The Wolf Among Us is a fascinating narrative game developed by Telltale Games. It is the same game developer that produced The Walking Dead. It brings the players through various adventure and thrilling experience with the main character, Bigby Wolf.
I love the art style produced by Telltale Games. There is no fancy graphic or computer animation, just pure story book graphic style presentation. It creates a mysterious feel for the game and makes the players feel they are going through a story. It blends perfectly with the story that is going to unfold before the eyes of the players.
A huge bulk of the game involves interacting with in-game characters through Bigby Wolf. The things that Wolf said to them is going to affect how they react to him in the future. The decisions Wolf does will also influence the outcome of individual events. I feel that this is one of those games that you will spend hours trying out the different options for the interaction portion to discover different outcomes. The engagement aspect of the game is immersed. The players will feel that they are part of the game, part of the story. They have a personal connection with the in-game characters and feels that the choices they made matter.
Four players will interact with each other as well as the computer to create sound in a dark room. There will be a total of 4 computers, each with four colors corresponding to a certain instrument or beat. Players have to mover near to the computer to trigger faster beats and further to trigger slower beats. The player can switch lanes to trigger a different instrument on another computer.
We will be researching on patches that can track colors to trigger audio output as a starting point for our project.
This is one of the videos we found on that talks about tracking specific color that will lead to sound.
*Update* We tested out the patch, and it works. The reading was not very accurate because there are a lot of surrounding light that affects it. Once we have a more refined patch, we will be testing it in a place that has limited light.
28 March 2017
Once we get the color tracking system to work (hopefully), we will be exploring and experimenting with a different combination of sounds.
The following are some of the sounds we are looking into.
We feel that using everyday sound to create music is an exciting area we can explore.
Chinese classical music is another aspect that we feel is an intriguing area that we can work on.
For our project, we are looking into experimenting with sound. We feel that sound is an interesting element that we constantly overlook due to its abundance existence in our life. As sound is a non visual element, We feel that it is a favorable circumstance for us to use our other senses other that our sight which we so depend on, to feel and appreciate the spaces around us. In the process, we hope to gain fresh realization on our reaction of sound by our body. Therefore, we want to use this opportunity to have an interaction with sound free of any outside distraction. We want to find out about the significance of sound and its purpose in our daily life.
The following are some videos that give a rough idea on the type of interaction we are looking into and hope to achieve.
After discussion, we felt that the cut scenes describing the story is too long and is going to take up too much of our time. Hence, we decided to trim down on the number of scenes involved which will make our story more concise.
The Battle of Malaya which directly led to the attack on Singapore will be cut. The story line of the game will start directly during the retreat of the British into Singapore.
We decided to add in the event of the British surrendering to the Japanese as we feel that this is a crucial point in the history of Singapore. It shows us that we cannot depend on foreign power to protect the sovereign of our country.
We also decided to focus on refining the endings of our game. The element of the family will be emphasized. Different decisions made by the player during the game will affect the fate of their family members. Any questionable decision made by the player will result in their death. We want to carry the massage that there is no winner or loser in war, just families broken and devastated.
Revised game flow and the sequence of cut scenes for the story.
We will continue to refine the story of the game. There are still parts that can be more concise to cater to the fact that we do not have much time left. However, at the same time we are making sure the quality of the story will not be affected.
We are starting to materialize our game by experimenting on the starting portion of the game. We are also testing out different background music and different art styles to fit the overall narrative experience of the game. The game mechanics of the game is also something we are tackling. We are trying to figure out how to run the interaction between the playing character and the in game characters.
We did research on the relevant parts of the history of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore that we want to present in the game. Throughout the research, we learned about events and happenings that we were previously not aware of. One of the examples will be the Battle of Malaya. We always see the Japanese invasion of Singapore as a stand alone event. However, before the attack on Singapore, the Japanese and British fought a series of battles in Malaya. These are parts of the history that were often overlooked when people take about the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. Therefore, we hope to include these parts forgotten history into our game.
The plan of including the Battle of Malaya into the narrative part of the game.
We mentioned on the previous post regarding the ending being influenced by the choices made by the players during the game. We are hoping to show how the ending of the game affected the lives of the people of the present time in the game. For example, a character is alive because of a decision that the player made during the game. He/she gets to live to present day Singapore, and he/she feels the impact of the painful memories. Through these emotional struggles shown by the victims of the war, we hope the players can understand and reflect on the effects of war and the loss of freedom on people.
Therefore, we are looking at the possibility of including a portion of the narrative on a scene about the memorial service at the Civilian War Memorial. We hope that this will make the players feel the significance and the impact the Japanese Occupations had on the lives of many Singaporeans and their future generations.
We also started looking into the gameplay elements of the game. We feel that it will be challenging for us as we have limited knowledge on game engines and time is of the essence. We are planning to create some simple yet meaningful game mechanics which allows the players to have an engaging gaming experience. We hope we will be able to work some magic with the limited resources and knowledge we have.
We will continue to refine the story line as we feel the flow is not in sync with what we have in mind. At the same time, we will be gathering resources to start building our game. We will look into tutorials and relevant materials needed to get the ball rolling.
For this project, we decided to focus heavily on the narrative aspect of the game as we want our players to understand the pain and suffering our forefathers went through during the Japanese Occupation. Therefore we decided to pay close attention to the cut scenes and the story flow of the game. At the same time, we are also careful not to turn the game into merely a narrative story but neglecting the game elements of the game.
The front portion of the game, we are planning to run two-time lines at the same time. The game will be switching between modern time and the period during the Japanese Occupation. We want to emphasis that the happenings in the past will have its effect on the present.
For the ending of the game, we intend to allow it to be influenced by the choices that the players made on the earlier stages of the game. We hope that through implementing this type of game play, it will allow the players to have a personal connection with the game. We want to make them feel the choices that they made in the game matters.
As the rough structure of the game is settled, we will be moving towards materializing the game by working on the game art and mechanics. We will continue to refine story line so it can best reflect the message we want to sent to our players without feeling too draggy.
This War of Mine is a wartime survival game that constantly reminds you the cruel and unpredictability nature of war. In the face of war, there are no regards to society statuses. Everyone are exposed and prone to any forms of mishap, sometimes even death. There are no heroes, just people doing everything they can to survive.
Throughout the game, you will be faced with various events that challenge your moral understanding and decisions. You can choose to save someone from the bandits but risk your life. On the other hand, you can choose to hide and be safe from the danger while the person suffers. There is no right or wrong, just how much you gain and learn from the experience.
Besides making a difficult moral decision, the mental conditions of the survivors that are with the main character that the player is controlling also play a key role in deciding their fate of surviving in the war-torn condition. The player has to manage the feelings of his comrades or risk falling out among his people. I feel that this is an interesting inclusion to the game which adds a human element to it. It allows fictional characters to appear as real people with human emotions and problems. Through interacting with these characters, it allowed personal connections to be formed as the player does not view these characters as merely in game figures but as real human beings.
Japanese occupation of Singapore is a piece of history that is both familiar and alien to the younger generations. They might have come across various sources of information about the fall of Singapore to the Japanese through numerous mediums such as history textbook, television shows, and online articles. However, our team feels that the information provided by these mediums are not doing enough. They are not providing their audience with the necessary ingredients to appreciate the sacrifices the forefathers of Singapore performed during the period of hardship under the Japanese rule. Therefore, our team decided to create a documentary-styled game. We hope through the interactive nature of the game and the narrative elements of documentary; our audiences will be able to acknowledge the collective past that we as Singaporeans have. Most importantly, we will be able to recognize those that gave up their future so we can build ours.
Every year on 15 February, a memorial service will be held at The Civilian War Memorial to remember those that have fallen during the Japanese Occupation.
The background story
The Sook Ching massacre was a purge conducted by the Japanese military on the Chinese community in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation. It took place from 18 February to 4 March 1942 at various places such as the Changi beach and Punggol beach. The estimated death toll resulted from the massacre was between 50,000 and 90,000. It was an inhumane mission ordered by Tomoyuki Yamashita and carried out by Masanobu Tsuji, the leader of the Kempeitai (Japanese military police). The extermination of the Chinese aimed to eliminate all potential threats against the Japanese and to force them into submission.
The sook ching massacre.
The battle for Singapore.
Role of the player:
The player will be playing the role of a traitor (汉奸) of the Chinese community. His job is to identify the rebels among his people and report it to the Japanese. By doing so, he will be able to survive the purge and get valuable resources to keep his family alive from his work for the Japanese.
Act 1: The beginning of the end.
The player was going through his daily routine of identify the rebels for the Japanese. His earning was determined by his quota of identifying the Chinese rebels. He had to ignore his sense of guilt as he was committing acts that were harming his people. He felt bad about it but he had no other choices. Adapt or die.
Act 2: The struggle.
Some of the people that he had identified were people that he knew. However, he had to continue to do his job as it was the only way to provide for his family and to keep them safe. The pressure from the Japanese and the mental trauma from sending his people to their grave was slowly eating him away.
The Japanese took away his family as they believed he was helping the Chinese rebels behind their back.
Act 3: The aftermath.
The Japanese surrendered and he survived the war. However, It was at the expenses of many innocent lives and wrecked families. His suffering was just beginning.
The narrative of the game will vary depending on the choices the player made during the game itself.
Our team had decided to use the GameMaker: Studio as the main platform to develop our documentary-styled game project.