During our critique, Parth and I each had our own set of questions to ask the class about our game. Some of the the questions I intended to ask were:

  • What feeling do you get upon looking at the art?
  • When we explained our game to different audiences, some people had trouble understanding parts of the game, or made suggestions to aspects that we planned on incorporating. Would anyone like to explain our game in their own words, so we know what parts of our game we need to clarify?
  • Are there any good art, design, or narrative references for both Parth and I that can help us depict the emotions for our game?
  • A major challenge I had was visualizing the island as I was designing it, and imagining a proper scale of the land. Are there any tips I can use when generating an isometric island like our concept art?
  • We need more of an incentive on achievement. We wanted to incorporate a scrapbook system that allows users to unlock different memories of the character and her friend. What are some different achievement systems you would like to see in our game, if not the scrapbook idea?

We were out of time, so we were only able to get some answers for the first question. When we asked the class how they felt upon looking at the game, we got many adjectives including: calming, serene, happy, and tranquil. One classmate also defined the concept as a dream sequence, as the colour palette was very mellow and the music was calming. While the class expected to see something more sad, they described the scene as happy, meaning they did not get the sense of death in the scene. As a result, we were told to be careful with the morbidness in our game. We could possibly have certain areas look normal, but certain paths can unlock and we would be able to see that a section of the island is mourning and decaying. We also got suggestions to incorporate seasonal changes. Seasons like Fall automatically have a natural sense of decay, while Spring is about regrowth. We might be able to get more of a natural emotion through the simulation of nature. One aspect we can experiment with is textures. By changing the colours of the textures, we may be able to quickly experiment how the textures give different emotional feedback to the users. This can also mimic the change of seasons, and the change of nature from death to health, and vice versa. An example of this would be the water texture that we incorporated, which helps users feel calm because of the slow water movement.

For our next steps, we are thinking of adding audio queues for various interactions, such as the caterpillar falling off the tree, and for the day and night cycle. Prior to that, we plan to take our professor’s feedback and working on the tactility of our game. While currently we are experimenting on conventional gestures such as shaking the device and tapping for movement, we want to convey the feeling of nursing the island back to health. In order to do that, we will be thinking of various mechanics that can help us convey these feelings. Some further questions we intend on using to help us answer our thesis question include:

  • What mechanics can we incorporate that are less conventional?
  • How can we use the interactions we have in a way where we can portray the idea of healing and nursing?
  • What are our goals before December 1st?
  • What elements can we further play with to get the feelings we are trying to convey? Textures, assets, dynamics, animation, etc.?

During this time, achieving this tactility and emotion is our main priority, as we have a play-testing session on December 1st. This means for our upcoming user-test session, we intend on finalizing some of the mechanics we want to incorporate, as well as the interactions we plan to have within the game. This requires us to scope our demo down even further, to finalize, perfect, and prove that the aspects we have set up for ourselves can be fun and emotionally applied to the game. In order to achieve this, we also rescheduled our tasks around, and decided to push the research back once again to pull through with our demo.

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For the last two weeks before December 1st, we will be finalizing the mechanics we intend to demo, add animations that would help clarify the tactility of our game, and to generate questions to ask for our user testing session.

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