Our project a basically a maze combined with room-escaping game, with narrative associated to it to make the background richer and more attractive to the players. We haven’t really decided completely on what the narrative would be, but we have roughed out a character who suddenly find him/herself in the middle of a set of strange rooms and is trying to get out of the place through a door located at one end of the rooms. The conflicts we were building for the character include a variety of challenges and traps that need to be solved in order to get the hints and tools to escape. The room connected to the final door will be locked, in order to find the key, player will need to go through each of the other room, in a carefully planned order based on the hints he/she will receive. Otherwise, the player might be trapped, and this can happen in a variety of ways. For instance, there will be a fierce dog in one of the rooms, and the player will be warned by a danger sign as well as a sentence like, “You are approaching the door and you hear the barking from a starving dog.” The player will then want to make sure he/she has gotten the necessary tools (a delicious bone in this case) in hand before entering these dangerous rooms.
It is extremely important to think about the way that we are conducting the information to the readers/players of our text game. Just like mentioned in the New Narratives, we are currently transitioning to a digital age, where hypertext is becoming more and more popular and powerful than the traditional printed books. Our text adventure game kind of lies in the middle ground of the constructive and the exploratory hypertext. The players won’t be able to modify the overall structure of the game, that is, the rules of the game is fixed, and this is the exploratory aspect of the game. However, the player will “develop a body of information which they map according to their needs, their interests, and the transformations they discover as they invent, gather, and act upon that information”, which makes the text adventure game a constructive narrative as the same time.
In our team, Jake is an Economics major as well as the only native English speaker, and thus is a better communicator than Duoyang and me, so he will probably be writing more about the narrative and the text for the background story. Duoyang is an Electrical Engineering major, and is good at planning the storyline and the logic behind the scene, and thus will be doing more of the storyline planning. As a Computer Science and Engineering major, I really enjoy and am good at coding, thus I am very happy to contribute more to the programming part of the game and try to see how we can make the game more interactive and visually appealing to the players from the coding perspective. There are lots of benefits of working collaboratively in a group of three. Since the three of us come from different backgrounds and fields, we have a variety of expertise and thus can cover each other’s weakness. In addition, while we are trying to make everyone do some of everything (planning the storyline, writing the narrative, programming the game, etc), we can learn from each other and improve ourselves in the areas that we were not as good at as the other two. However, it is sometimes challenging to make all three of us make similar contributions in every aspect of the game, as we always tend to stay in our comfort zones and only do what we feel comfortable doing.
Below is a sketch of the storyline of our text adventure game: