Neo-Pangea and National Geographic launch interactive series “Brain Games”
I recently learned about a new (to me) interactive company, Neo-Pangea, located in Reading, PA. They teamed up with National Geographic to create a three-part series on the human brain called “Brain Games.” I reached out to project manager Phillip Krick to learn more about the interactive.
As a high-level overview, here are some excerpts from the press release:
“The three episodes will be themed around the topics of attention, sensory perception, and memory. … Airing in early October, it will use interactive experiments and tricks to reveal how our brains create the illusion of a seamless reality … Conversations with experts and illusionists are integrated into the site as a real-time Twitter feed.”
I really enjoyed this package. Each section contains two videos and two games. Of the six games, I enjoyed “Mass Indirect” under “Perception” the most. (Unfortunately I can’t link to it directly since they didn’t include deep links.)
I was a little bummed to see the videos separated from the games with headings “Try” and “Watch.” Moreover, after finishing a video, I wish it had automatically redirected me to the corresponding game or at the very least included a link to the game to maximize the chance that the user will stay engaged.
That being said, I was impressed by the quality of each component as well as sleek design of the site shell. I also thought the seamless interaction and movement of the components enhanced the end user experience.
Here are Phillip’s insights into the project:
Q. How long did this interactive take from conception to deployment?
A. The entire interactive took about three and a half months from soup to nuts. We had started with the â€œthought-scapeâ€ environment concept for the interactive back in June and kept refining the navigation and content integration through August. We developed the interactive from August through September and launched it on September 23rd of this year.
Q. What resources were used in the production of this site?
A. There was a team of three designers, three developers and a project manager working together through-out the lifespan of this project. We utilized most of the Adobe CS5.5â€™s bag of tricks to put the interactive together including: Adobe Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator.
Q. How will the television episodes be incorporated into the site (if at all)?
A. The interactive features video excerpts from the show that offer explanations for some of the brainâ€™s common trickâ€™s and devices as it pertains to the topics of attention, perception and memory. Additionally there is a link to â€œMore Videosâ€ offered in the interactive that will take visitors to additional show content.
Q. What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
A. As with any project, time constraints are the largest obstacle to overcome. We refine and polish anything that we work on. So being able to nail the concept, make it shiny and stick to our timeline required some serious agility. Additionally, we developed the application to be international and work in several languages which isnâ€™t necessarily a technical hurdle, but it was something that we had to keep in-mind during the entire course of the project.
Q. If you had to go back and redo it, what would you do differently and why?
A. There isnâ€™t really anything weâ€™d do different. We felt that we got everything that we could out of the scope of this interactive.
Q. Anything else you want the user to know about this site?
A. Visitors should note that during the premier broadcast of the show the Twitter feed will offer real time conversations with the mind experts and illusionists that were featured on the show.