Thursday, September 19, 2013

Atelier Weekly Challenge 2: Documentation/Etc. etc.


    The game is an unsolved case involving D, the prosecutor who is chasing the accused, A. In order to free Toronto of its future dystopia, both A and D must go back in time to 2013 and search for C: the love of A’s life. She has a hard drive from A with copied files revealing the silent shut down of the Internet as we know it. She is his only ticket to freedom and D’s ticket to finding A. Due to her death by causes unknown in the future, it is up to A or D to go back to this year, yet only one can be the first to find C, determining the final outcome of whether truth, justice or freedom is attained, or lost.

    There are various clues scattered in Toronto which all come together to find C’s whereabouts. In order to track the locations of these clues, a uniwolf (unicorn and werewolf hybrid) who goes by the name Moon Moon communicates from the future the whereabouts of these clues (written as riddles) if you text (SMS) specific codes to Moon Moon.
The following consists of the setup of the clues and texting posters in every location, as well as the final location.
Starting Location: Student Lounge in Main Building

Reading Instructions

Learning Zone

Starting Location: Student Lounge in Main Building

Starting Location: Student Lounge in Main Building

5th floor location

5th floor location

Location of "C". Used the Endless Knot (a symbol underlying addiction) as pattern recognition throughout the gameplay.

5th floor location

Location of "C". Wider view.

AboveGround dumpster/back area location

Location of "C".

AboveGround dumpster/back area location

AboveGround dumpster/back area location

Location: Learning Zone

Location: 3rd Floor of Annex

Location: third floor of Annex with view of lockers

Some materials used in game including 2 cards with Team A and Team D written on it and Moon Moon's SMS chart/reference sheet

Game instructions/setup/rules

Overall setup for game, including the location (Student Lounge, 2nd Floor Main Building of OCAD U)

    • Objective: The first team to locate C within the time limit is the winner. If no teams arrive within the time limit or both teams reach C at the same time, the winner is determined by the amount of clues collected.
      Core Mechanics: the two main mechanics involve the searching and finding like a mystery, treasure hunt/scavenger hunt when teams search for clues. Another main mechanic is the addition of a fantastical creature, that not only acts as a middle man for providing clues via SMS, but can be something that you can either trust or distrust, depending on which side Moon Moon is on. (Moon moon is played by a player)
      However, there is a twist in fate as Moon Moon can either be on A’s side or D’s side, giving that certain team a little more advantage than the other. However, each team is given one question (thereby only one chance) to ask Moon Moon a lightening round challenge that will test your wits but reward you with a clue that will bring you 1-2 steps ahead of the opposing team if your answer correctly.
      The intended audience are teenagers, as it combines lateral thinking, teamwork and being able to read a map well and/or identify with specific areas of Toronto (whom most of them are teenagers and adults). 
      This game fits into the design concept of turning a life-size space into a gaming space that our own bodies that interact with, alongside the combination of SMS, which is the main communication used today. Design and technology go hand in hand and it's proven that it works just as well with analog games by making it into an adventure and an convenient and clever interaction, bringing in the dynamic of an analog and virtual reality together.
      Much of my game derives from the theme of justice and persecution which helped in developing a backstory and later on how I could connect with an urban environment type of game. 
All files created to make my game, including setup, etc. This can be modified to fit any specific urban environment. Click here to view.

Link to Maps:

Making a checklist to make sure I used every card. This helped connect my story, theme and mechanics together.

Creating the fantastical creature

It all started with the rough notes. I went from persecution, justice, truth and future and fished out a tail about a man being accused, a prosecutor and their search for a missing person. The future and urban lanscape shaped my theme and mechanics further, especially the SMS card and the fantastical creature. For the creature and its ability to side with one team and go against another was inspired by a board game called Resistance, which is similar to mafia.

Using the scavanger hunt mechanic, I break off the clue (a picture of where C is) into puzzle-like pieces. I also go over the direction/flow of where teams go for each clue and adding a bonus round to even out the chances (if teams want to)

One of the main issues was adding pattern recognition and addiction. Addiction become more of the backstory but also a symbol used. The signs were supposed to be patterns originally (as well as the riddles were supposed to be mathematical patterns) but the idea of having a symbol of addiction (The Endless Knot) being incorporated alongside the poster to "text this word to Moon Moon" and the clues eventually would make people observe a pattern and recognize it as "C" when they discovered her location.

Another issue that I encountered when play-testing was the riddles being very difficult. I discovered that my riddles were originally too ambiguous and caused people to spend much more time looking in the wrong location when a few changes to wording would cease major delays in the gameplay.

Original riddle to get to the Learning Zone: I can be found in the house of the keeper of stories and the creator of oxygen.
Modified: I can be found within the keeper of stories, AV equipment, and the creator of oxygen.

One of the main experiences I felt game-design wise was crunch-time.By planning ahead and scheduling, My main stress points were the two days before my game was due. 
  • FUTURE DIRECTIONS – I would definitely use the mechanic of sending automated texts to make the game more accurate, convenient and fair. Furthermore, it would be nice to incorporate social media and get more people interested--a sort of guerilla advertising to get more people intrigued by this game. 
The team for this week included: Me, Myself, and I, Marishka Zachariah.

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