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Project Title:
Flash Demo & Card Design

Organisation:
2Evolved Pte Ltd

Mentor(s):
Mr Alvin Sim
Mr Cedric Lee

Group Members:
Brandon Tan
Nicole de Silva


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Welcome to this blog! We hope that the stuff attached here will give you a good idea on the kind of work and experiences that we had during the attachment period in January 2010.

Here is a list on how the content has been arranged on this blog:
1. Project 1: The Flash Demo
2. Project 2: The Card Design
3. Gallery
4. Brandon's Reflections
5. Nicole's Reflections

Links to Men At Sea TCG, TJC & WOW! Attachment 2010 websites are all on the left hand side.

The Flash Demo

A Brief Description
Basically, our project is a flash demonstration aimed at giving brand new players a quick and interactive guide and crash course on how to play the game. A whole variety of cards are introduced in the demo to show players the different perspectives and strategies that can be used. Also, this demo is aimed at players who have NEVER played any kind of trading card game in their entire life. So for those who have prior experience in other trading card games, do be patient even though it might be a little repetitive or draggy in terms of the explanations.

Results
Most of the interactive flash demonstration is finished except for some touch ups and last minute finishes that our mentor is still in progress with. The demo is still being developed so stay tune to this space and we will put a link to the flash demo once it is completed and put online. Interested parties can then access this interactive demonstration for a quick guide and crash course on how to play the card game.


The Card Design

A Brief Introduction
During the course of the attachment, one of us (Nicole) was given the opportunity to design a card for the game. She went through the entire process of card designing, from the conceptualizing, to the sketching, all the way to the colouring on Photoshop. The whole project was very challenging as time was a constraint, plus she did not have the experience as a professional and took the whole month just to complete this piece.

Results
Scroll down to the Gallery to take a look the grueling process and the final product of a month's effort.

Gallery

Photos of us and the things we did during attachment month!

Playing the game at various locations.










New Venture Creation Lecture @ NUS.





Beta-Testing Cards @ Bukit Batok McDonalds.



More card playing...







IDA Entrepreneurship Workshop. (26 - 27 Jan 2010, @ Gallery Hotel)








Our Projects:

- MAS Flash Demo:
The Flash Demo for the card game that we were working on during the one month attachment period is still being developed further. We will update this page and post up the link to the Flash Demo once it has been completed.

- Trading Card Design:
A very tiring process but the outcome was well worth the late nights!














& THE FINAL PRODUCT...


- Short Presentation at the IDA Workshop:
On the second day of the IDA Workshop, we had a chance to give a presentation on the company. Here are screenshots of our slides:


The slides are plain and simple because it was a very short presentation and most of our points were spoken and not typed into the slide so as to keep the visuals neat. Clicking on the slides will enlarge them.



Brandon's Reflections.

Some of the content and skills I learnt a lot during this attachment were business tactics, managing funds, appealing to potential investors, feasible business plans and a lot of socializing skills. During the business lectures and workshops, we learnt a lot about starting up one’s own business, the factors we have to consider as well as what makes an appealing presentation to potential investors. Also, your team that’s working with you on the business is very important as it’s most preferable to get a variety of people on your team. Also, when one gets an investor, it is very important to manage funds wisely as such a large sum of money suddenly presented to you can be very tempting. Last but not least, socializing and net- working is very important in the cooperate world. During the business workshop, we had a taste of it. During the breaks, everyone would be mingling around asking one another what kind of business they dealt in and exchanging business cards. This way one’s contacts and networks grow and you never know when you’ll need these people’s help.

Even though the card games were very fun, I found that what I learnt most was how the company sold their products and the techniques used to draw in customers, how they attract more people and how they keep players loyal to the game.

My most interesting observation of the people I interacted with at work, was the way he could switch between casual talk mixed with Chinese and dialect to perfect English when talking to professionals. The first time I encountered this was on the 3rd day of work. He was talking in broken English mixed with Chinese when a phone call came.
When he saw who was calling and picked up the phone, his whole tone changed to perfect English, I might even say with a slight American accent! That was amazing. To me this is one of the most important skills if one was in the service industry. You would need to be able to make your customers feel at home. If your customer was a person who spoke dialect and was not proficient in English, you should speak his lingo in order to make him feel at home. This way, people would feel warmer towards you and thus more inclined to show interest in your product or whatever that you have to sell. Conversely if your customer was a professional lawyer, you should speak good English so as to be able to match him in terms of vocal skills. This would give him a good impression of you and he would be more inclined to think you have the caliber to carry out the services that you offer with much proficiency.

Important traits to do well and enjoy work would be having a positive attitude and keeping in mind social etiquette. Having a positive attitude at all times ensure that you take what is thrown at you in stride no matter good or bad. This way you wouldn’t complain or give an unhappy face which put people off and give them a bad impression of you. Also, sometimes when people see that you are happy to help them, they would also be more willing to help you should you need their assistance. The next is social etiquette and courtesy. When you are either punctual or early every time people will have a good impression of you. Other things such as offering to help carry things or pay even though the boss wants to treat you are just some of the examples. People feel they are around a well brought up and well mannered person and will think better of you or speak well of you when asked.

Lastly, I feel that this attachment has taught me many valuable lessons and takeaways that I would never have otherwise been able to experience. Many thanks and much appreciation to the company and its people and not forgetting the teacher in charge who engaged them in the first place without whom this opportunity would not have knocked on my door.

Nicole's Reflections

Working with Men At Sea was a very exciting experience for me, mostly because I honestly jumped straight into the attachment without any prior knowledge of trading card games (a field I was to meddle in for a month), with my eyes wide open and my mind ready to learn.

As like any other start-up company, the company had no fixed work place and we spent most of our time at various card shops that sold Men At Sea cards. It was precisely because we did not have to face the same blank wall every day that we found everyday very different from the last and always learnt something new as we were work environment was constantly changing. A lot of our work for the flash demonstration and the card game design was done outside the time we spent at the shops and took up a lot of our time. One of the problems I faced was that of time management, having to turn up at school for PDP some afternoons after work and spending whatever was left of my day on the card design. As much as it made the month more hectic, I’m grateful for the opportunity that Men At Sea presented me to design a trading card to be a part of their future card pack.

In addition, we had the privilege of attending two sessions of an NUS Undergrad course in New Venture Creation on the second Tuesday of the attachment. The students there were friendly and very interested in finding out more about our attachment program. They also shared with us their entrepreneurial ideas and insights on their university life.

On the last week of the attachment, not only did I manage to FINALLY complete my card design, both Brandon and I took up the opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship workshop at Gallery Hotel by Mr Douglas on 26 and 27 January 2010. Then first session was a lecture on New Venture Creation and was similar in term of content to the lecture we attended at NUS a few weeks back so we took it as a chance to revise what we had learnt. On the second day, we had a chance represent the company and do a short presentation in front of the rest of the people attending the workshop. I learnt that it is important not to disagree with the comments of the investors and that I should have turned the situation around by convincing him of my cause.

The most interesting thing I observed of the people in the attachment was how bilingual our external mentor, Mr Alvin, was. When talking to us and briefing us on our attachment, he sounded very professional in perfect English. However, when interacting with the players at the card shops, his tone immediately changes to a more relaxed one, speaking fluently in Mandarin.

We all know that social etiquette, punctuality and good work etiquette are a must in the working world, but it was only through this attachment did I really understand the importance of them all. One’s appearance is the first impression we make on our potential clients and investors so it is important to be neat, tidy and dressed appropriately depending on the location. For example, while at the card shops, we were asked to dress casually as that would make us look more approachable to the players as the shops are located in neighbourhood areas, whereas we were told to dress in business attire during the entrepreneurship workshop as we were representatives of the company in front of many professionals.


Overall, I'm very glad I had the chance to work with Men at Sea and am very thankful for all the learning opportunities that they presented us. I think my biggest take away from this whole experience was part on writing business proposals and scaling a business idea.

I'm glad went into this attachment with an open mind as now not only do I have something to add into my art portfolio, I have also developed an interest in entrepreneurship and have a few ideas to start my own in the future! The contacts I've made at NUS, at the workshop and at the company will be very useful in the future too!