For our collaborative final project, we’ve decided to create a video game along with a user’s manual. The manual would be like other game manuals, which would describe how to set up the game, and how to play it.
The video game itself will be a first person horror game, set in the mid 19th century. It will feature both survival horror and psychological horror elements. We came up with this idea because it’s Halloween time, even though by the time we’re finished it will be nearly Christmas. We’ve come up with a simple premise: the protagonist wakes up in a jail cell, with no recollection of how he got there, and the player will have to escape the dungeon using wits and cleverness, and not get killed in the process. The game will involve stealth, light puzzle solving, encounters with dangerous creatures with no combat system, as well as exploration. As of now we don’t have a name for the game yet.
This project is relevant to the course because it involves plenty of technical writing. We’re going to be creating something, and then we will create instructions that show how to use it. Our project will also replicate what you get in the real world when purchasing a horror game – you get a game, and you get an instruction manual.
The purpose is simple: the world thrives on media. From video games to television and film, there is always a place for media entertainment. Horror is an established (and niche) video game genre, so the audience would be gamers… especially those who like horror games. In addition, creating instructions for something as large as a game will build up our technical writing skills further.
Assuming we’re able to move forward with this project, we’d follow the steps we’re currently considering. The first step would be making the game. We could do research on horror game design, to gather other ideas. This would include looking up things related to the setting we chose, to make a more authentic game. Once we’ve created and tested the game, we would move on to making a user’s manual for it. We’d get others to test the game with our manual as well, to see if they can get it running by following our instructions.
We’d be doing different types of research for this project, in addition to what was said above. We are considering doing research on the horror game industry, looking at its origins, looking at the most successful horror games as well as the least successful horror games. Our research might also include looking at other game manuals, so we can get a better idea on what to include in ours.
Jason will be doing the game development, since that’s a field he has years of experience in. The group will collaborate on the game design too. Ray and Vincent will be doing the bulk of the research, and we’ll all collaborate on the writing together. Jason will be proofreading and making sure all of the writing fits together, so that it doesn’t look like the writings of three people stitched together.
Aside from class meetings, we will meet after class in the library or somewhere else on school grounds, since it fits into our schedules. We will also be using an online chatroom through a program called Steam, so that’s two synchronous communication methods outside of class and it should be sufficient for completing the project. We’ll be sharing files through Dropbox or Google Drive.
By working on this project, we’ll greatly improve our collaboration skills since this project is large scale, it spans a long time, and it is worth half our grade. It will also bolster our technical writing skills, since we’d be writing instructions for such a large project that we made.