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Member Since 16 Aug 2013
Offline Last Active Nov 02 2013 07:30 AM

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In Topic: Ideas For Video Game About Autism

15 October 2013 - 08:47 PM

Do we have real understanding of how autistic people perceive  things ???   It sound like one of the ideas for the game is to try to install understanding in the players about what it is to those who have that condition.


How many different flavors are there that might be expressed??


In 3D the 'focus' where what the player views shifts from attention getting overview to zooming in to some object/subset  with exclusion of all else.  Somehow the compulsive fascination would have to be expressed to hold focus on a narrow subject (perhaps with only faint whispers of all else that is going on).


I dont know if the person starts visualizing not just the immediate subject but all the myriad  connections and associations/relations  which expand into view in their brain ...

Most of the info about autism is taken from first-person account academic journals, so the explanation are rather vivid and arguably reliable. Moreover, autism isn't confined and predetermined through lists of behaviors; but a spectral disorder. I would then, limit the main character, let's say "A" to experience five symptoms throughout the game.


These symptoms would be triggered when the A is within a range of the specified area / physical objects / audio objects. For example, the player will experience blurry vision and tight, high-frequency sounds when he approached rumbling machines, etc.


I am still thinking to have narrative structures that would surface the character's autistic syndromes, not just on the game mechanics / gameplay itself ; a game that deals with psychological instability that would turn out to be the core antagonistic element of the gameplay. It would not be another typical indie horror, anyway.

In Topic: Ideas For Video Game About Autism

15 October 2013 - 08:00 PM

I appreciate your efforts in using games as a platform to deliver a message. But what message do you want to provide?


I just made up my own categories here to help you clarify: 

  • therapeutic games - should be developed with scientists. I know folks with other issues such as dyslexia, ADHD and social phobia has "mini-games" in which they can train on very specific tasks (like memory, sounding words etc.) or in the case of phobia - cognitive therapy in a gamification format (you get scores by completing challenges). 
  • informational games - educating others of how it can be to have issues with this. An example is http://www.kongregate.com/games/jordanmagnuson/loneliness which translates the feeling of loneliness into a little "non-game" as he calls it. 
  • comforting games - games which people with issues can play where they can feel familiarity with the protagonists, where the UI and in-game experiences have been adjusted/adapted to any deficiencies and things which they might find disturbing.

The thing is each of these games requires their own approaches (educated, emotional/artsy and general game development for a specific user group)

Perhaps it's going to be a hybrid between informational and comforting games. Since one of the autistic symptoms is that they tend to have short attention span and experience hard time on focusing on things, I was thinking that the UI (like the map in GTA) can be tweaked throughout the game, in which there would be times where the destination objectives would be altered; worldview would be blurred; player wouldn't be able to control when they encountered certain object and stuff.


A member suggested not to revolves around autistic symptoms as the gameplay, but as part of the story.  (Like Ethan Mars in Heavy Rain who suffered long term depression after Jason's death) I'm thinking about that too, but my main concern is to promote empathy towards the player on how autistic individuals would response towards their surrounding, without 'dehumanizing' these special people.