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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Romance

    - staff

  • Randy Lee Bernard, Moves

    Platform: Console with dance-pad capabilities.
    Genre: Dating/RPG/Party Game
    Intended Audience: Teen-Mature, Male and Female, Singles and Couples
    Premise: Club/Dance hall Simulation.
    Goal: Build confidence in the player in a realistic situation and to offer social opportunities in dating in the comfort of the player's home.

    Single-Player Mode:

    The player will begin the game by creating a virtual representation of themselves using a library of customizable physical features. Creation of this in-game avatar would serve the purposes of both making the player what they would like to be, and establishing confidence in the player. After all, image is everything.

    Immediately after creating their character, the player will choose a local to begin their adventure. Selections on a world map will include a Disco, Country Western Dance hall, Hip-Hop club, an underground Rock bar, and possibly a Ballroom Scenario. The difficulty of the game will scale based on preference of the player, and will offer a beginner's difficulty, to an expert difficulty.

    Once the player has chosen the first location, the player will see the interior of the building, with several interactable characters. The player must then engage members of the opposite (or same?) sex and engage in conversation. The player will at first only have basic conversation starters and topics to discuss, but the end goal will be to convince the target to dance. If successful, the player will then be taken to the dance challenges of that particular location, with music and dance styles to match (country music in the Western hall, techno at the Disco, etc.). If the player fails the conversation portion with a particular target, the player must try again with a different target.

    Show off your Moves!

    Once the player has successfully impressed a target enough to earn a dance, the player will then have to show their stuff on the dance floor (pad). Think Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, etc, with a romantic twist! The player isn't only working on their own skills in this case, but actual skill with completing a particular song will impact how their dance partner thinks about them! Failing miserably will only send the on-screen partner walking away laughing, but will also force the player to try again with a different target. Success is measured on accuracy and completion of the song. Streaks of successful dance moves will cause verbal and physical approval of the player's dance partner. Completing one song will unlock subsequent songs in the same genre, with that same target.

    So you think you're hot stuff?

    The player has now completed a set-list of songs at a particular location, and the actual accuracy of songs completed will then translate into character development points. These points can then be distributed into physical stats such as Attractiveness, Personality, Charisma, Intelligence, and Charm. These stats all begin at zero, and the player must decide which stats are the most important to them to use in the future. Once these points are earned and spent, the individual characteristics will weigh in on future conversation choices and potential targets. Some targets will then begin to prefer a more intellectual conversation, and absolutely refuse to dance with someone who would select conversation topics revolving around the player's looks. Where as other targets will be attracted to the charm and charisma of the character that a player has build. Once stats have risen to a certain point, new conversation options will appear in the chat dialogue to custom tailor how the player will be able to talk to targets based on their strengths and weaknesses.

    I have zero intelligence, but darn, I'm a looker!

    Once a character has been built one way or another, the choices and potential dance partners will be set in stone to a certain extent. If a player notices someone at the disco that looks or sounds particularly interesting to them, but that target refuses to dance with a player based on how the character is built, it will force the player to think realistically. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box with courtship, and this can serve as a lesson to be taken into the real dating world. The player may start from scratch to rebuild a character that has different options and possibilities open to them, to experience all of the different dance partners available to them.

    The End Game:

    This game does not take things beyond the dance hall. After completing each scenario, the player will gain confidence in his target, allowing for something as simple as a kiss on the cheek, a phone number, the offer of lunch this weekend, etc. The player may then select a different location to take their advancing character to, with slightly increased difficulty.

    Multi-Player Mode:

    In addition to a single player campaign, two players may dance simultaneously to the in-game library of music (possibly expandable with Internet connection). This mode will not have a failure/success goal, and will allow a pair of players to customize their on-game avatars to dance with each other. Again, the focus is confidence and opening up the players to social experience. This may serve as an ice-breaker at a party, or a fun first date!


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