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Final – Week 2 Blog Entry

For this week, I’ll be focusing on expanding an idea that was chosen by the group. Many kids grow up not having friends. To fill in the lack of friends, those kids will make imaginary ones to converse and play with.

If the previous sentences didn’t allude to anything, our game for the final is one where kids interact with imaginary friends as a way to improve their Emotional and Social intelligence.

I am covering the user controls and unique features of the game.

Related image

Since the game is planned to be on Android/iOS, it will be primarily touch-screen controls. When presented with which friends they need to interact with, the player taps on the friend and they are given dialogue. Players skip through the dialogue by tapping on the screen to move to the next dialogue box until the puzzle part of the interaction starts.

The puzzles vary with friends and also operate with touch based controls. Though the puzzles are their own section and will be covered by someone else in the group.

The other section that needs to be covered is the unique features for the game.

 

The biggest feature is the imaginary friends and how they are tied with the puzzles. Because each friend represents a different part of the emotional and social intelligence, they each have different stories and personalities. This makes it easy to connect with them and it should make the puzzles easier to understand. Not many games use imaginary friend as a way to help the person playing develop their own social skills.

Image result for Imaginary friend puzzles

Alongside this is the lesson being taught by using imaginary friends. A lot of kids use imaginary friends to help themselves deal with life. The lesson that this game tries to teach is that it is OK to have these friends. Not everyone is proficient at making friends and using imaginary ones as a way to cope is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

 

Team Members:

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Final – Week 1 Blog Entry

Emotions can be difficult to decipher and understand. As you grow older, it is easier to understand why you feel a certain way and how to go about it. Unfortunately, young children and adolescents do not have the experience and sometimes the comprehensive skills to understand their emotions. This game is meant to help them understand how they are feeling and help decipher why they feel that way and what to do next.

Once you download the App, there will be a quick test/profile construction to do. The test will give a baseline on how you are feeling. You can also indicate whether you have been diagnosed with a psychological disorder/personality to help gear the app towards questions that derived towards those psychological disorders/personalities specifically.

There can be a combination of different modes to choose from. The three main modes I have thought of so far is the InkBlot test, Emotion Discovery, Journal, and SimPlay.

The InkBlot test is formally called the Rorschach Test. It is generally meant to get a feeling for a patient in terms of psychological disturbance. The test can also possibly give insight on the patient psychological  state depending on how they interpret the inkblots in question.

Rorschach Test: http://theinkblot.com/

In the Emotional Discovery, it will start by asking a broad question on how the person is feeling. A vague question such as “How are you feeling”, with multiple choice questions such as “I am doing great, I am doing okay, I am sad, I feel empty,” etc. From there, more options will appear based off what their answer was.

For Example:

  1. Question: How are you feeling?
    • Answer: I feel Empty
  2. Question: Has anything happened lately to make you feel this way?
    • Choices
      • There has been a death from someone recently
      • I had an argument with my friend
      • I am being bullied at school
      • I always feel empty
    • Answer: I always feel empty
  3. Question: How long have you felt this emptiness?
    • Choices
      • For a week or so
      • For a month
      • About 6 Months
      • A year
      • More than a year
    • Answer: About a year
  4. Question: Did something bad/traumatic happen to you before you started feeling this way?
    •  Choices
      • No
      • I am not sure
      • Yes
    • Answer: No

And questions would go on similar to that, which will gather information to help you understand why you are feeling that way and give you advice at the end of the questionnaire. Everything you say can deliver a different outcome towards the end. All of these will be tracked and logged for you to view again another time and keep track of how you are feeling statistically.

In this mode, there is also a setting which will ask you much more broadly how you are feeling. A Simple, Great, Good, Okay, Bad, and Terrible will be the only choices. You can then type a note in there for why you may feel this way as well as create activities that will be tracked for what you are doing while you are feeling this way (i.e., watching tv, dong homework, drinking alcohol, etc).

Image result for journal

The third mode will be a Journal. At will, you can write what you are feeling and help try to get some of your anxiety out by venting in your journal. You will have storage for as much as your phone allows, which won’t be much of an issue considering phone’s capabilities these days. If you do happen to run out, you can email them to yourself in a document export in the application.

The fourth in final mode, is a simulator where it takes data from recently answered questions, or you could pick random, and it will create a social simulation to practice in. Each answer changes what the end result will be.

Team Members:

ASL Presentation Blog Post

Our game is called ‘Signs of the Tide’, which is a turn-based strategy game. This game uses American Sign Language in order to control the units shown on the screen. The players will have the option to move their units to areas of the map by signing the associated word into their webcam. This allows the people playing the game to start familiarizing themselves with American Sign Language.

This week helped create and write up the Brief and Slideshow for the Game Controls. These game controls are overall simple to comprehend. Each level will have a set of signs that will control the game. The signs will be interpreted by a webcam, Joycon controller, or a Keyboard. Using one of these inputs will allow the player to activate a few different in-game control features. The main controls available will be Attack, Defend, Fall Back, and Retreat. The player must learn the signs for the controls in each level in order to strategically move their forces. However, the player does not need to use sign language to select units or navigate the menu as this could be considered tedious.-font-b-PC-b-font-Video-font-b-Camera-b-font-font-b-USB-b.jpg

With the possibility of using Joycon or Keyboard as control, it would be seemingly useless and would be convoluted in matching the webcam performance. Using these would be slower and less efficient, especially to record hand movements. The webcam would quickly pickup the hand signs without interference and detects the game control the player is trying  to use. This input is much better in terms of getting ASL across to a broader audience and not distorting the goal of learning and practicing ASL. Switch-Joy-con-controllers-2.jpg

Group Members:

Luke Carpentier – https://lukecarpentier.wordpress.com/

Kevin Larson – https://kevinlarsonblog.wordpress.com/

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

Khuong Truong – https://dysfunctionalthinking.wordpress.com/

Darius Watts – https://badcoffeesite.wordpress.com/blog/

Nicholas Kruzel – https://seriousfailure.wordpress.com/blog/

 

 

Bi-Polar Coping

A small disclaimer for this week’s entry. There was a mixup with what group I was in and all the parts in the other teams were taken up. As a result my project is of a singular idea.

 

Being bipolar is a difficult journey. The emotions can vary like the image above, possibly causing emotional problems. To help people cope with these issues my game will act as an enhanced journal to record various pieces of information that will help people learn more about their disorder.

A main portion of this is a daily calendar that help people follow a daily routine.

Calendar to keep a daily routine for people. This will help them manage their lives better. The focus of these routines are sleeping and taking medication. People tend to be less mentally stable if they forget to sleep and/or by forgetting/refusing to take their medication. Having a daily reminder to do so and keeping up with a schedule will help them maintain their lifestyles.

 

The other features is a weekly planner for general exercise and one for physical exercise.

General exercises could vary from relaxing from an hour and not doing work, drawing for an hour a day, and breathing exercises.  Physical exercises is self explanatory, but maintaining a healthy body is also important with dealing with bipolar disorder. Though these are not required, they will help people maintain themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically.

The Final idea for this app is a chart to record symptoms when they pop up. It can help prepare for the next time these symptoms pop up. They will be able to record what happened, what they did beforehand to lead up to the symptoms, and what the after effects might have been. This is essential and crucial data for not only general data but also for the one suffering from this.

Though the idea is not a game, it’s primary objective is still to help people cope with bipolar disorder. With recording data, planning a schedule ahead of time, and keeping life maintainable will help people keep their symptoms and themselves in check.

 

One Vote

The Objective of the game is to make one choice. The game is suppose to motivate people to participate in the voting process.

Image result for Ballot for 3 candidates

The audience of the game is people who make the choice not to vote. Ideally the age range is 18+, the age when you can register to vote.

Image result for People who don't vote

The game is about the weight that one person’s vote can carry and why most people should vote. Many people believe that their vote doesn’t count and they choose not to vote at all. Though in many cases, one vote does count. This short journey will show a hypothetical situation where your vote decides how the rest of the game will run. The only mechanic is choosing who to vote for. For the most part, the game will look like a comic book that shows the after effects of the vote.

The entire interface will look like sections of a comic book page. There will be page borders, and text on the side to indicate what is going on in the frame. Each scene will have a box with a paragraph at the bottom explaining the situation of the entire scenario. At the very beginning of the game the you will see three ballots with a check box on each one. You will fill out the checkbox ballot of the candidate you want to vote for.

The only control in the game is voting. The player makes no other action than it. That means the only Block Mechanic is Selecting. The player can also skip and/or fast forward the game by pressing the skip button.

The Levels of the game is represented by a page in a comic book. Each page has Buildings represented by purple squares, people represented by white cones, and your character represented by a blue Human figure. All the levels will have the same color scheme and objects,  but the scenes will show different scenarios depending on the situation.

Image result for Cut out Comic

The player only does one thing throughout the entire game. It is the only objective, it is the only obstacle, and it is the only mechanic. There is no way to lose the game because the outcome is dependent on what you choose at the beginning.

To appeal to the Massachusetts council of voting, the game will show the power one vote has. The player will similarly see the impact of this decision and the impact the vote can have on the environment around you. It’s impact should motivate people to go out and vote more.

Mid terms – Voting Crisis in Massachusetts

Voting in the state of Massachusetts, similarly to national voting, has always been a big issue. According to the state of Massachusetts the number of registered voters is 4,486,849 people compared to the 2,424,979 people who are not registered at all (Massachusetts Registered Voter Enrollment: 1948-2017). Statistically, that is about 30% of the population that has either chosen not to vote, or are unaware of the process of becoming a voter. Many people either show disinterest in voting saying that their vote doesn’t count or that they don’t have the time to go through the process. Meanwhile, the process for applying to vote and voting is as simple as filling out a few forms. It is not a difficult process and many people don’t understand that their votes actually have an impact on the final result of the ballot.

During Super Tuesday of last year Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Massachusetts by just under 12,000 people (PD43 » 2016 President Democratic Primary). If the 1/3 of the population, that are currently unaligned, voted then the outcome might have been different. Maybe, or maybe not, it isn’t easy to see either way unless everyone votes. When a collective group of people don’t vote then we all suffer for their inaction. When people complain about Trump or make jokes about him, but they don’t take into account that not voting, or refusing to vote, helped the person they didn’t like get into power.

To approach the game, I am assuming that I will only be catering to the audience that has no interest in voting. I am excluding the ones that don’t know how the process works, because they are a different issue altogether.

The first idea is a  extremely short simulation game. You have one action and that is to vote. The setting is purely fictional, here you have three parties that are deadlocked in votes. As the single person left voting you have one decision to make that affects the people around you. You can vote for any of the three parties, but depending on your decision the town around you will suffer from higher taxes, lower jobs, or significantly poorer living conditions. You experience the year after you voted and see the results on a month by month basis. Depending on who you voted for, certain people will talk with you more, while others will ignore you or curse under their breath at you. Other effects include the deterioration or restoration of certain places/monuments.  It is all dependent on your first and only choice in the game. The rest is purely a walk through of the results. After you make your decision the game plays itself.

The second idea is a tablet game where multiple people are allowed to vote on a fictional ballot. The people choose what they want from the city, what can currently be improved, what needs to be removed/remodeled, and several other decisions. When people are finished filling out the survey~esque game a picture of a previous real world candidate with similar aspirations will appear on screen. The screen then changes to what they were running for, when they were attempting it, the state where they were running, a short description of their campaign, and the result of their attempts. The game will show the players how many “missed opportunities” have happened while they made the decision not to vote.

 

The third idea is a short, first person VR simulation game that shows people the process of signing up to be a voter. The game starts with them sitting at a table around 10:00 pm at night opening up their mail after a long day of work. One of the letters they receive is a reminder to sign up for the incoming election. Thy player is given the option of going to sleep, saving the paper until the end of looking through the mail, or filling it out immediately. The next day, the player wakes up and they look at the table with the paper still on there. Depending on the choice they made the previous night the paper is either blank, halfway done, or ready to be shipped. Then the player decides whether or not they want to fill the form out, finish filling out the information, ignore sending it at all, or send it in before going to work. What ever choice the player makes, there is a time skip that brings the player a month into the future. Depending on their decision, they will either make excuses about not being able to vote because of the process, decide not to vote because it is too “out of the way”, or they decide to be first in line to vote. The different outcomes are really dependent on the player’s choices an it will be a fictional representation of the process most people go through when they are given the opportunity to be a voter, or pass the offer to have a voice in the voting process.

Sources

“Massachusetts Registered Voter Enrollment: 1948–2017.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

“PD43 » 2016 President Democratic Primary.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Ignorance – Blog Entry 2

During the meeting I helped come up with ideas of using blocks and added on to the blueprint system. It is interesting to have the blocks being based on the player’s moral values while building freely. Using different mechanics for creating, picking up, and placing blocks in order to complete the blueprint.

Matching the blueprint is important and I helped add mechanics for the Controls and Player actions. These actions create the formula for the game in order to build and match the blueprint given to you. Creating, Moving, Selecting, and Destroying are important factors and necessary for the player to use the virtual reality technology to create an immersive world based on you controlling the blocks. The concept to have the blocks move away while you are working will show what you are doing as generally moral or not and make you think critically about how and why you are placing blocks.

Free build would be a good way for a player to control what they build in an arena and have more creative control. Instead of following a blueprint, you are allowed and enabled to build using the blocks in any manner you see fit. Of course, you will still want to watch how the ‘living blocks’ react because they will still run away from the player, squirm while the player attempts to pick them up, scream when you are in an attempt to select them, or even break them.

The reality spectacles will allow you to see the ‘living blocks’ as they attempt to pull trickery and get away from the player in order to escape. On the other side, the player could also just not use the spectacles and not  see how they are affecting the blocks. In a way, it’ll show what kind type of person the player is, whether that be not caring for killing these inanimate objects, caring which one will be picked up and used, etc.

https://joshrobitailleseriousgame.wordpress.com/blog/

https://mattsseriousgameblog.wordpress.com/

https://drwheeler2017.wordpress.com/

Artistic Game

The concept of this art assignment is a creation puzzle game. The buildings will be built on a grid-like square. The pieces that can be put down are constrained to the grid. It is similar to minecraft when you build something yourself by putting pieces down and similar to the sims when setting up the designs of the buildings. The main difference is that you build with a purpose and it is not completely free form.

The modular parts will snap to the squares like the example image above. Each part will take its own space. An example is a small bedroom. The base of the building is a 16x16x8 cube. The small room takes 3x3x3 of the space and cannot be placed where another room is and it must connect with other pieces to properly form a house. Different rooms will take up a different amounts of space.

The objective of the game is to successfully create a building. Some buildings will require that you only use certain rooms to build. Other buildings will limit the number of spaces that can be built on. The constraints added will add a degree of challenge to the game an invoke a more creative mind to solve.

As I stated before, the main goal of the game is to create buildings with constraints. The reason why it does not completely retain the free form creation of Minecraft is because it gives the player a challenge through the constraints. Building things with no rhyme or reason can get boring, especially with no goal. The goal and the constraints are added to make the player think about how they should be designing the building. Again adding a challenge factor that Minecraft and the Sims, for the most part, lack. This adds to the artistic aspect of the game. Not only is it enjoyable to make buildings; it is also challenging when you think of many different approaches and solutions to an issue. It becomes more of a jigsaw puzzle that allows you to create your own image, not just one. Though you can get the same feeling with making your own buildings in Minecraft and the Sims, you only make them to make them. There is no joy in finishing a building. The idea of making it is great, but the end result is… less so.

This game will emphasize the your player’s ability to be creative. Being creative in a restrictive format brings out people’s true potential. Though it is not directly art, it supports the player’s ability to create their own art.

Immigration Simulator

Nicolas Kruzel

Mathieu Lafreniere

Zachary Larkin

Joshua Robitaille

 

Genre: SIM, Educational

Audience: This game will be created for people of the ages 13 and up.

Intro: This will be a SIM based game where the player is controlling an immigrant family trying to move to a new country. The player will begin the game by choosing what nationality their family is (what country they came from) and what location they want to move to. There will be information given as to which country will be more likely to accept the family and which ones would be more reluctant to accept them according to their nationality.

The player will start out with a certain amount of points and has to use what they have to take themselves and what family members they can (optional) over to the country they want to go to, choosing a mode of transportation. When the player reaches their destination they may have to go through a short process to get into the country (this could be a tutorial to show the player what things are and how to navigate the game). Then the player uses what points they have left to find and buy a house to start their new life in.

The player then leaves the tutorial, settling down in their new neighborhood. They then search around the area to find jobs and schools. They will then assign their characters to different jobs, schools, hobbies, etc. As the game progresses the player will unlock more options for their characters. The player has to manage their money, time spent on side activities/events, the health of everyone in the family, education, hunger, etc. As the player continues the game they will be able to marry their children to locals of the country (or other immigrants, etc.) The goal for the player is to integrate their family into the community they move to. Depending on their nationality and where they had moved it may take longer to integrate than other combination options.

Game control: This game’s mechanics and controls are comparable to the SIMs series. The player uses point-and-click on the PC version to do everything in the game and tapping on the mobile version.

Objective: The objective is for the player to integrate their family into the society they moved to and thrive.

Interface/Information: The player will be able to see their money count and respect level in their community. Where family members are doing and what they are doing. The game will give the player in-game news. There will be a list of all the family members the player is controlling that they can check to see the status of all the members and what jobs they have (if any).

Mechanics/Actions: The player can follow each member of the family they control and guide them to do things during the day. The player has to manage their resources and family member’s health and happiness. The player will be given choices during gameplay.

Levels/Environment: The player chooses which country they want to live in in the beginning of the game. They can move to any city or town they want to, within reason.

Obstacles: The game can have random acts of crime (any sort) from a member of the same nationality that the player chose for their family which can cause problems and add difficulties to gameplay. The player will be given traditions or religious obligations for their family that they have to follow throughout the game.

Special feature(s):

  • Books that the player can read as a family member that will tell a story of a real life event or immigrant about immigration.
  • Random media surges of in game events

Sixty seconds of play: The player selects a family member that is walking around the house. The player can see that the family member is hungry so they send him to the kitchen and has them make a sandwich to eat. The player then selects another family member from the family menu. This member is done at work so the player chooses the option for them to drive home. On the way home the family member is pulled over by the police. The player must react to the situation. . .

https://joshrobitailleseriousgame.wordpress.com/blog/

https://mattsseriousgameblog.wordpress.com/

https://drwheeler2017.wordpress.com/

Immigration

Immigration has been a long standing issue in the US. By definition an immigrant is a person who arrived from a foreign country in search for a new place to live. The US was started by a group of immigrants from Europe seeking a haven from religious persecution. Recently the immigrants looking for refuge here are being looked down upon the same way as the immigrants who first arrived here. Specifically speaking, the most recent event is the Syrian refugee. Allowing Refugees to escape into the US does have its negatives.

Arguably, the largest issue is the cost to keep the refugees here. The government does have to set aside money to help the immigrants who come here with nothing. Then they would also need to be provided jobs to keep their families clothed and fed. In 2016 there are approximately 12,000 recorded immigrants that resettled in the US who were Syrian refugees. Though these immigrants also go to other countries in search of refuge, the US alone has used about $8 million to help resettle. It is safe to say that they have a significant impact on the US economy. One of the many effects is the jobs available here. The average wage for Syrian refuges are around $52,000. That is higher than the $45,000 average wage of the workers born here.  Finally,  there are people who refuse to accept different ethnic groups living in the US. The racial divide in the US is not as primitive as it was before the 1960s, but it still exists. Though there is no statistic measure racial violence between these groups, it doesn’t mean that there is a lack of it. This is evident in the many protests and campaigns to deport the refugees back into a country that is considered a war zone.

Though the immigrants bring something that can’t be obtained solely in the US. These immigrants bring a different view and an expansion of cultural diversity. Of the 12,000 immigrants, 3% of them are Business owners. This trumps the 2% who are business owners who are naturally born here. About 57% of the immigrants have learned how to speak at least the basic English language.With new views of the world new ideas can be developed and people can share their cultures. Though it will take a longer time for that impact to be felt, it helps keep the US a diverse country.

 

Sources:

http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/syrian-refugees-united-states

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2016/12/13/294851/syrian-immigrants-in-the-united-states-a-receiving-community-for-todays-refugees/