Olympus is built on the following four pillars of design:
Ancient Greek Setting
- Active Play
Active play based on a natural mapping of physical actions to in-game actions using "off-the-shelf" input devices, including a dancepad for lower-body input and WiiMote/nunchuk for upper-body input. There is also a passive input version of the game that uses the more traditional XBOX 360 controller for all game input.
- Self-Determination Features
Game features based on the Self-Determination Theory that can be turned off and on during the research study (see below), including:
- Customizable Avatar - player can modify their avatar appearance
- Choice in difficulty - player can choose between easy, medium, and hard levels of difficulty
- Choice in RPG level-up system - player can donate treasure to Greek gods to increase strength, speed, and resilience)
- More choice in dialog system - player has additional choice in interactions with NPCs
- Heroism meter - heroism reflects how well player is doing. It goes up as player accomplish tasks successfully and goes down as the player does poorly.
- Dynamic challenge adjustment - the level of difficulty goes up or down based on the players performance (mapped to heroism) to keep the player in the flow state
- Achievements - player can earn achievement badges as they play the game and perform certain tasks well
- Renown - renown reflects the player's progress in the game. As renown increases, NPCs will give the player more respect
- Voice-over - in addition to text-based dialog, the NPCs are voice-acted
- Supportive dialog - the NPCs provide supportive comments to the player
The game features a compelling 3D world, rich in the history and mythology of ancient Greece.
Story-driven, Action/Adventure Gameplay with lite-RPG mechanics
Player takes on the role of a young adult in Ancient Greece, where athletes are celebrated as heroes, the citizenry struggle to form the foundations of politics, philosophy, science, and the arts, and the stability of the society is always threatened by the childish and maniacal ways of the feuding gods. In this role, the player embarks on a heroic quest to free his (or her) sister, protect his home, and preserve the democratic society he has grown to love.
The primary target audience for Olympus is inactive and/or overweight college students, age 17-25. The fantasy elements, setting, and style of gameplay will attract both male and female casual and experienced game players.
The final game platform is yet to be determined but most likely will be Windows/Mac.
The development version of the game currently requires the following setup:
- Intel-based Macintosh
- 4GB RAM of more
- Mac OS X 10.5 or newer
- Active Version
- Passive Version
- XBox 360 USB Wired controller