Madflatter Blueprint


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Game Design for conflict resolution

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Madflatter Blueprint

  1. 1. Ideas That MatterShedding Light Not HeatMadFlatter BlueprintDesign Issues 2008Charles SheppaLuke PirieRob Cape 1
  2. 2. Group Project, 26 September 2008 DESI321, Design Studies, University of Otago Luke Pirie, Rob Cape and Charles Sheppa.2
  3. 3. Contents04 Overview05 Formative Research06 Precedents08 Game Dynamics & Components10 Personality Types & Scenarios12 Game Interaction16 Media17 Strategy and Opportunity18 References19 Appendix 3
  4. 4. Overview Conflict in a Shared Space Our Solution There are universally common problems and By using education as a tool to help people conflicts within a shared living space. Within aged 18 - 25 examine and understand these spaces different personality types conflicts we hope to give individuals a come into contact and occasional conflict. better chance of taking on these complex Each of these personality types have different issues themselves. By shedding light on the methods for dealing with these conflicts. effects of choices that individuals make to resolve conflicts; we hope to give a greater Often the way individuals choose to interact understanding of three things. How people with others effects many other aspects of personally solve disputes, how this may be the relationships in a home. If a person does interpreted by others and the importance of not understand the effects of how they collaboration when trying to solve a conflict. communicate, the odds that their message will be misunderstood greatly increases. Our teaching tool, an interactive game, allows the user to play through a conflict without any Due to these complexities designing to real life consequences. Watching the reaction suggest the best way to resolve these and movement of a conflict, playing on both conflicts is a ‘wicked‘ problem. A number of sides of right and wrong. However the game additional issues and unknowns stem from does not preach to the player, it cleverly the original problem. The design must be hides a layer of subversive education within developed to address the huge variety and the complex style of a fun1st person puzzle complexity present in these interactions. solving adventure game.4
  5. 5. Formative Research Key Research Elements: The most common personality types and the method that they commonly deal with resolving conflicts. The value of game play in teaching and the best ways to use games to achieve reflective learning practices. The existing programmes and games that aim to inform people how to resolve universally common conflicts. Common conflicts within household environments that applied to the immediate target demographic. The development of serial games and the benefits of this type of release. How to share games and develop fans on social networking sites such as Facebook. It is important to note that Madflatter is design driven and research informed. 5
  6. 6. Precedents Looking into other existing ideas that shared similarities to our key objectives we found several related concepts. Peace Foundation programme for Students learning through games. Virtual environment for learning. resolving conflicts. The Cool Schools programme teaches With the ever increasing use of gaming As Freitas and Oliver state “‘other worlds’ individuals to use conflict scenarios as an consoles, home computers and online can indeed accelerate learning, allowing the opportunity to build positive relationships games, it is imperative that educators use learner to ... Participate within the ‘world’ with others. Non-violent, constructive, these tools to reach the targeted users. and to reflect upon their relationship when cooperative, win/win solutions to a problem Despite the vast amount of criticism that viewed from outside of it, reinforcing learning are negotiated. Agreements are made digital games receive, the reality is that through empathy or ‘being there’, whilst which are mutually acceptable to all parties simulation style games are here to stay allowing sufficient space for reflection. This ” concerned. Madflatter is more subversive in so we need to harness their potential, not ability to create a fun learning environment its method of teaching, as it lightens the tone demonize them and disregard their potential outside of everyday life is the main advantage through comedic game play to such an extent for teaching. “There is a class of games that games have over traditional teaching that the morality of the message should only include an element of simulation ... that is methods. The user enjoys ‘playing’ while they effect the user on an indirect level. This is an increasingly viewed as having educational are subconsciously learning, and later in real informed decision that came from research potential (e.g., Mitchell & Savill-Smith, 2004: situations the user is able to reflect upon the on the benefits of reflective learning. p. 20). choices they make in the virtual environment.6
  7. 7. Facebook application for conflict sharing. Facebook application for your character profile. Framework for evaluating educational games.Due to the research gathered on game the table. The concept of the site is based The Psychologist in a Box application, createsplay it was essential that existing games on actually trying to solve the problems in a user personality based on user’s answerswere analyzed to find how they might be a mock democracy, a massive undertaking. to a series of questions. The program isimproved. Real Verdict, is a web site that However the site’s low traffic and lack of designed to evaluate and display your overalluses the Facebook interface to advertise, the serious articles suggest that people may not personality type and mirrors a significantapplication itself is a web site link. On the be willing to share actual conflicts, and the portion of our elements. However thesite users with a dispute introduce conflicts anonymity of the interaction seems to create application uses a survey based system toto a virtual legal system comprised of their a lack of serious responses in many cases. evaluate the user’s profile types and does notpeers; or in this case, the site’s other users. Essentially the concept of the site boils allow them to see how their behaviors affectThough this to a degree allows individuals down to a medium for arguing and though it others nor does it give an idea of where itsto have mediation from a third party, the gives voices to both sides, it does not claim estimation comes from. This sort of gamingsite’s confrontational style of pitting the two to resolve the conflicts, merely produce an experience is not interactive and certainlysides against each other, in many ways only outlet for fun. not immersing, so from the framework forexpands the scope of conflicts brought to evaluating games there is a small likelihood that it would have educational merits. 7
  8. 8. Game Dynamics & Components Diagram shows an overview of how to solve the puzzle. Game play The game play of MadFlatter is in the environment that become modifiable after The players interaction with the environment style of a 1st person adventure game, a completing the conversation successfully. is primarily click and click and drag allowing genre which pits players against interactive This method keeps a conflict and character the player to explore and interact with environments and puzzles that advance a interaction central to the game play, but does objects and make choices in an interactive story line. This style of game does not have not make the entertainment value solely manner. This form of interaction is both highly a scoring system, but rather rewards players dependant upon it. It also supports dialogue enjoyable and easy to learn. Allowing novice by challenging them to unlock items in the that deals with elements in an environment gamer’s the chance to enjoy the game. environment. MadFlatter environments that can be altered, appropriate because consist of two puzzles which coincide but shared space conflicts are typically central Since this style of game eventually reaches must be solved in a specific order. The to an item in that space. The first person an endpoint, the end reward of the game is first puzzle is an interaction between the style also places the character directly into the player receiving a ‘key to their flat mates’ player and a character, central to a conflict the environment without using an avatar in heart’ indicating their completion of the and consists almost entirely of dialogue. a hope to provide a sense of personalization puzzle. For now these keys behave as merely The second puzzle is with objects in the and accountability to the game play. a reward item but offer future potential to unlock additional content.8
  9. 9. Environments PuzzlesThe environments that were chosen are absurd environment and puzzle or the entire The environments also contain interactivethe shared spaces in a flat. The kitchen, flat could host a puzzle with multiple rooms. elements that form puzzles. The gamebathroom, toilet, living room, laundry and Additionally, though the environments appear uses an inventory system, which effectivelyso on, are where we most logically felt the more or less realistic at first glance, they do allows players to combine objects in thegame would produce identifiable scenarios. host unrealistic items to increase their appeal. environment when moving from oneHowever, these environments each have For example, the kitchen has a dwarf hiding viewpoint to another. Also a series ofseveral different potential conflicts within in the cupboard, a possum hiding under interactive objects within the environmentthem, and have further potential to change the sink and a giant fly in the fridge. These can be dragged onto each other to combinein scale and presentation. One environment fantasy items help provide the imaginative them. These puzzles rely on changes orcould have not only different objectives and comedic elements that hopefully make items gained from the conversation elementsbut also different puzzle and game play interaction with the environment more but are still interactive before resolving thealtogether. Conflicts could occur within entertaining and reward users for exploring. conflict. In our example the player mustobjects in the environment or combine finish the conversation to be able to seeenvironments together. For example, a the opossum under the sink, then solve anrefrigerator in the kitchen could contain an environment puzzle to get rid of it. 9
  10. 10. Personality Types and Scenarios Shambolic Shane Benighted Bob Nasty Nicole Emo Emily Lonely Larry Non - Conscientious Lacking Openess Non - Agreeable Neurotic Highly Introverted The Big Five Madflatter’s characters are based on ‘The Big By exaggerating these personality types in For example, an individual lacking openness, Five’, personality types. Psychologists use the game’s characters, the player experiences characterized by stubbornness and insisting these five factors to describe behaviors of the way in which these personality types that they know best, in our second scenario, individuals as it relates to their personality. may interact or react to the user’s attempts wants to keep the television remote in a Psychological studies looking at the to solve the conflict. The exaggeration also dinosaur mouth, an exaggeration of a solution way these five dynamics of personality: makes the characters more recognizable likely to cause conflict. The player’s puzzle neuroticism, openness, agreeability, and hopefully more assignable to user then revolves around the user retrieving conscientiousness and extraversion, experiences. the remote from the dinosaur. This kind of affect the way in which people approach humorous exaggeration allows for certain conflicts, guided our scenario and character Characteristics of the big five were also aspects of the character’s personality and development. considered in the creation of a likely scenario. their behavior to be focal in the puzzle. Characters will stem conflict playing off of traits of their personality.10
  11. 11. Solution unproductive highly unproductive responses responses avoidance aggressive The diagram above is known as the ‘Slippery Slope’ Model.Dialogue DevelopmentDeveloping the conversations between the However, the slope model only encompasses player because this personality type wasplayer and the character requires a balance two types of responses: aggressive and shown to be unlikely to use competing asof teaching and game play components. The avoiding. Our second model includes four a method of conflict resolution. (Citationconcept for the conversation was drafted total methods: competitive, accommodating, needed) Lastly, the dialogue was aimed atfrom a combination of two conflict models. avoiding and collaborative, selected from poking fun at commonly found, yet generallyThe first, the ‘slippery slope’ conflict model, studies that linked the big five personality ineffective techniques of addressing conflicts.allows players to observe the effects of types to these four methods of conflict Hopefully including these examples in thehighly unproductive choices by steering the resolution. Personality types that intuitively game will cause the player to reflect on theirplayer into them. For example if a player seem linked, or were shown to be linked, uses or responses to these techniques inshows a small amount of aggression toward to one of these methods, will respond their own real life situations or conflicts.the character, the next set of responses will according to that behavioral connection. Forincrease in aggression, thus forcing the player example, a conscientious-lacking individual All these components together combine todown a path away from the solution. like Shambolic Shane will not respond make an entertaining interaction that models competitively to competitive inputs by the conflict between you and the character. 11
  12. 12. Game Interaction This storyboard details how the player would interact with the game in order to solve the puzzle. Madflatter Madflatter PLAY Pick your conflict OPTIONS CONTROLS ABOUT Shambolic Shane Benighted Bob Nasty Nicole Emo Emily Lonely Larry QUIT The Kitchen TV Room Dinner Table Laundry Room Toliet The Madflatter home page where the viewer enters the game The user is then shown the available conflicts they can play. Each and is greeted with a range of options typical of games. This page conflict has a different character with a different personality type allows the user to change their options, controls and to read about within a different environment. The personality types and their the objectives of the game. Alternatively the user can just jump behaviorism have been chosen from our research (refer to page 9). straight in and play the game. The scenarios and environments are based on typical households and the issues that the majority can relate to.12
  13. 13. You are in the kitchen and so is Shambolic ShaneThe user is then placed in the virtual environment where they The user may find out from the dwarf in the cupboard that Shaneare free to interact with Shambolic Shane or any of the clickable does not converse easily when he is hungry, or they may stumbleitems in the kitchen. Shane however has a behaviorism where he upon the pie in the fridge by accident. In any case, they will thenattempts to avoid speaking to the user. So the user must explore need to click on the pie in order to add it to their inventory. Oncethe environment and try to figure out how to get Shane to interact the user leaves the fridge, they are able to drag the pie ontowith them. Shane and begin to interact with him. 13
  14. 14. O. K. I’ll do the dishes if you kill the possum I would feel a lot safer if you killed the opossum Click and drag items around to try kill the possum... O. K., after I take care of the opossum you clean out the sink While conversing with Shane the player is able to choose different Once the player has unlocked the mystery puzzle piece (the dialogue paths with different responses coming from Shane. opossum) they must interact with the items around the kitchen Ultimately the player needs to choose to collaborate in order to in order to try and kill the possum and solve the puzzle. In this unlock the missing puzzle piece (the opossum) and to get Shane instance the extension cord has been dragged onto the toaster to do the dishes so that the player can get his key. as the toaster is not plugged in. Then the toaster has been pulled down to the possum in the hope of electrocuting it.14
  15. 15. O. K. I’ll do the dishes if you kill the possumThe user is then placed in the virtual environment where they The user may find out from the dwarf in the cupboard that Shaneare free to interact with Shambolic Shane or any of the clickable does not converse easily when he is hungry, or they may stumbleitems in the kitchen. Shane however has a behaviorism where he upon the pie in the fridge by accident. In any case, they will thenattempts to avoid speaking to the user. So the user must explore need to click on the pie in order to add it to their inventory. Oncethe environment and try to figure out how to get Shane to interact the user leaves the fridge, they are able to drag the pie ontowith them. Shane and begin to interact with him. 15
  16. 16. Media Creation The implementation of our application will involve the animations, user interface and functionality being made in Macromedia Flash™. Adobe Flash, or simply Flash, refers to both the Adobe Flash Player, and to the Adobe Flash Professional multimedia authoring program. Adobe Flash Professional is used to create content for the Adobe Engagement Platform (such as web applications, games and movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices). Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web- page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications. Distribution The flash files are embedded into Java script, allowing us to host our application on social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and Myspace, as well as a stand alone game. The game would be released in stages as a serial on these social networking sites, but the full version (including bonus stages and characters) would also be available for purchase for educational institutions and consumers alike. Diagram gives an overview of our production and distribution.16
  17. 17. Strategy and OpportunitySerial ReleasesBy releasing Madflatter as a serial game we Based on the three weeks taken for three peopleare giving the users the opportunity to provide to develop one episode, the game would befeedback that can help to develop better scenarios released on a monthly well as giving them an opportunity to let thedevelopers know what they like about the game. Potential for AdoptionThis is also highly beneficial for keeping up to datewith technology improvements. The subversive style of reflective learning this game provides is one that could be adoptedSerial releases also maintain a high level of by designers for a wide array of different socialinterest because of their fresh subject matter, conflicts. We wish to continue to develop thiswhether it be political or social. Because this game from a prototype into a full serial if we gaingame has such potential for universal appeal, it is the appropriate demand and backing. However itimportant that there is room for the game to grow is likely that this form of game will continue to beto the point that it can become an iconic learning made for teaching purposes and we hope that ourtool world-wide. A comparison to the television game may be called upon as a valuable exampleshow The Simpsons would be an apt parallel to of subversive learning.the way this may occur. The subversive moralityof their messages is disguised by humour that Educational Institutesis common the world over, making it a piece ofpopular culture that has come to be studied for Madflatter would also be a highly valuable learningwhat lessons it teaches us. tool for people from 14 to 17 years of age. This is due to the fact that these people are only a few years away from coming into some social conflicts with their peers. They are probably already having inter-personal conflicts at home with their family’s as well, giving them an immediate resonance with the game. The games wit and absurdity should also appeal to this demographic.The Simpsons televised comedy serial . 17
  18. 18. References Travers, Chris. “about us. 19 Aug 2008. Radeon LLC. 19 Aug 2008 ” “Give Yourself Goosebumps. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 Aug 2008, 06:19 UTC. 19 Aug 2008 ” <>. “Facebook. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Aug 2008, 11:23 UTC. 19 Aug 2008 ” <>. “Zork. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 8 Aug 2008, 22:29 UTC. 19 Aug 2008 ” <> Roomster, “About Roomster. 18 Aug 2008. Roomster Incorporated . 19 Aug 2008 ” <> Squared, J “Facebook sticky notes application. Jsquared world. 4 July 2007 J Squared Media. 19 Aug 2008 ” . <>. Facebook, “How to build an app. 18 Aug 2008. Facebook. 19 Aug 2008 ” <> Sande, Ken. Peacemakeer. 3rd. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004.18
  19. 19. Appendix Agreeable Personality Type Puzzle Living Room Environment objects: White Board Dinosaur Remote Couch Television Prune Rug Tina Character I’m not getting It appears to be near that It needs a remote a rug made of What are you doing? Why is there a Nice dinosaur dinosaur here? prunes I’d like to changeWatching Thanks he’s a people the channel but I’d We needed somewhereexoflex900 eater also like to live to keep the TV remote I don’t want to usecommericials my burritos on that What can you That seems like a Isn’t that dangerous Prune wrapped tell me about the horrible solution burritos exoflex900? Where can you get a Other Objects Interesting, well can dinosaur these days? Old burrito kit Why are you you get him to Under Couch (with meat) Lava Lamp watching that? change the channel? How did you train Main Couch What is that smell? him to do that? Not as long as he Turns on/off isn’t upset They aren’t ready to I don’t want to watch cook yet Lava Lamp on Explains its TradeMe Well I don’t trust anyone this dumb show awesome with the remote Lava Lamp off I don’t think he’ll eat Because its on Nope but you’re welcome that yet and I can’t change I wouldn’t do touch that I don’t think they’re already to try the channel if I were you markers make that would cooked him upset (dino growls) do anything I bought him trained Oh you mean the Prune Rug? That’s Dinosaur’s Bowl the smell of healthy digestion. That seems dangerous Threaten to rub her down in seasoning which she claims won’t work becuase the dinosaur looks like won’t attack her dino’s food Why not? bowl So why don’t you Threaten to write angry note. Which she claims would be bad because markers and notes Unguarded Cooked prune do something Dinosaur Bowl wrapped burritos else? make the dinosaur hungry, (dino growls) Explains dinsaur has been eating things Yeah well maybe we’ll deal with this later and is now holding (Dinosaur eats you and she makes him spit you Why do we have the remote back out) Environment objects a prune rug? You’re totally so so 1st person responses Do you eat the (Earning the trust of Unagreeable prunes? right, how blinded I’ve personality type) You reveal embarrsing secrets She orders Tina responses been by television..ect such as bedwetting until she feels she can trust dinosaur to sarcastic Animated Action you with the remote give up remote Inventory Item Dinosaur accidentally swallows remote Puzzle Solved Remote and It’s art deco during this animation dinosaur moves Heavy weight lines Key are found in droppings indicate solution paths away from his bowl leaving it unguarded You could, but I’ve been walking on them... 19
  20. 20. Environment Object non -conscientious Personality He’s just grumpy Dragable Object Environment Puzzle: I live here because he hasn’t Animated Action eaten in a while 1st Person Response What are you What is wrong Character Response doing in here? with Shane?? Name’s Limley I’m not touching It’s an extension those they look cord, dunno why Dings Hisses Who are you? No Response dangerous its on the floor Shane Character Refridgerator Dishes Extension Cord Toaster Kettle Dwarf Closet Inside Fridge No reason to do that Pie Actions available before conversation complete Complete Conversation (see map page 15) Additional actions only after conversation Possum Closet Opens Possum Sink Bolt Plugged in toaster Water spils out Electrocuted Wet Possum Puzzle Complete Wet Possum20
  21. 21. 1st person responses non -conscientious Personality Yeah okay I’ll eat that, I would’ve Conversation Elements: Handed a pie cooked for myself you know, Shane responses but the dishes are dirty Animated Action I’m looking for a key have What is that noiseDid you just eat that entire pie? you seen one around? A key? Yep dropped that No you devoured it in the sink by accident like sea monster Angry who? That my friend is the soundWell I mean I got it out... under those dishes there of a pissed off marsupialate some... but then I put itback You accidentally dropped a Totally bro Oh yeah oops Whose dishes are they? Why are they bubbling? key in the sink? Did you know that Yep or actually I might have Where is it coming Mine, they’re mine there’s Freaking who knows whats in marsupial is latin forI don’t think that’s Maybe that is what put it there, seemed like a from exactly? Oh, I see some forks and plates in that freakin hell hole bro big ol’ pouchquite exactly right happened good idea at the time. there and I would sooo totally do them if there wasn’t a Little critter is being ....Yeah I knew thatOh yeah you’re right Yea bro you must Yeah so can I get rightous little opossum held away from mysorry I will so make have blacked out another one? bogarting the soap under food under the sinkyou another or something the sink ya know? Yeah I’m sure Wow! That’s crazy! Hmm, I see... Quite the problem hm.. Swear it to you bro That’s what I’m saying Totally Yeah no kidding Whoa, Whoa settle down How about I write with the anger bro I would you a note to remind Yes that is What if we created a win-win so do them but I am not you to do them on a DEFINITELY environment of pro-active You never do the I SO hear you Yeah doing stuff authoritative looking the solution emotionally safe emotions?? dishes just man up getting near a opossum is for sqizzares on that one piece of yellow sticky (sarcastic) paper Ha, you know the shane- I would feel totally safe with miester has friends at all Yeah how could you Okay well attention! you if the opossum was goneI bet you’d have more Exactly bro Okay well attention! ends. Maybe you’d have do dishes when there is Newer rule! okay so!friends if you did them can’t and won’t New rule! You must more if you weren’t nag a opossum?? that rule, and its central wash your dishes Okay, after I take care of the immediately after creator must do my opossum you clean out using them to cook dishes on everyWhy are you afraid Awesome bro the sink Yo bro don’t judge I just Okay, fine, I’ll do em day ending in dayof opossums you wuss yeah totally don’t really get down with little critters Err well this just Hah that’s a deal. haha uhh let’s talk Shane passes Screen: Radioactive Good luck about something else gas dishwater has melted the skin on your hands opossum cabinet opens conversation element done 21