Experience is live at FinishDrawing.com!
We wanted to create an experience similar to a freeform brainstorm session or a fun Pictionary-like sketch exercise. With quick prompts and a starting point, users are able to quickly have fun and sketch!
What it does
Finish Drawing prompts users to quickly complete a drawing in 20 seconds based off of an adjective + noun format. Sometimes they will be asked to draw a shocking flamingo, or an immense turkey, or even an anxious kangaroo. A starting point is dynamically created for them to finish the drawing so that they can quickly get their creative juices going.
At the end, they are given an animated GIF of their drawing to giggle and share. They can challenge their friends to draw a better delinquent koala or a better parched spaceship or just continue drawing new ideas. The world is their fidgety owl.
How we built it
During our concepting, we wanted to create a nice sharable experience that builds on our personal brainstorming and sketch exercises. Over the course of two weeks, we built FinishDrawing.com to test the limits of the WACOM WILL SDK, and we were able to standardize and build an experience that would work on Desktop to Mobile, all unified with a single drawing format.
Once we figured out the nuances of the SDK, we were able to build a dynamic website that is focused on keeping people drawing and engaged.
Challenges we ran into
WILL SDK documentation was not as detailed as we would like. It was tough to track information down on resources like StackOverflow with such a new closed-source SDK. A few examples also did not work. Once we did get past this part, we were able to deploy quickly.
The SDK also did not feel like it was designed for large-scale web apps unless you inject into an iframe. One of our initial concepts was for a collection of drawings that will update in real time, but the overhead of multiple iframes (due to the restricted nature of the SDK requiring one canvas per instance) made that concept impractical.
Performance on mobile browser was also limited especially on mobile Safari. Mobile Chrome worked well.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
It's a very addictive experience. We love the quick drawing nature and that the WILL SDK offers us so many possibilities for an expressive line.
We also are proud to be able to generate animate GIFs from the WILL-based drawings when the SDK-itself did not capture timestamps.
What we learned
It's hilarious drawing dishonest elephants.
There's also a lot of potential with the WILL SDK as a standardized drawing SDK. The cross platform nature is compelling, and in our interface, we give people the ability to download either the source DAT or WILL file generated (along with the animated GIF). We love the fact that the SDK automatically understands when a WACOM pen is being used (in Internet Explorer). We hope that expands to other browsers.
What's next for Finish Drawing
We will continue development and add more features. One idea we have is to have the adjective and noun database dynamically update based on sponsorship (ie. health sponsors, trade shows) or date-based events (ie. Independence Day, Thanksgiving) or location (ie. San Francisco, Houston).
End goal for us is to make FinishDrawing.com a fun expressive environment for creative sketching... and to see everyone's take on a hostile giraffe.