Post-Presentation

I think our final pitch went better than the first one, even though we had several technical difficulties immediately before we had to present. We did manage to present our slide show and have our game playtested, and again seemed to get positive reactions.

There were a few things I would like to implement in the game that we either didn’t have the time or ability to add before our presentation, such as:

  • Any sort of audio, which I feel would have gone a long way to setting the atmosphere of the game.
  • A more in-depth dialogue and narration, and one that is properly written*.
  • More areas and characters – in particular, had planned for other students to have simple one-line dialogue pieces for the player to read.
  • A character-naming screen, where the character named is actually your friend, which I believe would encourage players to care about her more.

*This was partially because the dialogue was mysteriously changed between the point where I wrote it and when it was put in the game. While the content was basically similar, my version had several wording differences, a slightly less casual and ‘slangy’ way of speaking, and all of the player options were written as commands such as “>ask why she was late to class” as opposed to “Hey uhhhh, why were you so late for class?”. I would be interested to find out which players in the target age group (high school students) find more appealing.

Characters and setting

For our prototype, we have decided to stick with one setting – the classroom – and 3 major characters – the player, the friend who has been given a temporary ‘default’ name of Mila, and the teacher, who has been named Mrs. Anaya (both names courtesy of Jieya).

I have been working on the dialogue and script for our prototype game.

Our rules and initial portraits

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Gameplay rules: Arrow keys to walk; player talks with other characters and can affect their mood with the conversation choices; a key can be pressed to open the phone menu. – by me

We created a simple, visual representation of the rules in our game. Because it is mostly driven by the narrative and dialogue choices, our game does not have many rules to it.

The keys I have shown in this poster are simply an example – it is possible they will be changed by the time we complete our final build.

I have also been considering ideas for character  to fill the roles of other ‘safe people’, if we were to expand our game to a full version.

Rules

Today we looked at the rules behind the game of Pac Man.

In order to visually describe how the rules around Ghost Behaviour and Death work in Pac Man, we made a simple maze area, and several puppets similar to what we used in our paper prototype. We then demonstrated the different ghost behaviours as follows:

  • Blinky, the red ghost, chases the player
  • Pinky, the pink ghost, goes around and ambushes the player
  • Inky, the blue ghost, has a ‘fickle’ mood, which translates to him aiming for a spot twice as far away as Blinky is from the point two places in front of the player
  • Clyde, the orange ghost, will chase the player until he gets close, then he will run to the bottom left corner of the map

We also demonstrated the ghosts turning dark blue and running away when the player gets a power pellet, and that they can kill the player if they catch up.

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Paper Prototype

We created a paper prototype version of our game, and then filmed ourselves moving the parts to simulate what the gameplay of our final project might be like.

Here are some of the paper ‘assets’ we used:

Edit: This is the video.

Initial Pitch

Here is our slideshow for our first pitch.

While I think we could have prepared better for it, we seemed to get a good reaction about our game.

We got some really good feedback on things to change or improve, including:

  • Making the game less about ‘saving’ the friend character, and more about helping and supporting her
  • Not having a direct confrontation with the boyfriend, as it is not a good way to deal with the type of situation our game describes
  • Not making the boyfriend an outsider – we had him characterised as an older, non-student who wore clothing that was a bit more obviously dangerous than a uniform – since it makes it seem like only outsiders can be the abusers in these situations
  • Include more ‘safe people’ who the player and friend can talk to and ask for help with their problems

Characters and Concept art

We have drawn some character designs and concept art for the world of the game.

 

Also, some of my workbook pages, with my ideas for parts of the game narrative and mechanics:

Game Idea and Storyboard

For our game that promotes healthy relationships in young people, our group is going to work on a game that focuses on the idea of a person who is in a position to help someone else who is stuck in an unhealthy relationship.

Our initial idea for this game is one where the player acts a high school student whose friend is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. The player has to figure out what is going on by collecting evidence – such as the friend’s changing behaviours, slipping grades and bruises – in order to confront people and convince them that something needs to change. The game’s ending will depend on who is confronted and if the player has collected enough evidence. The people who can be confronted will include the boyfriend – the risky option, as it can easily lead to a worse situation; the teacher – the ‘good’ option that promotes going to a trusted adult; and the friend – the neutral option, which can go either way depending if you can give good advice and convince your friend.

The game will span over 3 days, in several locations such as the player’s classroom, outside in the school grounds and the player’s home.