Quest for Arete is a game produced on the Inform 7 platform that explores the use of Interactive Fiction to tell one story, over 10 episodes, to foster understanding of social justice and ethical living. As a Game for Change, Quest for Arete challenges users to think about attributes like honesty, magnanimity, and temperance to promote personal growth through meaningful engagement with each virtue.
The game was produced by students in the Fall 2020 Video Game Theories and History class offered by the CMDC Program at WSU Vancouver. It was enhanced for AdvXJam by 13 of these students who published Version 2.0 of Quest for Arete on the itch.io game platform. In addition to producing the game, the students created a logo, trailer, 3D animated logo, hand-coded project site with a walkthrough to assist new users, and art to complement the game’s rich language and complex game mechanics.
I was personally involved with many different aspects of this project. I originally designed the Justice Room, Heliaia, with Andrew Thompson in Version 1.0 of our game. Once our Phase 2 development team emerged, Andrew became our Lead Developer and I stepped into the role of Lead Writer. Together we lead teams that edited and re-designed aspects across each of the 10 virtue rooms and our hub locations. This work culminated in the release of Version 2.0 and marked the start of our push for Version 3.0.
In Phase 3 my role evolved as we introduced art for each game space, finished story edits, fine-tuned game mechanics, and created a re-imagined ending that felt intentional and appropriate for our overall user experience. I produced weekly progress reports for our synchronous and asynchronous team members in addition to maintaining productivity and coordinating assets across specialized teams during our scheduled weekly work sessions. Publishing Version 3.1 in March of 2021 was a huge achievement for our team because we were able to achieve all of the production goals we set for ourselves at the very beginning of working towards Version 2.0. Working on this project has helped me grow as a writer, designer, and producer of complex, meaningful projects.
Jazz Jackson, Betsy Hanrahan, Elyse Mollahan, Viet Anh Nguyen, Preston Reed, David Sabrowski, Drew Swanson, Andrew Thompson, Brandan Touhey, Craig Vesterby, Keegan Walden, and Ruth Woodcock.
Crimson Award (1st Place) at WSU’s Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) in the Humanities Category 2021