6 Brainstorm Reports

Sometimes, we can’t just start prototyping right off the bat. Either something technical needs to be figured out first, or it’s not clear what the best concept would be to meet our client’s goals. In the latter case, we end up brainstorming with our client, ultimately resulting in a brainstorm report.

While we shared some learnings about brainstorm sessions before, we will now focus on the end result: the brainstorm report, and will be sharing six of our brainstorm reports for the first time ever!

brainstorm session

Picture taken during a brainstorm session at Yale University for the Invite Only VR project, where Bernard (on the left) moderated the brainstorming with the Yale play4REAL XR Lab team.

When we say brainstorming, we talk about a journey consisting of two sessions:

  • We define the scope and requirements of the project in a “requirements session”.
  • We let our imagination go wild with a flash flood of ideas, and also select the best ideas and refine them, during a “brainstorm session”.

After these two sessions, we create a brainstorm report.

What Goes in a Brainstorm Report?

As a bare minimum, a brainstorm report contains a slightly elaborated version of the concepts that were selected during the brainstorm session. In the report, those concepts are often illustrated with various images such as mock-ups or references to other games or experiences.

Sometimes, we also include the conclusions from the requirements session and the raw brainstorm notes.

Wonder what that might look like? Here is a selection of the reports of actual brainstorm sessions we conducted over the past thirteen years.

1. Distracted Driving Game

Access the report here

Dr. Andrew Hashikawa at the Department of Emergency Medicine of the University of Michigan wanted to highlight the dangers of distracted driving through a virtual reality game. To emulate the challenges of driving with a scattered focus, players had to combine fast thinking and slow thinking tasks to discover how hard it is to alternate between both modes of thinking. We came up with 19 ideas of which five were selected to be elaborated in the brainstorm report.

Want to see the prototypes that resulted from this session? You can find them in this blog post about the project.

For the Distracted Driving Game project for University of Michigan, three game concepts from the brainstorm session were turned into prototypes: Distracted Sorter, Distracted Cook, and Distracted Navigator.

2. Famine Ties

Access the report here

How can you capture the dire reality of Ireland’s Great Famine in an interactive experience? That was the question that kicked off this brainstorm session with Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in Hamden, Connecticut. Together, we came up with a wide variety of ideas to offer museum visitors an interactive representation of these hard times in Irish history.

You might recognize this project from our previous post about six things we learned about brainstorming.

Hunger game Brainstorm versus prototype

On the left: an early sketch of Famine Ties‘ concept drawn after the brainstorm session. On the right: a screenshot of the prototype itself.

3. Smiling Instead of Smoking

Access the report here

Dr. Bettina Hoeppner at the Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine was looking for ways to help smokers and vapers quit their unhealthy habit through positive psychology. In the brainstorm session that ensued, we focused on the general flow, reward system, and minigames to be explored in the Smiling Instead of Smoking prototype.

This report showcases that brainstorm sessions don’t have to be limited to high level ideas. This particular session goes into detail about aspects like game menus and themes.

Smiling Instead of Smoking

On the left: two sketches drawn during the brainstorm session. On the right: a screenshot from the Smiling Instead of Smoking app which is available on the iOS App Store and on Google Play.

4. Invite Only VR

Acccess the report here

Because we have already started working on a prototype, it doesn’t mean that it is too late for a brainstorm session. After building the second iteration of smokeSCREEN VR – a vaping intervention game prototype, which was later renamed to Invite Only VR – we did a follow-up brainstorm with Yale’s Center for Health & Learning Games’ play4REAL XR Lab (now XR Pediatrics). We went back to the drawing board to come up with new ideas and features for the next iteration of the prototype.

Intrigued by this project? You can find more details about the first iteration of this project here.

Invite Only VR earned quite some accolades after it was launched.

Invite Only VR earned quite some accolades, including the gold medal at the 2020 International Serious Play Awards, and a spot in the Forbes Top 50 VR Games of 2019.

5. The Vandiesel Company Challenges

Known as a series of thriller novels, The Vandiesel Company was looking to expand their crime flavored content into other media. This brainstorm session focused on various games that suit the Vandiesel universe. In this brainstorm report, we describe three ideas that go pretty in-depth.

This isn’t the only project we worked on with The Vandiesel Company, by the way. Previously, an impressively made video appeared on our blog about the start of the first collaboration with Dirk Vanderlinden.

Clue gameboard

One of the ideas generated during this brainstorm session was inspired by the board game Clue.

6. Zzebbraa

Access the report here

Zzebbraa is a creative brand for kids. Its creator Jan Battem wanted to translate this artistic product to a video game for small children. The ideas that ultimately were immortalized in the brainstorm report were all based on existing products, both video games and physical toys, that were adapted to suit the Zzebbraa creative style and target audience.

TV toy box

In our brainstorm sessions, inspiration can come from unexpected places. Like this toy TV Bernard used to play with as a kid (not dissimilar to the LEGO NES, by the way).

Unlock Your Creativity

Whether you are looking for new concepts to include in your video game, or are eager to discover the possibilities of video game technology for your business, our approach to brainstorming can help pinpoint which concepts to prototype. Reach out to us to discover how we can help you with this.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *