This week, I worked on writing dialogue for the game and building the beta version for playtesting.

Writing progress

Once I finished building the system to support writing dialogue, I continued fleshing out dialogue for the game. After feedback from my narrative design class, I decided to incorporate the quiz into the game’s dialog rather than asking questions all at once. I’m continuing to experiment with balance and figure out how much dialog is too much. Playtesting will be very helpful!

I also fleshed out more information about some of the characters in the game. This is a continuous work in progress, as I’m writing a lot! Check out the Evernote document to see my progress.

Texting interface and visual updates

I finally got the texting interface to work. Both dialogue systems are now done! I was very excited when I got everything working because I wasn’t sure I could get the interfaces done in time. I am now able to plug in dialog from Google Sheets at will – all I have to do is change the dialog type.

Latest designs:

Next, I plan to test the design across an array of devices and continue to write. I also want to see if I can figure out a way to integrate iconography in the narrative dialog sequences. I might make it dynamic so that images show up if space is available. Hmm!

Codifying data from RA study + RA interviews

My UX research partner, Laura, helped me codify information from my survey into 4 areas:

  • Tension, stress, and competition
  • Positivity, gratitude
  • Group, community, teamwork
  • Leadership, role model

Most of the 40 RAs who filled out the survey mentioned things that fell into these categories.

During and after Laura summarized the study information for me, I interviewed her and her friend Ian about their experiences as RAs. Below are some notes from both activities.


  • All RAs had to take orientation each year.
  • Focused around team-building & getting to know each other
  • One activity: Everyone got into a circle. People stepped into the circle if the statements read out applied to them. E.g. “you’re mixed race”, “you’re a victim of sexual assault”, “your grandparents grew up poor”
  • One activity: Given a scenario, figure out if it was ethical. E.g. “Should RA’s date? If they do, should they tell their Area Directors?”
  • 2 week long orientation.
  • A few (2-3) 1-3 hour lectures per day, followed by team-building exercises at the end of each day, then some simulation activities on the last few days. E.g. Students would go to a door and there would be a scenario taped on it.
  • Example day: Lecture, lunch, activity, lecture, dinner, lecture, exercise.
  • Most of the information was useful.


  • Floor meeting with all residents to introduce each other and discuss/decide on rules. Happens at beginning and end of year. Bathrooms, music, etc.
  • 20 people for 1 RA.

Interview Process

  • Group interviews
  • Rigorous, competitive
  • Invasive questions
  • Hard skills & soft skills both required
  • Collaborative
  • “Team player”


  • Less qualified people get through, can cause friction
  • Wanting to be in power
  • Door decks required for all residents (Put your name on the door so RAs know who you are)
  • Not noticing situations were happening (Rape, drugs, etc)
  • Guilt for not being able to do everything
  • Waking up to a scream, room break-in

Dynamics of transitioning into the role

  • Friction between you and your peers (same age, different power level)
  • Not being invited to parties
  • Different dorms had different personalities
  • Make a lot of good friends, talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to
  • Power and responsibility
  • New enemies made out of people you never meet (vandalism, complaints, tearing down papers, etc.)
  • Stigma
  • Personal growth
  • Learn to be more assertive
  • Mentoring role
  • Enforce rules you disagree with
  • Emotionally-draining, compassion fatigue
  • RA support system


  • Community events (“programs”)
  • Mandatory to run a certain number of programs per semester (quota for both academic & social)
  • Getting residents to join academic programs which was hard unless it was about sex (they gave out condoms)
  • Study events, tea events, etc.
  • Dorms would team up to run parties, but those didn’t have alcohol
  • Residents would have house parties where people drank
  • Open door to consult with students

RA duty

  • On duty 2-3x per month
  • Given a phone
  • Can be in charge of the building on any day of the week from 10PM to 7AM (you can’t leave)
  • If someone is locked out, suffering from alcohol poisoning, needs condoms, they come to you & knock on your door, not their normal RA’s.
  • “Rounds”: every 1.5-2 hours, go through all the bathrooms and check the stalls + showers to makes sure no one was dead/poisoned.

Area director

  • Staff member
  • Gets paid, lives in the dorm

Accountability partner

Lauren is continuing to help me troubleshoot some bugs in my game code. I am also helping to advise her during the process of setting up her hackathon.

Thesis paper intro & body

I didn’t progress much this week on my thesis paper. I was largely focused on writing dialogue and building the game. The current version of the paper can be downloaded as a PDF.

Next week, I’ll have more of the paper written. I also plan to map out the rooms in which characters live. Wish me luck!