Tethered Update

Tethered is coming together well according to the schedule we planned out. We all spent a week mainly focused on research, specifically focusing on domestic abuse that occurs outside of the norms of male abusing female and finding resources that discussed how issues other than gender played into abusive relationships. This research further strengthened our belief that abstract representation is the best way to address the issue, as domestic abuse is a problem across different races, classes, and sexualities. We also agreed on the “report” option not being successful every time after reading about issues abused partners can have when seeking help, and have discussed the specific way we would need to incorporate this into our game in GameMaker.

As far as the game itself goes, we have reskinned the demo to create the feel of the final game, using cube sprites to represent the players. We have also been playing with the relative sizes of the characters to the maze walls before creating the maze itself. I created several small sections of maze of various sizes in which to test this. I also programmed the game’s view area to show only a small section of the maze and follow one of the players, rather than showing the entire maze. The current goal is to create a separate mock-up for what each player’s screen would look like, with Player A’s screen showing less of the entire maze, and Player B receiving additional hints as they progress.

We ran into, and have since fixed, an issue with the player characters’ interactions with each other. We decided that we wanted players to be able to pass through each other for ease of navigation, but unchecking the “solid” box for an object did not change their behavior. While we were unsure what to do about this Bekka created a version of the game using the game creation software Construct 2 with the core features, to test whether we might want to use this program instead. We found a long-forgotten option in one of our player actions that fixed the issue though, and opted to keep working with GameMaker.

At this point, we almost have the entire maze incorporated into our game. Justin has researched maze design and has drafted a maze of appropriate size on paper, the only step left for this is translating it into our GameMaker room. Our next step after this will be playing with the view sizes and incorporating other features such as the police or friend blocks, in-game text to teach Player A their “abuse” button, and hints for Player B. Finally, we will create the introduction screen as well as additional text or screens for players being booted, a character abusing their partner too much, and winning the game.


4 thoughts on “Tethered Update

  1. When I first saw your demonstration in class, I was extremely impressed with how functional the gameplay was already. The concept was also very thought out and clever and highlighted a problem that doesn’t seem to be touched upon much in this day and age.. I’m also a big fan of having the blocks being ambiguous colors demonstrating the universal nature of domestic abuse. I feel like messages get across and have more impact when the player can project their own images into the character. I’m just curious on what happens if the two players complete the maze with no abuse. Will there still be a message about domestic abuse at the end of the game and how would you tie it into the game if there are no instances of domestic abuse during that particular gameplay sessions? Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

  2. Looks like you guys are really coming through with this game! When the report button fails, will there be a message stating that the report did not go through? Or will there just be no response to indicate this? Also this might have just been a lapse of memory but will the Abuse button’s function be explicit from the get-go? I’m wondering if knowing that the Abuse button is there from game start will have an effect on whoever is operating Player A. Another option that could add an interesting aspect of the game would be to not let Player B know about the abuse option until Player A decides to implement it. Your game is really unique because of the two screens aspect, so I’m looking forward to how it turns out!

  3. In the same vein as the previous comment, I also would like to know whether or not there will be a message when the report button fails? I think there could be a power in either choice because with no message, it would give the feeling of being completely ignored and feeling helpless while a message could be used as a way to show that, while not being completely ignored, there really is no difference and it might feel worse because technically someone was “informed” and nothing happened.

  4. In regard to your choice on wanting the players to be able to pass through each other, it would seem like it would force the characters to work together more if they can get in each other’s way. You said that you did this for the sake of navigational ease, but what sort of navigational problems was that creating? Was one block just obstructing the other, or was it just that the lanes in the maze were too thin for them to be able to go through it side by side? If that’s the case, then you might want to consider making it so that only Player A is solid. If both were solid, then that would give Player B some power to be able to block A, but if only A is solid then they could use that to bully Player B as well. Also, having only one solid character would fix the problem of the maze’s lanes being too small, if that was the problem you were encountering. Just some food for thought.
    Your post mentions that you’ve decided to make it so that the report option isn’t successful every time. How often is it successful, and what are you using to decide how often it is successful? Also, will Player A be notified when an unsuccessful report is filed? I think that it would be an interesting mechanic for Player A to see that Player B is trying to snitch on them. I guess the reactions would be different from player to player, but I think that could help to better demonstrate what happens in the sort of relationships that your game is attempting to replicate.

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