The Work This Week:
Week seven was spent taking our ideas finding ways to put them into practice.
On Monday, we spoke with two experts in the field. Lance Weiler, a story teller, filmmaker, and professor at Columbia, was able to speak with the team about focusing our tone. Even though our goal of breaking down stigma around death was clear, our approach towards the subject was still very general. Mr. Weiler helped us understand the importance of how we needed to approach tone and feeling, as well as making sure our game as actually enjoyable to experience.
We were also able to speak with Tim Sweeney, an alumnus of the program and a developer at Schell Games. Mr. Sweeney was able to help us approach the mechanics of our experience. His advice was hugely beneficial for helping to ensure an engaging experience, and to make sure that the interactions our game used would lead to experiences we were aiming for.
We then met with Jessie Schell, a professor at the ETC and CEO of Schell Games. Mr. Schell was able to help us better understand the framework we wanted to use to present our game. Following his advice, we were able to better examine the benefits and and risks we were asking the player to expose themselves to. This conversation is also where we found the inspiration to frame our narrative around the idea of legacy, instead of just approaching death head on.
We used Wednesday as a time to re-frame our thoughts towards out interactions. The version of our game that emerged from our concentrated design was playtested the next two days
With two playtesting sessions on both Thursday and Friday, our initial player feedback was incredibly encouraging. Mechanics worked as they were intended, players’ reactions matched what we expected, and incorporating the text provided a very healthy grounding and distance which encouraged conversation.
Building from the success of our playtests, were are excited to be moving past brainstorming, and digging into iteration.