Game Idea: Wii Sports-like Stroke Rehab

This week’s serious game topic involved designing a game which would assist either elderly or disabled individuals in maintaining independent living.  With such a broad topic, our group decided to focus primarily on games which would assist the disabled.  One game would act as a form of entertainment for the blind as there are currently very few games on the market that cater to such an audience, essentially detaching them from the digital entertainment industry.  Another idea involved creating a game for the deaf which involved sign language recognition, therefore allowing them to interact with the game in a very comfortable fashion.  Lastly, we came up with an idea which would aid in muscle rehabilitation, specifically for stroke victims as the rehabilitation exercises required to regain motor function are often quite boring and tedious.  Thankfully, with the recent introduction of virtual reality to the consumer market, there are a lot of new ways to incentivize movement and exercise.

For the muscle rehabilitation game, I envision something which utilizes virtual reality in order to make rehabilitation exercises fun and engaging, therefore essentially masking the fact that individuals will be repeating otherwise monotonous movements with their hands, wrists, and arms.  The idea is to create a Wii Sports-like game for the HTC Vive which contains a series of differing minigames, each of which will feature a different type of upper-body movement.  The first minigame, for example, could be one which solely uses the thumb trackpad on the Vive, followed by a series of other minigames with gradually increasing difficulty (in terms of the muscles required to play).  This would allow stroke victims (or others recovering from a motor function disability) to not only gradually recover their motor skills in a less tedious way, but would also incentivize the recovery process by providing those playing with plenty of new games to work towards, thereby potentially decreasing recovery times!

I really believe that one of the biggest obstacles in the way of stroke victims recovering their motor skills is the sheer tedium of the required daily routines which can inevitably take a mental toll on the recoveree.  Therefore, I find it very plausible that gamifying the process would not only make stroke victims look forward to doing their required recovery exercises, but could also do so to the extent to which it speeds up their recovery.

 

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.)

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

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SGP: Midterm Week 2 – Game Brief

Working Game Title:

Private Theatre
Group Names:

Me, myself and I (Kevin)
Genre:

Role-playing, Simulation game (which is nothing like the SIMS :p)
Audience:

Anyone who has never had the chance to be involved in theatre or acting! (Though actors are welcome too!)

 

Primary Objective:

  • Introduce a new generation to theatre by dipping their toes into the waters of improvisational acting.
    • This will, in essence, allow those whom have never experienced being a part of a drama production to do so without having to experience stage fright, thereby introducing a new generation to theatre via gaming.
    • This objective was very interesting to me as the performing arts are something I have always wanted to get involved in, however, never once attempted due to my fear of the anxiety involved with public performances (stage fright).

 

Introduction to Game:

  • Private Theatre is a virtual reality role-playing/simulation game in which players are given the opportunity to experience the thrilling fun of acting without ever physically setting foot on a stage. Many performers and actors agree that the performing arts serve as a means of both self-betterment as well as a means to meet awesome, new people.  Therefore, players will utilize VR and VOIP in order to put on either scripted, or totally improvisational performances (there will be numerous game modes to choose from) which can be viewed by other players, thus engaging them with other people to enjoy the performing arts and all of its benefits.

 

Game Control:

  • Movement –> Players can move utilizing the HTC Vive motion controller’s D-PAD
  • Talking –> Players can communicate with each other by simply talking (the HTC Vive has a built-in microphone for voice communications)
  • Interacting with objects –> Players can pick up and wield props in the scene by pulling the triggers on the Vive controllers.
  • Inventory –> Players can access their inventory by pressing the menu button on the Vive controllers. The inventory will contain information necessary for the gameplay in certain modes.

 

Score/Objective/Winning/Losing/Competition:

  • There is really no winning or losing in Private Theatre. It is more about meeting new people and being immersed in the entertainment that the performing arts can provide.

Interface/Information:

  • Button Popups –> Control instructions will temporarily appear informing the player of how to interact with certain objects (eg, press the trigger button to pick up this object).
  • Pre-scripted dialogue –> In modes with pre-scripted dialogue, lines and emotional queues (emojis will be used to convey emotion) will appear floating in space in front of the players, telling them what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and who to say it to.
  • Inventory –> This is to be utilized in the improvisational game modes and will display character information and backstory to players in the form of virtual notes on scrap paper, giving them a rough idea on how their character should act and respond to certain situations. This gives players and basic idea of their persona and the rest is up to them to act out and improvise.

 

Main User Mechanics/Actions:

  • Match –> In game modes with pre-scripted dialogue, players will have to match their speech and tone to the dialogue queues which appear on screen.
  • Destroy –> In game modes with pre-scripted dialogue, some characters may be killed off in epic sword battles.
  • Create –> In the unscripted or improvisational game modes, players will be free to create dialogue and essentially construct their own performances.
  • Move –> Players have the ability to move their avatar.
  • Random –> Players can be randomly assigned a role in certain game modes.
  • Shoot –> Technically since the game is to utilize virtual reality, physics can be applied to any object, thus giving players the ability to toss objects between each other.

 

Levels/Environment:

  • Private Theatre will incorporate numerous different game modes, all of which are slightly different:
    • Scripted –> There will be a pre-scripted game mode in which players will deliver lines of dialogue to each other which are to be inspired from the scripts of actual plays! These performances will essentially be condensed, altered versions of real performances and will incorporate major plot points to briefly portray the overall story.  The story isn’t concrete, however, as players will be given different options for the dialogue which they say.  For example, on a player’s queue to respond to another player, they can choose between different emotions, thereby altering the line of dialogue which that the player receives, potentially altering the overall story as well!  This mode could also have scripted fight scenes if the play calls for it, directing players to engage in combat.  When in combat, each player is told what to do and how to do it locally, thereby making the overall scene appear continuous and fluid.
    • Non-Scripted –> There will be two non-scripted game modes which players can choose from:
      • The first involves players solving a murder mystery. Each player is granted a backstory and an alibi, thus giving them insight on how their character should behave and react.  Then, one player is designated the role of the murderer.  Players must utilize their backstories and alibies to communicate with each other in order to figure out who the murderer is.  The murderer’s job is to create lies and false stories in order to persuade the others that they are innocent.  At the end of a pre-determined timer, all players will cast their vote for who they believe the murderer was and the true murderer will be revealed.
      • The second is a completely improvisational theatre mode in which players can get together and customize their set by selecting and placing props from a list. Players can then create their own story, be it scripted or improvisational, and then put on their very own performance.
    • Regardless of game mode, when players join a game they will be placed on a virtual stage in a virtual theatre. The environment which players will be acting out performances in will be a virtual, customizable set on the virtual stage.  This gives players an idea on how it feels to perform on the set of a real play, thus giving them the best idea of how acting is without having to experience the anxieties of stage fright.

Obstacles, interactive elements, enemies, collectibles, npcs etc:

  • Weapons and stage props –> There can be interactable props on the set which players can use to further the plot of a performance.
  • Enemies –> Since players are to be taking on roles, there may be instances in which one player is the enemy of another player and must show animosity towards, or sometimes even kill the other character.

Describe and Explain the unique ways in which your game idea meets the needs of the theme, entity, AND objective

  • In the scripted game mode, if players do not adhere to their lines, they will be booed by the virtual audience viewing the performance. This, when combined with the visual environment and the emotional queues provided to players in order to accurately act out the performance creates a fun and unique experience in which users will both be playing a game whilst also performing an act and essentially putting on a theatre performance, thereby blurring the line between theatre and gaming!

 

Sixty seconds of play:

  • Two players are reading their lines to progress the storyline. Then, one player receives a queue to draw his sword from his waist, thus bringing both players into a close quarters sword battle.  Players are told which ways to swing their weapon in order to make the skirmish seem more natural and smooth, ultimately coming to an end when one player is told to intentionally mess up, therefore leaving an opening for a killing blow to the other player, therefore progressing the play’s plot.

Link to video of similar gameplay. Link to video or inclusion of images of similar look/style

The Wolf Among Us gameplay:

 

Powerpoint Slideshow:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6QH5gFpNUxYVEM2QzVtRzBhV1k