I Bid You All A Very Fond Farewell


I just came back from my last final (Linguistics), and it’s just now hitting me that it’s the end of my first semester of university. The time, though sluggish while it progressed, truly did fly, in hindsight. So, now, I’m sitting here with my box of Cheez-Its up in my bunk, mournfully listening to “Come Sail Away” by the Styx and “The Last Goodbye” by Billy Boyd for the credits of the third and final Hobbit film.

Despite not having but Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the occasional bump-in with you all, I still very much admire you all and feel like a part of the team. I’m very fortunate to have met you and to have been able to share in the experience of making our own games together over the course of these past few months. Please, any time you see me, don’t ever be shy to say “Hi-loo, doe !!” and take a seat with me. I’ll continue to be an open set of ears should you need them !!

Also… Thank you for letting me be myself. I know I’m… different, but you didn’t treat me as such.

You all don’t realize how great that’s been.

Now… uh… well…

~”Link… see you later.”~

Love from

-WillowDoe <3

Phase Two Blogging


So, this is super long winded and takes everything from the Phase Two page into consideration… Prepare yourselves for some hellish word-vomiting ~

(I’m going to say that each individual paragraph should be its own separate post, thanks ~)

My goal is for the players who go through my game to learn about different anxiety disorders and how to treat them in subtle, natural ways that are influenced by the lives of real people rather than the scientific scenario. That said, I don’t want to narrow the target age of my game to one set of people, but, instead, make it a truly “E for Everyone” game. I’d like to go for the aspects that have been so successful in games like Paper Mario where, a decade later, players come back to play the game again for nostalgia reasons and pick up on things they may not have understood their first time through. To win, the player must learn how to understand that a friend has a disorder and how best to treat that friend’s individual needs by paying attention to their surroundings, their interests, and what they say directly to the protagonists of my game. This will be done by exploring a world of different characters with numerous environmental and social puzzles that eventually lead to the solutions to each of the afflicted characters’ problems.

My game will take elements from some of my absolute favorite adventure-based games, namely Tomb Raider and Paper Mario. The world will be for the most part open to exploration and discovery, though there will be boundaries for design’s sake and obstacles that need special keys to get through before continuing on in the game, whether it’s an item or the completion of a certain task. Players will be able to move their character around and jump upwards a short distance or across a ways as well as grab on to ledges, ladders, vines, branches, and the like. There will also be some areas where the player must swim around to collect items or find secrets. The game will be broken up into several chapters, each centered around the defeat of one of the Curse Demons and evicting them from one of Chicky and Chinchilla’s friends, each chapter broken up into a long chain of quests and sidequests that eventually single-out the friend that’s been possessed by the Demon. There will be turn-based combat in the game, with the main enemies being the henchmen of the Curse Demons, but instead of a leveling system, I’d borrow the element of item upgrade used in the Paper Mario games for its first two installments. Other forms of “combat” would include complex dialogues with player-chosen responses that either allow the player to progress or ask them to “come back later” and try again, essentially making the player stop and think about their actions. A currency system of pearls will be established in order to let the player purchase items from shops and bribe their way into certain areas, and pearls can be obtained by searching in the field or by defeating enemies.

Because the majority of people nowadays have computers that can handle gaming, I’d aim to put my game on PC so far as platforms go. Programs like Valve’s Steam make it easy for indie games to make their way into the spotlight, and the community aspect created by the program would allow for communication between players about my game, effectively “spreading the wealth” of that which I meant players to learn from it. Only if the game hit it big would I consider trying to work with console-based companies, simply because I know how irritating it is for something to be “___ Exclusive” and not have the console for it.

To advance to a later level, or chapter, in my game, the player must explore their environments and pay attention to the information they’re given by landmarks, patterns in art, conversations with characters, and the items they acquire along the way. To make the game more player-friendly, I don’t anticipate adding elements that require the player to go back to the location of a previous chapter to collect information that furthers their progression in the game. The different regions themselves will be big enough to have enough to explore without having to back track, in other words. However, there will be certain elements from different regions that serve as useful pieces of information for later regions, especially item upgrades like Chicky and Chinchilla’s weapons, which can influence the “overworld” environment and unlock new areas and useful items.

Stages of gameplay in my game include discovering a problem, experimenting with ways to resolve that problem, and then advancing to the resolution of the problem itself. For example, in the introduction of the game, the problem of a gate-watching guard bird suffering from an Insomnia Demon sets the player on a search to find Cammy’s Mild Tea, a play on “chamomile tea,” and, once the tea is delivered, the problem is resolved by defeating the Insomnia Demon thus freeing the bird.

Ominously Anxious Playtesting Thoughts

Today, I playtested the opening sequence to what I am, for the meantime, calling “Ominously Anxious.” It was a bit awkward trying to act as the AI for the game when it was made out of paper, but I figured we managed to do pretty well !! I got a nice review of what I had completed for which I am very grateful, and I got a lot of feedback that I can use in the future.

The piece I found most helpful from playtesting was a suggestion to look at a different way to order events. What I had made was chronological from after Chicky and Chinchilla had accidentally released the Curse Deities, but it was suggested to me that it may be more effective to see a change if the game instead started with Chicky and Chinchilla going through the starting area one time so that players could see the world unaffected. In that way, the player would be able to see just how bad it is that the Deities were released.

A large part of the feedback I was given was concerned with the audience and the concept of my game. I was presented with the idea that I could make my game have several alternate endings that aren’t in any way happy, miming real life, and therefore upping the age of my target audience. Whereas that would definitely increase the replayability of my game from the fact that a player would want to try again to do everything right, it steers away from the goal I had in mind. After talking with Dr. Kayler, I pieced together a little bit better that which I wanted to present in my game.

Especially with recent and current world events, there is an evil blanketing of fear cast upon the innocent that may have never encountered anything like today’s insane world before. There are young people out there that I’m sure need an escape from reality for a while because of what all has been happening. I’ve said from the start that I want my game to teach people how to cope and help others cope with anxiety and social disorders. However, I want the player to be able to do so without any fear of being able to fail, learn from failure, and trying again. In essence, I really do want my game to be “sunshine and rainbows,” even if it’s not the “new and edgy” kind of gaming so many people want to see today. I don’t want to emotionally scar my audience, I want them to learn, to piece together that “this didn’t work, but maybe this will,” so that, in a real situation, they’ll have more insight as to what they should or should not do.

All that said, I want the typical kind of RPG “GAME OVER” any time a friend in need in the game is unsuccessfully helped. I don’t want there to be death, nor do I want any conflict left unresolved. If a player says the wrong thing or is defeated in a fight, they’ll simply be booted back a step and have to try again until they learn how to go about their quest properly. That way, the game won’t be threatening and an age of human understanding that doesn’t comprehend anxiety and tragedy can learn even the slightest bit about what’s to come in the future. Besides, the characters involved in the game were “created” by me at a very young age when I still didn’t understand the world and needed an escape from the daily routine, so it makes no sense to change their purposes in their lives. They are there to be a safe mode of experimentation for me and for whoever would be at an age where my game would be educational.

Fun and Playfulness Emerge in Unexpected Ways

I have a long history with an anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it can be debilitating at times. So, I have a general understanding of what it’s like to live in a constant state of “this is impossible to surmount.” From the personally submitted forms I’ve received so far, I haven’t been shocked by too much. I agreed with most of what was written, including that saying “it’s all in your head” is the worst someone can do and that a person with a disorder can’t just “stop.” I do find it interesting, though, that a disorder different from my own was well treated with medication. I always felt that the things I took when I was younger made my symptoms worse. I assumed that kind of medication was the infamous “sugar pill,” but, according to my source, it’s not, and that’s great for those for which it works !! (I’ve also not yet gotten verification of permission to identify my source’s name yet, hence not making a full-blown citation at this point.)

I’ll be honest. I haven’t had much of a chance to skim through the 13 + articles I’ve found about my topic, despite wanting to add to that list. So, I haven’t been Lara Croft (“Ah-hah !!”) too many times yet. However, I have found an article that pertains to different medical practices for treating anxiety disorders from around the world. How is this helpful, you ask ? Well, different countries have different herbs. The herbs in other countries have names that are “exotic” to the average American. So, some of the more foreign-sounding medicines’ names will be great bases for words I can come up with for items in my game. I’ve always enjoyed coming up with words and names, but it’s always difficult to get rolling. Therefore, having a basis for the item names will be extraordinarily helpful.

The treatment of anxiety disorders isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when somebody thinks of things that are “fun.” It’s important, but it’s not “fun.” Strictly speaking, unless someone loves to learn about different disorders and how they can help, fun will not emerge from my game’s subject matter. That’s why I’m deciding to lighten the mood and diffuse the tension of the seriousness of my topic with my art choice. The art will be based on characters and scenes that I’ve drawn and had in my head since I was little, so there will be several colorful, childish locations and personalities. Of course, there will also be places that are foreboding yet rewarding to explore, making the element of surprise a factor that contributes to how my topic would be considered “fun.” Another way to make treating anxiety disorders more palatable would be how, as the protagonist, the player can interact with the friends that have disorders and have a sense of “I’m helping this person out, and that’s something I like to do.”

Like I said earlier, my game is going to have a more inviting aesthetic to it. Most of my early artwork was heavily influenced by series including Mario, Kirby, Pokémon, The Littlest Pet Shop, and World of Warcraft, which all use vibrant colors and have notable characters that stand out as playful and silly. For those of you who are questioning my inclusion of WoW in that list, Google “Murlocs” and have a laugh. Other playful aspects of my game would come from dialogue between characters, how certain puzzles are solved, and the way my characters would move. I feel like the mood is lightened in the game whenever a character breaks the fourth wall, realizes it, and then snaps back in to the game with an apology. Goombella from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, does this frequently throughout the game. Paper Mario is also famous for the clever use of the attributes of paper to build structures and puzzles. For instance, Mario can fold himself into an airplane and roll into a tube while one of his partners, Flurrie, can blow away massive stickers that camouflage secret areas in walls. So, for my game, I just need to take the whimsical nature of my characters and incorporate them into the story. For example, I had (have) an obsession with words that have “oodle” in them. I could corrupt a few characters’ speech bubbles by inserting a few “oodle” sounds here and there to add a more childish feel to the game and thus make it more playful.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders Questionnaire

Hello, you beautiful whatsits !!

I have another request for each of you. If you haven’t seen my earlier posts : I am working on creating the script for a game that is centered around helping friends cope with their social, anxiety, and mental disorders. While looking for professional sources on the matter is grand, I feel as though the most pertinent information will come from real people with real experiences.

If you could take a few minutes to fill out Game Design Research With A Social Twist and then send it to wcarmich@mail.umw.edu , I would greatly appreciate it !! Do keep in mind that if you would like to help, you still have the right to remain Anonymous. I’ll simply put your “interview” on my citations page as “Anonymous1” or “Not Disclosed7,” and so on.

Thank you very much for sharing with me !! I hope to spread the word of how to better help others !!

Gamification Results

Here is a big THANK YOU !! to those who took up my Gamification Challenge !!


(I won’t be including hyperlinks simply due to time constraints. You should just be able to put “Wikipedia + X” in Google to find the individual pages.) 🙂

When I first made this challenge, this was the route I took :


Penguins, as they inhabit Antarctica and I LOVE THEM.

Countershading, as penguins’ coats are an example of something that is countershaded.

Camouflage, as countershading is a form of camouflage.

Military Camouflage

Total Links : 5

Contribution 1 used this route :

“antarctica to desert (there is desert patterned camo)

desert to desert warfare (same reason basically)

desert warfare to modern warfare

modern warfare to land warfare

land warfare to infantry

infantry to military camouflage”

Total Links : 8

Contribution 2 went along this way :

  1. Antarctica

  2. Penguins

I used the FIND function on the “Penguin” page to find “camouflage.”

  1. Camouflage (“Penguins are countershaded for camouflage”)

  2. Military Camouflage

Total Links : 4

Contribution 3 wrote me a nice email with their results !!

“I Started at Antarctica and I clicked on the United States Navy link, thinking that Navy = military and military wear camouflage.

I got to the United States Navy page and clicked on Dress Uniform, thinking that you wear a dress uniform like you wear camouflage.

From the Dress Uniform page I clicked on Camouflage, since it was a link that appeared under the British Army portion of the Dress Uniform page.

When I got to the Camouflage page I saw there’s a Wikipedia link for Military Camouflage in the second paragraph, so that’s the final link 🙂 “

Total Links : 5

Contribution 4 was introduced to the Challenge by Contribution 3, and then 3 emailed the results !!

“From the Wikipedia article for Antarctica, he chose to click on United Kingdom so that he could get to a link regarding the military.  From United Kingdom page, he clicked on Military in the content section to go directly to the military section for the UK (although this is on the same page so it might not count as a “click”).  He then clicked on Royal Marines since it is a military group, then from there he clicked on United States Marine Corp cause they wear camo sometimes.  From the Marine Corp page, he then clicked on Infantry to try and get to some sort of clothing link.  From the Infantry page, he clicked on a picture that showed Japan ground self defense force soldiers in the infantry force wearing helmets, which took him to a link for the Camouflage page.  From there, he clicked on Military Camouflage.”

Total Links : 9


Contribution 2 had the shortest Link List while Contribution 4 had the longest !!


Overall, this was a painless experience. At first, the task of coming up with a Link Challenge that wasn’t too easy but also not impossible seemed daunting. However, I found it to be much easier than I had thought, and as soon as I published my post, I got excited to see what my friends would come up with for their Link Lists.

To put the word out there that I had made a Link Challenge, I used my Facebook page, where I wrote a brief synopsis of my Challenge and inserted a link to the rules. At first, I didn’t get much activity on the post, but then, my friend, affectionately named “Contribution 3,” shared my post on their page and got their loved ones involved !! If anything, I picked up on a social aspect of this Gamification Challenge. When I expressed a need of help on a project for which I needed social data, I had friends that jumped to the task of helping me. I’m really grateful that they took the time to and that they seemed to have a good time completing the Gamification task !!

I found it very interesting that most of my mail-ins went straight from Antarctica and in to pages that dealt with some military aspects. Then, there were others (including mine) that blended Antarctica into scientific terms (countershading, desert) and then into military pages. If I think about it, though, the Contributors that looked for military pages first had their goal in mind throughout their search for links. That, to me, means that those Contributors value their goals and find creative ways to reach them. For the rest of us (including myself), our goal wasn’t put at as high a priority as the journey there. I’d be interested to see what would happen if a Go-Getter and a Stroll-Taker were paired together to complete a Link Quest. Would their Link Lists be longer or shorter than if they had worked alone ? Perhaps that would be a good experiment for another time !!

All in all, it was fantastic of everyone to take up this Challenge. Thank you for your time and creative energy !! 🙂

Crafty Foxes Playtesting !!




Playtesting for Crafty Foxes went so much better than I could have anticipated !! As always, I must thank the brave souls that trudged through my three-page instruction manual and played through the game with me. We may now safely say that we’re all in very awkward and uncomfortable shipping situations, and that’s great !!

Thanks, Love Potion cards.

The one thing I’ll say though is that I need to include more Pilfer Cards into the deck. There was a point where everyone was at a standstill and every turn was comprised solely of drawing a card and passing the baton. There were originally 33 Pilfers, but I might bump the number up to 70 or so. The deck will be more intimidating than it already was, but who cares ?!

Needless to say, I would love to play this with people again some time. I’m very thankful for the feedback my playtesters gave today, but, oh my gosh, it made my ego explode. Yay !!

Gamification Challenge

Looking for a Challenge ?

I’ve got one for you !!

(You’d also be doing me a huge favor. No pressure.)

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, there exists a new breed of educational practice called “Gamification,” which focuses on integrating the world of games into education in order to engage learners and empower their will to progress in their learning.

One other goal of Gamification is to encourage curiosity in learners and make them want to challenge themselves to achieve maximum efficiency. So, to simulate the process of improving educational efficiency, there was created a challenge called the “Plot-Your-Route” game. PYR is covered in this video from 6:54 onward.

That said, I’d like to challenge you with one of these PYR link games.

In a Word Document (or email, or comment post): using as few links as possible, connect “Antarctica” with “Military Camouflage” while only using Wikipedia pages. Also, write a brief explanation as to why you made the connections from page to page so that I can see your thought process !! It could be as simple as “From Bioluminescence to Fireflies: Fireflies are a type of insect that have bioluminescent organs on their abdomens.”

…Also, just saying that Lara Croft goes to Antarctica wearing snow camo pants won’t cut it, sorry. 😉

Please email your results to wcarmich@mail.umw.edu or post a comment with your reasoning below !! 🙂


Challenge 2 Progress


…Is what you would say if you were playing my brand-spanking new card game, Crafty Foxes !! This is what I’ve come up with for the second part of four game-making challenges, and I do believe I like this game more than the last one. This time, instead of high-fantasy treasure hunters, all players are, as the title implies, a bunch of sneaky, no-good, double-crossing foxes looking to store away food for themselves.

I just now realized that raccoons are probably more the Pilfering kind, but, after looking up kéké the other day, I really wanted to do something with foxes. Yay !

Kéké, si vous trouvez ce page, je voudrais vous remercie pour l’inspiration que vos animations m’ont donnée !! Elles sont toutes mignonnes, et je les ADORE !! 


The World Needs More Birds


Learn it, live it, love it.


So, when stumbling upon my old bookmarks in Chrome, I dug up this beautiful, priceless gem by a francophone animation artist. Please watch and please enjoy !!! 🙂

The artist’s style reminds me a bit of my own, so this will give you a good idea as to how my characters would move in my game !!