Okay so my idea was sort stepping away from text parsing entirely. If I keep it it will only be kept as something minimal. Instead I’m thinking of creating a game-like experience that walks people through my thesis process.
I think my thesis process is just a fitting example for the whole…struggle –> failures –> growth-chain that I have been fixated on illustrating by linking journal entries. And as I was counting the number of changes I made to my thesis (6 or 7), I realized that even though each of them felt like total separate useless failures, I do think there is something I learned from each of them. Yeah, it was not efficient, but I think it was kind of just my struggle with thesis. And now the pieces are finally coming together under this new form.
I think the main goals of this idea is to:
a). make that direct parallel btwn an adventure game and life struggles cuz it helps me make that choice to see the process as an adventure vs. being a victim of circumstances.
b) it’s also still a reflective process in itself (this has been the only consistent thing between all the past thesis ideas)
c) illustrate how all the dead ends and failures are not useless, they all build you up to your final obstacle. And in some cases, the harder i crashed the more i learned.
d) I would also like to include other people in the story too, but keeping it minimal
But overall the experience should feel like a story being told in a game-like way. (An interactive story-game?)
And see it as more of a side scroller game where you are slowly working your way up a spiral staircase. I got this idea from Andi originally:
“Sometimes it feels like you’ve come full circle, but then you’re slightly offset and that would make it a helix!”
At the bottom where you start is sort of where I start with the question. And at the top is “judgement day”/presentations. There were definitely some inspirations drawn from Dante’s Inferno.
The user would probably have more of a side-scroller view with a simple point-and-click kind of interface.
This was inspired by the game Odin Sphere. I’d like each “floor” the player experiences to feel very similar. Furniture will stay the same on each floor, people will repeat, but SLIGHT changes will be made to the environment (eg. brightness, furniture moving, conversations changing)
I like the idea that most of what I go through feels the same again and again, but in fact when I look back, they were all kind of necessary to get to the end point.
The general point of the experience is more exploratory and puzzle based. The focus will be more on the lose abstractions of the thesis process and the decisions/actions the characters makes, though I think for the most part there will be a fairly linear plot.
My next steps is to hash out the details: making that parallel between the thesis process and an epic journey clearer. Also to figure out details of the plot and storyboard/wireframe the experience with greater detail.
I also don’t want it to be entirely obvious how each loss leads to a gain in the end because I want the user to experience everything falling into place bit by bit, especially at the last one. But maybe that is okay too as the point of it being a game is to encourage resilience to loss.
I am concerned that I won’t find a good enough balance for the comparison I am trying to draw.
I’m also worried that I can’t deliver a strong feeling of growth, but I think if I keep the experience true to my experience, it will come closer to it than I think.