This is a long reflection about our CS3216 final project.
In one line: a Tamagotchi-alike fitness game application.
You are going to grow up a virtual pet called Mi by exercising in real life. The key point of FitMi is, “You Exercise, Mi Grows”. All your daily activities and exercises will be used as “food” to level up your Mi (data is read directly from device sensors). You could unlock unique skills, actions, Mi lookings, achievements and battle against your friends using different skills. The app is designed to encourage people to exercise more so they Mi could grow stronger and get more rewards.
More details at https://fitmi.club/
This is one of the unique thing that you can learn and do only in CS3216. Every year, when STePS(SoC Term Project Showcase) is coming, SoC folks will be able to see how crazy the CS3216 project marketing can be. This year is not an exception as well.
Poster, poster, posters!
Our group actually took the lead for starting this year’s crazy poster campaign in SoC. We printed over 50 color posters and more than 100 black and white posters, and paste them all over the SoC.
Posters in toilets are not shown here. Yes, don’t be surprised when you see the cute Mi is watching you when you are relieving nature.
By doing this, 80% of SoC folks knew the existence of our application prior the STePS, which is quite effective (but annoying, details in “what went wrong”).
As Colin suggested, we also did some roadshow, though they didn’t work well. We wore the FitMi T-shirt, brought FitMi balloons, swags, and posters and shared our application to people around SoC. However, many people just said they were not interested/disliked exercises/didn’t play games and just rejected our offer. It was frustrating but expected. But the general responses were good and people like the cute design of our application. Since the roadshow didn’t work well as expected, we moved our focus to online campaign and STePS preparation.
Next step, expose our app to more users. One of my friend who works at Facebook Ads suggest us to try out their Ads product for promotion (but seriously, why can’t he get us some internal discounts = =).
Anyway, we did contribute several dollars towards Facebook’s profit. After that, we did get more page views after that, but the downloads was not boosted much as what they have described (of course lah lol!).
Besides, we also published our promotion videos and posters on our Facebook pages and WeChat. We bought tons of swags and two Xiao Mi Band for giving out during STePS and we hope that could give us more votes.
As a result, more friends and strangers on Facebook and WeChat knew about our product, and we believed we were ready for STePS.
STePS day! We really brought as many equipments as we could for the day. Apart from the monitor, I even brought my the 36-inch LED TV to our booth so people could see our video in the distance.
As our booth was at a very non-obvious corner, we made use of a wall of lockers to paste our balloons in the form of a “MI” to attract visitors’ eyes.
We also prepared a very well designed and colorful poster to welcome visitors.
We projected the app demo to a screen during the event. It worked very well as people could see clearer on the big screen rather than watching the demo on a small phone screen.
People were surprised about our product. They believed we built a very mature product that was very complete and useful. They found it lovely and damn cool. Many students even swore that they will definitely take CS3217 next sem.
The result was good, we won the first prize :) Thanks to everyone’s hard-work.
We really spent much efforts working on the final project. We also prepared the STePS weeks ahead for ensuring our T-shirts, thumbdrives, stickers, balloons, tokens could arrive on time (thanks to the amazing TaoBao.com).
In the end, around S$500+ were spent on the final project :P But we think it is worthy because our high quality swags attract many people during the STePS. They look very polished (Kudo to Taobao!).
Cute, stupid, pixel arts.
Most people really like our design. The Mi is stupidly cute and it delights many users. Our pixel art stands out from the rest of the projects and people keep asking questions like how did you guys draw that?
It’s a useful fitness app.
It’s still a fitness application anyway. The experience and battle systems are designed to encourage you to exercise more in order to make your Mi stronger. Also you will be rewarded with new skills and actions if you exercise and level up.
We have a very good team. We have an iOS expert, a professional designer, a hard-working backend and a funny PM to cheer up the team (me).
Good schedule and timeline.
All our milestones and achieved on time. The review of App Store is much shorter this years, which also helps us a lot (first release was within 16hrs after submission).
Marketing is too aggressive
As I said, we took the lead for the crazy posters competition. The next day, other projects’ posters are all over the place as well. ComClub was pissed off because of our unauthorized posters (sorry for that! >_<). And we believed many students are annoyed by those posters as well because it’s really everywhere…
We realized our mistakes and took the initial to clean up everything before the STePS. I think next year we should be more considerate for this.
No android version
Well, again, many people are mad about this… For this, even though is technologically achievable, we may not have the time and efforts for that, since basically that requires a total rewrite of the app and none of us is familiar with Android development.
We definitely will continue the project apart from regular maintenance, such as introducing more skills and actions. But since it depends on our designer’s progress, it may or may not update frequently.
We want to thank for everyone who help and support us through the CS3216 journey. None of us has image what the final product would be like when the idea first came to us, but it could be shown to be a very good idea, and we worked very very hard to make it a good product (countless working for whole night).
So that’s the end of my CS3216 journey as a student, and I am looking forward to see more awesome works next year as a alumni :)
Keep being awesome, folks!