Today I would like to send a thoughtful goodbye to everyone in the class. This short term was truly a blast. The interesting personalities that every single person brought to the room helped feed into an interactive, fun, yet informative class. So for this, I say thank you.
I would also like to discuss how this class has changed my perspective on video games. Before this class, when I would play a video game I was not focused on the historical consideration that goes into the game. The background was merely a setting for the fun game I was playing. Discussion of how certain games such as Assassins Creed and Bioshock use history to shape or inspire some aspect of its play along with creating our own game have really given me a new appreciation for the validity of video games being a means of displaying or portraying history.
Today I am going to talk about character creation on RPGmaker MV. Through this post I will also give an update on Group Desolation and how our game is coming along.
In our internment camp we are using 20 non player characters; these characters include children, adults and guards that will populate the camps. The character creation design offered by RPGMaker MV lends itself to many challenges. the challenges do not lie in the functionality of the creation however they lie in the decisions about the actual characters’s appearances. One of the first challenges that I came across was the limited skin color selection. There are probably three realistic skin tones, two being two shades of Caucasian skin and another that is a generic brown tone that can be used for a variety of races. For our Japanese internment camp, this tone seemed most appropriate for the group we are working with. Another part of the creation process that I find important to discuss is the hair style choice given for each character. In the RPGMaker character creator , there are two different sections that the hair is broken into; these are the front and back hair. In most of the choices offered for the front hair, there are only long and straight options. I cannot say that I can ask for much more out of this game maker. On the map these character will look more pixelated and reminiscent of Gameboy era Pokemon games in its graphics. Creating male children has been another challenge of the the RPGmaker, so far I have not found a way to make a child that is male. There is only one hairstyle that is offered for the child character on RPGmaker. If this problem continues then the players will be created as adults and made to look as young as possible with the knowing that it is not accurate.
Beyond creating the character, to create interaction with the main character come in the form of events. These events can be used to create a variety of situations involving the main player. These events can range form a simple text interaction upon touching the character to creating a shop function and exchanging goods for currency. So far no actual coding has been needed to accomplish our basic request at this point. The game has began to see its early form setting into place. The script and storyline is near complete; once the script has been completed we can then begin to start linking the script to events with npc’s on the map. That will set the main basis of the game; the majority of the game will rely on interaction with the surrounding players in the map.
As a group we have taken roles in the portfolio due at the end of the term. We have divided the parts up and assigned sections to each person. We are on schedule to produce a game and portfolio as scheduled at this point.
Today, I would like to discuss a particular aspect of the research that I have been doing about Japanese – American people during WWII. As the rising tension between America and Japan peaked as the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, the aftermath left America in great peril. The propaganda pushed anti – Japanese ideas and caused the climate of America to point towards Japanese fear and questioning. This feeling towards the Japanese led to the creation of internment camps. These camps housed people of Japanese ancestry that were living in the United States. The included people in this relocation effort were all people of Japanese ancestry that were healthy enough to be relocated. Of the peoples housed in these camps the population is historically divided into two fundamental groups. The Issei are first generation, Japanese immigrants, and the Nisei. The Nisei are the second generation Japanese – Americans. This group was typically born in America and began schooling in America also; there is a group of Nisei that was born in America but had schooling back in Japan. When the word spread that people of Japanese ancestry would be relocated to internment camps, many Issei did not believe this order would include their children due to them being born in America and being full citizens. Nisei, however were placed in camps for there possible connection to the homeland of Japan.
The two groups, the Issei and Nisei are described as having different mindsets about going to the internment camps and being under the restrictions that the United States government placed these individuals under. The Issei were generally unbothered and non-confrontational about the matter. They believed this non-confrontational approach was the best method to take against the matter. One account from an Issei inside an internment camp spoke to some of the reason why he has accepted his role inside the camp. He makes the point that outside the camp, the Japanese people faced a great deal of prejudice and discrimination against them due to the anti – Japanese climate in post-Pearl Harbor America. This observation by the Issei brings up an interesting thought inside the minds of people of his generation; many Issei came to America with very little and had worked their way into developing a steady income in America. Through this hard work these individuals faced a lot injustice that made the conditions of the internment camps not as bad comparably. The Nisei were not as receptive to the relocation such as the older generation. This group had seen more freedom on the outside of the internment camps and did not feel like they belonged in the camps due to their lack of direct connection to Japan. In the book, Infamy: A Story Untold, the author writes of the large number of Nisei youngmen that were taunted with the idea of a all – Nisei combat regiment. Joining this combat team was meant to show their loyalty to the United States and not to Japan. This issue played a large role in dividing the Issei and Nisei; many Nisei were faced with the conflicting ideas of serving in the combat team to show their loyalty to America, or not serving as many of their parents wished and proving “disloyal” to America. Propaganda heavily reinforced the idea that Nisei serving in the Army was their “golden opportunity” to secure their futures as Americans. This left many Nisei with the choice of going against their parents will to be safe and joining the combat team due to all the propaganda pointing to it being the right thing to do to show American loyalty.
The two groups, Issei and Nisei, both had different thoughts about being in the internment camps and on the inside of camps this caused friction and really divided the group as a whole. Inside the camps the two groups functioned as two separate entities and each had self-sufficient governments with elected officials. The Issei and Nisei were not largely different people; however, their different upbringing and place in America was enough to divide these groups on a greater level.
I would like to give an update on the progress that Group Desolation has made on our video game. At this point, we have decided that we are going to use the RPG maker software to create our game. We feel as though this platform goes beyond the text story setup of twine, but does not reach the complexity of gamemaker. We have decided to base our game in a Japanese interment camp during WWII at come location on the west coast, After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1943, fear of Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants grew to the point that the United States ordered the construction of 10 interment camps throughout the united states. The camps housed both naturalized Japanese-American citizens and Japanese immigrants. In our game we will have the layout of the map based on the construction of one of these actual internment camps. Camps were located in barren, isolated places in the United States. The location of these camps inspired our group name, Desolation. This word points at not only the physical setting of the camps but also the feeling that was left in many of the people housed in these camps.
One of our thoughts on the actual game, and how we will go about the storyline is to create the backstory that the main character has some reason that he wants to return home. The objective of the game will be to escape from the camp and return home. To reach the objective, the player must complete various tasks around the camp; complete each task will gain the player a favor or a certain object needed to secure his escape. Through these different tasks the player is asked to complete we hope to capture a somewhat accurate depiction of what life in one of these internment camps would be like. To get a better understanding of what life was like in one of these camps, we checked out a few books that contain personal diaries of people that were detained in these camps. We also have a book that tells the little known details of the internment camps written from an officer in charge of the camps’s perspective. Through reading through those sources along with other books that give more information about the conditions of the camps in general, we feel as though we will have a good bit of information to solidify the actual story that will go into the game.
As a group we will meet again on Sunday to make preliminary decisions on what each person would like to see in the game. Each person is tasked with going through their books and making notes on the conditions and life of an internment camp. With that being done, we will better be able to determine what subject matter will be beneficial to the game. Another task that we have as a group is for everyone to download RPG maker and play around with the software to see what is possible to be accomplished using the software. We have a solid foundation laid out for producing a good game to this point and ready to start diving into the more specific details of the game to see how much we can actually accomplish with the game.