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WV Quest: The quest to create the WV State Museum Interactive Game

MonRiverGames is working in collaboration with capstone students, faculty, and volunteers to imagine an interactive game app for the WV State Museum. All though it’s still in production, ideas, prototypes, and the actual build of the game itself is in full force.

The basis of the app is simple; create a program that will work in partnership with the museum. As students and visitors make their way through the different exhibits within the museum, mini-games centered around the respective exhibit will be available for play. Through completing these mini-games and tasks, a reward-like system will allow students to unlock and earn prizes within the game. The app aims to increase museum engagement and education of the visitors.

West Virginia University capstone students from a multitude of disciplines have combined efforts to bring this game to life. Students from computer science, media, art, sound, and design backgrounds have put their heads together to work on this project. Through collaborative efforts, the mini-games and updates to the game are in full-force.

Some specific recent updates to the game include an overhaul of the existing UX/UI design, mini-game concepts and creation, and asset creation for the app as a whole and specific mini-games.

My individual efforts thus far this semester have been focused on creating a mini-game for the Prehistory section of the museum. The proposed concept is in a mining-like game that allows students to virtually dig up the fossils that are found in the museum. This game would highlight and teach the process it took to find the fossils featured and further educate visitors on additional information and facts.

Other computer science students' goals for their respective work towards WV Quest are as follows:

Benjamin Bradford will be working on the "Frontier 1754-1860" exhibit's mini-game. As a junior programmer on the team, he hopes to familiarize himself with the game and game-engine to create a fun and engaging mini-game. The working game concept for his game is a state trivia experience led by Paul Revere.

Harrison York aims to work on the "Prehistory" mini-game by expanding on the dig/mining concept and develop an interactive fossil hunt game.

Jayanth Dhage has tasked himself with the "State Capital" exhibit's mini-game. He hopes to create an engaging game once knowledgeable on the game and game-engine.

Masashi Takahashi's efforts are focused on the "Industrialization" mini-game, as well as being a peer lead for the group.

David Clark is focused on the cyber-security of the app. Through research, he plans to improve on the existing security of the WV Quest app. He also plans to develop a mini-game of his own based on the "Civil War" area of the museum.

The timeline until the app is implemented into the museum is currently up in the air. However, with the time and effort students and faculty are putting into this game, release should be expected soon. The combined team of art, media, and computer science students are working diligently to bring this game to life and into the hands of people all over.

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