Michelle Field – Developed Proposal

Please note that the appendices are only visable in my printed version. 

Introduction 

I have thought about my final project in greater detail and I have finalised my ideas. I will create a game aimed at teenagers informing them of the growing concerns of littering. It seems youths are the problem age range according to ENCAMS who run the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. My product aims to encourage users to think about the way in which they contribute to littering and hopefully they will respond by preventing future littering amongst themselves and their peers. 


Project Focus 

I have decided to focus on the area of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. My reason for this is because they have already raised the concern for substantial amounts of rubbish in this area. Furthermore, The Don’t Rubbish campaign has been established by the Tidy Cheltenham Group (http://www.tidycheltenham.co.uk/). The site as it stands is very factual with elements such as recent news taking place. However, the site lacks interactivity. In addition, they state that their main concern is with school kids and students however there seems to be no elements to entice this age category to the site. Therefore my game will address this. I could also consider entering their competition where you can submit material that you think would aid their campaign and target youths. 


The Game

The game’s levels will be constructed around a number of locations in which are typical for littering such as a street, a park and a lake (appendix 1). The game will be called Litter Man. The objective will be to travel around the game area collecting items of rubbish. Different types of litter will give you a different amount of points. For example, crisp packets will be one, cans two and bottles three points. The main player will be able to move horizontally as well as have the ability to jump onto roofs and other objects. This will be controlled by the arrows on the keyboard. I have decided that I probably will not include a time limit; instead there will be a specific location that the main player will have to reach in order to complete a level. However, there will be baddies (litter droppers) that will try to intercept you therefore you will have to hit them with your litter picker. This will be achieved by using the enter button on the keyboard. If you get intercepted by a baddie a life will be deducted from your original three lives. After each level has been completed a litter fact will appear, this will remind users of the game’s purpose as well as educate them. As you progress through each level it will become harder (e.g. more baddies), in order to make it more challenging. I will also include a score board where components will be able to enter their name and see where their score lies in relation to others. In all, I wish for the game to provide an interactive experience for players.   

Design
 

The game itself will be played from a side view. The design will take on a cartoon approach and colour will be used throughout in order to appeal to the target audience. I will draw the game’s two-dimensional setting in Flash (appendix 2). However, the introduction page will have a photograph of a bin surrounded by litter for its background. This will be faded slightly so that the text is clear and easy to read. Other litter related photos will be used in the litter facts pages between each level. The score, lives and volume control will be positioned at the bottom of the game area which is stereotypical of many games and therefore will create familiarity for users.


Technical & Professional Objectives
 

To achieve my technical objectives such as to challenge myself by using more advanced elements of Flash I will be incorporating features such as: random movement, jumping movement, a complex scoring system, hit testing as well as other aspects of actionscirpt that I may find useful. The whole experience will be a learning process. The random movement will be within a set area for each baddie and I may also apply collision detection as I do not want them going through objects, such as houses. I also hope to experiment more with sound, for example by incorporating a volume control, which will advance my skills from my previous project where I had a mute button. This will be used for the background music. In addition, I want the overall style and design of the game to appear professional, as I feel this is an area I need to improve in. Researching the essential technical skills that I need is vital. I will be using sites that contain tutorials some in which I have mentioned in previous blogs. Time efficiency and planning will also be an essential professional skill. In order to achieve these things I will be required to careful set myself deadlines.


Similar Games
 

  • Recycle Rangers: this game is aimed at children, however it is very basic for example there is only one type of rubbish to collect. Furthermore it only contains one level. The overall experience does not seem very interactive or fun.
  • Litter Hunt: Again this only has one level. It is very simple and you get bored quickly. It is probably aimed at younger children.
  • Tidy man: A more complex game which sets you an objective for the amount of litter you must collect. There are also lives and more than one level. However, you have to use the mouse to move, which is slightly irritating and less accessible. The overall function of the game differs from my intentions. Furthermore, my game also aims to educate with factual information.


Accessibility
 

Accessibility will be considered throughout the product’s creation. I will be using keyboard controls, sound will be able to be altered and I will also ensure I do not use colours such as red and green together. Text will be in a large, clear, bold style for visibility reasons. Furthermore, I will use the accessibility option in Flash to help distinguish graphics, movies and other elements such as buttons on the stage area. 


Usability
 

When I have completed my game I will test the product on at least 5 members of the target audience. This will make me aware of any technical problems as well as any suggestions for improvement in both the design and the actual playing of the game.


Conclusion
 

Overall I think that if my targets are met I will end up with a game that will successfully aid Cheltenham’s litter campaign and the most problematic age group. I hope to create a product that challenges me both technically and professionally. The final product should be able to clearly demonstrate my progress and I should therefore be able to show it to future employers or even clients.


Bibliography
 

ENCAMS (2004) [Online] Youth Litter 2004 [Available at:  http://www.encams.org/campaigns/main.asp?pageid=36&sub=30 ] [Viewed on: 01/11/07]

 Litter Hunt [Online] [Available at: http://www.epa.state.il.us/kids/fun-stuff/litter-hunt/] [Viewed on: 01/11/07] 

Recycle Rangers [Online] [Available at: http://www.recyclingrangers.co.uk/littergame.htm] [Viewed on 01.11.07]


Tidy Cheltenham Group [Online] Don’t Rubbish Cheltenham [Available at: http://www.tidycheltenham.co.uk/] [Viewed on: 01/11/07]


Tidy Man [Online] [Available at:
http://www.encams.org/funzone/tidyman_preload.html] [Viewed on: 01/11/07]

   

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2 Comments »

  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptI will create a game aimed at teenagers informing them of the growing concerns of littering. It seems youths are the problem age range according to ENCAMS who run the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. My product aims to encourage users to … […]

  2. George Monck Said:

    Dear Michelle

    I have just read about your litter game project. What a great idea ! I am starting up a charity, CleanupUK, based near Bristol and aimed at supporting and encouraging volunteer litter collecting groups around the UK. An important part of the mission will be to get the litter message across to younger people.

    Do get in touch if you have a moment !

    All the very best.

    George Monck
    george.monck@cleanupuk.org.uk


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