updated- 24th November 2002
to the Quest Project's Website
is an attempt to bring DKM students together to develop interesting
4-week projects in a structured way that allows for personal exploration
from a theoretically solid background. The project's language is English
for all its instances, including the deliverables and the examination.
The project will run for several project periods, it started in E2002.
note- The project will only be lauched if there are enough interested
students (each group has to have at least 3 people and cannot have more
(originally defined as "a chivalrous enterprise in medieval romance
usually involving an adventurous journey") have been one of the
easiest ways for game designers to introduce storytelling elements into
games, so that the gameplay is entwined with a story that has the player
as protagonist. The quest or mission format allows for a contextualization
of the game's actions in a more or less meaningful story, that the player
may or may not feel as vital to her experience when playing the game.
in games have often
criticised as boring and meaningless, particularly from the literary
theory side. For example: how interesting is to take a letter from the
major to the guild master in another town in EverQuest? This
project wants to look at quests from a mixed literary theory /game theory
point of view, trying to find out how quests work in games, what makes
them interesting or boring, and how we can design better quests.
project would be interesting for people with some knowledge about computer
games, literature and/or roleplaying games. No programming experience
OF RESULTS YOU CAN PRODUCE
group can concentrate on the aspect that interests them most, so that
the deliverables of the project can be different for each group: a paper/a
game prototype/a survey report... These are some examples of different
kinds of group focus (see working schedule below to see how this works
in practice). A group can concentrate in things like:
theoretical question: what makes a quest boring/interesting? (with analysis
of lots of quests)
design question: how to design interesting quests? (with production
of detailed design documents)
theoretical/field study question: what do players think about quests?
how do they go about solving them? (with playtesting and analysis)
construction question: build a model quest and test it with actual players
(for example in Neverwinter Nights or another pre-built engine)
construction/literary question: write a model literary quest in any
interactive narrative application (dreamweaver, HTML, flash...) It
is a good idea to choose an application you already know as this course
has no technical support.
all cases, an important part of the project will be the keeping of a
group project diary, where you note all your steps, the meeting
minutes and the rationale behind your decisions. This diary will be
delivered together with the work you produce.
HOW TO PROCEED
Please note that the deadline for giving in your project descriptions
to Study Administration has been expanded until Wednesday the 20th at
12:00. Send an email to Susana Tosca at email@example.com
before Tuesday (the 19th) at 13:00. During Tuesday afternoon I will
check if there are enough people to go along with the project and send
you a feedback email with instructions on where/when to meet on Wednesday
morning so as to finalize the form signing before 12:00. Please note
that you have more chances of being able to work on this project if
you agree with other students beforehand about forming a group.
model for a project description will be uploaded Tuesday on to this
site so you can copy it and print it out before meeting with me on Wednesday
working method will be that the teacher meets with the students at the
beginning of each project week, and depending on the group's advances,
they agree on tasks for the rest of the week, which will be typically
reported to the all participants the following week.
will use this website as a place for constant feedback on the project
(for example uploading all questions and answers for everybody to see
using a weblog for the management)
1- Introductory lecture and methodology for quest analysis. Students
work reading the pensum (that they will get at the introductory meeting)
and performing quest analysis in actual games.
2-"Problematizing quests" seminar session (lecture and
group debate). During this week students decide what their focus problem
is going to be, analyze more games if necessary and choose the angle
they want to give their project: theoretical exploration, game design
(of sucessful quests), implementation and testing of quests (using an
existing game engine, for example "Neverwinter Nights").
3- Seminar session with groups getting feedback from all participants
about the status of their projects
4- No common session, groups meet with teacher individually if needed.
Produce final version.