This week, True North integrated new assets into the prototype, continued story iteration with a new draft of the script, conducted a paper playtest and continued work on the art assets of the project. After receiving our Quarters review feedback, we challenged ourselves on how to push our parallel work schedules to focus even more on implementation of design plans and assets. This is necessary to get a read on what’s working and what needs to change.
For the new prototype, we implemented the second scene of the current story draft, complete with the framework for how the underlying scoring system for integrity and friendship will play into how the story branches. In looking at the new compositions of the prototype, we continued to brainstorm on how to make the existing character poses more dynamic, with eye contact, body direction and group layout.
For the story iteration, we’ve settled on a framework for the structure.
The story has 3 decision moments for “academic integrity”, one moment for “personal integrity” and 3 aside moments to reinforce the story and give added depth to the characters. We’ve iterated on the ending to add the added depth of allowing all the choices to play a role in the player’s consequences. Moving forward, we’ll be focusing on the characters a bit to orchestrate their own story arc as you play through the experience. We also have a skeleton storyboard, courtesy of our partners from main campus, who have also helped with art assets and playtesting.
During the playtest, ETC and MP class members interviewed 18 students,and focused on testing the moments of “academic integrity” decision making. Overall, we saw that the characters did not come through as sympathetic (not a surprise given any development was cut) from these moments. We also noticed that the “bad ending” was chosen quite frequently, due to a mix of people who were truly unknowledgeable on the code as well as people who objected to it as a rule entirely (which is another conversation). It also led us to alter the endings a bit to make the player feel their consequence was based on more than that last integrity decision, and therefore more “fair”.
For the art, we’ve been integrating the class into the pipeline a bit, and we look forward to seeing their UI concepts next week. We have almost all the interior environments done, and are well along for the line-art in the character emotions.
As a final note, we played an academic integrity game produced by Simcoach, and noticed that they tackled many of the same story points and issues we’re trying to in our game. We plan to follow up with this, and see if there are any lessons there that might help us in the design and production process.
Below are some detailed updates from the week. Looking ahead, we will be continuing to iterate on the story for character relatability, and continuing to implement assets into the prototype so design innovatio n can become more integrated with our existing work.
Design / Story
- Draft 5 of story
- Friendship Meter Outline
- Integrity Meter iteration
- Storyboards w/ SK
- First “public” paper playtesting
- Process grade meetings
- MP class focus group concentrations established, work produced (eg. Story, playtesting, art), integration into the team pipeline
- Playtest to Refine Workshop – player focused
- Implemented relationship and integrity systems. slight branching of dialogue based on relationship with characters,
- Scene 2 is in, but not finished. Undergoing some improvement tweaks for the transitions, image stretching, and character placement
- Mouse hover effects on interactable objects and choices
- library environment
- classroom environment
- 3 character line art
- UI research & concepts