Our focus this week was once more primarily on conceptualization and brainstorming, and we continue to gather information from our OCCO contacts regarding the ultimate direction of our project. With this week came several new and unexpected—though provocative—permutations of what our project goals should be, and we’ve striven to remain versatile and undaunted as our client’s expectations crystallize.
We began the week by making final preparations for a pitch presentation that was to be delivered to Rich Hilleman. After honing our proposals with feedback from Jiyoung and Carl, we delivered our three pitches, each based on our original project goals delineated in last week’s newsletter: rEAdy, a matchmaking utility based on personality, needs, and play habits; Virtual mEA, an evolving EA avatar system and sandbox environment; and rEAlm, an interactive, explorable EA theme park and archive. Rich saw potential in our first pitch, the rEAdy system, and instructed us to create a data collection and game-recommendation system using it as a framework. We returned to brainstorming that afternoon and categorized several possibilities concerning what type of data we wished to collect and what features we might wish to include in our system. The next day, Ben informed us that our project goals had been further refined and specified, and that we’d instead be using cooperative gameplay as a parameter for collecting data from Dead Space 3, using the data we collect to somehow build player interest in Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, and creating a data visualization and recommendation system which would connect to EA’s Origin service. With these new directives in mind, we met again, at the close of the week, with Rich, Ben, and Zach, an EA data analyst.
Though this week was one of flux and transition, by next week our target should be finalized. We aim to study cooperative player topics and trends, solidify a list of data types that we’re interested in gathering from Dead Space 3, and then split into two teams: one which will design a small, sample Dead Space 3 level (with the assistance of a designer from Visceral Games) used to capture data so that we can test our hypotheses, and one which will begin creating the system we’ll use to collect and parse the data.