SGP: Theatre One

This week in Serious Game Project, I decided that I will design a game for Theatre One.  The game will appeal to both those involved in acting as well those who enjoy gaming, hopefully opening some eyes to the enjoyment that can be had participating in, or viewing theatre.

Theatre itself is a very old form of art dating back to before the common era!  In fact, it is believed that “in the 6t century BC a priest of Dionysus, by the name of Thespis, introduced a new ‘element’ which can validly be seen as the birth of theatre” (Gascoigne 2001).  The fact that theatre still exists today, amidst vast technological advancements and alternative forms of media available, perfectly emphasizes the impact and importance that it carries along with its age.  For actors, theatre opens up the opportunity to become part of a family – a family which works together in order to portray the events in a story.  This, of course, requires the actors to become familiar with their characters, all of which have varying personalities, qualities and relationships with each other.  This ultimately forces the actors involved to not only learn about their particular character and the characters to be played by others, but about themselves as well!  As stated by actor, Nick Wyman, “I [have to] solve problems: how to get the truth out of a fellow character, how to reassure an anxious juvenile, how to stop boring the rest of the cast.  As a result, I grow.  I grow as an actor and as a person” (Wyman n.d.).  So, acting can not only serve as a fantastic form of entertainment for others, but can also serve as a tool for developing one’s own interpersonal skills, helping to form friendships and even families (even if the families are just for the show).

As far as gaming is concerned, there are not many digital games which incorporate theatre or the performing arts.  Therefore, I wanted to create something mostly original which could potentially allow players to dip their toes in the waters of acting or playing a role.  As a result, I decided that it might be best to start with focusing on finding a fun way to engage individuals in communicating with each other.  I figure VR would be a phenomenal platform to achieve such a feat as it would allow players to interact with each other in a slightly more natural way.  Then comes the game element…  I imagine a game such as “The Wolf Among Us,” a murder mystery, however, with no scripted dialogue between players and instead just backstories provided to them before playing.  The idea would be that one player is given the role of a murderer, while all of the other players are innocent bystanders.  Each player (including the killer) would be provided with a brief backstory for their character, an alibi, personality traits, hobbies, etc.  Players will then have to communicate with each other while playing the role they’ve been given in order to figure out who among them is the murderer.

I figure that these murder mystery scenarios can be themed after actual plays, with the environments being modeled as sets in a theatre, thereby drawing the parallel between gaming and theatre.  Such an experience would allow those who have never acted before to test their hand at the art, giving them a taste of the fun to be had acting out a part with others.

 

Sources:

Gascoigne, Bamber. “HISTORY OF THEATRE.” HISTORY OF THEATRE. N.p., 2001. Web. 27 Feb. 2017. <http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=cui&gt;.

Wyman, Nick. “From the President | Actors’ Equity Association.” From the President | Actors’ Equity Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017. <http://www.actorsequity.org/aboutequity/president_archive23.asp&gt;.

SGP: Art Game (Chromacy) Contribution

This week our group decided to expand upon our colorblind art gallery idea!  We decided to call our game, which is essentially a walking simulator/art game, “Chromacy,” as it refers to the medical term used to classify certain types of colorblindness.

The initial idea we had tossed around involved creating some sort of psychedelic, VR art gallery which would immerse the players in elaborate and breathtaking environments, however, we ended up molding our vision into something slightly different.  What we decided was that players would begin the game at the entrance of an art gallery.  The player’s vision would already be affected by a form of colorblindness upon entering the gallery to examine the artwork on display.  Upon close examination of the artwork, however, the player will be pulled into the picture, thus allowing them to explore the environment within the painting in 3D (while still being affected by the colorblindness).  Players must then search for and find a painting of the art gallery within the 3D realm they have been transported to in order to be transported back to the art gallery.  Upon reentering the art gallery, players will be given a different form of colorblindness from what they previously had and they can they move on to examine the next painting on display.  The idea is for players to get through the entire art gallery, therefore experiencing and ingesting a ton of artwork without being able to see it as it was artfully intended.  Such an experience emphasizes the idea that art and beauty are very much tied to perspective.

As far as the game brief is concerned, I worked on fleshing out the game’s introduction which discusses our game’s purpose.  I also worked on the levels and environment section which discuss level progression as well as the general design of the game environments.  Other members of the group had other sections which they wrote out, however, much like last week, we tackled the game brief and powerpoint slideshow as a team and so we were constantly spitting ideas back and forth as we brought our work together.

 

Brief: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18oEFhC0BccVJxAxA0jzpdIBglSXFvPBagZUMn7FF2SE/edit?usp=sharing

Group Members:

Luke Carpentier – https://lukecarpentier.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Sierra St.Onge – https://sierraphantom.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)  (Links to an external site.)

Nolan Aldridge – https://noiceguy.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Khuong Truong – https://dysfunctionalthinking.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Game Idea: Psychedelic Art Gallery

This week’s topic for development was focused on games which were created with the intention of being art.  We tossed around quite a few different ideas, however, ended up honing in on three of them.  One idea places a very heavy emphasis on narration in order to draw players into the story and make them feel as if they are a fully immersed in the experience.  Our other two ideas stressed the importance of perspective as they involve putting players into the shoes of someone who sees the world in a very different way from most people.  The first idea centers around someone who sees via sound, similarly to how bats use sonar for navigation in the darkness.  The second idea, which is the one I will be explaining in more detail below, involves players taking on the role of someone who is colorblind entering an art gallery.

The primary idea for this colorblind art gallery experience is to focus less on narration while overwhelming players with intense and captivating visuals.  Additionally, we decided to make the game support virtual reality in order to push the visual immersion even further.  With that in mind, the game will start with players entering into an art gallery.  Various pieces of art will be on display in a lengthy hall and players will be able view the images in order from front to back.  After viewing the first few pieces of art (all of which will be portrayed in a fashion which blends colors together in order to emulate the view of someone with a form of colorblindness), the hall morphs into an almost psychedelic landscape filled with colorful and enchanting visuals which will surround and guide the player forward through the scenery.  After getting to the end of the psychedelic landscape, the original art pieces that they viewed can be viewed again without any color distortion.  After re-viewing the artwork, players are transported back to the original art hall where they can then move forward and begin viewing the next couple of images.  The same set of events will occur each time with players being transported to a colorful landscape, however, that landscape will change each time the player enters it.

By having a very minimal amount of narration in the game, players will be able to search for and find their own meaning behind the experience, therefore spreading the premise of art and its creation by propelling the idea that art is not what you see, but instead what you make others see.

Group Members:

Luke Carpentier – https://lukecarpentier.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Kevin Larson – https://kevinlarsonblog.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Sierra St.Onge – https://sierraphantom.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)  (Links to an external site.)

Nolan Aldridge – https://noiceguy.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Khuong Truong – https://dysfunctionalthinking.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)

 

SGP: Naturalization Contribution

This past week, our Serious Game group worked on writing up a game brief and creating a presentation for our migration game idea.  We ended up pursuing my idea for a text-entry rogue-like simulation game which we’ve titled “Naturalization: The Drawn Out Process of Uncertain Immigration”.

The idea of the game is that players will take control of the actions of immigrants attempting to gain entry into the United States.  Prior to getting into gameplay, players are presented with the backstory of the character or family that they will be controlling.  First, players will need to gain entry into the United States by filling out and submitting documentation at an inbound immigration office.  Players will be shown a list of documents such as their birth certificate, various permits, certifications, etc.  They must use that information to correctly fill in a variety of documents which would permit entry into the States.  If players make a certain number of mistakes filling out their documents, the immigrant or immigrants they were controlling are sent back to their country of origin with a short, often bleak briefing of the outcome of their extradition.  The unforgiving nature of the game will be reflected by its look and feel as the art is to be pixelated and lacking of any vibrant or uplifting colors.

If players fail to correctly submit their documentation, they must restart the entire process from the point of view of another immigrant or family of immigrants.  If players manage to successfully submit their documentation, they will progress to the next immigration desk with further documentation to fill out and submit.

As far as the game brief is concerned, I focused primarily on writing up the introduction to the game which overviews its story, mechanics, look and feel.  However, our whole team met in the design building and worked together, throwing ideas back and forth as we each wrote our section in the brief.  We also all contributed to the creation of a slideshow presentation which summarizes the game brief.

 

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/