Research Document 3

Project Name:

Tipple (May Change- Probably will change)

Abstract:

The game I plan on making will be centred around pouring tea. The aim will be for the player to endlessly fill as many cups as possible without being able to see the water level inside the cups rising. Over or underfilling the cups will cause the game to end. There will be an on-screen counter that will keep track of how many mugs are perfectly filled, which will allow players to try and beat their own high scores.

The main concept of this game came from research into visual impairments; Specifically, one called Akinetopsia. A person suffering from Akinetopsia is unable to perceive movement in their visual field, they can infer movement by the changing position of an object or person, but actual movement may appear similar to a multiple exposure photograph. One case study on a lady dubbed LM described how she found it difficult to pour a cup of tea or coffee because she couldn’t see the water level inside the cup rising.

I plan to try and make this game a lot of fun to play, promote relaxation and help cure boredom. I hope that by having a counter and recording high scores, players will feel compelled to keep coming back and playing again to try and beat their own high scores. I may also include an option to connect with friends who also play so that there is a sense of competition to beat each other’s scores.

I looked into the theory of optimal experience which is where a person gets more gratification out of the activity rather than from getting a reward. The quote from M. Csikzentmihalyi’s book “Optimal Experience” states that ‘Play is clearly intrinsically motivated. Whatever it’s evolutionary significance and adaptive value might be, people play because it is enjoyable.’ This is the theory that I am basing the development of this game off, people play to cure boredom, cheer up, or just for the fun of playing, I want this to be the motivating factors for playing my game.

I have also looked into Chinese and Japanese Tea Pouring Ceremonies. In Chinese tea culture, tea is often poured for positive reasons and show love. Younger generations may pour tea for their elders to show respect, at Chinese Weddings often the bride and groom will kneel in front of their respective parents and pour them tea to thank them for being raised well. Happiness is a being theme in these tea-pouring ceremonies and it is a feeling I would like to promote in my game.

Goals:

My goal is to create an App-based mini game where players will be able to experience the effects of Gross Akinetopsia, however I don’t want to make the impairment the main focus of any narrative it will simply be a mechanic. The aim is for the player to endlessly fill as many receptacles as possible, but they will not be able to see the levels inside rising.

This will be a 3D game which I believe will be more visually effective during play as players can actually seeing slightly into the receptacles they are filling and so can see the water or whatever liquid is being used to fill it entering but cannot see the levels rising. If this game was in 2D I don’t think it would be as engaging because the water would simply appear to stop at the rim of and not actually enter what it is filling. Creating the game in 3D will also allow me to improve my 3D modelling skills, I will be creating a large variety of mugs, cups and other objects for use in the game.

The main goal for this game is to create a fun game that the audience will enjoy playing and get attached to beating their own and other people’s high scores.

UX:

Because this will be an app game that’s main aim is simply to cure boredom and give enjoyment, the audience for my game is very wide and open. Anybody could download and play this game without a problem. Although Akinetopsia is a background source for this game it isn’t the main focus for the game, I am using it as a mechanic only, because of this I can market my game at all ages and backgrounds. The audience focus is those who enjoy sitting and playing simple app games that hold very little complex narrative or heavy themes.Picture1

Due to the simplicity of my game, it will not be targeted at what Google Play titles “Hardcore Gamers” but rather “Tentative Followers and Passive Players”. These are defined at players who discover games through recommendations from their peers or through looking at the top ranked games in the store. They normally don’t spend money on games and would rather spend money on non-game purchases. Google play has categorised these players as mostly women between the ages of 26-45, however there are people who fall into these groups that are outside of the age group or are male. These groups also appear to play games as an opportunity to relax and relieve boredom.


Critical Analysis: 
Due to the simplicity of my game, it will not be targeted at what Google Play titles “Hardcore Gamers” but rather “Tentative Followers and Passive Players”. These are defined at players who discover games through recommendations from their peers or through looking at the top ranked games in the store. They normally don’t spend money on games and would rather spend money on non-game purchases. Google play has categorised these players as mostly women between the ages of 26-45, however there are people who fall into these groups that are outside of the age group or are male. These groups also appear to play games as an opportunity to relax and relieve boredom.

I want to make this game more about the enjoyment of playing than getting rewarded. I looked into the Flow Model and Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Optimal Experience is where a person gets feelings of gratification from the experience on a personal level and it depends on the ability of the individual. In his study Csikszentmihalyi was interested in artists, he was surprised to see that many artists lost all interest in the paintings and sculptures they were working on as soon as they were finished. Whilst they were working on their projects they were completely immersed and did very little else but as soon as they were done it was forgotten. “It was obvious that the activity of painting produced its own autonomous positive reward,” He realised that people work hard because the work itself is rewarding rather than for conventional reward, out of a desire for Self- Actualisation. This is what I want to do with my game, I want the people who play it to enjoy it because of the experience and not because ‘they can win’. There will be some satisfaction from being able to beat their own high scores, but the main satisfaction will come from playing.

I also want to look into the feeling of Zen, is there any physical benefits from the zen feelings. Because I want to make this game relaxing and fun, I think it would help with my design choices to find out more about it.

I looked into Asian Tea pouring ceremonies, in China the pouring of tea is often used as a sign of respect, to apologise and to show gratitude and celebrate weddings. In Japan, tea ceremonies promote tranquillity and harmony. Achieving these feelings are the main purpose of a tea ceremony in Japan. They are even instilled into the making of the equipment for the tea making as well as the tea drinking, positive values are ingrained into the ceramics of the teapots and cups to make it make something.

Japanese Tea Ceremony https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042813048969

Csikszentmihalyi Study on Optimal Experience https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tdHLCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=csikszentmihalyi+optimal+experience&ots=ET9p66I9Pe&sig=chGG9fYW0HEKAwQZOnS8PXRvJAQ#v=onepage&q=csikszentmihalyi%20optimal%20experience&f=false

Project Content:

Components

My game will be a unity built app, in order to make this game effective I will have to build a large variety of cups, mugs and other receptacles. The intention is for my game to be endless and something that the player can just continue to play for as long as they want to. A lot of the objects I build for this game I will be able to recycle and simply change the size and colour to add extra levels to the game. By the end of Semester 2, I plan to have a fully working app-based game that holds a large number of levels. I will be making a 3D game for the combined reasons that I think it makes the gameplay a lot more effective and it gives me the opportunity to practice 3D modelling and build up a body of work in this area as it is a field of design that I have always wanted to become proficient in.

Functional Specifics

As this is a unity build app I will need access to the Unity Software, I will also use Autodesk Maya to build all of the assets I will need. I will also need to get either an ipad or iphone to use as a display of the game for the exhibition at the end of the semester.

Project Structure:

The next phase of the project for me is to continue to build my game, I have already begun to build the 3D assets I will implement into it. I will be creating a lot of different developments throughout the rest of the year which I will user test by creating sample apps to give to different audiences such as my peers at university and family members of different ages. This will also allow me to test the target audience for the game and get a better sense of who finds the game most interesting and engaging to play.

As I am a one-person team I will not necessarily need regular Scrumm meetings, however to ensure that I stay on the right track and following the schedule I lay down for myself, I aim to do weekly reflections on the work I have created and produce To Do lists for the next week. I will try to complete every task in that previous to do list that week but will carry over any uncompleted tasks to the next week and they will become the priority task(s) for then.

Structure

Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4
Week 9 Find Maya Tutorials for Mugs Practice Maya Techniques
Week 10 Begin prototype with James Create particle system for water Build Mugs First iteration of reactions
XMAS Focus Optional Module Continue Mug builds
1st After Xmas Focus on bringing things up to date Finish Research Document Reflections
Deadline Week Input a few prototype mugs Bring blog up-to-date Update Sketchbook Design Appendix Finish
Reading Week Learn how to Texture in Maya Texture Mugs Model a Teapot 2nd Iteration of reactions

 

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