UX & Game Designer
Playful Pasts

In Georgia Tech's Fall 2016 semester I took a project studio course called "Visualizing Computer History", taught by Laine Nooney. For the final project of that course I collaborated with two of my classmates, Hayden Duke Russell and Kera Allen, on an email service where users can play games and read magazines from the era.

We wanted the service to send users an email once a week with a new issue of Softline, a computer magazine from the era, and an Apple II game they can play in the browser. Our goal was to replicate the experience of early computer users in the era. In the words of Laine Nooney when this idea was pitched, it's a "Ludic TinyLetter".

We had about 5 weeks to create this entire project, and none of us had ever made an email service like this before, so the experience was entirely new to us.

We used many different libraries to help us build up the project, most notably we used an Apple II emulator from a developer named Will Sculin. Additionally, we used TurnJS to emulate physical magazines, and SendInBlue to send emails on a schedule. Those three services together formed the backbone of the project.

Playful Pasts Cover Image

In the future, I'd like to convert this project to the original vision and have users pick a game, where users had to to wait a week before playing it. We made that original decision to emulate shipping times, given that digital distribution didn't exist in the early home computer era, and many consumers didn't have access to brick and mortar computer stores so order by mail was the only way to get new software. That change however, would require making a backend database to keep track of all of this information, but it's a feature I'm confident I'll one day be skilled enough to create.

Playful Pasts Screenshot 1
Playful Pasts Screenshot 1