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  • Writer's pictureGustavo Moreira

"The Right Attitude" thought process (2/2)

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

5- Prototyping:


Interactive graphic novel:

I did use PowerPoint for that. I choose one story from the videos and “dramatized” that story, explaining the mechanics just with a flow.


+Heavily mobile-driven, easy mechanics, empathy facilitated with the real story, more approachable for nongamers, “easy” to produce, can use multiple stories

-Not much approachable for gamers, can feel repetitive after 2 or 3 stories, low replayability


Puzzle

I did with paper, just having a board and cutting different shapes. Thanks to my wife who helped me, we played as RPG, her character would do some “quest” and the reward would be pieces. The Quests were only interactions with NPCs. For example: to cheer a person who has lost his job; for that, she would need to share “good thoughts” with him.


It felt that there was potential on it and for future interactions, I thought to include different emotions, bonuses for each emotion, and so on.


+Approachable for gamers, it can attract more people than the target audience, higher replayability, fun is the key and learning is by osmosis

-Higher production value, not approachable for nongamers


After a meeting, we decided to focus on the interactive graphic novel with a few changes after two key points were raised: would the real persons be happy with their representation? And how much information we could insert into the game? We decided to create our own story, and the second question I will answer soon.


6- Writing the story


My thoughts for the story were to play with the gender and bias to surprise the player. Fast-forwarding to the final concept:

A single parent, taking care of the kid while trying to change his career and finding the balance in his life.


The game would use silhouettes of the characters at the beginning to try to set up the players’ biases to be deconstructed.



At the beginning of the second chapter, the player would have the revelation that the main character has male features. Important to mention that the gender of the character wouldn’t be mentioned, nor any romantic interests in the story, in the sense that his sexual orientation and identification was irrelevant for the story.


Important also to mention that the mundane aspect was important in the production aspect. We could use/reuse a lot of assets and scenes to reinforce the mundane routine that the character was trapped in.


7- Final concept


The concept started to take shape. But the last battle was the amount of information to fit in the game. Personally, I see a waste of potential when educational games are resumed to quizzes, or when the game information is theoretical as in a book and the whole experience becomes reading a “boring” academic book with nice graphics. And to be honest, same work for videogames, if I have to read something “not fun” for hours before getting to the fun, I probably would stop in the first 30 minutes.


My approach for that was to use less text as possible so when I text would appear, it would call more attention. To achieve that I thought to use a lot of emoticons in the dialogues and just keywords in between.


Fast-forwarding again, I decided to test the use of only icons in the dialogues. With that, on between chapters, we would use a “characters diary” where we would explain the main concepts and information, supported with key links in the “learn more about” where the player could be redirected for better help.



We did the test with a really small sample, 15 persons only - no time and resource for more test. But here I let some key points:

  • To change the character’s facial expression was really important (seems obvious but wasn´t at first).

  • The same could be achieved perhaps with even fewer to none icons and more emphasis on the characters’ emotions.

  • We also change the shape of the balloons, which seemed to help well for an overall mood.

  • Can be seen as too abstract for interpretation. Not necessarily a bad thing, and it was intentional at first for each person to fit the dialogues how they feel. Also, goes with the idea to use it as a tool for the counselors being a starting point for discussion.

  • Finally, the story mutated from person to person, but the back spine and key situations remained similar.


Again, only 15 persons was not a huge sample, but we decided to follow this path, especially thinking that the project could be used as support and a starting point of a discussion for a student and its counselor.


The project will start to be developed this year. I’ve decided to step back and focus on graduating from the University. I’m still really interested to see where this goes and I’m in contact with the team. I’ll post updates in the future.


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