• Week 38

    8 July 2013

    Week 38: two weeks to go before Playable City launches.

    The telephony code is roughly where I want it to be, which is good; there’s a big content influx going on in the run up to launch, and any tweaks to the logic will come in response to what it feels like with the final language in place.

    The main focus of this week’s work was the public website: shelling out the basic back-end structure, and focusing on two live visualisations that are probably the most technically complex part of it.

    The public site is entirely separate to the telephony application: that way any popularity on the public internet won’t affect the gameplay experience. So to represent any kind of data on the public site, we need to build some data-emitting endpoints on the telephony application. Once those were in place, spitting out sanely formatted JSON, I could start prototyping the visualisation around that data format.

    The visualisations began as single HTML pages, using static inline JSON to seed them. Once I’d built up the representation of that code, moving to D3‘s d3.json method to suck the data over the network was not so hard – but it’s important to break these problems down in the right order, and the most important problem in this case was: given some JSON, how do we build both animation and interaction around it?

    (As a side note: despite the evented complexity of what’s going on, I’m reminded again of how much I enjoy working in D3; one of my favourite New Things I Learned This Year and well worth your time if you’ve not encountered it: it’s useful for all manner of things).

    By the end of the week, we had made a good amount of progress: the beginnings of a public site, the IA and design nearly complete, the beginnings of a back end, and importantly, the complex viz largely prototyped (meaning all that was left would be to incoprorate the actual designs/markup).

    Almost nothing other than Playable City this week, as things should be: the only other things of note were a few discussions about workshops in July/August, and components for Sore slowly arriving.