Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Removal of components and introduction of Alexa
The interaction of the game has changed completely in the first stage of development. There has been removal of core components such as the AR App and the spell book and the additional use of Amazon Alexa. The Amazon Alexa development needs to develop interaction to the Alexa for commands. Currently only the narrative and spell-outcome outputs have been established. This will be essential to ensure that the player can fully interact with the game, as opposed to them just pushing or delaying the narrative.
Removal of figures and lead witch
In game development saw the removal of figures, this was making the game more educational, as it required mathematical pattern noticing to excel at the game. This is not the purpose of Enchanted Kin and therefore we needed to remove these figures from the cards and the game. This will see me creating a new system for success for the game. This will have to include many opportunities for success, with such a range of cards developing, in order to give players fair opportunities to excel further in the game.
From a previous development idea, the idea of a lead witch I feel would be best removed from the game. Where the rule was supposed to establish guidance it in fact added to confusion and created a small sense of competition. The purpose to lead the narrative is now facilitated by the Alexa also, so it is no longer purposeful. By removing the lead sorcerer role, it creates the co-operative play environment that we intended for.
Following our playtest with Rubi's narrative, we are trying to establish the areas for spell-casting and gameplay. Spell-casting is the most essential part of the dialogue from the script as it acts as instructions for the player. Rubi's script sections off the area of the spell outcomes but not the spell-casting area where they are introduced. For this I asked her to section these off (with brackets). With these I will be able to create a spell interaction for the players to verbally interact with. This has made me think about command words to tell Alexa that you want her to cast the spell. I also asked Rubi to highlight areas which describe ingredients and areas (pink and green retrospectively) as they identify areas which can be developed into gameplay mechanics.
As it is the dialogue of the narrative is very much story based, this has made the interaction very hard to develop, it is very linear and doesn't indicate any failure options for unsuccessful spells. As it is story based it does not lend itself to interaction. It doesn't let the players know what to do. This is something that I need to develop with a development of an interaction model.
With these components removed, we felt it was best to start the initial play testing early, without the interaction model, focussing purely on the narrative. This gives opportunities for the narrative to develop before being implemented in a speech system.
Reviewing Rubi's script and trying to develop interaction areas has been difficult. The script was designed for a gameplay, story narrative and not for something that will be played via audio. With the consideration of audio and interaction, I will take over the scripting for Enchanted Kin (which Adam suggested may happen during our role and task definitions). The script applies more to the interaction and how players will talk to the game as opposed narrating a story. Therefore this lends itself better to development as opposed to creation.
With this in mind, I will use Rubi's narrative as an overall arch of the game. The spells and locations will be able to be formed into levels. This will implement the magic and mythical vocabulary and scenarios. However the narrative is also too prescriptive of the ethos. The narrative itself should not be about technology, we aim to solve the problem of family device time not regurgitate that message about it.
Our feedback from Adam shows that our game is not best described as an interactive narrative. This is defined and not what we should be aiming for with the gameplay. He suggests that I look at other branching narratives and the use of twine with Alexa. To create the gameplay interaction elements I should also explore classic text based adventures such as Monkey Island and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I think it would also be helpful to explore Amazon Alexa games available currently to establish how to go about developing a VUI game.
Overall, I feel that the interaction needs to take a very different turn and complement gameplay as opposed to pushing the gameplay into the defined narrative. With further research I should develop how the players will interact with the game.