As we finish our last full week of Centreterm, I pause to reflect on how great it was working with this group of students. Prior to this project, I have had mixed feelings about group projects. Most good, but a few bad reservations. Working with this group was a great experience that I will cherish for my duration at Centre. On the first day of meeting with our group, we were struggling to find commonalities. One thing we had in common was that we like video games. We even didn’t share any favorite video games. This is what made the chemistry of Team Senseless Violence so good. Every member in Team Senseless Violence had a different specialty. Due to our diverse backgrounds and our different likes, we were able to be a multifaceted and dynamic group. On the second day of class, we added Mackenzie to Team Senseless Violence. She helped to further diversify the group, and support our team-like mentality.
At the beginning of the term, it felt like we discussed every group of people to do for our project. We discussed everything from the ancient Greeks to the Cold War Americans. It was only a few days into research when we decided to do a project on the ‘Wild West.’ Retrospectively this was the best possible option for the group. We were able to brainstorm for a day or two before we made any major decisions. Our first major decision for the video game was to make one of our main characters the notorious Billy the Kid. We thought that this would help us best convey a historical video game, because there were so many primary and secondary sources on Billy the Kid. After we decided on Billy the Kid, we believed that it would be interesting to entertain the possibility of more than one main character. This led us to discussions about how it could help us to portray a more comprehensive landscape of the ‘Wild West.’
After we were married to the idea of having multiple characters, we decided to include two more characters in addition to Billy the Kid. To create a deeper plot, we decided to add a lawman. This lawman is a manifestation of secondary sources on Pat Garrett. We wanted to take a few artistic liberties with the creation of Pat Garrett, so we decided to rename him Jameson. Throughout our video game, we portray actual stories about both Garett and Billy the Kid. These stories are from primary sources like wanted posters, but mostly from secondary sources. Our final character is the glue for our story. We decided to make the last character a saloon ‘dance worker.’ This character is completely fabricated.She was a creation of our group. We tried to use different stories about dance workers in the ‘Wild West’ to influence her. Once we decided to use these three characters, the rest was easy.
The most difficult part of the project, so far, has been deciding our characters and our setting. Once we decided those parts of the video game, the dialogue was easy to write. Mackenzie and I focused on the writing aspect of the project. We would bounce ideas off one another and writing for these characters became effortless, it never felt like homework to me. We could sit down and type dialogue for hours and it would feel like minutes. Tori is currently implementing our dialogue into the video game, with some help from Evan when needed. Evan and Clay focused on primary and secondary sources for the game.
Team Senseless Violence was able to come together with the shared goal of creating a fun, historically accurate video game. It was a pleasure working with these great men and women, and I will truly miss the camaraderie our group shared.
All the best,
Z. Leland Gray