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COM598 Project Game Prototype



PUBLIC SERVICE QIX: A Series of Interactive Media Events

Today, Martin & Baily, Inc. announced their most ambitious interactive media event to date. In the spirit of celebrating Wonderville Public Services, they will host three mobile technology-based games to be held during the summer of 2007, the first in June, the second in July, and the third in August.

The games will be a hybrid reality version of the game QIX, and will feature GPS-enabled cell phones to display a grid-style map of the city of Wonderville, which in essence, will become "the game board." The June game will celebrate the Wonderville Public Water Utilities, the July game will celebrate the Wonderville Fire Department, and the August game will celebrate the Wonderville Public Transportation System. The "public service of the month," along with human players traversing the city, will become "the game pieces."

A Quick Guide to QIX

The objective of Qix is to fence off, or "claim," 75% (or greater) of the playfield. At the start of each level, the playing field is a large, empty rectangle, containing the Qix—a stick-like entity that performs graceful, but unpredictable motions within the confines of the rectangle.

The player controls a small diamond-shaped marker that can move around the edges of the rectangle.

To claim an area of the screen, the player must detach from an edge and draw Stix within the rectangle. Stix are simply lines traced out by moving the marker. When the marker completes a closed shape, the captured area becomes solid and points are awarded.

The player may draw either Fast Stix, which appear blue when solid,or Slow Stix, which appear red. Slow Stix take longer to draw, but are worth twice as many points. The player is vulnerable and can lose a life when drawing Stix if the Qix touches a Stix line as it is being drawn, before it becomes solid.

Once the player has claimed an area, the marker can safely move along the border of that claimed area.

There is a Time Meter located at the top of the screen. When the time meter reaches zero, two Sparx enter the playfield and traverse the perimeter of unclaimed space. When the time meter reaches zero once again, the Sparx become Super-Sparx, having the ability to chase the player even up an unfinished Stix line. Neither the Qix nor the Sparx can be destroyed, only outmaneuvered.

To complete a level, the player must claim 75% or more of the playfield. (Note: The area the player needs to claim can be adjusted by the arcade operator. The minimum can be set as low as 50 percent, or as high as 99 percent.). Players meeting the requirement win the round and earn a bonus of 1,000 points per additional percentage claimed (e.g., in a 75% game, claiming 80 percent of the field wins a 5,000-point bonus, since it is 5 percent more than needed).

After a player completes two levels, difficulty starts increasing, first with two Qixes from the third screen and onward, faster movement of the Qixes later on, Sparxes move faster, become more plentiful, and eventually only Super Sparxes chase the player right off the bat.



The spirit of this game will be adapted into three "hybrid reality" games, each played by three participants. The first two games are similar to each other; the third one is somewhat of a departure from the first two, and a bit more socially complex.


Wonderville Water Qix (June 2007)

The objective of Wonderville Water Qix is to be the first participant to claim 34% of the designated city area, while avoiding the Public Water Flow Qix.  The city will be represented in grid format on a cell phone, with each cell of the grid representing one city block, and containing a graphic in the middle of the cell representing the largest commercial building on that block. The Qix moves will appear unpredictable to the players, but will actually be following a computer-generated model of water flowing beneath the city at the rate of 6 gallons per hour.

The participant will be represented on the display as a small, yellow diamond-shaped marker while s/he moves through the city.

To claim a cell (i.e., its respective city block) on the screen, a player must walk along at least one-half of two sides of the block, and along at least one-quarter of a third side. When the participant meets this criteria, the cell will become solid. A player must claim a city block before the water supply completes its flow through the largest commercial building on that block. Once the water has completed its flow through a building, the block upon which it resides becomes ineligible to claim.

Each of the other two players will be a Sparx, and will be represented on the display as small, red octagonal-shaped markers while s/he moves through the city.  In this game, no participant can claim a cell adjacent to a Sparx-claimed cell.
 



Wonderville Fire Qix (July 2007)

The objective of Wonderville Fire Qix is to be the first participant to claim 34% of the designated city area, while avoiding the Urban Wildfire Qix.  The city will be represented in grid format on a cell phone, with each cell of the grid representing one city block, and containing a graphic in the middle of the cell representing the largest commercial building on that block. The Qix moves will appear unpredictable to the players, but will actually be following a computer-generated model of the way a fire would move through the city, considering wind velocity and inventoried building material.

The participant will be represented on the display as a small, yellow diamond-shaped marker while s/he moves through the city.

To claim a cell (i.e., its respective city block) on the screen, a player must walk along at least one-half of two sides of the block, and along at least one-quarter of a third side. When the participant meets this criteria, the cell will become solid. A player must claim a city block before the fire spreads through the largest commercial building on that block. Once the building is burnt, the block upon which it resides becomes ineligible to claim.

Each of the other two players will be a Sparx, and will be represented on the display as small, red octagonal-shaped markers while s/he moves through the city.  In this game, no participant can claim a cell adjacent to a Sparx-claimed cell.
 



Wonderville Bus Qix (August 2007)

The objective of Wonderville Bus Qix is to be the first participant to traverse the city from its southwest corner to its northeast corner, while avoiding the path of the Wonderville City Bus Qix. The "longest route" city bus will be equipped with a GPS-enabled cell phone to continuously track, and display — as a small bus graphic on the display — its location. No player may be walking on the same street upon which the bus is currently traveling.

The participant will be represented on the display as a small, yellow diamond-shaped marker while s/he moves through the city.

Each of the other two players will be a Sparx, and will be represented on the display as small, red octagonal-shaped markers while s/he moves through the city.  No player may be walking on the same street upon which one of their Sparx is currently walking.

Five minutes into the game, two Super-Sparxes, in the form of taxis, will be introduced to the game.  These taxis will also be equipped with with GPS-enabled cell phones to continuously track, and display — as small taxi graphics on the display — their current locations. No player may be walking on the same street upon which a Super-Sparx is currently traveling.

To add further complexity to the game, four staff members of the game — one in each corner of the city - will hail a cab via a text message. The staff member in the northwest corner of the city will request a destination in the southeast corner of the city.  The member in the northeast corner, a destination in the southwest corner.  The member in the southeast corner, one in the northwest corner. And, finally, the member in the southwest corner, a destination in the northeast corner.

In effect, this adds simultaneous criss-crossing traffic, unpredictably making several streets unavailable to the participants in addition to the ones currently unavailable due to their Sparxes and the Qix whereabouts. 

The games will be sponsored in part by each of the commercial buildings represented in the Water and Fire Qix games, the Wonderville Department of Transportation, and the Wonderville Arts Council.
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