I know this is a day late, which is not the best way to start the new semester, but bear with me.
So, when I last blogged, I thought at this point I would just be focusing on putting my project together, having done all of my research and knowing my structure exactly. I thought this semester would just be crafting my project to be what it was at the midyear show, but more.
Oh what a fool I was.
First of all, in doing research over the winter break, I found that, while the structure and narrative that I had for the midyear show game worked perfectly within the timeframe of 1981-1988, it began to falter when bringing in the context of AIDS activism beyond that point. I knew immediately that I'd have to at least change the timeframe if I were to continue structuring the narrative chronologically.
Secondly, I had always kind of worried about the fact that this game, at the midyear point, could only be played once. This fear was not helped by the fact that some of the critiques I got from faculty had to do with the distance from the subject matter, which, again, plays into structure.
Having my meeting with faculty member Evan Hughes basically confirmed to me that my structure had to be re-organized pretty seriously in order for the game to elicit any sort of care or interest, and that my actual-factual chronological timeline presentation was not the only route I could take.
Since I already tried and failed to go with a character-driven narrative with the initial Eko idea, I knew that approach would not suit me. Still, I'm becoming more and more enticed with the idea of a simulation in the vein of Brenda Romero's "Train", in which I would place my players in a situation and force them to make decisions like one would during the AIDS crisis. I'd need help to think of how to structure this simulation, and I'd probably have to change my digital component, but this still is alluring.
If I stay with a more factual presentation, meanwhile, I might not stick to a chronological structure, instead going for something more puzzle-like and intricate. Again, I might ditch Eko and use some of the minimal game coding I know (with maybe some help) to create a more traditional digital game component, but I think this could work as well.
Either way, I have some major re-thinking to do, but I think this will make my project better.