Game Development

Mission Statement

Good games are fun experiences which hold the interest of the player. Great games use that invested interest to tell a story, teach a lesson, or explore an idea. All games succeed or fail based on the merits of their fundamental mechanics. Even if the story deserves a Booker and the art makes your screen feel more like a window, muddling through convoluted levels mashing unintuitive controls all while navigating a useless UI ruins the experience.While plenty of games survive on their mechanics alone (Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris), our challenge is to present the history of the Boston Massacre in an engaging, interactive platform that complements the exhibits of the Old State House Museum.

With all this in mind, the Game Development team has three primary goals:

  1. Remove barriers between the player and our vision of the Massacre.
  2. Create an experience that entices users to explore the Massacre’s historical corpus.
  3. Present a sound Minimally Viable Product attractive to the State House Museum.

The first step towards our goals is designing intuitive controls that are easy to explain. A quick opening sequence will demonstrate how to move the player, interact with game world, recognize UI events, and navigate the menus.

  • Determine control layout
    • Keyboard/Mouse
    • Gamepad *
  • Add static UI elements
    • Quest Log
    • Mini-map
    • Compass *
  • Additional UI Elements
    • Opening tutorial
    • Deposition archive
    • Map


Laying the groundwork for effective storytelling is imperative. The player needs to understand what they are meant to be doing at all times. Pertinent and concise UI messages will inform the player of their current objective, which will always be available in an informative but unobtrusive quest log. A map will help to situate the player in the world and indicate the location of points of interest. Triggers in the game will advance the plot and update relevant UI elements as quests are completed.

This goal involves the following concrete actions:

  • Storytelling UI → Twine or Scripting
  • Triggers at different points that open a UI element
  • Triggers that cause character interaction/animation


Finding, receiving, and reviewing depositions is a critical mechanic of our game. The player will need to interact with NPCs in a smooth and intuitive fashion in order to take these depositions, which then need to be available later in an easily navigable interface. The depositions, along with the decisions of the player, will determine the outcome of the game and how the Massacre is portrayed. The player should have some means of interacting with texts that make reading them less of a chore and more of a compelling aspect of the game mechanics.

This goal involves the following concrete actions:

  • Work with “database” to store and access depositions
  • UI element to view depositions
  • UI element to save deposition


Finally, the locations and set pieces of the game world need to be as historically accurate as possible. Our choice of assets will need to be based in firm research of the time period whenever possible. The exterior environment of King’s street will be based off maps from the 18th century and the scale should be as close as reasonably possible. Since we won’t recreate the entirety of Boston, the limits of our world should present logical, justifiable blockages which prevent the player from wandering off the map and do not appear visually jarring. Our interior environments should appear to fit with the materials and design choices of the era as much as possible.

This goal involves the following concrete actions:

  • Lighting and texturing
    • Indoor tavern
    • General outdoor area (King’s Street)
  • Research into accurate historical timepieces


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