We knew that we wanted to build an app for tvOS, but what to build? It was obvious from the keynote that the possibilities were significant. (The MLB tvOS app in particular was very inspiring). We decided to take the opportunity to explore a genre that we normally don’t work in: party games.
We began by researching existing TV apps on other systems and reviewing (and of course playing with) current board games. Shortly afterwards, we focused on a humorous word party game and settled on a set of rules:
Since we wanted game to feel lighthearted and casual, we drew upon 50s style diner signs, menus and interior decor for our visual style.
Knowing that our game would involve both the Apple TV and iPhone/iPad apps, we delved into the experience around this multi-device usage. To get us started, we studied Apple's tvOS Human Interface Guidelines and its platform standards. Also, my colleague explored the tvOS development kit to determine technical possibilities and constraints. Armed with better knowledge on how to design and implement for the platform, I began to sketch a device experience sequence and took the following into consideration:
Like I mentioned earlier, a 50s diner experience was the foundation of our visual design.
The app is live in the tvOS app store in what we consider a silent beta: we haven't marketed it yet, but it's live and free for users who happen upon it. We plan to conduct a round of ethnographic studies with our friends and family; observing their interactions will help guide future adjustments.