Archive for March, 2017

A Braille Text Adventure

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , , on March 25, 2017 by sierraphantom

HumanWare BrailleNote Apex BT 32 Braille Notetaker

This week, with a slightly different group, we were assigned the topic of disabilities. With such a broad topic, we could choose any disability to focus on. For one of our choices, we wanted to do something with vision impairment. With one of my friends being legally blind and knowing what a braille note taker is, I offered the idea of a text adventure for the the technology. My friend has a few, so this is not a completely new concept and it is not too hard to put documents and these text adventures on there. The main issue I know of is that some symbols and punctuation don’t always translate correctly to the system, so the biggest focus would be on quality assurance to make sure odd typos and errors do not happen. Since the game is being made for this in the first place it should work best on the technology.

The next focus is entertainment for the visually impaired. Unless the game is also put on PC, it will only be accessible for the visually impaired who own a braille note taker. The story for this text adventure is about the player character being stuck in a room and having to solve puzzles to get out of the room. The game has different endings based on what the player does while in the room. There will be some endings where the character dies, a few where they survive, and then one true ending. The player gets paragraphs of text describing the room or items when they type in commands like “inspect key” or “look at room.” Some puzzles specifically involve braille so there is a learning curve if this game were to be put on PC for the non-visually impaired.

Games similar to this would be the Zero Escape series or the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Text Adventure. The genres are puzzle and text based adventure.

 

Group Members:

Luke Carpentier – https://lukecarpentier.wordpress.com/

Kevin Larson – https://kevinlarsonblog.wordpress.com/ 

Khuong Truong – https://dysfunctionalthinking.wordpress.com/

Darius Watts – https://badcoffeesite.wordpress.com/blog/

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Showered in Dysphoria Brief

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , , on March 7, 2017 by sierraphantom

Showered in Dysphoria
Sierra St.Onge

Genre: Simulation
Audience: Friends and family of transgender people

Primary Objective: What is the primary objective of the game? This is in relation to the Entity and your stated goal:

Help people understand a piece of what transgender people are going through.

 

State WHY you chose this primary objective. Why did it meet the needs of the
goal and the Entity, and why were you interested and committed to
exploring this objective?:

I chose this objective in order to show those who are not aware of what it is like to be a transgender person a specific recurring part to most of their lives. No one really talks about dysphoria and many cisgender people are unaware that this is something they face.   


Introduction to Game:

This is a game about dysphoria in the shower. Bathing time is when trans people who have not transitioned basically have to stare at the bodies they are uncomfortable with which can lead to long, depressing showers. This isn’t the case for everyone though and dysphoria in general varies from person to person. This game will focus on one person with dysphoria, a demiguy. The player will see a silhouette behind a shower curtain and thought bubbles from time to time from the character. The player has to manage the character’s shower time, have him accomplish washing their hair and other hygiene based tasks, but the character can reject what the player wants and just stand there, thinking or staring at the wall. The game’s levels are different days and are affected by the character’s mood and any unpleasant encounters relating to gender he had that day.

What mechanics in the game are you using to optimize and actualize the Objective?:

The mechanics that help optimize my objective are the thought bubbles that come from the character depending on his life and the player’s actions and how the player can tell the character what to do, but it is possible he will stop or not listen. Through thoughts and actions, the player will learn about what the character is going through.

Game Control:

  • The player clicks on what shower task the character should do, but can also cancel the task by right-clicking on it in the list of tasks.


Score/Objective/Winning/Losing/Competition:

  • The objective is to complete the shower in a timely manner.
  • You win if you make it through all of the levels
  • You cannot lose, but you can get a bad rank on the level for not finishing quickly or not knowing how to handle that shower.


Interface/Information:

  • Upon starting a level, the player will see the character silhouetted behind a shower curtain as well as the silhouettes of soap, shampoo, and other shower supplies.
  • The player can hover over an object or body part and a nameplate of what the item is will appear.
  • In the upper right corner of the screen, the list of tasks to be done will form.
  • In the bottom left will be a leave shower button. A prompt will pop up when clicked asking “leave shower” or “go back to menu.”



Main User Mechanics/Actions:

Match: The actions chosen and the order of these actions need to match with how to limit how depressing the character’s dysphoria is going to be.

Manage: The player is managing the events of the character’s shower for him.

Move: The selections cause the character to move and perform them.

Select: The player clicks on objects to initiate tasks or cancel them.

 


Levels/Environment:

  • Levels
    • Each level takes place in the shower.
    • The player has to choose tasks for the character.
  • Level Progression
    • The level starts with some thought bubbles about how the character’s day was or what the character has to do that day (depends on time of day).
    • The player chooses tasks while the character has different thought bubbles on what he’s thinking about.
    • If the character feels like it or dysphoria hits, he will cancel tasks himself.
    • Once the player has the character leave the shower, they will receive a rank and move onto the next day.
  • Environmental Look
    • The environment consists of the view of a shower with the curtain closed.
    • The player can see silhouettes from behind the curtain.
    • Thought bubbles will appear around the character’s head.
    • The lighting will change based on the time of day the shower took place.


Obstacles, interactive elements, enemies, collectibles, npcs etc: (list and minor descriptions. Puzzles if applicable MUST be described)

  • The player can click on the objects or click and drag them over to a body part to start a task.
  • The character can slow down or stop while doing a task, but it is not random.
  • Clues have to be found in the character’s thoughts. Some thoughts will be nonsense shower thoughts or small things, but even some of those could have clues.
  • What to do depends on mood and how bad dysphoria is.



Describe and Explain the unique ways in which your game idea meets the needs of the theme, entity, AND objective:

The game is unique and connects to the theme, entity, and objective by forcing the player to pay attention to what the character is going through. If the player does not focus on the character’s thoughts while setting up tasks, the game will be really hard. It’s tough to get a good rank and it should be tough to watch how depressed the character can get while doing a task that, to a lot of people, is simple. However, in some cases through the game, it is best to just let the character think.



Sixty seconds of play: (a few sentences providing a timeline and guide to what one actually does in the game)
The character gets into the shower and thinks about how his day went. A thought bubble appears on screen saying: “I hope I can play games tomorrow. The sooner I finish my homework, the sooner I can relax.” The player clicks on the shower head and drags it to his hair. The character wets his hair under the water. A thought bubble appears: “I need a haircut soon. It’s getting too long.” The player drags the shampoo to the character’s hair and he starts washing it. A thought bubble appears: “I don’t want it super short, but if I cut off too much, I can’t put my hair in a ponytail for work. My hat falls off if I don’t thread my hair through.” The character washing his hair slows down and takes a while with the task.

 


Link to video of similar gameplay: Link to video or inclusion of images of similar look/style.

The Sims 3 for the tasks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loLJN7FgBiU

Oxenfree for the style of thought bubble and storytelling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4uW3q19LFM