My twine game is titled, “Heroes and Villains”, and can be found at: http://philome.la/C_Kay_P/heroes-and-villains/play
Originally, my twine game’s concept was about a girl named Lucy branching out from her previous identity and becoming the hero. In the end, I added a few elements to make the story more interesting. I really wanted to incorporate elements from the class, while making it enjoyable and meaningful.
The story is pretty simple. It follows the story of Lucy, a girl from Georgia, that sees an old man crying. You could either follow the story of her ignoring the man and going to the mall, or her helping the man save his wife Lorraine from the ice king in the land of Chillings. Towards the end, you could also follow the story line of Lucy saving the ice king and teaching him how to change his ways. The overall goal of the game was to save Lorraine from the ice king. There were a few different possible outcomes. In terms of constraints, the only way to really win the game was to accept Lucy’s role as a hero–but a hero that also could use help from others to reach her goal.
When I made this game, I was trying to get my audience to see that women are often seen as incapable of being the hero or being brave. And also, the “villain” is often perceived as incapable of change. The alternate ending of Lucy saving the ice king shows that even the villain can have a happy ending. I think it’s important for people to realize that gender shouldn’t matter when looking at heroes. Women shouldn’t be labeled as weak and always in need of a male. I wanted to achieve a twist in what people usually expect from a heroes tale to show that games can be more diverse and still fun.
It connects with what we’ve discussed in class because it incorporates ideas of a women taking the role of what men are usually stereotyped to be. Women are usually seen as the “damsel in distress.” Like we learned from Sarkeesian in her Ted talk, this trope victimizes women and makes them seem as if they depend on men. In my game, I had Lucy be the hero that saves another women and possibly the fate of a man (if you chose that option in the game). Robert was dependent on Lucy to save his wife, which is different from most games. For example, Mario’s goal is to save Peach. This damsel in distress trope is a recurring issue, and I tried to mix things up a bit by going against this stereotype.
I think I succeeded in that I showed that women do not always need to be stereotyped as weak and that men aren’t always so strong–they need help at times too. The final product of my game is definitely better than my first draft because I initially had no idea how to use twine to make it more creative. I was able to have different storylines, add pictures, and change the colors in my game. The same idea was there, but I definitely made it more enjoyable to play while keeping the message intact.
The concept of my Twine game is pretty simple and straightforward. It’s based on stereotyping and it’s affects on interactions between various individuals. I wanted it to reflect how people think of others, based on real life stereotypes, but nothing that would offend anyone’s race or personal beliefs. I was going to base the situation portrayed in my game on religion but decided against it, because I didn’t want anything too controversial portrayed in the class. I decided on a more simplistic stereotype that I believe anyone in the class could relate to or believe in.
The plot of the game follows a woman who goes out to dinner with one of her friends named Fabio. Fabio tells her that he also invited one of his other friends to have dinner with them as well, who the main character has never met before. When the woman meets Fabio’s friend, Asia, she finds out that she works for the fashion industry and styles outfits for celebrities. The separate paths follow whether you like Asia based on what your beliefs are. You judge Asia based on the stereotypes of people in the fashion industry but end up being wrong about who she is as an individual.
I wanted people to understand how everyone stereotypes and judges others whether it be intentional or not. It somewhat comes naturally to us as humans to judge others on how they look or how we perceive the way they’re acting in front of us even when we don’t know them. This idea relates to what we discussed in the first lecture of this class regarding cultural operating systems. This system revolves around what people do based on the culture around them. If this norm is broken, you can be judged or stereotyped.
We talk a lot about gender in this class, which stereotypes can also play a big role in. Girls and boys are expected to act and talk in specific manors. The culture surrounding us teaches us what is expected out of different genders. However, not all girls act the same and not all boys act the same. Thus, this stereotype causes many problems for those individuals who are considered outside of the ‘norm.’ My game somewhat has this stereotype mixed in by portraying a ‘typical’ girl who loves makeup and fashion.
I believe that I developed a simple story in which stereotyping occurs. The type of situation portrayed could occur in many peoples’ lives, which makes it relatable and easy to understand. I believe that it relates to the topics we learn in class, and that it teaches people to think twice before intentionally stereotyping. Overall, I feel like I could have made the game more impactful. However, it did get my point across that everyone stereotypes whether it’s intentional or not.
My game is titled “Strange Crash” and can be found at http://philome.la/chanman_80/strange-crash
When I was creating this game I was simply trying to create a game that had a large entertainment value. My first idea in regards to creating a game that would be entertaining was a mixture of action, drama, and a little bit of comedy. I was attempting to make sure that whoever played the game would have a good experience. The method that I chose to use in order to accomplish this goal was by adding a significant amount of plot twists and surprises that would be otherwise completely unexpected if the player hadn’t already experienced the gameplay previously.
During the design process I had nothing in mind in terms of meaning or connecting the subject matter to what we had read about and discussed in class; I simply wished to create something that I would find enjoyable. However, after I had designed it, I realized that it did in fact relate to topics that we had discussed in class. In creating a game that was appealing to myself, a white teenage male, I had created a game where a male character partakes in gender typical activities such as shooting a gun and killing people. In addition to this I had failed to include any female characters in my game. So, without even realizing it, I had participated in this gender excluding world that gaming has turned into. I didn’t even realize that I had done this until another person pointed it out to me. I can now see firsthand how easy it was for the gaming industry to end up in the place it is in today. With the deficit of females in technical fields it isn’t hard to believe that big gaming companies make the same mistakes that I made as the predominantly straight white males are designing games that they believe that they will also enjoy. So not only did my project end up directly connecting to the class discussion and readings, but I was also able to experience firsthand the experiences that we discussed.
As I had previously noted, my goal in creating this game was to develop an enjoyable experience that would provide excitement to those that play it. In that aspect I believe that I was successful. In terms of tying it into what we had talked about in class initially I had believed that I was unsuccessful however after discussion with others and some personal reflection I was able to determine that I had unknowingly interwoven class topics into this experience. Also I believe that I was very successful from a technical aspect because everything worked and I was able to implement both HTML and CSS additions as I included the links from page to page, images, and changed the background and text color. All of this technical addendums worked to enhance the overall experience.
The Dating Game
The concept behind my Twine game is dating in college. The players play as a college girl named Sophie, who is trying to live an uncomplicated life this semester and focus on school, and boys seem to be the thing that complicates her life the most. The point of the game is not let the male characters that enter your life add drama and unnecessary complications. The idea of the game came from brainstorming with two of my girl friends. I was trying to develop a game that had a story line that would be appealing and not to confusing to implement. I attempted to create a lighthearted experience that all could relate to an enjoy because although from the female perspective, male players get one side of what girls experience in the dating.
I had many people play my game, both male and female. Almost all the female players loved the game. They became really invested and wanted to see where the storyline and their choices would lead them. Some claimed it to be just like their lives and others saw it as something they wanted to happen to them. It really appealed to their desires and interests. This fact relates to one of the first readings we did for this class, Rise of the Zinesters by Anna Anthropy. Anthropy discusses the need for more diverse games that appeal to the increasingly diverse gaming community. One of the solutions she suggested was for these diverse yet underrepresented parties to begin to create their own games that they would be interested in playing and other with similar interest would also enjoy the game too. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my game, and much like Anthropy said, many other people who had the same interests as me also enjoyed my game because it was something that related to them, which lacks in the video gaming world for minorities such as women and those part of the LGBT community.
On the other hand, the male players who played my game, although they said they did enjoy it, they also claimed it made them feel as though all guys were predators. It was a interesting perspective presented to me because on one hand, girls seemed to love both male characters, yet guys saw them in a negative view. It was reverse of what has been happening in the gaming community now. With #GamerGate, women do not enjoy the female representation in games – how they are either overly sexual or serve as only a person who needs to be saved. However, many male players see no wrong with the female characters and in some cases, enjoy it.
I feel as though I was successful in executing my game and properly conveying my ideas and goals. The process was definitely a lot more time consuming than I realized, but I actually enjoyed it when I did not have other assignments to stress about. However, I did cut out many other possible plot lines because of time.
You can play my game Road to l0vE? here at http://philome.la/paulaw_dcc/road-to-l0ve.
I thought that this project was very interesting to make. Initially, I had a very hard time thinking of what I was going to make my game about. I heard some ideas from others in the class. I really like the idea of a reversal of genders in classic movie like the “The Lion King” that someone had mentioned before. I started brainstorming with some people, and they asked me what kind of game I would like to play. This started me thinking. I enjoy adventures which got me excited about spring break. My first spring break is coming up, so I thought that I could make this story interesting and fun. My game is about a college freshman named Alicia, who goes on a road trip from DC to California with her friend and her crush, Liam. Originally, I wanted to make the game about perceptions and how the guys and girls in the game viewed things differently. However, I was never able to make the guy’s perception because first, I don’t really know how guys think, and second because of time. After figuring this out, I wanted the main character to be girl. Since girls often struggle with discovering their independence or their desire for love in their life, I wanted to make a game that displayed this view of women. Typically, women are viewed as fragile objects who are obsessed with boys. I emphasized this view of women in my game by making Alicia either end up in tears without Liam or with a possible relationship with him. However, Alicia is trying to find her own independence evident in the rebellious trip against her parent’s wishes. Alicia needs to make her own decisions whether to choose Liam or continue the road trip without his love.
I wouldn’t say I succeeded because I never finished everything I wanted to. However, I am satisfied with the end product. I like the story because of the fun element and the reality that Alicia faces. Most of the girls that played my game were very interested and had a lot of fun with the story. They could relate to some part of the story which I liked. I wanted to have the guys who played the game to have an insight into the struggles of a life a girl goes through. The guys who played also got very into the game, becoming happy that they got the happy ending with Liam or mortified at the ending without Liam.
You can play my game at http://philome.la/Eyeagz/lets-go-for-a-swim !
My game is about a mermaid who is on her way somewhere in the ocean. As she swims through the sea, she is forced to interact with cat-calling mermen. The goal of the game is to get to the mermaid’s destination, which could be a coral reef, Poseidon’s castle, a sandbar, or the ocean floor, depending on the player’s choice. As far as possibilities and constraints, the player has the option to appease, ignore, or confront the cat-callers, but is not able to win the game if they choose to appease the cat-callers. I wanted the game to be understanding of how talking back is not always an option because sometimes you don’t feel safe doing it or you just don’t have the energy to confront street harassers; however, I wanted to discourage the player from appeasing the cat-callers. The concept for the game was for it to work as an exercise in empathy for people who do not experience cat-calling and as a rehearsal for possible things to do when cat-called.
In our class discussions we talked about forms of harassment other than street harassment. Our discussion about Gamergate, for example, looked at women like Anita Sarkeesian’s experience with harassment over the Internet. While the street harassment in my game never reaches a very threatening point, in the real world it can be much worse.
I think my game was successful in communicating some of the frustrations cat-calling can pose to women and how those situations can affect how they feel about themselves. For example, the main character feels good about herself when she confronts her cat-callers. If I were to continue working on the game, I would like to add more interactions with the cat-callers that explore how those situations affect the character’s feelings about herself. Other interactions with the cat-calling mermen I might add include having the main character give the mermen a fake number, which always kind of makes me feel guilty and embarrassed, or having the mermen follow the main character or act aggressively and looking at the feelings of fear and panic that come with that. I would also like to add more creative ways to stand up to a cat-caller; the player sometimes has the option to make weird faces at the cat-caller when they are asked to smile, but I’m sure I could think of many other ways to subvert a cat-calling situation and make the harassers feel uncomfortable. I think adding more interactions could make the game more useful both as an exercise in empathy and as a rehearsal for what to do when cat-called.
My game is Thoughts of School.
Don’t read my reflection unless you’ve played the game or don’t care for spoilers.
On the day where the class was making our first Twine game, I presented the idea of someone being in a dream without realizing it. I had just thought of it on the spot, but then I thought it would make a decently interesting game. As for the theme of the dream, I could have made it a fantasy world, but instead I decided to make it about a college student reflecting back on high school. It would be easier to construct a narrative on a somewhat similar personal experience.
For me, high school was overall an enjoyable time, but it was also filled with a lot of regrets. There were some things I wish I had done, and both good and bad memories revisit me whenever I’m sitting alone. I use the in-game dream as a way for the character to sort of “set things right” within his or her mind, even though it’s all in the past. There are some choices within the game that don’t affect the ending, but are meant to be significant within the player’s mind instead. I based the setting very loosely around my own experience, although I tried to give the player a good variety of choices while sticking to the main messages.
The main theme of my game was self-reflection and improvement. I wanted the player to possibly think about his or her own past, remember any possible good times, and reflect on what more could have been said or done. Dreams can’t change anything about the past, but the thought alone could change what’s to come. From the feedback in class, it seems like I was successful in immersing the player within the experience, although I know that not every student had as good of a time in high school. As for the self-improvement aspect, either that was just missed, or people focused more on the immersion and didn’t think too much about it. It was a pretty short segment compared to the rest of the game, so maybe it’s to be expected. Though not everything can reach the audience, I’m happy if people enjoy playing the game.
In terms of connecting to in-class readings, I put in the second part of the Duel Monsters scenario to encourage the player to be more inviting of new people. One of the recurring ideas within our readings is that much of the video game community is reportedly hostile to female gamers, to LGBT gamers, and to the games that appeal to those people. Within my game, it’s happier for everyone if the player invites the unknown girl to play Duel Monsters with them. The scenario is not blatant about the choice’s significance; it just mentally rewards the player for making the better choice.
The premise of my twine game is that you are a high school student and every choice you make is a song lyric. When I made this game, I had hoped that the player would find some humor in seeing some of these lyrics taken completely out of context. In this aspect, I do not think I succeeded. In class, I realized that I had forgotten to mention that the game was based on song lyrics. Additionally, it may be harder to identify the origins of the lyrics in this setting. I added information about the premise of the game to the first passage, in the hopes of clarifying the game. The “plot” of the game is that you wake up on a Friday morning and you have to decide what to do with your day. The only thing you have to do to “win” is keep clicking; all of the end results portray the main character as content.
In making this game, I tried very hard to avoid assigning genders to any of the characters. The player is only ever referred to as “you” and the people you interact with are “friends”. I did this to avoid any assumptions the player might make about how people of different or same gender are expected to interact. I do not think I was very successful in this aspect either. Perhaps because my classmates knew the game was created by me, or perhaps because I am a male and I wrote the game, my classmates assumed the the lead character was also a male.
However, I think I succeeded in removing assumptions about the relationships the character has with others based on gender. While dating and sex are a source of many of the problems in the life of a high school student, I did not want that to be a part of the game. I tried to avoid to the topics of dating and sex because I wanted all of the possible endings to be positive, and it would be very unrealistic to have every choice on relationships turn out well. The game is not about interacting with other people as much as it is about determining the personality of the character.
List of songs:
“Sleeping In” – The Postal Service
“Road to Joy” – Bright Eyes
“I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” – Ida Maria
“All Black” – Good Charlotte
“Blue Jeans” – Lana Del Rey
“Daylight” – Matt & Kim
“Chardonnay Summer” – Leggy
“Plans” – The One AM Radio
“The Perfect Kiss” – New Order
“Stay Useless” – Cloud Nothings
“A Different City” – Modest Mouse
“Skeletons” – The Front Bottoms
“Temptation” – New Order
“A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” – Of Montreal
“A Pair of Matching Taxi Rides” – Into It. Over It.
“At Last” – Etta James
“Shoulder Pads” – Gleemer
“Nine” – La Dispute
“Sunlight” – The One AM Radio
“I Wish” – Stevie Wonder
“Therapy” – Relient K
“The Great Escape” – Boys Like Girls
“shmuck in the room” – frankie cosmos
“Anna Sun” – Walk the Moon
“Next in Line” – Walk the Moon
“All Star” – Smash Mouth
“Take a Walk” – Passion Pit
“Streetcorner Symphony” – Rob Thomas
“Enjoy the Silence” – Depeche Mode
“Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999” – Prince
“This Charming Man” – The Smiths
“A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton
“Fast Car” – Tracy Chapman