Summary: For this assignment, you are going to take an important issue or problems and theory-craft a video game that expresses your stance or opinion on that issue or problem.
Part I. Planning
Choose an issue or problem that you want to deal with. This should be something you are familiar with and that you feel at least somewhat qualified to speak on, or that you are comfortable researching. Some examples could be things like:
The difficulty of dating
Raising a family as a single parent
Being a vegetarian/vegan
Being in college
How hard it is to find a job
Something else (feel free to ask for opinions)
Part II. Create Your Game!
Define your game. What is the genre of the game?
Define your message. What is the message of your game?
Define your players
Who is the player? (Themselves, or a predefined character your have created?)
How many players (single or multi-player)
Online or not?
Define the purpose of your game.
Why are the players playing?
What do they aim to do?
What is the win condition of the game (i.e., how do your players win or complete the game)? This purpose should be tied in somehow with the issue you want to address. For example:
“In my game, High Rise Robbery, the aim is to become the CEO of Robert’s Industries.”
Define the mechanics of your game. What kinds of things do the players do in order to play the game? Some examples might include:
Exploring the map
Giving presents to NPCs
Talking with NPCs
Shooting at things
Use your imagination!
Decide which are default skills/actions/abilities and which, if any, are learned or leveled up over time, and what that means. (Remember that these mechanics should be tied into the issue or problem that you are addressing.)
Define the rules of your game.
How does the simulation respond when the player uses the various mechanics in the game? Define these responses for every mechanic.
Create an example scenario that describes a player-simulation interaction that exemplifies and gets across the feel and message of your game. This scenario should explicitly discuss how it aims to get across the message of your game.
Create an introductory essay that tells your audience about the issue you are tackling, the game itself, and what you want you game to convey to your audience/players.
Part III. Create Your Presentation. Gather up all your work into a single document. The document should be constructed as follows:
Page 1 – Introductory Essay
Page 2 –
Explanation of players (who they are and how many), how they will play (online, etc),a and why you made those decisions. This should not be terribly long (about 100-150 words?)
An explanation of the purpose of your game, what the players are doing, and how the game is won/completed. This should include an explanation of how this times in with your issue/problem. For example:
“My game, High Rise Robbery, deals with corruption in corporate America. You play as Mac Donovan, an enterprising young business school grade. The win condition is becoming the CEO of Robert’s Industries, a fortune 500 company. The game’s win condition reflects what I see as the ultimate value or corporate America: get to the top, regardless of what it costs.”
Page 3 –
A list of all of your mechanics with a brief description of each (what the player does when they use the mechanic. For example:
“Lying. In High Rise Robbery, lying is one of your default actions. You can lie to any NPC at any time (all dialogue options contain lies). As you lie, you become better at it. This increases both how convincing you are and gives you more lies in the dialogue boxes to choose from.”
Page 4 –
The rules of your game—a brief statement of what they are and an explanation of each of them. For example:
“Rule #1 – Lying is rewarded. In High Rise Robbery, you need other people in the company to support your bid for CEO. To get that support, lying is almost always the right choice. Once you use your Investigation skill to learn what people want/need, lying and telling them you can get it for them if they support you will results in earning their support. Conversely, if you tell them the truth (that what they want is impossible, unhealthy, etc) you will lose their support and your bid for CEO will begin to fail.”
Page 5 – A description of an exemplary scenario that illustrates how the mechanics and rules work together. For example:
“During the early game, Mac will be faced with a moral crisis: a protest. Mac will need to use his investigation ability to find out what the protesters want and what his bosses want. If he does so successfully, he discovers that his bosses want to oust the neighborhood and put up new office buildings, starting with the playground. Protesters want to shut down the demolition of a playground. The investigation reveals that Mac has three choices: A) lie to the protesters that he will get the demolition shut down and go ahead with it anyway; B) tell the protesters the truth, that there is nothing he can do; or C) lie to his bosses and get the demolition shut down (thereby helping the protesters). Option A results in a promotion. Option B will result in a demotion. Option C results in Mac getting fired and the player losing the game. The message of High Rise Robbery is always: get to the top no matter what. In this case, showing Mac winning by destroying a children’s playground should leave no doubt in the player’s mind that it doesn’t matter who you hurt in corporate America, even children are fair game, as long as you rise, rise, rise.”
Please note: this scenario is only an example, and an example of a particular kind of game (an RPG). Other scenarios might include:
A description of a level in a platformer, and the message it conveys.
A description of an area that is explored, that gradually reveals something important to the player. What this scenario entails will very much depend on the genre of game you have chosen.
Page 6 – A personal reflection on video games as a medium of expression. (This is very free form, but can include things like what you think the strengths/drawbacks of games are as a form of expression, your thoughts about the ways that games convey meaning, and what (if any) kinds of things games might be best suited to explore (wand why).
Page 7 (Optional) – This place can include art that conveys the mood/feel of the game, that shows the way you would envision the graphics of the game. If you include art here, you must include a link to where you found it. These links can either be underneath the picture itself, or on a separate Works Cited Page.
Part IV. Save and Upload
Save your presentation in a .pdf document
Upload it to the appropriate assignment, before the due date.
Technicalities Times New Roman or Arial font, default margins, 12 pt font.
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