Refining the process to increase collaboration
The Microsoft Holographic Academy
A few weeks ago, Alan Shimoide and I had the opportunity to attend Microsoft's Holographic Academy boot camp in Redmond. I call it a boot camp because unlike last year—which was a 2-3 hour session—this was a three-day event where we went far deeper into the technical details of accessing various HoloLens sensors and APIs from within Unity3D. This year's Holographic Academy made it clear that the fundamental way tech and creative work together will need to change.
Our team's typical process (above) is to ideate, concept, design, develop, test, and deploy. And from this diagram you might think that we use a waterfall process; we don't. While creative drives the initial phases, development is still involved and contributing. For example, while creative is refining an experience design with a client, tech is providing feasibility analysis, developing system and application architectures, and building prototypes. And when we move into development, creative is creating assets, videos, and working with localization providers to provide assets in as many languages as required.
With HoloLens, the delivery process starts to take on elements of a game studio’s delivery process where some—if not all—of the development is done before model and motion design. This is usually because in a gaming studio, model, level and motion design are dependent on the tools and systems that tech builds during development. The analog for HoloLens is that in the model design and animation phase, both tech and creative would depend on the scripts and libraries that tech builds during the dev phase. The process change is small, but it opens up a whole new realm of opportunities for creative and tech to collaborate much more closely.
Wells Caughey (@ewcaughey) is a Technology Director for the Razorfish Emerging Experiences team, based out of our Atlanta office.