Game Design Portfolio for Scott Nicholson > Transformative Games
The Library Adventure ARG Toolkit is a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for 2012-2014 designed to enable academic libraries to create an alternate reality game to expose players to library resources. I am the PI of the project, and the MIT Education Arcade has been a consulting partner.
The current iteration of the toolkit is focused on the needs of academic libraries. The project started with a Delphi study of academic libraries to determine the technology and game design requirements; this created numerous challenges due to the restrictions typically associated with computer for public access in the library. The librarian develops five multiple-choice questions that are used as the core of the game. For each question, the player will have to find one or more resources in the library, and as they explore these resources, they will learn about what is in the library and how to locate it.
In order to make this game more meaningful than just a library scavenger hunt, there is a narrative that places the character in the midst of an information battle between two sides. In addition, all of the questions are around a controversial topic that is meaningful to the community or to the department, and the player goes through a reflection process during the game in order to end up with a more informed opinion that they then share with other players.
Stories from Stanwix is a prototype of a digital roleplaying choice-based game using Choicescript designed for Fort Stanwix National Park. This is a project of the Game Designers' Guild, and I was the lead designer and creative director. We are currently looking at funding possibilities to continue development of this game.
The goal of the game is to allow players to gain an understanding of the different lives that were affected by the existence of and battles around Fort Stanwix. Rather than focus on the battles, the focus was on the soldiers, officers, and civilians who lived in the area. During each turn of the game, players could choose a path and would make choices based upon the challenges facing people involved with Fort Stanwix.
Crossed Paths is a free mutliplayer improvisational storytelling game that I developed. It has players working together to create original stories, and works well for at least 5 players with no limit to the maxiumum number of players (I have run Crossed Paths for a room full of 400 people).It is a good fit for libraries, schools, churches, or any organization with the goal of having participants explore characters, settings, and conflics from stories they already know.This game is released under Creative Commons, with the expectation that the facilitator will fill out a short survey about the game afterwards. Crossed Paths is freely available at http://tinyurl.com/crossedpaths