Project Overture

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Project Overture, 2008

Mobile Game Prototype

Team: Sidewire Studios


Team Site, Term 1 Presentation

My Roles: Designer, 2D Artist
Collaborators: Stevan Anas, Lawson Lim, Andy Huang, Andrew Wong, Katie Seaborn

Details

Part of a 2-term course, our team was charged with creating and refining an interactive design project in the first term, then producing said design in the second term. Our team had a mutual interest in game development, so we decided on a mobile RPG that used the physical interaction between players and incorporated the environment into the experience.

Players would travel and gain experience, items and abilities in a simple, musically-themed RPG world in a single player campaign. However, much like Pokemon, their initial choices in the game determine what is made available to them: for 100% completion, they must interact with other players by moving within range of another player, triggering an encounter. Players have the option to befriend, fight or flee these players, the last of which requires physically removing from the opponent’s detectable range . . . in other words, they’d have to take their device and actually run. If the opponent decides, they could actually chase them long enough to win the encounter.

Highlights

We utilized a variety of prototyping and testing techniques for the concept and final deliverable: independent research, paper prototyping, user group testing, etc. We also learned much on presenting our pitch to peers and professionals.

Media

Process

Gameplay
The gameplay was slowly refined over the first term, and eventually we decided that a musical theme would fit our gameplay: different genres represented different classes and abilities, and combat became a musical ‘duel’ between travelling artists. Eventually, considering the mobile phone we would ultimately develop on, the game was streamlined and simplified to accommodate ‘one-handed’ use.

Players would challenge each other in rhythm-based ‘combat’, where each player would compose a piece for the other player to follow: making mistakes or taking too long would lose the interest of the audience. Outside of duels, players would travel from city to city, encountering different NPC challenges while ‘On The Road’ (roaming status), and be open to encountering other live players.

Technology
Originally we had intended to use the Nintendo DS as the development platform, but a lack of homebrew knowledge about using the Wifi forced us to turn to Bluetooth technology on mobile phones. With the difficulty of our programmers in learning and implementing on a mobile phones, our final deliverable was a simple prototype that demonstrated basic gameplay, screen navigation and mobile-to-mobile Bluetooth communication. We also provided a PC with a Flash version of the prototype.