that. I think we followed those specifications pretty well. One thing we may not have been 100% accurate on was the map. Our original map and the finished product looked a bit different. The drawing of our map looked like this:
In the end of our project, our Minecraft world looked like this:
I’m not saying it was extremely different from the map, and it actually wasn’t that far off. But we kind of left out the borders and walls separating the attractions and the lava fountain was WAY bigger than it was supposed to be. The reason the lava fountain was huge was because we decided since we had so much space in the middle, we would make the lava fountain super big. Besides, some people had already started building a big outline. In the end, the lava fountain turned out to be AWESOME. I think it really made our side of the theme park better.
Something else we did in the Design stage of the Design Cycle was before we drew our final map. Before the final map, we each drew our own maps. They actually turned out to be kind of similar. With each map, we looked at the pros and cons for certain things. So for example, we had to say something like, “For theme, I think design 2 would be good because it has lots of little things that make the the area more scary and seem more like an apocalypse,” or, “For theme, I think design 2 would not be the best because it doesn’t really show what an apocalypse looks like.” We had to do this for 3 maps and 3 sections. In the end, we decided to combine all our maps together to make the final map.
For the Plan stage of the Design Cycle, we only had one class. In the class, we wrote a very detailed plan and description of our attraction. The things we had to include in our plan were; description, steps needed to take (to create the attraction), resources needed (what blocks I will use to create it), time needed, and due date. I think all of our plans were pretty description. Something I think I could have improved on was my original “steps needed to take” part. Since we got part of the class to improve it, I think I made some major improvements. But in my original part, I wasn’t super detailed because I didn’t know that other people were going to build it(in our case draw it) based on what I wrote. I think it would have came out like a maze, but I wasn’t super clear on how big it should be, what blocks I should use, and etc. I think that extra part of class we got to improve our plan was really helpful for me because I really improve my original work.
The Create stage of the Design Cycle was definitely the best. We got to make a theme park on Minecraft. It was really fun! I think in the beginning, I might have been a tiny bit off topic because it is Minecraft and it is technically a game, so it might have taken a few minutes to get me on track. 🙂 (Sorry Ms. Rude) But after that, I think I actually was pretty productive. I actually surprised myself. I thought I might not be able to survive the temptation of riding my pig around, but I actually succeeded. I worked on my maze a lot, and when I wasn’t working on it, I was either helping someone else in my group, or giving feedback to someone else in my group. Overall, I am pretty happy with how I worked in the Create stage.
One thing I think I could have improved on in the Create stage was me keeping a record of how much I had done each class. At first, I didn’t know we had to keep record of what we had done, so when I did find out, I had to remember things from the past to record what I had done. I ended up remembering them in the end, but I think it would have been more accurate or better if I had recorded what I did on the day I did it.
WHEFW. I bet that took a long time to read. Right now, if you have read this blog post, (which you probably haven’t unless your my teacher (Ms. Rude you can ignore this part) you can take a small stretch break. Go ahead. Get up. Stretch to the left. 1.2.3. Stretch to the right. 1.2.3. You can go do something for a while, and if you are still interested, then you can come back and read this rest. But I’m just telling you, it’s going to be better from here on out. Since there are so many words in this reflection, here are some pictures of my maze.
Ok. Now that you are back from your stretch and picture break, I will now tell you about the feedback we got from our peers and some other people and what we can do to improve our theme park. Some of the questions we asked in our survey were, “Does our theme park match our theme,”, “Is our theme park scary or spooky,”, “Do our attractions actually work,”, “Was our flooring unique from the other parks,”, “If our park was real, would you come,”, “Give us 2 things you liked about our park,”, and “Do you have any suggestions for what we can improve?” We have gotten 8 responses to these questions and would love to get more so please fill out the survey here.
Anyways, some of the feedback we got for these questions were pretty rewarding. For the first question, we got 5s and 4s from everybody. I think this is pretty good. One way I think we could improve this is by adding more monsters and by making a bunch of little things that are scary like signs saying, “BEWARE,” or “SAMUEL DIED HERE.” Maybe not the last one but you get the point.
For the second question, we some 4s and some 2s. I think the main reason we got a 2 from someone is because it is really hard to make things scary in Minecraft. When we asked the question, “Is our theme park scary or spooky,” we didn’t literally mean did you get so scared you ran home to your mom, we meant more like, “Is our theme parks scary or spooky for a Minecraft theme park,” or something along those lines. I think it would have helped to be more precise with that question and I think that is something we could improve on.
For the third question, we didn’t get many responses because only the people in our class can visit the theme park because the server is not open to the public. But most of the answers we received were either, “Yes, they all work,” or “Most of them work, but there might be a tiny flaw in one of them.” I think if we could improve on this, we could probably fix the tiny flaw, however some people did not come across this flaw when they tested them out.
For the fourth question, everyone answered, “Yes, it is unique!” I really agree with them because I think the floor matches the theme and it is really different from other people’s floors because theirs were all grass. Here are some pictures of our floor:
We decided to use the block Mycelium as a base and add some Podzol into it. I think something we could improve on with our flooring was making the Podzol less in a line. It was really hard to do, so we just sprinted around breaking one block and then later filling it in with Podzol. I think it would look a lot better if it was less like a line (where we put the podzol).
For the fifth question, we got pretty positive answers again. Most of the people would come to our theme park and our group was pretty happy to hear that. Something that we could do to get more people to come to our theme park would be doing things like mentioned in the paragraph about the first question, “Does our theme park match our theme,” (putting creepy signs, spawning more monsters, etc). Another way to encourage a lot of people to come to our park is to make sure that we made everything really good so when we send out the survey, we would get the best results (for example, the theme park matches the theme, the theme park has the perfect amount of scariness and spookiness, etc.
For the sixth question, we again received a lot of uplifting feedback. We got some compliments on our rides, saying things like, “I really like the maze,” or “The haunted house was really scary!” We also got comments about how we had good creativity and that the blocks we chose really matched our theme. These comments really made us feel good about our creations and for this question there wasn’t any negative feedback.
For the last question, we got good feedback on how we could improve our area. Most of the stuff has already been written down in the reflection but here they are anyway. One of the comments said we needed to add more monsters and maybe change the randomness of the podzol. I really agree with this person because if we did improve on this, it would make our theme park a whole lot scarier and better. Another person said something a bit similar to the adding monsters one. This person said we could add little things that could make the theme park scarier. This was also mentioned before as well as a solution (putting scary signs up, spawning more monsters, etc). Those were really the two main constructive comments we received from that question and I agree with both of them.
In conclusion, (finally) I think the things I were to change if I did my part of the theme park again, was to put little scary signs in places, add more zombies, make the Podzol flooring less random, and follow the original map a bit more. Overall I have really enjoyed this unit and am proud of our team for what they have accomplished. The things we could improve on in the actual theme park park (the Create part) were pretty easy to change things and would improve our theme park greatly, so I am pretty happy about that. I think we are all proud of each other for creating a super cool theme park and I am proud of you for reading this WHOLE blog post. So congratulations to 7b for creating an AWESOME theme park and to you for reading all the way through this blog post (unless you skipped to the end 😉 )!
P.S. Sorry for having so many words and not so many pictures!