Binary: Decoded Privacy Policy

Digital Writes is a not-for-profit organisation. It has been incorporated as a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) as a Company Limited by Guarantee. It has three independant unrelated directors. This ensures that all decisions are for the public good. Since the company is limited by guarantee it has no shareholders so no-one can benefit from any profits. Any and all profits must be used for work that are of benefit to the community within its Articles of Association.

Binary: Decoded and Binary: Decoded+ gather no personal data.

In fact Binary: Decoded and Binary: Decoded+ gather no data at all.

This policy is necessary since the game design software we use automatically asks for permission to access audio from the device. However, neither Binary: Decoded nor Binary: Decoded+ gather any such data.

If you have any concerns about Binary: Decoded or Binary: Decoded+ and their access to your personal data, please go to our Contacts page and send us a message. We will deal with your concern with the utmost urgency.

Publicity

articles on news websites – print articles – front page news

App Launch Event

pye cutout – lighting – venue decoration – game themed cakes – excited young people – proud parents – delighted funders – press

Coding

testing Kwik – accessible coding – mentoring ability

Dialogue and Soundscape

record dialogue – add post-production effects – create soundscapes for scenes

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Publicity

articles on news websites – print articles – front page news

We were delighted by the level of publicity we got for the app and our launch event.

On the Monday following the event, coverage appeared on the website of Swindon’s Link magazine: bit.ly/PyeSwLink

And just two days later, it appeared in the Swindon Advertiser, both in the paper and on their website: bit.ly/PyeSwAd

And a week after that, a copy of the Link dropped through my letterbox with a great shot of two of the young people on the front cover!

Miss Dare, media teacher from Commonweal School:

This has been a fantastic opportunity for students. They have been given an insight into how an app is planned and developed, giving them invaluable experience working with industry experts. Students got involved in illustration, scripting, marketing and digital design and programming, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Digital Writes provided an accessible project and supportive environment for a diverse range of students. We look forward to more projects in the future!

Miss Urquhart, English teacher, Lydiard Park Academy:

I like the fact we worked with other schools, and that young people with all sorts of abilities and conditions have been able to work on it. Digital Writes’ tutors are laid back with the students, which is nice, as it’s a different approach.

Mr Mercer, teacher, Crowdys Hill Special School:

The Digital Writes project was a fantastic opportunity for students to work with professional artists and game designers to stretch their technical and creative skills in ways that’s very hard for me to do as a classroom teacher. It’s been a brilliant opportunity that I’m so glad they’ve been able to take part in.

Dylan, programming and coding:

The sessions were amazing! They were really really fun, and I really enjoyed learning how to build the app.

Emily, design:

It’s been really fun working with David [Cousens, illustrator].

Ben, writing and design:

It’s been great to find out how to create a professional app, and how much time and effort is needed to make such an advanced product.

Mya, design:

It is an amazing opportunity to be able to work on a real project. Normally the projects we do at school don’t mean much, as they are just there as tasks. It’s amazing that we can actually produce something which will be for sale in the app store. Its going to look great on my CV and college applications.

ais_adver

App Launch Event

pye cutout – lighting – venue decoration – game themed cakes – excited young people – proud parents – delighted funders – press

Coding

testing Kwik – accessible coding – mentoring ability

Dialogue and Soundscape

record dialogue – add post-production effects – create soundscapes for scenes

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

App Launch Event

pye cutout – lighting – venue decoration – game themed cakes – excited young people – proud parents – delighted funders – press

Article in production. Come back soon.

Coding

testing Kwik – accessible coding – mentoring ability

Dialogue and Soundscape

record dialogue – add post-production effects – create soundscapes for scenes

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Coding

testing Kwik – accessible coding – mentoring ability

Article in production. Come back soon.

Dialogue and Soundscape

record dialogue – add post-production effects – create soundscapes for scenes

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Dialogue and Soundscape

record dialogue – add post-production effects – create soundscapes for scenes

Sam and Crowdys teacher Mr Mercer worked together on sound. Firstly they to reviewed and selected sound effects from our selection to create a library of sound effects for the game.

Then they thought carefully about Pye’s Workshop – it’s location and surroundings – and built up a soundscape to give that scene an intense atmosphere.

We held a big, all-day workshop where many of the young people got together to work on scripting, illustration design, performance and recording, sound design, coding and marketing.

One small team worked with Dan to perform and record the dialogue.

Thamires gave a brilliantly emotive performance as Pye.

And Iona was chilling as the voice of the emotionless RestructorBot – especially once they had applied some crafty post-production effects.

The same group also worked with Dan to create the amazing, bleak background sounds for the Junkyard scene, layering textures and sound effects.

As a result of collaborating and cross-referencing, the resulting soundscape perfectly matched the junkyard illustration designs produced by other young people in the illustration design suite down the corridor.

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

The Junkyard

research imagery – manipulate imagery to produce design

We held a big, all-day workshop where many of the young people got together to work on scripting, illustration design, performance and recording, sound design, coding and marketing.

One small team worked to design things like the app logo, the Junkyard and the things in it with David’s assistance and advice.

They also worked on designing the toxic organic spider that Pye discovers in the old wooden outhouse in the Junkyard.

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Story and Game Development

brainstorm ideas – talk them through – shape ideas – share with other groups – review – structure and flowchart – script

Over the weeks the different groups of young people from the different school brainstormed ideas for different scenes. They shared ideas and talked about them. They thought about the structure of the story and the logic of the game. For example:

1. Pys has created an AI set of glasses – cross between modernist and steampunk. The player is the glasses.

2. She sneaks around forbidden places looking for old tech to play with. The player/glasses help her.

3. She gets caught by Security Droid.
.
.
.
X. She gets banished from the city.

The different groups reviewed each other’s ideas, critiqued and revised them. It was amazing how well they collaborated. They were supportive and encouraging of each other’s work, and enjoyed seeing what other people had come up with, and then taking it that little bit further.

They shaped their ideas using mind-mapping software, planning the different events that followed from the player’s decisions and creating flowcharts.

This was a very challenging process. Working out the player’s choices and the different paths they might take was new to them, and required some deep thinking.

These flowcharts included all the main elements for the game:

  • summary of the text
  • background sounds
  • sound effects
  • images
Workshop Flowchart
Workshop Flowchart
Junkyard Flowchart
Junkyard Flowchart

From the flowcharts, they wrote the dialogue scripts, which provided the speech for the performers and the text for the designers. For example: Script: Draft 1

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Design The City

discuss commonweal’s ideas for the city – research – print – cut and paste – mood board

Crowdys took Commonweal’s basic idea and ran with it. They researched images online, chose those they were inspired by, and then cut and pasted them into mood boards – one to reflect the android city and one to reflect the human city – those dangerous areas where Pye would scavenge for parts to make her gadgets.

This meant that all the groups now had something to refer to when they were doing design work – a standard to apply to make sure all parts of the game were consistent with the rest.

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Pye’s Secret Workshop

mindmap ideas for pye’s workshop – design and draw the background – design and draw items for hidden object game

Over a series of workshops, everyone agreed that Pye would store her collected junk and make her gadgets in a Secret Workshop.

But where should it be?

It could just be an ordinary room in her home. Or it could be a secret base somewhere in the derelict part of the city.

Crowdys thought it should be a secret room in her home. They thought Androids would each have a charging pod instead of sleeping in a bed like humans. So, like people hide things under their beds, they imagined Pye would have built a secret door at the back of her charging pod, leading to her Secret Workshop.

Commonweal and Lydiard liked this idea, so Crowdys brainstormed what tools and inventions Pye might have in her Workshop and put them in a mindmap. And Commonweal and Lydiard added a few of their own.

pyes_workshop_mindmap-thumbnail

Commonweal also did some mind mapping of inhabitants for their world.

Then began the work of designing the look of the Pye’s Workshop and the items that should be in it, remembering from the story developers that there would be a hidden object mini-game in the workshop.

They loved working with David. It was really exciting for them to see and recognise his published work and think he was there working with them. They immensely valued the help he was able to give them in developing their illustration skills.

The story teams had come up with the idea of hidden object mini-games for represent Pye scavenging for parts for the gadget building activities. So the design teams got to work drawing items to go in Pye’s workshop for the first mini-game.

This also gave everyone the opportunity to make an individual contribution to the illustrations.

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be

Choosing a Voice

learn about using tenses and voices in creative writing – evaluate and discuss – choose a voice for our game

Commonweal PI Unit had the challenging task of choosing what voice, what tense to use in the writing.

  1. Second Person Present
    You can see a long way down the tunnel down towards the airlock. It’s dark and quiet.
    Will you:
    Creep down quietly in the dark?
    Switch on your torch so you can see where you’re going?
    This is the most used tense in gamebooks.
  2. Third Person Present
    Leia can see a long way down the tunnel down towards the airlock. It’s dark and quiet.
    Should she:
    Creep down quietly in the dark?
    Switch on her torch so she can see where she’s going?
  3. First Person Present
    Okay. I can see a long way down the tunnel down towards the airlock. It’s dark and quiet.
    Should I:
    Creep down quietly in the dark?
    Switch on my torch so I can see where I’m going?
    The player is an extra character, an advisor to the main character.
  4. Third Person Past
    Leia could see a long way down the tunnel down towards the airlock. It was dark and quiet.
    Did she:
    Creep down quietly in the dark?
    Switch on her torch so she could see where she was going?

They discussed the relative merits of each tense.

Second Person Present sounds like it puts you right in the action. But, on reflection, they thought it would mean that the hero of the adventure would have to be characterless to accommodate all players.

What they really liked about Third Person Past is that they would be able to create a proper character for their game. It’s also the standard novel format. But they felt that it doesn’t have the immediacy that you would want for a game.

So they considered Third Person Present. They felt that is has more immediacy, but it’s not like playing a proper game, where it’s all happening to you. So they were still drawn to the idea of First Person. That’s what gaming is.

So that brought us to First Person Present. You can also create a proper character in this tense. And it’s in vogue in books like The Hunger Games:

To my left and back, sparse piney woods. This is where Haymitch would want me to go. Immediately.

I hear his instructions in my head. “Just clear out, put as much distance as you can between yourselves and the others, and find a source of water.”

But it’s tempting, so tempting, when I see the bounty waiting there before me. And I know that if I don’t get it, someone else will.

But even here, the action is happening to someone else, so they had the inspired idea that Pye has designed and built a special set of glasses to help her. The Player IS the glasses. So the Player is right there. Pye talks to the Player in the First Person Present, and the Player has to make decisions and take actions to help Pye.

Nominated: First Person Present

Character and Story

design the city – develop the lead character – outline the story

Project Launch Event

what is a gamebook – choose a genre – what is that genre about – create a world for your story – create a main character for your adventure

What is a Gamebook

find out about gamebooks – try some out – decide what ours should be