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A Scary Development at twentysix…

In October our Development team thought they would try use their skills to ‘scary’ effect, the end result was ‘Ghoulgle Shriek View’.

Phil Robinson, a back-end developer, led the project, he discusses the project in more detail.

Before arriving at the idea for shriekview I had a few thoughts going through my head which were either dismissed by people not liking them or ‘already been done’ ideas. From simple scary story websites to scary quizzes along with online pumpkin carving.

Ghougle Shriekview

Ghougle Shriekview

An initial idea for shriekview was to simply overlay some spooky images on Google street view for viewers to see, this would include a relevant scary story whilst walking around the locations. This proved to be problematic, in short it was relatively unachievable, I thought my idea was gone.

Then my colleague Raj stepped up and she discovered that you could create your own panoramic photo and with the google API place a link on normal street view, this would then allow you to navigate into the picture.

This wasn’t without its own challenges and meant going around to each location to get an image which we could use. We started off thinking that we would need to take a panoramic photo and have a grey border at the top and the bottom so the photo was not distorted when put it into the Google API.

Phil Robinson - Developer

Phil Robinson – Developer

Our minds then wandered and we thought about the Google camera app and the full 360 panoramic photos you can take with that. We tested taking a photo with the app and used this within the development site. IT WORKED!

This meant that we could use the Google camera to take the 360 panoramic photos, split them into 4 and reference them via JavaScript. Now we had the stories and the pictures were slowly starting to build up, the only thing left was to put it all together.

The build itself was not overly onerous (we are a talented bunch!) the most tedious part being the direction of the arrows pointing into the panoramic locations, obviously we wanted these to look like they pointed towards the building you were going in to see.

The site was starting to take shape but there was still more work to be done. Fortunately design were on hand to provide a creative touch and Senior Designer Nik lent his skills to create a nice interface with some well-placed ghostly effects into the images.

The research of the stories was important to ensure the effects reflected the original story, we even added some ghostly effects into the panoramic of the twentysix office – there are four in total, can you find them all?

Lastly we decided to research into adding sounds that activated once you had navigated into the picture, again we wanted to tie the sound with the story to make it an immersive experience.

The end result was a shriekingly interactive piece of content, further skills development within the team and an end product which we can show off to all our colleagues, clients and competitors!

You can see the full creation here: 

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