The EPICS ABIWT team will be producing 'Engineering Ops,' a
computer game for girls ages nine to thirteen that encompasses all areas of
engineering and technology within a themed adventure style of play- Think
Spy Kids meets Harry Potter.
Play begins with the player choosing the name of the main
character and also customizing the agent's physical attributes. The default
agent is a female between nine and thirteen years of age. The main agent
begins play by engaging in 'training,' involving various types of
engineering. Each engineering field is taught by a peer, called a field
manager, who has specific knowledge of the discipline and serves as a
liaison for questions. The character responsible for assigning and
evaluating missions is called the mission coordinator, and is a female
around the age of eighteen, a sort of role model for the younger players.
The main agent must take introductory courses in all areas of
engineering as the basic training for the missions. The types of engineering
available for the game include electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical,
computer/ computer graphics technology, and aeronautical. Basic training is
broken down into two terms, after which the main character can choose a path
in which to achieve certification. In order to gain certification, the main
character completes some more intensive training courses, usually specific
to one field of interest. Finally, the character completes one solo
mission, and certification is gained in that area.
With one certification, the main agent can now be recruited for
solo missions in that area. The main agent can obtain certification in all
fields by completing specialized training in each field. Based on the number
of certifications, the character unlocks eligibility for higher lever
missions. Certain missions are certification specific and require more than
one, if not several certifications. Missions increase in difficulty
throughout the player's career as a secret operative.
Some possible missions include: a 'Lost' type mission in which
the agent is stranded in the wild and must rely on engineering skills to
scale mountains, traverse cliff hangs, and cross canyons; solo missions in
which the agent completes real-life tasks like installing electronic
devices, fixing automated machines, and moving large objects down stairs.
The objectives of ABIWT in creating the 'Engineering Ops' computer game are
centered on the initiative that, by exposing girls ages 9 to 13 to real
world applications of engineering and technology skill sets, they will
become more likely to recognize the impact that they can make on all aspects
of technology and hopefully pursue similar career goals. To that end, the
computer game seeks to do the following: Present various technical
disciplines, including the fields of engineering and technology, as
accessible and useful; Realistically demonstrate specific fields of
engineering / technology and the challenges that professionals in those
fields face; Build confidence by using a mission-based system in which
accomplishments are encouraged; Present different game characters as role
models for the players to look up to; Stand alone as a desirable product
which can be played by a wide variety of ages and without regard to gender.
At the completion of the project, outcomes and deliverables will include the following:
- A completed videogame ready for production with:
o A compelling storyline/theme
o Developed characters
o Developed level design
o Concrete structures of play (single, co-op, online)
o Enticing music and sound
o Meets educational goals
o Meets target demographic
o Offers various levels of difficulty
o Somehow allows for add-ons (i.e. additional versions or downloads)
o Passed rigorous testing (no bugs)
- A user’s manual
- An updated game design document
Any good project will take time. Ours is not different from all the rest of the
projects in EPICS. We will need several semesters to complete the game to a level that is
satisfying to the group and its creators. As we have gone through the semesters we have
planned and it seems that this first semester is for game development. This means the
development of the story line and its side games. After that the writing of codes,
animation of characters, and adaptation of the story line will take several more semesters.
Finally a semester has been reserved to promote the finished product to the gaming
market. After all of that it comes down to the end of the fall semester in 2008. Total of
three and a half years till completion.
(None of us have an exact knowledge of Programming, all times estimated)
Spring 06- a working plotline and refined story, start programming.
Fall 06– programming
Spring 07- working rough version of game, beta version
Fall 07- refine game.
Spring 08- Finish game, being Advertisement planning and prep.
Fall 08- sell game to gaming companies
We are serving girls ages 9-13 who are interested in engineering or jus interested
in playing a fun computer game. Girls in our target age range will benefit from this
project, also if it is a big seller the computer game industry will benefit. The engineering
community may also benefit by having new people (women) interested in the field. The
computer game industry will receive the deliverables/outcomes and then girls ages 9-13
or anyone else who buys the game will receive the outcomes.
The stakeholders that are involved with our project include
the Anita Borg Institute because we are helping with their goal of promoting
women in technology. EPICS is also a stakeholder because the success of our
project will reflect upon the EPICS program. Also we ourselves as a group are
stakeholders because we put so much work in, it is important for us to see it
benefit all these young women.