Let’s start with some crucial background about what we are trying to do ??" this will give you a sense of what kind of game we need.
We are researchers at a North-American college, and our research deals with "behavioral" economic experiments with human participants. We are preparing a new experiment to study how people react to advertising that disrupts activities they are engaged in. Specifically, we are interested in evaluating how the attitudes towards a certain brand (eg, Coca-Cola) change according to different conditions we will manipulate during the experiment.
The experiment consists of a game the participants will play; while they are playing the game, an image with a company brand name and logo will appear from time to time on the screen (similar to a pop-up window). The “story?? we will tell participants in the experiment is that we are testing a demo desktop (Windows) version of a new game for mobile phones, and this game is sponsored by brand “X?? (eg, Coca-Cola). The rest of the experiment deals with how we will evaluate the reaction of participants to the brand, but has nothing to do with the game (hence we do not describe the rest of the study here)
In a nutshell, what we need is: 1) a *simple* yet cute game (in flash or java) that must look/feel as if it could be a mobile phone game, and that participants will play during the experiment on a Windows system (they will think they are testing the game); we will also need 2) control on how and when the image with the brand logo and name will appear on the screen while the participant is playing the game (we will call this the “interruptions??).
Some more details follow below about 1) the game and 2) the interruptions.
So, we need these two things:
1. The game. The game can be anything you want. It can even be an existing game that you or other have previously developed, or that you find on the Internet, as long as:
A) it is not widely known/played (because participants in the experiment must believe that we are testing a *new* game)
B) it is *legal* for you and us to use the code of the game (BTW, we are a non-profit Institution and we are not publishing the game; the game will only be used in private experiments, locally, and with a small set of participants)
The game must be very simple and basic yet fun to play. The game must have an element of urgency ??" what we mean is that it must be some sort of action game in which the player needs to pay constant attention to what is happening on the screen. It should be played over “n?? rounds (n being a parameter that we will choose), and must have a decreasing clock on it showing the player how many seconds are left during each round of the game. It should have some sound/visual effects when the player makes a mistake. You can see an example of such a game (in java) here (although this game does not have a clock):
[url removed, login to view]
[You need java SDK installed to run this game. Open a command line and type "java Ex -s 1 ??"g 2". If you want to recompile the software remove all the .class files, and type "javac *.java".]
The above is a simple “jumper?? game in which the player controls two characters that try to "catch" a falling object (currently, a little ball) that falls from the top of a building. The player must catch the ball before it falls on the ground. We are providing this game only as an example of what type of game we need; the game above looks and feels too old and amateurish to be used in the experiment - hence we need something equally simple (in flash or java), but that could credible pass for a mobile phone game.
2. The interruptions. As I wrote above, what we are really studying is how people react to “interruptions?? by an image with a brand logo and name while they are involved in another activity (the game). By “interruption??, we do not literally mean that when the image appears it will momentarily halt the game; rather, the image appears and remain on the screen *while the game is still running*, partially obstructing the view of the game for the player. In other words, the image partially disrupts the game experience like a pop-up window on a website.
We need 2x2=4 versions of such interruptions:
- the image appears during the game and remains on the screen for a fixed amount of time
- the image appears during the game and remains on the screen until the player clicks it away by pressing a certain button for a specified amount of time
- the image appears during the breaks between different rounds of the game, and remains on the screen for a fixed amount of time
- the image appears during the breaks between different rounds of the game, and remains on the screen until the player clicks it away by pressing a certain button for a specified amount of time
To summarize, your deliverable should consist of:
- A simple, fun game (even re-coded from an existing game), simple enough to be credible as a mobile phone game, but to be played on Windows systems, with the characteristics described above.
- The ability to insert “interruptions?? ??" that is, images (selected by us, ideally some jpg) with the logo and name of a company brand, with the characteristics described above.
- A set of controls for us (the researchers) - for instance, a configuration file ??" so that we can easily control the following parameters without you having to recode the entire game:
- how many rounds each player has to play before the game ends
- how many seconds each round will last
- the speed and difficulty of the game
- how many times the “interrupt image?? appears on the screen (reminder: the image must partially cover the visual of the game to the player while the game is still running)
- which interrupt image will be used during the game
- whether the interrupt image will appear during a round (ie while the game is being played), or between rounds
- whether or not the interrupt image can be clicked away by the player, by clicking on it for some time (ie, we need a binary configuration variable so that we can play the game in two "modes", as we choose)
- how long the interrupt images remain on the screen (we need this control in two versions: a global variable that applies to all the interrupts during a game; and another version in which each individual interrupt lasts a different amount of time)
- how long the player has to click on the image screen to send it away (for the version of the game in which that is allowed)
- what score to show to the player at the end of the game (we need two options: one in which the score depends on actual performance during the rounds; one in which the score is fixed by us in advance)
- Finally, we need some sort of output to record the performance of each player playing the game - eg:
- how “well?? did each player do in the game (score)
- how many interruptions each player saw (this comes from the configuration file)
- how long each interruption lasted (for the version of the game in which the interruptions cannot be clicked away, this value comes from the configuration file; from the version of the game in which the interrupt images can be clicked away, we need to record how long the image remained on the screen for each interrupt)
************** AND NOW THE LEGAL PART: 1) Complete and fully-functional working program(s) in executable form as well as complete source code of all work done.
2) Deliverables must be in ready-to-run condition, as follows (depending on the nature of the deliverables):
a) For web sites or other server-side deliverables intended to only ever exist in one place in the Buyer's environment--Deliverables must be installed by the Seller in ready-to-run condition in the Buyer's environment.
b) For all others including desktop software or software the buyer intends to distribute: A software installation package that will install the software in ready-to-run condition on the platform(s) specified in this bid request.
3) All deliverables will be considered "work made for hire" under U.S. Copyright law. Buyer will receive exclusive and complete copyrights to all work purchased. (No GPL, GNU, 3rd party components, etc. unless all copyright ramifications are explained AND AGREED TO by the buyer on the site per the coder's Seller Legal Agreement).
Java or flash, ready to run on Windows XP systems.