While looking for graphics for our new diagnostic game, Megan came across a cartoon character who was clearly a knockoff of R2D2. I didn’t want to use that particular image but I liked the idea of designing something of that nature.
Megan’s mom has recently begun to unpack her long latent artistic ability. She is in just the right spot for us, being more than good enough for what we need, but not so famous and in demand that she had no time for us. If this had happened a year from now, we would be out of luck.
But, since our timing was utterly propitious, we are thrilled to have her “on” our team, albeit she still works from Michigan.
She also proved that she is a classic Sapphire teammate by being able to turn on a dime and leave you some change. In no time she sent back six little people for us to choose from.
I selected one which she refined and sent back. I approved and she went to work on his nose and other nuances to enhance his personality.
Then we enlisted Mateo who has artistic genes of his own — when he is not dancing with hippo sized AHS. He took Terri’s creation, disassembled it in Illustrator to turn it into a vector image, and then colored up his shirt and tie.
By then Terri had generated multiple versions of our little guy and they went up on the wall for a lunch time discussion during which he became known as Chester and it was agreed upon that he was clearly an Exhorter. It is something about the smile.
I decided that his flat head just wasn’t cutting it for me, and we shipped him back to Terri to be retrofitted with a bowler. Megan and Mateo (henceforth the M & Ms) argued vigorously (in a Mercy key of music of course) and finally settled on a mellow brown for the hat.
Thus happened Chester. (I know, not quite as moving a story as A & E).
Chester is a diagnostician. In the games, you will bring him your muddled mess and he will walk you through it, step by step, helping to clarify the root causes. When you (and he) arrive at a carefully documented conclusion, he will celebrate with you as seen above.
At the beginning of the game, Chester exudes confidence and charm, but you are really awaiting the raised fists of triumph at the end. That is Chester at his best.
Meanwhile Terri has provided a basket full of poses and the M & Ms are working on a panoply of colors for his wardrobe (still arguing vigorously about each detail in a Mercy key of music).
And Ryan is sitting in Texas wishing they would get off the cutesy stuff and just send him something already so he could get on with building the program.
But . . . in the hiatus caused by the graphics tribe last week, he hammered out a feature that will be dearly loved by the end users.
These games are designed for therapists and deliverance teams as well as mere mortals on a convoluted journey. With the understanding that some diagnostic processes might be lengthy and exceed the time allotted to them (Doesn’t all ministry?!?), I asked him to develop a feature that would allow the clinician — or Fred and Sally — to save a partially played game so you could go back and pick it up at that same point at a later date.
After wandering down several blind alleys, Ryan beat the problem into submission and then I promptly raised the bar (welcome to SLG, Ryan) and told him he needed to be able to save a dozen different games, each with a customized “name” for confidentiality purposes. That too produced some misfires followed by success.
It is a pity Chester was not there. He would have raised his fists in the air and shouted YESSSSS when Ryan succeeded. Lamentably Ryan’s office is a miniscule cube surrounded by geeks and engineers who are not particularly emotionally vested in his intellectual prowess and achievements. For the time being, he will have to provide his own celebrations.
Having decided that the games are going to be Exhorter flavored, I now need to go back and revise all of the content to reflect that new reality.
Fortunately, I am in a very mellow mood today as I celebrate the Crimson Tide’s having spanked the Tigers and sent them home appropriately humbled. Life is good.
The text should be too.
Copyright November 2013 by Arthur Burk
From room 229, on a sparkling sunshiny fall day