Last Thursday, each group introduced their designs. Some groups tried to make their designs as general as possible so that when we decided on what narrative direction we wanted to go it could be easily applied. The remaining groups took the approach of actually using a specific narrative so that it was easier to hone in on how the design could work within the game world. These narratives included people on an island, animals on an island, and a fantasy high school.
Between presentations, it became apparent to the class that most of our designs were very similar given that all of these values are very closely connected. Some similarities included allowing the player to make decisions, having some sort of constraints imposed on the player (like limited time or funds), and allowing the player to see how their decisions impact the gameworld. Besides this though, some interesting ideas came from the feedback discussions. As a class we discussed the possibility of including the ability to negotiate with different groups and come to compromises and the possible benefits of stepping away from using humans as our population.
Once the presentations concluded, we decided it would probably be best to narrow down the general ideas for the overall design so that we are all on the same page. As mentioned earlier, the group thought it would be more compelling to use non humans as the characters so as of right now it has been decided that the characters and setting are aliens who have crashed landed on an island. We also discussed the importance of keeping the different waypoint objectives separate. Though having similarities in our designs is generally a good thing, having a large group work on the entirety of the design could become messy fast. One way we figured we could keep the different objectives separate is by switching the perspective in the game for each waypoint. We decided we would start with a conflict while in the government’s perspective and then continue with the government’s perspective and have the waypoint that deals with government and public voice. Then after this, we would switch to the perspective of the people and have the waypoint that deals the government’s need for public voice. We would switch again to the government and deal with the waypoint of governmental constraints. We would then end with a switch to the government and people with the waypoint dealing with conflict. This model could then be looped several times within the game.
Other than this, we also discussed that it would be helpful to somehow incorporate a personality test of sorts that tracks what values the player finds the most important to them and if the decisions they made within the game reflect those values.
This Thursday, we will discuss the iterations of our designs based on what we discussed as a group. We will see what direction these iterations take us in the next update!
By Heidi Nordmann