Fall 2019 - Spring 2020
What if we made a location based adventure game?
Terrene is a collaborative, location based game that brings friends together through interactive storytelling. The goal is to help strengthen existing friendships by creating a game experience where friends get the opportunity to explore Boston and drive a story forward together. The outcome of the game is based on decisions made at different points in the game.
This was a year long senior capstone project worked on in collaboration with Ian Anderson, Joe Wang, Noelle Wong, and Noah Appleby. For my contribution to the project, I was development lead and story creator.
Let's talk process
For the first few months, we spent most of our team researching RPG games and what were the keys to making a successfully video game. We also sent out surveys to see what genre of story and level of time commitment people were most interested in.
After we figured out the basis of our game, location based story telling, we spent a lot of time figuring out game mechanics. A group of 4 people would be split into teams of two and each team would have multiple clues they'd need to solve. Each level of the story would focus on a different neighborhood in Boston and clues could be in audio or visual format. Based on the clue, users would have 3 chances to guess the location an if they were correct, they'd get a story clue. Once both teams were finished solving clues or they ran out of guesses, then they would have to vote on how they would like to progress the story and try to use the clues they unlocked to pick the correct path forward.
Our team began the branding phase by first doing some style tiles to hone in a general theme that we wanted our app to have. We explored many different options, the three main categories being clean and minimal, modern-techy, and warm and friendly. We landed on a blend of warm and modern – to highlight both the narrative storytelling aspect of the game and traditional modern UI game components.
We developed a react web app designed for mobile phone use and an Express API for keeping track of a team's progress. We had originally planned to use ReactNative but realized that given the time constraint, a web app would be faster and we would not have to worry about android/ios compatibility.
Along the way, we invited users to come and user test our application and made changes based on user feedback.
Final Product and Thoughts
Terrene turned out to be a really fun project to work on and I'm proud of the final product. Given more time, we would have built out more levels, expanded on story, and fine tuned the game mechanics.
Our final deliverable was a playable web app that set up the prologue and the first chapter. We were able to user test the first chapter and had users example the back bay neighborhood of Boston.