GAM720 Week 02.08 Revisiting Non Linear Interactive Narrative Fiction

I want to revisit Narrative as I think about how my app is located in the Fizhogg world of games and the playing of the app within the live event.

What this means is that I need to think about plot and interactivity within the game as well as the back story for the event and the apps connection to the collection of app games that connect together as the Fizhogg world.

Creating a Story world nested within the real world and the fictional world…

It might be useful to think from the players perspective. The player will be arriving at the live event and shown into the fortune tellers tent where they pick up the device (iPad) and start the game where they enter the fictional game world which is part of a larger fictional world that they may have experience of through playing other games.

Think

✔️  http://members.upnaway.com/~waldemar/research/computational_semiotics.php

✔️ Erogodic Literature – Espen Aarseth

✔️ Scriptons & Textons – Fabian Lorraca

✔️ Mass effect

✔️ VLR/999 Flowchart

✔️  The walking dead

✔️ Journey

✔️ The Room

✔️ Virtue’s Last Reward

✔️ Long Live the Queen

✔️ Ren’Py

✔️ Acyclic Directed Graphs

Fizhogg World Narrative 
Live event narrative
Wheels App Game Narrative

GAM720 Week 2:07 Initial Concept Sketches

Game Map 
✔️  Illustrated Cards act as the perimeter wall

✔️  The same illustrations will feature in the set, Prop and character designs

✔️  The illustrations will be reproduced as a physical set of cards

✔️  Central tent is the access point to the next part of the game.

✔️  Smaller tents contain short games by which the player can obtain silver coins

✔️  The small tent near the access of the large tent is the final game – The fortune Teller .

✔️  The player must successfully win 8 silver coins to play the fortune teller.

✔️  Playing the fortune teller will reward the player with their own fortune. They will chose three cards from their own deck which will trigger 3 short films to be shown. After this door to the big tent will open. 

GAM720 week 2:06 – Webinar feedback

🔲  Narrative – Wheels poem as inspiration for the overall narrative

🔲  Production Method – Unity (C#)

🔲  Aesthetics Development – American Horror Story/Cirque De Soleil/midsummer nights dream/paper animation & games/ oracle cards.

🔲 Game artefacts – Illustrated Cards used as Set and as a physical control mechanism. using the cards for only one game within the larger game would not make for a good user experience however using the cards for other games may do. So maybe using the cards to provide codes to unlock something in the game or trigger an A/R animation, a cut scene or an increased skill could add more value.

🔲  Game Mechanics – basic game – carnival/fairground games – match 3 Unity Tutorials. It could be that the player will need to collect a certain number of silver coins to feed the fortune teller machine.

🔲  Scope – What is necessarily required to produce a MPV ? I will need a set, large tent, small tent, one small game, a fortune teller game, 3 short film extracts and a sample pack of cards.

🔲  Stats and abilities ?

🔲  Read the Interactive Storytelling text and blog on research blog.

🔲  Build satisfaction by making the door more difficult to open (but not impossible).

🔲  Check demographics

🔲  Conduct further market research

GAM 720 Week 2:05 Sprint retrospective (Module 740)

Sprint retrospective (Module 740) 
This project was challenging and the final artefact video and reflective report are still in the process of submission due to a delay with client contact. 
  • The initial meeting with Diamond Mowers went well. The business and competitors were  thoroughly researched and the needs of the business were understood.  DM Client change of circumstances meant suspending the project. The key challenge was whether there would be time to enter into a development project as the client was experiencing some difficulty. It was negotiated that the project could be picked up later and the relationship remained positive and healthy. I left the meeting sure that we would work on something together in the future.  


  • Writing a proposal for my second client, NHS went well. Although there was some resistance to the idea of designing an immersive learning experience with A/R and VR functionality, it was possible to explain that it would be a proof of concept and not a finished product. Managing the client expectations was important throughout the project as they often wanted to add in additional functions or design. I explained that, due to the limitations of the project I was working mainly on the basic functionality and concept but I would provide details of how the project could be fully developed after the conclusion of this phase of the project. 
  • The NHS Project faltered due to circumstances beyond my control and I found it difficult to maintain my work process/flow at times. Using the Trello boards more effectively will help to book mark my progress and assist in returning to the project, easier in future. I used the time between sprints to develop my Human9.com brand, logo and website content so that I could work on this when I couldn’t engage with the client. This was an effective use of my time as I was able to look at potential studios and develop my CV/portfolio for future applications. 
I am focusing on my smart goals and consider how I can develop them in my next project. I am a little frustrated at the moment because I know the addition of these will greatly enhance my portfolio. I also need to stop going off topic when researching and give myself more limitations because it is no secret that I love research as it informs my concept development but my priority is to pick up the technical aspects of the work. I need to continue to develop my working process and stick with my professional approach to client handling. 

GAM 720 Week 2:04 DPD Vision X-press


Game Concept

  • Select a common man or woman in a normal job in a fairly average world: there is nothing that might cause you to think twice about them. To test this, ask yourself ‘would I presently watch a movie that covered the last week in the life of this person?’, if the answer is yes, then the odds are you do not find them common at all. Think of a common but not specific person you meet in your everyday life: a grocery-store employee; construction worker; bus driver; or cab / taxi driver. Any profession that is common will do. 
  • Now, think of how you could build a game based on the character’s everyday life when it suddenly takes a dramatic turn. The situation changes suddenly and the person is forced to step up and go beyond what they thought was humanly possible. Luckily, they have your trusty app to give them extra superpowers. 
DPD Vision X-press

  • DPD Delivery driver 
  • Delivers a dirty bomb which kills a young family  
  • Develops X-Ray Vision
  • My App gives them x-ray vision
Non-Digital Game: Board Game in which the DPD Delivery Driver examines parcels on a conveyor belt which are all different shapes and sizes. 
Digital App : A/R app DPD Driver watches parcels move along a conveyor belt. The app reads the parcels, producing an X-Ray of the contents contained inside.  
Deliverable 
  1. A brief description of a common man or woman character (this could be based on some persona development).
  2. Details of a realistic, inciting moment that makes the character uncommon. 
  3. A non-digital game design, based on the character, that utilises your app as part of the gameplay to bestow superpowers upon the user. 

GAM710 Week 02:03 Role Playing Games – Che Wilbraham

Role Playing Games (RPG)

  • Players 
  • Game Master – Referee, can act as other players, can drive the story. 
  • The System – Dictates the rules and cations the players may take. 

RPG components

  • Character Representation – numbers are used to represent the characters, sometimes attributes and resources.  
  • Challenge Representation – PVP – player versus player , PVE player versus Environment.   
  • Conflict Resolution – Dice – Chance, Occasionally a consensus vote. 
  • Setting – The world fantasy/sci-fi. 
  • Flavour – How does the world work? Dark, funny, non lethal, cartoon? 
  • Complexity – How rigid – light or strict on the rules? narrative freedom/game master/setting 
  • The Players – Including maybe a game master – who does what in the game. gives the player some power – a resource that lets them take control over the story when they need to. 

Why do you want to make an RPG ? 

Let the answer guide the creative process, maintain a high level vision even when working with the detail. Is it meaningful? Will the players learn something? Expand on something you love or fix something you hate?

Does it all make sense?

Luddonnarrative cohesion – Do the game, rules and interaction fit with the story?

Get absorbed in similar games to draw on and make better. Get into the game system to understand how it works, why and how it give the play that feel.

Play test what you are working on – iterative user testing, questionnaires, analysis. The rule book isn’t the game. Play as soon as possible so that you can get feedback.

Examples:

  • Hidden Role Games (social, light on rules, discussion) Werewolf/mafia/resistance/Avalon
  • GM Designed Mysteries (bread crumbs/clues are very important whereas in Inspectres the mysteries are embedded and seeded randomly. The players decide what the clues mean. 
  • Paranoia  – Dystopian vision. Everyone pretents all is okay as they are being watched over my a computer. Extreme game master power. Back stabbing fun. 
  • Fiasco – Flexible setting and flavour. Serious or fun – great for collaborative storytelling and learning to enjoy failure for the sake of the story. 
  • Mythender – Ludonnartive cohesion – norse mythology/heavy metal theme.   
  • The Quiet Year – Drawing on a map – interesting way of interacting with the system. 
  • Traveller –  Old and complex sci-fi system. Characters can die before game begins. 

NIL ESCAPE

  • Setting – People are trapped in a bunker and they have to play a game (Saw) 
  • Flavour – Paranoia and secrecy, distrust is built.  
  • Conflict resolution – 

ULTRA JANKENSQUAD FOREVER

  • Setting and Flavour – Action Anime, Rules-Light, narrative freedom  
  • Conflict resolution – Gestural, Active, Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS)
  • Character and Challenge Representation – 3 Stats and a handful of skills. 
  • Narrative freedom and player power – special ability and resource for the players.      

CHARACTER BUILDING

  • Character representation and flavour – inclusive, diverse, approachable. representation is using player defined words not numbers. 
  • Challenge representation and conflict resolution (came from CR and flavour with some playtesting) – GM decides on difficulty by describing it, words and stats each directly translate to a die for each side and are then rolled against each other. 
  • Complexity – variable as agreed by the player but easily adaptable. 
  • Setting – is decided by the players and could be anything.       

Reflection

Fun could be the meaning of the game, theres definitely fun in fear. Everyone loves to be scared don’t they? The narrative could portray something about the shift between industrialisation and advanced technology… or not. I’m not sure I want to get heavy with it. I’m interested in how the occult parlour games was popularised in the victorian era and I like the idea of engaging the players curiosity in predicting future events… we’d all like a crystal ball wouldn’t we? I could research the RPG examples above to see if I could apply one of these models to my game concept. 

          

  

GAM710 Week 02:02 Interactive Narrative – Che Wilbraham

User Experience
User Stories
Personas – Fictional Characters that represent the users that may use the product or service.

Consensual Hallucinations…

Speculative Design – future tech and the relations we foster with them.

Design Fiction –

(The flash fictions of UX/UI – journey through the designs)

Non-Linear Interactive Fiction.

Che Wilbraham – Blog – Branching narrative structure.

Che’s portfolio 

ON INTERACTIVE NARRATIVE 

  • Narrative  – story linear significance of the story as authored
  • Interactive – A conversation, Nonlinear, significance by choice
  • Plot – There is a tension between player agency and the interactive strength. 
  • Design – Create a ‘possibility space’, cant control the events but can control the rules. Can create a story world (Not Storyline), overall narrative/goals and challenges can be defined. 
  • Play – The player should be able to make dramatically interesting decisions. Irrelevant/boring decisions should be avoided like the plague! ( 😀 )    
  • Story World – The possibility space of the player 
  • Story Line is one played line of experience in the story world.    
  • Story Chunks – Choices, Actions, Events and Scenes, Paragraphs, Comic Book Panels. 
  • Embedded Narrative – Authored content – cut scenes, exposition, scripted events. 
  • Emergent Narrative – Arises from the rules of the system, created by the player, victory/defeat and unusual interactions. 
  • Branching narrative – usually the paths split, rejoin and split again. can be costly as much of the content is never seen by the player. eg: choose your own adventure books, digital roleplaying games like Mass Effect and Elder Scrolls. 
  • Linear ‘Interactive’ Narrative – cut scenes – usually the player must repeat a level until they pass and then they can go on to the next level. eg: linear puzzle games – Proff Leyton, hidden object, tomb raider etc. A good player should have access to all of the narrative by the end.
  • Sandbox Games – Heavy use of emergent narrative, high interactivity, little predetermined plot. Can feel directionless eg: The sims, Civilisation series, digital exploration/survival games eg: Minecraft. 
  • Autonomous Agents – Non player characters act/react under their own drives. play can feel directionless. Light artificial intelligence, virtual pet games… 
  • Drama Managers – are outside of the narrative but affect story elements so as to provide a specific user experience. Complex systems monitor and alter numerous items. Could try to maintain story beats or plot coherence. eg: pen and paper director Dungeons and Dragons – The interactive drama facade and the left for dead series, AI Director.   

REFS 

  • Crawford Chris on Interactive Storytelling Crawford, Chris. 2012. New Riders.   
  • Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman 2004. MIT Press. 
  • Facade 

  

GAM710 Week 02:01 Narrative Design – Project Update.

My project is entitled Wheels (provisional name).  
Wheels is a poem written by Nancy Cunard . The poet lived in a large house at the top of the hill where I live in the 1920’s. The house is now owned by David Ross (who owns the carphone warehouse) and within the grounds is an opera house where this summer they are staging A midsummer nights dream.
This is the poem i’m working with… 
I sometimes think that all our thoughts are wheels
Rolling forever through the painted world,
Moved by the cunning of a thousand clowns
Dressed paper-wise, with blatant rounded masks,
That take their multi-coloured caravans
From place to place, and act and leap and sing,
Catching the spinning hoops when cymbals clash.
And one is dressed as Fate, and one as Death,
The rest that represent Love, Joy and Sin,
Join hands in solemn stage-learnt ecstacy.
While Folly beats a drum with golden pegs,
And mocks that shrouded Jester called Despair.
The dwarves and other curious satellites,
Voluptuous-mouthed, with slyly-pointed steps,
Strut in the circus while the people stare.
And some have sober faces white with chalk,
Of sleeping hearts, with ponderance and noise
Like weary armies on a solemn march.
Now in the scented gardens of the night,
Where we are scattered like a pack of cards,
Our words are turned to spokes that thoughts may roll
And form a jangling chain around the world.
Wheels by Nancy Cunard 
Pretty nice imagery eh? I’ve been wanting to make a short stop-motion film/posters and game from this poem ever since I’ve read. Now I have the time! Thank you Falmouth Uni 😀  
So this conjures up for me a gothic horror 1920’s fairground in which there are a number of games to interact with. Surrounding a circus tent are many games which could include a strongman hammer game,  a shooting game, coconut shy, hoopla, hook a duck (but obviously made much more magical, bazaar and potentially grotesque).
The game concept is that the player must successfully pass each short game to enter into the circus tent in the middle of the fairground. They do not have to play the games in any particular order. 
The player explores the fairground, playing the games and immersing themselves in this strange world, until they reach an old fashioned psychic fortune teller booth. This is situated a the entrance to a large, ominous circus tent.

The player must play this final game in order to enter the tent. Here the player must choose 3 cards from a pack of oracle cards. Once chosen, this will trigger three short films to be shown which illustrate their past, present and future (It’s not going to be pretty). 

One idea I had was to develop an interactive device which could control the film. This could be a physical pack of cards (This is in my brain dump blog post) or an old fashioned paper fortuneteller. I’ve explored this further in my blog post here (Links to an external site.. It may be simpler to use a pack of cards in which the player speaks the name on the card. Voice recognition will will trigger the film.   
My mind is currently over-run with strange gothic horror characters…
Time to draw them out before they really start causing trouble.