Index- Ideation and Concept, Methodology, Background Research, Utility, Response Feedback, Trajectory, Success and Limitations
Ideation and Concept
My concept wasn’t originally Fall Guys, it was exploring the card game Gwent in the Witcher 3. My goal in the Witcher 3 was to understand the card game better. I abandoned the DA as it was tedious. At the time that I started the semester, I was really into Fall Guys and saw many people helping each other without using verbal communication. That was when my concept for the DA formed, I was curious as to how playing a game with no verbal communication while helping each other could inspire so much fondness for the characters.
While playing this game, my methodology was to wait near the finish line to interact with characters and then use emotes and grabbing to interact with other players. I would try to get their attention by copying them and play around with them.
My background research consisted of primarily two journal articles, that were very helpful at describing non-verbal communication. My first article was one by Kujanpaa & Mannien, titled ‘Supporting visual elements of non-verbal communication in computer game avatars’ and talked about useful concepts related to non-verbal communication, such as Kinesics, which is body movements. The other article was called ‘Enhancing the Believability of Character Behaviours Using Non-Verbal Cues’ by Desai & Szafron, which showed us how using physical and visual language alone can be distinctive.
The utility of this is to know how games can convey so much without communication. There are many visual elements that can make characters distinctive and iconic. The Beans had several factors to make them popular, which was all done with little speech. There are many recognisable and popular character designs that people love, such as Minions, Pikachu or Chewbacca, and they don’t speak. Knowing how to dissect what makes a character design so popular without utilising speech is a good skill.
Response to feedback via the pitch and beta
For my initial Witcher 3 Pitch, I didn’t receive any feedback. However, in the Discord Chat for our tutorials, Hayden had said that Gwent was his ‘favourite part’ of the Witcher 3 and that I should try it. For my Beta, I had more responses and changed direction. Some responses included looking at other gaming franchises for character interactions, such as Minecraft. However, I did not take up that idea since I didn’t own the games at that point and felt it would be a shallow analysis compared to Fall Guys. He also recommended a journal article that I ended up not using, since it compared collaborative physical communication with students, when I was primarily looking at the benefits and negatives of not communicating online.
My trajectory with this topic was all over the place, and I’m still not sure I analysed enough for this final submission. It was like a slow wavy rollercoaster ride and I’m still not sure where I ended up.
Success and Limitations
A success of this project was me enjoying my time analysing Fall Guys and the countless posts of wholesome helping out I saw on Reddit. Finding out how Fall Guys ticked without implementing communication was a goal of mine, and I saw why and how it works up close with this Digital Artefact.
I was limited in scope, as other people suggested that I tackle other video games to analyze but didn’t do it. I also felt very limited in what to write for the DA, and as I result, I feel like I never progressed past the Beta presentation.