Where the Family Business meets the "Family Business"
Class: Capstone I - 2019-2020
Instructor: Matt Boch Burgess Voshell Winnie Song
Mop-a-Mia is an episodic, single player narrative RPG solo developed over the course of two semesters. Inspired by a 2019 GDC talk by Grace Bruxner on genre subversion for comedy in games, Mafia crime films, Jones/Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and 1970s-1990s sitcoms, the game was meant to subvert both cinematic cliches and traditional input systems.
While currently a point-and-click experience with a primary focus on small moments of dialogue and interactions between characters and the environment, Mop-a-Mia was initially (and will be again eventually) a motion controlled game that explored “Incomplete Tangible Natural Mapping”, or using controllers to map player movement to in-game inputs in a way that feels natural and accurate. By utilizing gyroscopic data and vibration settings on Nintendo Joy Cons, Mop-a-Mia’s core mechanic was picking up and using in-game items by mimicking motions one would do when using the same items in the real world. Pulling the Joy Cons closer to your body resulted in dragging actions, rotating the Joy Cons rotated held items, etc.
The current global pandemic was the driving factor in scrapping all motion controls and redirecting gameplay towards a more remote-friendly play experience. That said, the original game seed and concept pitch of Mop-a-Mia is continuing development with the hopes of being played in its intended form in the near future. Additionally, the episodic format means that the sitcom-esq ensemble cast of character in Mop-a-Mia and the world it takes place is actively being expanded and will be explorable in future iterations of the game.
This is essentially the “Pilot Episode”, stay tuned for more!