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Hallo World!

We just have a little something new to show off! BOOM!

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In other news – we are working on a new mini game that will feature as a little promo game for our project. We have talked to some charities dealing with the homeless and their main concern is people that give money to streeties. We understand that people want to help, but by giving money, they are actually worsening the situation. Streeties that get money from begging might be tempted to buy drugs and alcohol instead of food. They might also turn away from organisations that are trying to help them. Our promo game will tackle exactly this issue! If you’d like to get a sneak peek you can already go to the demo and click the ‘Food Fall’ game. The idea at the moment is to separate ‘Food Fall’ from the rest of the game and put ‘Food Fall’ on the play store! Big stuff! But ofcourse, it still needs some work. I will post our progress as we go =D

 

 

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Printables are on their way!

Goodness! We need a person that loves to write in this team so that we can put more updates onto our website =P

I am happy to introduce to you *drumrole* THE PRINTABLE!

get help_food_stellenbosch_DRAFT

You will be able to print these, cut them out and paste them to form small envelope cards. Each card contains information on where to get help on a specific topic like food, shelter, medical or emotional. Be sure to ask the streetie what he needs and if you’d like, you can even have a look at google maps so that you can give directions if the map on the inside of the card is not clearly understood. On the flip side is an inspirational quote that will hopefully lift someone’s spirits 🙂

These cards will be unlocked to you as you play our mini games and in doing so help you to build a ‘Street Kit’ that prepares you for when someone extends a needing hand in your direction.

We will probably make these cards available without having to play the game for now, while we still work on perfecting our mini game, One man’s trash.

To create the food cards we are working with Feeding in Action in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to pinpoint all the places where they are handing out food to the needy. Our mission is of course to map ALL the places in ALL the world.. but that would take some time! If you think you can help us out with this it would really mean the world to us! You simply need to make a list of places that hand out food to the needy in your area and pinpoint them on a map and send this to us. (You can get in touch through our newly added contact form 😉 There’s always something we can use help with, if maps ain’t your thing check out how can you help for something else 🙂

 

 

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More demo updates

Howdy!

It’s been a while! Which means there are loads of new things to share with you! Firstly: Login page! Here’s what it looks like at the moment:

Login page
Yes yes, it’s only a draft =P After the login page you will be taken to a horrid draft of a city map where you will be able to pick which mini games you want to play. At the moment we are still working on the Dumpster Diver game which is only getting better and better by the day!

I have made a little intro animation for the dumpster diver game (click it, click click!):

dumpster-diving-intro-animation_smaller

Things that have been added to the mini game is the ‘dignity counter’, ‘game over’ function, a new sprite, distance measure of cops and better playability for the ‘diving’ part. I will give a short description of each.

paperbags
The dignity counter consists of three paper bags. Each time the streetie is seen going through the trash by a civilian, he feels shamed and his dignity counter drops. When his dignity reaches zero, he will go into hiding and the game is over.

Right underneath the health bar you will find the distance to the closest cop – this is meant to assist the player while he is dumpster diving. The idea is that you take as much as you can and leave before the cop reaches you. If you are caught you will be thrown in jail and it will be game over.dumpster

The diving part now has a ‘quit’ button – very useful for when the cop is coming right at you! There are also 2 ways to handle the trash. One, you can pick your item and say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ via the cross or check buttons or two, you can simply drag and release items up or down! I really love this! Although the game will only be playable on PC for now, I can only a smartphone version where you use your fingers to go through the trash!

Last but not least, the civilian sprite has been added. The girl is already in the game, the man is still in the creation phase.

civilian1civilian2

 

A lot of new things has been added, but there has also been a lot of reworking and learning going on behind the scenes – we’ve been busy  =D We have also worked on the point system, done research and talked about badges and achievements and easter eggs – yup, a lot more to come!

Then there’s something else we would like to set in motion – partners and ambassadors. Partners are charities, helping the homeless and in need of volunteers – we will basically give them free advertising and send ‘trained’ volunteers their way. In return they will share information with us about their work and the ways of the homeless to always insure that our games teach the right right things.
Ambassadors are people who help us set up connections with these partners and will function as our link with them getting information and reporting back to us.

Well! That’s it for now!
Over and out =D

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Call for mini game ideas

Hallo ladies and gents!

As you might know, the first phase of our project is dependent on a series of mini games. Lots and lots of short, addictive, adrenalin rushing games! Although fun, these games will also have their own unique lessons to be learned – how to survive the streets and how to ace real life volunteer work.

The games will be based on the levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Meaning they will all teach lessons relevant to the level they are on. Each level of mini games first need to be completed before the next level is unlocked.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
– wiki

This is a call for help to come up with ideas for these mini games. We are already working on a ‘dumpster diving’ mini game and have recently started with a ‘soup kitchen’ mini game – both from level 1 on Maslow’s pyramid – but many more are needed!

If you have any ideas, please take a look at this document: (we’ve taken the link down)
We currently only have level 1 and 2 in there, but if it works out, we will soon add the rest.
And of course, even if your idea is only half an idea or the craziest thing anybody has ever heard, don’t hold back! We want to hear it!

There is also something else we would like to hear: If you have ever helped out at a charity organisation working with the homeless, we would love to hear about your experiences. It will really help to create better mini games =D

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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Mini games concept expands

Hallo hallooo!

Exciting news on the conceptual side of the mini games!
The player of the mini games will be presented with a virtual book – a how to guide for living in the big city. Within this book the player will find a map with 3 mini games. (I don’t know how many, let’s just go with three for for now.) Whereas the original idea was a set of mini games being played in order, the new idea is to always give a choice of which mini game to play. Each mini game, upon completion, revealing a different set of new mini games! This means each player can follow a different set of mini games!
But wait, there’s more! Things that are collected within the mini games can now be taken into other mini games!! Like weapons or clothing or recyclables.

This brought me to the idea of easter eggs that can only be unlocked within mini games when the player has the right items with him/her! And I have quite an exciting idea for what the easter eggs will be, but I think I will keep it a secret for a little bit longer. At least until the rest of the team has approved it XD

All these nice developments (and many others) with the game concept means that we would have to take a step back and reconsider the programming language used for the first (not yet finished) mini game. This means that the current demo game won’t be getting any better soon. But we will have you updated as soon as the new one is up and ready to go 🙂

 

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Demo Updates

Our little streetie now has a better background to run around on than the pencil sketch that was up there for some time. The little guy can also now run behind certain objects, like the trees and the fence.

Screenshot 2013-11-18 10.49.40

Anton has also made some real exciting suggestions for the overall ‘mini game’ concept. Stay tuned 😉

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Beyond the mini game

Exciting news!

Another game designer joined the team and gave good suggestions for fleshing out the second phase of the game! There are still a few kinks to be worked out but I will list them in another post.. or else this is going to get quite long!
So, I had the cards remember? Now it’s an adventurer’s map =D

There are 2 phases to the game. One phase is played on the computer by anyone that wants to and the second is a real life game played by the man on the street.

game plan

The blue guy (normal player/volunteer) plays mini games online that educate him about life on the street. The game rewards the player with shelter tickets and maps that can be printed and handed out to homeless people on the street (the orange guy). Shelter tickets are great because they offer a free meal, shower and place to sleep for the night – in real life! I’m going to try and see if we can get sponsors to donate money for shelter tickets – these will be rewarded to players when they reach certain high scores or unlock new levels.

The normal player convinces the homeless man to play along and hands him a shelter ticket and a map. The homeless man can use the shelter ticket to make himself presentable for the place the map leads him to – the public library. We will of course ask the libraries whether they want to participate.
At the library the homeless man is given a quest list with quests like, log onto a website and register an email address. There will be a friendly library assistant to help the man on his quests. When he manages to finish it he will receive another map that will lead him to a charity organisation with trained workers (the brown guy) to handle the next step – a talk with the homeless man to determine his specific needs in life. The charity worker will set up a new and final map for the homeless man with quests concerning his needs in life. It can be learning skills like computering, reading, writing, setting up a CV, – working skills like, knitting, cooking, cleaning and gardening, showing up for appointments. Even taking medicine or entertainment skills like playing guitar or learning the rules for soccer. The volunteers (blue guys) that want to do a little more than just hand out maps and play mini games can set up small ‘help groups’ which the charity worker will direct the homeless man to in order to complete his quests. The original volunteer that handed the homeless man his map and shelter card will be brought back in touch with the homeless man through these ‘class’ interactions. This way the volunteer can support the homeless man as a trusted friend and see the change he has brought into anther man’s life.
The levels you see on the picture above (e.g. LV2 required) is to indicate the commitment level the volunteer has reached. For instance, if he wants to present a weekly reading class he would need a much higher commitment level than someone that is just attending a class as a helper. These levels are obtained through playing mini games but also taking part in these classes and assisting the homeless players with their quest.

The end of the homeless player’s map is the goal they had decided on during the talk with the charity worker. Be it a permanent place to live, rehabilitation or a permanent job.

I’m not too great with explaining things, so I hope all of this makes sense 🙂
Over and out

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Demo updates!

Just an update on whats happening with the demo mini game. Click the demo tab to play!

game image1

The score counter counts correctly now.
If you double click a full bin you are taken to the dumpster diving screen which looks like this:

game image2

Trash can be moved around to find edible things.
You can double click a food item to consume it. Bad foods will take away from your score and good foods will add score.
Make sure you have your computer’s sound on for this part =D
The red bar at the bottom marks the distance the nearest cop is from you. If the bar runs out then you have been caught.

Here is what I’m currently working on for the background.
game image3

Things to come.
We are thinking about adding a ‘dignity level’ or ‘dignity coins’. At the beginning of the mini game you have a few of them, but as the towns people see you go through the bins, you lose these coins. At the end of the game (when you get caught by the police most likely), the amount of coins have have left adds a certain amount to your score. The more the coins, the more the score.

Stay tuned 🙂

 

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Shout out!

I want to thank all the kids who helped create prototype games for our project =D I really enjoyed playing the games and seeing how the kids see life on the streets. These are the creative problem solvers of the future! Thank you all very much!

certificate

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