Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PhotoCity Spring Cleaning

Purpose of this post: part brain dump, part information for PhotoCity fans/users, part a chance to get feedback.

The thing I dislike most about PhotoCity is the unruly amount of space it takes up and all the data it generates. I also very much LIKE that I get to work with terabytes of data (much of it collected by users) but keeping it organized and fitting it into the little places I am allowed to keep data at school and having it live where the website can get at it is difficult as hell.

The other thing I dislike is disappointing people when they ask "Ohh, can I play PhotoCity??" and I start mumbling about how awkward it is and how it's technically possible but it's also a lot of trouble and there might not be room for new data at the moment and on and on... I usually tell them it IS possible to start seeds (use PhotoCity as Photosynth, basically) but to actually play there are extra awkward steps of setting up additional zones... As you can see, it devolves into mumbling and whining and ellipses and run-on sentences...

SO MY PLAN after chatting up some folks (which is all of five minutes old) is something like this:
  1. Package up and archive ALL of the PhotoCity data
  2. Make the live version of PhotoCity ONLY relevant zones
Part 1 involves taking all the half-finished models, and their photos, and giving them to my dear friend, Google Storage. Through GS, I can even host the data so people can browse it and actually get access to the models in a way that the current website doesn't do. All of this data will be totally dead and inactive in terms of the game, though.

Part 2 is so when I give a 5 minute talk about PhotoCity on thursday at school, AND when PhotoCity is mentioned at GDC on tuesday, I can say YES, TARGETED TALK AUDIENCE, you can go outside and play PhotoCity at UW! And in San Francisco around the convention center! (But, mumble mumble, I can't guarantee it will work to play it on an iPhone/Android... It is a game (accidentally) designed for POWER USERS who upload hundreds of photos through the website, not through their puny phones.)

And take pictures around SF on Monday to seed the game for Tuesday! :D

I'm going to work on my *other work* for the rest of today, sleep on this brilliant plan, and then drink a bunch of coffee and do it on Wednesday.

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