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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Road Trip!

    [07.26.16]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Emily Norris, Student at Herzing University, Best Pawsible Outcome

    A rookie truck driver from Chicago is faced with a daunting task: the delivery of cargo to Seattle, Washington. This task is faced with the ample assistance of his best friend Maxie, a German shepherd who loves to ride shotgun. The player controls Maxie to solve puzzles and conquer obstacles from her unique perspective in order to ensure a smooth, safe journey for her and her owner, who is often oblivious to the severity of certain situations.

    Such obstacles might include a spider in the cabin threatening to startle her owner into a crash, a cat stowaway under the belly of the truck affecting their arrival time, aggressive robbers and thugs, or even the driver's wavering morale. While controlling Maxie, the player has the ability to bark, wag, bite, lick, whine, and howl, and these functions can be used in different ways to solve certain puzzles. This means that each player may have a different experience based on how they choose to use Maxie's skills to their advantage.

    For example, to solve the issue of a spider in the cabin, Maxie might eat the spider to avoid the possibility of her owner seeing it, whine to get his attention so he can deal with it himself, or bite the spider's thread, causing it to fall elsewhere and potentially resurface to be dealt with again. Robbers might be dealt with by utilizing an aggressive barking fit to draw the attention of passerby who might assist, a vicious biting attack which may risk Maxie's health, or a particularly effective howl might even summon a local wolf pack! Mastering Maxie's versatile skill set is the key to this game.

    The player's ability to solve these types of puzzles quickly and effectively will determine the game's ending. It is possible for Maxie to die if she puts herself in too much danger, or for the driver to die if it comes down to it, causing the player to restart from their last save. If the player reacts to situations too slowly, the cargo might arrive late, causing the recipient to be very unhappy. If the player reaches the destination on time or early, with the cargo intact and everyone safe, the recipient will be pleased, resulting in the Best Pawsible Outcome. If the Seattle delivery goes well, the driver may receive other delivery jobs, allowing Maxie to continue assisting him for many more cross-country journeys.

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