Parsons MFA Design&Tech

Wen Ning Li

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An exploration of the dynamics of control relationships between players and their avatars

  • games-play
  • narrative-storytelling
    Thesis Studio

    Colleen K. Macklin

    Kan Yang Li

    Writing and Research

    Barbara B Morris

    Louisa Campbell

    Video games are all about control. As players, we try to develop mastery over the controls to meet increasing challenges in the game. We are used to a positive feedback loop between our improved use of our controllers and better results on the screen. The play experience of Shmoo departs from this paradigm and challenges the conventional notion of feedback loops. When your avatar grows a stage in its evolution, the controller turns the tables by subverting its rules and presenting new ones which the player must learn to understand. This exploration is intended to determine if under such conditions of change, is it still possible for the players to remain engaged?

    The project tests the players’ reaction time and how they balance the frustrations and comfort within the game. Players must quickly adapt to a new controller orientation with each evolution. The game not only tests the flexibility of players to adjust to their changing controller, but it also mirrors aspects of the parent-child relationship. Shmoo desires to show the benefits of a positive attitude towards the obstacles encountered in processing development and change.

    Wen Ning Li

    Winnie Li is a visual and interaction designer with a graphic design background, based in New York City, born in Taiwan. She is enthusiastic about art direction, user experience, and illustration. She is also interested in exploring experimental playing experience by working with diverse digital technology.

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