Week 2: 1/17-1/23

This week, True North continued to narrow down brainstorming on the project direction, focusing on story and design development.story outline

We determined preliminary characters in our story, based in large part on the personas the class created.  The experience right now focuses on a first person interaction, with three core student characters and a professor.  The user and the students are part of a study group for the professor’s class, and they have group and individual projects due throughout the term.  In the experience, the user will face a myriad of questions dealing with how character notesstudents today interact with academic integrity.  We want the user to confront these questions through the lens of navigating friendship, learning, grades and the CMU community.  We plan to flesh out this story in greater depth over the next week, and create a paper prototype to test in partnership with the class.

In the class this week, we discussed elements of the psychology behind cheating and plagiarism.  The class conducted research based off of university resources, articles and video TED talks.  In one such TED talk, Dan Ariely talks about the elements which drive people to cheat.  Environmental influences can encourage or discourage integrity violations.  In one example, in which he references CMU and Pitt students, he discovered that people who perceive those within their communities of cheating tend to rationalize and partake in it.  People who perceive those outside their communities of cheating, tend not to cheat.  In the example he uses, CMU students were less likely to cheat if they perceived a Pitt student cheating among them.  The opposite was true if they perceived a fellow CMU student of cheating.  The psychology of cheating plays off of an internal opportunity cost calculation, and people tend to cheat in little ways more often than bigger ways because they can rationalize this behavior.

Below are some additional updates from our team.  Next week we plan to refine story points, begin preliminary playtesting, and present branding materials for the team before moving forward on the art.  In addition, we continue to experiment with the technology and what features we anticipate needing for the experience.  Below are some bullet points by department on our week’s progress.


  • Scrum meetings began
  • Set up excel scrum sheet
  • Website development


  • Lock down technology (Three.js, Django, and probably create.js)
  • Django localhost server is set up
  • Setting up linux server is in progress
  • Test Three.js codes : display image, play sound, move images

Design / Writing:

  • Written out a beat guide for the story, defined characters based on class personas
  • In the process of writing out a paper prototype based on the beat guide, will present to the class on Tuesday
  • Finished mock-up design of experience and interactions.  Includes brief story board, decision dialog, underlying system that measure player’s integrity and friendship levels.

Art:Ryan conceptjulia concept

  • Concept art for characters
  • Branding materials