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Planning the Perfect Heist: Designing Procedural Documentation

What Are We Doing?


For this project, you will be tasked (individually, or in groups of 2-4) with developing procedural documentation for a level of the game Monaco (preferably one of the first 2-3 to make reaching those levels easier in class). This will be done in two parts: (1) a walkthrough of one of the levels of the game with one character per group member accounted for, and (2) a reflection on the process of creating a walkthrough for one of Monacos levels, and the use of another students documentation. (NOTE: groups of more than 1 will all need the Steam edition of the game to play together simultaneously and will write instructions for multi-player heists, not a single character.)

How Are We Doing It?


In short, youll: 1.) Play the first few levels of Monaco. 2.) Choose a level you want to design documentation/a walkthrough for. 3.) Play the level again with documenting the completion of a level with a specific goal in mind (How do you get all the gold? Whats the fastest way through the level? Which character(s) work best in a given level? etc.). 4.) Play through a level, this time relying on someone elses documentation. 5.) Write a reflection on the process of designing procedural documentation for the game, and using the documentation crafted by your peers (What worked? What didnt? What elements do you value in documentation, be it your own or someone elses?)

What is Expected?
My expectation is for your project to provide answers to the following questions. Doing exceptionally well at these things will most likely lead to an strong grade on this project: 1. Does this project exhibit a concrete understanding of the genre of procedural documentation? 2. Is the formatting of this documentation consistent and user-friendly? 3. Does this project exhibit a knowledge of the needs of its audience to play Monaco with a specific goal in mind? 4. Does this project incorporate images, screenshots, or accompanying visual components successfully?

Why Are We Doing This Project?


How many times while playing Braid, LIMBO, Thomas Was Alone, Little Inferno or any game did you need to check something online to get past where you were stuck? If the answer is more than none, youve engaged with a shockingly prevalent form of writing within the gaming community that goes by a fancier name in other contexts: procedural documentation. For our final project we will be making videogame play our main focus and taking part in a common composing practice in gaming that translates directly to countless contexts, including the development of wiki pages, study guides, and professional writing among others.

Requirements: 500 word minimum reflection on your experiences playing, writing documentation for, and working with someone elses documentation of, a level in Monaco. (1 per person) This is a hardline minimum. Not meeting the required 500 words (which does not include headers or marginalia) will result in steep penalties to your projects grade. 250 word minimum documentation describing how to complete your level in a given way. (1 per group). See above regarding word count. Formatting: Times New Roman, 12 pt, MLA header, Double spaced.

Logistics

Grade Breakdown
Project Total: 200 Points 70 Points: Documentation whose audience is easily identifiable and with a specific goal indicated and integrated throughout the written text (Speed run? Best character(s) for a level? 100% gold in a level?) 50 Points: Clarity and structure of procedural documentation ease of use. 40 Points: Exhibition/evidence of Drafting Process (drafts of content provided). 20 Points: Successful incorporation of visual elements. 20 Points: Mechanical Elements (spelling, grammar, etc.).

Plans and Due Dates


Tuesday, November 26th Play Monaco In Class Begin Documentation Thursday November 28th NO CLASS! Happy Thanksgiving! Tuesday, December 3rd Documentation Due for Exchange Play Monaco to Test Peers Documentation Thursday, December 5th Play Monaco In Class, Project 4 Materials (Reflection, Documentation, Drafts) Due Finals Week: Revisions of Project 1-3 Due By Friday, December 13th