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Tech Decisions | Design Decisions
Usability Testing |
What Went Right |
What Went Wrong | Conclusions
Overview - Design Diary
This diary covers the creation of the
Colosseum game project from an academic and technical perspective. The goal
of this document is to relate the development in a manner that will be
helpful to others who choose to tackle a similar task, and to explain the
rationale for choosing the topic.
Outline and Summary
For readers who would like a quick summary,
the following outline will address the broad issues and process of the
project. This is intended as a sort of “executive summary”. Assumptions and
statements here are further explored in the main body of the documentation.
- Violence is an integral part of the human condition.
The aggressive disposition of humans could be one of the primary reasons
we have come to dominate the planet and our evolutionary tree.
- Film, novels, spectacles and interactive subject
matter (including interactive entertainment) with violent themes do quite
well in the marketplace.
- A substantial portion of successful contemporary
video games contain brutally violent subject matter.
- If violence will always sell, is there a way to give
it context and meaning to the user (as opposed to showing violence for
purely visceral effect).
- Is there a way to “exploit” violent entertainment to
educate as well as entertain?
- Create a new genre of video game, “educational
- Leverage market’s love of violence to spark interest
in history, art and literature.
- Film has been giving violent history lessons for
years. Content is disturbing, but has a historical context (Braveheart,
Saving Private Ryan).
- The genre of “historical shooter” has been emerging
in the video game industry. This genre attempts to transports the player
to a moment in history.
- The “educational shooter” will go one step further
by allowing the user to actively find out more information about the
period by interacting with objects, characters and surroundings. The game
will also offer visceral thrills in the context of the setting.
Medium and Context
- Create an interactive game with these concepts using
a third-party game engine
- The setting will be the gladiatorial games of
ancient Rome, an appropriate context given the subject matter. The
gladiatorial arenas were one of the birthplaces of violent entertainment.
- Give context and meaning to violent behavior.
- Spark other interests and pursuits in the user
(other than imitation of violent behavior).
- Determine out if users retain the information
presented or find it distracting.
- Determine if users are motivated to learn more about
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