Our game will have very few rules. It is being designed as some sort of extra pseudo natural experience. The player stands in front of the Kinect, and then their standing in a party on the screen. This is in accommodation for our audience, we “know” our audience and we’re designing the game mechanics and parameters to suit their gaming experience. Once in the party, moving their body around will be the interaction in the game, this will be VERY natural and objectively the game rules and be inherently learned after a few moments in front of the camera.
Currently, the players motivation or ‘reward system’ will come from within. We’re going for a players curiosity. We have not yet decided on an appropriate goal, but one that came to my mind is to build on the curiosity component. Not only will the player be using a natural interface, but there will be an NPC in the house, motioning for the player to follow them. The player will become ponderous… “Who this person?” “Why are they asking me to follow them?” “where are we going?” This will be the motivation to continue through the game, where along the way the story will unravel and the player will be exposed to various emotional states and experiences from the NPCs.
The operative actions for the player will be moving their hand. Until further testing and development can be done with the Kinect sensor planning for any further functionality will me unfeasible. The added sophistication to the interface will take a tremendous amount of time not within the scope of our project, but is definitely something that should be considered in the future. Through this single operative action there will be various resultant actions within the game, the player will be able to control the position of their avatar, and they will be able to make in game choices to decide the development of the game and where the story will go. We can also add simple functionality to interact with the 3D environment they are in to add a simple but interesting and intriguing degree of sophistication.
Though the development of virtual skills will be very limited, the real life skills learned in this game should be extensive. The entire purpose of this educational game is to expose autistic children to a wide variety of emotions and help them learn what these emotions are and how to interpret and react to these emotions. Using the sophisticated scaffolding system which is being developed with psychological research the skill set and knowledge left with the player should be useful in the real world, at home, and in public.