lundi 1 août 2011

[IGF road] Gameplay Principles

Let’s take some time to talk about our first year project “Michel”, exclusively on iPad, with at first an insight on its gameplay mechanics.

Shortly, “Michel” is a co-operative game for a six-year old child (or so) to play with one of his or her parents.
The game takes place in a book. Nevertheless, it’s not an ordinary book : you can’t just read the text in order to progress. You also need to act!

Michel is a tiny boy who wants to grow up as fast as possible.
One evening, he runs away from the surveillance of his babysitter and goes outside in the wild of the suburb. Through his journey, he’ll meet a Chinese grocer and his daughter as well as an old man. Each has his own conception of adulthood and will help Michel to realize how important it is to enjoy youth.

One evolves through the game page after page: each page contains a picture and some text. Players can turn the page at any time to discover what lies ahead. However, the following page will be different depending on their actions on the previous page.

The game implies 2 individuals to play side by side. Each player has a game zone.
Player 1 – Child – interacts with everything on the illustration
Player 2 – Adult – interacts with the words in the text.

These schemes will help you to comprehend the game mechanics:

When players come to a new page, an illustration appears without text.

The child supposedly scans the image with his or her finger. When that finger points a significant detail, it reveals the matching text into the inferior part of the book.

Thus the child can discover piece of text in a chaotic order.

Once the text is visible on screen, players can turn the page directly. In this case, they can have access to an end of the story which is always pessimistic.

When the child points his or her finger on an interactive element, it becomes “adjustable”. The matching text changes also its state, highlighting an interactive word that players can manipulate.

Pointing his or her 2 fingers on 2 interactive objects, the child allows his or her parent to swap the words in the text.

The exchange works thanks to the drag-and-drop mechanic using only one finger.
Once they’ve exchanged the words, players will have access to the rest of the story if they turn the page and not just the sad ending anymore.

However, there are situations where multiple exchanges are possible with multiple following stories. Somehow there is not always only one solution viable.

Hope you enjoyed the reading and understood it well !

See you for some other details !

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