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Author Topic: Wall of text explaining my project... social gathering place for support groups  (Read 2718 times)

morfiction

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Hello. My name is Michael Woodard, but my friends in Recovery call me "Mick." I am 38 years old and I am on Social Security Disability for Mental Health as well as severe Learning Disabilities since childhood. In fact I was put into small classes since 1st grade up to 11th. At about the age of twelve I started a long, slippery slope in the "System" by becoming a client of a Child Pyschologist. For five years I struggled in the working world trying to find a job despite my mental & emotional challenges. I needed therapy & medication so I sought a job to get insurance. When I realized I could get these things without working, I devoted myself to assisting & facilitating others who like me were disabled.

At 20 years of age I learned how to drive. It took me longer because I was stubborn about wearing my glasses until I couldn't see well enough to read what was on  the blackboard from the front row of class even with them on. After five years, on a whim after visiting a Crisis Center I saw an ad for Reach Out Foundation which at the time was located in Morrisville.

Founded in 1996 by Kathy Sharp who retired this summer of 2016 and is now in the capable hands  of the charismatic Douglas Hicks. Mr. Hicks has previously worked as a Correctional Officer and is now the owner of a recovery house in Croydon called "Kingdom House" as well as the new Executive Director of Reach Out Foundation. Kathy is enjoying her life in retirement with her children in Tom's River of New Jersey. Long Live the Queen of RO!

Change can be a vital thing in life. When RO began Kathy met fierce skepticism. "They thought we'd all run around naked and paint ourselves GREEN!" she has told me many times of the old days. They went from the basements of churches to "Upstairs" to "Downstairs" in their spacious Morrisville location to a more modest one in Penndel after many budget cuts. RO now operates hand-to-mouth trying to find funding.

Back to myself. My newest project right now is to design a 3D meeting place for a support group/ drop in center called The Reach Out Foundation which is located in a busy section of Penndel, Pennsylvania of Bucks County. Their website is ROFbucks.com. I have designed a discussion forum online at http://rofbucks.freeforums.net


A famous little tidbit of Kathy's that discouraged us "consumers" from treating the place as a dating group was "Two Sickies Don't Make a Welly." How true, how trure. "Reach Out is one of about 30 mental-health drop-in centers across Pennsylvania run by the consumers who use their services. It has grown slowly over the last 15 years (circa 2011) since Kathy Sharp, the executive director, tired of the long haul to central Montgomery County to attend a bipolar support group and decided to start her own in lower Bucks County."  http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-06/news/29859032_ 1_mental-health-center-volunteer-groups

In the past, we were, "Situated in a nondescript strip mall in Morrisville, Reach Out logged about 15,000 visits last year - no appointments needed, no fees charged. Those who are struggling can simply drop in, grab a cup of coffee, and sit in on any of the groups, where the talk centers on such subjects as depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, even painting and poetry as palliatives." 

I have come to privately think of those at RO as a "ROFpack" (Pronounced like "Froth" without the F.)  It's a second family. A place where "Everone Knows Your Name" which isn't a bar for goodness sake!

Back in 2007 I videotaped using my trusty VHS-C Panasonic camcorder the interior of our real life meeting place and screenshotted the results for prestige. It is common in the new meeting place to talk about how things were in the old one but it is not the same as being there when it was what it was.

The idea plainly enough is a bunch of pre-rendered backdrops where the walls show off a 2D series of shots depending on what was there in that relative space. I will need to model some couches and chairs to sit in for example. And clicking on a part of the pictures will show a small customizable rememberance gump to show how many people recall that scene and any sentiments they'd like to express seeing it again has for them. The avatars will be in 3D but drab. The attention is given to what each person says rather than what they look like or great exploits of derring do they can perform.

Outside this space and the building is a "Martian" hostile landscape with monsters forged from concepts relating to mental illness or other abusive forces are shown on the field as such.

 I was told to stress that it is a community service environment I want to create. It has a message and the "deluxe version should be playable on a PC within reason. The other side of a coin would be a custom chatroom where the pictures are viewable as 2D images in a basic setting where less powerful computers or mobile platforms will be able to represent the fundementals. Anyway, the chat content will carry over side-by-side no matter using Basic or Deluxe "clients"? Deluxe being from Hero Engine.

It would be interesting if other projects could pay homage to themselves and their themes. Say a barbarian and a mage from game X & Y respectively sat down to talk about how they are irked by the humdrum of PVP trash talk. Or some such.

It will be small simulation. A Multiplayer Online environment, more at a place for hosting support groups, but not Massive.

morfiction

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Would anyone like to volunteer?

Amanda_Brooks

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I'm not sure if I quite follow this - are you making this as a game, or something more like a visual chat room?
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morfiction

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Virtual Meeting Place or what you said "Visual Chat Room."

Its for mental health. Doing it for a local non profit.



Here's a sample of the way things go.

You walk in thru the two blue wooden doors, then you're in a vestibule. The volunteer at the desk can see you
come in plus the fact a cowbell is looped around the inner door handle to announce a new comer. You walk thru two open white doors and sign in on the sheet. NAME / CITY ? COUNTY / INSURANCE PROVIDER / TIME iN / TIME OUT

The main meeting area is a circle of couches and some chairs. This is in the North West corner of the large meeting room. Along the west wall there were some computers. Cubicles for workers were located in some spots. In the North East corner behind the volunteer desk is the library area which is a secondary meeting area.

Bathrooms and kichenette are on the east side thru a door. I would like a couple of NPCs to represent a man and woman who attend groups. Two more avatars represent employees. Yet another two, in their early twenties, also help out. Then there's the office clerk and the executive director. They work in the cubicles or in the office to the left of the kitchen.

During group, people sit in the meeting area in the circle. First they go around the  room either clockwise or counter-clockwise saying how their day or week has been. After everyone has their turn, there's the topic of discussion. People raise their hand to have a turn answering the question.

I'll pick up some material for how groups are run, faciltating packages, and the Serenity Prayer.
« Last Edit: Aug 30, 16, 06:19:37 PM by morfiction »
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morfiction

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I wish I knew what I was doing.

Amarak

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Well, you have a concept. In Heroengine you need assets, like the building, the chairs, the characters...
There are two approaches to this, depending on if you are a coder or an artist. A coder tends to get systems in place, then adds art later, while an artist usually tries to get some assets in place, then work on code to make them function.
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Prometheus2012

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The assets are easy.

The coding is what counts. Something like this should be quite simple to implement if it is just a virtual hangout. I mean heck, you can do that in HE from day 1 just by having a bunch of people meet in the same area.

This is probably the most simple kind of "game" you could design and make as it requires virtually no game mechanics other than walking around and chat.

morfiction

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It embarassses me to admit some of my favorite games are now really retro and in some cases infaomus.
Games like Who Framed Roger Rabbit for NES, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for NES, Deja VU, the Uninvited,
Shadowrun for SNES, Maniac Mansion, King's Quest V.

Each one had some unique GUIs. Lots of them were point and click.