Fragments of Laura

The fourth week of development started with the welcoming of both Ana B and Sandra onboard. Sandra started drawing the 2D character concepts for the storytelling experience.

Character Sprites

Character Sprites

Some additional components started being designed such as a questionnaire for the testing phase of the experience, which we named “Fragments of Laura”. With this, the preliminary versions of a poster to advertise the test started being sketched.

Finally, the branding of the project was finalized, and we all settled on choosing the final logo.

Virtual Reality

At the beginning of this third week of development, we made the decision to drop all of the interaction concepts for the app, except one – the virtual reality. This allowed us to focus on this segment (it was more closely related to the storytelling aspect), since testing would be more straightforward and we could gather more in-depth feedback from the users. This meant that the majority of the scenario would be created in 3D, whilst having smaller objects in 2D.

In the weekly meeting, we discussed the possibility of hiring an artist and a designer to help Rui and Susana develop their respective parts. With that, Sandra and Ana B were present at the meeting in order to get acquainted with the project itself.

Logo Ideas Logo ideas

Paulo and Rui sketched some ideas for the logo, which Susana would work further on.

First Prototype

During the second week of the project, we started working on the first prototype. We discussed the aesthetics and art styles we would like to achieve for the storytelling experience and Rui began sketching different alternatives, to be chosen by the team. Overall, we aimed to use a distinct 2D style, as the experience would be running on smartphones (meaning that a big usage of 3D could make the app run slower). Paulo started developing the application prototype in Unity. At this stage, there were several concepts: usage of geolocation to access audio content (in-story gossip), usage of augmented reality to find more info about certain objects and the usage of virtual reality to tell a story.

In the weekly meeting we defined a deadline for this first prototype – the Madeira MicroFilm Festival, held at Ponta do Sol. This would allow us to test both the tracking of people and the storytelling experience. This was also the week in which he chose the name for the project – Beanstalk.


We kickstarted this (by now unnamed) project by having a general meeting in order to discuss the first courses of action and the overall direction. In this meeting, all of the members got familiarised with the work that Miguel had already been developing regarding the tracking of people around Madeira, through the use of routers and wi-fi signals.

Regarding the storytelling experience, it was decided to utilize the story of Laura Silva (previously developed by Mara and Valentina, among others) as part of a proof of concept prototype. Since the story was long, it was best to focus on a small section that had the most potential for interaction and/or storytelling. Since the story took place in Ponta do Sol, we decided to centralize the experience there, more specifically in a shop called “Old Pharmacy”. Furthermore, several ideas for a project name were pitched, but we didn’t reach a consensus.

Towards the end of the week, Mara, Paulo and Rui made a quick field trip to the Old Pharmacy, in order to do research about the location and its history. They also discussed what kind of different snippets could be used as part of the prototype, as well as the interactions and technologies.

Old Pharmacy @ Ponta de Sol

Old Pharmacy @ Ponta de Sol