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Friendly Feelings

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , on April 18, 2017 by sierraphantom

This week, we met and did the game brief over Google Hangouts. I was in charge of some different sections this week. Before, I was always in charge of the objective and obstacles sections, but this week I worked on the introduction to game and objectives. We met in the call and worked on the brief together, but parted ways to work on our individual power point slides.

This is what I wrote for the introduction to game section:

“In this game, the player gets to interact with five imaginary friends and play puzzles with them. The player gets to talk to the characters, listen to them talk to each other, and play puzzles with them to teach them social and emotional intelligence. There are characters to represent self-awareness, self-management, motivation, empathy, and social skills and they drive the story by giving the player puzzles to complete. The player has to bring color back into this world by completing the puzzles and talking with these friends. The game has a cartoony look to the characters and backgrounds.”

My blog post from last week is basically an extended version of this, going in depth on who the characters are and what they’re like. Although, the part about color coming back to the world was added this week as a way to get the kids more invested. This way they would be more likely to continue playing and want to help out these characters. Before, we did not have an established story, but now we have an idea of an overarching plot.

In the next section I did, there was not as much information to cover. With obstacles, there really was only one which was that puzzles needed to be completed in order to progress in the story. It’s a fairly straight forward game so there are not many obstacles.

 

Brief:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11wPdp52-8OZfTbSRWoxybB4sHtfSxAM2IcwdHt906_s/edit?usp=sharing

 

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/

Nicolas Kruzel – https://seriousfailure.wordpress.com/blog/

Coping With Imaginary Friends

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , on April 8, 2017 by sierraphantom

For this week, I decided to pitch an idea involving something a little personal. With the prompt focused on helping children learn about emotions and how to handle them, I connected with how I used to do so as a child. With not many friends and not being able to connect with my family, I had imaginary friends during elementary school. This was the way I coped and it did help. I could vent or cry to my imaginary friends when I was alone and it did help me feel better, but also work out problems by talking aloud about them.

With this game, I want to encourage the idea that emotions should not be suppressed. Kids should have a healthy way of venting and talking about how they feel, whether it’s with themselves or with another person. This game is a story based game about a group of character, who look like they could have been imaginary friends spawned by a kid. Each character represents a field of social and emotional intelligence.

First off is a character who looks like a normal child to represent self-awareness. They are open about how they are feeling and make sure to let others know when something makes them uncomfortable. Next is a tree character who represents self-management. He controls it most of the time, but does have anger problems, and offers advice to other characters on how to control their emotions and proper ways to vent. Another character is a small hamster to represent motivation. He encourages everyone to be creative and get tasks done, but also to make sure everyone takes care of themselves first and foremost. The next character is Berry the Bear to cover empathy. She is good at observing the others and knowing when one of them is feeling a certain way. The last character is a ghost who doesn’t have the best social skills. He keeps to himself and likes to be left alone, but the other character understand this and don’t force him to hang out.

The game itself involves the player playing mini-games with the other characters as well as pairing off the other characters and watching them talk to each other. The game is fairly open ended and lets the player see a multitude of conversations between playing small games like tic-tac-toe or checkers. The focus is on the characters and storytelling. The goal for the player is to finish the story and the goal of the game is to help kids understand the different aspects of emotions and social skills.

 

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/

Nicolas Kruzel – https://seriousfailure.wordpress.com/blog/

American Sign Language Strategy Game

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , , on April 3, 2017 by sierraphantom

This week was a little hectic in terms of the project. We did manage to have a short talk with all of us discussing the game idea together, but due to scheduling conflicts on my end, I was not able to attend the longer meeting later in the week. To try and make up for my mistake, I did my sections of the brief before the meeting was held so the group could look it over and send me their critique. With not much critique given, I did my slides based off of my points and prepared for the presentation.

I focused on three different sections. The quick one was a link to similar gameplay, where I chose Fire Emblem: Awakening as an example. With the core of the game being a strategy, the mechanics work in a similar. The input, being sign language, is the key difference.

The next section was the objective one. I talked about how the goal was to win all of the battles utilizing American Sign Language. The player loses if the computer or another player defeats them in battle. This can be determined by skill with the language or skill in organizing a battle. The player can win if they successfully beat the computer or other player in the battle, more so if they beat all of the story missions.

The last section I worked on was the obstacles one. This game has some unique obstacles as the input itself is one for some players. One obstacle is learning ASL if the player doesn’t already know it. Tutorials are provided to help. Another obstacle to conquer is the affinity system. By doing little in between ASL talks between troops, the player can boost the affinity and teamwork from the team. The system of taking turns is also an obstacle as you cannot just charge head first into battle, you have to be strategic. The last one, is the enemy troops themselves. They are the main thing standing in the way of the player’s victory.

Brief: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JKu0oVI_1t_BVZy194SUUunhP6rCxYS3dIdntKXDMPs/edit?usp=sharing

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/

Nicolas Kruzel – https://seriousfailure.wordpress.com/blog/

 

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/

Making a Game Brief

Posted in Serious Game Project with tags , , , on February 5, 2017 by sierraphantom

immigration

This week, my group got together and chose an idea to focus on for our game brief and presentation. We chose an interesting yet tough game idea for a simulation rogue-like immigration game. The basic concept is that the player is playing as an immigrant trying to get citizenship in the United States and has to fill out paperwork and answer questions to be approved. The main catch is that if the player makes even one mistake, they lose and have to start over from the beginning as a whole new character.

Most of us worked on the game brief together, discussing each section as we went, but each member was working on and typing up their own section. I focused on the objective and obstacles section, but put in my two cents with most the other sections. We came up with the title for the game “Naturalization: The Drawn Out Process of Uncertain Immigration” together, wanting to be a little witty, but also emphasize how hard the game is by including that you may not win. We mean for this game to be as hard as applying for citizenship in real life. 

With the objective section, I just made sure to cover the goal and how to win or lose:

  • The objective is to become a U.S citizen.
  • The player wins if they fill out all of their paperwork correctly.
  • The player loses if they make one mistake in their paperwork.

With the obstacles, it was simple restrictions and other tasks that make the game harder:

  • The player has switch between the paperwork and other materials.
  • There is a time limit to fill out paperwork.
  • One mistake makes the player have to start over.

Once done with the brief, we moved onto the power point for presenting next week. Each of us made a slide based on the sections we wrote. However, once I was done with mine, I did offer advice on how to make the points more concise on the slide since a presenter is not supposed to have too many words on a slide.

 

Brief: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15hOxrSf4TZDVcRRLenrl_KWPDj6KnnrVNBLBagvM7oY/edit?usp=sharing

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

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

Ryan O’Mullan – https://ryansseriousgamesblog.wordpress.com/

Nolan Aldridge – https://noiceguy.wordpress.com/ 

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