BFF Design Diary – Making the Internet

The internet is a big deal.

This comes as a surprise to no one, but one thing that does surprise me is how fluent youth are with the internet. We’re turning into a true world of cyborgs where the line between knowing a thing and being able to look it up online is growing more and more blurred and the names of popular apps are creeping into our vocabularies as verbs. Clearly, the internet exists had to exist in BFF, but how would we represent that in BFF?

We settled on having some references to technology on each of the main design layers of BFF: Friends, Charms, Hangouts, and Friendship Cards.

For example, on the Friend layer, we have Sophia who, in her illustration looks at her phone as she skates. And we have Hyunjoo, who has a laptop as part of her DJ setup. We have one of the friends, Sophia on cell phone as she skates.

In the Hangout design there is a computer lab and computers throughout the Middleschool, and a sweet computer rig in Tiffy’s Bedroom.

And lastly one of my favorite Friendship Cards bears the prompt, “Ask the Internet”

So these elements combined remind us in play that the internet exists, and that our characters have access to technology.

Designing the Internet

The internet is also the basis for one of the Hangouts! Our design proccess begain with a brainstorming session where we talked about the different kinds of websites that we would like to be represented. These notes gradually transformed into a design document and into Taylor’s concept sketches where we molded these ideas to fit into the world of BFF.

For example We knew that we wanted a video sharing website like youtube. This concept went through several iterations ending up with taylor’s VideoPyre sketch depicting a flaming pile of video thumbnails.

Videopyre – Concept Sketch

Another design we we wanted to include was a MMORPG version of the Cube Farmer RPG scene in Lulu’s Basement. Here we’ve taken the cube farmer concept but extended it to evoke this whole world you can explore with inspirations drawn from Minecraft and World of Warcraft mixed in.

The third concept I’ll share is for a mysterious site that is so mysterious we don’t even have a name for it yet. When designing an array of scenes for a player to choose one thing we try and do is toss in one that is evocative and a maybe a little dangerous or confusing. This fills that role for the internet.

That is it for now. I hope you have enjoyed this window into the BFF design process!

Thanks for reading!

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