For our final cycle, we were set with the task of creating a 2D side-scrolling game around the theme of “big ideas”. Along with this theme, we had to create our games in respect to a choice between four personas.
Thematic’s and Personas
For our theme, our studio came up with various words that we associated with “big ideas”. Words that were brainstormed include: Fear, Friends, Aspirations, Goals, Belonging, Connection, Loyalty, Innocence, Death, Transformation, Growth. Words that stuck out to us in particular included Friends, Belonging, Connection, and Innocence, due to their resonance with various game ideas we were discussing.
We chose “Sally” as our persona due to her diverse knowledge of various games and has been exposed to the medium for quite some time. From the stimulus given, we presumed that she likes to play fast-paced strategy and management games from her playing games like The Sims and Warcraft. By choosing to develop games for people like her, we aim to target the core gamer.
Our studio came up with two game ideas for this particular cycle in respect to our words chosen and our persona:
- Control two different characters by switching between them, and the goal is to reunite them at the end of the level. Traverse environments, defeat/avoid enemies, solve puzzles, and possibly more.
- Strategy/management game. Control a single character who is working in a restaurant and must deliver dishes to the customers by traversing a side scrolling platforming environment.
We chose to pursue the first game idea, due to its simplicity and having players being able to get to grasp of core game concepts. The implementation of the game mechanics is also quite feasible, given the time-frame allotted. It also satisfies our chosen words and persona well, as it involves two characters trying to find each other in a dangerous labyrinth, while also requiring some strategic thinking in regards to switching characters whilst moving about in the environment. Platforming games may also resonate well with casual players as many have been exposed to the Mario series of games from childhood, and would understand player movement due to its implicit nature. The game would also evoke a sense of challenge for core players in particular, where the player must defeat or outrun enemies and solve various puzzles.
We were also tasked with creating PX goals that we aim to satisfy at the conclusion of the development cycle. These goals are as follows:
- Players will face dilemmas that are designed to make them combine multiple game elements.
- The player must interpret the game environment by questioning and experimenting with game mechanics and objects contained within in order to achieve the goal.
- Players will feel satisfied after multitasking and coordinating multiple game elements.
These PX goals that we have created for our games aim to satisfy the cognitive nature of platforming games, in respect to the various skills that are required of the player when performing in game tasks. Some of these cognitive skills include problem solving for puzzles, visual processing of the in-game environment, and strategy development for character movement.
PX goals of cognitive nature are key in respect to our game ideas as the player is required to make decisions on the spot in a fast-paced game environment, where precision and the ability to think ahead is ideal in order to complete levels where the difficulty increases as you progress through the levels.