THAÍS ALVARENGA


THAÍS ALVARENGA 

Creative Technologist  |  Narrative Designer  |  Environmental Designer  |  
16/10/2022

Reflection: How is my ideation of the project going? 



This first part of the semester I have been trying to find the core of my capstone project. What this means is that I wanted to discover the premise or message that I wanted to convey, regardless of the medium I use. Figuring this out was one of the most challenging things in the first few weeks of this semester, as I knew that I wanted to deal with the topic of conflict, but I was unaware of how to approach it for interactive experiences.

For my first prototype, I started with some readings on conflict resolution techniques that were used in the workplace and how they are used in workshops. I thus decided to create a re-framing tool using Twine. It consisted of getting user input about a situation that they experienced with another person and using a storytelling device in which the user reverted roles with the person they wrote about. It was an interesting prototype that I think didn’t work well because of how much input the user was given. With this experience, I learned that I was not interested in creating a project that got input from the user to personalize the experience (like for example taking in situations they have).

My second prototype was more physical. It consisted of two people role-playing a negotiation based on two cards. Each card contained a personal perspective of the character that the users were roleplaying and described their motivations. The two players then negotiated with the purpose of getting the best possible deal. It was interesting to see how two users interacted with each other while also seeing how meaningful it could be to roleplay a different character (that they knew almost nothing about), as a way to learn about conflict resolution. I liked the idea of two characters interacting but was not sold out on having two users.

The next prototype was more concerned about how people reacted to characters based on their designs and expressions. This prototype originated from my feelings of confusion about on the ‘juice” of my capstone. I decided to go back to something more creative that I enjoyed which ended up being concept art. It was very interesting to see how people would make assumptions about the character’s personality based on a few images, and it made me realize how people sometimes project things on characters based on their personal experiences.

My final official prototype was a choose-your-own-story adventure. The idea was to see how the choices of the user can affect not only the story but also what they learn from it. I wanted to use the exploration of a world as a way to convey a story. This prototype made me realize that I definitely want to focus on a narrative fantasy story as my primary medium and that I want to centre the story around the user not understanding the companion character because of prejudices.

Last week, I mapped out my story and came up with the philosophy of my capstone: Empathy defies all forms of prejudices and hate. I want a gamified animated story that uses light as a primary game mechanic. I still need to think about how I will use light, sound and space to convey the story that I want, but those will be the main narrative resources that I will be using.


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