I have a few news about our project. We were working with the development team at Pine Tech, the Johnson Simulation Center. After almost one year into the project we decided to part ways with them. I think we need to work with someone on campus, in the house, to work closely with. We struggled to work with them since they had other projects to work on and could not put much effort into ours.
But at least we got something out of it. A learning experience, bits of a design process and something that in my opinion is close to being a testing prototype.
The approach we had with them was to embed key information into mini-games and have the player go through different locations where a brief overview of the stakeholder point of view on the issue was presented. Then the mini-game would have tried to add a game/entertaining/fun component to the whole experience.
Right now we have two mini-games that are working. With a map and different accessible locations and and introductory part. I think at this point we should try to save as much as possible of what was done and with a little more work we can make this testable.
In order to do that we are trying to open a collaboration with a development group within the University of Minnesota. Next week we will meet them and discuss the technical details.
On the other end we keep working with Distill and we had made a few changes to the first version. Right now we are debating on the linearity of the story and whether to use an oracle or something like help points, in a form of payphones perhaps, to help the player in case he/she needs some directions.