The I.T. Life is an educational game with RPG elements. It aims to put the player in the shoes of an IT Technician and simulates the sort of jobs and scenarios via missions. The game's missions will be based on hardware and software scenarios. All missions will have rewards such as in-game money, experience, and special items. They will also be able to spend their in-game cash on new housing, furniture, and other cosmetics. Other purchasable items will be added in the future.
1. Game Mechanics
The mechanics of the game will be a combination of the simulation, arcade, and RPG genres. Simulation will focus on mainly the scenarios that the player must acknowledge and perform to complete the mission. There will be arcade-like elements in the project and its missions so that the project “feels” more like a game than an educational application, such as scores and ranks. The RPG elements also makes the project feel more like a game in a way where the player will want to go back and keep playing. The player initially plays the role of a fresh-graduated I.T. professional and begins with an apartment, the basic tools needed such as a Laptop/PC and basic amenities. The player may also purchase better housing and amenities; however, it will increase the monthly housing fee. The player loses the game if he/she is bankrupt and the monthly fee’s date has been reached.
2. Development Software and Hardware
The development project will be built using Unity3D for the respective platforms. For the backend and frontend programming, C# Language will be used along with Visual Studio 2017. 3D models will be created from scratch using Autodesk Maya 2018 (Student License). The User Interface and other graphics will be produced using Adobe Photoshop and in-game rendered images.
The hardware required in order for the project to progress normally are mid-end computers in order to model, design, program, and build the application.
3. Mission System
In-game missions are considered jobs that the player can do, such as troubleshooting a blue screen of death, cleaning the hardware of a PC, finding and destroying a virus, and more. The mission system will be random and will be displayed as a notification in the player’s in-game smartphone or laptop/PC. From there, the player can choose what mission to take and can view the difficulty level of each mission, which is ranked from Basic, Normal, Intermediate, Advanced, Pro. The higher the difficulty level, the more in-game experience and simulated experience in real life. Mission rewards will always be composed of experience and in-game currency; however, some advanced missions will require a higher rank and/or specific equipment to accept. The player can fail if they do not complete the mission in time or number of trial and error attempts, such as a hardware component being damaged or accidentally refreshing the operating system.
4. Level and Rank System
The level system will prevent players from accepting very advanced missions that require the player to have a higher knowledge rank. If the player reaches the level limit, such as level 20, the player is eligible to take an IT examination which as topics related to the missions previously done that is appropriate for the player’s level. Upon passing the examination, the player’s knowledge rank increases and can accept more difficult, but high-paying, missions. The maximum level that can be achieved is 100 and one examination will be required every 20 levels, (e.g. you must pass the Intermediate exam at level 19 before you level up to 20).
5. Examination System
The examination will include real topics and scenarios of the previous missions that the player has done, depending on the scope of the mission difficulties. Optionally, at the beginning of the game, an examination can be included to assess the player’s actual knowledge in the Information Technology field and will calculate the knowledge rank.
The examinations will always be multiple choice, however the questions to be added will be randomized and picked from a pool of questions to prevent repetitiveness. The examinations will also have a 6-hour cooldown so that the player cannot repeatedly retry the exam upon failure.
6. In-Game Currency
The In-Game currency is an aesthetic of many RPG simulators and games. As mentioned previously, the player can spend in-game currency on amenities such as furniture, food, and equipment. The project will feature a housing system where the player can purchase a new house and leave the starting apartment and all housing will have a monthly fee. Every in-game month, the monthly fee will be automatically deducted from the player’s funds. In turn, this will motivate the player to take more missions. If the player is bankrupt and has reached the monthly-fee deadline, the player loses the game.
7. World Travelling
The player can travel to other areas of the game world using the world map, simply by selecting the building to travel to, such as shops, new housing lots, and mission locations. When the player exits its current location, the world map will appear for the player to choose the next destination.
8. Education Edition
While the project is to develop an educational game, the missions that are created in turn can be included in a standalone version of the project, known as the “Education Edition.” This version will only have missions and mission tutorials that are freely selectable and will be a standalone application, separate from the main game. This can be used in the College of Computer Studies to assist students in learning the proper methods of troubleshooting with minimal resources required and lowers the chance of damaged resources.